Monday, July 30, 2018

A Challenge


Emmetsburg Township, Palo Alto County Iowa Plat Map
W.W. Hixson Co.; 1930


Many of you may not know that I love genealogy as much as I love quilting and gardening. I've been researching and documenting my family history since before there was the internet as we know it or Ancestry.com. My research involved lots of letter writing and hand crank microfilm readers in library basements and prying info out of relatives at family reunions.   I've been entering records into a Family Tree Maker program since the first DOS version came out.   I also have several websites with document transcriptions I share with other researchers.  One of those sites is Palo Alto County, Iowa where I'm related to almost everyone there of Irish descent. 

My great grandfather, Michael Joynt eventually settled in Palo Alto County, Iowa after he emigrated from Galway, Ireland as a young man. His homestead certificate granting him land was signed by Ulysses S. Grant.  He married Bridget Brennan. Her family emigrated from Kilkenny, Ireland and settled first in Canada and later in Palo Alto County, Iowa. 


I like most challenges. They make me use my sluggish little gray cells. (I can almost feel those neurons and synapses moving and shaking). 


I don't make art quilts. I have no wall space for them.  So what to make...what to make...

I first thought to map a quilty family tree. But that's one of the big things already taking up that wall space I said I no longer have. 

Then I finally decided on a Plat Map. Which one? 
I decided on Emmetsburg Township, Palo Alto County, Iowa where my great grandfather and other relatives settled. And I decided on the year 1930 because that is the year my father was born.  So armed with a map and a huge kinship report from Family Tree Maker for my father I decided I would make a Plat Map Quilt. The areas where someone related to my Dad was living in 1930 will be in green. If family is unrelated then the area will be brown. I'm using earth tones, of course! (And scraps). 

There will be 36 blocks. At first I was going to make 8 inch blocks but that would result in a small 48 inch square quilt. But I like big quilts so went with 12 inch blocks.   I think I'm going to use muslin for the back and probably include printed pics and docs related to Emmetsburg Township and the land.   And if all goes well then I might also make a quilty 1908 Plat Map for the same township.
 So...here's section 28. The green shamrocks is where my great grandfather, Michael Joynt, settled and where my grandparents were living when my dad was born in 1930.   This land was in the family until recently. I was sad to see it sold but that is what my Dad, the youngest child, opted to do after all his siblings died.  I spent the summers there as a young girl and have some wonderful memories of grandparents, aunts and uncles. 
Section 33 which is south of section 28. 

 Section 21 north of section 28. 

And those three sections (out of 36) go together like this. 

More later! 

13 comments:

Libby in TN said...

That's an interesting interpretation of the challenge.
What are you going to do with the sections that water runs through?

Julierose said...

what a wonderful piece this will be--not only fulfilling that challenge but a family memory quilt detailing your heritage. I love it...Will be definitely following to see how this one comes together...hugs, Julierose

Quiltdivajulie said...

You went with a personal connection the same as I did -- I love the idea of including more details on the quilt's back. GO GO GO!!

Robin said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the new challenge. I love maps so this challenge is difficult to narrow down to one idea. I love genealogy too. The place where I'm related to everybody for generations is in Hendricks County Indiana. It's nice to have roots, isn't it?

em's scrapbag said...

What a fun and creative idea for a quilt. Can't wait to see it come together.

Linda said...

This idea sounds fascinating.

Cathy said...

Another amazing idea! And I don’t for a second believe that your brain cells are sluggish!

gayle said...

Yeah, your brain cells are bouncy and purple, not gray and sluggish...
Your map is fascinating! (And a lot of green so far, eh?)

Kaja said...

I love the idea of building your family history into this challenge and this is a very cool way to do it. It would be fascinating to do more than one of these and be able to track the changes.

Quilter Kathy said...

What a wonderful interpretation of the theme... truly inspired!

Alycia Quiltygirl.com said...

That is going to be so cool!!!

Susan said...

I remember those days! Going to the family history center and ordering a film, only to have it turn out to be someone else's family, or the wrong film that came! The best summer ever, I spent a week in Salt Lake City at the Family History Center and Genealogy Library - seventh Heaven! My son enjoyed it, too, since the little motel had a lifeguard on the pool and I let him stay and swim all day, or watch TV or read.

It's easier now, and I've found things I would never have found the old way, but I have some good memories of exciting times - like when the county clerk was bored and did the research required to find my grandparents' marriage license and send it to me!

Your plat map is going to be awesome, and such a visual record of your family in Palo Alto County.

abelian said...

What fun to see Emmetsburg mentioned on your blog! My Danish ancestors lived in Palo Alto County, too. Mainly in Graettinger, which is about halfway between Emmetsburg and Estherville.

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