Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness: Saved from Goodwill

At last summer's Lange Cousins Reunion, my 94-year-old Aunt Katherine (Walter) Lange asked me to "look into" her father's family. She knew his name and the name of his father, but that was pretty much it. The Walter family was extremely interesting to research and I was able to trace the family back to Nicola Walter (c1720-1804). He immigrated to Philadelphia with his wife and children in 1751 aboard the Rotterdam from the Rheinland-Pfalz area of what is now Germany. I was even able to locate a book entitled Nicola Walter and His Descendants by Helen B. Walter and Robert J. Walker. A wonderful fellow Ancestry.com member sent me a digitized copy.[1] I was able to send Aunt Katherine a copy of that book, a report about the Walter family from my database, and several blog posts I wrote about interesting family events.

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by another Ancestry.com member. She had found a photograph at Goodwill in Oregon, which she purchased. She did her research and discovered I had Ethel Marie (Callan) Andrews and her daughter, Betty Jane, in my family tree. She messaged me and asked if I would be interested in the photograph. Of course I would! And several days later the photograph arrived in my mailbox.

Ethel Marie's parents were William J. Callan and Mabel E. Spencer. Mabel's parents were James D. Callan and Virginia Marie Walter, who was a great granddaughter of Nicola Walter, making her daughter, Ethel, my aunt's 2nd cousin once removed.

Photograph of Ethel Marie (Callan) Andrews and her daughter, Betty Jane Andrews

Typed on a sticker affixed to the back of the photograph:
February 1930 - Ethel Marie Andrews holding daugher, Betty Jane - 10 mos. old,
Shore Rd., Brooklyn, NY

Ethel Marie Callan was born on 10 December 1905 in Washington, District of Columbia. Sometime before 1930 she married Byron Franklin Andrews and they lived in Brooklyn, New York, when the 1930 census was enumerated. Byron worked as an accountant. In 1940 their family moved to Queens. Byron Andrews died on 31 January 1989 in Loudoun County, Virginia. Ethel Marie (Callan) Andrews died on 12 January 1999 in the same county. They had two children:
  1. Betty Jane Andrews born about 1929 in New York
  2. Byron Franklin Andrews born 12 April 1933, died 28 October 2004
While I am thrilled this lovely photograph was saved from Goodwill, if a closer relative of Betty Jane Andrews (maiden name) would like the photograph, I am more than happy to send it. It is framed. I have also digitized it and added it to my online family tree.

The full text of the book has also been microfilmed by the Family History Center and the microfilm may be ordered and sent to your local center.


  1. What a wonderful find and testimony to the power of the online genealogy network.

    1. Collaboration, even with people I don't know has really enriched my research. Thanks for reading!

  2. It is amazing how connections are being made these days, and now that you've posted this photograph on your blog, hoping that it will help you to connect with more cousins!

    1. It is amazing how my blog and Facebook genealogy page are connecting me with cousins I never knew I had. But Google is the true wonder. People Google a relative and find me. I love it.