Uncle Russ, the Poet

Kees

Lisa Emmett recently contacted me about my Uncle Russ. She read my post about him – “In Memoriam – Russell Erwin Kees (1927-2016)” – and wondered if my uncle was the author of a poem she had.

Apparently, her mother died last year and as she was going through her mother’s things, she found a poem in a jewelry box by Russell E. Kees. As we compared notes, we learned that both her mother, the former Rosella VanderKlok, and my Uncle Russ were born in 1927, so they were contemporaries. Additionally, Rosella grew up and lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until the 1950s. My uncle lived in Grand Rapids from about 1937 to about 1944. So they were in the same place at the same time. So, there is no doubt in my mind that the poem, “To Rosa” is a poem from my uncle to a young woman, written sometime from when they were teens, probably 16 or 17 years old.

Photo of Russell Kees in army uniform
Russell Kees c. 1952

Rosella VanderKlok

TO ROSIE

“Rosa” by Russell E. Kees

I’ll admit I’m rather slow,
When it comes to words of grace,
So I’ll tell it to you in a poem,
Rather than face to face.

I realize we’ve barely met,
Except for a week or two,
But I think that the time is coming close,
To speak of my love for you.

No don’t get red and blush and fret,
‘Cause it happens every day,
Boy meets girl, and falls in love,
That’s why I feel this way.

I may joke like I did last night,
About things we were going to do,
But deep inside, I keep the hope,
That someday they might come true.

I was happy to see you wear my ring,
And although I have no right,
To lie here in bed and think of you,
As mine for a single night.

I’ve tried for an hour to write a poem,
Explaining just how I feel,
But after I’ve read it, (and I’m glad that I said it)
I feel like a lowdown feel.

So here is the poem I said I would write,
God help me for being blunt,
But truth is stranger than fiction, you know,
And the true is, this poem’s NO stunt.

May God give me the courage to look you in the eye again
after you’ve read this!!!!!!

THE WORST THING I’VE EVER WRITTEN
(But the Truest)

                           by Russell E. Kees

Russell and Rosa must have had a very special relationship for Rosa to have kept the poem for nearly 75 years. The poem also provides insight into Russell, whose youth experiences have always been a mystery to me.  My thanks to Lisa for sharing this glimpse into their teenage lives.

1900 Census – Searching for misspelled Salefske’s

Census Sunday
Roberts-Dion-Spry-Salefske Project
By Don Taylor

My half-brother’s (Tom) maternal line has been difficult to trace, mostly due to unusual names. His great-grandmother’s name is probably Ottilie Salefske. But in various records, I’ve seen her named Ottlie, Tillie, Lillie, Tily, and even Matilda. Likewise, her surname is spelled a half a dozen ways also, It seems like I need to search using lots of question marks, “S?l??sk?”. As such, neither he nor I were successful in finding Ottilie in the 1900 Census. So, I gave it a try leaving the surname off completely. I searched for her father, “Charles” and his wife “Hattie” with a child “Albert.” Albert is believed to be Ottilie’s next younger brother. They are all names that are common enough to typically be spelled correctly in the Census record and to be interpreted by indexers correctly. It didn’t matter if I searched using Ancestry.Com or Family Search, the correct family was found immediately with a completely different, but understandable, spelling – “Lelensky.” So, if you can’t find someone in a census that you should, be sure to try searching without the surname and enter just the relationships of several first names.

Document Image

Image of the 1900 Census showing Charles Salefsky & family of Detroit, Wayne, MI
1900 Census – Charles Salefsky – Detroit, Wayne, MI.

My Transcription

1900 Census – Michigan, Wayne, Detroit, Ward 14
Enumeration District 156, Sheet 18
Lines 6 through 14 – 246 Lovett

  • Lelensky [Salefske] Charles – Head – May 1855 | 45 – Married 10 years – Born Germany, PR Immigration 1888 in the US for 11 years – Machinist – Owns House.
  •     –    Hattie  – Wife  –  June 1857 | 42  Married 10 years, 3 children born, 3 living  – Born Germany, PR – Immigration 1879, in US 20 years.
  •     –    Otto  –  Son     – July 1880 – Age 19            – Born Germany, Pr – Immigration 1888, in US 11 years. – Brass Finisher
  •     –    Odilia  –  Daughter – Dec 1883 – Age 16     – Born Germany, Pr – Immigration 1888, in US 11 years.
  •     –    Albert  –  Son  – Mar 1886 – Age 14             – Born Germany, Pr – Helper Machinist  – Immigration 1888, in US 11 years.
  • Sauli [Sante?], Anna – S. Daughter  Jan 1887 Age 13 – Michigan At School
  •     –    Walter   –  S. Son   Mar 1888 – Age 11 – Michigan       At School
  •     –    Hugo   –  S. Son – Nov 1891 – Age 2    – Michigan
  • Salensky, Louise – Mother  – Jan 1818 – Age 82, Wd 4 children, 4 living – Germany, Pr. Immigration 1893, 6 yrs in the US

All parents were born in “Germany, Pr.”

Discussion

The great thing about this census record is that it clearly shows that Hattie was in the United States before Otto, Ottilie, and Albert came to the United States.

Also, it shows that Anna, Walter, and Hugo are all stepchildren to Charles.

One obvious mistake is that Hugo, who was born Nov 1891 is identified as only 2-years-old instead of 8 years old.  It does make some dates a little confusing; if Charles and Hattie had been married for 10 years, how did Hugo, age 8, become identified as a step-son? Even if Hattie were pregnant with Hugo when she and Charles married, it would seem incorrect. I need to search further to find Charles and Hattie’s marriage record.

Huber – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Huber and its derivatives (Hubbard, Hibbert, Hibbins, Hibbs, Hibson, and possibly Hoover) derive from the word, hube, a measure of land that could sustain and be worked by one farmer’s family. The name Huber designated the farmer who owned a “hube.”

Geographical

The name is most prevalent in Germany (over 122,000 people) and most common in Austria where it is the second most common name in the country. In Switzerland, where Mary-Alice’s ancestors came from, it is the 7th most common name with 1 in 308 people have the surname.

Portrait of the Huber Family
Huber Family Portrait – Standing: Ernie, Jak (John), Jak, & Alfred, sitting Frieda, & Kath, boy standing Hermann.

Mary-Alice’s immigrant ancestor, John Huber, came from Switzerland in 1901 and settled in Wisconsin. In 1910 he and his wife, Bertha, located to Alabama. In 1920, they moved to Saginaw County, Michigan and remained there the rest of their lives. The 1920 Census indicates there were 162 Huber families in Michigan. John’s only son, Clarence, had no children, so the surname ended with Clarence. John’s daughter, Florence, was Mary-Alice’s maternal grandmother.

John Huber was the son of Jacob Huber and Kath Stuckling of Windlach, Zurich, Switzerland. I believe he had four siblings, Ernie, Hermann, Frieda, and Alfred. I know nothing about those siblings and need to research them in the future.

Direct Huber Ancestors

  • Photo of Florence Huber (1924)
    Florence Huber at 16 (1924)

    Grandmother – Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)

  • Great-Grandfather – John Huber (1880-1948)
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather – Jacob Huber (b ca 1835-? )
  • 3rd Great Grandfather – Jak Huber (?-?)

Known relatives.

My records have 21 direct-line descendants of Jak Huber.

Sources:

DNA – Glennis’ Paternal Search – Part 15

Looking at Viola Cline more closely.

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My half-sister Glennis is a DNA match on Ancestry.Com with several individuals who have common ancestors with Nathan Smith Morgan and his wife, Belinda [sometimes Malinda Odell. In the search to determine Glennis’ biological father, I am continuing to develop a tree of the descendants of Nathan and Belinda.

On the last DNA Day, 22 March 2018, I began to suspect that someone close to Viola Cline was going to be a likely candidate. I looked at a couple of Viola Cline’s grandsons and determined they were possible, but unlikely, candidates. I had quite a bit of difficulty tracing Viola’s daughters and their children. So, I thought I’d look at Viola again and see what I could learn.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.comI learned that Mary Corinne Huber married Roy Lee Ezzell. In the 1940 Census they still hadn’t any children. Placing them out of consideration.

I examined John Clifford Huber previously. His two sons are possible but unlikely candidates.

Genevieve married Chas (Charles?) Osborne. The 1940 Census indicates that they had 1 son who was a 1year-old so, he’s not possible.

Finally, Elenore Elizabeth married Wilmont Schlaff. They had a son (possibly living), who is not a candidate.

1.    Descendants of John and Viola (Cline) Huber

#.# Child Notes/Comments Status
1. Mary Corinne Huber Married Roy Lee Ezzell

Married [Unk] Cook

1.1    Possibly Living Born 1944
2. John Clifford Huber Married Naomi Stewart
2.1.    [Possibly living] Possible but Unlikely
2.2.    Roy L. Huber Possible but Unlikely
3. Genevieve Huber Married Chas Osborne
3.1. Possibly Living Born 1939 Not Possible
4. Eleanor Elizabeth Huber Married Wilmont Schlaff No apparent children in 1940 Census.

There don’t appear to be any likely candidates from the descendants of Viola Cline.

I also took a look at the matches Glennis has on Ancestry.Com and GEDMatch.Com. Neither had any new matches that could shed light on Glennis’ DNA connections.

As such, next I’ll investigate the descendants of her four siblings.

  • Fotilla Cline – born 1873/4.
  • Amos C Cline – born 1875
  • Forest Cline – born 1877/8
  • Rufus Cline – born 1879.

Note – My Criteria:

  • “Candidates” are males born between 1925 and 1935.
  • “Not considered” are females who are unlikely to have had a male child between 1925 and 1935.
  • “Not a Candidate” are males born between 1915 and 1925 as being too young to have had a son between 1925 and 1935 and too old to be a candidate.
  • “Possible but unlikely” are males born between 1925 and 1935, but are not named Paul or Phil, which are the likely names of Glennis’ biological father, or otherwise don’t appear to fit the likely candidate who would have been in Minnesota or Michigan in 1953. I will revisit these possibilities later of this project fails to find a potential candidate.

Ancestor Sketch – Deborah Buel Maben

Brown/Sanford/Parsons/Maben Line
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-29
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Like many of my ancestors, Deborah Buel Maben, was a pioneer wife. She was born, raised, and married in eastern New York (Greene County). After she married she headed west with her husband to Michigan Territory. She was there when Michigan become a state. She passed away and was buried in Benton, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in the land she and her family settled.

Continue reading “Ancestor Sketch – Deborah Buel Maben”