Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Comments and New Follows

Several weeks in the making, this shout out is to acknowledge those who have come by and left comments for me recently.    Thanks so much to everyone for reading!

sister sheri at The Leaking Window
A Rootdigger
Michelle Robillard at Call Me Shell
Renate at Into the LIGHT
Magpie's Mumblings
Greta Kohl at Greta's Genealogy Bog
Astrid at Of Trolls and Lemons
Maureen at The Photo Detective
Nolichucky Roots
Lori E. at Stories Of My Ancestors
Lindalee at Flipside

Following are some blogs that I've recently added to my reading list:

Family Forest Blog
Calling All Cousins
Mary Jane's Genes
Spirits Of The Old

Thanks to everyone for reading and following! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

Treasures come in many forms.  Most adults think of treasures as items of great monetary value..  that is, most adults who don't have some attachment to everything and anything that came from those before us - I often wonder if all genealogists or family historians aren't pack-rats in this way. 

Kids are a bit different, especially in their younger years - a treasure can be anything from a rock collection, a precious flower given to Mommy, shells found on the beach,  or a big box of costume jewelry to dig through on a rainy afternoon.

Today I show a box such as this, overflowing with such treasures.   This box belonged to my Grandmother and the kids in our family have, over the past 15 or so years, enjoyed visiting it again and again to dig, discover, and try on all of Grandma's "treasures".     After looking through it again recently, I have a new found appreciation for Grandma's style and will be presenting some of the items from it in the coming weeks. 

John & Margaret McCann Bellew Family Scrapbook

I previously posted a few photos of this family scrapbook which I made for my Mother back in 2008, and another for my Uncle this year.  I wanted to share it again for the Carnival of Genealogy: Scrapbooking Your Family History.   The first book has been added to since it was first made, because of additional tidbits or photos found on any given person, and making changes and additions are easy enough to do with traditional paper scrapbooks.

When I began documenting my Bellew line, I was intrigued by the story of my Great-Grandparents, and their voyages to the US, the heartbreak of losing a son in WWII, and what became of the others. Armed with the information and a few photos, a scrapbook was born. The very first page was an introduction to the story, including a copy of the marriage certificate of John & Margaret McCann Bellew. The rest of the story just fell into place from there.

I started with their journey - passenger lists, photos of where they departed, a postcard of the ship and correspondence between John & Margaret during their time apart

Two pages followed, showing census records, photos from the mills, city directories, and churches where the family attended Mass.

I also created a page for each of them individually, giving information on their parents, their place of birth, death etc.

I then created pages for each of their sons.  Some had more than others, depending on the information available to put into the book.   My Grandfather, William Bellew had the most pages of course (9 in total), and I included all information I could find on each of his three brothers.

This was a very rewarding project in two ways;  it brought life to all the documents and the story they can tell, and it's something that can be passed down to later generations of the family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Keener Brothers
Donald, Vernon & Jerry
 Rockville, Maryland

Tombstone Tuesday - Visit to a non-connected cemetery

While I've got ties to colonial period Maryland, I've not found any family in St. Mary's County (just yet anyway).  I visited the area recently and we stopped by a cemetery at the Trinity Episcopal Church, which is right next to the (replica) state house in St. Mary's City.    It was a hot day, I mean EXTREMELY hot and humid, but we wandered around the old cemetery for a bit..  doesn't everyone love to do that? 

Of course I didn't photograph the entire cemetery, but will visit again and 'gather' more headstones, which I will add to Find A Grave.  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Military Monday - What the heck is this thing and where did it come from?

I found something this weekend - something that doesn't make any sense but a very interesting item indeed.    This item was in my Dad's things, and from what my Mom recollects, he said it was his father's.  Dad was told sometime ago that it was from someone in his family, but who that was, we have no idea.

On one side it appears this way - with the year of 1813 at the bottom...

The flip side looks like this, with another year -1939 at the bottom and (gasp) a swastika (the official emblem of the Nazi Party) in the center.

I've done VERY LITTLE research on this item, but thought it was a great find and wanted to share it today.  From what I've read during the weekend, it's called the Iron Cross and was a German military award during WWII.   There are many different variations of it, I believe this one to be the Iron Cross - 2nd Class, an award for bravery in battle, or other military contribution on the battlefield.

Now for the mystery - my Dad's father did not fight in WWII, so how did he get this item? Who did it belong to and where on earth did they get it? These questions remain to be researched.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Postcards From The Past

Something recently found in my Dad's things - a postcard from someone seemingly named "Dora" as written here, a cousin of my Great Grandmother Sallie Hott Anderson.

I had never come across a cousin named Dora Henderson in my research and this of course sent me investigating who this could be.   Sallie's mother's maiden name was Mary Henderson, so I started with her family -  this may be a first cousin to Sallie.   Mary had 4 brothers that I knew of, but I had not researched their families in detail.  After finding two of them and coming up with nothing I turned my attention to Robert Henderson, born abt. 1861 in West Virginia.  I could not find a marriage record for Robert on the on WV vitals site so I turned to the census records in search of Dora.    I found a Dora E - age 15 in 1920 with Robert and Minnie Henderson.  Living in the same town that I know this family to be from.  But Dora was listed as a son.  So I then looked at 1910 and found the children of this couple listed as Benjamin, Lottie, Emma, May and Dorie - age 5 (again listed as a son).  I know at this point I have the correct family as I also have a postcard here from his sister Lottie.    So what I thought was a postcard from a little girl, turned out to be from a little boy, and it was written around 1910.  A check of the births for Hampshire county I found a son Dorey Henderson born to Robert in 1905. 

Obviously this card appears to have been written for him, and it reveals another puzzle - he mentions playing with a little sister, who I have yet to identify.  In 1910 there were no younger sisters in the home with Dorey, and I have not (in the past few hours) found a death or birth record to verify who this child was.  

The other post card from Lottie appears to have been written in the same handwriting.  Lottie would have been 13 at the time this postcard was written - possibly she penned both of them.   I'll post hers another time.  In the meantime, can anyone out there make out what the card above says after "... I play with my little sister _______ baby ________  cousin"