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Today’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings is to write about our number of cousins. My maternal grandparents, Glen R. Johnson and Vesta C. Wilt, had four children. Their youngest, Lois Evelyn Johnson, died within months of her birth. Their remaining son and two daughters produced a total of eight children – which included my two siblings and me. My five first cousins had a total of nine kids, and they are my first cousins once removed. My paternal grandparents, Lloyd W. Amore and Ella M. House, had eight children. Their youngest – a daughter – was stillborn leaving my dad as the youngest. There were a total of eleven grandkids and two step-grandchildren. Not including my brother, sister and I, that meant I had ten first cousins (including my uncle’s two step-step-sons on my dad’s side. My paternal first cousins had a total of 26 kids who are my first cousins once removed. Total number of my first cousins = 15. First cousins once removed = 35.

My great-grandparents on my mom’s side includes: John L. Johnson and Katie J. Blazer and Joseph N. Wilt and Martha J. Stern. John and Katie had three biological children (Letis, Glen and Mary) and a foster daughter (Eva). Letis died in his twenties and was never married and did not have children. Mary died before reaching the age of two. Eva had a son and later in life she had a daughter whom she put up for adoption. Her son had two daughters and the daughter had two sons. Joe and Martha had four son’s (Clarence, John, Jesse and Clifford) and two daughters (Nellie and Vesta). Jesse and Nellie were the only siblings of my grandmother to have children. Nellie had two and Jesse had four. Nellie’s son had three children and her daughter had three. Jesse’s oldest son (Fred) had three daughters and his youngest daughter (Joan) had four. That means the number of second cousins on my maternal side totals 17. I am not sure how many children those second cousins produced.

My paternal grandparents both had so many siblings who in turn had many children and grandchildren that I’m not sure just how many there are but it is a large number!

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52ancestors

Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small issued a challenge to the geneablogging world recently: to write a blog post weekly on one ancestor. This could be a photo, a story, biography, etc. To read her challenge please go to Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  As I had mentioned in my previous post, I’m hoping to write about one ancestor a month; however, I want to start now while I have a moment.

Franklin Blazer is my second great-grandfather on my maternal side. He was born on June 2, 1836. The only source I have for this is his gravestone. When he died he was 33 years old 2 months 23 days. He died on August 25, 1869 and once again, the only source is the date on his gravestone. Some reports indicate he was born in Ohio and others in Indiana. I believe he was born in Indiana to parents John Blazer and Mary Ann Nelson. He was the oldest of five. Following him in the family were Elizabeth born in 1837; John P. born in 1840; Mary Jane born in 1842; and George W. born in 1844. Franklin’s siblings were all born in Indiana.

Franklin married Melissa Goul between 1855 and 1859. I have not located a marriage record in Indiana or Ohio. Melissa was born in Ohio and moved to Indiana after the census of 1850. Melissa’s oldest son (of which she was a single mother in an age when that wasn’t at all common) was born in 1855 in Indiana. Franklin and Melissa’s oldest child, John F., was born September 17, 1859. The couple went on to have several more children: Martha Ann born in 1860, Philip Wesley born in 1862, Katie J (my great-grandmother) born in 1864, and Rachel born in 1867.

By the time Rachel was not quite two, Franklin passed away from unknown causes. I can not find the family in the 1860 Census so I don’t know where they were living. Franklin is buried in Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton, Indiana.

My research challenges for Franklin Blazer include gathering source information on his place of birth, finding a marriage record for him and Melissa, making an exhaustive search of the 1860 Census in order to make sure I’m just not “seeing” them, locating any news articles surrounding Franklin or Melissa, locating any land records or deeds for Franklin, and locating any documents concerning his death – especially a will.

My relationship to Franklin: Franklin & Melissa (Goul) Blazer > Katie J (Blazer) & John Lafayette Johnson > Glen Roy & Vesta Christena (Wilt) Johnson > my mom who married my dad > me.

Image from Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small

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New Page

If you look above at the tabs, you’ll notice that I’ve added a new page. I will be updating it periodically but right now it has the beginnings of an Index of Posts pertaining to the Surnames that I am researching. Hopefully, this might make it easier (for me as well) to keep track of what I’ve written about which relative/ancestor!

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Hello 2013!

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I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe New Years Eve!  Today, as we begin a brand New Year filled with hopes, dreams, goals, resolutions, and opportunities, let us all remember to treat others with compassion and common courtesy. No one wears a sign that gives their life story so harboring judgmental attitudes isn’t fair to anyone. We are all human and therefore, have shortcomings, failings, and dreams.

I rarely ever set New Years resolutions but I do strive each day to be a better person than I was the day before. Last year I didn’t even set genealogy goals for the year. This year, I do have some goals that I would like to set – if for no reason than to make sure I have a checklist that I can go back to if I soon find myself wandering off in another direction.

  • Participate in the 6th Annual Ohio Genealogical Society Writing Competition
  • Index/Arbitrate at least 100 records per month on FamilySearch
  • Write at least one blog post a week
  • Comment on blog posts that I read – even if it is only to say “Thanks for posting this!” – I believe feedback is very important
  • Compile all the information I’ve been emailed by distant cousins concerning family history in one location
  • Save my family database to Dropbox and do a back up once a week
  • Ditto for pictures and other files on my computer
  • Scan the rest of the slides I have using my new slide/35mm scanner that my daughter and her fiance gave me for Christmas!

That doesn’t seem like too much for the year but I don’t want to set any goals that I don’t think I can meet.

What are your genealogy goals for 2013?

Photo courtesy of: David Reber from Kansas City, USA (Hammer365: 070/295 Pen and Print  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

(No copyright infringement intended.)

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Goodbye 2012!

 

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Today, people everywhere will say goodbye to 2012. For some the year was very bad, for others 2012 was a very good year, and for most of us – the year held a mixture of both good and bad, happy and sad. News highlights of the year included terrorist bombings in several parts of the world, the deaths of celebrities, a very heated and politically charged U.S. Presidential election, the tragedy of the Connecticut school shooting, the continuing war in Afghanistan and the beginning of the U.S. pull-out of Iraq, and whether or not the Mayans had predicted the end of the world (as of today – they had not!).

The past year has also been one for the genealogical record books. Everyone was on the edge of their seats with anticipation over the release of the 1940 U.S. Census in April which brought forth indexers by the hundreds (thousands?) who made such huge in-roads indexing the census that finding family and those from the “Greatest Generation” became easier faster.  More genealogy blogs were published, Ancestry’s commercials were everywhere, family historians were up in arms when it was announced that “Who Do You Think You Are” was not going to be given a 4th season, more and more attended RootsTech 2012 and other conventions/classes/society meetings.  Yet the year also ended on a bittersweet note for some as they realized years and years of their hard work had just been “lifted” without regard to copyright not to mention common courtesy and ethics.

The year 2012 for me had its ups and downs with regard to genealogy. I signed up to be a volunteer indexer for the 1940 U.S. Census, among other databases, and mid-way into that, I was also approved as an arbitrator. I found almost all of my dad’s family members and my mom’s family. I was able to spend a little more time writing articles for this blog, and consequently read several blogs quite frequently. Unfortunately the beginning of November (election day to be specific), my hard drive decided to quit. Even though I had backed everything up, I hadn’t done it as recently as I should – so I lost several things. I can recreate what I have lost – it’s just a matter of spending the time to do it.  Moral of the story: back up once a month, once a week, or even once a day. Better yet – keep current files and photos in the cloud so they can be accessed at any time from any computer.

Happy New Year and Happy Hunting in 2013!

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As Thansgiving 2012 ends and the Advent season is a week away, I thought I’d reflect on what transpires in between. First up is Black Friday. While many get excited when this arrives – even plan routes, stores, and means of “attack” – I have only braved the early (early!) crowds once. Yes, that means one, uno, singular.
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Yesterday, I shopped but not at some inhumane time! I did some online shopping very late on Thanksgiving and went to three “bargain” stores mid-afternoon Friday.
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Second, the annual Christmas movie watching. Our family began by watching “Miracle on 34th Street” and “White Christmas” on Thanksgiving. Friday we watched “Polar Express.” There will be more viewing opportunities to come as we settle in to watch “Prancer,” the Santa Clause movies with Tim Allen & especially “It’s a Wonderful Life!” Is the original “Die Hard” considered a Christmas movie!?
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My birthday always falls after Thanksgiving – so that means a pizza dinner.
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This year the annual Ohio State vs. Michigan football game falls after Thanksgiving. My family has a long history with the Buckeyes and being from Ohio, I will be cheering for the boys in red.

Next Sunday – December 2 – will be the first Sunday of Advent. Our church Christmas Tree will be decorated and traditional Advent hymns will be sung. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, our home Christmas tree will be set up. When my children were little, they all decorated it while we took pictures. As they’ve grown up, the decorating has fallen to grandkids and which ever kids are here. It always is magical to watch the ornaments being selected and locating just the right spot for it amongst the branches of our artificial tree. Then it’s my job to pick out the garland. We’ve had tinsel, strand garland of gold or silver, pearl strands wound around the tree, and ribbon. Normally, an angel rests on top of the tree or a star. The year I used a giant red velvet bow was not looked upon fondly so I won’t do that again! By Christmas Eve the tree is ready for Santa’s visit.
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As I reflect upon our family’s activities and traditions, I wonder what my grandparents and great-grandparents experiences were. I’m pretty sure at the heart of the holidays was family – just as it is for mine.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

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Taken in 1958 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton, Ohio) when my grandfather, Col. Glen R. Johnson, retired from the Air Force. Those in the picture include: my Uncle Glen (Jr.), my Aunt Mary, my Uncle Johnny, my grandmother – Vesta, my brother Jim, and my grandfather – Glen.  I’m not sure why they were all looking in different directions and no one is left to ask. (On a side note – I also am in possession of the painting above my grandfather!)

(Photograph taken by Air Force Official photographer, in possession of Wendy Littrell, Address FOR PRIVATE USE)

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ALBRECHT

Eva Albrecht is my 6th great-grandmother. She was born about 1718 in Virginia and married Daniel Stover before 1740. The children born to this marriage were: Catherine, Samuel, Daniel, David (who I am descended from), and Magdalina.

(I do not have documentation to support this information – on my to do list!)

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Every once in awhile I like to see what search terms are bringing people to my blog. Recent search terms include:

  • “blazer” ohio family all my branches – this appears as if someone was trying to find my website and what information I have about the Blazer family in Ohio.
  • scrapbook love story
  • “blazer” ohio family history – again, this appears as if someone was looking for this website.
  • autumn on my mind – reminds me of a song lyric!
  • orphan train riders – I do have information about some of my distant Goul cousins who took in some brothers from the Orphan Train.
  • where does my name rank – many people end up here based on that search term!
  • chest treasure – not sure I want to know what they were really looking for!
  • list of lindsay lohan’s body switching movies – seriously? Lindsay Lohan? I made a reference once to “Freaky Friday” but . . . you mean, she’s done more than one body switching movie? “Parent Trap” doesn’t count – she played twins – wow, let’s see how many more people end up on this blog because of this paragraph!
  • you might be a genealogist if… – you enter those search terms and end up here!
  • chase noonan – must be looking for him in particular
  • martha clawson – and looking for her in particular!
  • branches of disneyland – they must have been very confused when they landed on this blog!
  • amore brittigan wertz – really? And they didn’t leave a comment or send me an email? Who was looking for these families? If it’s you – please contact me – at least let me know who you are!
  • children dress-up as grandma national geographic – I don’t want to know
(Free Question Mark clip art image from clipartheaven.com)

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For Christmas last year my wonderful husband gave me a Kindle Fire which I have put to very good use!  I knew that I could access the web, play games and read books on it but little did I realize that there were some pretty good apps as well.

One of those was Ancestry – I have synced the Fire so all of the trees that I’ve uploaded to Ancestry are visible. Another app that took awhile for it to be available was for WordPress. Since this blog is on that platform, I can now blog “on the go” or from the comfort of the couch! 

During RootsTech 2012 earlier this year, I attended some of the live streaming sessions, scanned Twitter, and read blogs from those who attended in person. Several made reference to a program called Evernote. I had to check it out, and boy, am I sure glad I did!  I have it on my Kindle Fire and my desktop so I can “share” files on both.

Another app that I have gotten a lot of use out of is Adobe. I can email genealogy reports, biographies, and downloaded google books to my Kindle email address and then open in Adobe as a .pdf file. Wow! It’s available for me to read at any time at any place. 

Yesterday, I noticed a new app for another social media site that’s gained more and more in popularity – Pinterest! Yes, you read that right so if you have not grabbed that app yet – go do so! I was able to access Pinterest via the web on Kindle but it just didn’t “flow” in a readable manner. With the app installed, the website looks just like it does on my desktop! If I find a photo of a place my relatives, family or ancestors lived, I can “pin” it instead of trying to remember to do it from the desktop at a later time.

I hope Familysearch comes out with an App for the Kindle Fire too!  Especially to transcribe records! 

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