Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday Being the Link Past to Future

In the past few weeks, I have not been able to do some of my blogging I would like to have done, and I have not been able to get by to visit and comment on my favorite blogs. 
In Texas, we are in the midst of canning the fruits of our gardens.  I have to take time out to help my children with growing in canning skills and I am babysitting with toddlers so I can develop a relationship with the generation growing up.  [Carol at Reflections at the Fence got to go to a wedding.  Whoo hoo! ] I love life changing activities. 
So, the purpose of this blog is to say, I will be back by, I love reading your blogs and learning from you.  
Like the Celtic Knot, I just have to work on keeping the chain from the past to the future intact with an endless knot.  

The Celtic knot came from Dover Clip Art
The picture is of my son canning for the first time. Don't tell him he is on here. shhh

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sharing a Slice of Life: #6 Summer Storms

Texasblu posted the meme for this Sunday as 'hearing about you or your family weathering out the storms'.  If you click on her name, you can read others stories also.

The story I have chosen has got to be a Hero story since it is also Sentimental Sunday.  At Christmas one year, while the Hero and Red Beard and the son had their own business, my
Aunt Lynn expressed that she wished that she could get some linoleum.  Well, uhmm, we were broke and it would be a 16 hour drive to take her back home and come back to our home.  Finances would only allow for that.  We talked about her desires and needs all the way back home through icy weather.
The next spring we decided that while we could not purchase linoleum for the floor, the guys could put down an acrylic flooring that they did because they had left overs from another job.  We could also paint the kitchen too.
When it was May and warm enough to make the trip with the little ones, we packed up and headed for her farm in Oklahoma.  She was so excited when we told her we were coming.  We arrived and what fun.  The little ones enjoyed the farm, the older ones loved doing something for Aunt Lynn.. Quickly the work was done. 

The day we were getting ready to leave, they got to have and 'Oklahoma experience'.  Everyone was packed or almost packed. Unknown to the rest of us, the Hero decided to bathe before we left.  As he was bathing, a storm suddenly appearing in the northwest.  There wasn't any warning, the winds picked up terrifically, the sky turned a blackish green, all of us rushed the little ones into the bedroom and snuggled them as close to the bed as possible.  The older ones remembered the tornado that demolished Aunt Lynn's house in the 50's (click Aunt Lynn to see that post). 
As things quieted down, we looked around and realized the Hero was not with us.  In a minute he came out smiling and said, "I just knew it was a tornado, and so I grabbed both sides of the tub and got ready to ride it out."  It still brings a giggle to me.
Intense weather moments tend to make you weak in the knees.  We have had many such times.

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and His Resourceful Ways

Today's post came as a result of a short sightedness on my part.  We ran out of propane.
 I wasn't paying attention.  Well, the toddlers' mom was in a dilemma as to how to get two sweaty, sticky  children clean after a day at the zoo.  ( Rolling this my duty?...Okay, I should have been watching the gauges) 
It was too late for running out and getting a small tank filled, so I searched in my mind and the answer came as well as a Hero story.

When we first moved out to our primitive farm, the plumbing to the 'cabin' fell apart. That's right, it just caved in in the trench.  The Hero was not a plumber, as my son who does plumbing now can tell you.  He tried to fix it, but there were leaks everywhere and he wasn't sure what to do.  While we tried to find plumbing help, we figured out we could run the hose to the house and fill the sink, flush the potty, and warm some water to put in the sink to wash the children.  Not good for the Hero who worked alternately in the warehouse and in the office.  He had to have his hot bath.  What do you do?  He wasn't up to filling a pot and washing in it like I washed the children.
He sat down, thought about it and the light came on.  Next thing I knew; he was back from town with a 30 gal trash bucket that had a lid.  Intrigued, I watched to see what he had in mind.  He filled the bucket, now I have to insert here, it was not a tall skinny one like you see today.  It was squared and....well you will see....
Back to filling the bucket.

He filled the bucket, put the lid on it then came in the house, washed up as best he could, and went to bed without explaining.
The next day he came in from work and worked out on the farm some, then went into the bathroom and came out in his swimsuit.  I was intrigued again.  I said "What are you doing?"  He smiled and said, "You'll see."  I followed him outside and what did he do?  He climb into the tub and sat down a took his hot bath that the solar heat had provided.  He was happy, and came out clean too.  LOL  I so remember seeing him seated in that square tub scrubbing happy as a lark...not that he wasn't happy when the plumbing got fixed.  I threatened him that I was going to take a picture of this, but didn't.  Isn't always sad to think what you should have done.  I grab cameras now.
To finish the story, I related this story to the youngest daughter who hadn't been born at that time.  I said, "I have a large storage tub you can fill with the hot hose and then wash them up in it."  Do I look crazy?  I must, because that was the look I got.   Long story short.  The toddlers got washed up in the tub in the sun and were not the worse for it.
The moral of the story is when you have a challenge, you don't let it throw you.  Look for the solution don't focus on the challenge.
Love you my grandchildren, thanks for coming by.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

20th Edition of Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture 'I Speak From Experience'

The obvious search for our ancestors began with the name. 
On the Hero's and my mom's side of the family there were many Irish names to look for.
This is my entry in Smallest Leaf's 20th Edition of Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture "I Speak From Experience" 
Smallest Leaf  has so much Irish information and books listed on her blog.  It is wonderful to stop by and browse. Click here to see her blog.
To continue with the subject of the carnival. I will show what I have been doing as I study the Irish in America.  
I started with making a note of all the names I was looking for variants of the names and places the names were found.   For example:
MacGiolla ancient of Magill,
FURLONG              Wexford
FURLONG              Wicklow
O'AHERN,               Cork
O'DWYER               Tipperary
Dwyer                       Lemerick
Dyer                          Sligo
I have toyed with learning Gaelic, but I really haven't gotten that far yet.
Besides knowing the surname, I discovered that the old Irish had a subtle naming pattern.  Most but not all used it.
I have posted on this before, if you will click here, then you can read that post and then click back to return.
Something new I have found, as I have wandered the Texas cemeteries, and looked at the death certificates of the Irish imigrants, is they kept a keen sense of pride in where they came from even though they were proud of their new country.  Usually the place of birth is stated, not only the country, but the county or state they were born in also.
 An excerpt from an Illinois Death Certificate

If there was money enough, their birth country was displayed on their gravestone.  Here is an example of this: 

My Irish quest is really just beginning as I am preparing to leap across the pond to Ireland, where wars have ravaged the records and people have lost their families who left for a far off land.  I have been visiting sites such as Smallest Leaf's  watching how they find records in Ireland, talking to people who have UK experience in searching, and taking the Free course on Irish Research on Family Search.  If you click on Irish Research in the previous sentence, it will take you to the course.
There is something so exciting in searching for families that have been apart for years and reuniting them.  I love genealogy research and have been excited to share how to research and source with the upcoming generation to get them involved in their history to know their ancestors.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday The Coyne Family Found

I have not found any descendants that have trees on this family but I have put the family together.  I wish my family was a easy as this family to find. 
Michael J Coyne b 04 Nov 1862, Floughena, County Mayo, Ireland
Died  31 Mar 1934 San Antonio, Bexar, Texas
Father James Coyne, Mother Ann Freely
His Death Certificate from Family Record Search:

Jane Henry Coyne B 1875 County Sligo, Ireland
died 08 Feb 1949 San Antonio, Bexar, Texas
Father James Henry
Ah ha....the tombstone....

Janes's death certificate is not available but the summary was.
There is a Freely buried next to them will be investigating. 
This is the family in 1920 and 1930  I did not find them in 1900, although the census says they came in about 1889ish

Something I have  learned about the Irish immigrant.  They were proud of their family and shared with their family where they came from and the family left behind.  When I have found their death certificates, everything is filled out, not like my Missouri ancestors who couldn't even get their grandmother's name right.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slice of Life Affects of Documents

As TexasBlu said in her introduction of the topic at Slice of Life  (click here to see her blog) for this week, documents can play such a roll in so many facets of our lives.  For this blog, I will stick to documents for primary proofs in genealogical research.
 Before we get started, I will remind the readers that if you click on the image it will be larger, I have them small for space.
I have to tell you that there is one site right now that I can not say enough good about and praise the volunteers that are making it possible to for easy access of documents of primary proofs such as marriage licenses, birth, and death certificates.
Drum Roll...are you ready...FamilySearch Record Search... [if you click on FamilySearch it will take you to the site. ]

Why am I so excited about an old dog?  Well this dog has added some new tricks.  I have a family I have talked about before.  The Heimbach Family.  I knew from family resources that Helena Heimbach married Edward Ellsworth, but I didn't have the document proof.  Here it is from Records search.

I had all of her brothers and sisters from a Nebraska census in 1880, but after that they all seemed to disappear except for Helena and her youngest brother Frank.
In comes Records search new data...a marriage license for a younger sister in Nebraska. You notice it has her parents and his parents names listed also I apologize I cut John F Riley's name off at the top...concrete association.

A search for her with her husband.  This census has the majority of her younger brothers and a sister all together in Oklahoma with the father as boarders at her home...The Heimbach name was so slaughtered that it had never been picked up in searches...(I corrected the indexed name in

Another search put them in Arizona.  A death certificate for a younger brother who died childless,

but the sister and her husband and oldest brother, who I had thought mustt have been dead are on the census in Arizona at that time.  A daughter of the oldest brother is with him in the census. I find he had been in Colorado.  Still looking for him there.

Another search.  A death record for the daughter is found in Texas.

and a marriage record in Arizona.  That is why I went to the historical cemetery in San Antonio, Texas to find her grave.
It is wonderful that there is organized documentation of vital activities in our lives which aids us in matching generations past.

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and Chivalrous Beginnings

When the Hero and I first got married, showing that I could cook and be domestic as well as be a nursing student was important to me.  Our first night home from the honeymoon, I decided to make homemade biscuits, and chicken fried steak with gravy.  Sounds easy enough.  I will digress, when one cooks, one should be familiar with their ingredients.  Moving on with the story.
I was discouraged when the biscuits came out of the oven looking like, hmmmm, hard tack baby biscuits.  How was I to know that whole wheat flour does not rise like white, and who knew how old the hero's baking powder was!

In essence, the dinner was  a disaster.  The meat and gravy were passable.  While he put on an encouraging face, and didn't say anything negative, it was pretty evident that it was an effort to make it through the meal.
He went to his office while I cleaned up.  Low and behold, under his napkin, I found his two biscuits.  I felt humiliated. I was crushed.  I summoned my courage, went in and said..."Why did you hide the biscuits under your napkin where I would find them and know you didn't eat them?"  He said, "So you could find them and know I cared enough to hide them so you would not be hurt."  What?  My idea of chivalry was you grin and bear it as you chomp through the hard tack saying "it tastes fine, dear."  His idea of chivalry was you smile, hide the evidence in a soon to be found out spot so the person knows you didn't want to hurt their feelings.  I don't know about you, but I was a bit confused.  What ever his strategy was, it worked, because I gave him a hug, and told him he was wonderful.
For the rest of our married life we would occasionally look back and giggle at the hard tack biscuits.
Grandchildren, the lesson of this story is always ask clarifying questions, don't jump to conclusions, and have a sense of humor.  :-) 
Loving deeply and laughter can see you through rough spots while you are getting to know each other.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday Sad Cemetery

I am working on adding this and other tombstones to Find A Grave.
I was appalled at the condition of St Mary's Cemetery in San Antonio.  We will be looking at the Texas Historical Commission's Recovering a Forgotten Cemetery, to get organized for helping this little cemetery in the middle of San Antonio. TX.
This Person is not in any family trees I have found so far. I had to clear in front of this, and still missed the 1934 death date for Michael J Coyne.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Slice of Life Reunions

Texasblu at Slice of Life gave the prompt this week to write about Reunions, family, individual, or your own.

My father's family quit having reunions after two of my aunts had a terrible fight. 

The last family get together with everyone was when I was about 6.

I don't remember the fight, my dad said one sister slapped the other, but he never said why.  The youngest sister, not too long before she died, said it was over jealously.  That was one I never would have guessed.  Of course, it was her side of the story.  They lived in the same town, so if you went to visit one aunt, you had to go visit the other or they would be angry and say you were playing favorites.

It was not pretty and it caused 40 years of pain in a family that had been so close.  They had had holidays together; picked one another up when the other one was down.  The two did make peace with one another when they were about 60ish.  My father captured a weekend he shared with them a year before the oldest died. They sung oldie songs and hymns together. I heard it and it brought back a flood of memories of my years growing up. Sadly, I have to tell you, the tape was on a reel and unfortunately, was lost before we were able to recover it on modern devices.  
The only complete family reunion that happened since the fight (no one took pictures, how sad) was at the death of the oldest sister who never told what happened.
I will say I loved all my father's brother and sisters, and today love their children, my cousins.  We have had a reunion of sorts on the internet with emails.  We bounce back and forth sharing information, pictures, and family information. 
My grandchildren, keep up with our family,  aunt, uncles, cousins, and extended greats and some number removed.  I will tell you it is important.  I will write stories of the past so you can learn from history,  and you begin chronicling your stories for the future family.  We can do this together.  That is what family should be a chain from the past to the future.

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and Two Gun Pete

When the hero was about five, he loved being a cowboy.  I have told you about his imaginary friend.  When he was in character, he was the character.  Maybe I could say, he was a character. ; )

That being told I will take you into a day in the life of the five year old Hero.
His roll as a cowboy required a set of cap guns, and a hat.  He would run through the house 'shooting things up'.
This particular incident involved his older sister.
His sister who was six years older, took piano lessons weekly.  The teacher lived on the next block. She took everything very seriously.  After her lesson, she would come in and tell her mom how it went.  This day, she came in crying, saying that the teacher didn't like how she had  played.  The Hero was in the other room listening.  There was only one thing to do....
Setting his shoulders, he donned his gun set, put on his hat, and sauntered out the door over to the piano teacher's house.  Making a firm fist, he knocked on the door and waited with his hands at the ready over his 'guns'.  When the teacher came to the door, she looked down in surprise at the little Hero standing in such a resolute stance at her door.   He looked at her with a stern eye, drew he guns and said, "I'm two gun pete and I'll shoot you dead if you make my sister cry again."   With that he turned and stalked off.
Needless to say there was a phone call to the mother, accompanied by peals of laughter, which his mom still giggles at as she tells the story today. 

I did a search on the internet and was excited to find at a antique site a set of the Two Gun Pete pistols.  

The thought for you, my grandchildren, is love your family enough to stand up for them .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Slice of Life Prompt was 'Berries'

Not a hard subject for my family.

When my mom was growing up, picking berries was part of survival. Mom loved berries even though her experiences with picking them was not always the most pleasant. She tells of going to pick berries when we lived in Iowa. The family we were visiting with, we lived in town, had a large farm. The Owner was Charlie Marsh. He was a person who loved on people, much like the Hero and I have done with some of our younger friends. Maybe that is where I learned it. I will have to write a blog about Charlie sometime. I digress.

Back to berries. This particular day, was beautiful and my mom was merrily walking along the patch of black berries and filling her basket. She decided it should be about full as it was heavy, so she stopped to look. Wow, was she surprised to see a big black snake half in her basket and half out. Needless to say, the berries and basket were left behind as she ran to get my dad to get the snake.

Of course, it was gone when she got back, but I can just imagine her wide eyed, wide mouthed expression when she saw the snake. I giggle just thinking about it. I imagine the snake was surprised to have his smooth ride interrupted by being rudely slung to the ground. Apparently, he liked berried. Have you heard of that before?

When she moved to Texas, the land was covered with dewberries. She and my dad would go out with my children to gather some for eating. They told my children when they saw spit on the berry vines it was made by snakes. The kids always ran from any area with spit near them - spit made by the spittal bug.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and Lemon Pie

When the Hero and I were married, we would go out to eat at One's A Meal restaurant on Gray in Houston.  He had a need to have their Lemon Meringue Pie.  When we would go he would say this is just as close to my mom's as I can get.  Big flag.  Newly wed wife can't let that go.  He would brag about the lemon pie his mom made.  Pride goes before the fall.  Would I ask for the recipe.  No, I had to do as well.  For I guess a year, I made every Lemon Meringue Pie in my recipe books.  I checked out cookbooks at the library to try their pie.  Sigh, I was always met with this is good, but doesn't taste like mom's.  Down cast and worn out, at a summer's backyard get together, I finally said, "Mom, what is your recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie?  I just can't seem to get it right. the Hero keeps saying it doesn't taste right."  She was surprised.  "Well, Hummer, it is quite easy. It is the recipe on the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk can for Lemon Pie."  Oh, wow...I had beaten eggs, squeezed lemons, you name the difficult recipe and I had tried it, and all I had to do was open a can of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk add 2 eggs and lemon basically, and be done.   The hero looked sheepish and said well, it tastes good.  Several years later Edward's pie company came out with the ready made Eagle Brand recipe pie.  I would buy it for the Hero.  When he was having Chemo treatments, this was a comfort food.
This story was on me, Kiddo's.  Listen to your grandma..., don't be prideful, ask.  Below is the recipe from the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk Can, that I saved.

Magic Lemon Pie from EAGLE BRAND®
Finally, a show-stopping lemon meringue pie that is also easy to make. If you do not wish to grate lemon zest, use 1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract in its place."
1 (8-inch) crumb or baked pie shell
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND®
Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT
evaporated milk)
1/2 cup lemon juice from concentrate    1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, if desired
4 tablespoons sugar
1.  In mixing bowl, combine EAGLE BRAND®, lemon juice, lemon rind or extract, and egg yolks; stir until mixture thickens. Pour into chilled crumb crust or cooled pastry shell.
2.  Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat until almost stiff enough to hold a peak. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff and glossy but not dry. Pile lightly on pie filling.
3.  Bake 325 degrees F. until meringue is lightly browned. Cool.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Follow Friday Frustration

I am using Follow Friday to remind fellow bloggers, if you have an informative blog, and have put links in, check them.  I appreciate the blog owners that share information somewhere else on the web, a link that will give you more information, or how to.  However, it is frustrating if you click on the link and it doesn't work.  Also, if you want to email the owner to tell them something isn't working, a correct email would be helpful. The reason I mention this is, some, due to the style of their blog, have their comments disabled.  Maybe the blog owner feels the blog is not necessary any longer due to new sites that have come in. If that is the case, tell the users up front you are not continuing the blog.   Sorry for my apparent ranting, but I was so frustrated yesterday when I was using a Texas Historic Cemetery blog that was supposed to have cemetery's  information and none of the links worked and the email wasn't valid.
I have come across some sites that recognize the limitations of the internet and post this on their side bar. Links are always changing.  Please let me know if any links become obsolete, or if you have come across a site that other will enjoy. Thank you.  This is a great boon to users and useful to a blogger who's intent is to be helpful.
I follow blogs.  I read and follow their links.  I comment and give feed back.  I love the community, and I want it to be seen at its best.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday Memorial Day

This Memorial Day weekend, I took my mother-in-law to put flags on my father-in-laws grave.  I had the toddlers with me.  I have memories of going as a child with my mom and grandmothers and visiting and leaving flowers at the graves of my grandfathers.  There would be cousins, aunts, uncles, and a whole group of people there.  They would have a picnic and we got to know our family.

We are all so spread out, that we do not do it anymore as an almost reunion, but I did it on a mini scale with the toddlers and their aunt, their great grandmother, and cousins. 

The pictures here are not meant to be disrespectful.  The toddlers went exploring and they found some of the tombstones useful for resting.  They cleaned flowers and shared with other tombstones if they didn't have flowers.  We did have to watch them.