Archive for January, 2012

Before I started school, it seemed as if my parents and I were always going somewhere – to see my three uncles in Michigan (my dad’s two brothers in the Detroit area and my mom’s brother in Battle Creek), my aunt in Zanesville, Ohio, my aunt in Philadelphia, or my sister after she married and moved to Georgia.  Then there were the short trips around Ohio and Indiana – to reunions or just to “sight see” (Hueston Woods in Ohio, Indian Mounds in Ohio).  My dad’s civil service job at the base sent him on many trips (seminars) so I would find myself traveling with my parents to other places like St. Louis (loved the city from the first moment!). Even with all those trips, Mom and Dad wanted to take a long vacation before I started school so in the fall of 1966 – just before I turned five, we set out on a month long journey that would take us from our home east of Dayton north and west and back south to the Pacific Coast before heading east again for home.  Our destination: Disneyland!  More importantly, we were going to go through Kansas at some point and as a small child, I just knew we were going to see where “Dorothy” lived and perhaps see what was “over the rainbow” too!

On September 1, 1966 the three of us left our home and traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan where we visited my Uncle Glen and Aunt Mary. 

 (Facing the back of the house from the Lake; Mom and I sitting on the dock)



The next day we went north through the Locks at Saint Sault Marie and into Canada. We took the Trans-Canada Highway into Alberta. (Apparently Norm was there too!)

While we were on the Canadian side, we saw Niagra Falls.

We went to Great Falls, Montana, where my parents lived in the mid-1940s while my dad was stationed there with the Army Air Corps.  We stayed with the George and Grace Kelso family with daughters Sandy and Colleen nearby (on a side note as I was just googling these people, I ran across Sandy’s obituary on Findagrave – she and my brother had played together as young children).

Above: Mom and Grace Kelso

After spending a few days with the Kelso’s, we traveled into Idaho and saw the Big Southern Butte, Craters of the Moon, Shoshone Falls and the Twin Falls.


Above Left: I’m getting a closer look at Craters of the Moon.
Above  Right: Mom and I at the Big Southern Butte sign.

Stay Tuned for the next installment – where are we headed next?

Sources: personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966.

Photos: Photographer on all photos – Gene Amore; all photos – print, slide, digital in the possession of Wendy Littrell to be used as needed.  No reprints without permission.

Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog.

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Who Are They?

The three people – wife, husband, son – in the picture above are unknown to me.  They visited our home outside of Dayton in the mid-60s. I don’t even know if they are related to us (probably on my mom’s side) or someone they knew from my dad’s time in the Air Force.  I’m posting it here in case someone happens to run across it and knows who they are.  Unfortunately, NO ONE listed any information on the back!

(Photo taken by Gene Amore; original photo in possession of Wendy J. Littrell)

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Even though this is supposed to be “wordless” – I thought this picture would be great for “hump day”!!!

(Original and digital photo held by Wendy Littrell. Photographer – Unknown. Taken with my mom’s camera to be used by my mother however she wanted.)

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At one time I had tons of genea-blogs that I bookmarked and read every day, but when my daily schedule became too busy, I stopped reading many of them. Not because I didn’t like them, because I did, and many still provided good advice or stories.  I just had to decide which ones were more important and could fit into my schedule.

Those I read on a daily basis include:

Genea-Musings because Randy always has good tips, a little humor thrown in at times, and writes consistently each and every day. I enjoy the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun that he posts each Saturday afternoon and the Best of . . . posts that he writes on Sunday.

Ruth’s Genealogy. It used to be Bluebonnet Country Genealogy but has undergone some changes lately. Please go visit Ruth and see what wonderful renovations she has made!

Kinexxions by Becky Wiseman. She has spent a good deal of time traveling the country, posting about her travels, as well as the research she was able to accomplish during her two (yes, TWO) trips to Salt Lake City in the last year!

Reflections from the Fence by Carol. I started reading this blog after Becky Wiseman posted on her blog about meeting up with Carol and her husband, “Man”, during her first visit to SLC. This couple has spent the better part of the year traveling out west, and Carol has written many posts about “The Trip” and inserted wonderful photos. Almost feels as if you are with them!

Blogs that I try to get to on a semi-monthly basis (a few times a month) include:

Jasia’s Creative Gene blog.

Donna Pointkouski’s What’s Past is Prologue. Donna always inserts her own brand of humor and insight!

Becky Jamison’s Grace and Glory.

footNote Maven’s footnoteMaven. Unfortunately, fM has had some personal issues to deal with for several months and she hasn’t posted as often as I’m sure she wanted to. I’m sure she would say that she’s doing what she wants to be doing now (except for getting over a recent auto accident). Many have sent prayers and good thoughts to fM and Mr. M, and we will continue to do so.

There are several more that I read on a consistent basis but I wanted to highlight those above. However, in my last post, I urged readers to go check out some blogs and posts, and I will be taking my own advice and try to read more frequently.

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Since I’m attempting to get back on a routine of posting consistently, I wanted to highlight some of the interesting blog posts I’ve read this week. Please check them out!

Jasia at Creative Gene has posted the Carnival of Genealogy, 113th edition (A Dickens Christmas). Ten geneabloggers contributed to the COG (including moi).

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posted a series of articles about Finding Census Records at Archives.com – you can read them here, here, and here. These posts have some helpful tips about searching the UK Census records.

Miriam at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestorswelcomed in the New Year with her post 2012 – Out With the Old, In With the New!. For those who enjoyed reading her blog, she explains her partial absence over the last year aside from doing Scanfest posts. This is a truly moving story!

Judy at The Legal Genealogist posted Docking an Entail – you are now wondering what an “entail” is and why would you “dock” it, right? No? Then you must already know what it means! For those who don’t or who want to know, go read. Oh, just read her entire blog! It’s brand new that began on January 1, 2012! Welcome to the geneablogging community, Judy!

If I didn’t pick your post (or blog), please forgive me. I’m just now starting to get back to reading on a regular basis. These are the ones I happened to stumble upon this past week.

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Looking for What?

Some of my fellow geneabloggers (Becky at kinexxions and Randy at Genea-Musings) have posted an analysis of their blog traffic (or how do people get to their blogs and what are they looking for). Since I didn’t tear up the blogging world last year with tons of posts, I figure it won’t be difficult to analyze my traffic.

Since January 5, 2010, most people have found my blog via a search engine -355 to be exact, with 238 coming from Google; 87 from Google Image; 11 from Yahoo; 11 from Bing; 2 from search.comcast.net; 2 from Google Mobile; and 1 each from Ask, earthlink, isearch, and dogpile.  There were 68 views through Geneabloggers; 62 from Google Reader; 42 from Facebook; 42 from WordPress; 17 from the WordPress dashboard; and several from other geneablogs; and genealogy websites.

The average page view in 2011 was 16 compared with 20 in 2010, 28 in 2009, and 34 in 2008. My guess is due to the fact that I didn’t write consistently in 2011 and my blog was removed from several “have to read daily” lists. Hoping to change that this year!

The Top 10 posts that readers landed on in 2011 in ascending order:

#10: You Might Be a Genealogist If . . . – 93 views
#9: What a Bunch of Hooey – 103 views
#8: Remembering Sharon Amore Brittigan – 108 Views
About (this is my about page) – 121 views
Cousin to James Madison – 176 views
Letters From Germany – Part 1 – 178 views
Membership Lists – Part I – 182 views
Surnames – 188 views
How Does Your Name Rank – 329 views
Home Page – 2,386 views (which would be expected that the Home Page gets the most views)

The search terms used that brought folks to my blog include: disneyland branches, rank my name, wordpress genealogy, where does my name rank, american legion logo, letters, bunch of hooey, branches of disneyland, a bunch of hooey, nancy caylor stern (wow! someone looking for my 2nd great-grandmother!), letter to grandparents, and eastern star. Guess that explains which posts got top billing!  Terms used to search for one of my ancestors: Joseph Miller/Katherine Botafield, wilt genealogy, baker amore reunion, nancy caylor, shively, “blazer” family history ohio, wilt ancestry, Sharon Amore Brittigan, Humphrey Madison (this does not include all the searches for genealogy of President James Madison), Elias Caylor, “Sharon Amore”, “James W House” Ohio and more.

Top Clicks in the past year (these are web sites that were in a post that were clicked on): Baby Names and Genea-Musings (glad I could send Randy some traffic!).

WordPress has a terrific statistics page (which I will allow to be seen publicly – 2011 Annual Report) that showed me most of this information – the numbers I had to get from the regular stat page.  Most of the visitors to my blog were from the United States, Canada and the UK.

The post that received the most comments in 2011 was A Sad Anniversary about the loss of my grandmother in 1984.

So for all of my faithful readers – I will do my best to write more in 2012 and visit (& leave comments) on more genea-blogs!

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My husband gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and I am LOVING it!  I can sit on the couch with the kindle in my hands and listen to Pandora Radio (which I really like – especially the shuffle feature), scan the web, play Angry Birds (not very good at!), and read books. However, the one thing I can not do at this time is write blog posts.  WordPress doesn’t have an app that is compatible with the Kindle Fire. (Sad face)  It allows me to get into my dashboard and click (or rather, touch) the New Post icon. I can enter a title but I can’t write a post. This post was started on my Kindle – well, only the title. I spent quite awhile scanning for an app that will work but nothing. Oh, well. Apparently there’s supposed to be one coming – when, I don’t know.

I did download the Ancestry app which allows me to have my uploaded trees with me wherever I go. Handy if I happen to be at the library and come across something in a reference book. Then I can at least have the names and dates with me for guidance.

So what new technology did you get for Christmas or Hannukah? How are you using it for genealogy?

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