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Archive for January, 2009

This is an update to my post from July 24, 2008, Elusive Great-Great-Aunt Rachel, where I listed information I knew and what I had found concerning my maternal great-grandmother’s sister, Rachel Blazer.  Rachel had married Maurice (or Morris – depending on the document) Given about 1897 according to the 1910 Census that lists them as married 13 years.

While I was researching one of my brick wall ancestors (Franklin Blazer – Rachel’s father – who I will post about soon!), I ran across the name “Rachel Blazer” in the Chicago Tribune for the June 20, 1897 edition.  Listed under “Marriage Licenses” that were issued the day prior, were the names Maurice Given, age 38, residence listed as Madison, Kansas and Rachel Blazer, age 29, residence listed as Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  Ta-Da!

marlic

marlic2

This is what I consider Serendipity!  I was looking for something else – albeit Rachel’s father – and discovered more informaton on Elusive Great-Great-Aunt Rachel!

(Source: Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); Chicago, Illinois;  20 Jun 1897)

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Miriam, at AnceStories, wrote a wonderful post called Who Are Our Brickwall Ancestors, and Why Aren’t We Blogging About Them Regularly?. As usual, Miriam is full of great tips and advice about how we can more effectively share information by writing about those ancestors that some of us feel have been “left here by aliens”.

In the next few days, I will share information that I have found and documented, and information I still need to locate, about one of my brickwall ancestors.

Thanks, Miriam, for inspiring me as well as others to get busy writing and sharing!

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Becky, at Kinexxions, Thomas at Destination: AustinFamily and Donna at What’s Past is Prologue have been compiling the “99+ Genealogy Things Meme”. I won’t repeat all of it here – but I will list those things which I have done.

  1. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
  2. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents) .
  3. Joined Facebook.
  4. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.
  5. Talked to dead ancestors.
  6. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  7. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  8. Googled my name.
  9. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  10. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  11. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  12. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  13. Responded to messages on a message board or forum.
  14. Participated in a genealogy meme. (DUH!!!!)
  15. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  16. Performed a record lookup for someone else.
  17. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  18. Found a disturbing family secret.
  19. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
  20. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  21. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
  22. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  23. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  24. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
  25. Disproved a family myth through research.
  26. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  27. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  28. Used microfiche.
  29. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  30. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  31. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  32. Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
  33. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  34. Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
  35. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  36. Created a family website.
  37. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  38. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  39. Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.
  40. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  41. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
  42. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
  43. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
  44. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.

Wow – out of a total of 104 items, I’ve done 44!  There are a couple other things I’ve done – not on the list:

  1. Taken photos of a dead ancestor/relative in their casket.
  2. Possess photos of dead relatives.
  3. Sent away and received an ancestor’s Civil War Pension Files.
  4. Helped organize a family caravan to cemeteries to visit ancestors/relatives graves.
  5. Visited a Health Dept. in another state to get death certificates of ancestors.
  6. Found my parents’ wedding announcement in the newspaper.
  7. Possess memorial/funeral books for ancestors.
  8. Possess reunion minute books for family reunions held before my birth.
  9. Research the addresses for living relatives to send letters.
  10. Shared gedcom files with newly found and long lost cousins.

So how about you?  Have you played?

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The 63rd Carnival of Genealogy (New Year’s Resolutions) is posted at Creative Gene. Once again, Jasia outdid herself with this one! And for all of the genea-bloggers whose resolutions were to “host a carnival” or show some kindness to other bloggers – Jasia is looking for hosts for this year to help take some of the work off her back.

I urge you to go visit each of these blogs to read their New Year’s Resolutions and add a comment or two!

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The New Year

Miriam, at AnceStories2, posted a new word prompt for The New Year.

Do you remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and see in the New Year? How old were you?

Sometime when I was about 7 or 8.  I think anytime before that, I fell asleep.

How did you and yours typically spend New Year’s Eve during your youth? Did you go to a Watch Night Service and participate in communion and prayer? Did you watch the ball drop in Times Square on television? Did your community have a fireworks show?

My family spent it several ways.  During my childhood, my parents, grandparents and I would go to some friends of my grandparents so the grown-ups could all play bridge on New Years Eve.  I remember that the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella (with Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon) played for several years on Dec. 31st – so I was in the family room at the friend’s home watching that.  At midnight, my parents would come to wish me a Happy New Year.  Other years during my youth we’d watch Guy Lombardo ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop in Times Square on the television.  Then we’d all sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Did you have first-footers, mummers, or bang pots and pans on your front porch? Did you wear party hats and use noisemakers?

We had noise makers and party hats!  I didn’t know what a “mummer” was until our church youth group went to Philadelphia the summer before my Junior Year!

If New Year’s Eve involved feasting of some kind, what were the usual fare and beverages?

I don’t remember anything special about the food on New Year’s Eve.  I’m sure my parents had champagne or something alcoholic to drink.

How do all of the above compare to the way you celebrate New Year’s Eve now?

Now I don’t go anywhere on New Year’s because I don’t want to be out on the road for safety reasons.  We stay home and watch Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve (as I’ve done since I was a teen) and watch the ball drop.  We have some wine or champagne.  Unfortunately since we are in the Central Time Zone, I’ve become very cynical when New York rings in New Year’s because it’s not the New Year yet for another hour where I’m at!  Last year Dallas started doing it’s own NYE celebration so after the New York broadcast we watch Dallas ring in the New Year!

What about New Year’s Resolutions? Did you make any when you were younger? Do you make them now? How well do you keep them? Was there any year when you really did a fabulous job at keeping them? What were your goals and how did you keep them?

I think most of my New Year’s resolutions as a child had to do with being “nicer” and picking up my toys, keeping my room clean, etc.  As a teen most of them had to do with eating right and watching my weight.  As an adult, I’ve decided not to set New Year’s resolutions because I don’t keep them.  I feel that if I have to wait until the first of the year to set goals, then they aren’t a priority.  I should be doing right by myself and others all year.

How did you typically spend New Year’s Day in your childhood and youth? Did you visit family and friends? Did your family host an Open House? Did you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game or another favorite sport? Or did you go to your favorite ski resort?

New Year’s Day was usually spent with my grandparents, Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  We’d have a roast beef normally and watch the Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl (especially when Ohio State was playing!).  We also watched the Cotton Bowl parade (when there was one!).

How does it compare to the way you spend New Year’s Day now?

I’ve had the Rose Parade on almost every New Year’s Day.  Sometimes my kids will watch it and sometimes they won’t!  For awhile when I lived in Ohio, I would have roast pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s lunch.  In Texas I have blackeyed peas and cornbread!  This Jan. 1st, we spent the entire day with friends, in what I’m hoping will become an annual tradition.

Are there any special customs from your heritage that are integrated into your New Year’s celebrations?

Nothing other than maintaining the childhood traditions of watching the ball drop, watching the Rose Parade and toasting in the New Year!

If you celebrate Christmas or another seasonal holiday before the New Year, when do you take down the decorations and put them away?

That depends on how long the tree has been up and how tired of it we all are!  Generally we’ve been taking the Christmas tree down soon after New Year’s – within a day or two.

Thanks, Miriam, for this prompt!  I had fun answering the questions!

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Some of the genea-bloggers are listing a “Year in Review” of their blogs for 2008. Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings discovered this meme at John Newmark’s Transylvanian Dutch blog. The idea is to take the first sentence from the first blog of each month. There will end up being 12 sentences. (Since I didn’t start my blog until April, I’ll only have 8 sentences!) So here we go . . .

  1. April: Welcome to “All My Branches” – my blog on genealogy.
  2. May: If I haven’t mentioned it here before, then I will now.
  3. June: Back in the mid 1960’s during a reunion trip to Coshocton, my parents had discussed finding a house that my dad’s mother had grown up in (or was born in). 
  4. July: Please go to Destination: Austin Family to read the 51st Carnival of Genealogy post.
  5. August: To my faithful readers – just a note that I will be posting new stuff soon!
  6. September: Yes, I’ve felt like I’ve taken a long commercial break!
  7. October: The theme for the 6th edition of Smile for the Camera is “Funny Bone”. 
  8. November: Glen Roy Johnson, Jr. being held by his mom (my grandmother), Vesta Wilt Johnson
  9. December: Miriam Robbins Midkiff, of Ancestories2 and Ancestories issued a new word prompt on her Ancestories2 blog.

So there you have it!

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New Meme – 99 Things

Saw this meme at GenBlog by Julie Cahill Tarr and decided to also play along (as I’m trying to get back into regular posting!).

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog. 
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain.  (does being in a car count?)
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (for a mandatory audition to the 5th grade choir – I didn’t make it – go figure!)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (how about just seeing it from a fairy boat?) 
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person. 
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted. (At Disneyland!)
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China. (no, but my husband has!)
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. (my grandmother went to Dachau and Aushwitz when she lived in Germany in the 50s)
67. Bounced a check. (oops!)
68. Flown in a helicopter. 
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial. (Anything having to do with Lincoln!)
71. Eaten Caviar. 
72. Pieced a quilt. (not very big & it wasn’t very good!)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (speeding as in – over the speed limit – or going fast because the speed limit was fast?)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem. (my mom has!)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury. (no, but I waited several hours & then we were dismissed)
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby. (4 times!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee (wasp).

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