Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Posts

My grandchildren have been asking for stories about their granddadE.  As I thought about how to deliver, I received a reminder about Sentimental Sunday posts from Geneabloggers.  I had my ah ha moment.  I can make Sundays my day for granddadE posts and they will have their stories.

A Soft Hearted Hero
 My hero, my husband was a soft hearted man.  You wouldn't know it, if he began talking in generalities, as one is prone to do,  making sweeping statements about race, countries, etc.  He did not live that way.  A case in point, was a call we received late one night about 2 years after we were married.....
A black man, who worked at his company, called late in the evening.  Aaron Johnson was prone to drink.  This evening he had caught his shirt on fire when putting a log in the stove.  He was in pain and could not drive.
The hero and his dad were the only 'family' that Aaron had.
Accordingly, the hero drove to Aaron's home and took him to Houston's emergency room for the poor.  He could have left him sitting there and come home, but it was not the hero's way.  He sat and soothingly talked to Aaron to keep him quiet until it was his turn to be treated.  Aaron clung to the hero and begged that they let him stay with him.  Since the hero was a army medic in the reserves, they allowed him to stay. 
I was not there, but my hero cried when he arrived home that night because he felt that his friend had been mistreated.  The staff had not waited for the numbing medication to go into effect and immediately began scrubbing off the burnt skin to clean it before applying the bandages. All he could think of was Aaron sitting and shaking in pain and shock with only his voice for comfort.   His perception of their behavior was that they were punishing Aaron for being drunk.  Who knows the truth.  It was the busiest ER in the state.  They may have lost their ability to show concern by midnight.  What ever the case was, I have never forgotten the compassion, concern, and love my husband showed for another less fortunate than himself.
When his father sold the company, the hero's first concern was that the deed for land which they had purchased for Aaron to build a home had been signed over to Aaron and not any longer in the the company's name.
That is a soft hearted man.
'A great way to be', my grandsons and granddaughters. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday Missing Dates

This is what happens when you are the last of your family and your sons don't think dates are important. She died May of 2000, alone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge #4

I am not able to go to the library because I am helping my daughter with the rascals above right now. She is still a month and a half from her due date and has been put on bed rest. I am not complaining, nor bragging, it is just a fact.

I will have to write about this challenge from experiences I have had in the past and recently at the library I have been writing about in the previous challenges.

A few years ago, my mother wanted to know facts about the county she was born and hoped her birth was written about in a county newspaper in Oklahoma. The county was Custer. I looked in the inter-library loan book to see if the newspapers were on microfilm. They were and they were in the Clinton Public Library. I contacted Clinton Public Library. They said the films were available for loan. After filling out the necessary paperwork of request and costs, the films were ordered. They arrived 2 weeks later and I was busy searching the May 1928 editions. Sure enough, because they were twins, my mother and her sister were written about as number 12 and 13 in their family. Unfortunately, I only made a copy for her and now because of her dementia, haven't a clue where it might be. The process was easy and results were satisfying.

The more recent experience was for someone else. As I was visiting with the librarian, my eyes were drawn to a book on her desk. The title was "History of the Ballew family in Virginia". I was excited because a friend by the same name had just begun to research his family. I noted the card on it that indicated it was on loan. I then asked if it was to go back soon and if the person who had ordered it would mind if someone else were to look at it. It was due back in a week. It was on loan from a Michigan Library. The person who had ordered it was finished.
I quickly called my friend and the next morning he came down and found it was about his family and the librarian taught him about the inter-library loans. However, he went a step further and contacted the authors and ordered the book.

You never know what is going to happen when you go into the genealogy department, looking at the new books, visiting with the librarian, checking out things that can travel from afar to be within your vision, and if the librarian is so inclined the public library can arrange to be able to order films from the Salt Lake Genealogy Library also.

Is it any wonder my family would shake in dread when I said I was going to the library, they knew I was lost to them for the day. It has been a good thing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thank You Lori at 'Genealogy and Me'

Lori at Genealogy and me was gracious in bestowing an award for my supportive comments on her blog. A Blogger's Best Friend Award how special.

What she doesn't realize is, it should be me giving her an award for such informative and enjoyable posts. I have learned much last year from fellow genealogy bloggers. I am thankful for finding them.

The special idea around the genealogy awards is you pass the thought along. I really a greenie at the area of blogging so everyone has been encouraging and helpful by posting. I am very appreciative of their comments.

The developer of the award 'Bandit' "A Blogger's Best Friend Award" shall be given to your most loyal blog readers. Thus, the award should be given to a follower of yours who takes the time to comment regularly on many of your posts. In addition his or her blog should be creative, funny and always entertaining. Upon receiving this award, pass it along to two fellow bloggers who fit this criteria. To choose just two is a very hard task. To me, if you stop by and make a comment you are great friend. Thank you to all.

On with the award, I must sent one to Lori of Stories of My Ancestors. She has not only commented encouraging words, but she has also given instruction which has been gladly accepted.
The second I will give to Linda at Flipside . She has been a regular commenter.
Thank you again, to Lori at Genealogy and Me and to those that do encourage.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge #3

In Challenge #3, we were asked to do an assessment of our personal records and time line events to ensure our own life is as well-documented as that of our ancestors. Then, if we have a genealogy blog, write about the status of our own research and steps one might take to fill gaps and document our own life.

This is difficult for me to address. I am always so busy doing for others, I tend to not think about my own history. Now, I should, given that I have the example my husband gave me, but I am a self proclaimed procrastinator.

I have taken the week to inventory my personal journals and personal history writing and, oops, I am found wanting.
In various places around the house, such in bookshelves, drawers, file cabinets, and magazine racks, I have found random journals, calendars, spiral notebooks, etc. This alone tells me, I have not taken this area seriously. When I read in my journals, I find more often than not I am writing about someone else. When I started my personal history...hmmm... maybe one paragraph, it is rather shallow.

I believe I need to study Dr. Bill's Ancestor Storying, and Olive Tree's Sharing Journal, among others in order to get a feel for writing a meaningful journal or personal history. Obviously, this is a subject I have avoided. Thanks for presenting a soul searching topic, that I have needed to address.

My time line starts in 1948, birth post war years, 1950's lower school, 1960's high school, 1970's college and marriage and first child, 1980'a career, continued children, 1990's time with husband and children, 2000's long illness of husband and his death, reorganizing life.

Now what do I do with it. I made a time line at, but it came out way too long to post on here.

My next question to myself is, do I write a journal or start a personal history. Which would be the most beneficial to my family?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday Self Ancestor

This is an ancestor that I need to make peace with.  I was reading on Shades of the Departed how to salvage the old tombstone pictures.  I will now have to apply what I read. This is from a cemetery in Zephyr Texas.  A friend at Find A Grave knew I was researching this family and he sent me several tombstones in the same area of the cemetery as my personal ancestor.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday Sources

 This post was inspired by my pantry.  If you happen to be a member of an organic coop like I am, you probably have had an abundance of cabbage.  Knowing that cabbage has been used for years in European countries, I decided to look for heirloom cabbage seed in Google search.  I found the Late Flat Dutch Cabbage at American 

This leads me to declare that is my genealogy treasure chest. It is a wonderful source for finding all sorts of information relating to your ancestors.      Google by definition, enables users to search the Web, Usenet, and images. Features include PageRank, caching and translation of results, and an option to find similar pages.  .  Having explained my treasure chest to you, I will now show you one treasure I found.

My next decision, now that I knew about my heritage cabbage, was to find a recipe for cabbage that was related to the Prussian area.  I found a new website called
They had a recipe from German-Russian origin called Runza or Bierocks. These immigrants brought it to Nebraska where it is quite popular. Our Heimbach's came to Nebraska from Waldholzbach, Losheim, Prussia (Germany) , so it was a match. 

Runza is basically a meat, cabbage dish baked in a yeast bread pocket.  I am not really talented with baking from scratch yeast breads and time is a consideration since I am helping my daughter, therefore I looked for an Americanized version, and found one on
This is the recipe I used with pictures following which, though amateur (taking pictures with one hand and stirring with the other), are a token of the wonderful tasting dish that our German ancestors created with plain cabbage.
Runza Casserole

1 pound hamburger
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped finely
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 package Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (package of 8 rolls)
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your liking
In a large skillet, brown hamburger with onion. Drain grease.

Leave burner on low and add shredded cabbage, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook until cabbage is
wilted and soft (about 7 minutes or so).

Grease a 8 x 11 inch casserole dish. Put half of the meat/cabbage mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish and sprinkle on half of the cheese. 
Take four of the crescent rolls, open them up and arrange them so they cover the layer in the casserole dish.

Add the rest of the meat/cabbage mixture, layer the other four opened crescent rolls and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minute

Ready for a bite.

The grandsons who's other grandparents are of Hispanic origin,  are used to eating Spanish dishes. Their mother loves Thai food.  As you can tell they have an interesting variety of foods in their diet.  However, they have never had German foods and are interested in learning more about their heritage, therefore they were game to try my new recipe.  It was a hit.  Not a bite left.  They have been having fun learning more about their heritage.  I am grateful to Google for their easy search terms and wonderful returns.    
Thank you for stopping by and reading. 
Try this recipe you will love it.
The Hummer

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge #2

This week's challenge is to find if our local Library has special collections.
I actually have already used the collections at our library. The one close to my heart is the Mississippi collection.  It was the beginning source for finding our Vance/Porter Line.

Montgomery County Public Library  has many Special Collections, but the greatest of the special collections in the genealogy wing are the wonderful librarians. Val, Virginia, and others are helpful, knowledgeable, and willing to take the time to work with an individual on a one to one basis. They have worked hard to make this the 4th largest genealogy collection in Texas. I love these librarians.  I have been coming and working on my family history here ,since 1981.  At that time it was a small room on the side of the library with great books but not enough room.  It was in a small building in downtown Conroe, Texas.  Now they have a large area on the second floor of the 'new' building at what used to be the edge of town.  They have done well with their budget and offerings.

Their special collections include:

    Montgomery County Records (deeds, tax lists, probate and marriages)
    Texas Birth Record (Index Only 1903-1973)
     Texas Death Record (Index Only 1903-1997)
     Texas Marriage Records Project (Various counties)
     Texas Voter Registration (1867-1869)
     Alabama Death Index Only (1908-1959)
     Connecticut Vital Records before 1960 (Barbour Collection)
     Georgia Marriage Index Only (1964-1995)
     Georgia Death Index Only (1919-1996)
     Hollingsworth Collection
     Kentucky Vital Records (1852-1910) (Birth, Death, Marriage)
    Louisiana Tombstone Inscriptions (Microfiche)
    Mississippi Marriages (prior to 1926)
    Mississippi Territorial and State Census
    Missouri County Records (Assorted)
    North Carolina Marriages (from N.C. Archives-microfiche)
    South Carolina Wills (1728-1868)
    Tennessee County Records (Assorted)
    Corbin Collection
     Draper Collection

I have made a collage of the collections, because I have been blessed by almost all of them in forming my family tree.  It would be logical that I do it with a heart.

Tombstone Tuesday Porter Descendant

Gerorge Lawrence Vance and Wife Susan Barbara Vance
grandson of John G Porter. Interesting Susan has a second tombstone just behind the dual tombstone. She died in 1916 and he died in 1928.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy 101 Sweet Friends Award

I feel like Goofy. Gawrsh Guys, I'm embarrassed.
I have been enjoying my grandchildren, and reading the newest post on Carnival of Genealogy. When I finished I checked my emails and I have my comment feed on my iGoogle page.
I saw there were two new comments posted. I went to read them because I love your comments. Sometimes I am fortunate to have someone give me pointers in how to do a better blog. That has helped me tremendously. Other times I just feel like I have had a good sit down chat with a friend. I have not ever understood why some people do not like followers. I do, because I get to go and find new friends with similar interests. Oh my, the genealogy community has so many wonderful blogs that I am now up to 984 blogs that I am following. I love reading the blogs.
Once again, I digress, back to my emails. When I looked at my comments section, I was at once surprised and humbled that two fellow bloggers, Carol at Reflections From the Fence and Lori from Genealogy And Me had given me the Happy 101-Sweet Friends Award. I know some feel they can't accept awards, and I understand that, but it gives the giver a special feeling in offering the award.
So I say THANK YOU my friends and I will pass it on.

You are supposed to list 10 things that make you happy.
I of course could just post my six children and lump their children in and my list would be full, however I will do it right. ; )
1.) My Faith in Christ
2.) My six children
3.) Sitting outside listening to the sounds of nature on my farm
4.) The laughter of children
5.) Finding more about my ancestors
6.) Flowers
7.) Friends
8.) Helping others
9.) Sharing my knowledge of Family History with others
10.) Giving hugs

These are the things that came first to my mind.

Now I need to share this with 10 fellow bloggers. You know the beauty of this is not only do you get to know the person you have shared with better, but you get to find out about more people as this progressively grows.
This in not in any special order, I love them all. Please go by and visit if you haven't already.

1.) Dr Bill Tells Ancestor Stories ( He has started a group on FaceBook that I have gotten some riends interested in telling their family stories)

2.) Lori at Stories of my Ancestors ( Lori has been my great encourager since I started)

3.) Aine at Haven ( My daughter and helper she is doing the "Love Dare")

4.) Sherry at Country Wings in Phoenix ( Just visiting her blog makes you smile)

5.) Linda at Flipside (She always has great things to share)

6.) Janet at Janet the Researcher ( a retired librarian with oodles to share)

7.) Lucie at Lucie's Legacy ( a down home family sharing girl)

8.) Elizabeth at Little Bytes of Life ( She has helped me a lot in correct blogging)

9.) Tina at Hopes and Dreams of a Texas Grandma

10.) Mildred at Mildred's Menagerie (one of my calming and uplifting new friends)

These are not all geneabloggers, but they are all friends. Stop by and enjoy the ambiance each has to offer and feel uplifted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge #1

This is an easy one.  I LOVE going to the library.  I live only 25 miles from the 'local' library, short jaunt compared to the 1 and a half hour drive to Clayton Library in Houston.

The area is blessed by wonderful librarians who have a vision for family history.  The Montgomery County Library has a genealogy department.  The department has 8 shelves 14 foot long devoted to research resource material, where to and how to do.  They have a wall of genealogical periodicals they subscribe to and if they are donated extra's, they will offer them at discounts (25 cents) to the patrons.  Every state is represented both in county information and genealogical books, and history books.  There are microfilms of census, DAR, Revolutionary War pensions, as well as some land records.

They participate in inter library loans.  I was visiting with the head librarian one day and notice a book with a surname on it that a friend of mine is searching.  I asked if it would be available to anyone who came in.  It was; he ran over to see it, and it was his family.  This was a source he did not know the library had!  
They have books that show what is available through the inter library loan.I found out they can participate in borrowing the Salt Lake Family History Films also. They have a reader and a printer to use for films.

They participate in offering and to patrons via the internet.

I am so glad I have a library card.
In the non fiction area of the library itself, there are numerous books on the different wars, historical events, weather, (I was interested to see the effect of weather on historical events), and state histories.  The periodical section has a great selection also.  I found that you can use the periodical index for research on towns, events, and some have genealogical interests also.
This is a favorite passtime of mine when I get the opportunity of free time to go and browse.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Late Night Posts Tired

My Favorite Volunteer Project.... Family Search Indexing

Family Search Indexing is absolutely the greatest project in my way of thinking, nothing opinionated here.   
I love helping others find their ancestors, especially those that are hard to find.  I find that helping index the records that are now being offered for free on Family Search Labs is opening doors for many who were not able to find the information before.  They have a blog that keep you upto date on the newest work being done.

I was researching on and they were asking for volunteers.  It did not matter if you were a member of their church or not.  They were looking for people who were willing to put in as many hours as they desired to complete projects they had to make information available to others over the internet.  I started out doing 2 hours a day for 6 months, but I now only do about 2 hours a week because I work at a Family History Center as a Family History Consultant and in the community now to assist others in their searches. I have indexed about 10,000 records so far.  I hope to add to that this year.  
They still need as many as will volunteer to continue to index.  There is still a huge number of records to be processed. There are so many interesting records to offer your skill to; you can even help with some that are in different language if you have the skill.   I find it has been helpful to understand the indexing process.  I caught how a mistake was made in an index on because I knew the process of the forms used in the indexing methods.

Volunteering is just part of me, because volunteering and service are synonymous.  The best part of life is giving service.  I love it and I hope I am always able to give it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sentimental Sunday A Walk in Oklahoma

My aunt Della Langley Whitaker was a jewel.  When she was young, she always had on a hat.  She considered herself the trend setter for her younger siblings.  Interestingly enough, she never came to the family holiday dinners.  Of course her children were just a bit younger than my father.  I remember we would go to visit her, and later we lived in the same town.  I would walk over to her house after school and stay with her until my father got off work. 

Jesse Whitaker and Della Langley Whitaker

 Della, Lenorah Gildon Langley, Emma Self Gildon
with Della's daughter in law and new granddaughter.

My dad grew up playing with her sons and all his life he was very close to them.  Things I remember most about her was her Indian fried bread. If we came at any time of the day, she had her bowl of flour and would cook some bread with hot cocoa in the winter, iced tea in the summer.  She was ready to offer some of her special comfort food to the visitor.

 Della, granddaughter, Jesse

She was very family oriented, and would write letters to me while I was in college.  She knew all her grandchildren's birthdates, and would worry if she hadn't heard from someone in a while.  She never drove, my uncle always took her to where she wanted to go, then her sons took her after their dad's death. It was always fun to go and visit her and hear stories of her youth.  Although even she did not have the correct name of her dad's mother's maiden name.  I looked for years for the wrong last name until another relative found my grandmother's marriage license and the correct name was on it. There are some things like solitare, and Indian fried bread that just bring a warm fuzzy feeling to mind of open arms.

Family Names

I have seen several of the wonderful blogs that I visit have their family names posted on the side bar.  I could not figure out how to do that an still have my side bar connects to special places.  Therefore, I have created this post specifically for my family names that I have or will be researching.  For now until I can get this fix.  Lori gave me some suggestions you can click on the picture and it will enlarge so you can see it clearer.
Thanks for your patience.

Friday, January 1, 2010

17th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture Irish Treasures


 I am glad to participate in the Irish Carnival.  It is a break in my family focus, but I know it is no fun to throw a party and no one comes.  Besides, I have such a soft spot for the Irish.  My mom and dad always said "we're Irish, well, a wee bit of Irish...back in the 1800's.  Back to the purpose of the Carnival, treasures regarding my Irish family the Magills.  A family bible, I found after many dry years of searching, and wonderful land records available through the BLM GLO.

My mother's father and grandmother had died by the time my mother was 2.  Her mom, mother of 13, had her hands full with raising the six left at home, and did not share a lot of family history.  When these records were found, it was a treasure to her and her family also.
When my mother told me her grandmother's name was Magill, I was intrigued, after all, I was told we were Irish.  I easily found the book on the Magills written by Robert Magill, but could not find a tangible connection to my Magill.  A cousin of my mother, a Ralph Magill, let me know that Elizabeth Jane Magill was married to Joseph Lester Magill.  He sent me a copy of a letter he had received from a Magill saying he was related.  I studied the Dear Caleb letter.  I believe every Magill in America has read it. I was sent in all directions by it but not to Clark Co. Illinois where my ancestor died.   By process of elimination and places, and times, I had decided upon the parents for my ancestor Joseph Lester Magill who had died in the 1840's.  He was born in Tennessee.  I found  Charles Magill married Elizabeth Lester in Oct 24 1796.  This became my logical focus. Then came the search for proofs I needed to have to make it so. 
I went to Ancient Irish naming patterns. Irish Naming Patterns, gives a basic pattern as listed below, although depending on circumstances these would some times vary.  So, I guess I could also say the Irish naming patterns is a treasure too.
Oldest son named after the Father's father
2nd son named after the Mother's father
3rd son named after the Father
4th son named after the Father's oldest brother
Oldest daughter named after the Mother's mother
2nd daughter named after the Father's mother
3rd daughter named after the Mother
4th daughter named after the Mother's oldest sister

Joseph Lester Magill's apparent oldest son who appeared on the 1850 census was named after him.  The Daughter Elizabeth Jane could be after either the mother of John or Sarah.  They were both Elizabeth.
The apparent second son was John Davidson Magill which was the  name of Sarah's oldest brother.  Joseph Lester was also the name of Elizabeth Lester Magill's oldest brother.    However to prove this I needed a Charles and an Archibald.  If they were born before 1850 and died I was up a creek without a paddle unless I could find family evidence.  It was about this time my mother's cousin finally broke down and sent me copies of the famliy bible.  
There was Charles Andrew Magill first born, and William Archibald the second born.  I knew I had my family.  I had a probate of when Joseph died in 1844 that named a William Magill along with John Davidson as executors.  William turned out to be Joseph's older brother.  Then a "distant" cousin researching Charles Magill in Sullivan, Indiana found the land records that involved the heirs of Charles Magill.  My great grandmother was named with her brothers as heirs of Joseph Lester Magill, son of Charles Magill.  That tied us to the William Magill who came to America through Virginia.  It was all good.  I still wonder what happened that the first two sons died as toddlers, and what happened to Joseph.  Since it was 1844, it could be another Mexican War tragedy, but that will be later research.  Thanks for the opportunity, 
Small-leaved Shamrock ( ) I had fun at the Carnival.