Hoarders of Memories

This weekend I finally broke into a box I’ve had for months. It was things marked Overholt and Beer that my Genealogy Grandma, Glatha Dee Ware Neff, kept in her research stash. My Aunt Connie carefully packaged everything and sent it to me. Grandma could be a bit of a genealogy hoarder. One of the definitions of the word hoard is “an amassed store of useful information or facts, retained for future use”. Well, let’s say “an amassed” stash is what she left behind! It was with some trepidation that I dug in. Normally I blog about a specific person in a specific family but this is a mixed bag!

As always with genealogy research, the most exciting finds besides what’s on the other side of brick walls are pictures!

Grace Overholt Martin Watson

This is a picture of my Grand Aunt Grace Overholt Martin Watson. I’ve thought of her more since her passing in 2013 than I ever did before in my life. She was a smart woman. She had a good business sense. Although she was the last surviving of her husbands and children she did not die alone. While I couldn’t spend time with her during our time on Earth together because my Father was with her I feel a connection to her. To have this photo is so fun! Sometimes when I feel I need to have a successful day at my job I carry with me a special keepsake of hers my Father gave me. Maybe it’s just silly superstition but she hasn’t let me down yet!

John Thomas Beer (possibly basic training)

Moving to the other side of the house, my Grandma Ruby Beer Overholt, had a brother named John Thomas Beer. John was the name of his maternal Grandfather and Thomas, his Father’s name. He was in the Army from 1947-1949. I don’t know much about him but I look forward to seeing what I can find out. John was the first born son and third in line immediately after my Grandmother.

There was also a photo of his younger brother who is still living. Maybe someday I’ll post that and share what I find out about him. Accuse me of being biased but I think I’ve got some good looking family members!

Multiple Geedy Children taken at the funeral of their mother, Mary Ann Geedy, in 1895

Back to the family of my Genealogy Grandma. I found a letter written in her handwriting in green ink with two black and white pictures in a ziploc bag. Then on a sticky a note from my Mother. It was telling me my Father found it and thought I should have it. The letter was written to me from Grandma Glatha. She was telling me how excited she was to have found these photos (one of them is pictured above). These were her Mother’s side of the family. Upon the 1895 death of my three times Great Grandmother Mary Ann (Taylor or Michaels) Geedy, her children gathered together for a photo. Grandma could identify three of the children. The man on the left of center is David H. Geedy. Then moving right, Simon Geedy (1852-1919), my Great Great Grandfather, and their sister Emma Geedy.

The other picture she included were ones of William Simeon and Mary Ann Geedy. These are my Great Great Great Grandparents staring back at me from the glossy black and white photo of a photo! She was excited about these two pictures the most.

William Simeon Geedy 1815-1865
Mary Ann Geedy 1823-1895

She made a note that William died on the farm in Branch County, Michigan because he was killed by a bull. What a horrible accident! Mary lived for 30 years after William died. I don’t know much more… YET!!


I think of my own little family and how we started. Then I look at the past and try to find how they all started. It’s fun to find a little fact and imagine what other details could have surrounded it. It’s fun to see family resemblances in photos, names used over and over, and wonder what memory should accompany the fact. And so, to carry on the hoarding of memories, I carefully tuck them away back in the box with other “information or facts, retained for future use” and follow the letters in green that said these special keepsakes were entrusted to my care for safekeeping.


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