Grandpa Orville Maas – Grandson’s Eulogy Notes

I have been cleaning around the house and in a sports coat that I no longer need, I found my notes from what I said at my maternal grandpa’s funeral in November 2008.  Here is what I prepared.

My Grandpa Maas was born in the Spring of 1914 outside the city of Lake Geneva, WI., prior to the start of the Great War (WWI).

Grandpa said one of his first memories at 2 or 3 years old was being snipped in the buttocks by goose protecting her young. They lived on a farm at the time.

Grandpa was the 4th of 6 children born in the family. In order was Karl, Loretta, Roy, Orv (Grandpa), Ann and Lorraine.

My grandpa worked for his Dad (William) at an early age in the 1920s and 1930s working in the family taxi business in Lake Geneva, WI.

Grandpa’s Mother Marie came to the US from Frankfurt, Germany with 3 sisters in November 1901 through Ellis Island.

Grandpa graduated from Lake Geneva High School in 1934.

Had an offer to go to Northwestern on a football scholarship but did not go.

After graduating from High School went with a friend to Long Beach, CA jumping on trains like hobos in June 1934. Grandpa’s oldest brother Karl was already out in Long Beach working and my grandpa went looking for work.

While out in Long Beach and Hollywood area, Grandpa took acting classes and even auditioned for the Movie “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” done by Warner Bros, released in 1935. He did not get any part or have any movie career.  Though back in the area of Lake Geneva and Chicago he did get on the radio playing banjo with a large group for a country hr station.

Back in Wisconsin by 1935 he drove taxi again for his Dad and told a story that during this time, he had a gun pulled on him by customer who told him to take him to Kenosha, WI.

Grandpa boxed until he had too many nose bleeds.

During the Depression he was a member of the CCC program in Northern, WI.

During WWII he tried to join the Air Force but he was rejected because he was deaf in 1 ear.

Grandpa’s passion in life was golfing. He started playing as teenager in Lake Geneva, being a caddy, eventually playing until past 85 yrs old. About 70 yrs of golfing, even had a couple holes in one on a few courses.

Took me bowling on Sunday mornings for a few years when I was a kid growing up in Racine, WI.

He also was very serious and competitive with card games. When he visited Lyndon Station with his wife and daughter (my mom) in 1940s and 1950s, he would participate in local card games up as the local bars in town.

He lived in Lake Geneva for the first 50 some years of his life, moved to Phoenix, Az for one year and then in Racine, WI for 7 years before retiring in 1976 and moving to Lyndon Station, WI.

He ran a gas station in town with my grandma for a few years in the 1970s, worked at Wis Dells min-golf courses for a number of later years and died in a special facility in 2008.

Love you Grandpa Maas

Grandpa Orville Maas – Grandson’s Eulogy Notes

Small Town Memories

While in my parents birthplace location and extended family Wisconsin roots origin, I took a good walk around the small village in lower Juneau County, Lyndon Station. Though a very unusual Summer like temperature (80s) in late September, it was good exercise and also great opportunity to see this town on foot. I have visited here my whole life but today was special, it still is in good shape (with a few bends).

Though not a hot spot for most people, it has a certain charm for those with connections to similar villages across the United States. It was a farming community, had a Train Depot stop for a 100 yrs until 1968, supported small agricultural businesses, and for awhile in 1940s through 1960s a throughfare for Hwy 12 to Wisconsin Dells nearby, to other northern locations for tourism. In 1964 the Interstate to LaCrosse and Minneapolis reached through the northern edge of town and the use of Hwy 12 declined. Passage through this town was not necessary as much.

With the changes in the fabric of small town America, Lyndon Station still has some of the aforementioned aspects but at a slower pace now. It has much history and various characters that once lived here.

It still has charm!

Small Town Memories

Business Promotion with New Logo

Now that I have a Business Logo, I can start to use it to gather more exposure in the field. One trial start is to use it at my regular coffee shop I attend.

I have a color version but at the moment have not had time to go to the local Office Depot to get it professionally done. This will happen soon, but for now I wanted to see what even a small start could lead to.

Business Promotion with New Logo

Working with Other Professional Genealogists: Benefits Your Client and the Profession

I currently have a client who has a Grandma that was Swiss-German. Since I know little about Switzerland records and laws regarding genealogy access, I reached out to a colleague that knows German Script.

Knowing when to ask for others expertise as a Professional Genealogist is key when you are working for a client that needs answers to questions that you know can be answered through coordination with other professionals in the field. It benefits you, the client, and the wonderful field of Genealogy. As a Professional Genealogist it enhances what you can offer to future clients. Plus you to learn too. 

Working with Other Professional Genealogists: Benefits Your Client and the Profession

Immigrants and Runners in mid-19th Century America.

An online page from Harper’s Weekly (June 26, 1858):405; “scoundrels”. See below.

The scoundrels it refers to is the “runners” who preyed upon confused new immigrants landing in New York Harbors to entice them to buy various tickets on trains or boats to other US destinations, real or sometimes fake. These runners worked for organiztions that sometimes we’re just cons to get money from newly arrived people. 

Not all of course but they were considered a problem that, “in 1855 the commissioners of emigration in State New of York opened a landing depot in Castle Garden” in southern Manhattan. (pg 146,  City of Dreams, author Tyler Ambinder, 2016). Castle Garden was a theater prior to its identification with immigration in New York City.

Immigrants and Runners in mid-19th Century America.

Genealogy Research Requires Strategy with Patience

So today I did some background research on my most recent client’s ancestor, wrote to ask for church records from the Catholic parish; wrote to the local county Genealogy Society but their contact email bounced backed as no good. Ugh. I believe their website is not update

Did some reading on the village/townships in a county history book done in 1988. So still strategizing on where to find information on this hard to find ancestor. It is out there but patience is required. Site visit soon.

Genealogy Research Requires Strategy with Patience

Reading for Genealogical Proof of Standard and Evidence Analysis

Currently reading my next assignment for ProGen Study Group: Proof Standards and Evidence Analysis.

Very timely as my new client’s request has me weeding through a few different DOBs for same name person in Census Records, and other records right now.

My next steps are to put boots on the ground and do an on-site visit to County and town that the subject of my research lived between 1850s to 1880. Church records, land records, possible probate, vital records at Register of Deeds Office and any reference to the surname in this small WI County. 

This project has records (to be determined) that likely are only at the local level, not on-line and in “original source” documentation.  Source Information that is “primary information” and will provide “evidence” of time, place and lead to further origins of discovery with analysis of the evidence I gather.

First order is to prove who is my primary subject of this research. Will the evidence lead to the necessary Genealogical Proof Standard? I need to weigh the evidence at a minimum standsrd level to convince myself and my client that a conclusion reflects the past reality. Multiple sources (reliable) and good documentation of my collection is important in the analysis.

Reference:  Donn Devine, Certified Genealogist, for his article, “Evidence Analysis”, in Manual, “Professional Genealogy”, 2001 by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Reading for Genealogical Proof of Standard and Evidence Analysis