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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d take you on a photo tour through many years of “dressing up” for the holiday.  Disclaimer: some of the following photos of me were not taken at Halloween – they were taken at times I just felt called to dress up (my children may either get a kick out of these or be horribly embarrassed)!

I was three – not quite four – when I was a “Chipmunk” for Halloween. I can remember that Mom and Dad drove me over to my grandparents’ house to Trick or Treat. They “hid” while I went up to the door. Somehow I still think that my Nana and Grandad knew who I was!

This is one of those times that I just created my own “look” and it wasn’t Halloween!  I call this being a “movie star” because of the hat and sunglasses!  I am not sure why I was pretending it was very sunny, yet still had a rain umbrella!!

Scary witch, anyone? I can’t believe I had on a “dress” type costume because it was usually pretty chilly at the end of October in Ohio.  There were many times that Mom and I argued over whether I should wear a coat to trick or treat – I did not like that my costume would be covered up!

I am “Little Red Riding Hood”!  This was taken just before I turned six. School age kids would not only “beg” for treats but they would carry UNICEF boxes to collect money.  I did the same thing when I was in elementary school. The money was taken back to school after “beggar’s night”.  Do you remember doing that?

 

This was my attempt at dressing up as an “Old Lady” for Halloween – complete with my mom’s wig, an old ’50s style skirt, and a stick I made into a cane!  What strikes me as insanely amusing is that I sure didn’t look “old” (I was almost ten) – in fact now I am the age I was trying to “look” back then and I don’t think I’m even pulling it off now!

Somewhere I have another photo that shows me with my hair all tied up in a scarf, rock star make up on my face (in the style of KISS), with a pair of purple tights under shorts!  And that wasn’t for Halloween – that was just me being me – at about fifteen!

Even as an adult, the thrill of wearing a costume for Halloween has not left me.  I’ve dressed up as a witch, a fortune-teller, a pregnant gypsy (I was pregnant with my youngest child at the time!), a hippie, and a “madam”.

As the years have gone by, I’ve watched my four children get excited at Halloween and talk about what costume they will be wearing for weeks before “Trick or Treat” night.

    

Now I get to see the three grandsons all dressed up!  (Picture on far right was taken by my daughter: Teresa Sumner)

Image of Jack-o-lantern Pumpkins by Petr Kratochvil

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This picture is of my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson, with our two dachshunds (Bridget and Gretel) in his lap. this picture was taken in 1971.  Every holiday or family get-together, he would sit in this chair (or whatever chair was in this spot) and hold the dogs.  Many times they would all nap together in the chair. Whenever I remember the holidays as I was growing up, this scene comes to mind!

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As a young child in the 1960s, my parents made sure that I was never to be deprived of Amusement Parks. For several consecutive years, they took me to Fantasy Farm, located in Middletown, Ohio (that link will take you to a page filled with photos, videos, and all sorts of interesting information about this park).

The picture above shows me (not quite five years old) during the spring/summer of 1966 riding in “Santa” on one of the power rides.  The picture below shows me making friends with a sheep – I’m happy but the animal looks bored!

And here I am in a “blur” going around and around on another “power ride.”

And here I am again – I’m surprised the Three Bears allowed me to share their space after what that horribly behaved Goldilocks did to them!

(On a side note – I guess I wasn’t the only one who always seemed to get their thumb, fingers or hand in the camera lens while taking a picture. I have scanned several photos today with that familiar “shadow” or “blur” at the right side of the picture!)

From The History of Fantasy Farm the person instrumental in starting the amusement park for children was Edger Streifthau. The park was operational by 1963 and closed in 1991. To read all about the demise of this child-friendly place please click on the link at the beginning of this post.

As for me, even though I wasn’t very old, I do remember some of the times I had here and wish that more “child-friendly” places like this existed in the area I now call home.

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Yoshie (hopefully I’m spelling that right!) – was my parents’ Japanese maid while they were living in Japan. I have heard a lot of stories about her. I do know that I heard everyone talk about her fondly. For many years, she and my parents exchanged Christmas cards and letters. I wonder what happened to her and her family.

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WELCOME TO BREMERHAVEN

My grandfather, Glen R. Johnson, was transferred to Wiesbaden, Germany in 1950 (before the Army Air Corps became the Air Force). Upon arriving at the Port of Bremerhaven aboard the Gen. Patch on July 20, 1950, the U.S. Band greeted him and my grandmother, Vesta. Wikipedia says that Bremerhaven means “Bremen’s Harbor” in Bremen (which was in the free Federal Republic of Germany).

The ship – USNS General Alexander M. Patch (T-AP-122) (picture of it as it is berthed at Bremerhaven in 1950 can be found here – exciting to think that this might just be at the same time my grandparents had arrived!) was named after the General who took “command of the Allied Forces in New Caledonia” in 1942 (from NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive; 2012; NavSource Naval History)

Luckily, while they were in Germany, they were able to take side trips to other places on the weekends. The picture above was taken on August 5, 1950, when they went with another lady, Mrs. Mulligan, along with a Bavarian guide to see the Nymphenburg Castle, Home of the Bavarian Kings.

Besides all of the photos, I also have several years’ worth of letters my grandparents wrote my parents. Those letters detail all the little trips around Europe they took as well as their day to day life in Wiesbaden.

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I’m a couple days late on responding to Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post at Genea-Musings. The questions posed were how the family reacts to genealogy interests; do they listen to stories; and funny stories to share about another family member’s interest in genealogy.

Amore: On the paternal side of my family, there have been several that have delved into genealogy including: my grandfather’s brother, Zade (Isaiah), and my great-uncle Rollo’s great-grandson, Rick. Two people who helped me quite a bit when I was starting out in 1999-2000 were my cousin, Bill Jr., and my cousin, Sharon Brittigan.

House: Along the maternal line of my dad’s family, besides my cousin, Bill Amore, Jr., (see above), a few of the House cousins were also compiling information and sharing it with me. My dad’s uncle, Alva Lester House, helped by sending a letter to my dad’s oldest sister with some family information.

Johnson: On the maternal side of my family, there have been a whole host of relatives and cousins who did quite a bit of research.  The closest to me was my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson, Sr. He sent letters and information to others in the family – who have in turn (many, many years later) shared it with me!  My distant Johnson cousins, Virginia, Ruth and Alice, and myself have formed a 4-person research “team” when it comes to the Johnson family.  Virginia has been the biggest researcher though!  I wouldn’t be very far with out her help!

Wilt: This is my maternal grandmother’s family line.  Several of her cousins had trod the genealogy path so as the information trickled down to their descendants, it was shared with me (and my research shared with them).

Goul/Blazer: My grandfather’s maternal lines – again my grandfather had some of the information written down in notes and letters.

Stern: Before I was very old, at least one Stern relative was already deep into research – Virginia (Stern) Ruark. Now, her daughter, Marvel, has taken up the mantle, and between she and several others, we do quite a bit of information sharing and assisting.

My husband’s side has been researched by his sister – with help from other cousins and relatives – long before Census records were digitized and put online!

Of my four children, only my son has taken on a position as a family history researcher. He has spent several years researching the paternal side of his family and connecting with family and other distant relatives.  When I need to share stories, I usually tell him because he seems to appreciate it more than the others (the rest just roll their eyes at me!).  However, if I want to share a scandal, everyone is all ears!

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I want to say a big “THANK YOU” to my new followers and blog subscribers!  Your readership and comments mean a great deal to me!

As you can see, not all of my new subscribers have genealogy blogs – some photography blogs as well as a blog from a future Air Force wife.  No matter what your interest, please go visit one or all of them and take a gander at their photos and writings.

(“Thank You” Image in Public Domain and downloaded from WP Clipart

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John Lafayette Johnson and Katie J. Blazer

My maternal great-grandparents (on my grandfather’s side), John Lafayette Johnson and Katie J. Blazer, were married on July 4, 1883, in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  He was a few months over 22 years old and she was close to 19. Since both were “of age” according to the laws of the time, neither needed a parental signature.

The couple was just shy of celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary when Katie died on May 20, 1930 (trivia: my wedding anniversary is on the anniversary of her death – May 20!).

Below is a picture of the couple in older age.

(Source 1: Anderson, Madison, Indiana, 1880-1920, Book 1, Page 393; County Clerk’s Office, 16 East 9th, 2nd House, Box 19, Anderson, Indiana, 46016. FamilySearch – Indiana Marriages Database

Source 2: Glen R. Johnson, Sr., personal genealogy notes, in possession of Wendy Littrell, address for private use)

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The Bethlehem Grange Hall in Coshocton County, Ohio about 1968 during the Amore – Baker Reunion. This is the building where we – descendents of Henry and Annie Amore – would all gather. There would be plenty of food – it was always pot luck – and conversation. I’m sure at some point there was the “business” end of it – electing the officers for the next year to put together the next reunion, keep track of the funds, and plan any “entertainment.” The two men in the photo above are my Uncle Paul and my dad (wearing the hat and camera). Behind my dad it appears to be a child who is in the middle of a game of horseshoes!

The July 28, 1968 issue of the Coshocton Tribune reported:  “The Amore-Baker reunion was held Saturday, July 20, at Bethlehem Grange Hall with 70 in attendance. The oldest member of the family present was Rev. I. Amore, Coshocton, who is 91 and the youngest was five-month-old Lucinda Lee, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Yeater, Nashville, Ohio.”

 

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Bigelow Branch

My third great-grandfather, Allen House (b. June 13, 1791 d. Sep 1, 1845) married Editha Bigelow (b. Apr 19, 1791 d. Oct 20, 1865) on June 15, 1812 in Middlesex County, Connecticut.  They had five children: Florus Allen (my 2nd great-grandfather), Nelson W., Amasa G., Eli H., and Abigail. Allen was enumerated in the 1820 Census as living in Jerusalem, Ontario, New York. The household included 4 free white males under the age of 10, 1 free white male between 10-44, and 1 free white female between 10-44. By the 1830 Census, Allen was living in Ovid, Seneca, New York with a household that included: 1 free white male ages 5-9; 3 white males 10-14; 2 free white males 15-19; and 1 free white male 30-39. It also included 1 free white female 5-9 and 1 free white female ages 30-39. Since that makes two more males and one more female, the couple either had other children or relatives/roomers living with them.

Editha Bigelow was the daughter of Eli Bigelow and Anna Freeman. Eli was born on May 29, 1756 in Colchester, Connecticut and died March 22, 1836 in Brookfield, Vermont. On Find a Grave, Eli is listed as buried in Mount Parnassus Burying Ground in East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut.

Eli was the son of Amasa Bigelow and Jemima Strong who married the end of December 1754 in New London, Connecticut.

The Bigelow family stretches back reportedly to Ralph of O Baugley in England. According to the Bigelow Family Site, (webmaster is Rob Bigelow of New York), the immigrant ancestor is John Biglo.

If you want to see if you are a member of this prominent New England family, please go to the Bigelow Family Site (link above). There are many links to information concerning the Bigelow family including published genealogies.

(Bigelow Coat of Arms image is from the Bigelow Family Site – no copyright infringement intended).

(Sources for most of the names and dates for this post came from The Bigelow Society, the Bigelow Family Site; copyright 2009 Bigelow Society, Inc).

(Census information obtained from the 1820 and 1830 United States Censuses on Heritage Quest; digital images).

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