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Archive for November, 2008

Posts On Hold For a Week

I will be headed out of town tomorrow and will return in a week.  I haven’t had a chance to write any posts to be published while I’m gone – but don’t go away too long!  I should be able to post at least a couple articles before Thanksgiving!

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japanese-clothesline

Clothesline on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan – mid 1950s
Photographer: Gene Amore
Original photo property of Wendy Littrell (Address for private use)

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On this Veteran’s Day I say a prayer of thanks for bringing those in my immediate family who served in the military safely home. Back in May, I wrote Those Who Served. That post concerned my great-grandfather, James E. House, my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson, my dad, and my uncles, Norman and Gail Amore.

I wanted to also list other family members who have served in war and peacetime. My first cousin, Rick, was drafted into military service during the Viet Nam war. I remember how scared I was when I found out. My former brother-in-law also served overseas during the Viet Nam war and was gone about a year (if I remember correctly). I remember my sister lived with us part of the time and whenever he was able to contact her, they said “Roger” and “Over” a lot! Two of my other first cousins also served in the Viet Nam war. One of my first cousin’s sons went into the Navy and served during the first Gulf War.

Going back further, my great-grandfather’s nephew, Jesse R. Amore (b. 4 Apr 1898 d. 4 Sep 1964) was a member of Company I, 166th Infantry regiment in Germany. When the American Expeditionary Forces crossed into Champagne-Marne, France, he was taken prisoner of War and was declared Missing in Action on July 15, 1918 and released five months later on December 6, 1918. He was Honorably Discharged on April 24, 1919. Jesse lived until the age of 66 and died on Sep. 4, 1964.

Jesse’s cousin, Leonard Studor Amore (b. 1895 d. 1972), also served in Germany with the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI.  He was in Company B, 166 Infantry.  He was severely wounded in action on on July 28, 1918.  He was Honorably Discharged on May 17, 1919.  He had full military honors at his funeral.

jesswilt
My grandmother’s brother, Jesse Wilt (b. 1897 d. 1958 ) served during WWI and was hospitalized after a mustard gas attack. He is buried in Dayton National Cemetery.

Jesse’s son, Fred (b. 1920 d. 1994), served as a Naval Lieutenant and Port Commander in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Fred went on to become a Special Agent with the FBI before retiring after 31 years. He passed away at the age of 73.

johnwilt

 

My grandmother’s other brother, John (b. 1893 d. 1964), also served as a cook during WWI. He became a logger in Oregon where he spent the remainder of his life.

My great-grandmother’s great-grandnephew, Pfc. Frank Given (b. 1945 d. 1965), died in the crash of a military C-130 transport in Hong Kong Bay on August 23, 1965.  He was serving with the 3rd Marine Divison in Viet Nam at the time of his death.

And for all those other ancestors and collateral family members who have served in the United States Military from the Revolutionary War through the current War on Terrorism, I give you my thanks and know that words are never enough to express that sentiment.  By loving this country and accepting not only the rights, but the responsibilities, that brave men and women have fought and died for, I hope to honor their memories and their lives.

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The topic for the 60th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is Alzheimer’s DiseaseNovember is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and it’s a good time to reflect on the impact that Alzheimer’s Disease (dementia) has had on your family history. An estimated 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. A new case is diagnosed every 72 seconds. Undoubtedly someone you know will or has some form of this debilitating dementia. Alzheimer’s robs people of their memories and all that they could have passed on in the way of family history. What does that mean to you? If you are fortunate enough to have not been effected by Alzheimer’s Disease in your family, perhaps you will share the impact of another serious medical condition that has impacted your family. How have you gone about researching your family’s medical history?

Luckily, my family has been left untouched by this horrible illness that wipes out a person’s memory and leaves them debilitated and the family struggling to cope.  My mother used to work for one of her local Senior Day Centers as a grant writer as well as being there to help the Seniors.  During the day most of the people who were there were “dropped off” just as you would a child at a day care facility.  These people were mostly living with family members who needed extra eyes on their parents/aging family members while they were at work.  Because of Mom’s time working with some of these people afflicted with this progressive illness, she takes offense when someone who forgets where their car keys are says offhandedly “maybe I’ve got Alzheimer’s.”  She’s seen what this disease can do and knows it is not humorous.

Our family has had it’s share of “Senior Moments” – heck, I’m not even 50, and I get them.  I tend to call it the “busyness syndrome”.  So busy in my daily life and thinking of too many things at once, that half the time I don’t remember what I’ve already related to people.  So now when I begin a story, I always ask if I’ve said this before.  What is worse is when I’ve neglected to tell someone the health condition, etc. of a relative and been called on it.  I forget where the _____________ (insert anything) is but that’s just because I’m not as organized as I should be, and I’ve allowed myself to have too many cluttered thoughts and not care.

I’ve also been pretty lucky in learning about our family medical history.  I have death certificates and oral histories about illnesses to know what I am predisposed to genetically.  No epilepsy, no bleeding or autoimmune disorders.  I do think it’s very sad for a person who has been adopted and can’t find that medical information.  I think if anything else, medical history should be part of open records – even if the biological birth information is not.  I also believe that the doctor’s office is not the place NOT to divulge information that could be crucial for your physician in making a diagnosis or researching other alternatives.  If we can’t be a partner in our own medical care, who else will advocate for us?

My hope is that a cure can be found to slow or stop Alzheimer’s altogether.  A friend of the family’s has a parent with Alzheimer’s. This person spends a lot of time each day visiting their parent and using a “script” as the memory of the person. Repetitiveness can be monotonous, however, I’ve witnessed the parent recall something that wasn’t said that same day and that gives us great joy to hear. I’ve also witnessed the slow decline of this friend’s parent and my heart hurts for this family as they watch their parent deteriorate. I consider myself, my parents, and my grandparents very lucky that we didn’t have to live with this disease but unfortunately not everyone is so lucky.

That is why it is so important – from a family history and genealogy stand point – to gather this information before the disease progresses – or before there are even any signs of it. If your parents are still fairly young and your grandparents are still living and have their memories, now is the time to gather that information before it is lost to either Alzheimer’s, other medical issues, or they are gone.

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I posted a few days ago about my new found cousin, Julie Cahill Tarr, of GenBlog. Today my other new found cousin, Becky Wiseman of Kinexxions posted her line back to Richard Treat – our common ancestor.

When I first entered the genea-blogging world back in the early spring, little did I realize that some of the people who I met in this wonderful community would turn out to be distant relatives – not to mention blogging friends. On GenBlog, Julie writes that she

. . . started this blog to share my genealogy research with others. Mini-bios of family members is my main focus. However, I also plan to share research challenges and successes, hint and tips I learn along the way, and participate in various carnivals and memes to add variety.

Julie is researching and preserving the past of the Cahill, Miller, McMahon, Rottman, Stoffel, Wach, & Webster families (and over 1,000 other twigs)! She is also the owner of Design Write Communications in Central Illinois.

Becky considers herself a GeneaHistorian and is a native Hoosier (which is great since a lot of my ancestors on my maternal grandparents side lived in Indiana!). She served in the U.S. Navy and also writes Whitley County Kinexxions. Becky’s web site is Kinexxions – Kin Connections. Her blog states:

Kinexxions will be presenting the History and Heritage of my ancestors and their kin, many of whom settled in the Northern Indiana counties of Elkhart, Kosciusko, and Whitley.

Maybe I’m a little biased, especially now that we are “kin”, but I urge you to go check out Julie’s and Becky’s sites and blogs. Two very talented ladies that I’m proud to call my cousins!

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As I was re-reading my post on Presidents In Her Lifetime I discovered that I needed to make a correction. Instead of 4 “war” time Presidents in my life there have been more. Let’s look: Kennedy, Johnson & Nixon – Viet Nam war; George H.W. Bush – Gulf War (1st); George W. Bush (War on Terrorism) – not to mention that Ford, Carter and Reagan were also “Cold” war presidents.  Carter also had to deal with the Iranian Hostage Crisis.  Clinton had peace keeping troops in places such as Central Europe and was hunting Bid Laden even back then due to the first attack on the WTC.

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My Cousin, Julie!

Last week, I posted this post about finding new cousins and included my line back to Richard Treat. Yesterday, Julie Cahill Tarr of GenBlog posted Found Cousins that included her line back to our shared ancestor. So if you are curious just how we are related, go check out Julie’s post! Perhaps you too are one of our distant cousins!

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