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leaving battlecreek

When my dad got orders for Japan in the early ’50s, he went ahead of the rest of the family.  Mom had to get from Ohio to the Pacific Coast in order to sail to Japan. 

The photo at left was taken when my mom, brother and sister were leaving my Uncle’s home in Michigan headed west.  They drove 450 miles in one day and got to Fargo, North Dakota about 6:15 p.m.  In a postcard to her folks, Mom said they stayed at a cabin for the night – the cost: $4.  They traveled through Montana and went to Oregon in order to visit my great-grandmother for a short time.hughgaffey naval ship  Then north to Seattle to Fort Lawton where they had to wait a few days before sailing to Japan on June 9, 1953. 

The trip, aboard the USNS General Hugh J. Gaffey, would take 12 days – although by crossing the international date line, they lost a day.  While on board, my sister tap danced in a Variety show and my brother – when not seasick – made friends.  The ship carried 2400 troops – all on their way to Yokohama. 

dad_nash

trainMy parents were in Japan for two tours and while there, they drove the Nash that had been transported via ship with them.  Sometimes they jim school busrode a train like the one pictured (left) and my siblings rode a bus (right) back and forth to school or on field trips.

While on their 2nd tour in Japan, my parents and brother all learned to fly courtesy of the Tachikawa Aero Club.  They even “starred” in a short film promoting the Aero Club Family Plan.  Back in the States and after I came along, my parents still flew every once in awhile.  Here’s a picture of my Dad in ’72 getting ready to fly.dad by plane

My parents had some very interesting adventures in the air and on land.  I feel very blessed that not only do I have stories and pictures, but memories of when I accompanied them on some of their adventures!

Written for the 18th Edition of Smile for the Camera – Travel.

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Extra! Extra!   Read all about how the case of Chase began at the town on the river spending days of childhood on the water and wandering through a haunted graveyard.  Though independent from birth, there was still time for the furry and feathered family members or calling on dear St. Nicholas.  Often taking time to share, show and explain traditions or statistics on age in the books for genealogy.  When friends would meet Mom, they understood her senior moments talking about the great Texas snow. Often explanations would be given about the American political road map with exclamations of “What a bunch of hooey!”  However, when we get together for the Carnival, I resolve to only say, “Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!” and we are not just horsin’ around.


Carnival:

  • Cruise?
  • Rides and Games?
  • Rio?
  • Parades?
  • Mardi Gras?

If you chose none of the above, you are correct!!!  In the blogosphere, the word carnival takes on a whole new meaning – well sort of!  Generally a blog carnival is a repository for many contributors’ blog posts centered around a chosen theme.  In the genealogy blog world, there are several types of “carnivals” in which to participate – Cabinet of Curiosities”, Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, Irish Heritage and Culture, and several others.

Three years ago, Jasia who authors Creative Gene wrote Carnival of Genealogy, Edition 1. This Carnival is now in its 84th Edition. The topic for this edition is “What has the Carnival of Genealogy Meant to You?”

Creative Gene was one of the first Genealogy Blogs I bookmarked and read each day.  Soon, I was clicking on the links to others’ blogs and soon bookmarked several of them.  I read with interest the CoG’s and soon realized that not only were others submitting articles that more people would read but sometimes connections were being made.  I knew that if I were to get more than just a few readers (and possibly some connections, too), I should participate in the CoG’s.  I enjoy writing and knew that should I undertake a project writing biographies of my ancestors, I should start writing and reading others’ articles.

My first submission to the CoG was for the 47th Edition, published on May 3, 2008 with the theme “A Place Called Home”.  My entry was The Town on the River. Wow! After some research and writing and re-writing, I had an article of which I could be proud! Jasia even extended a warm welcome to me and encouraged everyone to welcome this “newbie” to the Carnival!

Since that first entry, I’ve participated in numbers 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 78, and 79 (see top paragraph – all my titles are incorporated into the opening!).  There have been a wide variety of topics and several others besides Jasia have hosted.  I have not hosted a CoG – that is something I would have to look into and make sure that if I do volunteer to host that I have the time to make sure it is done properly. 

I’ve had several favorite topics.  Lately I haven’t been able to find the time to put in research in order to write an indepth post for some of them.  My favorites have been: The Case of Chase written for the 53rd Edition. The theme was “Carousel” – any genealogy topic was fair game. I had spent quite a bit of time on my article and included pictures and documented evidence information. This article brought four comments from others – two of them descendents of the man I wrote about – people I didn’t think existed! Another favorite entry was Independent from Birth for the 51st Edition.

I’ve read articles in the CoG that have touched my heart, sparked an interest, and given me new research techniques to think about and investigate.  Unfortunately, I’m unable to think of just one that would be the all time stand-out – there are so many talented writers and enthusiastic genealogists for me to pick just one!

I generally encourage my readers to check out or submit articles to the CoG.  The more the merrier!  And it’s always wonderful when someone new begins submitting articles.

The Carnival of Genealogy has enabled me to go above and beyond just gathering names, dates and places.  I have delved into the lives of those that I’ve written about – trying to capture their emotions, joys, and hardships.  Reading others’ articles has given me new avenues to investigate and research when hunting for that “brick wall” ancestor.

The impact on my life has been two-fold.  One – I’ve been able to meet new friends and some distant cousins.  By reading some of the articles and seeing a common surname, I’ve made connections.  The second aspect has been aiding me in becoming a more thorough researcher and writer.

I’d like to extend my thanks to all of the genea-bloggers who have commented on my articles; who have pointed me in other directions for information; to those who capture my interest with their thought provoking, informative and heart-touching stories; and to Jasia who first introduced me to the Carnival of Genealogy!  You folks are great!

And for all of you who think you can’t write an article for the CoG – just try it once!  You may learn something new about yourself!

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I think Sheri started this with Simply Brilliant Idea on her blog, The Educated Genealogist and then Randy is listing the idea as this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at Genea-Musings. Sheri had mentioned a few days ago on Facebook that only a couple other people had made their Trading Cards. I commented that I would soon. Well – here it is! I use this picture for my Google identity.

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Thanks, Sheri and Randy!  Hope this is okay!

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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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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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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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