Saturday, October 18, 2014

Connect. Explore. Refresh. FGS 2015





I am proud to be an ambassador for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). FGS is being held February 11th-14th, 2015 in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the conference next year. The theme for 2015 is Connect. Explore. Refresh. 


What does the theme of Connect, Explore and Refresh mean to me?

I am hoping that being an FGS Ambassador will allow me to connect with new people from all aspects of the genealogy community. I enjoy meeting new people. I enjoy being able to learn from others and getting to know them. Learning new things that will take my new friendships and my research to the next level.

For me to be able to explore new opportunities, new methodologies, online classes or any other format I can use to further my knowledge in the genealogy community is exciting and challenging. I have seen the list of seminars being offered at next year's conference and I see so many I would love to participate in. I wonder if in the future the FGS Conference would be available simultaneously as virtual conference too.

By connecting and exploring, I hope to refresh my own genealogy research. We all have list of who, when, where and why questions about our ancestors. That long list of family members that seem to be hiding from every census record imaginable or the one ancestor who seems to have fallen from the sky with no parents, no siblings, a wife with a missing maiden name and a dozen children. So with a new year fast approaching I am planning on refreshing my family tree to see what happens next!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Esther Thomas - Happy Birthday

Tomorrow marks the 121st anniversary of the birth of Esther Thomas, my 1st cousin 4 times removed. I would never have known her story if not for my cousin Sandy St. Clair. Esther, Sandy and I connected through my third great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Warsaw "Betty" Morrow Cameron Miller. For Sandy, "Betty" is her second great grandmother, and she is the maternal grandmother of Esther. 

Esther was born on October 18th, 1894 in Pewee Valley, Kentucky, the fifth child of William Grayce Thomas and Gabriella "Ella" Cameron. Sometime between 1910 and 1919 Esther left home and went to Chicago where she performed. It was while she was performing in these little honky tonk's around Chicago that she was seen by agents from New York City. She left Chicago and went to New York City and began using the stage name of Esther Walker, where she became a musical-comedy star and a recording artist. 

Beginning in February of 1919 at the Winter Garden Theater, Esther starred in "Monte Cristo, Jr." until August 6th, 1919 when the show was temporarily suspended because of the Actor's Equity strike. The show resumed on September 8th, 1919 and closed on October 4th, 1919. Then beginning on October 7th, 1919 Esther starred in "Hello Alexander" at the 44th Street Theater until November 22nd, 1919.

Between 1919-1920 and 1925-1927 Esther made over 30 recordings for the Victor and Brunswick recording companies. Included in the Victor recordings are the songs "What-cha Gonna Do When There Ain't No Jazz" (1920), "Sahara (We'll Soon Be Dry Like You)" (1919), and "Sweet Kisses" (1919). The Brunswick recordings include "I Don't Want Nobody But You" (1926), "I Love My Baby (And My Baby Loves Me)" (1926) and "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" (1926). If you would like to hear some of Esther's recordings you can find them on www.youtube.com and at http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/search/results?q=Esther%20Walker.

In 1920, Esther married Karl St. John Hoblitzelle. Karl was a theater owner and philanthropist. Karl built the Majestic Theater in Dallas, Texas in 1921 which is still in use today.  Karl also built Majestic Theaters in Houston which opened in 1923 and was torn down in 1971, as well the Majestic in San Antonio which opened in 1929 and is still in use today. Esther and Karl made their home in Dallas, Texas. Esther was very involved in civic organizations such as the USO, the American Red Cross and the Junior League. She was also involved with many social clubs including the Dallas Garden Club, the Dallas Country Club and remain active in local theater productions.

Esther Thomas Hoblitzelle died of pancreatic cancer on July 28th, 1943 in University Park, Texas at the age of 48. She left the bulk of her estate to the Hoblitzelle Foundation which was founded by Karl and Ester in 1942. The Hoblitzelle Foundation continues to this day.

Sources: 
Garrick, David, http://www.jazzage1920s.com/estherwalker/images/78-Sahara%20We'll%20Soon%20Be%20Dry%20Like%20You-Columbia%2018613.jpg
Garrick, David, http://www.jazzage1920s.com/estherwalker/images/Esther-Walker-Hoblitzelle.jpg
Garrick, David, http://www.jazzage1920s.com/estherwalker/images/photo-Karl&Esther-Hoblitzelle.gif
Internet Broadway Database - http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=8842 All rights reserved description of cover art.
Library of Congress, National Jukebox, List of recordings for Esther Walker, http://media.loc.gov/playlist/view/AC6B11D049FA0158E0438C93F1160158
Majestic Empire, www.majesticempire.com
Powell, Sandy, Photograph of Esther Thomas Hoblitzelle in suit
Powell, Sandy, Emails and conversations
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KS1L-KN5 : accessed 16 September 2011), Esther Hoblitzelle, 28 Jul 1943; citing certificate number 31500, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2137308.
Youtube.com, Various recordings by Esther Walker https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=esther+walker+recordings

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Mormon Pioneer - Charles Coulson Rich & Sarah DeArmon Pea (1809-1883) Part 3

Charles became heavily involved with the Church after he converted. He was well liked and respected by his peers. The Church promoted marriage and family and in this department Charles was lacking. Friends tried to help Charles in this matter and recommended a young woman named Sarah DeArmon Pea. Friends of Sarah's were also determined to see her wed the young new Elder too. However, Charles was busy with his church duties and could not find the time to travel to southern Illinois to meet her. Once he completed his duties he set about to travel to Missouri by steamboat.

It was during this trip that Charles finally was able to write to Sarah. He told her of how Elder George M. Hinkle and other friends recommended that she would be a good a good companion. He tells her that Elder Hinkle has told him that she too will be coming to Missouri. In his letter dated March 23, 1837, Charles writes, " I should be happy to see you there and if these lines is received with the same feeling I write them I trust that you maybe single and unengaged.(1)". Charles and Sarah would exchange letters for six months before they would meet in person.

Sarah DeArmon Pea was born on September 23, 1814 in St. Clair County, Illinois. She is the daughter of John Pea (1783-1874) and Elizabeth Knighton (1783-1847). Sarah's father John served in the War of 1812 and her maternal grandfather, Thomas Knighton served in the American Revolution. Sarah was one of eight children. Her siblings John Wesley, Nancy Rebecca and Missanian all died in infancy. Her brother Thomas Knighton Pea died at age twenty-one and unmarried. Her brother Ezekeiel remained in Illinois until his death in 1869. While her father and sister Jane made the journey to Utah.

Sarah's mother, Elizabeth taught her and her sisters the skills of carding, spinning, weave, coloring, knitting and sewing; they were taught to how to milk cows, churn butter, cook and make soap. Sarah was very good at weaving, once she was done with the her family's needs, she began taking weaving jobs. She was not only taught the skills young girls of her era needed to know about keeping and running a home but she learned the aspects of farming as well planting crops and harvesting crops. John Pea was a farmer and a blacksmith by trade. The family would sell their wares in St Louis as it was not far from their home in Illinois.

As a child of ten, Sarah and her family left Illinois for her mother's health. Elizabeth Knighton Pea was not well and John thought it would be better for her if they went to Tennessee. He left his land in Illinois in the hands of his father in law and took only what could be carried in two wagons. 

The journey was long and difficult no doubt. When they arrived in western Tennessee John Pea sent word to his brother via another man who was traveling to the area where his brother lived. He explained that they would resting at a certain spot and asked him to come and visit. 

It was then decided that Sarah would go and stay with this Uncle and his family until her father had settled the rest of the family in eastern Tennessee. Her Uncle would return her to her family about six months later. The family would remain in Tennessee for about three years. John Pea would begin anew in Tennessee as a blacksmith and a farmer. Once her mother had significantly regained her health the family headed back to Illinois.

Like Charles, Sarah converted to the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day saints and was baptized on December 15, 1835 at the age of 21 along with parents and her sister Jane. Sarah and Charles were married on February 11, 1838 in Far West, Missouri.

There were nine children born to Charles and Sarah, Sarah Jane Rich (1839-1926); Joseph Coulson Rich (1841-1908); Atremesia Messeniah Rich (1843-1843); Charles Coulson Rich, II (1844-1890); John Thomas Rich (1846-1893); Elizabeth "Libbie" Rich (1849-1932); David Patten Rich (1853-1930); Benjamin Erastus Rich (1855-1913) and Frederick Carmel "Fred" Rich (1859-1941).
 From left to right top row are Sarah Jane Rich Miller, Joseph Coulson Rich, Charles Coulson Rich, II and John Thomas Rich. From left to right bottom row are Elizabeth "Libbie" Rich Pratt, David Patten Rich, Benjamin Erastus Rich and Frederick Carmel "Fred" Rich.

On July 12, 1843, Prophet Joseph Smith reveals principle of plural marriage and the eternity of the marriage covenant. Charles and Sarah were told of the doctrine and it was understood that Charles was being urged to enter into choosing plural marriages. However, Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich was his first wife and the final decision as to whether Charles would have plural wives was hers. If she did not agree with the proposed idea of plural marriage then Charles would most likely would not have taken any other wives. On the other hand if Sarah did agree then Charles would then seek out an additional wife or wives. As it turned out, Sarah did agree with the idea of plural marriages and went so far as to help her husband choose who is wives would be.

Over an eight day period Charles married the following wives at the Nauvoo Temple. His second wife was Eliza Ann Graves and they married on January 2, 1845. On January 6, 1845 Charles married his third wife, Mary Ann Phelps. Charles married his fourth wife, Sarah Jane Peck on January 9, 1845. Sarah Jane Peck's family was already acquainted with Rich clan as Sarah Jane's younger sister Henrietta had married Charles's cousin Thomas Rich in 1839. Emeline Grover would be come Charles's fifth wife on February 2, 1846. The sixth wife of Charles Coulson Rich was Harriet Sargent whom he married on March 28, 1847 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Both Emeline and Harriet were fourteen when they married Charles.

Sarah must of have been a great help to Charles as their families travel to Utah in 1847. By this time she had already journeyed from Illinois to Tennessee and back. 

When Charles left for San Bernadino, California Sarah Pea Rich chose to remain in Utah.  She would receive the occasional letter from Charles who also sent her seeds and fruit trees. With tender loving care she was able to establish an orchard in Salt Lake City.

By all accounts, Sarah Pea Rich was a caring and loving woman who looked after her large family. She cared for her children, she would nurse members of her father's family back to health and When Charles returned from California the family had some quiet years. Charles would accept a mission to Europe but by 1864 he would uproot his family having been called upon once again to start the settlement of Bear Lake Valley, Idaho. 

Sarah Pea Rich did not particularly care for the Bear Lake Valley and return to her home in Salt Lake City after a few years. She continued to provide for herself and her children as best she could and whenever possible she would send care packages to other families  including fruit from her orchard. Charles would visit Sarah when he could and he when he was elected to the legislature he would spend his winters in Salt Lake City with her. 

After Charles death in 1883, Sarah continued to help children however and whenever she could. Sarah would move to Ogden, Utah to live with her son Benjamin in 1891 and she died there on September 12, 1893. She was buried in Paris, Idaho.


Footnotes:
1. Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman, page 56 (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014 
2. The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014
Sources:
Ancestry.com. LDS Pioneer and Handcart Companies, 1847-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, 2013.
  Ancestry.com. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014
  
Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014  page 286 images of the following children of Charles Coulson Rich and Sarah DeArmon Pea, Sarah Jane Rich Miller, Joseph Coulson Rich, John Thomas Rich, Elizbeth "Libbie" Rich Pratt, David Patten Rich and Frederick Carmel Rich

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014 

Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Lesson 25 - Every Young Man Should Serve A Mission, Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, (1995), 97–103, Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich (https://www.lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-3/lesson-25-every-young-man-should-serve-a-mission?lang=eng) accessed on 16 September 2014

Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, (2003), 211-234, Chapter Seventeen: Refugee in Illinois (https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student-manual/chapter-seventeen-refuge-in-illinois?lang=eng) accessed 11 September 2014

Cole, Zula Rich. Pioneer Joseph Rich 1786-1866 Father of Charles Coulson Rich

www.FamilySearch.org ( https://familysearch.org/photos/images/2484425) Contributed by bwatkins., accessed on 29 August 2014

Rich, Sarah DeArmon Pea, A Self-Written History of Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich, www.FamilySearch.org, Contributed by SarahMVidal, (https://familysearch.org/photos/stories/2701122) accessed on 18 September 2014

"Utah, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1847-1868," index and images, FamilySearch ( https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KL7B-1JF : accessed 19 Aug 2014), Charles Coulson Rich, ; excerpted from Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah: Comprising Photographs, Genealogies, Biographies (Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Pioneers Books, 1913).

"Utah, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1847-1868," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KL7B-1J5 : accessed 14 Oct 2014), Benjamin E Rich, ; excerpted from Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah: Comprising Photographs, Genealogies, Biographies (Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Pioneers Books, 1913).

Wikipedia contributors. "Charles C. Rich." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Sep. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014.

Copyright (c) Dawn Kogutkiewicz 2014



Friday, October 10, 2014

An Open Letter to my son Kenny

Dear Kenny,

It has been thirty four years since you were born. Having you is one of the many blessings that I have been given in my life. I will never forget the day you were born for it is forever etched in my heart!

What a funny, charming and silly little boy you were growing up. As you got older, it very clear that girls all loved you! You and David have given some of my most cherished memories! As a matter of fact, you have given our entire family, both the Kitts's and the Williams's many wonder memories that we all cherish.

So today in honor of your birthday, I am going to see the new movie, Dracula Untold as we share a love for movies especially when they involve the supernatural! Then tonight Tommy & I will go out to dinner at Olive Garden, your favorite restaurant and share a toast to you.

Happy Birthday, Kenny! I miss you more than you can possibly imagine but I know that you are with me, forever in my heart and soul.

I love you to the moon and back times infinity,

Momma



The first days at home with your Dad and I. 
 The many faces of Kenny! 



Kenny and David, brothers always and forever!

All pictures are in the personal collection of Dawn Kogutkiewicz and may not be reproduced with out consent. Copyright 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Mormon Pioneer - Charles Coulson Rich (1809-1883) Part 2

In my previous post of Charles Coulson Rich, I tried to give a broad overview of his life and the events that happened in his life once he had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. I had intended for the next post in this series to be about Charles and his first wife, Sarah DeArmon Pea. However, I feel it is necessary to finish with Charles first and then continue with each wife and that individual family.

Charles fled Missouri in November 1838 after the Battle of Crooked River and went to Quincy, Illinois. Upon his arrival in Quincy, Charles stayed with the family of George Crouch.  Charles rented a farm just outside of Quincy known at The Old Methodist Institute. Charles soon realized that the farm he had rented could not support his growing family. The small family returned to the home of George Crouch where they rented a room. Charles continued to work on the farm he rented and hired out to do jobs like rail splitting. 

Charles and his family were in poverty at this point in time. Having fled Missouri with almost nothing but the clothes on their back and what items they could carry or take in a single wagon. They were not alone, everyone who had fled were in similar circumstances. In the past they had looked to the leaders of the Church, their Prophet Joseph Smith and other high ranking church members for economic and spiritual support. Most of these officials were still imprisoned in Missouri. The community of Quincy did what they could to help the Mormon community by hiring the men to work in whatever jobs they had.

In April of 1839, the leaders of the Church were released from prison. These leaders began looking for options as to where they might could settle next without fear of being forced to flee yet again. They found Commerce, Illinois about 50 miles from Quincy. Here the church purchased land and Charles once again became involved in the building of new community. He would purchase a plot of land and build a log cabin home for his family. The town of Commerce became Nauvoo in April 1940.

On July 12, 1843, Prophet Joseph Smith reveals principle of plural marriage and the eternity of the marriage covenant. Charles and Sarah were told of the doctrine and it was understood that Charles was being urged to enter into choosing plural marriages. However, Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich was his first wife and the final decision as to whether Charles would have plural wives was hers. If she did not agree with the proposed idea of plural marriage then Charles would most likely would not have taken any other wives. On the other hand if Sarah did agree then Charles would then seek out an additional wife or wives. 

As it turned out, Sarah did agree with the idea of plural marriages and went so far as to help her husband choose who his future wives should be. It would be almost two years before Charles would take a new wife. In 1845, Charles would wed Eliza Ann Graves (2nd wife), Mary Ann Phelps (3rd wife) and Sarah Jane Peck (4th wife) over an eight day period between January 2, 1845 and January 9, 1845 at the Nauvoo Temple. On February 2, 1846 he wed Emeline Grover, his 5th wife. He married Harriet Sargent on March 28, 1847 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska as his 6th and final wife. Both Emeline and Harriet were 14 years old when they married Charles.

Charles Coulson Rich had six wives. Above are five of them. From left to right are Sarah DeArmon Pea, middle top is Mary Ann Phelps, middle bottom is Emeline Grover, top right is Sarah Jane Peck and lower right is Harriet Sargent.

Several events transpired in 1844 that accelerated the tensions between the Mormon and non-Mormon communities. The Nauvoo Expositor, was a newspaper published by former members of the Church who were critical of Joseph Smith. There was only one paper printed by The Nauvoo Expositor on June 7, 1844. On June 10, 1844 Joseph Smith orders the destruction of the newspaper office and printer. Eight days later, on June 18, 1844 Joseph Smith, who was also the mayor of Nauvoo at the time declared martial law and activates the Nauvoo Legion, the city's militia. An arrest warrant was issued for Joseph and his brother Hyrum. They agree to a trial in Carthage, Illinois Joseph and Hyrum were jailed and awaiting trial. Then three days later, on June 24th the Carthage jail was attacked by mob. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed and no one was ever charged with their murder. These events would pull Charles in and alter his world yet again. 

Stay tuned for the rest of Charles Coulson Rich's story and those of his wives and their respective families.

Sources:
Ancestry.com. LDS Pioneer and Handcart Companies, 1847-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, 2013.

Ancestry.com. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Arrington, Leonard J. Mormon General and Frontiersman (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE96564&from=fhd) accessed 4 September 2014

Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Chronology of Church History Timeline (https://history.lds.org/timeline/tabular/chronology-of-church-history?lang=eng) accessed 10 September 2014.

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014 

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2002 Official Declaration 1 Manifesto (https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/official-declarations/official-declaration-1-manifesto?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Plural Marriages and Families in Early Utah (https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-and-families-in-early-utah?lang=eng) accessed 15 September 2014 

Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, (2003), 211-234, Chapter Seventeen: Refugee in Illinois (https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student-manual/chapter-seventeen-refuge-in-illinois?lang=eng) accessed 10 Sep 2014

Cole, Zula Rich. Pioneer Joseph Rich 1786-1866 Father of Charles Coulson Rich

PBS.org "Timeline: The Early History of the Mormons" (http://www.pbs.org/mormons/timeline/timeline2.html) accessed 10 September 2014)

Rich, Emeline Grover (1831-1917),City of San Bernadino California Library Services, (http://www.sbcity.org/cityhall/library/services/history/pioneers/p_r/rich_e.asp) accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Harriet Sargent (1832-1915), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, (http://www.sbcity.org/cityhall/library/services/history/pioneers/p_r/rich_h.asp) accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Mary Ann Phelps, (1829-1912), City of San Bernadino California Library Services, (http://www.sbcity.org/images/departments/library/csb_jpg/csb_130.jpg) accessed 30 September 2014

Rich, Sarah DeArmon Pea, (1814-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch.org Contributed by deeanhicks1 (https://familysearch.org/photos/images/224244?p=90846) accessed 15 September 2014

Rich, Sarah Jane Peck, (1825-1893), The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch.org Contributed by  RobertNelsonWestover (https://familysearch.org/photos/images/755662) accessed on 15 September 2014
  Wikipedia contributors, "Chronology of Mormonism," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chronology_of_Mormonism&oldid=623891857 (accessed 10 September 2014). 

Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Crooked River." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014.  

Wikipedia contributors. "Charles C. Rich." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Sep. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kaitlyn Williams - My Very Talented Niece

I am very happy and proud to highlight my niece Kaitlyn Williams! Kaitlyn has inherited the artistry gene in our family. A high school senior this year she has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil, pen or crayon. Our grandfather, George Rueff was an artist. Our Aunt, Bonnie Elbert is an artist and our cousin, Ann Rothan is an artist and illustrator as well.

What draws you to a piece of art?

KW: A majority of it is the subject matter and the color scheme. I’m more fond of pieces that feature people (women specifically) and that have a color pallet that adds a dramatic and rhythmic element to it. I like to see the movement of the marks the artist has made.

What kind of mediums do you use? What is your favorite medium?

KW: For the most part, I use dry media. This includes graphite, colored pencils, sharpies, charcoal, pens, crayons.. etc. It just depends on what I have on me. For the pieces I spend the most time on and tend to have the most fun creating are the ones that I do in acrylic paint. It’s one of my favorites to use and it’s inexpensive as well as uncomplicated in its techniques. I also enjoy watercolor as a challenge every once in a while. As any artist knows, watercolor is unforgiving and is very difficult to try and master.

Watercolors, charcoal, acrylics or oils?
KW: Each has their ups and downs and each piece calls for a different medium depending on how detailed I want to get or what mood I want to put into it. My go-to out of these would have to be acrylics since I’m the most experienced with it and it’s not as messy as charcoal, my second choice. The only thing I don’t like about charcoal is that my hands are almost completely black afterwards and there are countless marks on my face. Watercolor is third because while it looks beautiful, it is incredibly difficult to use and can get frustrating. And for oils, I have never used oil paint! The supplies are rather expensive and we definitely don’t have the funding to use them in school. 

Above our samples of Kaitlyn's work. The far left is a texture study with graphite on paper; middle upper is our family lake house using graphite on paper; the lower middle is a self-portrait using PhotoShop; the upper right is mixed dry media on paper; the lower right is chalk pastel on paper. Copyright 2013-1014 Kaitlyn Williams Art.

What artists do you like? My favorite artist is Claude Monet and I love the Water Lilies series. Do you like Monet? 


KW: I do! Monet and other impressionists are a huge source of inspiration for me. I love their usage of color and how even though the pieces don’t get extremely detailed and are very stylized, they are still gorgeous works of art. At the time, this style of painting wasn’t popular. People were so used to the hyper-realistic portraits and still lives that most today think of when they think of the Renaissance. Monet and the impressionists rebelled against this traditional style of painting and focused on painting what a scene looked like in that moment. The reason they have so many paintings of the same subject matter is that each time, something was different. It could have been a different season, a different time of day, or a different perspective. A good example of this is Monet’s paintings of Haystacks. He painted the same haystacks, but at different moments in time to show how nothing is really permanent. You can paint an orange, but that orange will change as soon as you start even.

As far as artists that I like, I’m drawn to Van Gogh and Monet as well as more modern artists like Chuck Close, Alex Pardee, and Shelby Cragg (who does a lot of illustrations and is currently illustrating a comic that will be available for purchase soon, but is an ongoing webcomic at the moment. It’s called Apothecia). The modern style of comics and illustration is something I’m really enjoying, but I am having a hard time drawing it myself. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stop trying! Like everything I’ve learned about art, I am going to just keep rolling no matter how long it takes. So far it’s taken me 17 years to be able to draw a realistic human figure.

What do you plan to study in college? Art? What kind of degree do you want?

KW: I plan to go to college for art education - which is to be an art teacher. I plan to teach a higher level high school art class like what i’m in now (AP studio art). However that could change between now and next year or four years from now. I’m also entertaining becoming an elementary teacher from 3rd-5th grade. I just wouldn’t want to teach math because that is my weakest point!

I know you have been visiting colleges recently, what is your first choice?

My top choice for college is UNC Asheville because it has a program where I can major in Art while getting my teaching licensure so that I have more options when I come out of college. I could go into teaching right away, or if something comes up I could go work for some company designing their logos and merchandise, it just depends on what's going on at the time. 

Since UNC-Asheville is your first choice, what colleges round out the top 3?

KW: My number two is Appalachian State, and number three is Western Carolina. If you can’t tell, I am very interested in begin in the mountains! UNC-A has a terrific art program and a small campus that would be great for me personally being an introvert. Appalachian’s art building is just like the kind of art rooms that i’m used to so that was nice to see. And finally, Western Carolina has an interesting campus and history as well as a pretty cool art department.

What do you see your future being? Will you make a living with your art? Art teacher? 

KW: If all goes according to my life-plan, yes, I will be an art teacher. My future is definitely going to include art. After all, I haven’t put a pencil down since I could hold it and it has become such an enormous part of my life that I can’t imagine doing anything else. Ever. And if it was a world in which I could just paint all day, sell it, and make enough to live, I would drop everything and do it in a heart beat!!! Unfortunately, paintings are not demanded enough to where I could just do that and be fine. Lucky for me there are other careers in art that pay decently and will still allow me to do my own artwork on the side.


Tell me about your Minecraft Women Project? 
KW: Minecraft is a popular video game in which you are a person surviving in the wild. You punch trees, go hunting and fishing, and build yourself a cabin and a farm and try to survive despite all the zombies, skeletons, giant spiders, and creepers that roam the land. Or you can choose creative mode and just build whatever your mind can think of! I’ve seen some pretty amazing things people have done with mine craft.

Anyways, my Minecraft Women project is a project i’m doing with photoshop to create a woman from each biome in Minecraft if people were to have lived there in real life and adapted to the conditions. So far, I have done “Snow Plains” - kind of self explanatory - and “Mega Taiga” - which is a forest similar to the redwood forests out west. There’s so many more I have to do, but between school, work, and everything else, it’s hard to fit in the time.

You have web-comic series what is it about? The website is, www.propertiesoftheuniverse.com, right? and you work with your friend Austin Garner on this project right? Tell me a little about Austin.


KW: Properties of the Universe is a concept I have been working on since my freshman year in high school. Just recently (the summer of 2014) I have turned it into an actual webcomic that is currently on a little break so that I can focus on school. The comic is about the last humans that have to survive on an alien planet where their ancestors left them. After a major intergalactic war, the great and mighty human race was reduced to dust with the only survivors being genetically-engineered humans made from ancient DNA samples. This group of kids has to discover their culture and try to rebuild their society from scratch. The major conflict is that they run into another group of aliens that have a firm belief that any species that was brought to extinction like the humans were should not exist at all. They want to make sure that the humans don’t make a comeback.

Austin Garner is my very good friend who helped me flesh out the main conflict of this comic. Before that, I just had a lineup of characters and a place that they lived. So, he really helped me make this a reality. Austin is currently attending The Art Institute in Durham for Video Game art and development. He is interested in coming up with the plots in video games and developing the characters.
   
You are member of your high school's chapter of National Arts Honors Society.

KW: I am! I’m running for the president this year, but we’ll see how that goes :)

You had your first personal showing last year at a local coffee house? How did that go? 

KW: It went better than I expected. I had eight paintings up for show and one of them sold for $80! It was even more exciting that it was someone i didn’t know and who wasn’t a member of my family (that doesn’t mean i don’t greatly appreciate all they do for me and my art). The most that came out of that art show was getting some exposure. At least now my name is out there somewhere in Greensboro and someone is at home with a painting that I put a lot of effort into. 

You have participated in art shows, what awards did you win? I believe you have also organized some shows as well right?


KW: All of high school I have participated in the school’s art shows. These are fundraisers for the art department and a way for parents to see what all their child has been doing. My freshman year I won an award for art 1, sophomore year I won for art 2, and junior year I won for art 3. One of those years I believe I won best in show, but my memory isn’t the best! 
Being a member of National Art Honors Society, I also help run and organize these art shows. This means I put artwork on their displays, hang up “do not touch the art signs”, walk around and answer questions, and help clean up everything afterwards.

I know you have been working a local restaurant in your hometown to save money for college and what you call Addicit-love of the arts. What else have you been doing to help with those two goals?

KW: Mostly, I have just been working some crazy number of hours. Along with this I’ve been working mostly independently in my art class in putting a portfolio together and spending almost all of my time home painting, drawing, or doing something art related. As far as funding goes, I have commissions open constantly and all of my work is for sale at prices that can be discussed.

I have asked you to do a project for me about your cousin Kenny and I am still trying to pick out pictures, maybe you should come help me with that!

KW: Sounds great! It’s just hard to find time to do much of anything that isn’t for school or work these days.


Here is another example of Kaitlyn's art work. She took a photo of a picture of my parents, Bill & Nina Williams and then did this wonderful charcoal portrait from that picture. In the picture to the right, are my parents with Kaitlyn and her portrait. In the middle is her portrait and on the right is a picture of my parents with the portrait. Copyright 2013-1014 Kaitlyn Williams Art.
 
If anyone wants to see your art they can go to https://www.facebook.com/KaitlynWilliamsArt and like your page. Do you have a website that features your work too? 


KW: I do not have a personal website because it costs extra money to do those kinds of things, but I do have a blog on www.Tumblr.com dedicated to my artwork. You can visit my blog at, www.katthewonderbat-art.tumblr.com


Thank you for helping me on Ancestry.com with your Mom's side of the family! It has helped a great deal. One last question, since this is a genealogy blog...
 
What do you think of genealogy now that you have helped me? Will you be our family's the next historian? 

KW: Yes, I'm very interested. After exploring your blog and ancestry.com I can confirm I will try my best to be the next family historian! I'm planning on trying to uncover my mother's side of the family since I know less about my maternal ancestors and even my living family members on my mother's side.  

Kaitlyn, thank you for letting me interview for my genealogy blog. I love you and wish you nothing but happiness and success in your art work & life. You have been great answering all of my questions and allowing me to share some of your art work as well.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Funeral Card Friday - Myrtle Behrle Rueff

This is the Mass Card for my grandmother, Myrtle Behrle Rueff. The front side of the card has the obituary notice and a quote from Revaltions 21:4. The back has The Psalm 23. The card is meant to a book marker. It has a white ribbon at the top and along with coral colored rose on both sides.