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Archive for December, 2008

A New Award!

Jessica, at Jessica’s Genejournal has awarded me with the Proximidade Award.  This award is for “These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time, and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming! These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends! They are not interested in prizes or self -aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

This award has been going around for a few days now so I’m not sure I’ll be able to award it to eight others who have not already been given this award – but I’ll try!

So here it goes.  I’m awarding these eight folks:

  1. A. Spence of Spence-Lowry Family History
  2. Janice Tracy of Attala County Memories
  3. Denise Olson of Family Matters
  4. Becky Jamison of Grace and Glory
  5. Amy Coffin of We Tree
  6. Ruth Stephens of Bluebonnet Country Genealogy
  7. Chery Kinnick of Nordic Blue
  8. Lori Thornton of Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Thank you, Jessica, for this award!

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pc240450  Our Christmas tree all lit up and decorated.  Santa had already arrived but everyone was still sleeping – except for my husband and me.  We  had gotten up early to make breakfast (me) and take our son to work (my husband) by 6 a.m.  The poinsettia just to the left of the lower part of the tree was given to us (along with a second one) by our daughter and son-in-law. 

Our grandson didn’t wake up until almost 7 a.m.!  Then we woke the rest of the household so we could eat the pumpkin bread I baked before unwrapping our gifts.

pc250471

Our grandson was quite excited to receive two video games from his Mom! 

There were sundry other gifts – games, DVDs, clothes, toys, books, household articles.

My mother-in-law gifted myself and my two daughters with hand-embroidered tea-towels with the days of the week on them.  My youngest daughter was excited to receive one of her first “grown-up” type of household presents.  My other daughter who was with us never pc250509expected to receive any other “hand-made” items from her grandmother (who had been ill for awhile – doing much better now!) and was overwhelmed by the gift. 

After our son got home from work, we opened a second set of gifts that my daughter and son-in-law had brought with them as well as my son’s gifts to him and his to us. 

I tried desperately to stay on schedule with the meal.  Unfortunately, I had never cooked all the dishes on the menu at one time so I was a little off my game.  Fortunately, most of the disruptions occured due to phone calls from relatives and grandsons eager to show Nana their toys or to give kisses.

Dinner was so good that we ate way too much!  Son-in-law sacked out on one sofa while the kids watched movies or played video games.  I finally talked everyone into eating at least one piece of pie a few hours after dinner.

By 9 p.m. I was so wiped out from being on my feet most of the day and all the cooking and excitement that I was falling asleep trying to read a new book (Stephen King) my husband got for me.  I had to turn in and slept amazingly well! 

Our family had a wonderful – little warm – Christmas.  Nothing compared to footnoteMaven’s in Washington State – who endured record snowfalls, power outages, and traveling white-knuckled to her daughter’s house for Christmas and then spending part of Christmas evening at their favorite Chinese restaurant that was open!  For her Christmas story please go here.

Happy New Year!

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63cog

For the 63rd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, the topic is New Year’s Resolutions!

As far as my genealogy research for 2009 –  I resolve to:

  • Scan many more documents, photos, and the rest of the slides in my possession
  • Organize my files
  • Obtain / organize documentation for direct ancestors
  • Enter documentation and information into family file

As far as genea-blogging, I resolve to:

  • Participate in more carnivals, memes, word prompts and “fun” posts
  • Post varied information (local, city, county and state links) in order to help other genealogists
  • Visit more genea-bloggers and comment more than I do now
  • Visit other history or genealogy based sites and do a write up on the blog in order to provide others with information

As far as my Graveyard Rabbit blog, I resolve to:

  • Take more photos of cemeteries and grave markers in my area
  • Do more research on local burial customs and cemetery history
  • Post more articles per week

All I ask is to let me get through the holidays first!

(CoG graphic courtesy of footnoteMaven.)

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Genealogy posts will be a little slow for the next week or so as I’m attempting to get caught up on items that need to be done by Christmas – the shopping for gifts, the buying of gifts, the constant asking for lists, the buying of ingredients for baking some gifts, the actual baking, the sorry-we-can’t-attend-the-party RSVPs, the buying of wrapping paper, the wrapping of gifts, the wondering if I’m going to get any laundry done due to washer backing up, the annual watching of “It’s A Wonderful Life”, the normal cooking and cleaning, the finishing of Christmas cards, the paying of bills, the hoping shipped packages will arrive on Wednesday, and the “why am I always in the wrong lane” at stores or on the road!

That said – what I have accomplished so far:

  • Received lists from all but ONE of my children (hint, hint!)
  • Almost done with Christmas shopping
  • Halfway through sending Christmas cards
  • Done with buying ingredients for baking
  • Two-thirds done with baking
  • Three-fourths done with buying wrapping paper
  • Sent regrets to 2 party requests and possibly a third
  • All but ten minutes done on watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”

I don’t know if I can do laundry until later today.  Bills will be paid on Monday.   UPS tracking of shipped packages will be done on Monday.  The rest of the baking of gifts will be done later today (after I purchase containers).  Christmas cards may be finished later today or tomorrow.  Wrapping will commence tomorrow (so if you are at my house on Sunday, I will probably not be much company!). Buying more wrapping paper will be done on Monday or Tuesday – after I see if I really do need more!

Now being in the wrong lane on the road – we’ve had an overabundance of fog at the end of the week.  Then we had sleet and freezing rain early in the week.  Most of the roads I travel on were bone dry – however in North Texas if something – anything – falls from the sky, people are stupefied.  Do I drive like a maniac?  Do I drive like the little old lady from Pasadena?  They have no clue in the world.  I end up behind people who are so scared to drive that they brake every five seconds and drive almost 20 mph.  Oh my goodness!  If you are so scared to drive on bone dry pavement, what in the world are you doing on the road to begin with?

Wrong lane at the stores:  Last night I was in a local department store that I frequent often.  Of course some of the cashiers are new – they have been hired as “seasonal” employees.  No problem if they are doing their best with the limited amount of training they’ve received.  The cashier is very polite and lets me know that her register needs to be cleared and it would be a couple minutes.  She’s very sweet – and probably about my age.  So I get in another lane behind a lady with ten different articles of clothing.  That cashier is very fast.  Then I watch them both stand and wait.  What are they waiting on?  Oh, the customer didn’t bring her purse into the store!  Someone had to go retrieve it for her!  Now, if you’re Christmas shopping (or shopping in general) – wouldn’t it be prudent to bring your money with you?  Not only that but there are dozens of signs all through the city that say “Lock (your vehicle), Take (your keys), Hide (your gifts)” due to the increased number of thefts from cars.  Why would you leave your money in a car at this time of year?  Then while I’m waiting, the first cashier lets me know she can help me.  She was so polite and told me that the next time I come in, she’ll probably be a little faster.  I told her it wasn’t the cashiers – it was the customers.

And why do people allow their just-walking babies to walk?  They dart out in front of carts, always manage to walk right in front of where I’m walking, or start pulling everything off the bottom shelf?  And then there are the “I’m taking 4 year old Johnny with me to see what he wants for Christmas.  Then I’m going to put it in the cart but not let him have it so he can scream at the top of his lungs for the next 30 minutes.”  UGH!  Please leave your wonderful, sweet, cooperative children at home.  And if they can fit in the seat of the basket – put them there!  There are enough people in the aisles – a toddler should not be put in harm’s way like that.  I’m sorry if I offended anyone but at any other time of year (besides the school shopping tax free weekend!) – there is generally no problem.  Your child is going to get hurt.  People can’t get through the aisles that have all sorts of stuff pulled off the shelves.  And we don’t really want to hear a screaming kid all evening.

I’ve changed my meal plan for this year – so here’s hoping it goes over well!  I’ve changed my gift-giving to others this year due to the economy and the fact that I’m always at a loss to get some of our good friends.

May your family have a blessed holiday – whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwaanza or Hannukah.

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60s-90

Our basement decorated for Christmas, mid 1960s
Photographed by Gene Amore
Digital scan in possession of Wendy Littrell (Address for private use).

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Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
‘Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
written by Pete Townshend

glen-johnson-unknown-childI posted this picture on August 22, 2008 for Freaky Friday – 3rd Edition.  It is a picture of my grandfather (older child) and another unknown child.  I believe my grandfather was probably about 10 when this picture was taken and I am led to believe (due to the clothing) that the unknown child is a boy about 4-6 years old.  My grandfather didn’t have any younger brothers.  His foster sister was 12 years younger than my grandfather so it couldn’t possibly be her – dressed in pants.

So I ask – who are you little boy?  Could you possibly be a relative?

Possibilities include: Floyd Tyler b. June 13, 1906.  He was my grandfather’s first cousin, son of his paternal aunt, Olive Belle (Johnson) Tyler.  That would mean (since my grandfather was born in Nov. 1898) that Floyd would have been 8 years younger than my grandfather.  I haven’t determined if Floyd was born in Indiana but I do know he spent most of his life in and around Calhoun County, Michigan and was buried there.  However, some of his older siblings were born in Howard County, Indiana.

Could this child be glen-johnson-unknown-child-2Earl Goul, born June 15, 1904 and six years younger than my grandfather?  Earl was the second cousin of his as his grandfather, John Wesley Goul, was brother to my grandfather’s grandmother, Malissa Goul.  Earl was born in Delaware County, Indiana but spent time and died in Madison County, Indiana (where my grandfather was born and raised).

A very good possibility – looking at the following photos – is that this child is my grandfather’s half-uncle’s son, Guy Leston Johnson.  However, I would have to be off on the ages of both boys  as Guy was 10 years younger than my grandfather.  Here are the photos – the black and white was the earlier of the two photos.

guy-johnson-maybe guy-johnson2

 Whomever he is, this unknown little boy will continue to be a mystery to me until I determine his name and relationship.  Have you seen him before?  Perhaps in that stack of photos your great-grandparents left you?  Or in a framed photo hanging on a friend’s wall? 

This is why it is very important to not only label photographs – but to list the relationship of those in the photo.  Even if I had a name – would I be able to connect the dots back to my grandfather? 

This post was written for the 9th Edition Smile for the Camera – Who Are You.

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deck_the_halls_2007Miriam, at AnceStories, posted her first digital scrapbook page recently after reading Jasia’s post about a new Christmas Around the World digital scrapbook kit at her Creative Genealogy blog.  Not wanting to be left out of the fun, I’m posting this digital scrapbook page I made after Christmas last year.  I designed the paper and elements myself (since I also do “commercial” projects, I don’t want to have to buy licenses to use others’ kits!).  Since I do not own Photoshop and use Microsoft Digital Imaging, I had a pretty steep learning curve due to the lack of “instructions” on how to create digital elements on the web. 

Below is another digital scrapbook page I made to show off my grandson with the Christmas tree.  I didn’t add a whole lot to it as I wanted it to be very simple.

christmas071

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The genea-bloggers are caroling!  footnoteMaven over at footnoteMaven will be hosting all of the carolers real soon! Please go visit her site.

For my carol, I’ve chosen “Mary, Did You Know” – the Kenny Rogers/Wynonna Judd version.

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know,
that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered,
will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know
your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know,
that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby,
you’ve kissed the face of God.

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know,
that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding, is the great I AM.

(You can watch this video at YouTube.)  This song is on Kenny Rogers’ “The Gift” CD and was released in 1996.  It was written by Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry.  Lowry was asked by his church congregation in 1984 to write a song for Advent.  In Christianity Today, he said,

I tried to picture Mary holding the baby Jesus on the first Christmas morning and wondered what she was thinking about that child. She knew he was special—the Virgin Birth was her first clue—but could she ever imagine all the things that he would do while he was here?

Buddy Greene supplied the music for the lyrics six years later and the song was complete.  Besides Lowry and the duet of Rogers/Judd,  it’s also been recorded by about 30 artists including Rascal Flatts,  Reba McEntire and Kathleen Battle.

The first time I heard this song – several Christmases ago – I was in my room wrapping gifts, and felt such a peace settle over me as the music and lyrics touched the depth of my soul.  As a mother – and a mother of a son – I am inspired and awed by Mary.  I find myself wondering if, despite the knowledge of who and what her son was to be, she wanted to shield and protect him, just as any other mother would do.  I hear the words “baby boy”, and remember how I used to gaze at my newborn son many years ago, wondering what he was to become and knowing that there were so many opportunities for him and dreams for him to follow. 

Merry Christmas!

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christmastourbnr

Denise Olson, at Moultrie Creek is hosting the Christmas Tour of Blogs that will kick off on Dec. 15th. Genea-bloggers are encouraged to create a post describing their family’s Christmas decorations – past or present.

So sit back and enjoy my tour!

goldwreath
This is the gold wreath – made out of newspapers and painted with gold spray paint – that my mom made for our home when I was growing up.  It hung above our fireplace mantel.  On the mantel were Christmas decorations. 

 

 

60s-83This was the garland hung around the wrought iron railing by the front door.

 

 

 

 

60s-130Me in front of the Christmas tree probably about 1969-1970.  Notice the end table next to the tree has the red Christmas candles on it.  Our windows also had a single electric candle that we lit after the sun had gone down.  For a few years we even decorated the fir trees in our front yard with lights.   In the photo below, you’ll notice that our large, picture window had several of these “candles” on the sill.

 

christmastree

My first real “adult” Christmas in my own apartment included a wicker chair strung with garland and red satin balls because I was too poor to afford a Christmas tree!  The first tree I bought was in 1984 at the local Gibsons that cost $14!  It was pretty lonely looking (sort of like the tree on “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) until the lights, decorations and tinsel was put on.

We moved into our home 20 years ago, so we have had two decades of creating new and wonderful memories at Christmas time.  My husband would bring the tree and all the decorations down from the attic either the first or second weekend of December.  After setting up the tree and stringing the lights, I would hand each child one ornament at a time to place on the branches.  Of course as they grew older, they each had several of their “school” made decorations to use.  For the very first ornament, I took a picture and once the entire tree was decorated (after I hung the garland or threw the tinsel), I would position them on the floor gazing up at the tree in wonder for a photo.

christmas-looking-at-tree

Generally the only other decorations that go up are the Santa Stocking, given to our youngest daughter many years ago by some good church friends, the Christmas Wreath (it has changed only a few times in 20 years),

xmas03_tree

and the gold “Jingle Bell” that hangs between our dining and living room.  The bell belonged to my grandparents and as a child, I loved to pull the string and hear the tune as Santa and his reindeer (on the outside) spun around it.  I was fortunate enough to end up with it many years ago.  If you look at to the upper right of the tree over the floor lamp, you can see the bell.)  My children have on occasion put lights in their bedroom windows and once I wrapped holly vines over the top of the living room arch.

pc250186

 

I’ve either strung regular silver garland on the tree or “thrown” tinsel on each branch.  However, the tree above (2003), I strung pearl beads as garland.  The tree to the right (2006) I draped ribbon down from the top with bows tied on each length at different intervals. (The Jingle Bell is more visible in this picture.)

We’ve had the tree in two different places in our home.  For the last ten years (at least) it has sat in this exact spot.  This tree was purchased at an after Christmas sale, many years ago for half off the sale price!  In 1999 some good friends were moving and gave us their pre-lit Christmas tree.  It had so many white lights on it that we could feel the heat as soon as we walked into the room.  Needless to say we gave it to our oldest daughter the following year and went back to using our well loved tree.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour of Christmases past and present.  And may your family have a very Merry Christmas!

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I’ve been doing some research the last couple of days and believe that I’ve knocked down a couple other brick walls!  Many years ago as I was looking for the parents of John Blazer (my maternal 3rd great-grandfather) b. March 12, 1810 d. 1873, I came across an article published in “Biographical and Historical Record of Jay County, Indiana”, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1887 about a man named Samuel Blazer.  I decided to re-visit that article with fresh eyes.

The date of the publication was prior to Samuel’s death which leads me to believe that he had some input as to what was written about him.  The biography stated that Samuel was born in Gallia County, Ohio to Philip and Elizabeth Blazer on August 2, 1813 and had eight siblings – one of which – John – moved from Ohio to Madison County, Ohio but had died several years prior.  The only John Blazer of the right generation living in Madison County at least a decade and more prior would be my John Blazer.  My ancestor also listed his birthplace as Ohio on the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Censuses plus his death came 14 years prior to the book being published (although it is not known exactly when the interview or information from Samuel was obtained).

From the “Gallipolis Journal” (Gallia County, Ohio) published on August 31, 1892 (posted to the Blazer family message board by Sandra Maskew), a man named J.J. Blazer (son of Peter Blazer) talks of his grandfather – Jacob Blazer, who had 12 children – one of which was Philip (purported father of Samuel and John).  Mr. Blazer mentioned that Philip, as well as his father, Peter, and his grandparents, and five of his aunts, moved from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to Pennsylvania and then on to Green Twp, Gallia County, Ohio in 1803.  J.J. goes on to report that Philip and his wife had nine children – and Samuel (Philip’s son) resides in Jay County, Indiana.

This information leads me to believe that I have placed my gr-gr-great-grandfather into the correct family.  There will be further documentation to research in order to have exact proof, but for now at least I think I’m pointed in the right direction.

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