I thought that I would explain the name of my blog. Ella Jane and Anne are my grandmothers and since my focus for blogging will be about my family history and family stories. I thought, and with a friend’s suggestion, what a better name then my grandmothers. One born in El Dorado Kansas and one born in Kassel Germany. Two very different women from two different parts of the world. Both had 5 children, one 4 sons and one daughter, the other one 2 daughters and 3 sons. It always amazes me how these two women ended up in Midwest City, Oklahoma, where my parents meet. My dad having been born and raised in Midwest City and my mother, who was the daughter of a United States Air Force member and was stationed in Midwest City Oklahoma.
Ella Jane Patterson (My father’s mother)
Ella Jane Patterson welding during WWII.
Born 6 November 1926 in El Dorado Kansas and later moving to Oklahoma City where she meet and married my grandfather. My grandmother’s life was not easy. She never learned how to drive and would walk to a local café for work, to help provide for her family. During WWII she worked as a welder to help with the war efforts. Sadly, I never really asked her more details about this, but I have the wonderful photo of her welding. Her parents were Howard Alexander Patterson born 4 April 1895 in Alamo Tennessee and Alta Estelle Gilbreath, born 5 August 1898 in Indian Territory, Oklahoma. I remember my great grandmother telling stories of crossing Oklahoma in a covered wagon. What an amazing life she lived. Alta lived until early 2000 and was 6 months shy of her 102 birthday. I have often thought of all the things she witnessed in her almost 102 years.
Anne Burghardt (My Mother’s mother)
Born 15 July 1928 in Kassel, Germany and meeting my United States Air Force grandfather after WWII had ended. What I have learned that she lived through during WWII in Kassel, must have been terrifying. Bombings in Kassel took place from February 1942 to March 1945, including one on 22 and 23 of October 1943 where 569 bombers dropped more that 1,800 tons of bombs (including 460,000 magnesium fire sticks) in a concentrated pattern. From what I have read Kassel burned for more than a week. There were several aircraft and train plants in Kassel, which made it a target for the bombers. (Info from Wiki page attached, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Kassel_in_World_War_II) I asked my great aunt Anneliese about living in Kassel during this time and she told me how My great grandfather had to go work in Berlin after the bombings and my great grandmother, my grandmother and twin sisters had to leave Kassel for the remainder of the war. My great Aunt staying in Kassel and worked for the town office. Her parents were August Heinrich Burghardt born 6 June 1899 in Kirchditmold, Kassel, Germany and Erna Lina Gossmann born 2 April 1905 in Kassel, Germany. Erna Lina was one of 16 children. I have loved learning more of my German heritage and what I can about my Germany family.
I am grateful to be the granddaughter of these two women. I do wish I had asked more question about them while I had the chance to. I look forward to taking you all on my family history journey and sharing with you how wonderful family history can be.