Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Resolutions and Other Hopes.

I am hoping that this year by writing goals, I will not be found sleeping like my grandson through great opportunities.
My first goal is to be active in pursuing correct informaion.  (My friends like Lori are aiding me in that task).
The second goal is to make posts that are informative as well as pertaining to families I am researching at the time. ( Since I have become a member of the genealogy bloggers, I have had wonderful examples of how to present posts in this manner) Thanks to all.
The third goal is making time to research in the library.  Online is great, but I love browsing through the books and films.  Sometimes indexers and abstracters can miss an important bit of information. (Like the name of a son).
Fourth and last, I am not pushing the envelope.  I know my limits.  I will finish the task of organizing my files of family history so that they can be accessed for sharing with others and my family would not be left wanting if something happened to me.

Wordless Wednesday Bible Gifts

Copy of Yell Bible pages.
Original image owned by Gistoware1

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Porter Ancestor

The great grandfather of Elizabeth Angeline Porter Vance.  The grandfather of Lydia SR Davidson Porter.  Father of Elizabeth Bradford Davidson. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Wee Bit of Christmas Fun

Since everyone has been off on Christmas blogging fun, I thought I would share this poem a friend sent me.  She received it in an email as I did and does not know the author.  I can not find the author on the internet.  Maybe one of you knows who wrote this.  It is cute and really sums up the true Genealogist inner thinking of his family search....Hope you enjoy.....
               A Christmas Incident
 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the charts
The lines that were empty would sure break your heart.
The pedigree chart was laid out with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas would know who or where.
As searcher I nestled all snug in my bed
While visions of ancestors danced through my head.

Others sound asleep both upstairs and down
All in a nightcap and ankle length gown.
when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I jumped from my bed to see what was the matter.
When much to my wonderment there did appear
Good old St Nicholas with a grin to each ear.

His bulk was tremendous, his eyes full of glee
He laughed as he picked up the sad pedigree.
He shouted and roared and ripped it to bits
While I swallowed my heart and went into fits.
"Dash it all, dash it all," I heard him then say,
"This clutter and mess is just in my way."

He said not a word as he started his job
He sat down at once and his pencil did jog.
A new pedigree he filled out in two winks
Giving names, dates, and places and all missing links.
Clear back to Adam, and down to the last...
For ageless was he, having served in the past.

I thought, "Oh, how wonderful it would all be
If he did for others what he did for me!!:
As he finished and blotted the ink not quite dry
A sadness came over me and then I did cry!
He gave me the details and seemed to have such fun
But now all my ancestor chasing was done!!!

He bounced out the window and I heard him say,
"For others I'll do the same any old day,
Just tell them my number and be good and kind,"
But then, a sure thought came into my mind...
Nobody wants ancestors that fast and so good
I'll let everyone else do the job just as they should.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Simple and Sweet

Dec 15, 1941 Bill of Rights

Today is Bill of Rights Day. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day.  This was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Most of us do not even know this is a "holiday". The link on "holiday" gives all the rights in the Bill of Rights.  Many do not know the Bill of Rights, although it is a great piece of our constitution and history of our United States.
The Bill of Rights are key amendments to the U.S. Constitution, that protect an individual's rights.

Those of you with Alexander Hamilton in your tree, know he was an advocate of the Constitution and was opposed to adding the bill of rights.  Those with Patrick Henry in their tree know he was opposed to the constitution and this was an answer to his misgiving of the constitution. Fascinating reading on the factors that went into the making of this nation America.

On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by the (former)13 colonies, and went into effect. States and individuals were concerned that the Constitution did not properly cover and protect a number of rights of individuals. The Constitution was signed by the original 13 states with the requirement, or understanding, that a Bill of Rights would be created, amending the new U.S. Constitution.

On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution.
10 of these amendments were added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.
Most of the delegates agreed that this was a needful action.

The picture of the original Bill of Rights and the letter below of George Washington  to Marquis de La Fayette
are from the Library of Congress.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Quest For Knowledge of the Apron

 I have looked at many of your Christmas blogs and I see pictures of a Grandmother in an apron, a mom in an apron, so I decided to write about the apron.  I associate an apron with my grandmother who raised 13 children and 2 grandchildren,  Mattie Whitson.  Mattie became a widow when her twins were 2 years of age.  She had 6 children in her home to raise the others had gone to war.  She would eventually raise two of her grandchildren with her twins.  I love her indomitable spirit.

Here she is (on the right) with her sister Fay Roberts Perkins sitting visiting on the front porch.  Great Aunt Fay lived to be 90 years of age.  You notice the apron that she has on.  
Memories of my grandmother revolve around the kitchen and cooking.  That will be for future posts.  To me, she was what I called real.

The other person I associate an apron is my mother-in-law who is 90 this year.

She has always been the proper example of society.  She had an apron in her drawer for every holiday occasion and party.  I love her sweet way of guiding my daughters and sons in social etiquette.
Below is a well worn apron email poem that I found on an Alberta Centennial site.

That plagiarized story of Grandma's Apron is based on a poem by Tina Trivett, a poem that is one of the most beautiful eulogies that were ever written, a eulogy that celebrates the life of Tina Trivetts' grandmother.  It  has been around for years on the Internet, as have been many other abridged plagiarized versions of the story and even abridged plagiarized poems (I have yet to read one that comes close to meeting the quality of Tina Trivett's original) with the same title. :  From a post by Walter H. Schneider that was presented at the Alberta Centennial. 
Grandma's Apron

by Tina Trivett

The strings were tied, It was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.

She may have used it to hold, some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face, when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.

She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.

She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.

I miss you Grandma...
A friend who posts her shared her poem about the apron.  I love it! Click here to read it.
As I started my search of information about aprons, I find that many are interested in fact there is a whole blogsphere out there that posts around and creates aprons.A wonderful post on Aprons. 
Which makes me think that Avis Yarbrough was sadly mistaken when he said in "A History of 1950's Aprons" in September 28, 2007 that the apron would never reach popularity like it had in the 1950's.
I go into the fabric store and there a mulitude of retro and new apron patterns available.  One of my favorites is a Daisy Kingdom pattern by Simplicity.

In my search about the apron's historical use, I have found a variety of information and many opinions.  One writer, David Graham, had the opinion that aprons were symbols of oppression, relating them to domestic servants, then he seemed to change his mind after reading Aprons: Icons of the American Home by Joyce Cheney, who in his words, 'lumps aprons in with hearth and home commodities such as picket fences and apple pie'.  My humble opinion is women are smart, they find the apron useful in their "gourmet" cooking to protect their clothes and there is a bit of nostalgia that comes from the relationships with family members of by-gone eras.

I was fascinated with the styles of the different era's.  The early 1900's were much like my favorite apron, more of a smock which covered most if not all of the dress.  Click here for a great site if you are looking to identify period dressing.  They have great examples.  Here is another great historical pattern site.  Below is the 1675 - 1760 New France Girls Pattern

Well, my quest has been a long one, I don't know if I have enlightened anyone else, but I have had fun researching such a nostalgic subject for me.  I was amazed to find out that the bib overall we have now that mostly farmers wear, was a full fitting bib apron that men wore while working in a shop in the early 1700-1800's.
As I was searching, I asked my daughter where her aprons were.  I was met with a blank stare.  Of course, I had to make her an apron.  I have started on a matching on for my granddaughter.  They must keep the tradition of gentility and family values as represented by an apron.  Below you see my product of piecing and quilting scraps my daughter had in her fabric boxes. 

I hope you have enjoyed the journey with me.  I thank you for dropping by, and leave a comment about your feelings about aprons if you are so inclined.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Date Which Lives In Infamy...

Sixty-eight years ago today, at about 7:55 a.m., Japanese bombs began falling on the United States military installations Wheeler Field and Hickam Field in Hawaii, signifying the beginning of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
That attack, which killed 2,390 sailors, airmen, soldiers and civilians, officially brought America into World War II. Until Sept. 11, 2001.  The attack, at the time, was the deadliest on American soil (2,976 died that day). When war was declared on Japan the next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it, “a date which will live in infamy…”
 The picture taken above was  from the brownie camera of a sailor who was on the USS QUAPAW ATF-11O. in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.  It is a time we need to take note of and pay tribute to those who died in this attack.

My father always remembered each of the WWII days when he was alive.

My father was affected by this act as was many.  He is pictured here with his wife Faye Jenkins Langley in 1941.  When war was declared,  he was a superintendent on the domestic railroad in construction, he was exempt from going off to serve overseas.  His duty was to keep the railways open in the US.  There was trouble in the winds, though, he had a discontented wife.  She hid his papers the government required him to fill out to say he was still working for the railroad.  As a consequence, he was sent a draft notice and went down to enlist in the army corp of engineers.

He served in the European Theater although his ship was diverted to the Phillipine Islands on his way home.
When he got home he was divorced because of things that happened while he was gone.  Not a pleasant time, but it ended in him finding and marrying my mom.
To his death he was proud of serving his country and stood up for the men who served.  I would need to do the same.

Thanks to all who did and do serve this wonderful country.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Contributions of Single Women in Your Tree

The Family History Director of the Center I work at sent this out. I do not know where she obtained the information from or if it is personal experience. I do, however have personal testimony of the number four. My case was not a maiden aunt though it could have been. It was a childless aunt. In her will she named all her brothers and sisters and their children. Interestingly, she and my great-great grandfather were brother and sister and her husband was the brother of my great-great grandmother. The picture above is a tribute to Sarah Hankins Martin. Click on it and you can see it clearer.
There are some religious aspects I did not know. Thought I would pass them along.

The single women in your family tree over the age of 35 are one of the most awesome genealogy assets you have:

1. One daughter in the family, often the youngest, was expected to remain unmarried, live at home, and care for aging parents. Some times the father’s will acknowledge this “sacrifice” by allotting her extra income or property from his estate. This ensured that she was named in the will. Or her upkeep was provided for through the oldest son in the family from his legacy.
2. Quakers and Roman Catholics are two religious backgrounds that encouraged at least one daughter in the family to remain unmarried. These daughters became teachers and nurses or missionaries giving their lives to service of others, through the church.
3. Maiden aunts are often responsible for the traditions and folklore of the family. They gather the information from family members and share it with the next generations. Cultural values and beliefs, myths and superstitions are learned at their knees by young children–usually girls. And family members often expect these maiden ladies to record and pass the lore along.
4. Old maids, especially those who pursue a career or spend their lives in the workplace, write wills that name many relatives. Family members and in-laws, even close friends of the family, are named. With legacies and relationships spelled out in detail, from their personal knowledge, that you would not otherwise know.

Some genealogists carefully account for the males–for family and ethnic naming patterns, for identification of land-holdings, and to ensure that the family unit is complete.

It is recommended that you expend the same effort to identify all the daughters in the family. And track each one to their deaths–searching cemeteries and probate files as well as obituaries for the genealogy gems these ladies leave behind. Break your losing streak!

Be sure you collect all the family evidence your old maids left behind.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun : Celebrity Look Alikes

This was a second try, guys. My prettiest present time picture was a match for Henry Fonda, sorry, that just won't do. Okay, I am vain, but something seems wrong here. How about, that you can choose if it is male or female. If I did a collage of my daughter for Christmas and it had some pretty male face as a celebrity look alike she would not be pleased. Nope. Just won't do.
Forgive me, it is okay, but to me seems a bit of a glitch in the collage program.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Follow Friday

I like Cindy's blog Everything's Relative - Researching Your Family History. I love her format, the appearance of her blog and her methods of presenting her family history. My editor is not letting me post a link to her. So here is her address:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Present Day Treasure Chest.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Mine was just about as Ideal as one could be. I spent the first three hours of the day helping with Family History Support. We then put the food together and while it was cooking, we made a memory for the future. We went outside and my granddaughter had her first experience of playing in the leaves. Can you remember your first belly whop into a pile of leaves, or the crunching of leaves under your feet while walking through the woods? It was joyous watching my granddaughter and her dad play in the leaves not worrying about the task, rather focusing on each other. Hope you enjoy the video.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Post

I will be busy with my Family History Mission and helping with the new granddaughter as well as "The Dinner".  Thus, I decided to post my blog today.  See you on Friday.  Hope your Thanksgiving with Family and Friends is a special one.
As I told you, I am filled with awe at the knowledge that I have and ancestor that participated in the First Thanksgiving in Plymouth, and loved reading what he had to say about it in "Of Plymouth Plantation"
I was fascinated to learn as I thought my children about the Holiday to learn it wasn't until much later that it became an official day of thanksgiving.  I had just grown up with the wonderful family gatherings thinking it was always there.  I am posting the original Massachusetts Centinel Oct.14 1789 published Proclamation.

I have the Thanksgiving Proclamation framed on my wall next to the painting of George Washington praying at Valley Forge by Art Friberg.
I love the profession of faith, the humbleness of the Proclamation and admonitions for the Nation.  You can get this at the website called Archiving America. Just Click on the yellow lettering.  It is a great site for Colonial periods to the Civil War.  Haven't explored further than that.

The second Thanksgiving Proclamation came from Abraham Lincoln.  Here is his speech as available at the Abraham Lincoln Association
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

    "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

    "It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."
    Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863

Sorry this was long, but I feel the words deep within myself and wanted to share with whomever would like to read.
May you have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Thanksgiving Style

My ancestor and a Thanksgiving reminder of the beginning of American Thanksgiving for blessings.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Genealogical Delima for Some

My sweet daughter married a young man of the last name.  There were many raised eyebrows and titterings about cousins and such.  The funny thing is they may be back in Ireland or England in the 17th century.  The Aylwards of my son-in-law came over to the United States in the 1700's.  The Aylward of our line came to Prince Edward Island in the early 1800's.  Before my daughter even met her future husband, I had researched his line because I had read they were from Prince Edward.  Research revealed that yes, they did but it was Prince Edward Province in Quebec Canada, not the Island.  Our family had immigrated straight to Prince Edward Island and stayed.  It was in 1891, that Edward Aylward immigrated to Chicago.  That is a naturalization I still have not found.  Both family changed their names to Ellsworth when they came to the United States to further complicate things, and no reason for either family.

Well, this is my way of introducing my newest granddaughter EmShe is beautiful as you can tell in the picture with her mom and dad.  They were of a pioneer spirit and had Em at home.  She was born at 6am this morning. I will say I always get excited and teary eyed when a baby is born, but watching the home birth brings home to me the precariousness of the moment of birth.   I have had a ball caring for them this day.

Hope your day was a joyful as mine.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Wonder Who You Are

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

As I work through my family tree, I pause sometimes to wonder what their life was like personally.  I see some of the women were really dig the boots in and survivors. Many of the men were either looking for something better or were adventurers.  How does one go about, without personal testimony of a person, figure out the motivations and inspirations of that person?  I know in my life there have been several who by their service and caring of myself have uplifted me to try to move to higher planes of thought and life.  My late husband introduced me to many different areas of life and encouraged me always to be better.  He was an example to future generations.  He wrote notes, journals, a personal history that gives you a wonderful image of the man himself. 
My grandmothers examples have always given me the "back bone" to never give up, to reach for a spiritual plane.  I just wish I knew who had been for them the encourager and angel to lift them up.  Neither ever talked about their feelings or experiences, and never wrote about themselves. 

Ah, the mysteries that go with learning about who you are and where you came from.

I Am Excited.

 I am excited. I just received my first newsletter of  'Society of Genealogists'.  I know many of you are already reading the magazine, but I have just found it.  I am loving following and Twitter following others more knowledgeable bloggers, because I am finding so many new resources.  This is just a short blog to say "Thank You" to all the bloggers that share as they find out new information. I offer you an Angel Face Rose in gratitude for you angel offerings.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday My New Porter Family Addition

As you all know from my previous posts, I found in probate records the name of the son of John G Porter that has been totally missed all these years.  I know he was living in 1850 to 1860 because many of the documents had to do with his guardianship.  Sadly I have not been able to find him on a census.  I have looked at the first guardian's census returns in 1850 where he should have been but his does not show.  I have looked at those who became his guardian later and he is not there either.  I am perplexed where to go from here but I have to find him before I move backwards.  George W Porter is my treasure hunt now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Surname Saturday.... Porter

Are we surprised that I would choose 'Porter' to study as a Surname?... Not even a  little bit.
Many years ago as I was searching the Aylward line, looking in land records of the 1600's in Ireland, I found Porters instead.   At the time I was, and still am, clueless as to the ancestor who came to the United States in the early 1700's.  On the other hand, I know where I can look if it begins to look like we are Irish. 

The House of Names, which researches Coats of Arms, says the name is Irish, English, or Scottish in origin.  Oh, Saxon you say.  Since I do not have rights to a Coat of Arms for this name, I went looking further for more information.  The Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says it is a common English name that has origins back to Old French names that represents the person's occupation.  In this case, it stood for porter, doorkeeper, gatekeeper.  Thus, my John G Porter becomes John G Gatekeeper.  Not bad and fascinatingly, it is so appropriate.  John G Gatekeeper is the keeper of the secrets that need to be revealed as to his family's origins.  I am following his clues to unlock the gate. (smile and wink)

"The keyhole is from The Vintage Moth .  I love her antique stuff.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Porter-Vance Lines Continued

Microfilms, Oh yeah, in the world of the internet, it is easy to forget, the myriad methods of research.  I had not ordered microfilms in an age; going to the library or internet surfing seemed to prevail in my methods.  For 5 years I have, I guess, avoided ordering films.  When I focused on finding out about the Porter Family, I finally decided to order all the probate films of the time period of Carroll County, Mississippi I was researching.
Lo and Behold, mercy sakes, (what elsed could I put here) Hallujah!  I was fed a feast of information.  Not only did I find Elizabeth Angeline Porter Vance, but I found out a sad story of family strife for her extended family, and that there was a brother that has never been known, simply because everyone went with the abstracts of wills just as I had.  This is another lesson to remember.  As I transcribe the documents I was able to print from the microfilm (40 so far), I will share the information.  I am so excited..

Did I say "I AM SO EXCITED!"     Well, I am.  When I got into the car with my son and began telling him about the discovery, he was like...'Who are you researching for?  Are we going to inherit something?'  Imagine my glee over this.  He thought I was talking about present events.  When he found out it was information about 100+ years ago, he was amused.  That was when he said..."You genealogist should be undercover agents. You can find out anything!"

And the saga continues.......

The new Kreativ Blogger Award: Thanks Linda

I have never had this experience.  Thank you Linda of Flipside for giving me the honor. You and Lori are really great people and wonderful examples of how to encourage others.
According to Linda, the winner of the award has to list seven things about themselves and then pass the award along to seven other bloggers. My best try:
1. I love genealogy with a passion.
2. My goal is to organize my family history files...then I find more information and oops.
3. My other passion is my family, all six children and 13 soon (any day) 14 grandchildren.
4. I love plants all aspects of them(except fire ants...they are a plague)
5. I am fascinated with blogging and hope to increase my skills and knowledge.
6. The best time I have is searching the "detective trail" (as my son calls it) of my or    others families.  My son thinks genealogists should be undercover agents.  lol.
7. I love sewing.  Creating.  Life is good.

I understand I am to pass the Kreativ Blogger along. I try to read as many blogs as my internet connection holding up will allow me to.  Since I am part of geneabloggers, that is were I read the most, occasionally I venture out as you can tell.  I could make this hard and sneak it back to Linda, but I won't this time.

1. Barbara at Life from the Roots
2. Joan at Root's N Leaves
3. Muddy Boot Dreams at Muddy Boots Dreams
4. Dr Bill at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
5. Texasblu at Haven
6. Cindi at Everythings Relative
7. Travis at TJLGenes

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday

When I started my family history research, libraries were my treasure chest.  They still are to a certain extent.  I love packing up my notebooks, and driving into the Genealogy library of Montgomery or Clayton Library of Houston.  I know that there are so many pages of books that I haven't even scraped the edges of.  My favorite thing to do is to walk down the aisle of the State I am interested in and let a book reach out an grab my attention.  So many times, in an obscure place of the book, will be a clue or even an answer about my ancestor.

Today, I have a new treasure chest that I love and have to watch out that it doesn't become instead a Pandora's box and overcome my senses and time.  It is the internet, twitter, Google search, Ancestry,
and Family Search to name a few.   Tonight, I received a treasure from The Olive Tree Genealogy .  Well technically it was Twitter, Lorine had twittered a piece about finding ships lists.  When I went to look, I was brought to remeberance of Stephen P Morse's One-Step-Webpages for searching the ship arrivals and lists.  I love that site! It had been bookmarked on my computer that crashed (a good reason for back up [Wiggling of eyebrows and a big smile]) and I had forgotten it because my focus has not been on immigration.  I have been caught up in the Mexican War.  Thanks Lorine! And a great big thanks to those that have developed such a wealth on information links for genealogy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Family Group Sheet

How would you like to run across the Family Group Sheet of your family when searching a cemetery?

I was out helping with Find a Grave picture taking when I came across a tombstone that had a name of Gunter, a presumed ancestor of mine.  I went to look at it closer and what a find this would have been had it been my line.  Look at how this family did their tombstone! Most children are buried close by. A blooming family group sheet on the front and back.  I just had to take the pictures to show you all.  I love it!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vance Family Research Online

I spent years writing back and forth to a wonderful lady named Kathleen Corley Mason who finally stopped writing because she lost her sight.  She authored a book on Vance Family History, 'The Vance and Taylor Families'.  She and a few others authored a news letter and held regular meetings and trips through the Vance Family Association.  You can order films of archived news letters which are informative through Family 

I was privileged to work with a few of them in determining the McAnulty line that married into the Vance Family in South Carolina.   I loved pouring through books, censuses, and periodicals to find the information.  It is amazing how much research has grown in the last 5 years. 
The Vance line has an archive now on   This is a link to one of them. 
There is also the beginning of a new Vance Association Online.
This is not the same people that I wrote back and forth with.  I imagine some of the older researchers are still working diligently, but many had not made the transition to computers, they still wrote letters.  I still write, if the need is there.
Ruth, I hope this helps some on the Vance lines you are working on. If you would like give me some dates, I will look in my book for you.

Trying My Hand at Backing Up My Blog

I first went to Resources for backing up your blog and looked for what appeared to be the easiest method for a technical illiterate such as I used tips from:  Little Bytes of Life.  I have added feedburn and now have it coming to my igoogle page and I guess I can print it from there.  It is a new experience and one that I hope is going to work for me until I can buy one of those 1T hard drive back ups.
Thanks Geneabloggers for caring about your community.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Memorable Halloween Stories

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun suggested posting our most memorable Halloween.  That took me off into another area of memory that my dad told us of his teenage Halloween antics.  They were not quite what we think of in our day and age. 
Looking at this innocent face you just would not think that in 6 years from this time he would be a naughty mischievous teenager.  
His most memorable Halloween was when he and about 6 other teenage boys got together and decided to trick on of their "grumpy" neighbors.  Now neighbors were not next door like what you think of today.  More like miles apart.  Back to the story.  

These boys began by thinking up mischievous things to do weeks ahead of Halloween. 

They waited until dark, and how they did these things I don't know, but the first farmer was awakened then next morning to his mules on top of his shed.  (They were really naughty, they didn't tell they did it or go by and offer to get the mules down).  Shame.  

The second farmer didn't have to wait for morning because his son went out in the night and fell in the hole where the outhouse had been.  They had moved the outhouse just behind the hole. Yuck!

Apparently, these farmers had not developed a good relationship with these teenagers.  My dad said no one ever owned up to the deeds and he was telling me when he was 60 years old and explaining the difference between Halloween then and now.  He still thought that the face of the farmer would have been funny to see when he saw his mules on top of the barn.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Elizabeth Porter Vance

A picture of Mildred with a picture of her Great Grandmother Elizabeth Porter Vance and some great grandchildren in front

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday My quest

Elizabeth's father's line is my quest.  Her father was John G Porter.  He used G all the time in his documents.  He died in the 1840's and his mother married 3 times.  I am trying to retrace his steps to prove his father.  None of the unsourced information I have so far fits what I see in the censuses I have found.

This is the family I wrote about that the saving grace information of John's mother was at the Alamo.  More as I find it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Keeping My Purpose in View

The last few weeks I have been looking back at why I started a genealogy blog.  I was enamored with the new group of bloggers I had found.  I wanted to be a part of their community.  However, I began to look for ways to blog for the day and not accomplish why I started out, which was to inform and pull my family strings together.  I have a quote that expresses the deeper parts of my belief at the end of this blog.  My hope is to find through my blogging, others interested in the same places, times, or people that I am searching.  That has not happened yet.  Some of my blogs have been helpful to cousins and we have begun to share some of our memories to put together for our families.  I want to bring my family to an understanding of the history of their beginnings and what happened along the way.  I love finding out the why and whats of what happened to cause a move, to cause a rift, to set into motion a series of events. The desire is to present the information in a manner my grandchildren would want to read.

I will move back to my task at hand and hopefully keep on it.  If one of the community events fits with the family I will participate. I want it to be clear; I am thankful for the community as there are wonderful helps and hints of how to blog and where to go for information.  They are a wonderful warm-hearted group of people.  I am grateful for their comments and direction.  I must however focus on what my purpose of doing this is.  

I will become more focused as the year goes on by trying to cover one family at a time so as to keep continuity if I can. 

If you came by to read. 
Thank you 

Howard W. Hunter

"The Genealogical Society has always fostered the idea that wars would become unheard of, men would beat their swords into plowshares, and the earth could easily become a delightful garden for all men if we could only learn enough about each other and something about our origin to understand and appreciate one another" Howard W. Hunter

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday

When I was just a little girl, I asked my father.... That song just popped into my head.... When I first started researching my family history, I asked my father, where did his grandfather come from?  His answer was "He came across the Mississippi River and he lost his wife and child while crossing.  My mother never talked about it."  I was also led to believe they were from Oklahoma, but that's for another post.
I searched and finally found the true story of Charles Gildon Jr.  It was not my dad's grandfather rather his great grandfather who had come across the Mississippi River.  He had lost his wife but it had been apparently in childbirth and not in the river an it was in 1841.  In 1842, a man called Charles Gildon Jr was advertised for in the Macon Telegraph and presumed murdered.  That was about the time Charles showed in Texas.  Two newspaper articles proved to be my treasure chest and provided me with more mysteries.  I had only transcibed copies until I searched the newspapers on and there were my articles.  It is great to have the 'Real McCoy' and not hope that it had been abstracted well

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday Surprise

I found John Sackley brother of Lillian Sackley Sherman on "Find A Grave" website.  There was only an obituary posted so I requested a picture of the tombstone.  I included that there might be other Sackleys in the area if they saw them would they include those too.  Imagine my surprise when the picture came and it was a tombstone for the son, the father, and the mother.  I am very grateful for Sue(and volunteers like her) that took her time and effort to take the picture and post it.  This is what makes this site so neat.  Loving helpers that know what it is to want to see an ancestors tombstone, but can not get there.
Thanks Sue.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Family Mosaic

Little Red House hosted Mosaic Monday.  I am afraid I am about 10 minutes late.  But...slow start great  This is my wonderful family and how it has grown.
All but the last child is married.  I have 13 grandchildren and 2 more on the way...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

When We Need An Uplifting Hand Angels Appear to Help US

I was an only child.  My parents kept close to their extended family so my cousins began to feel like extended brothers and sisters.  When I moved,  what seemed far away, we lost contact.  I developed some wonderful friends that filled the loss of family.
In my picture on the right is my cousin from Oklahoma with his daughter, in the smaller picture are cousins from two families.  The darkheaded girl on the end is who I will be speaking of.  The butterfly is symbolic of a special friend that I don't have a picture of.
I was very blessed by each of the pictured loved ones.  When my sweetheart was in the throes (this is a great word to describe the pains of fighting cancer) of struggling with pain, doctors, chemotherapy, and all the fields of battle in cancer. These wonderful angels jumped in to lighten our load.  My cousins and I had not seen each other for several years, but the ties are very strong.  They couldn't be there with us, so they did what they could, such as sending funny jokes for us to laugh at...that is a biggie.  There were calls to check on how we were doing and share something funny.  I can't tell you how much it meant to my sweetheart to get those emails, and calls because he worried about me.  He didn't want me to be alone, and he was uplifted by their response to our need.  They have not stopped now that he is gone.  I still get the funny emails and calls.  I am very thankful for their loving gifts.  I pray for them to be blessed for their unselfish giving of time and love.

This is from Lori's writing prompt.  I have put a link to her blog on the side bar.

I purchased several elements from StoneAccentsStudios to start creating my own family digital scrapbooks

The gingham background and the butterfly are from .
The quickpageframe is from mITSYBELLE  

Cade Cemetery in Streetman, Texas -

Cade Cemetery in Streetman, Texas -

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Making Family Heirlooms Accessable

Today, I was walking into the grocery store and there in front was a group of Shriners taking donations for their hospitals in Texas.  I walked up and donated because I know what a wonderful job their hospitals do.  I also asked whether my mason's apron would be viewable by the public if I were to donate it to them.  I received a resounding yes that anyone could go see it if desired at the museum in Waco.  I will be donating it to  the Masonic Grand Lodge in Waco, TX, which has a Library (that does genealogical research or allows you to do the research yourself) and a Museum,in December. I am excited that it will be available for any family member who desires to go to see it, because I can not always be available when others would like to make their visit.  This is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Keeping Up With Pedigree Changes

I work with the New Family Search program which shares information with others and they can change and add to your pedigree.  At first I was very perturbed (that word probably dates me), then I understood the dynamics of the process and how it actually related to real life and personal perceptions of a family. Now I actually am enjoying the working together and how it widens your knowledge.

I made the picture above to demonstrate how my perceptions of this family has grown as others have shared their information with me otherwise, I would have been stuck, as I really am on some of this family, seeing them as youth never grown up.  I love finding out what happened to the members of the family.  Where they went, if they had children and what life held for them.  It is a wonderful adventure.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reaching Across The Gulf Of Time

I spent the other day cruising through the website "Find a Grave".  I have contributed pictures for people from my area, but had not really searched and looked at the website itself.  I was excited to find the grave of my ancestor in Savannah, Georgia from the Colonial times.  I had heard about it from several different members of the family who had been able to visit it and was always sad I could not go there myself.  As I was reading the site, I realized it was not a family member who had presented the photograph, but a kind person who was assisting in building virtual cemetries yards.  Finally, I saw the call for someone to sponsor the page so it was not an advertisement.  The cost was not great and I thought, I never knew this ancestor, but she and her son and her grandson had had a huge effect on my family.  I decided, I must sponsor this site to let others know that she was a loved and cared for woman.  So many of graves of our ancestors from the 1800's and before are not remembered any longer, partially because we live so far away from where our origins were. 
I am thankful to those who conceived the idea of a virtual cemetery and made it possible for those of us far away to pay our respects to our kindred dead.   Sophia Sellick Gildon's Memorial

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First You Have to Look to Find The Treasure

This week has been an awesome week for treasure hunting and finds beyond what was sought.  A sweet friend of mine who was intimidated by reaching out to try and find the real ancestor, sat down with me and we went on a hunt together.  At the end of two days of looking at all the possibilities, and offerings, we pinpointed her ancestor as well as back 3 generations.  She sat back and sighed and said "you just have to stand back and look at the big picture."  Ancestry was invaluable for comparing census, and family trees as well as Family Search.

 Now she is taking the next step.  She is emailing the

 people who have posted their trees and is filled with hope she will quickly get feed back and find the biggest treasure in the ancestor hunt...extended family.  Many time it is just a small clue or feeling "impressed" to pick up a book, that sends you down the path to the hidden treasures.

My personal experience was enhanced by finding proof of an ancestor in the land records when looking for a different ancestor.  All long term researchers have their moments of A HA!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Coveted Treasure Chest

My wonderful grandmother (marked with the bow) always had a trunk.  I loved going into it to see what she had for me to look at.  When she died, she left the trunk to me.  My Aunt Lynn had saved it.  She took out all the pictures and misc items that my grandmother had always kept in it, and stored it in the barn until I had a home.  I was glad of the help because in a one bedroom apartment there isn't any room. 
Then I received the bad news.  A lightening storm had hit and the barn had burned to the ground along with my trunk.  I was very saddened.  The wonderful part was my aunts foresight.  She brought me wrapped in a box the contents, the pictures above and other items, of my beloved trunk.  I was thankful for that.  I used elements from
Contact:  Lori Cobb - to try my hand at creating a backdrop for some of my treasures from my lost chest.