Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1) What is the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing you have done in pursuit of your ancestral families and their family history?
2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, a comment to this post, or a comment or status on Facebook.
Well, defining ‘most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing’ may differ from person to person. For an introvert who was not very fond of English classes, just writing this blog is somewhat ‘off-the-wall’. Towards the end of my teaching career, I was amazed at how much writing I was doing when I didn’t like to write in high school. I will admit that the vast majority of the writing during my career would be considered ‘technical writing.’
Looking back, however, I would have to say my two trips to Salt Lake City would qualify as crazy for introvert me. Can you imagine getting on a bus for a 10 day trip by yourself when you don’t know anyone else on said bus? Thankfully, everyone on that bus had something in common — genealogy. And our ‘entertainment’ was spending as many hours as possible in the library. Not only did I take one trip but I also ventured out and took a second trip — again without knowing anyone but the tour director. Would I do something similar again? I don’t know. With the right destination, I just might.
Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision.
1) What would you put into your own “Family History Time Capsule” for your descendants to open in the future? What would you use for the capsule? Where would you keep it? Who should open it?
While I’ve never thought about a time capsule, I have thought about the concept of ‘passing down’ family items. So, for this exercise, my time capsule is a 10×10 room. In other words, my time capsule is my genealogy office. My ‘time capsule’ contains two bookcases containing family notebooks, my computer along with USB drives and filing cabinets.
Besides the notebooks for various branches of my family tree are notebooks for each of my brothers. These notebooks contain items related to their lives and their families. While some of the items are recent additions, many are the photos and family items kept by my parents.
The family notebooks contain documents and photos for the family unit. These documents and photos have been scanned and many have been shared to Ancestry and FamilySearch.
More family photos are found in the closet. While most closets contain clothes, the closet in my genealogy office also contains a filing cabinet. This filing cabinet contains scrapbooks and photo albums passed down by my grandmothers. Also in the closet are my mother’s photo albums. Many of these photos have been scanned, and also uploaded to FamilySearch.
A second filing cabinet contains paper research. Some of this paper research has been scanned while some has not. Most of it is from my early days of research. Those who ‘open’ my time capsule will likely ignore the items in this filing cabinet. Thus, I need to spend some time sifting thru the paper to scan and preserve documents that cannot be found on Ancestry or other sources of digital records.
And then we come to my computer. Since most of what is found on my bookshelves and in my filing cabinets has been scanned, my computer could be considered my time capsule. It contains
Photos of family events in my PICTURES folder grouped in subfolders for the event
Everything genealogy related in my GENEALOGY folder
Photos, scanned images and downloaded images to support my family tree in surname subfolders in the GENEALOGY\EXHIBITS folder
Everything DNA related in the GENEALOGY\DNA and GENEALOGY\yDNA folders
Backups of my genealogy work, documents and pictures on USB drives
My computer is also my link to various online accounts. These accounts are like ‘windows’ into my time capsule. They allow distant cousins to access various aspects of my time capsule.
Ancestry tree – Heartland Genealogy – updated using RootsMagic’s TreeShare
FamilySearch – using RootsMagic’s feature allowing the linking of individuals in my RootsMagic file to the FamilySearch tree
This blog — where I’ve share my research findings and reports from RootsMagic
WikiTree — where I’m starting to share information about my ancestral lines
While my genealogy office is not locked, my computer does have a lock on it. Thus, I would have to share the ‘key’ with recipients of my time capsule. Currently, my husband is the only other person who knows the ‘key’. However, I need to share it with my brothers and potentially with my nieces and nephew since they will likely be the ones needing to ‘open’ my time capsule.
I don’t remember visiting Santa or making a list. However, I do remember going thru the Sears Christmas catalog. I don’t think we actually marked up the catalog, but we did talk about our ‘wishes’ with our parents.
Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
Yes, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the magic and wonder that Santa Claus adds to the Christmas holidays.
When did you find out the ‘truth’ about Santa?
I believe I heard ‘rumors’ from my classmates that Santa wasn’t real. That Christmas, Santa brought a yellow truck with a ‘Michigan’ logo for one of my brothers. Since my father had been in Michigan for summer school, I concluded that my dad brought the truck back from Michigan. When I said something along those lines, my mom asked me to keep quiet so that I didn’t ‘ruin’ the magic for my younger brothers.
Pictured below are my brothers on Christmas morning. This picture is likely a year or two before I questioned my parents about Santa.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
A) Genea-Blogger Linda Stufflebean created a “December Genea-Meme” – so this is our challenge for Saturday Night. Thank you, Linda!!
B) Copy the 20 questions below to your own blog post or to a word processor, and answer the questions.
Here’s are the 20 questions:
1. What is one genea-accomplishment this year of which you are proud?
One thing that I’m in the process of accomplishing during 2022 is blogging every day. Since I tend to write ahead, I have about 8 days in December for which I have yet to write a blog post. If you had told me as a high school student that I would be writing this much, I would have told you that you were crazy!
2. Is there a particular song that when you first hear it, tells you that the holidays arehere?
I don’t know that there is any one particular song that I hear on the radio or music services that makes me think of the holidays. However, when it comes to church, there is one song that seems to be the one song sung year after year at the start of the adven season: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
3. Share a holiday memory which is special for you.
I’m not sure that I have any holiday memories that are more special than others.
4. Has your family passed down any holiday stories?
The one holiday story that has been passed down in the story of the birth of my twin brothers.
5. Which past genea-gift have you really appreciated?
While I didn’t receive it at Christmas time, the genea-gift that I really appreciated was the gift from fellow faculty members at the time of my retirement. I received. This cash gift allowed me to purchase a yDNA test that has since been upgraded to a BigY test.
6. Does your family cook any holiday recipes that have been handed down?
While these recipes are no longer prepared every year, I have three recipes that were prepared yearly while growing up.
Frozen fruit salad — my grandmother found this recipe and would bring it to Christmas dinner
Sugar cookies — my mom had a sugar cookie recipe that I still use. Since I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, I did not make any sugar cookies this year.
Pecan Caramel Roll — My mother would make a variety of candy at Christmas time: fudge, divinity, nougat, peanut brittle, pralines and pecan caramel roll. While I haven’t made this recipe for quite some time, it is still my favorite.
7. What is your favorite holiday song?
My favorite holiday song is O Holy Night.
8. Is there a holiday song that you wish was forgotten forever?
I can’t think of one.
9. What is one (realistic) item on your Genea-Santa list this year?
While my wish for 2023 is somewhat realistic, it may not be something that Genea-Santa can deliver at Christmas time. My wish is to take a genealogy trip to the area of Garrard county, Kentucky.
10. What is one item on your not-so-realistic wish list for Genea-Santa?
Enough people completing BigY tests to find a common ancestor for my Crawford line and to show how descendants of Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford connect.
11. What holiday meal will be served?
In an effort to keep my husband healthy, we will likely stay home for Christmas. Thus, smoked pork chops and baked potatoes will be our Christmas dinner.
12. Will your family reminisce about past holidays when you get together?
Since we aren’t getting together, I doubt that we will be doing much reminiscing.
13. Will you travel to spend the day with others?
With RSV, influenza and Covid-19 showing increases in cases in Kansas, my husband and I will likely avoid travel this holiday season in an attempt to avoid getting sick.
14. Do you have old family holiday photos or home movies that will be viewed thisyear?
Growing up, my grandmother would take ‘movies’ each Christmas. We would watch those movies over and over. Thus, those movies are the basis for many of my childhood memories. Unfortunately, the film deteriorated before we were able to convert it.
15. Did you break through any brick walls in 2022?
While I still need to do more research on the line, I found that my ancestor, Rachel Harris, is likely a granddaughter of Daniel Harris and Elizabeth Demarest on her father’s side and Major Simon Gerrit VanArsdale and Rachel Banta on her mother’s side. This takes those lines back to early New York.
16. Has your family shared any holiday recipes/activities or ??? which have becomenew yearly traditions?
Since my husband and I do not have children, our holidays are often different from families with children. However, we started ushering for Christmas eve services at The Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Since we were traveling to the Kansas City area to serve as ushers, we would sign up for most of the evening. This ‘tradition’ ended in 2018 when my husband had a severe case of pneumonia. Even though we had to stay home that year, I was able to watch the Christmas Eve services online. With Covid, watching the Christmas Eve services has become a new ‘tradition’.
17. Do you have a 2022 genea-goal which could have been accomplished, but overwhich you’ve procrastinated?
YES! One of my 2022 goals was to ‘back up’ my blog. And I would get an ‘F’ for this goal.
18. Do you participate in any holiday activities with your neighbors?
19. Think – if you had to choose right this minute – which ancestor would you mostlike to meet?
This one’s easy: JAMES CRAWFORD
20. What is one of your 2023 genealogy goals?
Even though I have completed my 2022 research goals, I’ve yet to write my goals for 2023. In my pondering of those goals, I keep coming back to how writing research notes helped me find ‘holes’ in my research.
Thus, my 2023 goals will likely include creating research notes for my grandparent, great grandparents and 2nd great grandparents. Then, I will likely start working on updating research of my 4th great grandparents.
A) Genea-Blogger Linda Stufflebean noted that December 8th is “Pretend You Are a Time Traveler Day.” Today’s challenge is: Where would you go? Would you choose a person, place or event in the past or travel into the future? Would you remain an observer or would you actively participate?” Linda suggested this challenge.
If I could time travel, where would I go? Well the obvious answer to me is to a place and time to help me with a genealogy brick wall. Thus, my first choice would be to Garrard County Kentucky on 12 September 1799. This is when my 4th great grandfather, James Crawford married Sally Duggins.
By being present at the time of their marriage, I would be able to ask them quite a few questions.
Who are your parents?
Are your parents still living? If so, where are they living? If not, when and where did they die?
How and when did you travel to Garrard County, Kentucky?
How did you meet?
Where were you living prior to coming to Garrard County?
What can you tell me about the history of your family? Do you know when your family arrived in the colonies? Do you know where they arrived? Do you know why they traveled to the colonies?
Where were you living during the revolutionary war?
Did you help the fight for independence? Why or why not?
James Sellers witnessed the marriage bond. Why did you ask him to support your marriage in this way?
Who are your siblings? Where are they living? Who have they married?
Where will you be living after your marriage?
Why did you move to Kentucky?
Questions for Sally:
How did you meet Alexander Duggins?
Where were you living when your sons were born?
Where were you living when Alexander died?
How did you learn of Alexander’s death?
Who was appointed guardian of your sons?
Did you and Alexander have any children besides Henry and William?
Did any of Alexander’s family travel to Kentucky with you? If so, who?
Questions for James:
Are you related to James Crawford who married Martha Knight? If so, how?
Are you related to James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson? If so, how?
Are you related to George Douglass?
Are you related to the SELLERS family (Nathaniel and his sons)
Are you related to the DOOLEY family? (Moses and sons)
Do you have a previous marriage?
What have you been doing since turning 21?
I’m sure there are many many more questions to ask this couple. While records my reveal answers to many of these questions, it is a very slow process locating such records.
Thank you Randy and Linda for this though provoking activity!
A) What is one of your most vivid childhood memories? Was it family, friends, places, events, or just plain fun? Your first memory? Your most fun memory?
Memories – are they memories of the event or memories of the family films and photographs? That’s a hard question for me to answer since we watched those family movies over and over.
My earliest memory that is not from one of those movies is of our home in Kansas City when I was 3-4 years old. These memories are just flashes and not backed up by any family photos. My father was a teacher at Washington High School in Wyandotte County, Kansas. My memory is of a small house on a property that had a corral where they broke horses. Other memories of this time period involve my brother (18 months younger) and I sharing a room and the walls being stucco or cement.
Another memory from a couple of years later is of my brother and I playing out in the snow with our neighbor in Dodge City. While playing, we watched a helicopter fly over with what was likely hay bales hanging from the copter. I also remember talking about the helicopter over the evening meal when my dad explained they were taking food to the cattle because their normal food was covered in snow.
Another memory from the same time period is of getting my tonsils out. I remember the ether mask coming down over my face and scaring me. The next day, mom served bierocks for supper. Since my throat was still sore, I couldn’t eat them. When I asked my mom about this, she said that she thought we could eat whatever since we had been jumping on the bed all day long. Unfortunately, my only memories of this time are of the mask and of not being able to eat. To this day, I don’t like bierocks.
When it comes to fun memories, I have a lot from my Dodge City days. There were five families with children about the age of me and my brothers in the neighborhood: Lee, Keeley, Edminston, Sayre and us. Summer time found us outside playing all over the neighborhood. Other fun memories involve going to the pool almost every day at 5 pm to swim.
And then there were the vacations. Living in Dodge City, we often went to the mountains for our vacation. One of those vacations was to the mountains around Taos, New Mexico. During that trip we went to a ‘fish farm’ where my brothers and I were allowed to ‘go fishing’ The trout were biting our lines so fast, that I had caught two fish in the time it took to get my brother’s poles in the water. Thus, my parents had 4 fish to pay for instead of 3.