Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finally a focus

I posted this to my family blog a few months back, but it really seams more appropriate for my genealogy blog. This is why I am doing my family history. I would be interested in hearing what motivates others to research their families.

My first entry talked of how I was reinventing myself. I have decided that that is not entirely correct. It is more that I am rediscovering myself. The core of that journey is my genealogy research. As I delve deeper into my ancestry I find who my relatives were and in some cases why they were the way the were.

I have recently decided to write about my family history. Our people were not the best of the best. We were not the brave heroes that will be recorded in history. Many of my ancesters have fought for this country. Some coming home with Purple Hearts. But still not in the history books.

Some of our people did not fit in with the conventions of the times in which they lived. A few were down right black sheep. But for the most part they were good people. I hope to share my family history warts and all.

I am the oldest one left in our immediate family. If I don't write it down, those that follow us will not have a clue where they come from.

I have spent much of my life believing that I was just mediocre, destined to a non exsistence. That belief has held me back. But no more.

It may not be glamourous, it will at times be sad and at times be funny. But I want the world to know the people I call family.

I hope you will follow me on this journey, I have much to learn as this is my first blog. Please feel free to share any helpful hints along the way as well as your motivation for family research.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Time to Backtrack

When I first started "researching" my family history I fell into a common trap. I just happily went along adding names to my tree on ancestry.com. Before long I had three thousand names or so.
As I learn more about responsible reasearching it became painfully apparent that my tree was mostly just junk. I now have the daunting task of going back and properly
checking my information and citing all my sources. The only way I can figure out how to do this is to separate my large tree into smaller branches and redoing  each one correctly.

I have been trying out several different software programs like Ancestral Quest, GenBox, and Roots 4.
It is nice of them to offer a reasonable evaluation time. So far I am leaning towards Roots 4.

If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate the advice.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just One of My Other Mothers

This past Mother’s day had me thinking about the other mother’s in my life.
I’ve had a few like many of you. The favorite aunt, a big sister or the neighbor
lady that took the time to teach you about gardening.

One of the other Mother’s I was blessed to have was Grandma Wall. She was a grandma though not my grandma she treated me like one of her own. She was actually a babysitter my brother and I had when I was seven. She cared for us right along with her own grandkids.

She was a rather large woman married to a very thin man. They reminded me of
Ma and Pa Kettle (now I am really showing my age). Not just the physical aspect,
but also their temperament’s as well. She was a jolly woman, though you had best not disobey her, for then she was all business. He was a quiet man.

I was quite young and it was soooo long ago, I don’t have many memories left of her.
I do recall learning about chamber pots and outhouses at her place, they had no indoor
pluming. I also learned about butchered chickens and geese, not my best memory. We children had picked out our favorite fowl to “keep as pets”, but alas, when we returned the next week our “pets” were gone, destined to be Sunday suppers.

My very favorite memory of Ma K—oops Grandma Wall was how when the daily
chores were done she would get down on the floor and play jacks with us. Not an easy
fete for someone her size. She never groaned, just laughed and had fun with us.

She passed away not long after these memories were made. I can still remember
grandpa Wall sitting so forlornly out on the bench after she was gone. He didn’t
live much longer either, he missed her so. But they both live on, I’m sure, in the
hearts of their grandchildren. I know they will live on in mine.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cocoa and Toast, Yummmmmm

 Last night I was not able to sleep. I got up to work on my genealogy then decided I was hungry.
After a short time trying to figure out what I wanted I chose on of my childhood favorites, hot cocoa
and toast. I really tasted good.
 That got me thinking about the other things my mom made when I was little. I remember when
I was three or four, I would be outside playing in the yard. I would be wearing my jeans and a
jean jacket. My mother would call me in to eat lunch, she would serve me tomato soup and a grilled
cheese sandwich.
 I have fond memories of waking up at 5am to have breakfast with my daddy before he went to
work. He would pour milk in a coffee mug then add a spot of coffee to color it. I felt so grown up
to be drinking coffee with my Dad.
 For holidays my mother would take dates, stuff them with a piece of walnut then roll them in sugar.
Dates are so sweet they didn't need the sugar, but they looked nicer that way. She also would take
a roll of liverwurst and frost it with cream cheese then roll it in bacon pieces. We would spread this on
crackers. It was a lot better than it sounds.
 My dad had some favorite foods that I did not like at all like pickled pigs feet, sardines, and
oyster stew.
 It would be interesting to hear from others about their favorite childhood foods.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Now What?? Suggestions welcome.

Since I am a newbie I have been spending time looking at all the great genealogy blogs at Geneabloggers.
Now I am really intimidated. I am not sure where to go from here. Some people have great layouts, some really interesting stories, and some have a real plan as to what they are going to write over the next month or more.
I am feeling like I am way in over my head.
I was thinking that some day I would like to become a certified genealogist. I don't know if I have what it takes, but I am going to learn all that I can as I research my ancestors and maybe some day I can make it official.
Today I was really excited to find my great grandmothers maiden name. I guess hours of searching all comes down to one little victory.
I am really having a hard time finding out about my maternal grandmother. According to the 1910 Census she was listed as an inmate in the Illinois School for Girls in Geneva, Kane, Illinois. She was 15 at the time.
I would be interested in any information anyone might have on that institution or any ideas for finding out why she was there.