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Randy Seaver of, GeneaMusings, offers a bit of fun each Saturday night. Two days ago, he came asked “Who’s number 21 on your ahnentafel list?”

This is a list whereby one’s ancestors are in a particular order.  For example – I am number 1 on my list.  My father is number 2 and mother is number 3.  Paternal grandparents are next at number 4 and 5.  Maternal grandparents would be 6 and 7.  Get the picture?

Number 21 on my list would be my paternal 2nd great-grandmother, Julia Ann Lewis.  Up until last summer, I didn’t have a maiden name for her.  She was just “Julia A.” married to Florus Allen House.  Then I found several death certificates of their children listing her maiden name.

Julia was born the day before Christmas in 1815.  I have no documentation as to her place of birth except it is reported in the 1850-1880 censuses as Ohio.  In the 1880 census she listed her parents’ birthplace as Virginia but I don’t know if that was Virginia as it is known today or the part of Virginia that broke from the state to become West Virginia.

Julia and Florus A. House married probably before 1838.  Their oldest child, a daughter, Emily – age 12, is listed in the 1850 Census as being born in Michigan.  Florus had been living in Michigan prior to Ohio so that is possible.  She doesn’t appear on any other censuses of this household, and I haven’t been able to document her death or her marriage. 

Julia and Florus went on to have a total of 11 children.  One daughter, Teressa, died at 3 years and 3 months.  One son, John, died at age 6 and yet another, George, died at less than one day.  My great-grandfather, James Emory House, was the second son and third child of this couple.  The family lived in Coshocton County, Ohio most of their married life.

Julia died eight years after her husband, on October 6, 1899 in Coshocton and is reportedly buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Coshocton County.  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this couple or their children (not even my great-grandfather).  I’m hoping that another descendent and distant cousin may share some photos someday.

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The 10th Edition of Smile for the Camera is about Costumes! Not the type worn for Halloween but a distinctive dress for the period or class or what was worn in an era of time. I chose the photo below of my maternal grandfather’s first cousin, Ada Blazer.

blazer_ada

Ada Dell Blazer was born on July 2, 1890 in Champaign County, Ohio to Wesley Blazer and Binne McAdams.   She was the only daughter of the four children.  Ada married Frank Ogg about 1910.  After he died in October 1920, she married John Black.  One daughter was born to this union.  John died in December 1960.

I’m not sure how old Ada was when this photo was taken but my guess it would be prior to or soon after her first marriage.  (I know footnoteMaven will love this photo because she is wearing glasses!)  I chose this photo primarily because of her headdress.  According to Vintage Fashion Guild, by “1911 hats were at their largest, often with the brim extending beyond the breadth of the wearer’s shoulders. To secure these huge creations to the head, hat pins – sometimes as long as 18 inches – were skewered through the hair and hat. The hatpin had other advantages too. Any man who attempted an unwanted advance soon discovered that a hatpin was all a frail woman needed to defend herself.”

This also could be a pre-wedding photograph taken as it appears that the suit, the hat and the hand warmer are a matching set.  I do not know the significance of the one sided lace collar.  With her hands covered by the hand warmer, I can’t see if she is wearing any wedding jewelry although it appears she is wearing a necklace with a dainty chain with the charm at the “V” of her jacket and another necklace that appears to be possibly herringbone that fits closer to her neck.  There is a just a hint of a smile on her face.

Ada lived until the age of 86 and died February 22, 1977 in Champaign County, Ohio.

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The 65th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is “The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy” and will be hosted by Becky Wiseman (one of my distant cousins!) of Kinexxions.

I’ve had several “Oh, Yeah!” moments.  One of them I wrote about in A Goldmine – about discovering a box of letters written by my grandparents to each other when they were courting in 1916 and during 1918 when my grandfather went to Signal Corps Training and during his overseas duty during WWI.

Another moment I had was when I was looking for my maternal 2nd great-grandfather, Emanuel Bushong Stern.  As I was going through the 1850 Census looking for him in order to get information on his parents and siblings, I wasn’t having any luck.  Obviously, they had disappeared during the Census.  And then just by chance, I came across Peter Sterne living in Clay Township, Hamilton County, Indiana.  The last name was spelled wrong – with an “e” at the end of the surname but the names for known siblings was correct.  I think I jumped out of the computer chair at this find!

Another “happy dance” moment came a couple years after I had posted a query on a message board giving names of my paternal g-grandfather’s half-siblings and their children.  I received an email from the daughter of one of his nieces.  She had quite a bit of information about the Johnson line including the first wife of the man I was researching (James Wilson Johnson) who was my 2nd great-grandmother.  And my cousin was actually descended from James’ 2nd wife.  Since that time several years ago we have exchanged (with a couple other Johnson cousins) more information.

It doesn’t take much for me to do the Happy Dance!  Each tiny rock I turn over or piece of information I find that leads to bigger and better finds, is reason for me to stand up and shout “Oh Yeah!”.

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When the subject for the 64th Edition of Carnival of Genealogy was announced, I wondered what I could submit.  Somewhere in my files and books are many pictures of winter activities and snow – with some included below.  Since I’ve lived in Texas for the better part of (almost) 30 years, I haven’t seen as much snow as I did when I grew up in southwestern Ohio.  So when we have snow in north Texas, it makes news – big news! 

Local stations interrupt most of the morning and daily television programs to report on the weather – with the same scene of people sliding on ice on the highways and the same scene (over and over!) of people sliding on bridges.  I often wonder – how many times can you report the same story every ten minutes.  Nothing has changed! 

Not only do schools shut down when the roads have a hint of ice, but businesses, churches, and government offices.  People rush the grocery as if they will be holed up for weeks (maybe a couple days!).  And unless you live way out in the country, there’s usually a 7-11 within a block or two.

new-years-05

We never know how to dress in the winter time.  Case in point – the picture at left was taken on New Year’s Day 2005!  My daughter was wearing shorts because the temperature was in the 70p2020170s!

This picture was taken on February 2, 2007.  At least the snow was “pretty” instead of just wet and yucky!  Unfortunately, this was one of those days when it was non-stop news reports.

The following pictures were taken in the 60s in Ohio.  This is the front of the house I grew up in and ice coated trees.  Usually, from January – March this was the norm!   Winter time and cold weather normally meant heavy winter coats, mittens or gloves, a hat and a scarf.  Until I was in 6th60snow grade, girls weren’t allowed to wear pants to school so in winter time, I wore winter “leggings” in order to keep my legs warm.  I also had heavy snow boots that went on over my shoes.  In 2nd grade, I had a pair of red knee high boots.  These were “fashion” boots – not snow boots yet I somehow convinced myself that I didn’t need snowboots over these.  The cold seeped in and so did the wet! 60s-96

Children in my neighborhood never seemed to mind the cold weather.  We were outside all of the time building snowmen, snow forts, making snow angels, and throwing snowballs at one another.  A neighbor of mine used to go to his grandmother’s house nearby that had a really nice hill on the property.  We’d have 4-5 kids on a big sled and ride down that hill – only to have to carry the sled back up to do it again!  When I was about 7, my parents got me a snow disk.  We didn’t have any “hills” in our yard except for the pool embankment into the yard.  Even so, I spent a good number of hours just riding that thing down three feet of “hill”.

In January 1978 a Blizzard hit the midwest.  I woke up one morning not too long after we’d just started back to classes after the Christmas break and realized that I’d overslept!  Mom told me there were no classes and no one was driving anywhere.  I looked outside and all I saw was a wall of white.  We were out of school for almost a week due to the blizzard.  Since we had used more than our allotment of snow days, school didn’t end until June 20 something that year!  Then the school board decided we should start in August instead of the normal “after Labor Day” – putting our summer vacation less than we’d ever had before.  That is one thing I don’t miss about the midwest – all the snow!

So in honor of the (lack of) real winter weather here in North Texas, I took several of my February 2007 Texas snow pictures and created a digital scrapbook page.texas_snow

(Digital page and elements designed by Wendy Littrell.  Original slides or digital images in possession of Wendy Littrell (Address for private use).

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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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63cog

For the 63rd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, the topic is New Year’s Resolutions!

As far as my genealogy research for 2009 -  I resolve to:

  • Scan many more documents, photos, and the rest of the slides in my possession
  • Organize my files
  • Obtain / organize documentation for direct ancestors
  • Enter documentation and information into family file

As far as genea-blogging, I resolve to:

  • Participate in more carnivals, memes, word prompts and “fun” posts
  • Post varied information (local, city, county and state links) in order to help other genealogists
  • Visit more genea-bloggers and comment more than I do now
  • Visit other history or genealogy based sites and do a write up on the blog in order to provide others with information

As far as my Graveyard Rabbit blog, I resolve to:

  • Take more photos of cemeteries and grave markers in my area
  • Do more research on local burial customs and cemetery history
  • Post more articles per week

All I ask is to let me get through the holidays first!

(CoG graphic courtesy of footnoteMaven.)

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