Category Archives: Events

First Thanksgiving lessons – personal responsibility

I’m amazed by how much we’ve forgotten of our own history – if you noticed, I did include myself.  Here’s a little clip  to give some perspective on the Pilgrims and the hardships they went through.  After watching it, ask yourself what might have happened if the Pilgrims were held personally responsible for their own shelter/food from the very first moment they landed?  Would those first two years be different?

The Pilgrims truly had a reason to be grateful.

Coeur d’alene Trip – pt 1

As this is our first family trip in years, I’m making an extreme effort in chronicling it!

We left Missoula around 10:30 am in Tim & Kathy’s new motor home. Maybe I’m niave but I thought it would be somewhat a smooth ride compared to our Econoline van. Big mistake! Very bumpy-I thought the back bed would help my back. Nada!

We stopped at a rest area around 1 pm for chicken and pasta, sandwiches, etc..

Next leg of the trip should be Coeur d’alene itself. More later.

Coeur d’alene trip – pt 2

We just stopped at the gondola rides outside our final destination. The ride is really taking its toll on me so I’ll be riding this one out. It’s a bummer but I brought my Kindle along for moments like this.
Luckily, Kara has the camera so she’ll take pictures that I’ll upload later.

The next part in our journey should be the city itself, the beach and final stop at the buffet table!

Kuhns family & 1860 census

1860 census-kuhns family

Kuhns’ 1860 census contribution

I was very excited to find my maternal third great grandfather and his family in the 1860 census.  Some interesting information that I didn’t know was that Isaiah Kuhns was a gunsmith and his father, Jacob Kuhns, was a shoemaker.  That’s awesome!  By the time of this census, Jacob Kuhns was living with his son at the age of 76.  It’s apparent that his wife had already passed as she wasn’t included in this census.

For me, this census is a snapshot into my ancestor’s lives – how they were employed, their love of family, etc.  It can give you a “guesstimate” on birth/death dates even how long a couple has been married.  Other census records that I’ve seen recorded where they came from and when they emigrated to the United States, what language they spoke, etc.

1860 Important Facts

The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321 — an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census. The total population included 3,953,761 slaves.

By the time the 1860 census returns were ready for tabulation, the nation was sinking into the American Civil War. As a result, Census Superintendent Joseph C. G. Kennedy and his staff produced only an abbreviated set of reports, which included no graphic or cartographic representations. This new round of statistics did allow the Census staff to produce a cartographic display, including preparing maps of Southern states for Union field commanders. These maps displayed militarily vital topics, including white population, slave population, predominant agricultural products (by county), and rail and post-road transportation routes.

The 1860 census collected the following information:

  • name
  • address
  • age
  • sex
  • color (white, black or mulatto) for each person
  • whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic
  • value of real estate and of personal estate owned (required of all free persons)
  • profession, occupation or trade of each male and female over 15 years of age
  • place (state, territory or country) of birth
  • whether married within the year
  • whether attended school within the year
  • whether unable to read and write (for persons over 20)
  • whether a pauper or convict
Census – Where Can I Get Mine?

I’ve found a few good sources for census records.  The most popular is  Yes, they do charge for membership.  They’ve spent considerable time and resources gathering this information.  They also have 14-day trials and occasionally allow non-members access to their records free of charge.  Another service is  Basic membership is free but to use its full resources you will need to pay.  Let me say this though – it’s resources are considerable! claim  to fame is source documents provided by people like you and me as well as organizations like the National Archives!  Last on my list is FamilySearch Record Search.  It’s a wonderful service and free.  I’ve found many documents that I didn’t find on the other two.  I believe (and this is just my opinion so I could be wrong) that FamilySearch Record Search is probably the biggest user-contributor database project available today.  Countless thousands (or more) volunteer their time to transcribe census records not just for the United States but other countries as well.  The only downside so far to the Record Search is searches can’t be saved or marked for later research.  You’ll have to search for it all over again and try to find where you left off.

If you have further information on the Kuhns family OR would like to provide more information on census records, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I encourage participation!

April Move

2749 Meriwether
2749 Meriwether

It’s spring.  Flowers poking their heads out after a long winter’s sleep,  trees budding, and the Doddema’s preparing to move yet again.  It’s our way of deep cleaning.

There’s nothing wrong with the current house per se.  It’s a beautiful 5 bedroom/3 bathroom and the landlord is exceptional.  The exception: it’s very expensive.  $1800 per month expensive.

We decided to search early as our lease was nearing its end and living in an university town, housing for our family size is a commodity.  While many houses were available in our price range not all measured up to our normally low standards.  A few of the places we looked at probably should have been completely renovated or torn down!

Then we found the ad.  The place is perfect for our family.  The view is amazing as the mountains are visible in every direction.  There are some downsides such as all the bedrooms being on the second floor, unfenced yard and a super steep driveway.  Looking on the bright side, the stairs are few!  The kids barely stay in a fenced yard anyways and the driveway can be used during the winter as a giant sledding hill!  Another positive is that this place will save us over $500/month!

The move is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday (18 April 2009).  We’ve already talked to church members and should have enough manpower to help with everything.  We get the keys on Tuesday and being as niave as we are….we plan on moving the boxes over and unpacking before the big day.  Kara won’t have that following Monday off so having the kitchen fully functional is a must as well as the laundry room!

I would like to take this time to personally thank all those that helped to make this place a reality for us: Linda Peterson (Kara’s aunt), Nannie Stewart (my sister), Kathy Hammond (Kara’s mom) and Kristi Norton (Kara’s sister).  THANK YOU!

For those of you that don’t come by that often our new address will be:

Bernard & Kara Doddema
2749 Meriwether
Missoula, MT 59803

I’ve taken some photos of the place before the move-in.  I’ve always wanted to do the before and after shots.  Here’s my chance.  Click on photo below to be taken to the house images.

Front of house-before