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Showing posts from October, 2015

Ashes on the Doorstep

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I absolutely love the internet - it's my favorite improvement in life.  I could live without kitchen appliances, television, cell phone and backup camera on my car but I wouldn't want to return to the days of no internet.
I first used the internet in 1993 at a reading festival at Eckerd College where a text only version was being demonstrated and I was eager to have it at home. My husband got us online in August 1995.   It's been 20 years and my, has it changed our lives for the better!
When you think of spooky, spine tingling stories you think of creepy old houses, forlorn looking graveyards and the dark of night.  The internet is most likely last on your list of where ghostly happenings occur but it has happened to me on more than one occasion.
My most recent strange encounter began in January 2014.  I had been thinking about a deceased great aunt that I had loaned a musical instrument to in the late 1970's.  I never got the instrument back and wondered what had happ…

A Phenomenal Photo Find - A Picnic in a Chicago Cemetery

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Hope you enjoyed the genealogical synchronicity links in my last blog.  For some reason, many of my strange experiences tend to revolve around photos and I’m going to share 2 odd occurrences that happened in the same week which completed a prediction made 18 years earlier.   The Christmas before my first child was born, my in-laws gave me a book to record family history. My mother-in-law asked me 3 months after my child was born if I had the book completed as she knew I was extremely interested in genealogy.  Overwhelmed with motherhood, I told her no. She said she expected that I would have it completed back to the American Revolution by the time my child graduated from high school.  Little did I know how right she would be and the odd timing of an important discovery in that line that made her prediction accurate. I was always intrigued with my husband’s 2nd great grandmother, Drusilla Williams DeWolf Thompson.  No one else in the family was named Drusilla so where the name came fr…

Creepy Creepy October

As we approach Halloween, I'm thinking about the weird and unexplained that happens in the world of genealogy.  I've had several strange situations occur which I'll be sharing over the next few posts.
Since I know I'm not alone I wanted to share with you some coincidences I've discovered in the past few weeks written by other genealogists.
The first was from Crestleaf.com - if you don't subscribe to their free email newsletter you really need to as it's filled with useful posts.  In their September recap there's a link to their interesting finds for the month and one written by Vicki Noels-Cornish, The Ginger Genie, who shares a serendipitous find.  Click on Crestleaf to read about it.
Don't know if you saw the History Channel show last year about the violin that was discovered to belong to one of those who perished on the Titanic.  I'm not a big Titanic fan but I loved how the show followed the trail to discover that the violin was in fact one…

Your Tree Posthumously

Being that it's Geneanet's A Cemetery for Posterity Weekend, I've been thinking about ways to have me tree live on after I do.  Geneanet had an interesting blog on the 5 October 1915 by Jean-Yves regarding your genealogical tree after you've died.  I don't have a tree on Geneanet but I may want to investigate doing so.  You can read the blog here:  What Happens To Your Data...
And then there was this interesting post in Myrt's blog about ancestry's disappearing records.  It happened to me trying to retrieve my husband's 3 times great grandfather's obit info.  I recently blogged about John and Mary "Mollie" O'Brien Cooke (A New Genealogy Society - What Fun! 11 October 2015).  When I was checking my saved sources on ancestry.com for the couple I couldn't retrieve the info for John's obit.  On the bottom right hand corner on the old ancestry version I could see the link under Source Info but when I clicked nothing appeared.  I tr…

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree - The Real Life of Johnny Appleseed

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When I think of fall I don't think about pumpkins and leaves like most.  Instead, I think of apples.  I loved apple picking as a child and I knew what would come soon after, my grandma's apple strudel. We bobbed them, tried to bite chunks out that were dangling from the ceiling and dunked them in caramel.  My neighbor, Carol, and I would twist the core while reciting the alphabet to determine the initials of who we would marry someday. Sweet or tart, there's an apple for every one's taste.
When my in-laws moved to a rural part of northeastern Indiana in the 1980's, hubby and I always knew where to turn on the unmarked road - just look for the old abandoned apple orchard on the corner.  The trees were gnarly and the fruit small and withered.  It always looked creepy to me, even on a bright sunny summertime day.  I remarked to my father-in-law that it was a shame the trees were neglected.  He said that he had heard that they were once owned by Johnny Appleseed.  Li…

A New Genealogy Society - What Fun!

My sister-in-law called me last week and wanted to know if she was Scotch-Irish. I laughed and told her she was of Scottish and Irish heritage.  I then explained that the term Scotch-Irish is derogatory and only used in the U.S.
She was happy to find out that she was indeed Scottish as a new genealogy society is being established in the city where she lives and she wants to join with her friends.  The first organizational meeting is today so she doesn't have a membership application to complete or much information on the requirements.
I looked at a similar organization and, knowing that I'm going to be extremely busy with my day job and trying to get my genealogy certification portfolio put together, I told her I'd pull the records for her as an early Christmas present.
Oh what fun it was to review my older research notes on one of my favorite couples on my husband's side!  I really wish I could have met these folks as they are just endearing to me with their spunk,…

Obtaining Certification - An Update

In the past month I've made some progress towards obtaining Certified Genealogist status.  I attended the webinar on September 16th from the Association of Professional Genealogists that I found very helpful.  I was inspired by the presenter and moderator and a few days after made a timeline of how to proceed. I've looked at the timeline recommendations from the Board of Certification http://www.bcgcertification.org/certification/timeline.html
and modified it somewhat because of my personality.  I don't want to commit to something I can't deliver so I want to start 3 of the 4 portfolio requirements and when I'm confident that they can be completed, I'll firmly commit and then work on completing one at a time based on the suggested timeline.  That approach worked for me when I was obtaining my National Board Certified Teacher status for school counseling so I'm going to go with it again.
Since the webinar I've identified who I'll be doing for the Kin…

Genealogy and Addiction

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Today an important event is happening in our nation's capitol - 600 organizations are uniting to take a stand concerning a serious problem that must be addressed in our country.  UNITE TO FACE ADDICTION is focused on finding ways to help the 22 million Americans who are addicts, 23 million who are in recovery and put a stop to the death toll of 350 individuals a day who die from addiction related causes.
Dependency on drugs in the U.S. is not a new problem and my family, like scores of others, have been affected.  The Washington Post recently published an article on current research in the field.   "... addiction -- to drugs, alcohol, or any other destructive habit -- doesn't come as the result of some personal failings.  Its the result of some pretty serious brain chemistry."1  Unfortunately, for generations, families have felt the need to face the problem in secret due to society's repercussions and erroneous beliefs that addicts are people who simply make poo…

For the Love of School

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I've been blogging a lot about education as I've shared my husband's grandmother's 8th grade final exams. As I continue to do research for the Kinship Determination paper in fulfillment of one of the portfolio requirements for obtaining accreditation as a Certified Genealogist, I found several references to a severe teacher in the early 1800's in Pennsylvania.  I can't share much due to following the directions for the submission but it's hard for me to get the meanness of that teacher out of my brain!  He was well remembered nearly 50 years after he taught but those memories from his students weren't at all pleasant.
We hear so much today about infusing rigor and insuring accountability in public education.  In the earlier days of our country, that was not a concern. Developing "good" citizens was what was most important. There were no teacher certification programs, curriculum standards or laws related to compulsory student attendance.  Yet …