Category Archives: Life Writing Your Family History

Stateline Travelers – Part 5 – My 3 x Gt-Grandma , and Me. She got teeth & fashion!

Stateline Travelers – Part 5 –

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.

 

 

How do I find out what the dwelling number was on a street by using the (ED) Enumeration District numbers on a Census?

How do I find out what the dwelling number was on a street by using the (ED) Enumeration District numbers on a Census?

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn (including information found on the U.S. Census Bureau
National Archives and Records Administration)

(SGS) Stateline Genealogy Sorter

May 26, 2017

The short answer – I don’t know yet.  This is what I have found out so far, and I will update this post as I learn more.

(Just a note – The 1950 census records will be released in April 2022.)

What is an enumeration district?
An enumeration district is the geographical area that was assigned to a single census taker.

For information on locating and understanding U.S. census records, see Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records, by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Matthew Wright. This book covers the federal population schedules, state and local census schedules, and special census schedules.  This book is in our collection 929.1 Sz71f, and checked out.  I have it on hold, and will try to find more answers after reading it.

“The genealogist’s census pocket reference : tips, tricks & fast facts to track your ancestors”,  from Allison Dolan and the editors of Family tree magazine, Cincinnati, Ohio : Family Tree Books, c2012. c2012  Look for this book in GEN 929.1 Dolan.

To learn more about enumeration districts, the following reference materials might be useful. (These are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and at NARA’s regional records services facilities.)

  • Enumeration District Maps for the Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1930), 35 rolls
  • Index to Selected City Streets and Enumeration Districts, 1930. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1931), 11 rolls.
  • Descriptions of Census Enumeration Districts, 1830-1950. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T1224), rolls 61-90.

Note: To complement its collection of 1930 resources, The National Archives has also purchased copies of city directories for 1928-1932. For a complete list of which directories it has, see NARA’s website. These are not National Archives publications, but can be purchased from Primary Source Microfilm (an imprint of the Gale Group). For ordering information call 1-800-444-0799.

There are also a few reference books at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, WI about enumeration.

What are the definitions of terms used in the census?

  • Census__1) a counting of the population; 2) the actual pages of the census schedules
  • Enumeration__another word for taking the census
  • Enumerator__a census taker
  • Enumeration district__abbreviated as ED, it is the area assigned to one enumerator in one census period; 2 to 4 weeks in 1930.
  • Institutions__Hospitals, schools, jails, etc. that were given separate EDs for the 1930 census.
  • NP or nonpopulation__an ED where no one lived. Noted as “NP” in the catalog.
  • Precinct__the limits of an officer’s jurisdiction or an election district
  • Place__specific geographic places or features such as streets, towns, villages, rivers, or mountains.
  • Schedule__the pages that the enumerators filled out when taking the census
  • Soundex__an indexing system based on the way a name is pronounced rather than how it is spelled.
  • Void__an ED that was combined with another ED. Noted as “void” in the catalog
  • Useful Web Sites:

For general information on the 1930 census, see these websites:
U.S. Census Bureau
National Archives and Records Administration

What questions were on the 1930 Census?

  • Place of abode

    Street, avenue, road, etc.
    House number
    Number of dwelling house in order of visitation
    Number of family in order of visitation

These definitions were used consistently through the years.  I have tried some of the Stephen P. Morse aids below for a family’s location in 1920, 1930, and 1940. Tell me is you have found success with using them, or finding the street numbers for a family.  I did not find any more information than I did by searching Ancestry.com.  I was looking for the house street number for where I knew that they lived.  It is a small town.  Unless the enumerator wrote down the street number, you will only see the Street name and numbers indicating the order of what order he/she visited for dwelling and family.

I have seen that some enumerators on some years did write down the dwelling number.  Take note of the neighbors on either side (order of visiting) and look for them in later year’s censuses.  Even if “your” family has moved, you might run across a later marking of dwelling numbers for the neighbors, and be able to tell what “the” house number was.

The street names change too.  Ask at the local library and historical center for that area.  They may have a folder on “your” family, or know more about the location names.

Indexes and Other Finding Aids

Individual census records from 1790 to 1940 are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, not the U.S. Census Bureau.

Publications related to the census data collected from 1790 to 2010 are available at https://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html.

Visit the National Archives Web site to access 1940 Census records—http://1940census.archives.gov.

Decennial census records are confidential for 72 years to protect respondents’ privacy.

Records from the 1950 to 2010 censuses can only be obtained by the person named in the record or their heir after submitting form BC-600 or BC-600sp (Spanish).

Online subscription services are available to access the 1790–1940 census records. Many public libraries provide access to these services free of charge to their patrons.

Contact your local library to inquire if it has subscribed to one of these services.  We have Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

Skeletons in Your Family Closet and How to “Report” Them, (or Not)

Skeletons in Your Family Closet

and How to “Report” Them,

(or Not)

Vicki’s Note – This is a March 19, 2017 article from MyHeritage.com BLOG by W. Scott Fisher:

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Scandal! Dealing With Skeletons In Your Family Tree

This is a guest post by W. Scott Fisher, the creator and host of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, heard on dozens of radio stations in the US and as a podcast. A broadcaster by career, Scott has been a devoted genealogist since 1981. He was featured in People in 2015 for using his skills to locate the family of a murder victim, who had been missing for 32 years.

 

I still remember my verbal response to the very first family scandal I ran across in my research. “WHAAAAT?!!!” The 1893 newspaper article was lit up inside a banged-up old microfilm reader and began answering a long list of questions I had had for years concerning my great grandfather, Andrew J. Fisher, and his wife, Jane.

Where was their New York City marriage record? Who was this “Sarah Fisher” that appeared cryptically in the court file concerning a challenge to his will? Why did that record note “the said Andrew J. Fisher left no widow him surviving”? Of course, he did! It was Jane. She was right there in the will, and lived another six years!

One salacious headline told me all my genealogical conundrums were about to be resolved: “ANDREW FISHER’S RIVAL WIDOWS / One was Recognized by His Will, Which the Other Now Seeks to Break.”

It turned out that “Sarah Fisher” was Andrew’s other, other woman. Three decades younger than he, she had a child by him when he was 58. She claimed common law rights because, said she, Jane, though named in the will, couldn’t be a common-law wife because she was still married to someone else. Hence… no marriage record.

The truth is, if you haven’t found a scandal in your family yet, you haven’t been researching long enough. Just as we all descend from kings and paupers, we also all descend from saints and sinners.

As a writer of over a dozen books for my family, specifically on the ancestral families of both my wife and me, the 1893 story presented a challenge. How do I present this rather… ahem… interesting tale? And, yes, Andrew Fisher has been dead for well over a century, but what of his reputation?

After a lot of thought, I recognized that Andrew’s story was shared among countless people who knew him, and didn’t, during his lifetime. It was a widely spread story in its day. Needless to say, none of those people were still around, including children, to risk causing personal embarrassment to anyone.

I determined that I would have to include this chapter of his life story without embellishment, simply sticking to the facts. Further, I recognized there were many good things he did in his life… he was a volunteer fireman, for instance, who no doubt saved many lives. A comment from my friend, Janet Hovorka, stuck in my mind: “Every scoundrel has some hero in them. Every hero has some scoundrel in them.”

Further, through this final chapter of Andrew’s life, I was able to illustrate that the way people react to damaging family experiences can affect generations. Andrew’s oldest son, John, followed in his father’s footsteps. He drank heavily, was kicked out of the family by his wife, and led a life of despair. His brother, my grandfather, made a conscious effort not to repeat the past. He married and stayed devoted to his teenage sweetheart who died at 49 of tuberculosis. He never married again. He raised his own two sons as his number one priority. Both, including my father, became very successful.

A study at Emory University from the 1990s shows how building a strong family narrative among children, including how ancestors overcame adversity, developed in them greater emotional maturity and inner strength. Indeed, it was beneficial for them to know about the foibles of their ancestors as well as their moments of greatness.

Dealing with more recent family situations can, of course, be more difficult. Here’s a somewhat minor issue. In transcribing a stack of letters written by my grandmother more than a half-century ago, I made the decision to eliminate an unkind comment she made about a cousin of mine who was, at the time, just a pre-schooler. Grandmother is revered in our family, and I’m certain she would never have imagined her thoughtless scribble could have survived for decades and possibly come back to the ears or eyes of this (now) very successful business and family man.

My personal rule is, the feelings of the living, even if the individual in question is dead, must be taken into account. A record that causes pain or embarrassment is contrary to the purpose of family history research and the strengthening of future generations.

When I wrote the first volume of my father’s story, I talked about his first marriage and the challenges it created for the family when he and his wife divorced. I noted something he once told me. “I walked out of the courtroom with eight dollars in my pocket.” I never imagined his first wife, then in her 90s, would ever read it, yet alone take offense. She did. I removed that quote from the next revision.

Yes, it’s true. As the family historian, you get to tell the story the way you see it. (I warned my mother before she died!) But with the privilege of that opportunity also comes responsibility. Privacy is due to the living as well as living people who were close to those who may now be dead. The law may grant protections and maybe even penalties to living family members over what you make public about them. In the end, if you err on the side of sensitivity and ask permission where needed, you’ll avoid painful family trouble. Even as a historian, there are times where we don’t have to share everything we know… or believe we are aware.

EXCLUSIVE from Thomas MacEntee: Save 15% on NEW Legacy 9.0 Family History Software

Vicki’s Note – Well it finally is here – the new Version 9 update of Legacy genealogy software to keep track of your family history searches.  There is a free version available also. 

I bought Version 8, and like it, when I have time to do my own family genealogy.  And Thomas MacEntee has come up with a special discount, if you want to buy the enhanced version of Legacy 9.   Thanks Thomas.  I also suggest buying the CD as well as the download.  

Try the free version (see link below).  I found the enhancements worth paying for the paid version of Legacy 8.  I think that the new “hinting” feature (super leafs!) itself is going to be worth getting the upgrade of Legacy 9,

I cannot wait to try the other features.  They are amazing, and just upped the competition for other software providers.  Be sure to click on the link below to see details on the new enhancements.  I knew that they were working on this, but I am one joyous genealogist to see what fun is in store for me with all of the unexpected wonderful new features!

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EXCLUSIVE from Thomas MacEntee: Save 15% on NEW Legacy 9.0 Family History Software

by Thomas MacEntee

April 18, 2017

Legacy Family Tree has just released Version 9.0 of its amazing genealogy software – you can save 15% via Genealogybargains.com
http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/WhatsNew9.asp
 Legacy 9

Legacy 9.0 software for genealogy and family history research has just been released with amazing new features. Check out the new features you’ll find in the highly-anticipated new version of Legacy Family Tree Software:

  • Hinting: Legacy 9 sifts through billions of records from the key websites –  FindMyPast, FamilySearch, GenealogyBank, and MyHeritage – for new information, pictures, and stories of your ancestors. As you add to your tree, Legacy 9 begins the search – automatically!
  • Reports and Charts: See trends in your ancestors’ medical history with the new Cause of Death charts. Expand your genetic genealogy tools with the new X‐DNA color schemes. Get everyone involved at your next reunion or family gathering with Family Tree BINGO – play with cards of your ancestors, descendants, or a mixture. You can also now see your tree at a glance in the Family Dictionary.
  • FindAGrave.com Searching: One‐click access to your ancestor’s Find A Grave memorial. Create a list of people in your tree with or without Find A Grave IDs.
  • Online Backup: You’ll never worry about losing your data again. In addition to backing up to your hard drive, a thumb drive, or a DVD, you can now backup your Legacy to the Legacy Cloud. It also makes transferring to a new computer a breeze.
  • Stories: Preserve the stories of your ancestors or stories of your own. The new Stories tool lets you  record, organize and print multiple stories for any of your ancestors.
  • Hashtags: Create unlimited hashtags to describe your ancestors. Then search for or print a report of everyone who shares that hashtag. You’re no longer limited to 9 tags. Call them anything you want – #civilwar  #DNAtested  #farmer  #ProvenAncestor  #BrownHair
  • Compare 2 People: Researching two same‐named individuals? Having difficulty differentiating two John Smiths in the same place? The new Chronology Comparison report puts them side‐by‐side, color codes their similarities and differences, and helps you determine if they could be the same person.
  • Color Coding: Legacy’s popular color‐coding system has been expanded. Now enjoy the ancestor color coding in both the Index View and Name List, making it simple to know what part of your tree you are looking at.
  • And dozens of other enhancements: Digital pictures are now auto‐sorted by date. View all 9 tags in the Name List. Two additional  custom toolbar buttons, and much more . . . .

The upgrade price, if you currently have Legacy Deluxe, is $26.95. For first time buyers, the price is $34.95 for the download version of Legacy 9.0 Deluxe. Click here and use promo code thomas15leg at checkout and save 15%! To take Legacy 9.0 Standard for a test with a FREE DOWNLOAD, click here.

Click here for more information and to upgrade your current copy of Legacy or get the new version – via Legacy Family Tree

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Donating Local History Documents and Photographs

Donating Local History Documents and Photographs

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

April 3, 2017

This is part of a  reply to a generous person who wanted to share an important hand-written local history document so that others could access it.  This is an important reminder to all of us to share information about our family’s histories that may help others from the local communities where they lived.

The Beloit Public Library has a special bookcase for books, booklets, or papers,  on people and families connected with Beloit, and two lateral pamphlet file cabinets for local (stateline) history.

>>>>

Thanks so much for taking the initiative to let me know about the unique hand-written resource that you have on Roscoe history.

The very best place to donate that document would be the Roscoe North Suburban Public Library branch, as the Library is open more hours than even the local history societies.

(Donate copies of your family photographs too.  Each Library and historic society will have their own requirements and restrictions on what donations they will accept.  Please ask them first.)

There does not seem to be a historical society for Roscoe, IL (although there is one for Rockton Township.

The 2 North Suburban Libraries act as Roscoe’s historical society.

They have a local history collection (as does the Loves Park main library). I lived in the second oldest house (1839) in Roscoe for 12 years. When I sold that house, I donated a (mostly) hand-written mortgage deed to the Roscoe branch library (Reference desk).

You can read about that house, and more about Roscoe and Macktown IL, and Beloit WI history on this post from my BLOG:

Stateline Travelers – Part 3 – This Old House and Me

If you ask them to send you a written acknowledgement, you can use it if you itemize tax deductions. I have no clue what the value would be.  Ebay/Craigslist would give you ideas.

That Library also has a full copy of this book which I just found online (the index). There are Benders listed, but no Moshers.

The Story of Roscoe, Illinois

All history is not on computer or electronic media, especially local history. (Which is a common mis-conception.)  About 80% of genealogy/history resources are online at this time.  More are being added everyday, but many are in paid sites.

Even that 20%, facebook, and email,  has made genealogy searching so much easier than it used to be.  Not too long ago, people had to go from courthouse to library to historical society in person, or write letters, to find their family history.

I am sure that the growing numbers of (baby-boomer) retirees plus ease of searching has led to the recent growth in popularity of genealogy as a hobby.

I am continuously building up our Beloit local history collection, and some state-line history, but we have limited room.

Thanks again, for the generous offer, and information.

Now I will know that your document will be in a place that I (and others) can access easily.

Social History (of Ancestor’s Daily Life)

Vicki’s note – article from Family Tree magazine – Genealogy Insider – Diane Haddad:

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Social History & Noah Wyle’s Civil War Ancestry on “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Posted by Diane

I remember Noah Wyle from his days portraying a wide-eyed medical student on “ER.” Last night on “Who Do You Think You Are?” we saw him tracking down his third-great-grandfather J.H. Mills, who served the Confederacy in the Civil War and fought in the bloody Battle of Shiloh.

Later, in Mississippi, newspaper articles show J.H. was a prominent, well-liked citizen. But he killed himself when he couldn’t make a premium payment for his life insurance policy, which under a then-common “deferred dividend” scheme, meant that he would lose his entire life savings. His suicide before the policy lapsed allowed his family to receive benefits.

Unfortunately, Wyle’s third-great-grandmother, Mary Emily, still became destitute and had to rely on J.H.’s meager military pension. She died in 1928 in a home for soldiers and widows at Beauvoir, the former home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

Something that struck me in this episode was how the experts’ social history knowledge enhanced the story. Wyle learned the backstory of the Crescent regiment that J.H. joined in New Orleans—mostly comprised of the city’s educated elite, who would’ve been neophytes in battle.

Another historian shared information on J.H.’s deferred dividend life insurance policy (called a “tontine”—read about it here), a practice that was outlawed after the Armstrong investigation in 1905. In light of her explanation, we gain insight into J.H.’s motivation for taking his own life.

Here’s  list of 10 free social history websites where you can start exploring the places and times your ancestors lived in.

And exploring social history to learn more about your family is the whole idea behind Family Tree Magazine‘s History Matters column, which you’ll find collected in our Best of History Matters e-book. You also might find our How to Research Your Ancestor’s Daily Life Online video class helpful as you search for details on everyday lives of your forbears.

Noah Wyle’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” episode is online but “locked,” so you have to log in with a TV subscription to watch it (I’ve missed a couple of episodes so far for that reason).

Photographs in a Family Tree

Photographs in a Family Tree

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS – Stateline Genealogy Sorter

3-26-2017

My family collaborated on creating a 6-generation family tree including photographs. Our main motivation was to get something for our Mom (Daisy Bennett Ruthe) to enjoy.  She has been having dementia for several years, and wanted a picture of each person, so that she could remember who each one was, and who belonged to who.

My sister Chris used a great on-line photograph book-making program, http://mikescamera.com/books-full.html , to make family memory books. She photographed my (second) wedding and made a book for my husband and I.  (Look for promo discount codes online for Mikescamera).  Mom doesn’t know that she will be getting a book soon also.

The program that Chris used for the photograph family tree is Aperture, but she is not sure Apple still supports it.

Another (genealogy fan) sister, Melodie, and I helped Chris with the dates and names of the 6-generation ancestors.  A third cousin (Ancestry.com DNA test respondant!) sent me several family photographs so that we could add more faces for our ancestors which we did not have in our photography collection.

Chris put in different silhouettes for any ancestors that we did not have photos for.  This is the top part of the large sheet, which Chris had laminated.  I did not include any living relatives in this photo (3 more generations.)

Capture

                                                          Our Mom, Daisy, is here   

                                                                  and here. 

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Daisy was happily surprised, “Just What I needed!”  She had a great time re-discovering all of her family/ancestors, and her grand/great-grand children.  It literally took me a couple of minutes before I could take this photograph.  My camera phone was balking, and I had to reboot the camera before it would work.  Mom was still pointing out folks.

Chris insisted that we had to get this project finished and get it to Mom asap.  She was  right.

I have been away from work and too busy to post on my BLOG lately.  My Mom has been in the hospital for observation due to her having visual hallucinations.  The diagnosis is not final yet, but it looks like a more severe form of dementia.  As POA, I will be even more busy with helping her.

The good thing is that I have been able to spend lots of time with her, and am writing down all of her Daisy Stories as she tells us her memories.

Don’t wait.  Always let your people know that you love them, and record their stories.

 

 

 

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?

How to Use eBay for Genealogy

Vicki’s Note – article from Family Tree Magazine (Diane Hadad):

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How to Use eBay for Genealogy

8/30/2016 By Madge Maril

Using eBay for genealogy research would have never crossed my mind. That is, until I saw Emily Kowalski Schroeder’s post on Instagram about finding an advertisement for the farm store of her husband’s great-uncle on eBay.

“Do you search for #familyhistory memorabilia on EBay? I recently purchased an old matchbook cover advertising a farm implement store run by my husband’s great-uncles.” -@emilys129

How clever is that? Sometimes, we spend so much time chasing our hard-to-find ancestors that we ignore the easy-to-find information right in front of our noses: searching for your family name on websites like eBay.

I decided I had to try it out for myself. Luckily, I have an easy last name and some interesting relatives. I typed in “Maril” into eBay’s search browser.

I’d always known I was related to the 20th century modernist painter, Herman Maril. A few days ago I posted the emotional story of finding a voice recording of his on Facebook. What I didn’t know is that there was a plethora of information on Herman right there on eBay, waiting for me to find.

I found books detailing art exhibitions in New York, photographs The Baltimore Sun were selling from their collection (which means there’s a Baltimore Sun article I need to find!) and actual paintings from my relative.

Luckily, eBay features a contact service. While I’m not able to afford one of Herman’s paintings (one was listed for close to $500), contacting the seller of the painting is totally free. I sent them a message explaining I was a relative of Herman’s and I was wondering who they were and how they came to own the painting.

Not only does eBay give me the chance to learn more about Herman Maril through new documents surfacing online, I also will get to know about how this person came to own one of my relative’s paintings. And who knows—maybe the person selling the painting is a Maril, and I just found a new branch on my family tree!

If you aren’t having luck with last names, try searching for yearbooks from your ancestor’s schools in the years they lived there or newspapers you know they were featured in.

Diane Haddad from the Genealogy Insider suggests finding the perfect gift for a family member by using eBay. “For my dad’s Christmas one year, I found him some postcards of a town he lived in for a couple of years as a child, while his dad was building a dam on the Missouri River,” Diane says.

With every item I find about Herman Maril or any of my ancestors, the story of my family tree is illuminated.

 

 

Unique Primary Documents from Woman’s March

Unique Primary Documents from Woman’s March

Vicki’s Note – I found this article from Huffington Post 1-23-2017 interesting as these unique Primary Documents from Woman’s March 1-21-2017 are being saved by Museums and Libraries. I never thought about archiving something like posters from a march.  Many of these posters were left at barricades as messages.
What special document, pins, banners, etc. does your family have as souvenirs of  a historic event, (election, movement, etc.)?  Maybe you have Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump posters, hats, pins, etc.?  They can tell you a lot about what was important to your ancestors, and your descendants can learn about what was important to their ancestors.  You can save your mementos in archival display cases, scrapbooks,  or frame your posters.
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Women’s March Signs Are Headed To Museums And Libraries Across The Globe

Here’s a breakdown of some of those sign collecting efforts.

 The Huffington Post, Katherine Brooks

Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The many, many people who marched for women’s rights this weekend have several things in common: they have faith in the power of resistance, they understand that “feminist issues” are progressive issues, they believe “Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice.”

And they also know how to make a good protest sign.

 

Amateur and professional photographers memorialized many of the smart, compelling and even hilarious signage found in marches across the country (and across the globe). But upon seeing some of the poster art left purposefully in front of government buildings and Trump towers, some across the internet wondered whether or not anyone ― or any organization ― had plans to collect and archive the physical Women’s March signs.

Women’s March Signs Are Headed To Museums And Libraries Across The Globe | The Huffington Post

Thankfully, as New York Magazine reported, museums, libraries and galleries around the world are indeed collecting your signs in an effort to remember the historic marches that took place a day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Among them is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, which sent curatorial team members to collect art left over from protests on Inauguration Day and the day after in Washington, D.C.

GeIn an email to The Huffington Post, The New York Historical Society explained that it is also collecting items from the Women’s Marches. “We collected approximately 20 signs in D.C. and New York City, as well as several buttons, hats, flyers and stickers,” Communications Manager Marybeth Ihle told us, “but anticipate that many more items will flow in over the next few weeks as people respond to our outreach efforts.”

Last year, the New York Historical Society opted to preserve some of the “Subway Therapy” post-it notes that appeared in NYC Metro stations not long after Trump’s election.

Below is a breakdown of sign collecting efforts we’ve discovered on Twitter. If your state or country isn’t included in this list, we suggest reaching out to your local history museum, art gallery or library to see if they are starting a collection of their own. If they are, let us know! And we’ll add them here.

 

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