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Vaudeville Musician Woos Beautiful Opera Star!

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Curious about a Vaudeville musician who woos a beautiful opera star? 

Historically Speaking with Angela Breidenbach welcomes family historian, Stacie Mason Keeley, as she shares the 64-year love story of her great grandparents.

Letha Gladetsch, a Victorian era renowned opera soprano and Miss Chicago beauty queen, meets Henry Hunt of the Garden and Hunt Vaudeville band act. They spark a romance that lasted 64 years and crossed the country with their talents in music and movies. Henry Hunt opened the first movie house in Chicago. Leitha sang on a European tour at 18 years old. Listen in for the family stories, tips on how to verify your own ancestral documents, and be sure to view the photos in the slide show on this page.

If you think you’re related to Stacie Mason Keeley or any of the people you hear about in this episode, contact Angela Breidenbach on the contact page of http://AngelaBreidenbach.com for more information.

Listen to the half hour show by clicking this link: Historically Speaking Episode 6

Books/Tools mentioned in this show are: Blue Ribbon Brides (Romance set at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893), The National Archives, and Ancestry.com

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Doing Family Research

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My dad with his parents, Myron and Cleo Bigelow

My dad with his parents, Myron and Cleo Bigelow

Recently I went to a local family history center. They’re run by the LDS church (and no, I’m not LDS). There’s small libraries in a lot of the LDS facilities around the country (and world) that can help people trace genealogy. A couple of older ladies took me under their wings and started me off using FamilySearch.org. Now I knew about that site, and already had a membership, but I didn’t know that it had some extra options and how to use those options to find more information. I found out that even though one tab might hold information, another tab doesn’t cross reference it. That’s a major tip! I hadn’t realized I’d need to do the search for names/dates/etc. on both tabs!

Fun thing I learned while doing family research:

I found out my third and fourth great-grandfathers’ correct names on my dad’s side. There was a little confusion in the paperwork I’d inherited so the wrong man’s name was listed with a question mark. Neither, however, had anything to do with coming from Scotland. But getting those names did help me solidify that particular branch of my lineage. I’m pretty excited about that since that research gets me a little closer to finalizing my D.A.R. membership application. All the little details add up, you know.

The local history center library offers hours to the public and there are folks that really enjoy digging into the mysteries of genealogy with me. That’s just plain fun! What I’m after is the ability to tell the stories behind the names, not just the names. I think it will be a lot of fun to see if my ancestors left family lines behind in Scotland, Ireland, England, and Sweden for me to trace to people alive today.

If you’re tracing your genealogy, what sites have actually provided documentation that proves relationships?

If you’re interested in tracing your lineage, how far have you gotten?

Have you traveled to any of the places your family hailed from?

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