Hi WikiTreers,

At the gravemarker of her paternal great-grandparents

Welcome to  another installment of “Meet our Members”! It’s time to get to know another awesome person who is part of our outstanding community. Meet Jana:

Jana is one our great WikiTreers and also one of our Ambassadors so she helps share the WikiTree love via social media.  She also maintains not one, not two, but THREE blogs!  They are:

Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog
Grandpa’s Postcards
Jana’s Place

Surnames you are researching:

Webster, Waterman, Iverson, Gillberg, Matus, Villatoro, Borges, Madeira, Christopherson, Carlsson, Paulk, and others.

Locations you are researching:

Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, and several states in the United States including Ohio, California, Iowa, and Illinois.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I started my family history research following the death of my Grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, who passed away in 1994. He didn’t really talk much about his family history (if at all). Debs was born in Brazil and my dad’s family was from Norway and Sweden. I just assumed I didn’t have any kind of family history tied to the early history of the United States. But, after looking through family photos and documents belonging to my Grandfather, Debs Webster, and through further research of my own, I discovered I was very wrong! Needless to say, my family history research has been a very interesting, enlightening, and fun (yes, I said fun) journey of discovery.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I really don’t have a favorite ancestor. I do have a very colorful and interesting ancestor in my maternal great-grandfather, however. I refer to him as “The Traveling Dentist” on my genealogy blog. His name was Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster. Sometime during his life he changed his name from Watson to Frederick. He was born in Coolville, Athens, Ohio on 14 February 1864. He became a dentist and traveled a lot during his life. He traveled to Mexico, where he married Esther Matus Villatoro (my great-grandmother), and then they traveled to and settled in Brazil.

Frederick practiced dentistry in three different countries – the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. He even had a dental boat in the early 1900s while he still lived in the United States. It was called “The F. E. Webster Dental Boat.” I have a few photos of his dental boat. These pictures even show that he had a photo boat and optical boat too.

Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down.

My maternal 3rd great-grandmother was Amanda Melvina Carlisle, who was born on 31 October 1819 in Ohio and died on 29 September 1871 in Iowa. I would love to know for sure who her parents were. My records indicate her father’s name was Basil Carlisle and her mother’s name was Arena. I don’t know if this information is correct though.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Besides family history research and blogging, I enjoy reading, singing, baking, watching classic movies/musicals and spending time with my family.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I’ve been on WikiTree since December 2012. I’m not as active on WikiTree as others, but I’m very glad my family tree is there.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I’m really glad that I put my family tree on WikiTree. Not only does WikiTree provide possible cousin connections, it can lead to family history treasure connections as well. I speak from personal experience on this.

On November 11, 2013, I received an email from WikiTree that contained a private message from a very nice woman named Ann. She lives in Ireland and told me that she had purchased three vintage postcards from a second-hand market in Galway, Ireland. The postcards were addressed to Richard Engle and Mrs. S. A. Engle.

Ann did an online search for these names and found my family tree on the WikiTree website. She saw that Richard and Sarah Engle were in my family tree and subsequently left me a message.

Ann wanted to know if any of the Engle’s relations would be interested in receiving these postcards, and if so, she was willing to send them for free. She also said there were still many more Engle family postcards at the second-hand market where she had purchased these three postcards in Galway, Ireland.

Of course, I was thrilled when I received this email from Ann. I am related to this Engle family. Mrs. S. A. Engle was my maternal 2nd great-grandaunt. Her full name was Sarah Amanda Waterman. She was married to Richard Engle. Over the years, I have done a lot of research on Sarah and Richard’s family.

Ann sent the postcards to me free of charge, which was so kind of her, and she gave me the contact information for the owner of the seller of the Engle family postcards. Later, Ann went back to the second-hand market and purchased more of these precious postcards and again sent them to me free of charge. She really is a wonderful and kind person.  I also purchased more of these postcards from the seller in Ireland as well. To make a long story short, I’m now in possession of over 40 of these amazing vintage postcards. These postcards date back to the early 1900s. I’m now sharing these vintage postcards on my genealogy blog.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

You know how fun and interesting it is to read about your ancestors? Especially when they have left a journal to read? I would encourage you to keep a journal so that your descendants will be able to learn about your life and get to know you too.

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  3 Responses to “Meet our Members: Jana Last”

  1. Great interview. I think it’s awesome that you connected to a cousin through WikiTree. Also, good to know that there are other classic movie/musical fans out there.

  2. I’m so happy to see this interview with Jana. She is a very special friend and family member of mine. I also would like to know more about Amanda Malvina. I was fortunate to get a photo of her.

  3. It’s nice to see Jana’s interview. She is such a sweet lady, willing to help out newbie bloggers and by reading her blogs you can tell her family means so much to her.

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