There’s nothing like a good Nazi flick!

There's nothing like a good Nazi flick!
Before the History Channel, Nazi junkies had to rely on only the few local sympathetic cinema folk in big Midwest cities like Chicago.

Karl Malden & Marlon Brando or Hitler & friends

A conversation between friends one day in the Sixties before heading out to the local cinema.

“Wanna catch a movie?”


“What do you prefer? Karl Malden and Marlon Brando or Hitler and his henchmen?”

I’d love to see a comparison of the box office tallies.


A Story of Desertion


Today was a first. The first time I have seen the charge of desertion against an ancestor. It was during the Revolution.

The man in question is Goodhart Tressler, a resident of Maryland of German descent. According to his company captain, a John Kershner, Goodhart deserted his post on June 2nd, 1778. The soldiers were stationed at Fort Frederick, Maryland at the time, guarding prisoners.

Perhaps one of these days I will be able to dig up more details on this story. What prompted him to walk away? Was the wife and family in trouble?

Goodhart was the great-grandfather of my great-great grandmother Ellen Catherine Lint. The name Catherine, or Katherine, had been passed down through the generations, beginning with Goodhart’s wife, Catharina.


It’s a plain cemetery


So the “cemetery” where two of my great-great-great-great grandparents AND two of my great-great-great-great-great grandparents were buried, starting in 1844, is part of a farm operation in Kane County, Illinois, just west of Chicago. I’d been hunting for it for quite awhile, at least twenty years.

The place isn’t really a cemetery anymore. Sadly, it’s rundown. It’s been neglected for a long time. Apparently all of the gravestones are no longer upright. It sounds as if most are broken. Some, I’m sure, are lost.

The land is now part of a big farm operation and has been for quite awhile. It’s called the Strom Family Farm. I’m hoping that they’ve been caring for the place. Earlier today I sent off a message via their website.

I am a descendant of Daniel Reynolds and Olive Walker, daughter of Benjamin Walker and Susan Green. All four are buried on what is now the Strom Family Farm in what is called the Plain Cemetery. Are there any photographs of the cemetery and the gravestones? I hear that it is in pitiful condition. Please tell me what you can.


Aaron J. Hill

I don’t know why it’s called the Plain Cemetery. Is it because the place is so plain?

Campton Township – Section 5
Located on the NE side of Burlington Road .5 mile SE of Route 47. Hidden from view from the road, it is situated on the SE side of a house on the uppermost point of a sloping hill. The stones which remain are broken and mostly illegible. It is said that the servicemen who were buried there were later moved to nearby Baker Cemetery in Plato township. The earliest noted interment is 1846.


Finally, some news, though not good, per se


plain_cemetery_otherFinally, today I learned the burial place of my great-great-great-great grandparents, Daniel Reynolds and Olive Walker. Both died in 1875.

The news ain’t good, however. The cemetery has been abandoned, neglected for who knows how many decades. Most of the stones have fallen and the cemetery is in someone’s yard.

Tomorrow, when I have more time, I will be trying to locate it via Google Earth, and perhaps the latest homeowner, if I’m lucky.


Name Tag Gestapo


I am on quite a few mailing lists, both snail mail and email. I like being in the loop. I should probably unsub from some.

Well, one of these groups wants to know more about me, like my name, so they sent me a message with this name badge thingy. Well, do you really need to know my name? No, you don’t.

Year ago I began attending a Sunday School class of older adults. I was the youngest one there. Everyone there was about the age of my parents, or older. It was the only Sunday School class I actually liked at that church at the time, which was quite pathetic. Believe me, I visited most of them.

I couldn’t find one where I felt comfortable and actually liked the people and programming. Many of the leaders came off as plastic and fake. Well, thankfully, I showed up for this one, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I attended for years and even introduced my parents to the group. I think they are still going.

There’s been quite a passage of time since those days.

This name tag imagery got me to thinking about one lady in particular. She had assigned herself the task of organizing the Sunday School class name badges, which were neatly pinned to a board.

I’m not a big name tag guy. Sometimes I like to be anonymous. Often, I sit in the back and don’t say a word. I just listen and observe. Well, this lady wasn’t having it. One day she demanded I put my name tag on. I compiled, upon realizing that refusing would probably make a big scene. OCDers like her can drive me nuts. She was a retired school teacher, I think.


Otherwise Lost To History


It’s nice to see the name of my great-great-great grandfather, otherwise lost to history, recorded somewhere. His name was Morgan  Morgan Reynolds.

His name and the rest of the family  his grandfather, parents and siblings were briefly mentioned in a book published in 1861.

He is listed first on the list of children, so I am assuming he was the firstborn of the family. He died young, before his parents, in 1872. He was only 48 years old.

A few years back I finally found his grave, in an abandoned town in Iowa called Greencastle.

In the book, Morgan’s brothers Hiram, Harry and an unnamed stillborn baby are listed as deceased.

I’d sure like to find his cause of death.

Is there something in the Reynolds or Walker genes that leads to premature death?


I love reading details about ancestors in books

Google Books is a terrific resource. Today, I learned a few more details about my great-great grandparents, John Conner and Ellen Lint.

the_connersI didn’t know that my great-great grandfather lived in Missouri before marrying Ellen and that he came to Iowa in 1873, the year of a
financial panic and the beginning of a depression. And he was still farming at the age of 66.



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