Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday's Faces From The Past

Alfred the Great
King of Wessex
My 28th Great-Grandfather

Alfred was born in the village of Wanating, now Wantage, Oxfordshire. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex by his first wife, Osburh.

Alfred was one of only two Kings of Wessex (England) to be called "the Great" (the other being King Cnut the Great).

Alfred was anointed as King at the tender age of four by Pope Leo IV in Rome in 853. This was NOT an actual coronation, but was meant solely to symbolize the coming expectancy of his role as King, as his father was very much still ruling at the time.

Alfred fought against the Viking invasions alongside his father during those bloody years. And in April 871 King Æthelred died, and Alfred succeeded him to the throne, as his younger brother.

In 868, Alfred married Ealhswith, daughter of a Mercian nobleman, Æthelred Mucil, Ealdorman of the Gaini. The couple went on to have 5 (proven and documented) children, but there may have been a sixth. One of which happened to be my 27th great-grandfather, Edward the Elder (869-924). He ruled as King of the Wessex from 899, upon the death of his father, until his own death in 924.

Although some Christians venerate Alfred as a saint, due to his tremendous reform, not only in politics, but in education, and the church as well, an attempt to have him canonized by Henry VI of England in 1441, was not successful. has these interesting remarks regarding Alfred's burial, grave and remains:
"Death Burial and Remains
Alfred died on 26 October 899. How he died is unknown, although he suffered throughout his life with a painful and unpleasant illness. His biographer Asser gave a detailed description of Alfred's symptoms and this has allowed modern doctors to provide a possible diagnosis. It is thought that he had either Crohn's disease or haemorrhoidal disease.[7][131] His grandson King Eadred seems to have suffered from a similar illness.[132][g]

Alfred was originally buried temporarily in the Old Minster in Winchester; then, four years after his death, he was moved to the New Minster (perhaps built especially to receive his body). When the New Minster moved to Hyde, a little north of the city, in 1110, the monks were transferred to Hyde Abbey, along with Alfred's body and those of his wife and children, which were presumably interred before the high altar. Soon after the dissolution of the abbey in 1539, during the reign of Henry VIII, the church was demolished, leaving the graves intact.[134]

The royal graves and many others were probably rediscovered by chance in 1788 when a prison was being constructed by convicts on the site. Prisoners dug across the width of the altar area in order to dispose of rubble left at the dissolution. Coffins were stripped of lead, and bones were scattered and lost. The prison was demolished between 1846 and 1850.[135] Further excavations in 1866 and 1897 were inconclusive.[134][136] In 1866, amateur antiquarian John Mellor claimed to have recovered a number of bones from the site which he said were those of Alfred. These later came into the possession of the vicar of nearby St Bartholomew's Church, who reburied them in an unmarked grave in the church graveyard.[135]

Excavations conducted by the Winchester Museums Service of the Hyde Abbey site in 1999 located a second pit dug in front of where the high altar would have been located, which was identified as probably dating to Mellor's 1886 excavation.[134] The 1999 archeological excavation uncovered the foundations of the abbey buildings and some bones. Bones suggested at the time to be those of Alfred proved instead to belong to an elderly woman.[137]

In March 2013, the Diocese of Winchester exhumed the bones from the unmarked grave at St Bartholomew's and placed them in secure storage. The diocese made no claim they were the bones of Alfred, but intended to secure them for later analysis, and from the attentions of people whose interest may have been sparked by the recent identification of the remains of King Richard III.[137][138] The bones were radiocarbon-dated, but the results showed that they were from the 1300s and therefore unrelated to Alfred. In January 2014, a fragment of pelvis unearthed in the 1999 excavation of the Hyde site, which had subsequently lain in a Winchester museum store room, was radiocarbon-dated to the correct period. It has been suggested that this bone may belong to either Alfred or his son Edward, but this remains unproven.[139][140]"

****Did you guess correctly for the location of the 'Those Places Thursday' location? If you guess Notre Dame, in Paris, France, you would be correct! The gargoyle sitting on the left of the photograph, as well as the Eifel Tower seen in the distance, would have been a give away to anyone who has visited the city. Paris is a beautiful city at any time of year, and if you ever get the chance to visit you should!

This song always makes me wish for one more visit!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Those Places Thursday

I have so loved sharing those places with all of you! Thomas McEntee came up with the correct answer last Thursday! Yeah Thomas! Sorry, no prize, but maybe we can start doing that soon if enough people get involved!

Today I'm going to take you someplace else.

This photo is taken from a post card. (Yeah, don't you wish I could photograph like that? Me too! LOL)

It's what you can't see that I want you to tell me about. I know you will notice a very famous landmark in the distance. What I want you to tell me, is what famous landmark is this photograph taken from? There are clues. So, if you've been to this city, you should be able to figure out where the photographer was at when taking this pic!

Let us know where you think the photograph was taken from. Check back tomorrow for the correct answer!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wedding Wednesday

Ethel and Paul's Wedding Day
22 February 1947

This photograph was taken on the day my Aunt Ethel and Uncle Paul were married. Left to right are my grandparents: Irene (Banet) Dreher, Henry Dreher, their daughter - Ethel (Dreher) McCutchen and Paul McCutchen. They have all passed on now. Dear, sweet souls, and I miss them every one.

Grandma was a little firecracker. She could be sweet when she wanted to be, but she could let you have it when she was mad! LOL

Grandpa was a master carpenter. He built a little of everything. But his cabinetry was simply beyond belief! This man was also a scholar. He studied his Bible daily. And read the dictionary like many of us would read a novel. He once told me that when you give up learning, that was when you lay down and die. He learned something new everyday. And he was very into politics! During the Watergate incident, he would send my Mom newspaper clippings and ask her opinion of this or that. Yeah, if you wanted to get him started on a lengthy tirade, simply ask him what he thought of Richard Milhouse Nixon!

Aunt Ethel was a nurse for many years. Believe it or not, she became an LPN through a correspondence course!  In her later years, she worked as a volunteer in a nursing home. Uncle Paul, what can I say about him? He loved the outdoors. He was often seen in buckskins and going to Mountain Man rally's.

The photograph above was taken just a little over 70 years ago. Weren't they all simply gorgeous? That was when Men were Men, and Ladies were Ladies. (I keep saying I was born in the wrong time era! LOL) I love how the women dressed in the 30's and 40's and 50's.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday's Tip - Use a Dehumidifier

Here you can see some of my prized genealogy books that were nearly ruined in the last year.

I thought my study felt damp, but DH couldn't seem to find a reason why. That is until he opened up the closet to take a peak in there. Seems the hot water heater is actually behind a panel in the study closet. I am not electrically intelligent, so I can't begin to tell you what was wrong with it, but for some reason it wouldn't not shut down when the water got hot. It kept heating. The result was the steam was venting out into the closet, and seeping into my study!

That steam sent so much water into the air that once it was fixed, we discovered thick mold on almost every book in the room! Papers were limp. (Thank goodness I had all of my records in archival sleeves, because those weren't affected at all! Take that as a plug to always use archival sleeves for your important records!)

I will tell you, the books are now all free from that nasty green fungi mold. And you might ask how I managed to save them?

Well, I came across a wonderful article on (you can read it here). As you can tell from the article, denatured alcohol saved my precious books! I was so happy!!! (And I'm still doing the Happy Dance! Oh yeah...Go me...Oh yeah...Go me!)

I purchased a small dehumidifier after the water heater fiasco. And that has helped preserve my books as well. (You wouldn't believe how much moisture is removed just on a regular day, but when the humidity is up outside who would think it wouldn't get so high in here as well!) But it does. In the summer, I have a window air-conditioner that helps get some of the moisture out as well. So, I feel blessed to have a double action going on in here!

Make sure that the room that you are storing research books, or photo albums, or your precious research, is kept dry by use of a dehumidifier, or keep an oscillating fan going so that it blows across the books or research and prevents mold or mildew buildup. And check your books frequently so that if you should have this problem, you will catch it in time!

Do you have a passion for books? If so, you will want to read the article on to protect them!

Now, I have a question for all of you? Do you use any kind of organization for your books? Do you group them by subject? By author? By genre? Dewey Decimal System? Let us know in the comments what kind of system, if any, you use?

I put my books on the shelf by genre, and then I alphabetize them. (Well, I have a pretty large collection of books, that seems to grow every few days! LOL) It helps me a lot when I'm doing research, as I can go immediately to any book I know.

Do you keep a log of the titles and authors of your books? Do you write down the names of friends or colleagues who borrow your books? There are some great forms to print online that will help you.
I haven't always kept a log. But I do now. It is on . Which I absolutely love. Because there I not only have the books I read, but my input on them, and I can even look up the authors of present day writers and find out about them. It keeps me on track. And it helps me make a goal. This year, my goal was to read 52 books for 2017. It is only May, and I have already completed 37 of the 52! So I'm actually ahead of myself!

Do you have a favorite genre of book that you enjoy reading more than any other?

I don't. I just love to read to learn. I read a lot of biographies. I enjoy anything that can help me with genealogy! I enjoy some romance. I read Christian materials (I am a licensed minister in this state.). I am kind of odd, in that I enjoy reading travel guide books. And even more than that, I enjoy reading technical manuals. When I was married to my first husband, when he first went into the military, we had no money for books. We didn't have a car. So I couldn't get to a library, because public transportation didn't run in that direction. So I was without books to read! I reread the few I had brought with me to our tiny 2 room apartment. And when I was about to read those books for the 4th or 5th time, I started grabbing soup cans, and bean bags, and even macaroni and cheese boxes, just to find something, anything, to read. (I met an old cowboy in Texas; he had a whole library of westerns; I had a whole library of romance novels. We swapped books 4 or 5 at a time. He introduced me to Louis Lamour, Max Brand, Ron Hanson, Larry McMurtry, Dee Brown (amazing books on American Indian History, he wrote "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". Broke my heart!), and of course the great Zane Grey! And so many others! I usually have any where from 2 to 4 books in various rooms of the house. The books don't leave those rooms, and I mark my place and read some more the next time I go into that room. DH thinks it's impossible to read 3 or 4 books at the same time. But I find it quite relaxing, and challenging!

Do you mark your place with a bookmark? Or do you turn down the corners of a page? (Shame on you if you do that! You weaken the fibers of the page doing that. Always use a bookmark. And if the book is written prior to 1965, be sure to use an acid-free book mark.)

Protect your precious books. Whether you have them in hard copy, or in digital format. (Back up your ebooks monthly!) And you'll have a library worthy of passing on when you are ready to do that.

Do you shop flea markets and garage sales for books? Do you shop in used book stores? I do all three. I was very lucky to find a first edition of 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' that I gave to my Mom one year for her birthday. (Alice in Wonderland was her favorite story!) you never know what you'll find.

Do you enjoy the smell of old books? That's the whole reason why I love to go and spend hours in a used book store! DH and I can go in a used book store and be lost for hours! We come out having spent $2-$300 almost every time!

Do you have a hobby you enjoy more than books? Let us hear from you!

Oh, and what book am I reading in the study this evening? The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck. Excellent read so far!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mappy Monday

I cam across this medieval map of England on the National Geographic site. It looks awesome. Of course, you aren't able to read it. I know that! That's because the map is for sale. And at a reasonable $19.99.  It measures at 22.75" x 29.25". A good size for framing or simply pinning up to a board while doing research on your ancestry. I think I'm going to order it.

I have recently discovered my family, through 2 of it's various and sundry lines, goes back to medieval England, and even further back than that. (Dahling, the kings and queens of Europe are well documented don't ya know?, she says with her snobby nose in the air. -tee-hee!)

National Geographic has a lot to offer for your genealogy quest. This is the first piece I'm ordering, though. Just because it's what I can use right now. I think it will be fun to pin the places my ancestors lived.

But I'm really torn between this map, which is relevant to the research I am currently working on, or a huge scholar world map. It's about a $40 difference. I have room in my study for either, or for both.

Help me to make a decision here! Which one do you think would be more beneficial? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sing Along Sunday

I've decided to put a bit of a twist on my Sunday posts, and feature some of the songs I used to love to sing to (and still do when I turn on the radio and hear them!). So here's a little one that I used to sing along with, let's just a few years back. (Don't want ya'all to think I'm too old! LOL)

Seasons in the Sun
Terry Jacks

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Shopping Saturday

Shopping Saturday

Is this you? Do you go out one your days off from work, and spend, and spend, and spend some more? Do you see something on sale, and automatically think "It's such a bargain, someone I know can surely use this!" And then you buy it, put it up at home, until you need a gift for someone?

That's never been my thing. I don't enjoy going shopping. Perhaps that's because as a kid growing up, my Mom (whom I loved so much!) would drag my sister and I along with her when she would go shopping. Usually 1 to 2 times a week. At any given time during the year, you could open up a store from all of the things my Mom had purchased!

After she was married with a daughter, my sister used to live for Saturday's when she and Mom would go shopping! At one point, both my Mom and my sister told me that they worked just so that they could shop all they wanted to!

Mom passed on two years ago. But before she did, my sister finally got the idea that maybe there was more to life than just the stuff that filled it.

So, do I ever go shopping? Not if I can help! I'll go so far as to make out a detailed shopping list and send dear hubby after groceries. Yep. I HATE shopping. I hate comparing prices, so I can get the better deal. I hate having to walk among the masses of people who are rude, crude and socially unacceptable. What do ya mean I'm terrible? Seriously? You can't tell me that you haven't had someone "waft" past you in a store and smelled their funky behind! Oh yeah, I'm going there!

Have you ever looked at those stupid pictures taken at that blue big box store, yeah, you know the one I mean. Well, let me tell you, if you think pictures are fake, go find yourself a bench in there and just sit for an hour. Smell what walks past you. P-e-e-E-w-e! Stinky people!

And the clothes some of them wear! I know your butt has grown some since you first bought those spandex workout pants in 1980. But you don't have to wear them to the store and show me...
let's just pretend I'll take your word that you can still fit into them!

Or worse, the kids screaming, and the Mama's screaming back at the kids! Come on ladies! If you can't control them from screaming, then lock them in the trunk while you shop! (No, I'm just kidding! I am NOT telling you to do that! Seriously!) But hire a sitter if you have to!

And there's the shoplifters you see. Come on! Camera's everywhere and your security team doesn't see it? But let me try to walk out the door, having paid for an item, clutching the receipt in my hand, and a very loud "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" and flashing blue lights go off, because some clerk forgot to take the alarm tag off of a pair of $1 flip flops! Yeah right.

So, you folks go ahead and go shopping on your days off from work. This ol' country woman will be sitting at home. Her tired tootsie's propped up, watching Netflix. Sipping on a lovely margarita! And laughing at you all.

Do you make a list when you go shopping? Or do you simply wing it? Let us know!