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Joanne West (#47904456)
 member for 3 years, 6 months, 3 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I am the daughter of Leo and Winifred (Heinsius) Ham and the granddaughter of Jim and Maggie (Zenisek) Ham and Ernest and Annice (Shaffer) Heinsius, all well known families around northern Johnson County, IA. I was born and raised around northern Johnson County, IA; a member of the first freshman class of Prairie High School, Cedar Rapids and graduated in 1960. I am a 1964 graduate of Marycrest College, Davenport, IA and in 1965 from the School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

I am married to Kenneth West, son of Calvin and Opal (Moore) West, natives of North Carolina. We both were employed at the University of Iowa for 30 years, retiring in 1999. Upon retirement we relocated to Gainesville, FL. We will remain residents of sunny Florida for the rest of our lives.

I believe that in every family there is at least one person who seems to be called to find the ancestors and place them as leaves on the tree. I seem to be that person. It is up to us to put the flesh back on their bones and make them live again. To me genealogy is not just gathering facts, which can get boring, but instead, through stories we are breathing life into all who have gone before us.

My family tree has its roots buried deep in Johnson County, IA and many of the distinguished pioneers of Johnson County show up as leaves on its branches.

The names I am researching are:

Paternal side - Ham, Arthur Zenisek, Smutny

Maternal side - Heinsius, Umbdenstock, Kessler, Shaffer

I came across "Find A Grave" quite by accident about a year ago while doing family research and very quickly realized what a valuable tool it is. I am also an avid fan of and have gained invaluable information from both sites. It is now time for me to contribute back to these sites so that others can gain the help they need to complete a full family tree. Those who have gone before us cry out for us to tell their story. In doing so and finding them, we somehow find ourselves. It is my aim to bring to life as many leaves on my tree as I can and leave a heritage for my grandchildren and all future generations to come.

I am willing to share any info that I have with anyone who cares to contact me.
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Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 11 Memorials Added
 • 82 Memorials Managed
 • 144 Photos
 • 7 Virtual Cemeteries
Virtual Cemeteries
Ham Family (22)
Heinsius Family (20)
Kessler Family (7)
Shaffer Family (4)
Smutny Family (4)
Umbdenstock Family (2)
Zenisek Family (9)
Messages left for Joanne West (9)[Leave Message]
Clara Kessler Lanspa
Thank you for the link to Clara Lanspa's first husband. However, I will not link divorced spouses. I figure if they didn't want to be together in life they shouldn't be linked together on Find A Grave. I did edit Clara's memorial so you can go to James Payn's memorial by clicking on his name. Thanks again!
Added by Scott on Dec 09, 2015 10:54 AM
K L Bonnett
Kessler families etc
I would be happy to transfer any or all of people in which you have information or know. If so give me a list of those you wish to manage. Thanks for info on Nicholas
Added by K L Bonnett on Dec 06, 2015 3:04 PM
K L Bonnett
N F Kessler
Do you know the full name so that I can add it to the memorial. Thanks!
Added by K L Bonnett on Dec 05, 2015 2:05 PM
RE: Re: Elwood and Emma Edwards
Hi Joanne!

Just click the edit tab at the top of the memorial.

Then in the list, click on "suggest any other correction or addition"

Then just type your request or message in the box that comes up. Checkmark the little box above it if you want a copy of your request.

That way when you send that, all they have to do is click on a link in the e-mail that takes them directly to the memorial you are wanting.

That's how most people like it done. :-) And you are welcome about the Edwards. :-)
Added by Diana on Feb 12, 2014 5:43 AM
Re: Elwood and Emma Edwards
Joanne, I have transferred them to you, but wanted to tell you that when you ask for transfer, most people prefer that you use the edit tab on the top of the memorial you want transferred and ask for it that way. It's a lot easier for them rather than you leaving a message on the contributor's page. Have a great day!
Added by Diana on Feb 07, 2014 3:51 PM
Carl Bennett
RE: Frank Henry Ham #23441907 Peru Cemetery
DOne. Thank you for your help!
Carl Bennett
Added by Carl Bennett on Feb 07, 2014 7:30 AM
Thomas Harned
RE: Dr. Calvin Harned
Joanne, did you want my US mailing address?
Tom Harned
Added by Thomas Harned on Jan 14, 2014 8:46 PM
Thomas Harned
RE: Dr. Calvin Harned
YES, we would be delighted to receive any of the information and pictures related to Dr Harned. My email is
Thank you!
Tom Harned
Added by Thomas Harned on Jan 13, 2014 8:08 AM
Solon History Group
RE: Leo & Wiifred Ham

LeAnn Hugeback
Added by Solon History Group on Jan 01, 2014 6:35 PM

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