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My column this week is taken from an article that appeared in the Dec. 11, 1930, issue of The Ramsey News-Journal.
The article caught my attention because the writer approached the Bolt family genealogy from a different direction.
Rather than a recitation of all the names in the family, he categorized the family by occupation. How interesting!
“The Bolt family in Carson, of Calvin, Matt, Abe, Mart and Craft, have given to the educational field of Fayette county 26 successful school teachers, a record hard to beat.
“Besides furnishing a banker, doctor, telegraph operator, shoe cobbler and maker, singing teacher, silver fox raiser, park manager, electrician, designer and decorator, owners and operators of saw mills, threshing machine operators, clover hullers, corn cutters and shredders, automobile and garage men, bakers, blacksmiths, wood workers, operators of agricultural implements, carpenters, painters and paper hangers, barbers, beauty culturists, brick mason and cement workmen, well driller, merchants, truck drivers, hucksters, farmers, musicians, piano players, fiddlers, banjo and guitar pickers, band players of note, and stock raisers and feeders. And when the U.S. made its call for overseas men, four young men of the family answered the call and went overseas with Gen. Pershing, and came back with him, bearing the marks and scars of the trip.
“All this with no penitentiary convicts in the family makes a record we think to be proud of. Only one fault to speak of, they are mostly Democrats.
“It is a record our country should be proud of. Last, but not least, they have a theatrical moving picture showman of considerable note. So, now, come on with the records in your town. Write ‘em up. Let’s see what’s in your family. But don’t forget to pin a rose on us.”
Thinking it would be a good exercise, I sat down with paper and pen to make a list of my family’s occupations. My dad, Edmund Torbeck, was one of seven children, and my mom, Cora Rebbe, was one of five, so I had plenty of fodder from which to compile my new genealogy list.
I came up with the following: 12 teachers, medical doctor, registered nurse, welder, two business operators, comptroller, heavy equipment operator, writer, railroad dispatcher, car salesman, insurance agent, veterinary assistant, retail sales clerk, two plant managers, engineer, machinist, guitar picker, drummer, CPA, secretary, bookkeeper, medical equipment specialist, first responder, trucker, song-writer, mandolin picker, computer specialist and federal corrections officer.
My father’s generation (and on down), supplied 11 veterans and they, too, came back bearing marks and scars of their trip to Germany, Leyte Beach, Vietnam and Panama. As with the Bolt family, we had no penitentiary convicts. By my count, 23 of our family members attended college, with more than half obtaining a degree.
It was a fun exercise, and a unique way of looking at my family tree. As the writer in The Ramsey News-Journal wrote, “Let’s see what’s in your family…but don’t forget to pin a rose on us.”