Friday, May 20, 2016

The Genealogical Story Of Princess Grace Kelly

Kelly is the Gaelic form O'Ceallaigh, and is the most common surname in Ireland.

Brian Kelly
b. 1805 in Ireland d. 1889 in Ireland


Honora Margaret Mclaughlin
b. 1821 d. May 1st, 1884

Had three children.

John Henry Kelly
b. Jul 29th, 1848 in Ireland d. Feb 24th, 1917 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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married for forty-seven years on June 20th, 1870 to

Mary Ann Costello
b. Oct 18th, 1852 d. Sep 21st, 1926
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Had 10 children: Patrick (1871-1937), Walter (1873-1939), Annie (1875-1937), John (1877-1888), Charles (1879-1957), Mary (1882-1962), Elisabeth (1885-1921), George (1887-1974), John (1889-1960), Grace (1893-1917).

John Brenden Kelly
b. Oct 4th, 1889 d. Jun 20th, 1960
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married on January 30th, 1924 for thirty-six years to

Margaret Katherine Majer
b. Dec 13th, 1898 d. Jan 6th, 1990
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Had four children: Margaret Katherine (1925–1991), John Brendan Jr. (1927–1985), Grace Patricia (1929–1982) and Elizabeth Anne (1933–2009).

The Kelly's

Grace Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to John Brendan "Jack" Kelly, and his wife, Margaret Katherine Majer. The newborn was named after her father's sister, who had died at a young age. She was raised Catholic, and was of Irish and German descent. Before her marriage, Majer studied physical education at Temple University and later became the first woman to head the Physical Education Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jack Kelly was a local hero as a triple Olympic-gold-medal-winning sculler, and became affluent as his construction company became the largest such enterprise on the East Coast. Registering as a Democrat, he obtained the party's nomination for mayor in the 1935 election and lost by the closest margin for any Democrat in the city's history.

In later years, he served on the Fairmount Park Commission and, during World War II, was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness.

Grace Patricia Kelly
b. Nov 12th, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania d. Sep 14th, 1982 in Monaco

married for twenty-six years on Apr 19th, 1956 to

Ranier III, Prince of Monaco
b. May 31st, 1923 d. Apr 6th, 2005

Had three children: Caroline (1957-), Albert (1958-) and Stephanie (1965-).

Grace Kelly as a baby in 1929.

Early Life

Actress and Princess Consort of Monaco Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father, John Brendan "Jack" Kelly, was a champion sculler who won three Olympic gold medals as part of the U.S. rowing team. A self-made millionaire, he owned one of the most successful brick businesses on the East Coast. Her mother, Margaret Katherine Majer, was the first coach of women's athletic teams at the University of Pennsylvania. Kelly was the third of four children and was named after her father's sister, who died at a very young age.

Kelly expressed a deep love of performance at a young age. In addition to participating in school plays and community productions, she occasionally modeled with her mother and sister. While attending Stevens School, a small private high school in Philadelphia, she continued to dream about acting. The arts held a prominent place in the Kelly family. Her uncles Walter C. Kelly, a vaudevillian performer, and George Kelly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, both had a huge affect on her. It was George who later encouraged his niece to pursue a full-time acting career, mentoring her through her rise in Hollywood.

After high school, Kelly decided to pursue an acting career in New York City despite her parents' objections. According to Kellys close friend Judith Balaban Quine, Jack Kelly thought that acting was "a slim cut above streetwalker." Despite this, Kelly enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. As a student, she modeled part-time and appeared in ads for Old Gold cigarettes and on the covers of magazines like Cosmopolitan and Redbook. Her final performance at the Academy was in A Philadelphia Story. Years later she would reprise her role in High Society (1956), a musical adaptation on the big screen.

After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York at age 19, Kelly sought a career on Broadway, but she found it tough going. Don Richardson, one of her directors and teachers later said, "She would never have had a career in the theater," because she had "great looks and style, yes, but no vocal horsepower."

Whether or not that assessment was correct, Kelly soon found that film was more amenable to her talents. In the years just following World War II, the film and television industries were both booming, and Kelly soon moved to Hollywood. She would eventually feature in 11 films and star in over 60 television productions.

Grace Kelly with her mom and siblings. Circa 1930's.

Grace Kelly with her mom, dad and siblings. Circa 1930's.

First Hollywood Film

Gary Cooper discovered Grace Kelly on the set of her first film, Fourteen Hours (1951), when she was 22 years old. He arranged for her to play his very young wife in High Noon (1952), an acclaimed Western that put her on the path to stardom. A year later, Kelly was offered a role in Mogambo (1953), a film set in Kenya, starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner. While filming Mogambo, Kelly had an affair with Gable. Later she said, "What else is there to do if you're alone in a tent in Africa with Clark Gable?" Mogambo marked a turning point in Kelly's career: She was nominated for her first Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. MGM offered her a seven-year contract, which she accepted on the condition that she live in Manhattan every other year so that she could pursue stage work.

Kelly turned down the role of Edie Doyle in On the Waterfront (opposite Marlon Brando) so that she could work with her soon-to-be friend and mentor Alfred Hitchcock. In the 1950s, Kelly made three films with the legendary master of suspense: Rear Window (1954), Dial M for Murder (1954) and To Catch a Thief (1955). Hitchcock considered Kelly the epitome of the femme fatale: She had beauty, style and "sexual elegance." Jimmy Stewart, her co-star in Rear Window, said, "She's too perfect… She's too talented. She's too beautiful. She's too sophisticated. She's too everything but what I want."

In 1954, Kelly won the role of Georgie Elgin in The Country Girl opposite Bing Crosby and William Holden. It was not a glamorous role for Kelly, who portrayed the dowdy and neglected wife of an alcoholic. She gave a raw and uncharacteristically stripped-down performance, which garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. This time she won, beating Judy Garland in A Star Is Born (1954) to claim the Academy Award.

Grace Kelly's engagement to Ranier III, Prince of Monaco. Circa 1956.
The Kelly's had to pay a $2 million dowry for the wedding.

Grace Kelly and Ranier III, Prince of Monaco's wedding on April 19th, 1956.

Becoming a Princess

At this point in her career, Kelly was one of the highest paid and most respected actresses in the world. In 1955, she was asked to join the United States Delegation Committee at the Cannes Film Festival in France. During a photo shoot, she met Prince Rainier III of Monaco, who happened to be seeking a bride. If he didn't produce an heir, Monaco would become part of France. The prince once described his ideal bride: "I see her with long hair floating in the wind, the color of autumn leaves. Her eyes are blue or violet, with flecks of gold." The press glamorized their courtship, depicting it as a fairytale romance. A year later, their wedding date was set.

After marrying Prince Rainier on April 19, 1956, in a very public and ornate ceremony, Kelly abandoned her acting career in order to become Princess Consort of Monaco. She was also required to give up her American citizenship, and Prince Rainier banned her films in Monaco.

The royal couple had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie. Despite many attempts by filmmakers to lure Princess Grace back into the film industry, she resisted, embracing her role as a ceremonial leader of Monaco. She became very involved in many cultural and charitable organizations over the course of her life. Though some believe she deeply missed her acting career, she often spoke of the rampant problems afflicting the film industry: "Hollywood amuses me. Holier-than-thou for the public and unholier-than-the-devil in reality."

The Grimaldi Family. Circa 1967.

The last interview. June 22nd, 1982.


Tragedy struck on September 14, 1982, when Princess Grace and her younger daughter was driving along the steep cliffs of the Côte d'Azur region of southern France. She suffered a stroke and lost control of the vehicle, which spun off the cliff's edge and plunged down a 45-foot embankment. Mother and daughter were rushed to a hospital where Princess Grace spent 24 hours in a coma before passing away at the age of 52. Princess Stéphanie survived with minor injuries.

Grace Kelly remained in the public eye for most of her life. Her on-screen beauty, self-confidence and mystery enchanted the world, and her serenity and poise as Princess Consort piqued the media's attention. Of this attention, she remarked with typical humor and grace, "The freedom of the press works in such a way that there is not much freedom from it."

Hope you enjoyed the story of the lovely Grace Kelly,

Kiki Nakita

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Liberty University Graduation

Last weekend, we attended Liberty Universities largest commencement ceremony ever. There were over nineteen thousand graduates, graduating that day.

We arrived to Lynchburg, Virginia the evening before. For months we had tried to get a hotel reservation closer than a few hours away. That afternoon, I called and it just so happened that the Best Western had not one, but two cancellations. So I booked a room straight away, and we made the three-and-a-half hour journey.

The next day, we got to Liberty after seven in the morning to park and find my hubby's family sitting in the bleachers. We found them in section 101, and settled as the graduates started walking in.

Two-and-a-half hours later the commencement started at ten in the morning. The commencement speaker was NFL player Rashad Jennings. Followed by Mel Gibson and Vince Vaugh - you can click on their names to hear their speeches.

After the commencement, we went to Sam's beau Jeremy's graduation from the School of Divinity before hers from the School of Biomedical Sciences. She graduated with a four year degree in under three years and today, she is moving to Washington DC to complete a graduate program. She is on her way to being a Pediatric Anesthesiologist.

The weather was all over the place that day. During the time we waited, and watched the commencement the sun came out, and we got burnt. Luckily, my makeup has SPF in it so my face was unaffected. Then before Sam's commencement it rained, and afterwards it was windy. The whole graduation proceedings took nine hours. So my hubby and I stopped for dinner, and a long awaited cup of decaf on our way home.

Congratulations to the class of 2016.

Success comes when you follow His path for your life, not yours.

I remember my graduation from Marylhurst University (a small private Christian school) in 2010, as if it wasn't that long ago. After graduating, I moved home with my dad, and I remember asking the Lord, "what's next?" Well ten days later I met my hubby on a Labor Day picnic.

God already had plans for me.

Kiki Nakita

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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Otto Family (6 Generations)

~ The Otto Family (6 generations) My paternal grandmother's line ~

The family name is thought to be a German form of Audo or Odo, originally a short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud meaning "wealth, fortune". This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor, who was known as Otto the Great. This name was also borne by a 19th-century king of Greece who was originally from Bavaria. Another notable bearer was the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck 1815-1898.
Our line of the Otto's goes back to the year 1743. 


Valentin Otto
b. April 23rd, 1743 d. December 27th, 1809

 married for unknown years to
Christina Volkmann
 b. Unknown d. October 28th, 1825

(6th great-grandparents)
Places lived: Bernterode, Germany

Heinrich Otto
b. January 25th, 1773 d. Abt. 1849

 married for unknown years to 
Maria Catherina Hey
 b. April 7th, 1776 d. February 19th, 1848

(5th great-grandparents)
Places lived: Rotewarte bei Fuhrbach and Heuthen, Germany

Johann Otto
b. October 19th, 1807 d. September 6th, 1833

 married for unknown years to
Anna Maria Goebel
 b. January 14th, 1807 d. Unknown

(4th great-grandparents)
Places lived: Germany

Heinrich Otto
b. July 3rd, 1831 d. June 9th, 1899

 married for unknown years to
Johanna Elizabeth Schneider
 b. April 9th 1840 d. May 5th, 1912

(3rd great-grandparents)
Places lived: Germany

Bernhardt Otto
b. April 30th, 1882 d. January 22nd, 1964

 married for unknown years to
Magdalena Buhl
 b. August 1st, 1884 d. April 20th, 1973

(2nd great-grandparents)
Places lived: Grevesmühlen, Germany

 Bernhardt Otto

Magdalena Buhl

Magdalena was German Catholic, so after her sweetheart passed, she wore black for mourning.

Paul Heier

b. 1900 d. 1940? 

married for unknown years to 

Ortrud Otto

 b. May 1st 1909 d. January 1989


Places lived: Niederschwedeldorf, Germany
Tanz, Silesia, Germany
Lippstadt, Germany

Ortrud Otto Heier

Ortrud Otto Heier with her son Manfred

My great-grandmother Ortrud is remembered fondly. She was a wonderful wife, mother, and friend. She married her sweetheart, Paul who was a well-respected manager. They had four children, Manfred, Veronika (my granny), Winifred, and Zigfred. All born on December 27th (in different years).

Manfred and Veronika (my granny)

Sadly, in the mid 1940's, their family home was invaded during the night, and they had to leave with whatever they could wear, or carry. It is much like the movie - The Sound of Music. The family was sent to a farm in Western Germany, and later settled in Lippstadt.

Winifred (my great-uncle) and Sven (my dad)

Cousins: Sven (my dad), Jutta (Manfred's daughter) , Diana (my aunt), Christiana (Winifred's daughter), Marion (Manfred's daughter) and Winifred's sons.

Winifred passed away in an automobile accident in the late 1950's, leaving behind his three children. Zigfred, also died young in a drowning accident. Despite the tragedy, Ortrud kept the family in good spirits, and helped her son Manfred, and his wife Ida run their own Market store.

Family owned and run: Ida (my great-aunt, married to Manfred) and Ortrud.

Ortrud passed away in 1989, just shy of her eightieth birthday, when I was almost three years old.  Her memory has lived on through stories told by my grandmother, my mother, and photos graciously shared to my by my dad's cousin.

The Story of the Heier Family [1] that Ortrud Otto married into.

Happy genealogy researching,

Kiki Nakita

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Savannah Sunrise and a Sunset Stroll

Last week, my husband and I attended the premier of the INSP original movie - Savannah Sunrise. The movie was the second one made by INSP as they are trying to create more original programming. It should be released in select theatres on May 13th.

For those of you who may not know, my husband is the UX/UI designer for INSP, which is a wholesome family television network, and Inspiration Ministries out in Indian Land, South Carolina. The campus was known as the City of Light, but has recently changed it's name to Crossridge - hence the name tag on hubby's office door.

- Beautiful magnolia in bloom -

After the premier we went for a sunset stroll around the campus, which has manicured lawns and lot's of blooms which lead to the cross.

- The building my hubby works in -

- Roses in bloom -

- Azalea in bloom -

- The Chapel -

Hope you enjoyed the sunset walking tour and hope you get a chance to see Savannah Sunrise when it's released on INSP.  

Kiki Nakita

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