Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I learned from, of all places, the Old Farmer's Almanac site that July 1st is set apart as Canada's birth. It happened on July 1, 1867 when the British North America Act established out of the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, dividing it into four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. I wonder if our ancestors earned their medals in the rebellions?
I also said...no wonder I have such a hard time finding them, the provinces weren't even provinces when they were there. A whole new mind set for me.
Canada’s birth in 1867 was the result of years of hard work by the Fathers of Confederation.
On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act established “one Dominion under the name of Canada” out of the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, dividing it into four provinces named Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
I love our Canadian Families, and I am glad they had the same joy of earning their independence that my Colonial Families did in the United States.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
As I was organizing my genealogy, I came across a speech that was written by my husband when he was a junior in High School. He was always a stalwart defender of this Nation and it was wonderful to find that my mother-in-law had kept this speech all these years to be given to us when he died. I decided to post it here as it is close to the Fourth of July and the celebration of our counties birth.The Creative Force of Optimism
(Written by Ned Ellsworth; presented at the South End Optimist Club of Houston (it was a speech); won area competition in Texas. He was a Junior in High School.)
"And God Said,"Let us make men to our image and likeness; and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth."
Yes, when God created man he gave man the blessing of his own image and likeness and with that image and likeness he gave man a great force, the creataive force of optimism.
For man is the only being capable of creating a society as perfect as the one we now have. It was optimism which created the best form of conceivable government, the government of the United States. When our forefathers wrote the constitution, no doubt existed within their minds that this government would exist invincible under God. Why? Because they were optimistic, and through their optimism, they had created the most interwoven, perfect, check and balance system ever imagined by man. Soo this nation progressed optimistically and succesfully. But optimisims ability to create does not lie souly within material wealth.
Perhaps the most optimistic man ever to exist was Andrew Carnegy. by taking the better result of every event in his life Andrew Carnegy developed the greatest and most useful wealth ever witnessed by this nation.
Through optimism the greatest method of analises, and study was developed--the scientific method. As a result of its application man has placed himself far above any other creature. Man may build dams, electric lights, television, rockets, and destroy germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Optimism is the Creator of Success.
And Successful we must be. For today the United States is locked in a life or death struggle with the Communists and Communist block nations.
The Communists attack is on the minds of youth. As a result the people of the United States must build a stron optimistic youth. A youth who will look at the future, smile, and crush the Communists and their deciet. This alone will defeat Communism.
So the Communists willl be deafeated. For a new optimistic youth has appeared to establish this nation above all others, my generation.
So this nation will exist and will progress invincibly under God. (His emphasis)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
about how to handle the heat.
This in part to the rising cost of cooling,
"green" thinking, and in part to loss
of air conditioning due to need for repairs.
My Dad had been an AC engineer
at the local college in the town I grew up in.
We did not have AC at home.
My mom would always say
'we are like the plumber's family
that has to call a plumber.'
I just made sure I had a fan in my
bedroom at night. Of course in earlier years,
houses were made to exist without air conditioning.
Windows were situated for cross ventilation.
There were attic fans to pull the heat up and out of the house.
There were vents to pull heat from the house.
Looking at the pictures of my dad and his family here,
you can tell, they knew heat. They farmed,
would help harvest crops for friends, and lived in old farm houses.
When I would talk with my dad
in later years about air conditioning he would tell me.
"Always keep the thermostat 2 degrees above where
you want the temperature and it will always cut off there."
Then he would admonish me saying keep it as high as you can if you are working outside,
because you will need to sweat for natural cooling.
If you are in too much air conditioning or too cool of air conditioning, it impairs your ability to sweat.
This became evident to my daughter when we were working in the garden. She says, "Hey, mom, it is cool out here today." I said, "You just haven't been inside yet."
(She had driven over early in the morning.) We continued working
and finally went inside at lunch. After lunch, she opened the door
and said, "oh my, it is hot outside."
Houses today are not built with screens so you can open the windows. Neither do they have attic fans to cool the attic and pull out top heat...heat rises. We have ceiling fans, but, as most southerners who have gone through electricity loss in storms, without the ability to open windows and doors, the heat inside is just stirred around. Plan your home and life so
that a sudden change will not be overwhelming. I love living with open doors and windows. The air conditioning is best for sleeping.
Any one agree?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Mary Thorn with Levi Gildon Family
I made a post earlier about having found controversy over the apron at the right.
The elderly lady on the left of the picture is Mary "Bride" Thorn Self. That too is controversial, because researchers can not agree as to her middle name. The only concrete information is that her initial was the letter 'B'. Whatever the outcome on her name, it is blatantly known that she was a caring woman who loved her family. She traveled from Alabama, to Texas, to Oklahoma with her family. She kept safe the Mason's apron that belonged to either her father Thomas Thorn or Great grandfather Thomas Thorn, who came from England (the other controversy). The original owner had hand drawn the figures that you see on it. It is my understanding that Mason's do hand draw the figures as they progress in their growth in the organization. This is another example of personal work being preserved. If you right click on the picture, it will open the picture in another for you to be able to see the figures.
However, long term preservation of an artifact was not well understood by my family. Mary passed the apron to the daughter on the left in the picture, Emma Self Gildon. Emma then passed it to my grandmother's family. My grandmother is the young girl in the center in the back row. Her name was Lenorah Gildon Langley. She passed it to my cousin who had it mounted on a piece of cardboard (I can hear some of you cringing) and placed under glass. When she gave it to me, the silk (it was not on lambs skin as I had heard) was beginning to yellow and deteriorate, because the cardboard was attacking the silk. We had it removed and archived by a professional in an acid free library box. It now resides in a dark dry place, which bothers me. I keep thinking it needs to be available for viewing by the rest of the family. Does anyone know, if the Masons were to have the apron, would it available to the public for viewing?
Monday, June 22, 2009
I find Dianah and child William in Nova Scotia on a christening record.
I find a Stephen Sackley in Carlton Ontario, Canada in 1820 military records.
A son Henry in 1890's biography said they came to the US in the early 1840's.
In 1855, I find Stephen and our ancestor John in Chicago state census.
My dilemma is I want to prove Dianah as the mother of John. She married William in England. John lists his mother as Irish. The possibility is maybe Dianah was Irish, or Dianah died and William remarried in Carlton, which was settled by a large Irish group. In all the information, the father is named in a sister's biography, but the mother's name is never mentioned. Why is the father's name more important than the mother I wonder. Maybe I just needed to know who the father was first to be able to zero in my search, Maybe. My next endeavor will be to try and find land records in Canada or New York where they came over. They were teamsters when they came to Chicago. Now I wonder, do I just leave this on my blog or do I submit Madness Monday somewhere on Geneabloggers?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Mom is in San Antonio visiting my brother and his wife this weekend. I promised to keep the blog up for her, but yesterday I got so busy with my sweet monkeys (pictured above) that I flat forgot. My apologies. She'll be back late tonight.
I used to be like Mom when my girls were tiny. We'd pack a lunch, kiss our husbands good-bye, and spend over 9-12 hours at the Clayton Library in Houston on a Saturday in front of the microfilm readers or our noses in books researching. Not every Sat., but now and then. Those were exciting days for me. Mysteries discovered, mysteries solved, branches of the family tree reconnected. I even recovered for my husband's family a family bible and critical bible pages dating back to the Civil War. Woo-hoo!
But then I had a rash of babies, a total surprise to us. A nice surprise, but it changed things. (Multiples are a whole other animal!) When the twins were born, I found myself stressed out because I felt like I should still be spending Saturdays blurring my eyes with hard to read handwriting.
That's when someone said to me, "Remember, a season for everything, and everything in it's season." I realized that I had a new task for the next couple of years. Instead of doing research, I started collecting family stories. I collected photographs and labeled them. I started writing memories down and things I had learned. I made an effort to create moments that would become pleasant memories for my children, and myself. And I've taught my girls who are older now how to fill out their pedigree charts, and shared some things about those ancestors on them. I became a recorder of not just the past, but the present.
The libraries and I will become reacquainted soon. In the meantime, I have done a lot of work for the now, so that my generation doesn't become one of those that needs to be researched at a later date. There will be ample information for future generations to enjoy. :)
Friday, June 19, 2009
Mom (the voice you're most listening to on this blog) is one of the greatest cheerleaders you'll ever meet when it comes to helping you find your ancestors. Even so much so, that she'll take a trip to a family reunion with her daughter that ISN'T her family.
Yep. My husband's family was having a family reunion, and I wanted to take my girls to meet family we didn't know they had. My husband was out of town, and my in-laws weren't going. I knew ONE lady that was going to be there. So I begged Mom to come with me, in case I got lost. If only I'd known!
We got to the place where the reunion was, but the instructions were a little confusing. They said "in the white building". There were two white buildings! Assuming the right one was the building surrounded by cars, I led her and my two girls into a swarm of people.
Everyone smiled and nodded. I put my brownies on the table with all the food and sat them down. We got the girls plates and I smiled some more. No one said anything to me, but this wasn't strange, since I'd never met any of them. Finally I saw a big table with the family's printed history sitting on it, abandoned. I told Mom I was going over to check it out, because we had no pictures or stories of any kind from this side of the family. I was excited.
I mosied over and started looking through it. How confusing. There wasn't a single Burris! I stopped an elderly lady and asked, "Where are the Burisses?"
"There aren't any Buriss lines in our family," she states.
"Isn't this the Buriss Reunion?" I timidly ask, showing her the paper with the instructions.
"Nooo." She tries really hard to let me down easy. "But it looks like you have the right place."
I got back to my mother (cheeks flaming) and whispered we were in the wrong place. I grabbed my brownies and we booked it out of there. We tried the other white building, and sure enough, THAT'S where my husband's family was. They had no idea there was a second white building at that park, let alone another reunion! What were the chances?
So folks, the lesson is, no matter how sick you are bringing the family history to the family reunion because no one looks at it, bring it anyway. You never know WHO might benefit! :D
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The picture on the right is me being silly with the boy. He loves climbing on anything that goes. Don't all boys? I had, as my son said, been silly and forgotten where the switch was to turn on the golf cart. (We have a golf cart to visit the back of the "farm".) So, I was making motor sounds, and he was driving as fast as he could go. It was fun.
Of course if you come out to the country, you have to go get the mail at the mailbox. Ours is really southern, it is covered with a hummingbird vine. Can't you just feel the heat of sun looking at this picture.
Next, Little Red decided to explore the dog's tub of water. Our half Lab, half Siberian Husky drinks gallons of water right now since it is so hot. I got a large tub, since I am gone to work during the heat of the day.
First, he spent some time sizing up and studying the water tub, then he decided to climb in, backwards of course.
Here he is, completely in, sitting pretty, and cooled off. It was 95 degrees outside yesterday.
After he had cooled off, he decided to go on a excursion to the garden to see what his mom had been doing. First he peered into the depths to see if there was squash under the leaves. As you can see from his expression, he was not impressed.
I had an day of fun with a little boy that is very special to me. I hope as he grows that the relationship will grow too. The memories made will be fun to look back on as he becomes a man.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I am hoping I can remember how to submit to the Carnival of Swimsuits. I love the poster picture on Anne's blog. Oops...I was a day late. Oh well, the picture is still fun and my children have not seen this of their great grandmother.
Excitement! I found a website that tells about the club when it was built. The owner of the second edition of the club was a co-contractor with Sackley Paving. That is how and why she was a member of an exculsive club on Lake Michigan.
Monday, June 15, 2009
A few years ago, my mom was stricken with early dementia. At first, I began to understand what my father had felt when he dealt with Aunt Marley long ago. [She is a tiger, my mom had said in school she would start a fight and Marley would end it. How true.] She did not believe that my mom could be a victim of dementia in her 70's. After a week of trial care keeping, she decided that we were right and mom would have to have special help. That was 4 years ago. She and I have become friends. We discovered many similarities in our personalities, and sometimes talk for lengthy periods. When I was growing up, I never would have dreamed we would have been friends, but the stage of life can be much more intriguing than a play.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Memory may fail
are not gone.
as it passes
over your face.
is past -
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I have been in the southern part of Alabama, numerous branches were from there. My first challenge had been my mother-in-law's (I call her MOM) family. She had been raised until she was 9 by her grandparents. She had not even been given anything to remember her grandparents. (I was given this picture by a distant cousin that had not spoken to my MOM since she had married outside of her church.) Her mother had not talked of her heritage, and her memory of what she had learned from her grandmother had faded.
The man in the picture is Henry Crawford Reynolds.
I found out Henry's father and mother had come to Alabama from Georgia. I always thought that the Crawford would be a name carried forth by the mother's family, but so far, no proofs of that. His mother has been a bit of a mystery for me. I am sure her father was John White and the mother Nancy, but I need more than the census I have found to completely confirm my feelings. Martha Ann Maloura Wells on the right was a wonderful example to her granddaughter, and I have loved listening to Mom talk about Martha's methods of gardening, canning, and provident living. Henry was a country doctor. While he was a doctor for the railroad in Wharton, TX, his earnings from the people in town were many times in the form of food. Martha grew up near Abbeville, Henry County, Alabama during the Civil War and told some stories of life at home while her dad was fighting for the South.
My father's family came from the northern part of Alabama. Jefferson, Blount, and Morgan counties. They are a fascinating bunch. The Selfs descended from a healthy ancestor that apparently lived past 100 years old. That is where I developed my thought of living to 120 years old. (It was easy to say when I was younger, now that my sweetie is gone and I am achey, I am not quite sure how that ancestor did it "back in the day". The Hughes that married the Thorns who married the Selfs were all there. The two Hughes men only brought their families to Alabama. They were both killed apparently in the "Black Hawk War" just after purchasing land and moving to Alabama. The Thorns are the family that I have been able to trace back to Virgina. There is a mystery associated with them though. I have inherited a Mason's Apron that I will share about in a future post. The family information handed down was that it came from England with the first Thomas Thorn. "Experts" on Mason Aprons have said that it could not be because he came in the late 1600's and the Masons did not come to the US until the 1800's and then it was to South Carolina. That being the case, it may have been three generations later coming into the family. Oh well. It is old. I wish that some of this family had kept pictures. I don't have any of these at all and they were secretive. Must have been early day conspiracy theorist. Mercy me how I love these people. Back to my widened approach. I have only used census and land records to pin point this branch of my dad's. Today I went blog searching and found a Hughes Family Tree from Morgan Co., Alabama. I have emailed the blogger and found out that their branch is heavily into DNA. That is not something I have looked into since I am a woman and know that DNA for females is not as pinpointing. They are going to see if our tree might fit into their DNA testing. A whole new world of genealogy. Gosh! I love doing research...hard on my house cleaning though. Nite.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
My grandmother used to say "my head is swimming" every time she would stand. I did not understand what was happening to her until I became a nurse many years later and then I felt bad that I had not understood low blood pressure.
This is not really what I was going to write about, but the phrase took me back in memories.
What I meant to say was, my head is swimming from all the information and stimulus of the wonderful blogs you all have developed, and, oh my goodness, the mind boggling links to the suggested blogs on your sites. Mercy me, I did not know all this out was available in internet land. I definitely don't feel like a lone ranger any longer.
When I developed my blog, http://hummingbirdgarden.blogspot.com , I was recording the history of my husband as he dealt with cancer, and the cancer treatments. It was to give our children a understanding and record events that I knew I would forget later. Some of the pictures I caught of him, was because I was blogging, and they are now among my favorite memories. While it was a purposeful endeavor, it was lonesome; because, as I recorded, I felt pretty much by myself.
I guess, what I am trying to say is 'I am glad you all are here and I am like a child in a candy shoppe, not sure where to start. Thanks so much for all your heart that I can see that you put into your blogs. It is inspiring to me, and will be to my children too.'
Thank you again.
We were taking our first ever just a vacation, not a just 'visiting relatives' vacation. My son was 10 at the time. One of our areas to visit was Independence, Missouri. A town rich with history. I was loaded with pamphlets, he was not impressed. Looking at the map, I saw that the township of Fishing River was not too far away, and convinced my husband and son to go look for my great great grandfather tombstone. I wasn't sure of the cemetery he was buried in, so I found the name of three in the area of the township to look in. It took the better part of the day to find the tombstone, but we did and I was so excited. I had searched the records for years to find information about this great grandfather and now I had been were he had lived and came to his final resting place. All seem great...that is until I got back to the hotel and my son said very solemnly, "Mom, I hope I never go on a cemetery vacation again." We laughed about that for years.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I was 8 years old when we bought our house.
It was a duplex that my dad thought would suit our needs well. My grandmother would have one side and we would have the other. My bedroom was in the closet.
In the backyard was a chicken coop. The clip art at the left is close to what it looked like. Where my mom is standing is approximately where the coop was originally.
We were excited having our own home. At first, we had the experience of something missing from where we knew we had left things. Then we would hear the piano playing and no one was where the piano was.
My grandmother moved away and my dad decided to remodel the house into a single dwelling home. I was moved to the front to a real bedroom. It was funny, I always had the feeling of being watched, but it wasn't until I saw someone in my closet of my room that I felt I really was not alone. My dad decided to do some investigation into what I called my 'Visitor'. He found out that in the mid 1800's, a man and his wife had owned the house and chicken coop. They had worked hard, then one day she found him hung in the chicken coop.
This was a disconcerting thought. We were sure we knew what spirit our visitor was. My mom researched poltergeist, and other paranormal information.
I became used to my visitor until I was in my mid teens and woke up to 'some one' holding my hand. It was not a threatening gesture. Still yet, I was not comfortable with that. From that time until I moved away I would sleep bundled up in my covers until I drifted off to sleep.
When I moved to college, my mom said that there was a rash of things being moved around or lost. The last thing to happen then the house stayed quiet, she came home from teaching to find my picture had been neatly removed from the wall and stood in the corner. She felt that the ghost had said 'She is gone".
Never, I repeat Never, download the GED.com of someone else directly into your file. I knew better and did it anyway.
Always, make a new file and check information out first before importing anything.
There now, I've said it and hopefully will not forget it again!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I was searching for pictures of where I went to school and at ePodunk Edmond, OK, I discovered several pictures.
When my mother transferred from Tonkawa to Central State College while my dad went to refrigeration school in Oklahoma City, I was enrolled in school in the first floor of this building. Our cafeteria was in the basement. Next door was another building that housed a wonderful library. I learned to love to read there. We were privileged to use the gym and swimming pool of the college. The reason for all of this was the school used us for their graduating teachers to student teach. We had the best of all small town schools. It gave me a wonderful background in education. For my parents, because my mom was going to school here and my dad was head of the air conditioning department, it kept me close so they could watch over me. If I can find some of the bulletins or pictures of the time, I will post them.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Today, my son called me to say 'mom, my motorcycle won't start. Can you come and jump me off?'
Of course I could. Reminded my of a son-in-law who would have car challenges when he was first married and call for a jump or a lift or something to help with the silly car. He would always feel like kicking the tire, slamming the door or something to show his frustration. I helped my son start his cycle, then 10 miles down the road, it died on him as he was coming off the freeway going onto the feeder. I was three cars behind him. Of course as I realized what was happening, I said a fervent prayer for his safety and as the other cars pulled around him, I eased up to protect his back. As he pushed the bike up on the side of the road, you could see his tension mounting. When he got into the car, it all came tumbling out. "I would like to just crush that heap of junk! I would like to just leave it on the side of the road....etc." I was plummeted back in time to Russell and his frustration over old vehicles.
I know I should have a sage word of wisdom here, but for the life of me I can only smile...out of his vision of course.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
An older sister who had gone away to college and came back home to prepare for her wedding was given this letter from her little sister ten years younger than herself. Aine, if you click on the letter, it should let you enlarge it to be able to read it.
Our creative speller was very expressive, however we frequently needed her to verbally translate. We discovered in our family research, she had a prominent ancestor who was also a "creative speller" many generations back, Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Massachusetts. That was a fun fact that helped her.
However, back to the thought. When you are older and start looking back over your life, you often wonder, "did I impact anyone, did I make a difference for anyone?" Having a letter such as this preserved for you reaches across the years with a hug from a loving sister that said "I admire you." It hasn't changed and there is even greater love today between the two. I am glad I found this in some old school papers as I was cleaning out the attic area.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
On a sad note, here is a story I don't know if you know about your grandpa Langley.
While he was in the European Theater, his father died of a heart attack. He did not find out about it until several months later, through mail because his sister Lynn wouldn't let them notify him through the Red Cross. Who knows why. He was always upset by this because the RC would have allowed him to come home for the funeral.
He loved his dad so much.
"Our great concern, our great interest, must be to preserve for the generations to come those wondrous elements of our society and manner of living that will bequeath to them the strengths and the goodness of which we have been the beneficiaries." Gordon B. Hinkley
In the past few years as I have seen multitudes more information coming forth, I knew that it was to be used to gather information for the future generations. One just has to go to a Genealogy Department in a library to find history written as it was happening from many view points to find true history. And, to find how much of history has been rewritten.
I hope to present my perspective for my family as well as those of my ancestors. What a jewel when you can find a letter that is in their hand writing. A distant cousin had kept a letter for distant grandfather which included his testimony of faith. My Mother-in-law wrote on the back of her picture her love of her husband. How wonderful for great grandchildren who never saw them interact to know this information. I write letters to my grandchildren so they have my handwriting and feelings on paper.
Ned was in the International Students Organization at the University of Houston in Texas. His roommate (our usher) was from Palestine (born in Haifa) and Ned hung out with the Arab student organization also (the source of another usher). His best friend and Ned's best man was Jewish. My best friend, and Maid of Honor, was first generation American, her parents were Czech.
I was an Okie, and he was a Texan. That was a international meeting in itself.
There wasn't a professional photographer, so pictures were being taken by anyone with a camera, with everyone looking somewhere. It was wonderful, and full of love.
Monday, June 1, 2009
When Ned and I married, we new it was a joining of families.
And we loved each others parents as if they were our own.
This became even more accentuated as we embarked upon the path of finding our ancestors.
Ned enabled me to research while our children were young. He didn't fuss at me when I worked at the Family History Center.
He walked miles of cemeteries with me searching for his ancestors as well as mine.
As our family progressed, first one child, then two, marching onward to six ( 4 girls and 2 boys). We personally saw how a family tree moves out.
Now, since the loss of my beloved husband, I am trying to find out what direction to go in. He and I are one. His family is my family.
When building the tree, I feel like I am standing in the center with arms stretched out wide. Oh how I love the people in our ancestry file! They are so real and alive to me.
I have decided to continue helping others find their families.
I will perfect and clean up our tree. Putting faces with names for future generations to view and hopefully compile a book for them to read. A book on a family is never finished, only begun and then continually added to as more information, because of enhanced technology becomes available.
I am thankful I found Geneabloggers website.
I think that this will open my horizons and get out of my box.
I think I am the the Trunk. The Roots below me multiply and strengthen and the Branches overhead mulitply and balance.
God is a wonderful being. He has blessed us with a knowledge of who we are and where we come from. It is all good.
How thankful I am for the gift of loving my ancestors and enjoying searching for them.
I plan to use this blog for pondering, reminiscing, and playing with ideas for my family history book I plan for future generations.
May the Spirit guide me in my endeavors and if I help others along the way what a blessing it will be.