When the Neighbors are Rich

My grandmother, Jeanette Shrum Willett, left us a wonderful handwritten manuscript of her life which she wrote in the mid 1980’s. She was born August 4, 1897 in Bloomington, Indiana and died March 3, 1988 in Salem, Massachusetts.  I have been transcribing her manuscript here. You can start from the …

Grandad and Walter Brennan

As I was sitting up late one night tucked into our family room couch with my computer, I was multi-tasking as I usually do by doing some “light” genealogy while I watched TV.  A movie came on called  “Bad Day at Black Rock” from 1955 starring Spencer Tracy. I’m a pretty …

A Virginia Goldminer – The Sad End

David Shrum left Virginia in 1855 to mine gold in Grass Valley, California. In September 1858 he wrote back home to his brother, Orlando, who is my second great-grandfather. Sadly, David was crushed in a mining accident in 1861 and died several days later.  I’ve been sharing David’s letter to …

LONGEVITY CHALLENGE – #52ANCESTORS

My grandmother never liked to talk about her father, Charles  Comp. When I became interested in our family history when I was 15 years old,  I would ask about him when we visited her in Beavercreek, Ohio.  She would simply say that when she was 13 he disappeared. And then …