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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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Yes, it was 4 years ago that I began this blog! Thanks to all of you – my faithful readers – and the geneablogging world for making this possible!

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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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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
#7:
About (this is my about page) – 121 views
#6:
Cousin to James Madison – 176 views
#5:
Letters From Germany – Part 1 – 178 views
#4:
Membership Lists – Part I – 182 views
#3:
Surnames – 188 views
#2:
How Does Your Name Rank – 329 views
#1:
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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Unfortunately today’s date has absolutely no significance for any of my ancestors or family members!  My next step was to check to see if I received a piece of genealogical information via email on this date – nada!  So I went straight to the “On This Day” website! 

Some pertinent genealogy information:

On January 4, 1896 Utah became the 45th State.  For those still living in a cave somewhere, Utah is the headquarters of the Church of Latter Day Saints and the largest Family History Center in the United States. Many genealogists and others just trying to find ancestral information make a pilgrimage to Salt Lake City and the FHC.

January 4, 1974 was the day that President Nixon refused to hand over to the Senate Watergate Committee tape recordings and other documents.  This event played a big part in my life because I remember watching the hearings on television most of the summer and was at church camp listening on radio the night in August when the President resigned from office.

Anyone else have an extraordinary event that happened On This Day?

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The topic for the 17th Edition of Smile for the Camera is School Days

Unfortunately, most schools now start in August instead of September.  As a child, I always started school the Wednesday after Labor Day – until I was a senior.  After the Blizzard of 1978, when I was out of school a total of about 10 days longer than we had “snow days”, the district decided we should start a little earlier than September. The was my first encounter with the August School start.

I don’t know much about my ancestors’ school years – but I do have some wonderful photos!

vesta_bros_school

My grandmother, Vesta Wilt, is at the bottom right.  A couple of her brothers are also in this photo, but unfortunately, I can’t put my hands on it to see which is which!

jesse wilt report card

jesse wilt report card2

jess wilt report card3

Here is my grandmother’s brother’s report card from 1906.  Jesse was in 2nd grade.  Apparently he didn’t do very well in spelling or writing his first two months of school with a grade of “F”.  By January 1907, his writing had improved to “P” (passing) while his spelling grade still remained an “F”.  He also passed Deportment (behavior, conduct).  His father, Joe Wilt (my great-grandfather), signed Jesse’s report card.  This is probably one of the few out of a handfull of examples I have of Joe’s handwriting.

jim_schoolpicture

My brother (arrow pointing him out) – probably in 3rd or 4th grade.  I believe this was in Ohio.

class58pg1a

This is from my brother’s Junior Year yearbook.  It reads: Jim is a real traveller! Not only has he attended 15 different schools, but he is enjoying his second tour of Japan. It doesn’t look as though he plans to settle down, for he has his eye on an Air Force career.  My brother had been involved in the Senior Hi-Y club, Warriors Club, Pep Club, Photography Club, Projection Club, was a Library and Boy’s Gym Assistant, and the Science Club.  Unfortunately the Air Force career didn’t pan out due to some medical issues.
coshocton schools

Above – two of the schools my dad went to in Coshocton, Ohio.  I believe the top picture used to be the High School (now it is Lincoln Elementary).

BathSchool1

This building was the school my mom attended all the way from 1st through graduation.  At the time it was called Bath Consolidated School and was located in Fairborn, Ohio.  Sometime (I think) in the late 1950s it became Central Elementary School and now – after having been empty for awhile – is a Senior Citizen Apartment Complex.

wendy_nursery school

This is my Nursery School picture at Patty-Cake Nursery in my hometown.  I went there for one and a half years before starting a summer school Kindergarten program.  I attended 2-3 days a week.  I’m right in front of the girl next to the teacher (2nd row from the top – 3rd person from the left).  Mrs. Fuller owned the preschool – which she ran out of her basement.  She had many activities and toys to keep all of us busy.  I remember she had one of those aluminum Christmas Trees with the lighted color wheel.  We had an Easter Egg hunt at a local park one time.  I was always getting in trouble for something and being sent to the “bad” chair.  For the life of me I don’t remember why I was always in trouble – probably because I wasn’t sharing or being loud or not listening.  I learned to tie my shoes while I was in nursery school because I kept asking Mrs. Fuller and then her assistant to tie my shoes. I think they finally told my mom that I needed to learn to do it.  I think I was three.  My mom and two other moms took turns driving me, a little boy named Artie and another boy to the preschool.  One of the moms was always late picking us up.  One time Mrs. Fuller came outside and realized we were still waiting for a ride.  Today I am sure that she wouldn’t be leaving 3-4 year olds outside without being watched.  If you happened to attend this same preschool and see yourself in the picture, please let me know because I don’t remember anyone (except one boy I later went all the way through school with).

fairbrook elementary

ankeneyAbove is my elementary school and also my Junior High.  The elementary school went all the way through 6th grade and then 7th-9th in the Jr. High.  I had to ride a bus to both schools because the limit was 9/10 of a mile.  Any further than that and our school district had to bus students.  When I was in 2nd grade, it snowed so hard that our bus was late picking us up.  A friend’s dad took several of us to school.  Very few buses had made it yet so we all waited in the hallway or in our classes.  Finally the word came that we weren’t having school.  Someone called their mother who came and picked us all up. 

What I remember most about the first day of school was the excitement of getting to be in the same class as my best friend.  Unfortunately we were never in the same class together.  And in my 6th grade year, none of my close friends were in my homeroom class.  It was also the year that we were to spend every day of a week at a local science camp.  Unfortunately our class never got to go.  I don’t know if it had to do with funding or some other reason.  But the class before us and the classes after us all got to go.  We were also supposed to take a field trip flying in a an airplane over the city.  Excited and anxious we all waited for the bus to come and take us to the airport.  Mid-morning we received word that we couldn’t do it after all.  However in 2nd grade we were allowed to ride a train.  That was exciting for me as my parents had ridden trains many times when they lived in Japan. 

As a parent, I became the excited one when the start of school approached.  After having four children cooped up all summer with “nothing to do”, I really looked forward to them being at school ALL day long!

School signals the end the summer, beginning of football season, the changing of the weather, the time to cool up with a hot mug of hot cocoa and a good book, and a reason to start making my chili! 

And this year, I will get to experience my own “first” day of school – as I start back to college!

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oscar
The following was written for the Carnival of Genealogy: 66th Edition with the theme, iGene Awards, The Best of the Best!  There are 5 categories and many entries so let’s get down to the nominees and the winners!

Best Picture – Best old family photo that appeared on this blog in 2008.  And the nominees are: 1. Paternal Grandparents, Lloyd & Ella Amore; 2. Maternal Grandparents, Glen & Vesta Johnson; 3. Maternal Great-Grandparents, John & Katie Johnson; 4. Maternal g-great-grandparents, Emanuel & Nancy Caylor.

bestpicture3

And the Winner is: Picture #2!  My maternal grandparents, Glen and Vesta Johnson.  This picture was taken while they were courting in 1916 and is considered to be the Winner for several reasons.  I never personally knew the other subjects except for stories, pictures and my research.  I also have tons of letters my grandparents wrote to each other while they were courting so I have somewhat of a story behind the winning photo.  Congratulations!

Glen & Vesta

Glen & Vesta

Best Screenplay - which family story would make the best movie?  Who would I cast?

And the nominees are: 1. What a Bunch of Hooey!; 2. At Least It Wasn’t Moonshine!; 3. Independent From Birth.

And the Winner is: Independent From Birth!  This screenplay about my maternal grandfather’s foster sister takes place between 1910 and 1991 in rural Madison County, Indiana.  The stage version stars Elle Fanning as the young Eva and as the teenage Eva – Elle’s sister, Dakota Fanning.  As an adult she is played by Drew Barrymore.  These actresses capture the loneliness that Eva had throughout her life.  For Eva’s foster brother, Glen (my grandfather), the role would go to Ewan McGregor and her foster parents (my great-grandparents) would be played by William Hurt and Meryl Streep.

Best Documentary - what was the best informational article about a thing, place or event involving my family?

The Nominees are: 1. Ministers, Lay Persons and Church Folk, Oh My!; 2. Those Who Served; 3. Disecting Obituaries.

And the Winner is: Disecting Obituaries.

Best Biography - The best biographical article of 2008?

And the Nominees are: 1. The Case of Chase; 2. James Emory House; 3. The 2 part series on Lester House – Lester’s Despair – Part One and More Tragedy for Lester House (Conclusion of Lester’s Despair).

And the Winner is: The Case of ChaseThis article won hands down because it provided some much sought after information to a distant cousin that I never knew I had!  She was deeply moved by this story, and I am so glad I was able to give her a story that she didn’t know very much about.

Best Comedy - the funny story, poem, joke, video, or photo that was shared?

And the Nominees are: 1. What a Bunch of Hooey! (competing in a 2nd category!); 2. Unusual Photos; 3. What Were We Thinking?

And the Winner is: What a Bunch of Hooey!  I chose this article as the winner because I look back with humor on a lot of those things my mother says!

And that does it for this year’s Genea-Oscar’s!  So before the music starts up and I get cut off on my thanks – here goes:

I want to thank Jasia at Creative Gene for inspiring me to start submitting entries for the Carnival of Genealogy; Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for promoting some of my articles in his Best of the Genea-Blogs articles; to Jessica at Jessica’s Genejournal for giving me a shout out and tagging me in all things good; to footnoteMaven at Shades of the Departed and footnoteMaven for her inspiring prompts for Smile for the Camera; to Miriam at AnceStories and AnceStories2 for the great prompts and informative articles. To all those fellow genea-bloggers who have given me great inspiration and assistance when I needed it: Becky at kinexxions; Julie at GenBlog; Amy at Amy’s Genealogy (and a fellow Buckeye!); Terry Thornton (who inspired me to begin my other blog Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County) of Hill Country of Monroe County; Elyse at Elyse’s Genealogy Blog; Thomas at Destination: Austin Family; Sheri at The Educated Genealogist; Donna at What’s Past is Prologue, whose articles have really helped me! And (cue music) and . . . but wait . . . I’m not done thanking everyone yet . . . Thank You All My Faithful Readers – Especially You!

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