Category Archives: Genealogy Joke

A Fun Photo Discovery

A Fun Photo Discovery

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

I was able to date (my 2 x Great Grandmother’s) Lucy Adams Leighty’s dress from researching and presenting my program several times on “Contemporary Fashion through the Decades – How to Identify Our Ancestors’ Timelines  by What They Wore, When”.   I am learning the time periods of some of the historic styles by sight.

Here is Lucy Adams Leighty’s 1897 dress:

Lucy Adams dress 1Lucy Adams dress 2Lucy Adams dress 3Lucy Adams dress 4

My sisters and brother have been working on a 600+ pages family photograph book; Chris is creating the book, all of us donated photographs, two of us (Melodie and I)  are editing and doing genealogy research (as fast as we can) to fill in gaps, and I have been writing family stories about our ancestors based on research.  So much for waiting until I semi-retire someday and have more time to do all that!  🙂
Greg, our third cousin from Pennsylvania, has been invaluable in donating old family photographs and filling in family history.  We connected due to an Ancestry.com DNA test match.
If the “book” is ever published on paper, we would have to split it into 2 books.  The cost would be about $1 per page through the program that my sister is using.  We may just print one copy and give everyone else a DVD or electronic version.  What a great way to preserve family history.  The very last revision needed from me was to write a story to go with these photos.
My niece Andrea had done research on this dress for her college costuming history class.  She had surmised that Lucy made the special dress for her own wedding (in 1867).  This is not the correct style for that time period.  And Andrea had put in examples of 1890s dresses. 
Hint – don’t let preconceived notions of family stories detract you from the evidence, “i.e. “This must have been Gt Gt Grandma’s (1867) wedding dress.”  Keep your mind open to see the possibilities.  Look for clues and pieces of the puzzle that fit together.
While writing this history story last night, I discovered the fun photo discovery:
I was right – the dress is from 1897!  Lucy sewed the dress for her to wear as mother-of-the-bride at her daughter’s wedding!
Lucy Adams (probably) beautifully sewed this dress herself.  It’s style of fitted sleeves with a small puffed upper “leg of mutton” is from about 1897, when Lucy would have been age 60.  She married William Smith Leighty on March 29, 1867. They had five children in 20 years. Lucy and her husband were farmers in Morgan, Ohio.
Lucy may have worn a small bustle with the dress, as the back is longer by about an 1 1/2 inches.  It has a one-piece fitted bodice with hook and eye closure, and full skirt which was a little less full than the style (as a cost savings?)  The special fabric – a print of white flower sprigs on dark blue/black,  and the black lace collar, indicate that she made it for a special occasion, probably her daughter Annetta’s wedding.
One of Lucy’s children was our paternal Great Grandmother Annetta Leighty Jewison.  Annetta married Charles Oscar Jewison on February 17, 1897, in McDonough, Illinois. They had three children during their marriage, including our paternal grandmother Muriel Helen Jewison Ruthe.
Great Great Grandma Lucy would have used this as a Sunday dress afterward.
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Getting to Know William Graydon’s Family, and Me – Here’s the Punchline!

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn

8-11-2017″

Duhhhh! I forgot to tell you the punchline this morning.

Great questions on my Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program today.

“Getting to Know William Graydon’s Family, and Me – a Study Showing Genealogy Research Methods and Regional Connections”.

The biggest Stateline/regional connections are these:

Major Jesse Meacham’s extended family (I think) is connected to the 1833 founding of the community West of Chicago – Meacham Grove, Illinois

(I believe that this is the “Chicago” that Major Jesse Meacham, and later, Elizabeth Lulu Booth visited before going to Troy WI.)

While Jesse Meacham went on to found Troy, Wisconsin (where William R Graydon’s family later moved),

Caleb Blodgett bought a farm/acreage in Meacham Grove, Illinois.

After a short while, Caleb Blodgett sold his Illinois land, and moved to Wisconsin.

The French trapper Joseph Thiebault (Tebo) was the first white man who came to the Beloit Wisconsin area in 1820.  He was married to two American Indian wives at the same time.

Stephen Mack was the first white settler (mid 1830s) in the Rockton Illinois area, and was married to Hononegah, a Native American woman from one of the surrounding tribes.  He founded Macktown, Illinois.

Tebo and Stephen Mack knew, and traded with each other.

Caleb Blodgett bought “three looks” of land in 1836 from Tebo, and founded what became Beloit, Wisconsin.

Caleb Blodgett knew, and traded with, Stephen Mack of Macktown Illinois (near Rockton).

 

And now you know (some of ) the rest of the story!

 

Stateline Travelers – Part 7 – My 3 x Gt-Grandma , and Me. She got teeth & fashion!

Stateline Travelers – Part 7 –

My 3 x Gt-Grandma , and Me.  She got teeth & fashion!

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn, SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

Part of an On-going Series

June 11, 2017

Photo composite fun.

Imagine my shock when I realized that these two different looks were the same person – my great great great grandmother, Catherine McIntosh Greenup.

I love looking for the stories as I do family histories, and piecing them together verbally and visually.

In about five years, she completely changed fashions, and became confident (new teeth?) and very urban sophisticated.  She dressed less like the unsophisticated Virginia/Kentucky country look, and more like the “big” city of Macomb, Illinois look.

This is one of the slides that I composed for my genealogy program – “What They Wore When” or “Contemporary Fashion Through the Ages – How to Tell Which Timeline Your Ancestors Are, by What They Wore.”  I have given the program three times, and am booked for two more presentations in the next few months.

 

3 x Gt Grandma photos

 

 

Hint – I never expected to find that I had any ancestors from Kentucky.  Try to learn about all states that your ancestors lived in.

Kentucky was granted statehood in 1792.  it became the fifteenth state in the US and the first state west of the Appalachian mountains.

So it looks like my Gt-Gt-Gt Grandma Greenup was born in Kentucky 17 years before it became a state, and there are zero chances that there will be a state vital record of that.

 

 

Other Travelers, Part 8 – Dogs Are Some of the Best People; And Me

Other Travelers, Part 8 – Dogs

Are Some of the Best People; And Me

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn, SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

Part of an On-going Series

March 7, 2017

 If you are lucky enough to have been “owned” by a dog, you will understand this Posting.  If not, you will still find some helpful genealogy hints.  The American Kennel Club has been doing “family histories” of registered purebred dogs for decades.  While I was saying goodbye to our sweet 13 3/4 year old “Georgie Corgi”, I (re)discovered her AKC certified pedigree papers.

Hint – Look at documents with open eyes to draw conclusions.  The paperwork showed that the official spelling is Corgi, not Corgie.  It also showed that the original owner had the same first name, and different last name than was on my sales receipt for Georgie.  The first person lived in Arkansas with Georgie (Georgie Lou Ana), and her mother (dam)Vicious Emily “Vice”  and father (sire) Charming Prince Louie, a year before I met them.  That indicates to me that the owner remarried (or took back her maiden name) and moved with her dogs to the farm near Beloit Wisconsin.

I got to meet Georgie’s last puppy before he was shipped off to his new California owners.

Hint – don’t get set on your ancestors being only in one place.  They could be residents in several states, as they move around.

Here are photos given to me of Georgie as a puppy.

2003 Georgie 1

 2003 Georgie upside down

 She loved to be upside down; and high up – on the couch back, or the dining room table!

I was able to “Adopt” (buy) my Pembroke Welsh Corgi for a discounted price at 1  1/2 years old.  Don’t worry, Georgie was not a “puppy mill” dog, but one of a few well-loved dogs who lived on a farm, and part of a part-time hobby raising Corgis.  She was the owner’s favorite puppy and the best example of a Corgi that I have ever seen.  Georgie had her first litter of 3 puppies, but one died. Georgie had to have a c-section, be neutered, and could not be shown or bred anymore. 

 Her paperwork was  inside of a plastic sleeve covered with vaccination stickers. I pulled the papers out to uncover Georgie’s exact date of birth – May 11, 2003. I also had not noticed the rest of Georgie’s name, nor her dam’s and sire’s name until I looked again. Now I know where my dog got her spitfire spirit – ‘Vice”, besides being a Corgi. Hint – go back to the paperwork that you already have, to see new clues.

I got Georgie to keep my older Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab mutt Gentle Ben company.  He came on the trip, to approve.  My older children, grandchildren, and extended family also became very close to them, as both dogs were children-lovers, soft, and knew how to grin.  They came with their already fitting names, big grins, and bonded with their large human “pack”.

 I even found a photo of Georgie’s sire, and complete family pedigrees of her dam and sire.             Hint – look a little further; someone in your extended family may have already done a lot of the same family history that you are searching for.  It is worth reviewing so that you can verify the links.  Some may be wrong, but some may give you good clues.  You may just need to update and continue the pedigree charts. Hint –  Look for first name patterns to see family connections.  i.e. The middle name of children may be the Mother’s maiden name. 

Georgie pedigree

 Old photos of ancestors are priceless.  Hint – make contact with your extended relatives in other lines of the family to see what they might have to share.   I received some new old photos from a third cousin, found with DNA through Ancestry.com.  I had not even thought of that line of the family as cousins.

 2003 Charming Prince Louie

Here is a photo of Gentle Ben, also smiling.

 Gentle Ben smiling

Hint – My best clues for organizing and dating my older mixed up photographs have been – the ages of the family children, and the style of hair, clothes and eyeglasses; and which pets did we own when.  My Mom, Daisy, even remembered the name of the pet dog “Buster” that was in an 81 year photo of her as a child.  She also knew that dog did not come with them from the farm to town.  Older folks may be able to identify old photos by very old memories, even if they don’t remember current events so well.

I gave a children’s sermon once, showing the children that photo of “God” smiling.  I acted confused that God was not spelled “dog”.  Dogs are some of the best people because they “hound” us – never stop following, and looking over, us.  They are happy fur-folks who give us concentrated, un-conditional love for the short time that they “own” us. 

Dogs sure know how to enjoy life, rolling in the essences.  Their hearing is more acute than humans can comprehend – hence good watch dogs.  Their sense of smell is highly superior – Georgie could smell that Gentle Ben had cancer, well before I knew.  Dogs love to play for no reason.  Georgie (and Ben) continued to play, and please us, enjoying even their old age.

We could tell that Georgie was really slowing down the last couple of months.  She tried to continue taking shorter walks, but was breathing hard, even just to walk short distances.  Her favorite hobby was sleeping, when it used to be walking for miles.  We just kept praising and loving her. 

Hint – enjoy your elders, and spend lots of time with them.  Ask them to share their memories, and the stories of their lives and of your ancestors.  We never know when they will pass away.

The last couple of days, Georgie came to me and stared deeply into my eyes.  I have had her do so many times before.  She tried to do the Vulcan mind-meld – it was her way to tell me when she wanted to go out, or that her water dish was empty, or that she needed a rub and hug, or to tell me it was time to go to bed when I was addictively continuing to look for just one more genealogy hint on the computer. 

 But I have never had the intensity of her look like she “told” me then.  All other needs were met; she just wanted to give me extra loving, and be reassured. And now I know, Georgie was telling me that she knew she would be leaving soon; goodbye.  

 Georgie was considerate, and thinking of her humans, to the very end.  I found Georgie dead (of a heart attack?) the next morning on the plastic in front of her kennel, after she had “put me to bed”, and got up from her sleeping pillow by our bed .  Finding her has been harder on me than “putting down” Gentle Ben.  Gentle Ben had been more concerned about me crying, than of his own pain.  “Mom, it’s o.k.; are you alright?  I forgive you.”  Either way, it surprises me, and my husband, how hard it is to lose a pet.  But totally worth their keep.

 Dogs tell their love with their eyes, and I know that I am very special because Georgie and Gentle Ben told me so.  How very lucky we are to have that special confirmation from someone (human or fur baby).

Hint – this is one small reason that we “do” family history – to feel that connection to a part of ourselves, that is not ourself.  To have the grounding into who we are. 

So here is the genealogy joke: Whether we are “mutts” or “purebreds”, only means – is it more challenging ,or less, to track our ancestor’s journeys?

The British Are Less British Than We Think

Vicki’s note – article from Facebook/Ancestry.com.  I kept thinking that my (mostly British) DNA would show some Viking blood, but I got Iberian Peninsula instead!:

How British are the British? Seems like a brain teaser, but it’s actually a surprising fact.

800px-flag_of_the_united_kingdom-svg_-300x150

AncestryDNA’s new study revealed the average UK resident is only about 37% British!

Let’s look at some of the unexpected findings of this study – and what it means to you if you have British heritage.

What are the Brits if not Mostly British?

Anglo Saxons inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. But based on the AncestryDNA study of the UK’s ethnicity dating back from 500 years, their genetic legacy may have well been diluted.

dna-ethnicity-of-average-person-in-the-uk

Today the average UK resident is:

  • 36.94% British (Anglo Saxon)
  • 21.59% Irish (Celtic)
  • 19.91% Western European (France/Germany)

Some Brits Are More British

Not all areas of the UK are of course equally diverse. Depending on what region you or your ancestors are from in England, for example, you may well be more (or less) British than average.

  • The most British people in England are found in Yorkshire (41.17% Anglo Saxon)
  • The most Scandinavian people in England are in the East Midlands (10.37% Scandinavia)
  • The most Western European people in England are in the East of England  (22.52%  France/Germany)

regions-of-england-ethnicities

How British Are You?

Are your ancestors from the UK?

Like today’s UK residents, you could well be more diverse than you think.

As Brad Argent from AncestryDNA remarked:

“The UK has been a cultural and ethnic melting pot for not just generations, but centuries, and…while it’s fascinating looking at this data on a national scale, the fun really starts when you test your own DNA…”

The Hawk Took It! – Other Travelers Part 4

The Hawk Took It! –

Other Travelers Part 4

(Part of the Series – “Other Travelers”)

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn – SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

10-14-2016

Well this is a new one for me.

We know all of the usual hazards in preserving and maintaining family history paperwork and electronic records while searching for our genealogy.  How many different ways can we lose important historical resources?:

  • computer crash
  • flash drive defect/aging out
  • our older relatives losing memory
  • those that know passing away without sharing
  • the library/house/historical society/architectural site/religious site/courthouse was burned or flooded or got bombed or torn down
  • paperwork got lost
  • the handwriting or photographs faded away
  • family members that have it, won’t share
  • deleted or thrown away by someone who thought it was just old junk
  • the baby tore it
  • the dog ate it
  • the hawk grabbed it and flew to the top of the neighbor’s tree!!

And the last one really happened to our speaker today before she got to the Library.

Kim Caswell did a great presentation on “Funeral Practices of Our Ancestors“.

She had a full program based on years of research, all saved onto her USB flashdrive which was protected from the morning mist in a ziplock bag.  Kim also had it in another bag with a battery operated stuffed cat that “mewed” when you moved it.  This was going to be a joke gift for her sister at a quick coffee time before the program.

Kim put the bag onto the top of her truck, while she went back in to get her laptop.  Meanwhile, the neighborhood hawk hearing the “cat” mew as Kim put down the bag, swooped down to snatch the bag and flew to the top of the neighbor’s tree!!

True story.

As Kim said, “I can’t make this stuff up”.

So as you face your usual genealogy search challenges, remember this to get some perspective, and a little chuckle, that at least you did not have your research snatched by a hawk!

I can’t even believe that Kim’s presentation could have been more awesome.  Her back-up was very informative and seemed complete to us, and even had photos.  Kim is determined to get her bag out of the hawk nest when she can.

Good luck Kim, and thanks for being a good sport.  We have fun at the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library!

Remember to always back-up, off-site of hawk snatching locations.

 

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