Intermission – For Better or For Worse: Two Decades of the Jim and Doris Show* (Part 2)

There will be sometimes intermission posts on Our Ancestors II. I am not related to Jamie, but we share the same passion: Keeping the memories of our ancestors alive.

This is part two…


So, again, putting together Jim’s street urchin childhood, his parents’ divorce, the five teenage years I have yet to reconstruct, the college plans, the military draft he worried about … marrying my mother, her illness, lifting that wheelchair in and out of the trunk of a car and and him only five foot five, three kids, Vietnam … You’d think that would be enough. You would.

But there’s more! He had a high-stress job too: he flew airplanes most days for the United States Air Force. And let’s not overlook that the military life/protocol itself is high stress.

And yet Jim Clarke had hobbies too. When he was young, he availed himself of the hobby facilities available on base—such as a dark room, where he developed film and made, one year, a photo Christmas card. Like Doris—who played piano and flute, and went to art college for a…

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Intermission – For Better or For Worse: Two Decades of the Jim and Doris Show* (Part 1)

There will be sometimes intermission posts on Our Ancestors II.

I am not related to Jamie, but we share the same passion: Keeping the memories of our ancestors alive.


I got really lucky in the parental sweepstakes. If you know me, you’ve heard me say that more than once. I realized my good fortune pretty early in my life, and the older I get, the more I know it to be true. I still feel like my parents were ahead of their time, although I know I’m looking at it through my personal rose-colored glasses.

For those just joining this history-in-progress, my father, Jim Clarke, was a pilot in the US Air Force, so the family moved around a lot. That is the central fact around which everything in our little five-person family and its history revolves. But the people my parents were—children of the Great Depression, both with rough beginnings**—I believe, was a product of who they were together. The marriage and family they created together, based on their lived experiences, some of…

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Sunday morning – 25 October 2020 – How to start?

I have asked Thomas Oscar Meteyer’s children how I should start writing about this photo on Our Ancestors II when there are 22 people and each one has its own story to tell.

They already knew who were some of these people besides their father Thomas and their paternal grandparents Ernest Darius Meteyer and Josephine Munding.

I told them their great-grandmother Clara Niquette would also be there sitting in front of Ernest Darius and their other great-grandmother Margaret Ritz, Josephine’s mother, would also be sitting, her husband John Munding standing behind her.

I still don’t know how to start explaining how I have been able to identify everyone except the three children in front.

Collection Thomas Oscar Meteyer’s family

I believe the photo was taken in 1938 not 1933 as Michael had first suggested, and that this family was celebrating four generations. The little boy would be Robert L. Meteyer, born on December 21, 1936. His parents were Victor Sylvester Meteyer and Grace Mary Kenealy. 

But what I did not tell them was that I had been in contact two weeks ago with three more distant relatives. One whose ancestor was Edward Munding, one of Josephine’s brothers, and the other distant relative was John Merkel who has this genealogy website.

There was also someone else, but I still don’t have permission right now to share how she is related.

This is the exciting part of Our Ancestors II: finding more distant relatives and sharing their old photos if they have some.

So how do we start because I found so much? 

First with this document that I have shared with John Merkel: the act of Francois Xavier Métayer’s baptism dated April 22, 1852?

John had asked me to translate it. This is the original text…

Le vingt-deux avril, mil huit cent cinquante deux, par nous prêtre, curé soussigné, a été baptisé François Xavier, né le même jour du légitime mariage de Jean Métayer, menuisier, et de Angèle Marcoux de cette paroisse. Le parrain a été François Côté, et la marraine Marie Christine Knapp qui ont signé avec nous, le père ayant déclaré ne savoir signer.

François Côté          Marie Christine Knapp

J. Tardif, prêtre curé

Now the translation…

On the twenty-second of April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, by me the parish priest who has signed below, was baptized François Xavier, born the same day of the legitimate marriage of Jean Métayer, carpenter, and Angèle Marcoux of this parish. The godfather was François Côté, and the godmother Marie Christine Knapp who signed with me, the father having declared not knowing how to sign.

François Côté        Marie Christine Knapp

J. Tardif, parish priest

So can anyone tell me how to start writing about the Meteyer family?

Maybe I should start with Robert L. Meteyer’s obituary to find more distant relatives?


Meteyer, Robert L.

Henrietta: On June 11, 2012 at age 75 after a long illness. Former employee of WHAM and the Monroe County Department of Social Services.

Predeceased by his parents, Grace and Victor Meteyer.

Survived by his loving wife, Betty; children, Jeffrey (Maria) Meteyer, Brian (Kathleen) Meteyer, Lee Ann (Christopher) Martin; grandchildren, Stephen Meteyer, Julee Martin, Timothy and Catherine Meteyer, Avril King, Erica Meteyer; brother, John (Ellen) Gary; nieces and nephews.

So how do we start when there are 22 people and each one has its own story to tell?

Always feel free to contact me… It’s free!

Sunday morning – 18 October 2020 – Who says genealogy has to be boring?

Collection Thomas Oscar Meteyer’s family

This photo was part of the collection of old photos belonging to the family of Thomas Oscar Meteyer. It was shared two weeks by Thomas Oscar Meteyer’s daughter, and she gave me permission to share it on Our Ancestors II.

She hopes one day someone will be able to help her identify who were all these people.

Who says genealogy has to be boring?

Finding our ancestors and adding them on a piece of paper or putting our research on Ancestry, My Heritage, etc… doesn’t have to be boring when we have old photos to remember our ancestors by.

Reading about them on Our Ancestors II can be quite exciting also.

When I saw this modified photo I just became uncontrollable.


It was the dopamine effect kicking in, the same effect people have when they are on Facebook or when they are texting on their cellphone while driving. They are just anticipating what is coming next.

Michael’s sister had circled some people. She had identified her grandfather Ernest Darius Meteyer, her grandmother Josephine Munding and, of course, her father Thomas Oscar Meteyer.

But who was this boy on the extreme left she had not circled.

And this couple in the back…

And this older woman?

Was she the same woman next to the young woman, next to the man who was next to Josephine Munding holding a baby?

Was Josephine Munding holding a baby boy or a baby girl?

On this photo, Josephine was standing behind another mother. Who was she and why were all these people gathered around posing for posterity in 1938?

And the three children in front? Who could they be?

Come back next Sunday morning for most of the answers.

In the meantime you can look at these…

Henry Tintype Photo-1.jpg

Ella Fay Monroe Henry Tintype Photo-1.jpg


Where to start?

I said last time I would return only Sunday.

But I still don’t know how to start writing about this photo I believe was taken in 1938 not 1933 as Michael suggested.

Collection Thomas Oscar Meteyer’s family

Maybe I should start with this one also shared by Michael’s sister…

I believe this one was taken in 1916 and the man standing on the left with the white shirt and glasses would be Frank X Meteyer (François-Xavier Métayer) Michael’s great-grandfather?

Or should I start instead with this baptism act dated April 22, 1852?

Frank X’s baptism act is on the left in the middle of the page.

Or what about starting with this?

that was shared by Mark Murphy (Spooko)…



Wednesday morning – Just imagine one last time

Wednesday morning – Just imagine one last time

Hard to imagine that we’re on a time machine again and that we’re letting our imagination run wild.


We have set the clock this time for the mid 1930s. The place…?

Rochester, New York. 

Why are we again travelling back in time this Wednesday morning on Our Ancestors II

Yesterday I had guessed Thomas Meteyer was about 18 years old on this photo. He was the third from the left, next to his younger brother Paul. Paul was born in 1924 and I figured he would be around 12 years old.

This made sense.

What was so special for posing for posterity in the mid 1930s?

Celebrating four generations? We see a child on its mother’s lap. The child’s grandparents had to be somewhere like just behind? Ernest Darius Meteyer and Josephine Munding have been positively identified by their daughter. She even sent me this photo of her parents’ wedding photo.

Who were the child’s other grandparents? John Munding and Margaret Ritz seen here in 1898 with their 8 children on an old fuzzy photo put on Facebook by their granddaughter Mary.

We have all their names and their birthdates so this blog is far from over especially with this other group photo shared again by Thomas Meteyer’s daughter.

To be continued next Sunday…


As always, feel free to contact me… It’s free!

Tuesday morning – Just imagine

Tuesday morning – Just imagine

Just imagine for an instant that we’re on a time machine and we’re letting our imagination run wild.


We have set the time clock for June 1944, just a few days after D-Day. The place… Steeple Morden in England with the 358th Fighter Squadron. The pilot has not seen us yet, but two of his ground crew have.

Dad Airplane.jpg

The pilot sitting in the cockpit is Second Lieutenant Thomas Oscar Meteyer. I have found out who he was in September 2020 when his children started to share what they had and knew about their father.

This is why we are travelling back in time this Tuesday morning on Our Ancestors II. I believe Thomas is about 18 years old on this photo. He is the third from the left with his arm on his younger brother Paul’s shoulder.

Second Lieutenant Meteyer is seen again here with his airplane, a P-51B Mustang. He is now 25 years old. His crew chief was Staff Sergeant J.A. Phillips known at Li’l Abner and he could be on the left just by looking at him.

LT Thomas O Meteyer P-51B 42-106736 YF-J With ground crew_Joyce_-1.jpeg.jpg

I have found a lot of information since Second Lieutenant Meteyer’s son Michael contacted me last month and I felt it was important to revisit World War II  before going back to Rochester in the mid 1930s tomorrow morning.

You can find more about Thomas here…

As always, feel free to contact me… It’s free!

Monday Morning…Comparing moustaches

Monday Morning…Comparing moustaches

Updated 29 April 2021

Next Sunday morning?


I hope you did not think I was serious when I wrote yesterday that I would be back only next Sunday morning on Our Ancestors II. I know Fran can’t wait that long. Fran is my first follower on Our Ancestors II. I always get notified when someone follows my blogs. Having Fran as the first follower is somewhat special because she is the reader who once wrote this…

If you write it, they will come.

I once thought I should stop writing Our Ancestors having little feedback, but then Fran wrote that and I decided to soldier on. You can read it here.

Looking at this picture that was shared in 2010 is a great way to reflect upon what I have been doing since 2007.

I am reuniting people with their ancestors. This photo was shared by my father’s cousin in 2010. She had written the caption. She knew who were the people in the back, but she had no idea who was in front.

Since I ha other pictures to compare this one with, I could identify my paternal great-grandfather Édouard Métayer and his wife Angelina Renaud with their son Joseph born in 1898. I figured Joseph was about 16, but he could have been 18. This would date this photo from 1914 to 1916.

Édouard had visitors whom I thought at first were his father Elzéar in the middle with his uncle François-Xavier Métayer on the right. The man on the left was unknown. That was until I saw this photo and I started comparing moustaches…



To be continued…


Always feel free to contact me… It’s free!

Keeping their memories alive

FeaturedKeeping their memories alive

Updated 29 April 2021

Most of our ancestors were just ordinary people whose names will never be found in history books.

This is why I had created Our Ancestors back in September 2009 to eventually make contact with distant relatives in the United States and Canada.

Little did I know that in September 2020 I would be contacted by Michael Meteyer, a third cousin once removed who had a lot to share.

Having written more than 1500 posts on Our Ancestors, if I want to write more about Michael’s ancestors and share old family photos, I have to write about them here on Our Ancestors II. This is Michael’s paternal grandparents.

Next Sunday, we will go back in time to Rochester, Monroe, New York, USA…

Always feel free to contact me… It’s always free!