Sixty-Eight Years Ago Today

Source: “50th Anniversary Sampler of Robert and Jeanne (Holst) Robbins”, created 1990 by Miriam (Robbins) Midkiff. Photographed and privately held by Miriam (Robbins) Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Spokane, Washington. 2008.

I created this cross-stitch sampler 18 years ago in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the marriage of my paternal grandparents. My parents attended the celebration, which was held at my grandparents’ church in Polkton Twp., Ottawa Co., Michigan, just outside the town of Coopersville where my grandparents and their children lived for many years. I had taught myself cross-stitch three years earlier, after admiring the work my husband’s sister-in-law did. This particular sampler was difficult to do as some of it required working with gold metallic thread, which broke easily and was flat versus the round cotton threads used in conjunction with it. Clicking on the image above will bring you to my Picasa photo album, where you can zoom in to view the glints the gold threads make.

My grandfather passed away 28 December 2003, after being married 63 years to his “Jeannie with the light brown hair.” My grandmother now lives with my uncle and his wife in Michigan due to her advancing age and Alzheimer’s. When one of my aunts cleaned out my grandparents’ retirement home in Texas a couple of years ago, she came across the sampler and returned it to me. I haven’t done cross-stitch in years, but seeing it again has inspired me. Perhaps someday I’ll create some sort of heritage or family tree piece.

My Parents’ Wedding Photo

Source: Robbins-Valk Wedding, Bride and Groom and Their Parents. Photograph. 25 Jun 1965. Original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Growing up–like most little girls, I suppose–I loved to look at my parents’ photo album of their wedding. The big 8″ x 10″ black and white glossies made them look like the movie stars I was sure they were. In addition, there were photos of members of the wedding party–my beloved aunts and uncles whom I rarely saw–and individual shots of my parents with each set of their parents, my grandparents who were like celebrities when they visited us in Alaska from their homes in Michigan.

But I never saw the photograph above until eight years ago, when I visited Michigan last and spent some time with my Grandmother DeVries, who had arranged for my husband, my children, and myself to take a memorable vacation that October. She handed me a miniature photo album filled with forty-four 3″ x 4″ shots, including the one above, which I had never seen before. It quickly became my favorite, showing my parents, my paternal grandparents, and both sets of my maternal grandparents (my mother’s parents having divorced and remarried to other spouses).

From left to right are my paternal grandparents, Robert Lewis ROBBINS (1920 – 2003) and Jeanne Marie HOLST (living; birth name, Jane Marie YORK); my parents, Bryan Henry ROBBINS and Faith Lillian VALK; my maternal grandmother and step-grandfather, Ruth Lillian HOEKSTRA (1919 – 2001) and Adrian DeVRIES (1916 – 2007); my maternal step-grandmother and grandfather, Elaine Estelle SEIF (living) and William VALK (1912 – 1989).

This photograph was taken the evening of 25 June 1965 by Werkema Studio of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the chapel of my parents’ alma mater, Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music (now a part of Cornerstone University), Crescent Street at Bostwick Avenue.

My Parents’ Wedding Photo

Source: Robbins-Valk Wedding, Bride and Groom and Their Parents. Photograph. 25 Jun 1965. Original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Growing up–like most little girls, I suppose–I loved to look at my parents’ photo album of their wedding. The big 8″ x 10″ black and white glossies made them look like the movie stars I was sure they were. In addition, there were photos of members of the wedding party–my beloved aunts and uncles whom I rarely saw–and individual shots of my parents with each set of their parents, my grandparents who were like celebrities when they visited us in Alaska from their homes in Michigan.

But I never saw the photograph above until eight years ago, when I visited Michigan last and spent some time with my Grandmother DeVries, who had arranged for my husband, my children, and myself to take a memorable vacation that October. She handed me a miniature photo album filled with forty-four 3″ x 4″ shots, including the one above, which I had never seen before. It quickly became my favorite, showing my parents, my paternal grandparents, and both sets of my maternal grandparents (my mother’s parents having divorced and remarried to other spouses).

From left to right are my paternal grandparents, Robert Lewis ROBBINS (1920 – 2003) and Jeanne Marie HOLST (living; birth name, Jane Marie YORK); my parents, Bryan Henry ROBBINS and Faith Lillian VALK; my maternal grandmother and step-grandfather, Ruth Lillian HOEKSTRA (1919 – 2001) and Adrian DeVRIES (1916 – 2007); my maternal step-grandmother and grandfather, Elaine Estelle SEIF (living) and William VALK (1912 – 1989).

This photograph was taken the evening of 25 June 1965 by Werkema Studio of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the chapel of my parents’ alma mater, Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music (now a part of Cornerstone University), Crescent Street at Bostwick Avenue.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy 43rd Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Source: Robbins-Valk Wedding, Bride and Groom and Their Parents. Photograph. 25 Jun 1965. Original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy 43rd Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Source: Robbins-Valk Wedding, Bride and Groom and Their Parents. Photograph. 25 Jun 1965. Original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Genealogy Happy Dance!

I’ve been looking for an exact place and location of marriage for my great-great-grandparents, James L. YORK and Mary E. “Mae” McARTHUR for years! I knew they were legally married, because I had a copy of the court clerk’s file index for their divorce. But I searched through many microfilms and websites without much luck. I even blogged about it last October. And of course, I found it while I was actually looking for something else: vital records for cousins of James to fill out the family trees of some of the collateral relatives. I did not know that James lived in Clinton County, nor that Mary ever lived in Van Buren County. Great stuff, here!

This website is the creation of the Genealogists of Clinton County (Michigan) Historical Society, and I found it through Joe Beine’s Online Death Indexes site. Now to contact the historical society to obtain the news article. I may be making a list; I’m finding lots of collateral relatives’ records in these great databases!

Genealogy Happy Dance!

I’ve been looking for an exact place and location of marriage for my great-great-grandparents, James L. YORK and Mary E. “Mae” McARTHUR for years! I knew they were legally married, because I had a copy of the court clerk’s file index for their divorce. But I searched through many microfilms and websites without much luck. I even blogged about it last October. And of course, I found it while I was actually looking for something else: vital records for cousins of James to fill out the family trees of some of the collateral relatives. I did not know that James lived in Clinton County, nor that Mary ever lived in Van Buren County. Great stuff, here!

This website is the creation of the Genealogists of Clinton County (Michigan) Historical Society, and I found it through Joe Beine’s Online Death Indexes site. Now to contact the historical society to obtain the news article. I may be making a list; I’m finding lots of collateral relatives’ records in these great databases!