WDYTYA – Molly Ringwald

Photo courtesy of TLC

Photo courtesy of TLC

The next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? features Molly Ringwald. Molly is known for being part of the “Brat Pack” in the 1980s. The popular movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink cemented her career. Even though she still looks almost the same as she did in the late 1980s, Molly is now 48. She has been working continuously in Hollywood since she was 5 years old.

Molly starts her research on her family by visiting her father in Brooklyn. She then goes to Nebraska and visits the Washington County Courthouse where in the photo she is looking at plat maps. Then she is able to visit a family homestead in Arlington, Nebraska. Going back further on her family tree, Molly visits Sweden and goes into a coal mine where one of her ancestors died.

This episode of WDYTYA is on TLC at 9 p.m. (eastern & western times). Then stay tuned for the last episode of the season of Lost Lost Family.

Old News – Tires

This newspaper had a full page every week about automobiles. According to a short article there were about 44,000 autos built in 1908 but in 1915 703,527 were built. Best of all the average price of an automobile decreased from $2,123 in 1908 to just $814 in 1915. The second automobile gadget tells that you need to have tires off the garage floor to save them. That is not true.


Thursday, April 20, 1916


With This Combined Crank and Tire Pump the Power of the Engine is Used for Inflating the Tires.

With This Combined Crank and Tire Pump the Power of the Engine is Used for Inflating the Tires.

By the use of a combined automobile crank and tire pump, which is easily substituted for the crank that comes with the car, the work of inflating the tires is done with power from the engine, says Popular Mechanics Magazine. The pump is inside the crank, and to connect it with the drive shaft of the engine requires only the turning of a milled nut mounted on the shaft of the crank, the hose for conveying the air to the tires being attached to a threaded connection at the handle end of the crank. After the tires have been inflated, the pump is released from the drive shaft simply by turning the nut back to its original position, when the crank is ready to be used as a starting crank.


1916-04-20-bAutomobile tires are wearing out even when the machine stands in the garage and they wear out rapidly if the floor is covered with oil or grease. The simple jack shown here lifts the wheel from the floor and, it is stated, serves as an efficient wheel pedestal and brace to prevent side motion. The bolts can be adjusted to fit wheels of different sizes.—Independent farmer.


Katey Sagal’s Mother

Sunday night on Who Do You Think You Are? Katey Sagal wanted to find out about her mother’s early career. Her mother was born Sara Zwilling but used the stage name of Sara Macon. The program mentioned that Sara had been on radio as a teenager and also that she joined USO shows during World War II. On the Fulton History newspaper website I found this long article on Sara getting a big break on Broadway. Internet Broadway Database says that the show that she was performing in closed three days after this article ran in the newspaper. Also, this was the only show she was in on Broadway. I would imagine that Sara joined the USO show tours soon after this show closed.


Saturday, Jan. 1, 1944

Understudy, 17, Makes Good

Broadway’s happiest understudy is Sara Macon, 17-year-old actress just out of Southern Seminary, Virginia, who saved “What’s Up”, the Mark Warnow musical at the National Theatre, three times in one week. If the cast jointly acted as Santa Claus and feted her during the Christmas holidays it was because they appreciated the service she had rendered the show.

Nobody, as a matter of fact, paid much attention to Sara Macon till a week or so ago. It’s her first Broadway show and her entire part consisted of a few lines. but from the wings every performance the young actress avidly followed the movement of all the principals she was understudying and there were seven of them.Gradually she learned every lyric, every bar of music, every dance step and even every line inflection so she’d be letter perfect if suddenly she were called upon to fill in.

Frankly, Sara never expected to go on. The cast is full of youngsters no older than she is. But a cold kept Mary Roche in bed and the unabashed girl, with the poise of a veteran, stepped into the spotlight and sang every one of the Roche songs with verve. No sooner had Miss Roche returned when Marjorie Beecher, ballerina, reported ill. Again tiara filled the breach, and for a few nights she pirouetted across the footlights with magic lightness of foot. Retained even was the moment of gay satire with Rodney McLennan in the dance interlude of “You Wash and I’ll Dry.”

Pat Marshall, comedienne, meanwhile, was fighting the grippe herself and kept going long enough to see Miss Beecher back in her role. The stage manager called Sara Macon on the telephone. “Be prepared to go on for Pat Marshall,” he ordered. And Sara did.

It was that night that Jimmy Savo and Johnny Morgan talked in high praise of the little girl who had suddenly become the focus of all attention.

“We ought to do something about her.” said Savo.

I was thinking of the same thing,” agreed Morgan. “Just thanking her for giving a good account of herself isn’t enough. How about a party?”

“Sure,: came from Savo, “a party—a Christmas party. We’ll be Santa Claus.”

The idea leaped from dressing room to dressing room. They’ll all be Kris Kringle and Sara Macon would be Cinderella. And she was for one night.

As for Miss Macon, she’s back on duty again as understudy watching the principals from the wings just as if nothing had happened.

“I didn’t dream it this way,” is all she would say. “But it was the happiest Christmas I ever had.”

Sibley’s Spring Ad

Last year I bought a small collection of original art used in ads for Sibley’s department stores. They were done by a lady artist that had come to the US from Germany to draw for Sibley’s. Unfortunately the person that I bought these from didn’t know her name as he had bought the collection from an estate sale. Some of these art works have dates when they were drawn and when they were used in newspaper ads. This one was drawn April 16, 1955 and used in the Democrat & Chronicle on April 19th.

After I scanned all the drawings in the collection I gave them to the Local History Department of the Rochester Public Library.

Dated 15 April 1955

WDYTYA – Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal photo by Gage Skidmore

Katey Sagal photo by Gage Skidmore

Katey Sagal started her career as a back-up singer but became better known as Peg Bundy on Married… with Children. That lasted 10 years. Then she was the voice of Leela on Futurama for 136 episodes while working on other projects. She won a Golden Globe Award for Sons of Anarchy which was her fifth after winning four for Married….

Katey’s father was Jewish but not her mother who died when Katey was young. Katey wants to find someone who knew her mother. On this week’s episode of Who Do You Think you Are? she is connected with a lady named “Tinker” who was in the USO during WWII with Katey’s mother. Then Katey finds that her mother’s ancestors were Amish. Some of those Amish ancestors were fiercely attacked.

This episode of WDYTYA airs on TLC at 9 p.m. (eastern and western times) on Sunday April 17th. Then be sure to stay tuned for another new episode of Long Lost Family.

Top Songs of 1966 – #10

The Righteous Brothers were the next group to go to the top of the music charts in 1966 with their song “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration.” They weren’t really brothers except in musical terms. Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley were in a five man group in 1962 but became a duo in 1963. They had a number hit with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” in 1965 (see: blog post for that song). They broke up in 1968 and Medley recorded a few albums which were not well received. They got back together again in 1974 and toured on and off until Bobby Hatfield’s death in 2003. The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

“(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil who also wrote their first hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.'” The song was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks ( April 3 – 23). Then on the Cash Box record chart it was at the top spot for the weeks of April 1- – 23, 1966.

FamilySearch Family Tree – Revisited

fsft-2016I still hold out hope that in the long run Family Search Family Tree (FSFT) will have the most helpful online connected family trees. The idea is that these are shared records that anyone can edit. You can also add photos, documents and notes. The most important thing that should be added are sources. It is real easy to add source records from FamilySearch. You also add other source records. So as more sources are added. the individual’s record will get better documented.

Recently while I was adding records to my great grandmother’s sister, Olive, I noticed her death record said that she had a different father than my great grandmother. I always had suspected that Olive may have had a different father as she was born 10 years before my great grandmother and a brother. Then I went back through information that I had on Olive including a photo. On the back of the photo was her birth surname that I found in the death record. So I had her surname all the time. I made the correction to FSFT so that future generations will see the proper information and the sources.

I still have to figure out how to correct the information on FSFT on my 7th great grandfather, Jeremiah Halsey, (born 1667). The wife and children of a son also named Jeremiah are connected to the elder Jeremiah. It involves making lots of changes in FSFT on relatives that I don’t have much documentation on. I’m going to have to plan out the corrections before I attempt fixing the Halsey family data.