Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Correction! He was in Rhode Island!

In March of last year I did a post about a great grand uncle that I was told was hospitalized for most of his life. This information came direct from my Grandmother, who also told me that he was at the Northampton State Mental Hospital. I searched the census records at this location more than once, attempting to find him and assumed that he had died prior to 1920. After finding out that I couldn't get medical records from the state, I went off to search for information about the hospital this uncle was residing in. I then wrote a blog post about what I learned and went on to other things. I assumed that I'd never know more about my illusive uncle George Leeming. It's been proven to me yet again, don't always take someones word for it when given information and don't box your research into one area.

Since my Dad's passing in December, I've not had much desire to do any research. Possibly because I've not been involved in ANY research or touched the mountains of papers on my desk for more than two months. Yesterday I decided that I needed to go through that stack (at least one of them :-) and make some sense of where I was, what I was doing and where I needed to concentrate my efforts to get my 'mojo' back if you will.

Most of us know, if you start sorting a stack of papers, lots of questions come up .. "Oh, that's right, we were trying to find great Aunt Marge", or "who was this guy living with Great Granddad in 1910?" It's easy to get sidetracked onto a lead that you were following - which was okay for me in this case, because I had no idea what I wanted to do at this point. Something I came across was an obituary for my Great Grandfather that I had found on the Newspaper Archives site. Realizing that I'd not shown it to my Mom, I read it to her... "Joseph Leeming of 13 Temple Street died yesterday..... survived by brother George Leeming of Pawtucket.."
WAIT! as in Rhode Island? No wonder I couldn't find him! I quickly did a census search in 1920 and 1930 - behold, George Leeming was living at the Exeter School (R.I. School for the Feeble Minded) in both census years. So Grandma was incorrect - he'd not been in Massachusetts as she thought, but he was left in an institution in Rhode Island when the family moved. And now I knew that he was still living in 1950 when my Great Grandfather died. More research to be done on this one folks!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

John Jerry Keener

Tombstone Tuesday

Great-Great Grandmother
Jane Fountain Roe
b. Aug 10, 1866; Upwood, Huntingdonshire, England
d. Mar 9, 1958; Cheshire, MA
Buried at Bellevue Cemetery, Berkshire County MA
Daugther of Thomas Fountain and Johanna Feekins
Married George Roe, Aug 21, 1889; Great Harwood, Lancashire, England
Mother of Rachel and Sarah Hannah Roe
Special thanks to Find-A-Grave volunteer Eric Jacobsson for photographing this stone for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Military Monday

Vernon Lewis Keener

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

This is my Granddad's Purple Heart from wounds received in WWII. One of his medals that I had to get replaced by the military. If you haven't seen the post about the year-long battle I had to fight to get them, you can read all about it here. Now, I have a confession to make. I had no idea that the back of medals of this sort were engraved. I received the medals, had them out of the cases, shared them with my Grandmother. It wasn't until several months later when I visited my mother and she removed it from the box while I was sitting directly across from her that I actually noticed the William P. Bellew engraved on it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sure, we've all come across photos with people cut out of them...

I guess Grandma didn't want to cut up the car?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Military Monday

Carl A. Poates
(born Carr Anderson, son of Leonard Anderson and May Kidwell)
PFC 1st Marine Division
Korea 51-52

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sharing a little Blog Love

While I'm still not blogging regularly and I've not touched my research in more than two months, it's nice to know that I came to mind when others were sharing some blog love by passing along the Happy 101 Award to me.

Thanks so much to Harriet at Genealogy Fun and Thomas at Destination: Austin Family

So the rules are that I must list 10 things that make me happy...
All of the blessings in my life, my children, husband, parents and siblings.
Spending time with my family doing something fun yet simple
Waking up before all the kids and enjoying my coffee all by myself... just for 10 minutes
Warm snuggles with a just woke from nap 2 year old
All of my research, even the frustrating moments Baking cookies with my kids - all kinds of cookies
Snow - the more the better, as long as I know it's coming
Sifting through old photos over and over again
Chocolate & Coffee - almost a tie here. Sometimes I drink them together!
Finding a new cousin through blogging

Now I must pass this along to 10 other bloggers:
Arty Retreat
Kathryn Wheel
They That Go Down To The Sea
The You Go Genealogy Girls
Desperately Seeking Surnames
Little Bytes of Life

Saturday, January 9, 2010

RIP fellow blogger Hugh Watkins of Genealoge

Hugh Watkins, a blogger who wrote at Genealoge and many other blogs, passed away on December 29th. His obituary can be found here.

Oddly enough, his last post to the blog was on December 25th and reads:

"going to dial 999 and get freighted to heartlands hospital"

I enjoyed Hugh's posts with information and news about English genealogy interests and other genealogy items. While I never interacted with him directly, I will miss his tips on the news.

May he rest in peace.

Friday, January 8, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 1

While I'm not quite back into the "swing of things" around here (here being the blogging world), I've been very interested in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenge series that I understand is being written by a Brilliant Princess and hosted by GeneaBloggers. Thanks to the Princess and Thomas for their wonderful idea and yet another great theme to keep us all sharp!

This week's challenge reads "Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don’t forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s genealogy collection."

Let me start by saying that I live in a fairly rural area, or at least when I moved here 8 years ago it was "rural", we're now an up and coming mini Vegas (which has made me consider moving, but that's another story). I didn't expect much of our local libraries. One was in what I would call a building the size of a 7-11, the other in our historic area downtown in a very small building, only 4 computers and a museum in it's basement. I didn't expect to find much at the 7-11 library and there were little more than a few books on any given topic - no genealogy area, and very few books on the subject.

The downtown location on my first visit was a bit busy for the two ladies working and I didn't bother them since I had a 4-year-old with me and I was just exploring. There were many books on West Virginia and even many on local history and local families. Not a lot to be desired on the actual subject of genealogy, but I didn't spend much time and it was my first visit. After returning home I realized from my little imformation pamphlet that I could access their catalog on line and explore some subjects and do a bit of searching on my own which I did, and I was very surprised to see that there were many books for our neighboring states and they appeared to have a very large collection of books that may contain information related to my research.. this place deserved another visit.

I went back on a week day, with no "helpers" and asked about the seemingly special collection of books I had seen on line and wouldn't you know it - they had a seperate research room. I never even knew that it was there and didn't bother to ask on my first visit. I had to turn over my phone, camera and drivers license to enter, sign a paper stating that I wouldn't destroy anything and I was in! She got out the key, walked to a door in the corner and opened it... I had one of those "Ahhhhhh" moments, you know, when the choirs sing. I expected a small area with a few tables and chairs, but no.. this place was about half the size of the entire outer area of the library, dimly lit with nice lamps, leather chairs and 6 large conference tables. I was stunned when she opened the door and there were shelves to the ceiling and all packed with glorious books and I was the only one there!

Unfortunately, I had to be back home in an hour so I will obviously have to return again and next time I'll be well prepared with knowledge of what books I wish to view and I'll make sure I've got more than an hour. Even if my family wasn't from this area, I could and did find some records among the volumes they hold. It paid to visit my local library, even if we weren't "locals".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Pauline Keener and Albert Vance

Monday, January 4, 2010

Military Monday

Donald F. Keener
United States Marine Corps
1957 - 1962