Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday's Obituary

Carole Ann Chaplin

Carole Ann Chaplin is a new person in my family tree. I just recently discovered her father was my 7th cousin. Of course, making Carole and her half-siblings through her father, also related.

The following is Carole's obituary as it appeared in October of 2016:

"  October 24, 2016
Carol was born in Dinuba, California on October 29, 1938. Her family moved to San Diego in 1944. She was raised here graduating from Helix High School in 1956. She graduated from California Western University, 1964 earning her BA in Education and the following year getting her teaching credential.
At different times in her life, Carol taught for the following: Grossmont Unified School District, Coos Bay Community College, Oregon, National University K-12 school, San Bernardino Community College and Lake Elsinore Unified School District.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s and again in the early 70’s, Carol was a renowned long distance swimmer. She swam in the U.S., Mexico, Italy, and Turkey. She was honored by the U.S. Embassy in Turkey for swimming the Dardanelles and breaking the swimming record on the Bosporus. She was given the key to the city and a parade in El Cajon for her record setting swim from the South Coronado Island, Mexico to Point Loma, Calif. Carol was also elected to the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Carol married, adopted a son, went to college to get her BA, teaching and counseling credentials and Master’s Degrees in Psychology and Business Management.
In the early 80’s she was program director of the downtown Y.W.C.A. where she worked with the Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Arthritis Foundation, United Way, San Diego Zoological Society, Camp Fire Girls, and the Girl Scouts. She was also active in Soroptimists during this time and again in Oak Harbor, WA. in 2010 and 2011.
Most of her Adult life she was involved in education and working with teens. She was a teacher, counselor, and supervisor at the high school and community college levels. She retired from the Lake Elsinore Unified School District in Calif. In 2003, when she moved to Whidbey Island, Washington State to be with her son and his family.
During the 90’s she was very active with the Vista Women’s Club where she was chairman of the Environmental Committee whose purpose was to educate young children about protecting our environment. She was given a plaque from the U.S. Forestry Department for her work in this area. She was an honorary member of the Lion’s Club before women were allowed to join.
Carol survived Breast Cancer and took care of her Mother in her final years as her Mother was confined to a wheel chair with Arthritis and also battled Alzheimer’s. In 2004, she survived the terrible death of her only child, Darryl.
In California, she was active in her church even filling in as part time secretary, taught Sunday school classes, and at one time chaired the wedding and baptismal committees.

After moving to Whidbey Island, WA. She was active in Whidbey Presbyterian Church, a Deacon from 2011 to 2015. She was instrumental in starting the Sack Lunch Ministry, a program to feed needy teens. She enjoyed being in the Red Hat Society and “Dugualla Bay Heights Women’s Club,” where she was President from 2007 to 2009 and Co-President in 2011-2014. She also was in a Creative Writing class where she wrote and recently published her autobiography, “By the Sea.” She left all proceeds to the WAIF animal shelter on Whidbey Island.
After a long battle with, a number of health issues Carol passed peacefully away on October 24, 2016. A memorial service will be held at Whidbey Presbyterian Church, in Oak Harbor, WA. on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 2 pm. Cremation and scattering of her ashes will be off of Point Loma (San Diego), California and will be attended by family and close friends.
In lieu of flowers please send remembrances to Whidbey Presbyterian Church, Deacons Fund in Oak Harbor, Washington or WAIF, in Oak Harbor.
Carol is survived by 3 grandchildren, Shannon and Meghan Starke, and Kelly Calvert of Plano, Texas, Daughter-in-law, Kari Calvert (Andy), Texas, a sister Joan Smith of Arizona, 2 nephews, Terry (Marisa) and Randy Smith of San Diego, Calif, and 1 grand-niece Sabrina Smith of Arizona. Her parents Sir Charles Chaplin and Joan Barry, and son Darryl Starke preceded her in death.
Carol loved to cruise, visit other countries, swim, and read. She also loved to hike as long as she was able. Being two-thirds Scottish, with four different clans in her background, she loved the bag pipes. She loved all animals but especially cats. But most of all, she loved her small family and all her wonderful friends.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sibling Saturday

I am often asked how many siblings I have, and what do they look like.

Well, here we go! (Be forewarned!)

Yes, believe it or not, that's us. Cutting up, in of all places, a hospital!

That's me on the far left, it looks like I'm inspecting the back of David's head (for fleas?). While David is inspecting the tile floor for cracks, he kept saying "You're cracking up!" I didn't get it then, still don't (well, I don't, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) And yes, that's Eydie, using her imaginary pirate's hook to go after Jeff, who really didn't want to claim any of us as siblings that day!

We don't see each other all together often. But when we do, there is so much love between us all!  I think even more now than before we lost Mommy, back in 2015. Yeah, I think she would be proud of all of us.

"Hey Mom! She's pickin' on me!"

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Funny

(cartoon credited to )

If you do any kind of genealogy research for profit, eventually you're going to run in to a client like this one!
"Don't tell me if there's someone of another color in my ancestry"; "Don't tell me if we owned slaves"; "Don't tell me that any of my grandparents were married more than once"; and the list goes on and on!

I once had a client from a prominent family. We discovered that her ancestors made them wealthy (to this day!) off of the Libyan slave trade. They purchased slaves from Libyan traders. And then brought them to the Carolina's and re-sold them there. When preparing her genealogy into a readable book format, she requested that I not put that pearl of wisdom into the book. And when she found out that her 8x gr-grandfather had a child with one of his slaves, and then publicly proclaimed the child as his because she looked white, was raised in the home as white, and married as a white woman, she was enraged. "Don't you dare say a word about her in the genealogy or I won't pay you a dime!"

We've all had someone like this, haven't we?

My ancestors were no different than any others. There were slave owners back there. And one of my ancestors was a white slave, no African blood at all. (He supposedly stole aboard a ship bound for America, was caught and pressed into slavery until he reached the majority of his age. So sad. But there it is.

Instead of hiding from these "awful truths", we should embrace them. We need to remember, colonists and American's through the Civil War, were used to having and owned slaves. It was simply what someone did to supply labor for their plantations and farms.

You will also find the occasional murderer; philanderer shot be a jealous husband (or who was the jealous husband!); the wealthy land owner; the poor tinker; and the list goes on.

Instead of denying your ancestor's past, embrace it. What happened two or three hundred years is of no mind, or account, today. If someone judges you by your ancestry, perhaps they should check out their own! Seeking out your genealogy is not for the faint of heart, to be sure!

But the rewards are better than a bank robber's!

What's the strangest thing someone asked you NOT to include in a genealogy?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday

There are few things that I could not separate myself from and get rid of if needed. This is one that I cannot get rid of.

This well worn, and much read and loved, large family Bible belonged to my Grandpa, Henry Condar Dreher. It isn't that old, being presented to my Grandpa in 1968, from my cousin, Charles (aka "Tinker"). The binding gave way years ago and Grandpa put it back together with packing tape. Yes, that's a repair Grandpa made more than 40 years ago. Yes! More than 40 years!

Grandpa was born on 31 December 1902. And he passed away on 17 May 1977.

My Mama had the Bible, as well as a collegiate library dictionary, that had belonged to Grandpa. When she asked me what I would like to have of Grandpa's, I said I'd like to have his dictionary. She asked if I would like his Bible as well, and I was thrilled to accept it!

Grandpa had studied to become a Lutheran minister. He did not finish, as his wife did not want to be married to a Lutheran. And especially not a small town minister, as it would have been too demanding a position, and she wanted him home to raise the children with her.

Grandpa once told me that not finishing up and becoming a minister is the only thing he regretted not doing in his life.

Even so, every morning he was up between 3am and 3:30am. He spent about 90-minutes to two hours reading and studying the Bible, and in prayer. His habits became my Mom's. And they became mine as well.

A good habit to be in.

I've worn the covers off of two Bible's in my lifetime. One I had recovered. The other I did not. I simply took craft paper and made a "paperback" cover for it. It's still brought off the shelf on occasion and read from. But it's this one here that reserve for special occasions. Leaving it open to Luke Chapter 2 for Christmas. To Matthew 27 for Good Friday  and to Mark 16 for Easter Sunday.

And just as it did to Grandpa, it speaks to me through its Holy Words.

Do you have something that you would call a family treasure? If so, please photograph it well, and make notes about it. Preserve it if you can. All for those who will follow in our footsteps, and desire to know about our ancestors.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travel Tuesday

Today's blogging prompt is on traveling. Sit back, and see if you can relate to these!

When I was a young child, my Dad was in the military. He was in the Navy and spent a great deal of time aboard a ship away at sea. When he came home, we often went to my grandparents homes to visit them. His mother, who lived in West Virginia, and my Mom's parents, who lived in Indiana.

Back then there wasn't any interstate. This meant travel was on 2-lane highways for the most part.

We traveled from Norfolk, Virginia, in what back then took about 11-hours on old US Route 60.
We would leave Norfolk, travel through the Hampton Roads Tunnel, and hit US Route 60 on the other side. It was a straight shot through Richmond, and Lexington. We followed the route right into West Virginia, where my Grandma Bean lived just over the state line.

Going to Grandma Bean's was always a treat. Mom and Dad played games with us to keep us occupied during trips in those days. (No fancy electronics to keep the kiddies busy back then!) Dad would tell us we were headed into wild country! He had us watching for wild Indians. We were sure, every now and then, that we had seen one peaking around the tree trunks at us from the forest that lined most of the highway! And when we saw a deer, Dad always said, "It's a shame we didn't get Mom to pack the salt shaker! You'd only have to shake a little salt on its' tail to catch it!" We'd laugh and giggle every time.

There weren't any rest stops, like there are along the interstates now.
We stopped at gas stations. Attendants were usually pretty nice when we told them we stopped by just to use the rest room.
We usually looked for stations that had a sign that said they had clean rest rooms. If they didn't, you ran the risk of going into a nasty rest room whether you wanted to or not! (Hey, when ya gotta go, you gotta go!)

You usually had to ask the attendant for the rest room key, to a clean rest room.
Keys were often on Huge key tags. Sometimes they were put on a large dowel or a stick. This was to deter anyone from accidentally carrying the rest room key home in their purse or pocket! (Okay kids, ask your parents, they will know what I'm talking about!)

Rest rooms were usually accessed by going around the outside of the building. Men's rest rooms were usually inside, or were the furthest toward the back of the building. Sometimes there were signs to point a young lady to the rest room.
But, rain or shine, sleet, snow or hail, you always had to go outside to access the ladies room.

Finding someplace to eat along the way wasn't always easy, either! This was before there was a McDonald's on every street corner! They were few and far between in those days along the east coast.  There were many small diners as you passed through little towns.
These always served good food. You must remember, in those days, eating out was still considered a treat, so we were excited, as kids, to get to eat in a diner!
And sometimes we would stop at a drive-in diner.
Here the waitress would come out to the car, take your order and bring it back. Sometimes they walked. and sometimes...
...they skated! Now here were some talented waitresses! Think about carrying a tray big enough to handle service for four, including their drinks! No rolled up paper bag like you get for a take out today!
Meals were placed on trays that mounted on the car windows. If the diner was open during the cold winter months, these could be turned around and placed on the inside of the window, if you scooched over in the seat.

Meals were simple affairs. A hotdog or a hamburger. French fries (from real potatoes kiddies!) And a soda, served in either a real glass, or a waxed paper cup. Straws were paper, and they didn't come individually wrapped! There wasn't any super-sizing of anything in the meal! And the only condiments were ketchup and mustard. If you were lucky, Dad would order a shake instead of a cola. But if you got a shake, you usually only had a burger, or an order of fries. Seldom both with a shake!

Since the trip took so long, we usually only ate in a diner for one of the meals that day. The other main meal would consist of a picnic lunch at a roadside park.
Meals were simple. Usually a bologna sandwich for us. And a thermos of Kool-Aid for the kiddies, and one of coffee for the grownups.
Mom might throw in some boiled eggs. Or a couple deviled eggs. And just for you folks that might not remember, we didn't have Tupperware back then. Or plastic sandwich/storage bags. Sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper. We had plastic wrap, but my Mom didn't buy it often, so most of the time our boiled eggs would be wrapped in wax paper, and the ends twisted shut. We used the cup on the thermos to drink from, and my sister and I shared the same cup. As did Mom and Dad with the coffee thermos cup. When you ran out of coffee or Kool-Aid, your thermos would be rinsed from a water pump at a roadside park.
And the thermos would then be refilled with water from the pump. Sodas were considered a treat, and we hardly ever bought them for home, much less for a journey!

The parks were the predecessor to the Rest Stops seen along our Interstate system today. They dotted the landscape in every state, along every major highway that criss-crossed the state.  Some of these had outhouse-style facilities, and others had none. At the latter, there were usually paths into the surrounding woods which somehow you just seemed to follow, men in one direction, ladies in the other. Bushes and trees provided coverage from the opposite sex.

When we arrived at my Grandmother Bean's house, I remember that at night my sister slept on an Army cot in an attic bedroom with my parents. I slept in the bed with my Grandmother, which was in her living room. (The attic bedroom was the only true bedroom in the house.) In the dining room was another bed in a corner where my uncle slept.
This is till a common practice in a lot of old country homes without proper insulation in winter months. These homes are usually heated with wood fired stoves, and the heat has no vents to go to upper floors, which means it gets very, very cold in upper floor bedrooms!

And Grandma didn't have modern electricity. Her light fixtures could only handle a 40-watt light bulb. And she didn't use any lamps, as she didn't have electrical outlets. So, each room was always dark and dim to me. She had a television. But her tv had only one station. (Not that we were used to much more! Cable hadn't been invented yet, so we had 3 public television stations in our area! NBC, CBS, and we even had PBS!) So, Grandmother's single station hardly seemed worth turning the set on. It was run from an extension cord to the light fixture in the ceiling, which had an outlet on it. The light was turned on by a pull string. No wall switches!

We usually stayed here for a couple of days. Dad would go hunting, and try to kill a deer or some rabbits for Grandmother. Her income was almost nothing. Dad never left her without helping her stock up first. And when I was five, she came to live with us.

We'd leave Grandmother Bean's early one morning, and drive another 12-hours to get to my Grandparents in Indiana. These were Mom's parents, Grandma and Grandpa Dreher. The trip was basically the same. and when the visit was complete, we'd return home the same way. Back to Grandmother Bean's. Spend the night. And then on to Norfolk.

It's hard to believe, but with Interstate-64, you can leave Norfolk at 7 a.m., and by 7 p.m. you can be in Corydon, Indiana!  It seems impossible that travel has changed so much in just my life time!

But then, I remember Aunt Audrey talking of traveling to North Carolina when she was a young girl with my Grandpa Bean and the family. My Aunt Pauline had tuberculosis, and the doctor advised that they move her to North Carolina where she could breathe in the air. (About 1920.)

They traveled by Model T roadster. It took days. And they slept on the ground, camping out under the stars! But then, that's another story.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Motivation Monday

I am asked, sometimes, what motivates me to keep on searching for the elusive ancestors of our family tree. I have been asked, "Haven't you found out everything, already?"

Well, let me give you an idea of what motivates Me. Now this is simply what keeps me going. What keeps you, or someone else, going may be entirely different! We are, after all, each unique.

What motivates me, is nearly conversation my Dad, who is 79, and I have ends up with him asking the same question, "What did you find out today about the family?" Most days I don't have much to report to him. But on the days I do, he becomes so animated! Like a little child opening a big gift at Christmas! And that means so much to me!

Another thing that motivates me, is my own children. One will call and ask, "Hey Mom, what can you tell me about my great-great-grandfather's brothers and sisters?" I feel like the research manager for a firm, always in the need to research something, or in this case, someone!

 And, then, of course, there's simply me. My own inquisitiveness. Always wanting to find the elusive. Breakthrough the brick walls. (Or at least try to scale it!) I am always wanting to find something new!

Lack of motivation is never my problem! I am always motivated! And ready!

So, exactly what is my problem? Well, the answer is the worst of them all. Plain and simple, it is time. I work a full time job that requires travel. Long hours visiting with clients. And even longer hours putting their information into the computer! It simply doesn't leave me with enough hours into the day to do everything I would like to do!

If I could, I would work genealogy full-time. I did that from 2001 until 2012. Then it's like the bottom fell out of the business. If you can say there's a blame, I don't blame the economy. And what I do blame, is in itself a good thing. I blame it on the easy access of records made available online, and programs that make it easy to search for yourself. Even the untrained can get a fairly well put together family history written, simply by following online guides and examples. And that's a good thing! Everyone should have at least an idea of their roots.

Maybe one day, before I have to think of "retirement", I can actually quit my day job, and go back to doing it full-time.

Well, at least full-time, as in relation to also knitting and crocheting, reading, and writing!