Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Research Trip Postcard

First let me say that I write this post with complete LOVE and AFFECTION for my McCann line cousin in England.   That being said - I am SOOOO jealous! 

You see, my cousin just took a research trip to Ireland, researching our Byrne family line in Foxford, Co. Mayo.    For me, this would be a trip of a lifetime and prayerfully I too will be able to visit the towns of my ancestors some day.  For now, I'll have to let my English cousin rub it in that she's there, eating yummy food and scouring the countryside for clues and tasty tidbits of information that's she surely has dug up. 

Thanks so much for the postcard, and for thinking of me!   Love you!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Update on Emma Zoll and The Flea Market "Cousin"

Many readers showed an interest in my recent story about a trip to the Flea Market.   Turns out that the Ancestry user I reached out to hasn't any further information on my Emma Zoll family, nor do they have any info about a marriage for her.   I guess she'll sit here on my desk until some family member happens to search for her and finds my blog, which saddens me.  I know what it's like to wish for family photos, and while I have many, there are large numbers of family members that I think we should have photos of, but don't...  onward and upward!

Now for the gentleman that I met that day - I haven't yet been back to see him (the weather here was quite cold over the weekend and I wasn't feeling up to a trek through the flea market in the cold to see him) so I'll be visiting with him on another weekend, charts and family info in-hand, to see if we can make a connection.

I have yet another treat from him - this one a little baby, named Clara Amealia Bercaw according to the notation on the photo's frame to which it's glued.     I've not had any luck finding information on this Clara, although there are census records which contain the name Clara Bercaw, and they're in this general area (MD, VA, WV), I haven't any way to date this photo (with my own knowledge).   Anybody out there that might be able to help date her, all guesstimates and ballparks would be a great help.  I tried to find photos of old strollers, to attempt to determine what era the stroller might have been from, but no luck for me on that.   Sometimes we just have to admit that we have no idea what we're doing and let an "expert" have a look :-)  

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Comments and New Follows

To acknowledge my blogging friends who've come by and posted comments during the last week.   Thank you so much for reading!!!   

If you're not familiar with their blogs, be sure to stop by. This is a great way to share other blogs that readers may not have seen yet - I myself visit many blogs by looking at what everyone else is reading. Also below is a list of the blogs that I just began following recently.

Mary at Mary's Musings
Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog
Renate at Into the Light
Harriet at Genealogy Fun
Brenda at Journey To The Past
Joan at Roots 'n' Leaves
Michelle at The Turning of Generations
Ruth at Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me
Dee at Funeral Cards and Genealogy
Lindalee at Flipside
Sarah B. at Geneapprentice

Check out these blogs that I just began following:
Genealogy - It All Starts Somewhere
Family History News and More

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Mom's "Good" Dishes

Every Mom has a set right?   I am the proud owner of my Mom's old "good" dishes. Dishes that she worked very hard to get so many years ago.  Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we used these dishes at our home.   When Mom got new "good" dishes, these came to me.   My kids often ask the question - "where did they come from?" and comment on how pretty they are.  I am very proud to tell them that they were painstakingly collected, piece by piece, week after week, at the local grocery until the set was complete - making sure not to miss an item; plates, bowls, cups, saucers, dessert plates, platters, serving bowls, ... you get the idea.   

These dishes mean a lot to me - they somehow signify the will of a woman who maybe couldn't get a new full "SET" of dishes but could certainly afford a few bucks a week to collect them.   But can you imagine the time it took?   THAT means something.  These dishes remind me of family holidays, all of us kids around the table for a fantastic dinner, and years later coming back with our own families and gathering around the same table and using the same "good dishes".   

Now, my kids will remember the story and recall holidays around the table using them, while watching out for the plate that has a chip on the bottom, being careful not to use the cup that has the crack,  and the question that's asked every year... "What ever happened to the gravy boat?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Dorothy and William Bellew   

Monday, March 22, 2010

Military Monday - Two Brothers, Two Armies.. Two sets of medals?

If you read my blog, you already know that I went through a very long, red-tape-filled process to get replacement medals for my Grandfather who fought and was wounded fighting with the US Army Air Force during WWII.  If you are a regular reader then you also know that my Grandfather came to the US with his family, who had to make the most difficult decision to leave his youngest at the time brother behind in England.    His brother was another reason my Grandfather joined the war, wanting to "Avenge his death".  His younger brother John was killed and buried in France while in the British Army. 

While speaking with  my Uncle recently he asked if records were available for this younger brother related to his military time.  Honestly I hadn't yet looked into getting John's military records, and I decided that I would indeed seek information on his military service and possibly any medals that may have been awarded to him.   I went to the Ministry of Defence Medal Office website, where it states that many vets from WWII never claimed their medals, and applications are still being filed by them today.  Additionally, next of kin of those personnel can apply for medals as well.   Turns out that my Mom qualifies as a next of kin in this case, being the daughter of a full-blooded sibling to the soldier.  He has no other surviving siblings.  It is unlikely that anyone claimed any medals that were due to him.
After finding the necessary forms on their website, we have submitted documentation to the Ministry of Defence Medal Office in England and are awaiting word from them on John's records and medals.   It would be wonderful for our family to have the medals from two brothers who fought in the same war for two different armies.    Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You Never Know Who You Might Meet At the Flea Market

I love the flea market!   This time of year we have a local, very large one, open on Saturday and Sunday till about 2:00pm.   Today it was beautiful and I decided to take a ride over there.  I don't go looking for anything in particular, just to get out for a bit and enjoy the weather looking at other people's junk...  today I found a treasure.

I've ALWAYS loved old books - something about them attracts me and theres a gentlemen who sells them (along with other ephemera) every weekend.   I visited with him several times in summers past and this year he was there again with this piles of books and papers and boxes of post cards.   Turns out he buys most of this stuff at estate sales and just imagine what else he gathers...  family photos!   Now, I've never seen a box of them at his stand before so I was excited to see this addition to his wares and quickly began searching through them, all the while my heart was breaking for the families that these items were removed from.   He came over and struck up a conversation, remembering me from summers past and we began to talk about the photos and how sad it was that they weren't where they belonged.

While we talked, I was very glad to know that when he obtains scrapbooks, diaries, and other sorts of family history that appears to be "gathered" he keeps it together.   Many of the sellers remove all the items, preferring to get a couple bucks for each photo.   He told me about letters that he transcribed for a local library over the winter months and other things that he's been working on.    While we dug through the photos together I noted a few had names on them, and mentioned to him that there are websites that can be used to reunite these photos with potential family members.  "Oh really?  Do you do that sort of thing?"    I explained to him that while I have a great interest in family history, sadly no I had never reunited any photos with their right families.   He turned to me and handed me a picture of a girl "See if you can find her family".   Who?  Me?  Really?   I hesitated a moment but decided I would give it a shot.

Now, this isn't the best part of this story.   While we were talking I asked him if he had ever done any research into his own genealogy.   He tells me his last name and my chin hit the ground...   same as mine!   So, it's my married name and I have only researched my husband's family back about 5 generations and I had much work to do, but I know that they were in DC in the late 1800s..   same as this guy!   Unbelievable!  Needless to say I'm going to research this family a bit further and I will meet with Dave again in coming weeks while he works his table at the flea market.      

Now on to my little project girl.  Yes there is a name, and a address and even a date on this photo.   I know that DeadFred is one avenue to reunite photos with families, but my concern is that the family actually has to be looking for her!     So I opted to try Ancestry first, hoping that I would find her in a tree.  Turns out I did find a tree that includes her and I found her in the 1920 census, the same year this photo was taken.  I could confirm her age, the address written on the photo and get info on her parents which I compared with the information in the public tree - I had found her.  I have reached out to the tree owner via Ancestry and I'm hopeful that they can tell me if Emma had any descendants (none are listed in the tree) or if there are further descendants of her parents.   Hopefully I'll hear back from them.
Written inside the folded flaps that cover the photo:
Emma E. Zoll
63 Dahlgren
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Graduated Jan 28, 1920
Age 13 Years

Saturday Shout Out - Visits and New Follows

A post that I began two weeks ago - to acknowledge my blogging friends who've come by and posted comments during the last couple weeks.   If you're not familiar with their blogs, be sure to stop by.  This is a great way to share other blogs that readers may not have seen yet - I myself visit many blogs by looking at what everyone else is reading. Also below is a list of the blogs that I just began following recently.

Thanks for coming by and reading!!!

Lisa at The Faces of My Family
Joan at Roots 'n' Leaves
Linda at Documenting The Details
Nancy at My Ancestors and Me
Lindalee at Flipside
Lori at Genealogy and Me
Ruth at Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me

Here's some blogs that I started following in the last couple weeks:
Bits of Yesterday
In My Life
Journey To The Past
Up A Tree
Journey Home
Betty's Boneyard Genealogy Blog
[Family] History Is The Lie Commonly Agreed Upon
Family History News and More
On A Flesh and Bone Foundation:  An Irish History
Digging In... To My Past

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Great Grandparents
Joseph Leeming b. 9/10/1886 Quebec, Canada; d. 9/29/1950 Adams, Massachusetts
Sarah Hannah Roe Leeming b.1891 Lancashire England; d. 6/24/1965 N. Adams, Massachusetts

Monday, March 15, 2010

Military Monday

Carl Poates and unknown boy
(born Carr Anderson, son of Leonard Anderson and May Kidwell)
PFC 1st Marine Division
photo taken 1950-54

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fearless Female Series - Working Girl

Thanks so much to Lisa of The Accidental Genealogist blog for posting a series of blog prompts titled Fearless Females for the month of March, Women's History Month.

March 12 - Working Girl:  Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home?  What did she do? Describe her occupation.

I chose my grandmother Edna for this prompt, not because she's the only one who worked (EVERY woman in my family worked), but because I have a photo of her at the job she held in the late 40s, early 1950s.  Grandma worked at the Leland Pharmacy in Montgomery County Maryland, behind the counter serving customers lunch, ice cream and coffee.     Later in life Grandma worked at various electronic companies in the assembly department, and in her late years she worked at a local Denny's near her home serving coffee - a job she really enjoyed for it's social aspect.  Grandma loved being around other people.

Here's a photo of Leland Pharmacy from the street.  This photo was dated 1949.

This photo shows Grandma working behind the counter with another employee (name unknown)

Grandma is in the background of this photo (below the pipe displays).  I included it because it's such a cool photograph of the place.  According to the note on this one, the lady facing the camera is Donna Collins.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Edna Reba Keener
Daughter of May Kidwell and Clarence Keener
Taken 1936 - age 12 years
half sister of last week's Wordless Wednesday subject

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Hott & Quick Family Members

My Great Grand Aunt, Frances Virginia Hott was born in 1889 in Virginia. She was the daughter of Samuel William Hott and Mary Matilda Henderson. 

Known to my Dad as Aunt Fannie, she was married to John E. Quick of Fairfax County Virginia.   The two are buried at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in Lewinsville, Fairfax Co., Virginia.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Military Monday - Honorable Discharge

This is the Honorable Discharge certificate for my Grandfather, William Patrick Bellew.    It shows that he was discharged on Nov 28, 1944, at Fletcher General Hospital in Cambridge Ohio after being transferred there for care of his wounds received on July 29, 1944.     This certificate was obviously folded while it was kept and I believe he carried it with him for sometime.  

The reverse of this document shows the Enlisted Record for the soldier, which I have previously posted here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Visits and New Follows

A few other bloggers that I regularly read are doing month end shout-outs to other bloggers who have left comments on their blog during the month.  I believe it was Apple of Apple's Tree who started this regular post - thanks to her for a great idea!   I don't always get the computer time necessary to keep a running list or put one together for a full month, so I think I'll try weekly or every-other-week post on this because I think it's a fantastic idea and also great way to share other blogs that readers may not have seen yet - I myself visit many blogs by looking at what everyone else is reading.  I took it a step further and added a list of the blogs that I just started following this week. 

So, to my followers (I just reached 90 this week!) and anyone who happened by (reached 5000 hits this week!) Thanks so much for reading and for letting me know you stopped by!!!

Ruth of Genealogy Is Ruthless Without Me
Jenna of Desperately Seeking Surnames
Lori of Genealogy and Me
Mary of Mary's Musings
Becky of My Genealogy Pondering
Lindalee of Flipside
Cheryl of Heritage Happens
Michelle of The Turning of Generations
Wendy of  New England Genealogy
Cindy of In My Life
Harriet of Genealogy Fun
These are some of the blogs that I began following this week -
Stardust 'n' Roots
Are you My Cousin?
A Root Digger
Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me
Of Trolls and Lemons
Climbing My Family Tree
Journey to the Past
Roots and Branches

Thursday, March 4, 2010

2010 Census Delivered!

I'll admit it, I've been excited about getting the census form for 2010 and what questions would be asked of us.   Seems silly I know, but the thought of someone 100 years from now looking at my document thrills me. 

Earlier this week there was a knock on the door and a census worker dropped off a plastic bag containing the form with an envelope for its return.   I had previously thought that this would come in the mail.  

Following are the questions:

1.  How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?

2.  Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in question 1?

3.  Is this house, apartment, or mobile home -  (multiple choice answers here) 
  • Owned with mortgage?
  • Owned free and clear?
  • Rented?
  • Occupied without paying of rent?
4.  What is your telephone number?  We may call if we don't understand an answer.

5.  Please provide information for each person living here.  Start with a person living here who owns or rents this house, apartment or mobile home.  If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here.   This will be person 1.        
Last Name:
First Name:

6.  Sex

7.  Age on 04/01/2010 and date of birth

8.  Of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin? (For this census, Hispanic origins are not races) Multiple choice answers include:
  • No
  • Yes, Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano
  • Yes, Puerto Rican
  • Yes, Cuban
  • Yes, another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin - print origin below
9.  What is this person's race?  Multiple choice:
  • White
  • Black, African Am., or Negro
  • American Indian or Alaska Native - print name of enrolled or principle tribe below
  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Other Asian (print below)
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Guamanian or Chamorro
  • Samoan
  • Other Pacific Islander (Print below)
  • Some Other Race (print below)
10.  Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? Yes or No, (if yes there are multiple choices such as college, nursing home, jail etc.)

All additional people in the home answer number 5-10 above and one additional question -

How is this person related to Person 1?
  • Husband or wife
  • Biological son or daughter
  • Adopted son or daughter
  • Stepson or stepdaughter
  • Brother or sister
  • Father or mother
  • Grandchild
  • Parent-in-law
  • Son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • Other relative
  • Roomer or boarder
  • Housemate or roommate
  • Unmarried partner
  • Other nonrelative

So, there are no questions about where anyone was born, parents etc.    I wonder if they'd mind if we attached notes to our forms for our future genealogists who might view these later?

Fearless Females Series - A Wedding

Thanks so much to Lisa of The Accidental Genealogist blog for posting a series of blog prompts titled Fearless Females for the month of March, Women's History Month.

March 4th - Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Post a photo too if you have one.

Bertie (aka Birdie, Birdy) Horsman was born in August of 1883 in Virginia. She was the daughter of John Thomas (JT) Horsman and Emma Katherine Dawson.

Bertie married Silas Bernard Kidwell on May 21, 1902 in Falls Church, VA.   The couple had 13 children.

While I am not certain that this is a wedding photo, I have no others of this couple together and it certainly appears that they are dressed for an occasion.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Virginia Anderson
Daughter of May Kidwell and Leonard C. Anderson
Taken 1936 - 6 years old

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fearless Females Series - Emma Katherine Dawson

Thanks so much to Lisa of The Accidental Genealogist blog for posting a series of blog prompts titled Fearless Females for the month of March, Women's History Month.  One thing that I love about blog posts series - they make me go look at what I know, and often don't know. 

Today's prompt reads - Post a photo of one of your female ancestors.   Who is in the photo?  When was it taken?  Why did you select this photo?
This is a photo of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Emma Katherine Dawson Horsman Beckwith. A cousin was kind enough to share this with me about 10 years ago.  Emma Dawson is someone that I've not done much research on - nor have I ever really posted anything about the Dawson family on my blog - and this is why I chose her.    She was born in 1865 in Virginia and died in 1936 in Vienna, Fairfax County, Virginia.  Emma was married twice; first to John Thomas Horsman (my 3rd Great Grandfather), and then to Benjamin Beckwith.  She was the mother of 11 children. 

Tombstone Tuesday

This is the headstone of Rachel Roe, my great grand Aunt.   Rachel was the daughter of George William Roe and Jane Fountain.    She was born in New York in 1899 and died in 1930 in Adams Massachusetts, where she is buried in the Bellevue Cemetery.   Rachel was the mother of two small children at the time of her death, which was caused by a fall down a flight of stairs.

Again a very special thank you to Eric Jacobsson, a Find-A-Grave volunteer who photographed this headstone for me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Military Monday - WWII Crew Assignment

This is a document that I received from a friend who is very interested in the history of the 94th Bomb Group of the Army Air Force during WWII. Much of this group was stationed at Bury St. Edmunds base in England. This Special Orders document dated Feb 21, 1944 shows my grandfather William Bellew, as being assigned to the crew of 1st Lt. Floyd Butler, the pilot that he flew with on every mission in the war, with the exception of his last.
This is just one more piece to the puzzle in putting together the military history of my family. Many of these Bomb Groups have message boards and forums full of very knowledgeable members who can help you find out the information about your soldier.