Today in History - Hammersmith Wedding

I thought I'd start a new feature on the blog called Today in History. That way, on special days in my family history, I can spotlight occasions like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and any other special celebrations in my ancestral past.

So, Today in History, my maternal grandmother, Della Maxine (Kephart) Geissinger married William Robert Hammersmith. They were married in Pennsylvania.

Kephart Geissinger Hammersmith Wedding

Cool Kephart Cars

I was going through some old photos today and I thought it might be fun to share some photos of some of my Kephart family--but with photos that all have cars in them. I really don't have a lot of old photos that have vintage cars in them too, so it's always a treat when I find one. These photos are the majority of what I have! Most of these include siblings of my maternal grandmother. Just a couple of them though have my mom and uncle in them.

First up: a photo of my maternal great aunt, Lorena Faye Kephart. Not even sure how old she is in the photo, but it was taken in Wellston, Lincoln County, Oklahoma. She was born in 1921, and if I had to guess, she was five or six in this photo. 

Lorena Faye Kephart

Mother - Genealogy Photo a Day

The photo prompt for today's Genealogy Photo a Day is appropriately 'Mother.' So I thought I'd share some photos that spotlight my mother, Carolyne Ruth (Kephart) Gould, and her mother, Della Maxine (Kephart) Hammersmith. These are some of my favorite photos of the two of them. They are great mom moments. 

This one was taken in Wellston, Oklahoma. Late 1946-Early 1947.

Carolyne and Della Maxine Kephart


This one is one of my favorite photos of Nana and Mom--doing laundry.
Mom even has a clothes pin in her mouth.

Laundry Day

This next one shows Mom and Nana relaxing on a pool day.

Pool Day

I LOVE this next photo! Mom was quite the little cowgirl when she was little.
See there? She even has a little gun and holster. And hair bows finish off the look.

Nana and Mom

This last photo is of Mom and me with quote I love, that seems appropriate for Mother's Day.

Mom and Me with Quote

Wishing you all very Happy Mother's Day.





Father - Genealogy Photo a Day

Today's photo prompt for Genealogy Photo a Day is 'Father.' So I thought I'd share a couple of photos of my father, Ken Testorff. One photo is of him with me, and another is of him with his father, Leonard Testorff.

Let's start with the one of my father with his father. I think my father looks to be about 18 months old here...definitely no more than two. 

Leonard and Ken Testorff

I love this photo for so many reasons. For one, look at the smile on my Grandpa's face. That's a happy dad right there. And not only does my dad look happy too, look at that dapper little hat he's wearing. And look at those adorable, chubby little legs. He can't get much cuter than that. It's a perfect moment captured between a father and a son.

And here's the photo of my father and me, taken when I was about five years old.

Ken and Tina Testorff

This photo was taken in Falls Church, Virginia, sometime after my parents divorced. Within a year of this photo, my mom and sister and I moved to California to be near my mom's parents. Since we moved to the opposite end of the country from my dad, I didn't really get to see him as I grew up. And this photo is one of very few I have of he and I together. I wish I had a bigger and better photo of this because it is priceless to me. But I love it as it is just the same.

Morning - Genealogy Photo a Day

There's a photo challenge on Instagram called Genealogy Photo a Day and uses that hashtag. I thought I'd try to participate in some of those challenges for the month of May. Today's photo prompt is "Morning." So this is my photo for today.

Della Maxine Kephart Morning - Ancestry Chick

The girl on the right is my maternal grandmother (Nana), Della Maxine Kephart. The girl on the left could be a sibling, but I'm not sure. The nearest sister in age to my grandmother was Lorena Faye Kephart. She was six years older than my grandmother, and I can't decide if this girl looks the right age to be her. But either way, it looks like it could be Morning in this photo, because the girls appear to have their school books with them.

This photo would have been taken in Wellston, Lincoln County, Oklahoma, where my grandmother grew up. I can picture that ground in its true color, the "red dirt" of Oklahoma, as my mom always called it. I have one of my mom's baby shoes that has some of that red dirt caked onto it. I love this photo, and the other one I have taken at the same time. This one has just my grandmother in it though.

Della Maxine Kephart - Ancestry Chick

Nana's father, John Arthur Kephart, was a photographer. So, every time I look at photos of Nana or her siblings, I wonder if my great grandfather took them. I'd sure love to find more photos that he took during his lifetime. And it sure would be nice if we could step into photos and have a look around, don't you think? 

Grandma Kephart's Cook Books

I was looking through my cook books this morning and became a little bit nostalgic. I have 4 generations of cook books in my kitchen, and some recipes that go back even farther than that. So, I thought I'd highlight a few of those for this week's Tuesday Treasures post. 

Grandma Kephart's Cookbooks - Ancestry Chick

These are just three of the cookbooks that originally belonged to my maternal great grandmother, Della Mae (Swinford) Kephart. She was born in Vandalia, Missouri on May 13, 1888; she died in Wellston, Oklahoma on April 7, 1976. These cookbooks were passed down to her daughter, my grandmother, Della Maxine (Kephart) Hammersmith, who then passed them to my mother, Carolyne (Kephart) Gould. My mom gave them to me many moons ago, and they're always in my kitchen. And every once in awhile I like to pull some out and see what looks good to make. But the history in these cookbooks is also really cool, so I thought it'd be fun to share them here.

Surname Saturday - Dodge

This week's Surname Saturday post shines the spotlight on the name Dodge, which is from the maternal side of my family tree. It's a bit of a mysterious line, because it is rather a brick wall for many researchers of this family. My closest relative with this surname was Susannah Dodge, my 4th great grandmother, who married John D. Sutton. But let's get to the surname first and then move onto some of the family history and mystery.


Susannah (Dodge) Sutton and John D. Sutton