Posts Tagged With: genealogy

CHALLENGES.

DSC08080 (Copy)Blogging is going to be sporadic as I recuperate from rotator cuff surgery. Therapy once a week for a total of 16 weeks and remaining in a sling for those weeks necessarily hampers my activities, as in NO driving. Count down, 13 weeks to go.

DSC08016 (Copy)I’ve been fortunate to have Jim take care of me, drive me around to my appointments and even give a private serenade on the side. He has taken up harmonica as you can tell from an earlier blog. Quite challenging for him. I face the challenges of getting well, obeying doctor’s instructions and limiting activities-hard for me.

DSC08071 (Copy)One of the real treats of my “down” time was having Kathryn, my husband’s daughter, bring her husband Hank to meet me. Catching up with family matters, pictures mostly, since we have shared by email necessary dates and information for the family genealogy. A natural  interest in our respective ancestors is a fascinating subject. Now Kathryn has married into a large, active family with plenty of exciting new faces, including Hank’s mother who lives near them. She is 94 years old.

DSC08067 (Copy)And we cooked. Hank knows his way around the kitchen and loves fixing breakfast. Here he is testing one of Kathryn’s waffles.  And I managed a couple of crock pot dinners with their help. We ate, and snacked and toasted a glass of vino or two. Hey, isn’t that what family gatherings are all about? In part, anyway. It tickled me to see Kathryn with her nose in the papers while eating, a habit she must have inherited from her dad. She loves crosswords and Hank prefers sodoko.

DSC08074 (Copy)Kathryn has a friend in Angels Camp she and Hank are also visiting. Hank spent time in the Motherlode as a kid with his family, so the area is familiar to him.

DSC08073 (Copy)Jim took our picture before they left. Her half brothers and sisters were working and unable to visit while here, but we expect to see much more of them in the future and fix that.

Kathryn’s children live in Southern California, and like all adult children, they have their own busy lives, too.  But, someday, we hope to all get together. Isn’t that cool?

 

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THE NEW FACE OF GENEALOGY

DSC07840 (Copy)Two big projects keep me busy and off-blog. I’m organizing and selling a huge stamp collection. And, I’m completing my mother’s genealogy. Before she died, I promised her I would submit five generations with proofs, that she had worked years to complete, to the Mormon Genealogy Library. It is one of the largest in the world. However, the old days of submitting a pedigree book with hand or typewritten information, following your lineage for five generations, the only amount the library would accept, is no longer done that way. Meet Debra Newcum, left and Jean Oliver from the Family History Center at the Latter Day Saints Church in Murphys.  Debra is doing her Mission in the area for 18 months. Jean is head of the church’s  Family History Center. I made an appointment with Debra over a month ago, choosing what I thought was an open spot in my calendar. I figured three days, it would be done. A vast new world awaited me. Genealogy is done on a computer and uploaded on-line. It is through their free program with multiple tools that can take you back to first recorded records. Jean, for instance,was able to trace her descendants to the 1600’s. Debra had to go to Britain to physically get her records at great cost before this program was available. In the Mormon faith, when multiple marriages were encouraged to increase the clan and colonize, following a family tree is more complicated than most. I was blown away. I suspect I will be spending a year on my project.  I’ll try to make it interesting enough to get you started on your family tree. I also recommend the PBS program, Finding Your Roots which is done with amazing insights into famous people who know nothing, or very little, about their descendants. Last week they found a first. A descendant that was burned at stake for being a witch. More interesting than fiction.

DSC07841 (Copy)Getting my stamp collection organized for sale, I also considered a week at most.  I had forgotten how massive my collection is and how much work I’d left to be done. I kept buying stamps as I was raising kids and living a demanding life, thinking I’d get back to it “later”.  Later is here and I’m stunned. There is much work involved, but I’m enjoying my stamp collection for the first time in years. I’d forgotten how much history there is surrounding stamps. And, how much family and friends seep through from simple handwriting, addresses and post marks on envelopes.

A local store is named “Stories In Stones”.  There are stories in stamps and genealogy both. What an adventure I’m enjoying.

I must limit this entry because I have a tenant moving. Refurbishing it after  seven years of one occupant, driving to Oakland, considering paint, new counter tops, upgraded cabinets and so on. Decisions to be made and attended to. Life is never static. Ciao

 

 

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FRENCH CANADIAN COUSINS

French Canadian families of my parents generation were large.  Genealogical historians indicate that  King Louis gave instructions to those bold families striking  out to settle the new world that each family should strive to have 12 children to populate “New France”.  Those were times when  it was typical for families to be large and to lose  children at childbirth, and from horrible diseases with no cure. My maternal French grandmother lost six babies, and two young children.  She raised ten who all married and had children. Oh, my!  My cousin Vicky Buelteman, left,  is the daughter of my mother’s brother. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

We spent an afternoon remembering the past. Vicky’s father taught me to dance when I was a pre-teen,  so I could dance at his wedding.  Vicky and Rod’s daughter,  Michele is studying microbiology in college. She was always fascinated by microscopes and didn’t get turned off by seeing things crawling around in her drinking water. Her goal is to work in a medical capacity.

We spent a couple of hours chatting and at one point tried to figure out how many cousins we have?  It was a half-hearted effort because we have so many. We don’t really know all of their names or where they are. A fun endeavor anyway.

We contemplated how many of us didn’t go to college or graduate from high school and how much better educated the  next generation of cousins is.

We move to a new location today, and Jim spent the morning before our visit  plotting the State Parks of New Mexico on a map, since we plant to spend a great deal of time there in 2012.

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FEAT ACCOMPLISHED

I didn’t know how much work it was going to be, but I finally completed four family heritage scrapbooks that I’d promised my kids eleven years ago. Finally, done. They are two inches thick and have about 150 pages each. Its part genealogy, family lore, many pictures, and the high points of their father’s careers. It was worth doing and I enjoyed looking over the past, and making everything cohesive and readable. This project was why Jim was “banished” as he put it. Since he arrived, he’s been very considerate, not interrupting my work and giving me space to proceed without distraction. (I thought it would take me three weeks instead of six.)
I’m not fond of champagne, but, I wanted to celebrate. I looked for a bottle of Celebration Ale-didn’t have any. I mean, this is pretty low key stuff, anyway. Mostly just patted myself on the back that I had finished it before dementia set in.  And, I did find a bottle of barley wine, which suited me fine. Took a nice, long walk, and Jim downloaded a 1928 silent movie about Joan of Arc.
But, I’m blathering. Scrap booking has become an industry. Stores devoted to putting together memories and events are very popular and I think its because we need that connection to our family history to feel complete. It gives us insight into what made us who we are and how we arrived at our particular arrangement of  life.
Feat accomplished.

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HOOKED ON OLD PHOTOS

I’ll have to admit I’ve become fascinated by aspects of the old photos I’m working with. It should come as no surprise because out on the road I’ve looked at other peoples old photos in museums or old houses and they have this compelling attraction. What really affects me is seeing  unknown faces sweetly sad or sincere staring at me in a second hand store-discarded.

Seeing them gives you a small glimmer into what life was like. Wearing dresses buttoned up high on the neck would drive me nuts. Tight, scratchy and less comfortable materials than we are used to, besides. And the hat. I once tried to copy my aunt’s hat in paper for a fourth grade project. I think I still have a picture of it and now I’m bent on finding it and seeing how well I did.

Somehow, I didn’t see this picture of my mother and a boyfriend of hers until she was 79 years old. It was given to her by a friend who didn’t want to throw it away. It brought gales of laughter to both of us. My dignified mother in this funny pose. I never thought of my mom acting like a typical young girl. Older photos tend to be so serious.

Everyone called me a “Tomboy” when I was growing up.  Now I see where I got it from. I loved climbing trees, but in a skirt and hat? Not on your life!  What a hoot to see Aunt Alice up a tree. Now, I’m thinking, I should resort to having my picture taken doing something silly so my great grandchildren can laugh at me.

Here is my uncle Myron in a “formal” photograph. Boys then were dressed in dresses until they no longer needed diapers. He was very special to my grandmother because he was her first son. My grandmother lost six children that were still born before his birth. That figure alone boggles my mind.

And, look at that fancy chair! The fancy chairs and props the studios used in those days for photos also fascinates me. Some of you know I take pictures of chairs where ever I go. 

Then Jim reminded me I already have some pretty silly photos. This one, an imitation of Minny Pearl while we were shopping for a hat for him.

And, here I am up a tree picking apples last year. But somehow, I don’t think I look silly. Aunt Alice probably didn’t think she looked sillY either. Time will tell.
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