Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sentimental Sunday....The Old Beaver-Skin Hat on Halloween

Great-Great-Grandpa was part of the old home guard who was left behind to guard the citizenry of Monroe County, West Virginia while the young men were all of to War.

On 01 January 1864 he was fetched, along with a posse, to track down a group of renegades who were stealing clothing off citizens laundry lines. Now, this may not seem like much to us these days, but we are talking during the worst part of the Civil War, and these were folks who were poor to start with. At this time, they may have only had one change of clothing!

The posse chased the theives into Wiseman's Hollow and to a cabin.

As Great-Great Grandpa approached the cabin, one of the thieves, in the loft of the cabin, fired from a window, and Great-Great-Grandpa was shot in the head, mortally wounded and died.

He was wearing his prized beaver-skin hat at the time.

This is the hat William Bean wore that day.

It doesn't look like much... does it?
A faded, worn old hat. It's been hidden in a closet for much of its 150 years. And to the unlearned eye, it wouldn't mean much at all.

Look closely at the top of the brim, and you'll see where the bullet that shot WIlliam entered.
The dark stains that blot the front of the hat are his blood.

Family legend states that if you put the hat on your head, you'll die before the next full moon.

As a child I was told about "Cousin So and So" who put the hat on, and he died within a week! And before him, well there was "Uncle Whats-His-Name", and he died before the moon was full again!

While I've never found that to be fact, I also have heard from many who said that when offered the hat to try on... didn't take any chances and refused to put it atop their top!

Who's to say what would happen if the hat were placed upon your head.

I'm certainly not going to try it on.

Will you?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SNGF - Your Hallowe'en Personality

Well Randy, over at GeneaMusings is back at it with another fun Saturday night challenge!

"Hey Genea-Zombies, it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go take the Hallowe'en Personality quiz at

2)  Post it on your own blog, as a comment on this blog, or on your Facebook page.

3)  Tell us if this is "right on" or note.  Have fun with it!"

Well, I had no problem with the taking the test. It's the results I'm not too happy with. It reveals way too much of me to show off here!

Mwah - ha - ha - ha. [The evil side of me laughing out loud!]

Here's the results:

"You See Halloween as Scary

The scariest thing on Halloween is you! You definitely don't want any kids in costumes crossing your path - and you're willing to scare away any who do.
I turn off the porch light and hide behind the drapes. No candy is purchased for the kiddies. [Call me Mrs. Grinch!]
You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.
Never let 'em see the real you!
Your inner child is full of wonder and very sweet.
Really? I thought I was the old hag of the neighborhood! Ask any of the kids!
You fear those closest to you finding out who you really are. You dread people discovering your secrets.
My secrets will go to the grave with me!
You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.
Emotional? Over dramatic? Me? Me? Me? ME???
You are unique, expressive, and a trendsetter. Your ideal Halloween costume is over the top and one of a kind."

Uh, the most expressive costume I ever did was dressed as Lady Godiva. Long flowing blond wig and beige body leotard. I was the life of the party! Even though everyone thought I had come as Eve! LOL And once I sent my kids out dressed in black leotards and black garbage bags. They were California raisins. No... this really is simply NOT my holiday!

Surname Saturday.....McGraw

Today I'll be using my grandchildren's heritage. And we'll look athe family McGraw.

We'll begin with my grandson Jacob:

1. Jacob Michael Adwell - born in Fairlea, Greenbrier, WV.

2. Michael Paul Adwell - born in Fort Stewart, Long, Georgia.
3. Abigail Burnhopp

4. Andy Lewis Adwell - b. Union, Monroe, WV
5. Cynthia Ann Beane - b. New Albany, Floyd, IN

1933 in Greenbrier County, WV
Mar 1932 in Glace, Monroe County, WV
County, WV

born on 17 Nov 1904 in West Virginia
04 Jul 1897 in Glace, Monroe County, WV

Hollywood, Monroe, West Virginia
Feb 1885 in Summers County, West Virginia
West Virginia

Monroe, West Virginia
James ALDERSON[227] was born in Summers County, West Virginia[228].Nancy McGRAW daughter of John McGRAW and Lucinda J. ADKINS[227] was born in 1848 in[227, 229].
Lucinda Jane ALDERSON daughter of James ALDERSON and Nancy McGRAW[39] was born on 10[126]. She died on 18 Nov 1947 in Glace, Monroe County,[127].
Benjamin Franklin JONES[123] was born in 1859 in Virginia[124]. He died on 05 Aug 1928 in[125].
Charles Franklin Jones son of Benjamin Franklin JONES and Lucinda Jane ALDERSON[35] was[36, 37]. He died on 06 Sep 1958 in West Virginia[37].Della Mae MORRIS daughter of Andrew Lewis MORRIS and Lucinda L. CALDWELL[35] was born on[13, 38]. She died on 25 Jan 1977 in Glace, Monroe County,[15].
Mary Lillian JONES daughter of Charles Franklin Jones and Della Mae MORRIS[12] was born on 17[12]. She died on 19 Sep 2002 in Charleston, Kanawha 
Elmer Lewis ADWELL son of Sylvester ADWELL and Naomi H. BENNETT[11] was born on 31 Oct[12]. He died on 18 Sep 1995 in Greenbrier County, WV[12, 13].

Friday, October 29, 2010

Understanding Someone From The South

Family Recipe Friday - William's Lentil Soup

William's Lentil Soup
Considered a favorite during Colonial times, this soup is in honor of my great-great-grandfather, William Bean [1792-1864].

1 pound of dried lentils
1/2-pound jowl bacon, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery - chopped
1 large yellow onion - chopped
1 large bunch collard greens

Soak lentils over night in water.
To serve for dinner begin to cook at noon.
Drain and rinse lentils. Place in large, heavy kettle and cover with water.
In skillet cook chopped bacon. Add vegetables and just sear.
Add bacon, vegetables and bacon dripping to lentils and water.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat to simmer.
Simmer 4-6 hours.
Serve in bowls with thick slices of cornbread made with stone ground corn meal.

Serves 4-6 people.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Open Thread Thursday... Genealogical Nightmare

GeneaBloggers has issued a new topic for Open Thread Thursday:
These week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:
While some of the information we dig up about our ancestors might frighten us or family members, there are other possible nightmares related to genealogy research: lack of access to records, the rising cost of performing research, etc. What is your genealogical nightmare?
While we live in a time when it seems there has never been more access to records – both online and offline – a variety of threats to such access exist. Picture a genealogy industry with reduced or restricted access and nightmare could become reality.

* * *
Please either post on today’s topic of “genealogical nightmare” at your own blog and then post the link here in the comments or simply add your two cents in the comments section:
  • Are you concerned over the lack of access to records as more and more states work to restrict access due to privacy concerns? In your opinion, are such concerns especially involving identity theft true or false?
  • With the consolidation of the genealogy industry to just a few “big players,” are you concerned about the price of access to online records?
  • As state, federal and even some church budgets are constantly under pressure and funding is cut, what if some libraries and repositories reduce their hours or simply close?
  • Are there other scenarios you’ve considered that are just as scary?
This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration"

My absolute worst genealogical nightmare would be a total repression of vital records! Be that online or at the source. And it is a very real possibility with today's ever identity-safing society!

Without vital records, genealogy research would come to a screeching halt as we would be totally unable to provide proof of individuals!

Or would we?

While it would sorely limit our research, for certain, there are some things that would still be available for us.

Family Bible records would be a starter. As would cemeteries and tombstones.

Can you think of other avenues that would still be open if all vital records, or court documents suddenly would become inaccessible to the public?

Gives me shivers just thinking about it! Hope I am already long gone by the time it should happen!

It would definitely be a nightmare!

Treasure Chest Thursday--- Four Generations

This old black and white snapshot is taken from my husband's photos. It shows four generation of women in his family!

Left to Right: [Listed by maiden names]
JoAnn Hartman, daughter of, Betty Langford/Rotge, daughter of, Ora Lee Sparks, daughter of, Laura May Clements
This photo was taken in San Antonio about 1959 or 1960.

Betty Rotge [1930-2003]
Ora Lee Sparks [1914-1982]
Laura May Clements [1890-1969]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions. - John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong
The following information comes from FindaGrave:

"Birth: Jul. 4, 1900
Death: Jul. 6, 1971

Jazz Musician. Born in the slums of segregated New Orleans, Louisiana, neglected with no supervision, he spent most of his time on the streets, singing with neighborhood kids for loose change and searching garbage cans for food. Delinquency landed him in the New Orleans Waif's Home, where under the tutelage of the Home's band instructor he received his first formal music lessons and was given his first cornet. His release from the facility found him completely unprepared, and, having no formal education, he was forced into doing odd jobs to survive, selling papers, unloading boats and hauling coal. Determined to become a musician, Armstrong frequented many honky-tonks and dance halls which led him to Joe Oliver who became a pivotal figure taking on the role of mentor, teacher and father to Louis and above all, at age 18, a member of the "Kid Ory Band." Oliver now a well known Jazz artist in Chicago, Illinois, asked Armstrong to join his band at Lincoln Gardens in 1922 where he made his first recordings. In 1925, he organized his own first band, while switching from the cornet to the trumpet, the "Hot Five" and recorded his first album. During the tenure of the group, Armstrong gave rise to the solo as the centerpiece in jazz music. After his 1932 Grand Tour of Europe, a London, England music magazine editor inadvertently wrote "Satchmo" in referring to his then moniker "Satchelmouth", giving rise to the nickname he would carry for the rest of his life. By the 1940s, the era of the Big Band was over and Armstrong organized a small band called the "Louis Armstrong All Stars", which became one of the most well known jazz groups in history, playing in many countries in clubs, festivals and concert halls until disbanding just prior to the death of Armstrong. In 1931 he began a motion picture career, appearing in "Ex-Flame", and would go on to appear in fifteen others, such as "Pennies From Heaven" "Everyday's a Holiday" "New Orleans" "The Five Pennies" "The Beat Generation" "Paris Blues" and "Hello Dolly". Between 1950 and the 1970s he was a television mainstay, appearing on programs such as "The Ed Sullivan Show" "Timex Show" "Bing Crosby Oldsmobile Show" "What's My Line?" "The Dean Martin Show" "The Tonight Show" and "Kraft Music Hall." His biggest hits as a recording artist came late in his life: "Mack the Knife" (1956), "Hello, Dolly!" (number one hit 1964), "What a Wonderful World" (1968) and "We Have All The Time In The World" (20 years after his death. He performed during the 1960s doing a string of performances in which he barely played the trumpet, mostly singing and talking to the audience between numbers. By 1970, his health had declined to the point where he could not play at all, and could only walk a few steps at a time. He passed away of a massive heart attack at his home in Queens. His funeral in New York at the National Guard Armory attracted a crowd of 25,000 attended by many entertainers, musicians and politicians including Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Guy Lombardo, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson. Later, his hometown of New Orleans staged a memorial service in the French Quarter culminating in his honor, the traditional Jazz funeral march down Bourbon Street. His posthumous honors included a record star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a 1978 Charter induction into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, a 1995 United States Postal Service commemorative stamp honoring him in their "Legends of American Music" series, and the 2000 renaming of the New Orleans airport to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. His first autobiography "Swing That Music" was published in 1936 followed by his second, "Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography" published in 1954. (bio by: Donald Greyfield) "

Louis Armstrong

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong
July 4, 1900
July 6, 1971

Flushing Cemetery
Flushing, Queens, New York

Monday, October 25, 2010

Motivation Monday...The President Said

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; un- rewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave."  ~~Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge
30th President of the United States
3 Aug 1923 - 3 Mar 1929

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sentimental Sunday...Posting Previous Marriages With Grace

While my husband and I were both married before, and often say we would like to forget those marriages ever occurred, we know that for future family members who might some day stumble across those marriage records, or other records from those marriages, we know it is best not to lock away those memories completely, but to keep record of them in our families genealogies for those future family researchers.

We also attempt to remain as impartial as possible, even when there are hurtful events that may have happened in those marriages. We list the facts [dates of events, vacations, trips, births, etc.] that occurred during those marriages, and leave personal feelings aside.

Are you recording those previous marriages that you would rather forget? Or are you leaving those events buried and hope that future family members won't uncover them?

Ah...hem.... if you hope they remain buried, do you really think they will? After all, how many unpleasant events have you uncovered for your ancestors that supposedly no one knew about?

My thinking is that it is better to list those events, stating the facts, and leaving the mystery of them buried. Remain as impartial as possible. Do not denigrate or degrade anyone!

Remember the old Dragnet  television show?

"Just the facts, ma'am. Just the facts!"
That's all you need to do.

The hubby with first wife. About 1970.

Me with second husband, Earl L. Austin [1940-2000]. This was in 1991 when we were married. The marriage lasted only a few weeks and was annulled.

It took Texican and I until 1997 to meet. We had both been married more than once. Something neither of us are proud of, but it's the facts.

And we both have publicly stated that those individuals we were married to before helped to shape the individual we have become today. And therefore we are grateful to them. And as such, we proudly list them in our family records.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SNGF - Same Birthday As Yours?

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings  has issued tonights challenge:

"Hey there, Genealogy Jedis - it's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Is there a person in your genealogy database that has the same birth date that you do?  If so, tell us about him or her - what do you know, and how is s/he related to you?

2)  For bonus points, how did you determine this?  What feature or process did you use in your software to work this problem out?  I think the Calendar feature probably does it, but perhaps you have a trick to make this work outside of the calendar function.

That's it - go for it - use your Genealogy Jedi lightsword to cut through your genealogy database to solve this task!  May the genea-force be with you!"

Okay, so I'll admit, I'm a bit slow sometimes, and I wouldn't have been able to figure out to simply use the calendar function in my FTM program to find this one! So, simply put, thanks Randy for the heads up on how to do this! LOL

When I used the FTM's calendar, I found out that there were several living relatives [including my own precious niece Taylor] with the same birthdate as my own [November 4th]. And there are 2 in my database from 158 years ago and 103 years ago, respectively. However, none are direct ancestors, but on those "cousin" lines.

Adelaide Bean Brewster would have been 158 years old on November 4th this year. And is so distantly cousin that I had to use the "Relationship Calculator" to determine that she is in fact... "No Relation" to me! Yep.... she falls into one of the Bean lines that I have been tracking, but which does not cross my own. So sad... our line is considered an "Orphan Line", as we can only go so far back... and then nothing. Even DNA testing has been no help.

The other person with a November 4th birthdate is Cody BEANE. Cody would have been 103 years old if he had lived on this November 4th.

Cody is in fact, my second-cousin, once removed.

Cody Beane was the son of Charles Allen Beane [1871-1959] and Sarah F. Barnette [1878-1966]. He was born 04 Nov. 1907 in St. Albans, Kanawha, WV.  He married Kathryn Stanley [1914-1976].

Cody's grandfather, Archibald Marmaduke Beane [1826-1899] was the brother of my great-grandfather, William M. Bean [1832-1891].

Cody died 27 Apr 1979 in Jackson, Ohio.

Sorting Saturday

What do you do with all of that paperwork you've accumulated on your ancestors?

Do you have it in file boxes?

Yes... these really are my filing boxes!!!

But these aren't where I keep my personal ancestral papers!

Here are my ancestral papers [well, this actually only one shelf of them!]

These are 3 - 5 inch binders for keeping my important documents, photos, and papers in.
Inside these binders each page is inserted into an archive safe sheet protector.
Here are ones from Staples. Make sure they state that they are "Archival" or "Archive Safe" to prevent deterioration of your precious papers!
Staples has these medium weight archve safe sheet protectors for $12.99 for a package of 100.
I never load more than 2 sheets back to back in one sheet protector. So... while they are not inexpensive, they are definitely worth the money! I have papers that I have kept that I printed off more than 20 years ago, and you can't tell them from ones I print out today! Yep... they're that good!

When purchasing your binders, also make sure that they are archive safe as well!
Here we have some from Staples that sell for $9.99 [3-inch]. Don't skimp and buy light weight, or cheap ones that are not marked archive safe! You will regret it in a few years when your papers begin to yellow, fade, and crumble!

Keep your binders in a place where you can remove them in a hurry if you must, as in a fire. And always keep digital copies stored off site just in case of that emergency! If you would lose the hard copies due to disaster, at least the digital are safe!

I make monthly backups to portable devices [USB sticks or CD's] and I have an online off site storage which backups my entire computer daily and runs behind scene. While I understand some have a fear of this, it is my genealogy which I basically keep off-site. I have invested thousands upon thousands of hours, and dollars, into that research. It is safely encrypted. And the backup is performed only on those files I so choose. While there are many online storage backups to choose from, I have personally used Mozy [and continue to do so] and highly recommend it. It is inexpensive, and I know first hand that it is easy to restore your files from. I have also heard first hand experience of users who have chosen Carbonite. So, I would recommend either of those two, although I am sure there are others just as reputable.

Protect your hard work. If not for you, then do it for those who are sure to appreciate it in the future!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dead Sea Scrolls to go Online

It only took a couple of thousand years, but people the world over will soon be able to have a close-up look at one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century. Earlier today Google and Israel's Antiquities Authority announced plans to collaborate on a project to make the Dead Sea Scrolls available both to scholars and the general public over the Internet.
(Credit: Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images)

This is quite the big deal. A portion of the scrolls were first rediscovered in the late 1940s. But they have rarely been accessible to a wide public as issues over control prevented wide dissemination beyond a relatively small number of scholars.

Speaking with CNN, the IAI's director, Shuka Dorfman, said the project will help advance the state of biblical studies and further the understanding of Judaism and early Christianity. "We have succeeded in recruiting the best minds and technological means to preserve this unrivaled cultural heritage treasure, which belongs to all of us, so that the public with a click of the mouse will be able to access history in its fullest glamor," he said.

By the time the project gets completed - it's expected to last a couple of years - the last remaining barriers to mass public viewing will disappear - assuming that you've got an Internet connection, of course.

Wisdom Wednesday

We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God. - Harry S. Truman

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tombstone [less] Tuesday

Today's celebrity does not have a tombstone.

John Lennon
[John Lennon was cremated and his ages were given to either family or a close friend.]

The following is taken from FindAGrave.

Birth: Oct. 9, 1940
Death: Dec. 8, 1980

Beatle, Rock Musician. Born John Winston Lennon in Liverpool, UK to merchant seaman Alfred and Julia Stanley Lennon. His parents separated when he was four, and Julia put John in the care of her sister, Mary Smith whom he called Mimi. Although Julia never lived more than 10 miles from him, he would only see her occasionally. As a teenager, he became caught up in the skiffle craze that was sweeping England at that time, and formed a skiffle band he called The Blackjacks, who later became The Quarry Men. It was at a Quarry Men gig in July in 1957 (Woolton Fete) that he was introduced to Paul McCartney. Neither one was initially impressed with the other, until John learned that Paul could actually tune a guitar. A few weeks later, Paul joined The Quarry Men. That same year, John attended the Liverpool College of Art, where he would meet future wife Cynthia Powell along with future band mate Stuart Sutcliffe. Soon after Paul joined the band, he introduced John to a younger schoolmate, George Harrison. John accepted George into the band in 1958. The Quarry Men went through numerous line-up changes as well as name changes in 1959 and 1960. Among those were Johnny and The Moondogs, The Silver Beetles, until finally settling on The Beatles about 1960. They traveled to Hamburg, Germany's seedy Reperbaun district as a house band at the Indra and Kaiserkeller clubs in grueling 7 to 8 hour sets. The band was eventually forced to leave Hamburg when it was discovered George was underage. Back in Liverpool by early 1961, The Beatles were playing lunch-time sessions at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. It was at the Cavern in November 1961 that Brian Epstein saw the group perform. Epstein took the mantle of manager and set about sharpening their image He secured an audition with Decca Records in London in 1962. They were finally picked up at Parlophone Records. Drummer Pete Best was replaced with Ringo Starr before their first recording sessions. Their first single, "Love Me Do," reached the top twenty in late 1962 on the British charts; "Please Please Me" in 1963 hit #1. The Beatles would have 11 consecutive number ones on the British charts from 1963 to 1966. American TV host Ed Sullivan witnessed "Beatlemania" in London's Heathrow Airport and he booked The Beatles to be on his show, "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964. Their performance on the Sullivan show two days later remains one of the most watched shows in television history, with a viewing audience of 73 million people. The Beatles had the Top 5 positions on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 Singles chart for the week of April 4, 1964, in addition to seven other singles, for a total of 12. The Beatles broke new musical ground with such albums as 1965's "Rubber Soul", and two years later with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which hit number one. John's single, "All You Need Is Love," debuted on the first global satellite TV program, "Our World," in 1967, where The Beatles were chosen to represent England. Their last concert was held on August 29, 1966 in San Francisco's Candlestick Park. The Beatles started to disintegrate during the sessions for the so-called "White Album" in 1968. At various points, John, George, and Ringo quit the band. At one point, John became so disgusted, he stated he "wanted a divorce" from The Beatles. John's met Japanese-born Yoko Ono in 1966 at the Indica Gallery in London, while each was married to other people. John and Yoko made their relationship public in 1968. Yoko became John's focal point, going so far as to include her in Beatles studio recordings. They also embarked on various recording and media stunts that included appearing in white bags in public. John and Yoko married on March 20, 1969 at the British Consulate in Gibraltar and spent their honeymoon in bed for the now legendary "bed-in for peace" at the Amsterdam Hilton in The Netherlands. In April of 1969, John changed his middle name to Ono. In November of that year, John returned his MBE (Member of the British Empire) medal, awarded in 1966, to protest British government policy against Nigeria, the Viet Nam War, and the poor chart performance of his latest single. After settling in Hew York, he released successful solo albums such as "Imagine" in 1971 and "Mind Games" in 1973. John faced deportation proceedings in March 1972, when his visa expired and he was told to leave the country due to his 1968 British drug conviction. During his fight, many people lined up in support of John, including New York mayor John Lindsay. From 1972 until two days before his second son's birth in 1975, John faced a few deportation threats, but on October 7, 1975 the New York State Senate reversed the deportation order and John received his Green Card in July of 1976. John returned to recording in 1980 with his first solo album in over half a decade, "Double Fantasy." On the night of December 8, 1980, John was in the walkway of The Dakota apartment building in New York City when someone said, "Mr. Lennon." John turned around and was shot at close range by a stalker. Rushed to the Emergency Room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital he was declared dead on arrival. Posthumously, "Double Fantasy" won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1982. In 1988, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in addition to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Beatles, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994 as a solo artist. He received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy in 1991. Two of his demo tapes, "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love" were released to the three surviving Beatles to finish in the early 1990s. Other works include the poetry collections, "In His Own Write" (1964) and "A Spaniard In the Works" (1965). (bio by: Donna Di Giacomo) "

John Lennon

The Beatles
George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney

Memorial on the 20th anniversary of Lennon's death at the Dakota Apartments [72nd and Central Park West] in New York City. Each year this space is memorialized since his death.

Strawberry Fields Memorial


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sentimental Sunday

The Alamo
San Antonio, Texas
September 2003

It was a quiet Saturday afternoon in September 2003.

Just two months before we lost my mother-in-law, Betty, to cancer. The Texican and I had given up everything to move to Texas to take care of her in her final days, not wanting her to be placed in a nursing home. Since I had been her primary care-giver, I had slipped into a funk, a real depression, and my dear Texican was doing everything he could to lift me out of it.

"Let me take you someplace special!" he'd said. And I got in the car with him, and we drove into town.

He parked on a side street, under some beautiful old trees, and next to a high front wall. So, I did not see the huge building the wall hid.

We walked through an archway, and there she sat. That so familiar building!

I'd seen her of course in movies, and in pictures, but never thought I'd get to see her like this.

Bathed in the afternoon sunlight, she is a site to behold! [My single snapshot here isn't much!]

We walked around the gardens surrounding the building.

I was simply in awe!

Here's a view from Microsoft Virtual Earth
As you can see, the grounds are pretty extensive!

Only a handful of individuals are allowed to enter at one time. So we joined the line of the next individuals to enter. [There is no admission fee, it is free to view.]

A State Park attendant waited at the door.

In front of us, also waiting in line, were several teens. They were cutting up, being loud, obnoxious, and dropping the "F" word like it was candy.

"Ladies and Gentlemen!" the attendant spoke loud enough for all of us to hear, but did not raise his voice above the norm.

"May I remind you to be reverent as you enter here! Inside these walls 189 men gave their lives in defense of this mission! And if you do not remember that, please remember that this is still a church! Be reverent for that sake!"

"Hey, man, you just need to chill!" said one of the teen girls in front of us.

[Have you ever wanted to smack someone upside the head before? You'll understand how I felt then!]

The group did quieten however, and were silent as we were allowed to enter.

It's not a very large building. But there is a hallowed quiet that, dare I say, forces you to be reverent?

If ever you could feel the spirits of individuals who have gone before you, this is the place.

While you are not "allowed" to take pictures inside the mission, I did find this via Google Images, from someone who had used their cell-phone to take this shot. The great wooden doors you see here are riddled with bayonet, sword, knife and shot markings from the battle.

If you can walk away from here, and not feel your heart tugged upon, I don't understand why not!

Somehow, as we left the tour and got back in our car for the drive back to our little home in Pleasanton, I felt a peace upon me like I hadn't felt in several months.

Sometimes, it simply takes a trip among the dead, to bring us back among the living.

Sorting Saturday

More record keeping advice from one of our favorite sites on the web...

To set up and use file folders to organize your genealogy records you will need the following basic supplies:
  1. A filing cabinet or file boxes with lids. The boxes need to be strong, preferably plastic, with horizontal inner ridges or grooves for letter-size hanging files.
  2. Colored, letter-size hanging file folders in blue, green, red, and yellow. Look for ones with large tabs. You can also save a bit of money here by purchasing standard green hanging file-folders instead, and using colored labels for the color-coding.
  3. Manila folders. These should have slightly smaller tabs than the hanging file folders, and should have reinforced tops to last through heavy use.
  4. Pens. For best results, use a pen with an ultra fine point, felt tip, and black, permanent, acid-free ink.
  5. Highlighters. Buy highlighters in light blue, light green, yellow, and pink (don't use red because it is too dark). Colored pencils also work.
  6. Labels for file folders. These labels should have blue, green, red and yellow strips along the top and permanent adhesive on the back.
Once you've assembled your supplies, it's time to get started with the file folders. Use different colored file folders for the lineages of each of your four grandparents - in other words, all folders created for the ancestors of one grandparent will be marked with the same color. The colors you select are up to you, but the following color choices are the most common:
  • BLUE - ancestors of your paternal grandfather (father's father)
  • GREEN - ancestors of your paternal grandmother (father's mother)
  • RED - ancestors of your maternal grandfather (mother's father)
  • YELLOW - ancestors of your maternal grandmother (mother's mother)
Using the colors as outlined above, create a separate folder for each surname, writing names on the hanging file tab insert with the black permanent marker (or printing inserts on your printer). Then hang the files in alphabetical order in your file box or cabinet by color (i.e. put the blues alphabetically in one group, the greens in another group, etc.).
If you're new to genealogy research, this may be all you need to do. If you have accumulated a lot of notes and photocopies, however, it is now time to subdivide. Here is where you need to choose how you want to organize your files. The two most popular methods as discussed on page 1 of this article are 1) by Surname (further broken down as needed by Locality and/or Record Type) and 2) by Couple or Family Group. The basic filing instructions are the same for each, the difference is primarily in how they are organized. If you aren't sure yet which method will work best for you, try using the Surname method for one surname and the Family Group method for one or two families. See which one suits you best, or develop your own combination of the two.
Family Group Method
Create a family group sheet for each married couple listed on your pedigree chart. Then set up manila folders for each of the families by putting a colored label on the file folder tab. Match the label color to the color of the appropriate family line. On each label, write the names of the couple (using the maiden name for the wife) and the numbers from your pedigree chart (most pedigree charts use the ahnentafel numbering system). Example: James OWENS and Mary CRISP, 4/5. Then place these manila family folders in the hanging folders for the appropriate surname and color, arranging in alphabetical order by the husband's first name or in numerical order by the numbers from your pedigree chart.
In the front of each manila folder, attach the family group record of the family to serve as a table of contents. If there was more than one marriage, make a separate folder with a family group record for each other marriage. Each family folder should include all documents and notes from the time of a couple's marriage. Documents which pertain to events prior to their marriage should be filed in the folders of their parents, such as birth certificates and family census records.
Surname & Record Type Method
First sort your files by surname, and then create manila folders for each of the record types for which you have paperwork by putting a colored label on the file folder tab, matching the label color to the surname. On each label, write the name of the surname, followed by the record type. Example: CRISP: Census, CRISP: Land Records. Then place these manila family folders in the hanging folders for the appropriate surname and color, arranging in alphabetical order by the type of record.
In the front of each manila folder, create and attach a table of contents that indexes the contents of the folder. Then add all documents and notes which correspond with the surname and type of record.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finally Friday!

Isn't that what most of our parents said?

It's finally Friday! Why? Because it was the anticipated day that they received their pay on!

[Well, except for my parents, who were in the military or government employees while I was growing up, so our greatly anticipated day was the 15th and 30th of the month! LOL]

Dear old Dad was a swabbie [US Navy] for 22 years. So we greatly anticipated the end of the month in our household!

We made once a month trips to the grocery store where we would stock up for the coming month, loading refrigerator and freezer, as well as pantry, to the limit!

Bills were paid.

And if there was anything left over, we got a trip to movies, or skating rink.

But it wasn't nearly as fun or exciting as you can imagine. See, Dad was gone for 18-20 month stretches at times. [By the time I was 16 we had figured out he had spent 18 months at home with his children!]

Today I carry a soft spot in my heart for military families. We often boast about what our military personnel have sacrificed for their country. But we often neglect to remember what their families sacrifice as well.

Mothers sacrifice their husbands. All too often they cannot stand the separation and the family ends in divorce, simply because the spouse is serving his or her country!

Children are left without a parent! When the military person is gone from home, the child often doesn't understand! And when they are gone for long periods of time, the child may even "forget" their parent! They become a stranger when they come back!

The spouse left with the family is left to make ALL the decisions! In essence they become a single parent!

And the financial reward simply stinks.

These dedicated men and women are on call 24/7. And when you factor that in, their pay is nothing more than minimum wage.

Try raising a family on that! [I know, I spent 12 years as a military wife, and was raising 5 children on the pay!]

So, the next time you see someone in uniform, be sure to thank them. And if they're with their spouse, be sure and thank them as well!  Those families give their all!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

Lacking anything better than "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water", and a few other colloquials, I decided to use Wisdom Wednesday to bring to light some Presidential quotes that may have been overlooked by our very modern, and free-thinking society.

Today's quote:

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. - John F. Kennedy "

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

John Quincy Adams
b: 11 Jul 1767
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts
d: 23 Feb 1848
Washington, District of Columbia

1767 - 1848


John Quincy Adams

"6th United States President, Presidential Cabinet Secretary, US Congressman. The son of 2nd United States President John Adams, he was born less than 75 feet from the birthplace house of his father in Braintree, Massachusetts. As a youth he was extremely fearful for the life of his father who had signed his name to the Declaration of Independence thusly committing an act of treason against England, an offense punishable by death. He was tutored at home receiving his formal education at Harvard College and became a lawyer. At the age of 26 he began an era of ministerial appointments in Europe: The Netherlands, the Berlin Legation and then to Russia. During this time he married Louisa Catherine Johnson. Appointed as United States Secretary of State by President James Monroe, he helped formulated with the President the Monroe Doctrine, which established American primary influence in the Western Hemisphere. In 1824 he was elected President of the United States, the election marked the first time a President came to power without receiving the popular vote and the Electoral majority (Andrew Jackson had more of both, but not a clear majority; the vote went to the United States House of Representatives, which elected John Quincy Adams). His administration was bold but unpopular. He embarked on a program of public works to bring the nation together with a network of highways and canals. Adams broke ground for the 185 mile C&O Canal. He advocated a program for the development of arts and sciences through the establishment of a national university, the financing of scientific expeditions, and the erection of an observatory. Dogged by criticisms of illegitimacy his whole administration, he was handily defeated by Jackson in the 1828 election. After leaving the Presidency, he returned to Massachusetts, where two years later he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, spending the remainder of his life as a powerful leader (during his tenure he represented three different Massachusetts Districts – the 11th from 1830 to 1833, the 12th from 1833 to 1837, and the 8th from 1837 to 1843). While a Congressman he became an important anti-slavery voice, and represented would-be slaves in the famous "Amistad" case in 1841. In February 1848 a stroke hit him while at his desk on the House floor of the United States Capitol Building. He was taken to the Speaker of the House's room, where he lingered for two days where he died at the age of 80. His open casket was placed in the House committee room where for two days mourners filed past his open casket. Adams was placed in the receiving vault at Congressional Cemetery then returned to Quincy and interred with his parents in Hancock Cemetery. Eventually a crypt was constructed in the basement of the First Parish Church in Braintree, where the remains of John Quincy Adams, his wife and his parents were moved. His son, Charles Francis Adams, was a Congressman and diplomat, and a key diplomatic figure during the Civil War. (bio by: Donald Greyfield) "
United First Parish (Unitarian) Church Cemetery
1306 Hancock Street
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts

**Note: All of the above information is taken from FindAGrave.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Maritime Monday

Walter Beane
02 Jul 1959
Sasiba, Japan

Now isn't this a handsome sailor fella?

This is my Dad, just a short few months before I was born!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sentimental Sunday

The year was 1957. A new WAC recruit, stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama was spending her free time playing ping-pong with other WACs.

That new recruit?

My mother. Pvt. Lois Dreher.

Wasn't she a real peach?

Love ya, Mama!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - "I Like It"

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings brings us yet another wonderful SNGF challenge!

"Hey genea-philes, it's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  A Facebook meme for women went viral this week - the "I Like It" meme which garnered responses like "I Like It ... On the Couch" or "I Like it ... on the Table."  The subject was "purse" - where to put their purse.  The mind boggled for awhile with some of the responses from supposedly proper genealogy ladies.

2)  Please write an "I Like It" post on the theme of "I like doing genealogy research" someplace, and why.

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a comment or note on Facebook."

So, this wasn't a hard one for me to figure out... though it might be a little strange to some!

I like doing genealogy research at my local courthouse. The clerks point me in the right direction if I'm not sure where a certain record is kept, but otherwise I am left free to roam about and open close those large volumes of vital records and land records [court records are kept in the clerk's office].
Our Local Courthouse

I love standing next to the counter-height cabinets and laying those heavy ledgers out. Then opening up the thick heavy bindings.

There is a distinct odor to these records [you know that smell, right? Slightly musty, like old vellum and ink!] There is nothing that smells so like this! Except maybe the old newspaper office! [With newspapers that date back to the 1860's!]

So, my favorite place is the records room at the courthouse!

Here lately I've noticed that attorney's are no longer the only company I meet there. There's a few good ol' boys, and a few good ol' gals who are joining me there!

Will I see you there as well???

Sorting Saturday

More great advice on sorting and filing your genealogy files from the folks at

The first step to starting an organizational system is to decide on the basic physical form for your filing (piles don't count!) — file folders, notebooks, binders, or computer disks.
Genealogical Filing Systems - Advantages & Disadvantages
  • Filing Cabinet & File Folders - File folders, probably the most popular organizational tool for genealogists, are inexpensive, very portable, and easily hold papers of different shapes and sizes. When dropped however, file folders can become quite a mess - with papers thrown out of order, and possibly misplaced. File folders make it easy to consult documents, but you have to be diligent about making sure the paper is put back where it came from. Once you've generated a lot of paper, however, the file folder system is the most flexible and expandable.
  • Binders - If you're someone who really likes to keep things together in one place, then organizing your printed genealogy data into binders may be a good option for you. This method standardizes your genealogical records into a regular size paper format. Documents that you don't wish to three-hole punch, can be added in polypropelene sleeves. Binders are portable and don't require a filing cabinet, however, if you do a lot of genealogical research you may find that binders eventually become too cumbersome on their own.
  • Computer Disks, CDs, & DVDs - Transcribing or scanning genealogical documents into the computer can save quite a bit of space, and computerized organizational systems can greatly speed up tedious tasks such as sorting and cross-referencing. CD-ROM quality has also greatly improved, supposedly lasting indefinitely under proper storage conditions. But, will your descendants 100 or more years from now have a computer that can read them? If you choose to use your computer as your primary organizational system, consider also making and preserving copies or printouts of important documents.
Once you get started organizing your genealogical clutter, you'll probably find that a combination of storage methods works best. Some people, for example, use binders to organize "proven" family and file folders for miscellaneous research on unproven connections, neighborhood or locality research, and correspondence. It is important to keep in mind that organization is and always will be a work in progress.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sentimental Sunday

My best friend and confidante from 1971 to about 1988, when we both decided to go to nursing school.

Barbara Sanderlin lived in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. She was born either 1959 or 1960. She married a man named Charles or Chuck Young about 1978 or 1979.
In 1979 she gave birth to twin daughters, Amy & Kimmie.
About 1983 she had a son, whom I think she named Charles after her husband.

We lost touch and I have been trying to find her for several years. I am hoping you, dear readers, can help me to locate her!

Barbara and I attended Victory Christian Day School on Princess Anne Blvd. in Norfolk, VA together, from 1971-1973. We were in the 6th and 7th grades there. In Miss Lewis and Mrs. Mallory's classes.

If you know Barbara, please, please, please, give her my email and ask her to contact me!

Thank you all for your help!