52 Ancestors: Sports

My dad was a huge sports fan. Growing up, he played football and wrestled, but his true love was baseball.


My dad with his sister and parents at a wrestling meet at McNary High School, Salem Oregon, in either 1966 or 1967.


His family would go to San Francisco (from Portland) to watch Giants games, but he was always a Dodgers fan.

However, as us kids grew up, our family rooted for the Seattle Mariners (except my brother, who from some strange reason is a Cubs fan). We attended many games at the Kingdome, which was a giant concrete building filled with astroturf and no sunlight.

kingdomeI remember clearly one night my dad coming home from work and taking me down to Ticketmaster, to try to get tickets to see the Mariners play the Yankees the next day. I was 16.

Since it was last minute, the only tickets we could get for the six of us (my parents, me, my brother, my sister, and my grandma) was the very top row of the 300 level. Right up against the concrete wall. Literally, we sat in bleacher seats and leaned against the wall of the Kingdome.


dad kingdome
My dad climbing the stairs. You can almost see the regret on his face.


I do not remember who won the game (I actually had to look it up, but the Mariners lost 5-3, you can see the box score HERE if interested), but I do remember clearly getting the tickets with my dad, running down the concrete ramps with my sister to get player autographs, and how horrible the green turf was. (It was bad. Really really bad.)


My favorite player (and now Mariners hitting coach), Edgar Martinez, on the turf at the Kingdome.

The Kingdome was replaced by Safeco Field in 1999, and I remember attending two games there with my dad: Ichiro’s 1st bobblehead day, and Edgar Martinez Day, where the Mariners honored Edgar at his second-to-last game as a player.

Edgar Martinez weekend, August 2017. Safeco Field is much more picturesque.


After my dad died, it was hard for me to watch the Mariners for a while, but I am back to being a hardcore fan, even going to Opening Day this year with my mom.


My nephew Colton and I outside Safeco Field, August 2017.

So thanks Dad, for instilling my love of baseball. And calling me at work when Edgar retired so I could listen to the press conference over the phone (ah, pre-smartphone days). And although my dad has been gone 11 years, he hasn’t missed a single playoff appearance. Oh, the trials of a Mariners fan.

Thanks for reading my ode to my dad and my Mariners. 🙂





52 Ancestors: Ten

This week I would like to share the story of my 3x great-grandma Sarah Jane Thrush, who was born in the tenth month, October!


Sarah Jane Thrush Crow
Sarah Jane Crow.


Sarah was born on 1 October 1844 in Lee County, Iowa. She was the second born daughter of John Thrush and Elizabeth Trimble. I wrote about John previously, which you can read HERE.

Sarah is one of my pioneer ancestors. Her family traveled to California in 1853, and a few years later settled in Oregon. On 1 September 1857, Sarah married Richard Crow in Lorane, Oregon. She was only 12 years old.

A year later she gave birth to her first child, Cynthia. Over the next 19 years, Sarah gave birth to 15 (!) children, including her sixth child, my 2x great-grandpa Benjamin. Remarkably, all of her children survived infancy, although she had a daughter die at 16.

Her obituary said she was referred to as “Aunt Jane” by her friends.

Sarah died on 17 September 1936, at the age of 91. She outlived nine of her children and was survived by twenty grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren.

I imagine that she must have been a strong woman, having traveled across the country and surviving a marriage so young, and carrying so many children. Sarah outlived her husband by twenty years, and her son Benjamin by just over a month.

Sarah is buried with her husband Richard in the Crow Family Cemetary in Lorane.

You can click the 52 Ancestors tag to see previous posts!

Until next time,





52 Ancestors: Unusual Source

For this weeks 52 Ancestors post, I considered a couple different sources. I have genealogy collections about the Eby Family, and I have my maternal 2x great-grandparents family bible, but I was not sure either of these would be unusual enough. Then it occurred to me, an unusual source I use, something that most people could create and access for themselves: a family Facebook group.

After a family reunion four years ago with my dad’s side of the family, one created a Facebook group, where we could share photos and stories, and ask questions if needed. While it is not highly used, I have used it for photographs or to ask questions I could not find the answer to.


Photo of a family history board from our family reunion. Dallas Eby was my great-grandfather.


In one instance, I shared my post on my great-grandfather’s time in prison. People posted what they had heard from others, including that Dallas took mistreated horses to rescue and rehome them out of the area. His time in prison was the only time he was caught.

So why should you have a group?

Not everyone is on Ancestry or Family Search, and not everyone wants to fully trace their own family history. But they may have photos, stories, or other information to pass down, and a group allows for that. You can make it public or private, allowing for a level of security as well.


My 2x great-grandfather John Stuart, a photo posted on our Facebook group. I would never have seen this otherwise.


People also post pictures, making it a nice way to share information between family members without having to be Facebook friends. It is a nice way to keep in touch as well! Of course, not everyone is on Facebook, but we have a nice number in our group.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52 ancestors posts by clicking the tag! There is also a new, handy-dandy search bar to help find posts.

Until next time,


52 Ancestors: Closest to Your Birthday


This weeks 52 Ancestors prompt is Closest to Your Birthday. I was born on Memorial Day, May 31, and the closest event to my birthday would be the death of my paternal great-grandma Myrtle Edith Sanford Crowe. She died on May 29, 1978, four years and two days before I was born.


Myrtle Edith Sanford, circa 1918
Myrtle Edith Sanford, c. 1918. Myrtle would have been around 18.


The date of her death being so close to my birthday is something I heard about many times growing up. I was actually due on May 29, something that displeased my grandma.

As a history buff from a young age, I remember reading the book “If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake,” and my grandma telling me that to a matter of luck, her mother survived the earthquake, with a chimney crashing down at the end of the bed. If her bed would have been situated differently, she may not have survived.


Sanfords @ Sunnyvale CA
Walter (her father), John (uncle), Myrtle, Mabel (her mom), Eldon, Grace, Eva, and Lester Sanford in Sunnyvale, California, before the earthquake.


The Sanford’s moved back to Oregon by 1908, where Myrtle met my great-grandfather, Chester Crowe. They married in 1918 and had two kids: their son Merle and daughter Veva, my grandma.


Merle and Myrtle Crowe, 1944
Myrtle and her son Merle, 1944.

She died of a heart attack on May 29, 1978. She loved pansies, and as I got older, I accompanied my grandma to visit the graves of her parents and my grandfather. We always placed a tray of pansies on her grave.


Myrtle and Chester Crowe, Carol and Vickie Comstock
Myrtle, her husband Chester, along with my cousins Vickie and Carol Comstock, c. 1972.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52 ancestors posts by clicking the tag! There is also a new, handy-dandy search bar to help find posts.

Until next time,


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52 Ancestors: Work


My grandfather Captain William Gordon McCallum served in the Merchant Marines prior to, during, and after World War I, and when he was discharged, he could not find a job in Seattle.

William Gordon McCallum

He ended up moving to Portland sometime between 1950 and 1951 and living in a boarding house when he finally got a job working for the Portland branch of the Marine Underwriters of San Francisco (according to my mom). However, a blurb about him later, published by Brady-Hamilton, said he came from the American Hawaiian Steamship Company.


He left the job after a few years (my mom thinks around 1955, but definitely by 1957) to work for Brady-Hamilton Stevedore.


He told them how to load things on the ships, overseeing the loading of ships at various ports, including Portland, Astoria, and Longview. Towards the end of his career championed moving towards container shipping.


He worked seven days a week in the beginning, and would often go back to work after dinner. My mom recalls many nights where her and my grandma would go and sit in the dark in the car, waiting for my grandpa to finish up work.


He retired in 1973, as Brady-Hamilton celebrated their 50th anniversary. The photographs in this post are from a booklet produced by the company, celebrating their 50 years in business.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52ancestors posts by clicking the tag!

Until next time,



52 Ancestors: Back to School


I was looking at some of the boxes I have for my family history items and came across this stack of books. These books used to sit in our childhood home, in the family room on a higher shelf, out of reach of the prying hands of children.


Each book is from a different ancestor, obviously important enough to hold on to and eventually pass down. Some even contain information useful to genealogy.


The oldest book belonged to my great-grandfather William McCallum. “The Miner’s Son, and Margaret Vernon,” written by M.M. Pollard was presented to him from Carleton Place Public Schools in Ontario, Canada, a prize for “General Proficiency” in December 1883, when William was 11.


The next oldest book is from my great-great-grandmother Louisa Jennie Ishmael, a copy of “Daniel Baker’s Talk to Little Children,” a present given to her on her 11th birthday, 20 December 1884.


Interestingly, the book also contains notes from my grandma about her genealogy that are incorrect. Her grandmother was named Louisa but went by Jennie. Her mother’s name was actually Mary. (Always double-check information given to you!)


The next book was a gift to my great-grandfather Chester Crowe on Christmas Day 1902, from his uncle Orvill Crow. The inscription in the book is a little odd, as the family has added the “e” to the end of their surname two generations before, but yet it is not reflected in the book.


A worn copy of “Jack and the Beanstalk” is inscribed to my grandfather, William Gordon McCallum, but was known as Gordon growing up. This book was gifted to him on his fourth birthday (27 November 1911) by Dan William Drummond. As I type this, I realize I have not attempted to find out who Mr. Drummond was, but now I must!


The final book is a copy of Shakespeares’ “Merchant of Venice,” which belonged to my grandma Veva Crowe. The inscription reads “Veva Crowe Salem, Oregon class of 1935-36.” This copy states “for use in schools and classes.” My grandma went to school in Salem but graduated from Monmouth High School in 1939.


These books obviously held meaning to my ancestors, and they hold meaning for me as well.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52ancestors posts by clicking the tag!

Until next time,




52 Ancestors: Non-Population


This weeks prompt is non-population so I would like to share the story of my 3x great-grandfather, George Harvey Dyer, who is listed on the 1890 Veterans Schedule.

George Dyer was born in Arkansas on 10 March 1846. During the Civil War, George enlisted in the Confederate army and on 4 July 1863, was captured in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

dyer pow
George H. Dyer listed on a Roll of Prisoners of War Captured.

He shared his memories in a 1932 letter to his granddaughter, LaVelle Sanford:

dyer reble army
Excerpt of a 1932 letter from George Harvey Dyer to his granddaughter, LaVelle Sanford.

George then enlisted with the Union troops, serving until 20 August 1865.

dyer union
George Harvey Dyer Union military records, showing his enlistment in the army for the north.
GH Dyer, Cavalry
George Harvey Dyer in his Union uniform.

After the war, George married and had six children. Sometime between 1888 and 1890 the family moved to Oregon. His son Harvey was born in Kansas in March 1888, and then George is listed on the 1890 Veterans Schedule, now living in Salem, Oregon.

1890 Veterans Schedule, listing Geo. H. Dyer.

By 1918, George is living in Los Angeles, California at a home for disabled soldiers.

1918 wounded soliders dyer
George Dyer’s entry in a home for disabled soldiers, 1918.

By 1930, George had returned to Oregon, living in an old soldiers home in Roseburg.

old soldiers home
Old Soldiers Home in Roseburg, Oregon. George Dyer is on the right.

George died on 23 December 1932 in Roseburg at the age of 86.

George Harvey Dyer
George Harvey Dyer.

Thanks to George’s service, I was able to track his movements through the 1890 veterans schedule and his stays in veterans homes. He traveled quite a bit during his life, and having these records allows for a better understanding of what happened to him.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52ancestors posts by clicking the tag above!

Until next time,