Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Sing-A-Long

That Old Country Church
Gaither Homecoming Group

Do you have fond memories of church when you were growing up?

I come from a long line of Christian families, and am myself a licensed minister, as is my youngest brother. So, I have so many fond memories of church, the music, and singing along! And so each Sunday I will be sharing the southern gospel music I grew up with.

I hope you will both enjoy this, and be blest.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Shopping Saturday - The 15th Century

The Farmer's Market Today

Did you ever wonder what marketing differences our ancestors had when compared to us today?

Wikipedia has this to say, "According to etymologists, the term 'marketing' first appeared in dictionaries in the sixteenth century where it referred to the process of buying and selling at a market."

Of course, we must remember that in the sixteenth century there weren't any super markets. Farmers would bring their produce to a central location. This might be within a keep, or even without the walls of a keep. The local 'laird' would have his cooks purchase from the first "pickings". This would mean that commoners would then purchase from whatever was left. But more often than not, they would barter.

For instance, a local cheesemaker might barter for eggs, and a bucket of grain. A weaver might barter for cabbage and carrots with a few yards of cloth.

And, of course, there were those who purchased with coin. During the 1500's, however, the commoner had very little coin. Coin was earned, and spent, by those who held titles and lands. The commoner was used to, for the most part, bartering.

Bartering is still alive and well in many places today. I have seen those at our local farmer's market that barter. I've seen someone who needed baskets for their strawberries barter a gallon of fresh strawberries for 3-dozen quart baskets. I've seen someone who bartered fresh, brown eggs for a quart of honey. I've seen greens bartered for squash.

This practice is, perhaps, one considered to be a favorite amongst the local marketers. Of course, then the public arrives, and the cash flows.

But of one who needed a new vest? Or a dress? Well, there were few dressmakers or tailor's in rural society. However, they were found in the larger cities. But you wouldn't see a finished garment hanging upon a rack! No. Indeed, it was more likely that you would drop by the local dressmaker's and make an appointment to come back in for a measuring. At that time, you would be taken into an area where you would undressed down to your chemise, and then a tape measure would be produced and your measurements would then be recorded. After you were measured, the dressmaker would sit you before a portfolio, from which you would then pick out a pattern you liked. Fabrics would then be produced for you to choose from. And if a suitable fabric was not in the shop, you would have to either get the dressmaker to choose a fabric for you, or pay extra to have what you wanted shipped in. The process of getting a dress could take anywhere from a few weeks, to a matter of months. A similar process was used for the purchase of men's clothing from a tailor.

And what of the country maid who required a new dress? Chances were, that if you were a country maid, your garments would have been handed down and remade to fit you either from an older sibling, or even from your mother. Many a child wore the a dress made from her mother's skirts.

If you were poor, you may have only linen cloth to choose from. This was a coarse material woven on a hand loom. I have made this fabric myself with an old wall loom (it literally leans against a wall when in use). This does not produce the same effect as linen woven on a large loom with a foot shuttle. It, instead, produced a wider weave, that was used for heavier threads. Often, if you purchased coarse linen, you would also purchase, or make, yarn to knit a Galway shawl.
Galway Shawl
This was a type of shawl that crisscrossed over the bosom, and was tied behind the back. It was a way of keeping warm. In the winter a cape could be worn over it. And in the summer, the sleeves of the linen dress could be rolled up. A chemise (an under slip) provided modesty so that the legs would not be seen from under the linen skirt. And an apron wore over the skirt would also provide modesty. A woman added color to her clothing using what Mother Nature provided her with. Beets, nut shells, nuts, bark, etc. So that, even if you were not wealthy, you could still get a new "shift" now and then.
And, as I said, children wore hand-me-downs, or the mother's old shift was used to make one or two smaller ones for the children.

Housewares were often bartered for as well. A wooden bucket for a boiling pan or fry pan. A pony for a couple of shoats (baby pigs). Chickens for geese. And so forth.

How very simple we have it today. We have our choice of where we want to shop. And we purchase according to our budgets.

Do you share any of the trades crafts your ancestors might have had? And if so, what are those crafts? Could you make it in a society where you might have to make everything yourself? Please share your comments below! We love hearing from you!

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!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday's Faces From the Past

My 17th Great-Grandfather
King John of England

John was born 24 December 1166. He was the youngest son of King Henry II of England and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.  He married (2nd) to Isabella of Angouleme, who brought substantial land claims to the marriage. (Isabella was my 17th Great-Grandmother.)

John and Isabella had 5 children together. Henry III, Richard 1st, and daughters, Joan, Isabella and Eleanor.

Richard became 1st Earl of Cornwall, and it is through Richard that I am descended.

King John of England reigned from 6 April 1199 until his death on 19 October 1216.

He is said to have only been 5'5" tall, stocky, and with a shockingly red head of hair. It is said that he loved reading, and never traveled without, with what to many seemed, a full library of books. (Perhaps therein lies my fascination in reading books. No matter what kind!) It is also said that he could fly into a rage over anything. He would become so infuriated that he would bite at his own hands and fingers until he brought blood. John was essentially raised by his wet-nurse, and neither of his parents spent any time with him. They were both away from him for several years at a time as they travelled about. This could explain his anger and rage, and self punishment.

Perhaps John is most well known today, not for his military prowess, which was great, but for the fact that as he was escaping the enemy in 1216, he led his men in a rush through a swampy area called the Wash. As his men and horses fought to get through the sucking mud and traverse around the many areas of quicksand, it is said that he lost his precious cargo of the Crown Jewels. They are believed to have been in a rather large trunk, and lost in the muddy swamplands. (This event was recently a study on the The Travel Channel's "Expedition Unknown" starring archeologist Josh Gates.

Other artifacts were, indeed, located in the swampy marsh, which confirmed that English traveler's did traverse the swamp. But the crown jewels were not located.

*****Re: Those Places Thursday - Were you able to figure out where yesterday's place was? Or what the name of the statue was?

The statue was Perseus with the head of Medusa, and while this isn't the only statue by the name, as several individuals sculpted one, this one is located in Florence, Italy.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Those Places Thursday

Can anyone tell me where this statue is located?
I can tell this bronze sculpture was made in 1545 by a very well known sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini.

Take a close look at it. The statue is of a man, holding a severed head. But not just any severed head. A woman's head. Look closely at what looks to be curly hair. Only this is not curly hair, but instead it is writhing snakes!

If you will recall your Greek mythology (what do you mean you didn't study Greek mythology?), you will recall the name of the woman with snakes instead of hair. And you will recall who slew her.

This statue stands in the Piazza della Signoria.

Oh, I do believe you may be getting warmer!

If you know the name of the two characters, and/or the location (city, country) of this statue, please be sure and leave it in the comments below.

If you don't know any information, please come back tomorrow to read about it!

Ciao bella!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wishful Wednesday - A Functional Home Office

Source Unknown: Found on Pinterest at various contributors sites

I have wanted a nice home office, ever since my dear hubby retired and I gave him the bedroom I had been using for an office, for him to have an office.

I have another bedroom, that has been used for storage for some time now, and I am hoping to get it into shape in the next couple of months. but any organization will go slowly, because as I said, it's been used for storage. So, in the future, about part of it will become storage, and the rest, my home office. I've already decided I would hide the storage. It will be placed in bins behind a wall made of 6-foot bookcases. That will leave me with about 2/3 of the room for office space. Enough that I can work freely.

I would LOVE something like you see above. With plenty of bookcases for all of my books, and research. A desk where I can sit facing the door, and place 2 chairs in front of it for clients. Nice oriental carpeting to set it all off.

A place for the printer, within easy reach of the desk, yet out of sight.

And a closed cabinet/hutch for all of my office supplies (printing paper, ink cartridges, pencils, pens, scissors, etc.).

What is your Wish for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday's Tip - Binders or Digitize

Tuesday's Tip
Binders or Digitize?

Nothing can be more frustrating, especially when you first out working on your family's genealogy, than trying to second guess yourself. "Am I doing this right?" Used to always be my mantra. Always afraid that I would lose something. Or that I would file it wrong, and never be able to get it back!

Well, about everything that could possibly go wrong with your genealogy journey probably happened to me, at one time or another.

At one point, I was printing out vast reams of paper, trying to get every article, document or photograph I could find regarding my family genealogy. Then I became paranoid, as I was simply putting everything into bankers file boxes (you know the kind that are knocked down and you fold and crease them into a somewhat file box shape?)

I thought, well, I'll start going through those papers (when I had about four or five boxes full of loose papers and copies) and put them in binders. So, I ordered in a bunch of 5-inch binders. And I simply started out punching holes in the pages. I didn't get too far, (thank goodness), that I thought maybe I should digitize these papers before I put them into the binders. So, back to the scanner, and I began scanning.

Before I knew, I learned about printing onto acid-free archival quality printing paper, using quality inks. Most of my printing had been done on plain, ordinary printing paper. So, back to the office supply store. As I scanned and saved papers to my computer, I also reprinted them, and realized, I should probably put those pages into archival page sleeves instead of punching holes in them.

So, back I went to the office supply store (I was getting to know these guys by name!). I wish I could say that I now had everything under control. But soon, I realized that I had all of the digital copies listed as Scan 001, Scan 002, etc. So I went back into each scan and began to name them after the person they were scanned for. Such as my gr-gr-grandfather. Suddenly I had WmBean-1, WmBean-2, etc. These files meant that now I would have to open each scan up to see what the file was for regarding William Bean. Time consuming. Very, very, time consuming, I was beginning to realize.

I decided on sub-folders. This is what worked for me. So, now I have folders on my computer that look like this:

I can go almost instantly to any photo or document I want, regarding just about anyone in my genealogy.

I start with a folder that lists the last name of the family I am researching. Let's use my Bean/e ancestry as an example.

There is a file folder marked "Bean/e". Inside you will find out patriarch folder, titled "William M. Bean" (now that "e" on the end is quite important, as it let's me know I am looking under Senior's name, and not his grandson's, which had the "e"). So, I am looking William Bean folder. If I click on it, inside you will find all of the research I have done for him. But there are other file folders inside of William's. There are 13 folders, each containing the research I have done on each of his 13 children. Likewise, inside of each of their folders you will find the same thing.

It might not work for everyone, but it's how I stay organized with my digital files.

Let's look at the path you would have to follow to find information on me, and this should give you an idea of my organization. To locate a file on me, I would follow this path:

"Bean/e > William M Bean > William M Bean Jr > John M Bean Sr > Walter M Beane > Cynthia A Beane"

Now, my family tree consists of over 16,000 individuals. I can hear you thinking, 'How does she remember where to begin looking for everyone at?' Simple really, I don't remember. I do a search. And the file on that person will come up. And I proceed from there.

As for the paper files, I use a similar system. But that will be for another day.

And back to original question: Binders or Digitize? I do both. I have huge binders full of every record I have, having printed everything out, as well as saved them digitally.

The digitization means that I can transfer files to others safely and quickly, without ever touching my hard copies. It means, I can take my laptop with me when I go to the library, or courthouse and refer back to the information I have if needed, while searching for new materials.

It also means, that God forbid, my hard drive crashes (I had a laptop hard drive that literally MELTED once!) I could put the files back together. But for heaven's sakes don't rely on your laptop for keeping those digital copies safe!

Today I save on my laptop. And twice a month, on the 15th, and first day of each new month, I backup my files (genealogy program, as well as notes in it and photographs in it, and photographs or documents not in it). I back up to an external hard drive. And to the Cloud. Then I back up the genealogy tree, just with notes, to a thumb drive. Yes, I may go a bit overboard on making sure my files are safe. But I nearly lost everything when my computer crashed and melted. Since then, I do my very best to keep everything protected. And we will go over that another day as well.

I hope this has helped you! If you find this type of information helpful, please let us know!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Amanuensis Monday

Indenture Contract for William Bean
Dated 18 Sept. 1804
(His 12th Birthday)

With much being said today (and every day) about those who have ancestors who were slaves, I would like to propose that the often overlooked indentured servant was nothing more than a person who was placed for a precise amount of time into slavery.

An indentured servant was someone who legally had no rights during their time of indenture. In the case of my gr-gr-grandfather, he was placed in indenture at the age of 12, actually on his 12th birthday, until he reached legal age of 21.

The following is the transcript of this document:

"This indenture made this 18th of Sept 1804 one thousand eight hundred and four between Jas. Christy owen Neal Robt Johnston and henry McDaniel of the one part overseers of the poor for monroe County and henry Smith of the other part witnesseth that the so overssers doth bind an orphan boy named William Bean aged twelfth years to the said henry Smith of the county aforesaid and State of virginia to Serve the said henry Smith until he arrives at the age of twenty one years, during all which time the Said William Bean Shall faithfully Serve his Master and all his lawful Commands obay he Sall not suffer any Damage to be done to his Said Masters goods without giving him notice thereof he Shall not frequent Still houses or taverns he shall not play at Cards dice or any unlawful game or at any time abscond himself from his masters business without his Masters leave he Shall not commit fornication nor Contract matrimony during said term but as a true and faithful servant shall truely and diligently Serve his Said Master until he arrives at the age aforesaid and the henry Smith in Consideration thereof doth Covenant and agree to have the so William Bean taught the art trade or Mastery of a Black Smith and provide for him a sufficiency of everyt thing thats requiset for an aprentice during the term of his aprenticeship likewise he is to have him taught to read the holy Scriptures planely to write a plane hand and arithmatic through te rule of three which Education he is to be thoroughly acquainted with at the Expiration of his time and also to give him Such freedom dues as the law direct taking Care to have Said aprentice instructed in the Principals and duties of the Christian religion as far as Said Master is Capable In writing whereof the partys have interchangeably set their hands inscribed this day and year above writen Signed Sealed ad delivered in the presents of  - John Hinchman - Owen Neal - Henry Smith - Jas. Christy"

The above document's transcription is verbatim, spelling and grammatical errors intact.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day 2017

My Mother
Lois Velleda (Dreher) Beane
May 11, 1957
In Her Prom Dress
Second Mother's Day in Heaven

My Mother-in-Law
Betty Louise (Rotge) Custer
Fourteenth Mother's Day in Heaven

God's Masterpiece is Mother

God took the fragrance
Of a flower
The majesty of a tree
The gentleness of morning dew
The calm of a quiet sea

The beauty of the twilight hour
The soul of a starry night
The laughter of a rippling brook
The grace of a bird in flight

Then God fashioned from these things
A creation like no other,
And when his masterpiece was through
He called it simply - Mother.

Herbert Farnham

Black Sheep Sunday

I'm The Black Sheep of the Family by John Anderson

Okay, so I'm playing it lazy this Sunday! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sibling Saturday - Louis the Stammerer

Charles the Bald
My 29th Gr-Grandfather

It isn't often when I've been able to trace someone's family Member's back to such early dates. I have one client who I was able to take their ancestry back to the 3rd Century. Usually, unless someone is of notable historical value, you won't be able to. But in this instance, I was able to take my ancestry back to Charlemagne.  (Not that he was such a good guy mind you, but I do pride myself in having found documented proof back that far!)

And here is another of my ancestors. Charles the Bald. Old Charlie was King of West Francia (843-877), King of Italy (875-877) and Holy Roman Emperor (875-877) where he was known as Charles II.

Old Charlie was married to my 29th Gr-Grandmother, the first of two wives, Ermantrude of Orleans (823-869), and she herself, was of noble blood. Together this couple had ten children. The eldest was Judith of Flanders, my 28th gr-grandmother. And next came Louis the Stammerer. (What a handle!) And that is who we will be discussing today.

Louis the Stammerer was born to Charles the Bald and Ermantrude of Orleans in 846. He was their second born child. It is believed that he was born in West Francia (France today). And his name indicates his unique manner of speech, which came not because of speech impediment, but because he was so shy as a youth that when he stood before others, he became quite nervous, and would so stammer.

Louis the Stammerer

Louis became King of Aquitaine and later King of West Francia (on his father's demise). In the French monarchial system, he became known as Louis II.

In 856 Louis was betrothed to one of Erispoe, Duke of Brittany's, daughters. However, Erispoe was murdered in 857, and thus the contract of marriage was considered broken.

Louis did, however marry twice.

Louis married first to Ansgarde, of Burgundy. With her he had two sons, Louis and Carloman. He also had 2 daughters, Hildegarde and Gisela. Sometime in 869 Ansgarde died. The reason is unknown. Perhaps in childbirth. But that is merely conjecture.

Louis married second, Adelaide, of Paris, about 874. With Adelaide, Louis had a daughter, Ermentrude. He also had a son, who was born five months after his death, Charles the Simple, who also become King of West Francia, after the death of both of his half-brothers.

Louis is said to have been described as "a simple and sweet man, a lover of peace, justice and religion". However, his last act was to lead a march against invading Vikings. It was during this march that Louis became ill and died on the night of 9/10 April 879(because he died in the night, you will see his death date listed as both the 9th and as the 10th of the month).

On his death, Louis' realms were divided between his two sons, who became known as Carloman II and Louis III of France.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Family Recipe Friday - Fried Okra

Fried Okra
Borrowed from

I said this many times on this blog, my dear Mama was not much of a cook. Oh, we didn't starve. She just had a limited repertoire of recipes that she did well. And Mama's fried okra was one of those few things that she could do well!

Mama would take fresh okra and wash it up. Then she'd pat it dry with a tea towel. (What do you mean you don't know what a tea towel is? Child, that's what we used before paper towels!)

Next she'd put yellow cornmeal in a bowl or on a plate. And then she'd mix together milk and an egg. (Mama never did master the use of a whisk, so she simply used a fork to whip it together. Works just as well.)

She'd gather her salt and pepper. Then she'd heat shortening in the skillet, and once the skillet was good and hot she'd dip the okra, piece by piece into the milk and egg, and then she'd roll it around in the cornmeal so it was coated well, and then she'd drop it into the hot grease in the skillet. She'd make sure it was browned completely on one side before turning it onto the other. Then she'd put a clean tea towel on a platter and place the freshly fried okra on it, which she had seasoned generously with salt and pepper. It would take a while to get a whole mess cooked up. And unless you've been in the house, you have no idea how good that okra frying smells!

Mama served it up onto our plates. She and Daddy used hot sauce on theirs. I just liked it with plenty of salt and pepper. It was good!

How - good - was - it?

Well, once you finished eating what you had on your plate, you had to chase your tongue across the table because it was already lapping its way over to the platter just to get seconds!

I guess I thought of Mama cooking the okra because I've been eating a lot of okra lately. I've been eating a lot of veggies since I went vegan! And remembering some of those good recipes that Mama used to make.

Did your Mother have a special recipe that she made particularly well? Be sure to share it with us!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thriller Thursday

photo taken from

Okay, so I'm the first one to admit I am absolutely in love with scary movies! And the reality tv series of paranormal and ghost hunters.

One thing I don't like is gore. No, that's not scary to me. It's just disgusting. The more that is left up to the imagination, the scarier it gets for me! For instance, take the movie Jaws as an example. Everyone was so freaked out by the shark attacking the people that I wouldn't go see it when it came out. I was afraid it was too scary! So I went for 35 years and did not see the movie. I read Peter Benchley's book, and that was scary enough for me! But one Friday night, we were bored and my dear hubby says, "So you've really never seen Jaws?" I told him I hadn't, but that I had read the book. "Well guess what we're renting tonight!"

And off to the video store he went to rent a copy. We settled in for the show. I was so bored, because, number one, it didn't follow the book but in the most minute of ways. And number two, I didn't see anything scary about it!

That is until the old seadog starts talking about WWII, and being aboard the ship that was sunk. You remember the scene, don't you?

The USS Indianapolis. It was sunk by a Japanese sub in shark infested waters. On 30 July 1945 the ship was torpedoed. Of the crew of 1,196 men aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remaining 900 men were adrift in the water for 4 days before being spotted by a Navy plane. Of the 900 who survived the sinking, only 317 survived. And this is the story the old sea captain tells in the movie.

In particular, he told how the men formed a circle and held each others hands, and they faced outward, to better see when a shark approached. They did what they could to stave off the blood crazed beasts. The old sea captain tells of holding onto the hand of his best friend. When dawn approached, he thought his friend had fallen asleep in his life vest. He was gently bobbing up and down in the water. But when the old sea captain shook him to wake him up, he toppled forward into the water. And from the waist down the sharks had eaten him. The old sea dog had spent the night holding his best friends hand, while he was eaten alive by sharks, and because of his own exhaustion he had been totally unaware.

The way he told the story, his inflections and mannerisms in telling the story scared the doodoo out of me! The way he told it, you were there! You could hear the screams of those attacked. You could feel someone letting go of your hand as their body was being dragged into the brine. Now that, to me, was the best part of the whole movie! It sent shivers up and down my spine! I loved it!

It's been years since they made a scary movie that actually scared me, that didn't make me want to throw up from the realistic gore. To me, the imagination is so much better than what they can do cinematically. The last thrilling movie I saw was when Wes Craven's "New Nightmare" came out. (Okay, I said it had been a long time!) When the body on the bed was grabbed from INSIDE the mattress? Oh my! I scared everyone in the house. Because, like the girl I am, I screamed out loud!

What's your favorite scary movie? Let us know with your comment!

*****Did you guess where the place was at from yesterday's Where Am I? Wednesday? No?
The photo was taken in Lystrada, Greece at the Forgotten Temple. Okay, I have to confess, I did not take the photograph. It was from a postcard I purchased there. Has anyone else been there? If you've been to Greece at all, what was your favorite place? What did you enjoy doing most while there? Let us hear from you in the comments.
The Forgotten Temple
Lystrada, Greece

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Where Am I? Wednesday

This is the day I choose a photo from my travels, and ask you to guess where the location is. And here is today's Where Am I? Wednesday:

I'll give you a hint, the site is called "The Forgotten Temple".
Anyone been there?
No cheating! Leave your answer only if you KNOW where it is!
Check back tomorrow for the answer!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Talented Tuesday - Mama Played The Cornet

The Cornet

I was told I started singing as soon as I could talk. And even as a small child I would take tunes I knew from the television commercials, or favorite shows, and make up my own rhymes for them.

As I grew older, Mom made sure that I got to play whatever musical instrument I wanted to play. I was in the city orchestra at only 13 playing the violin and the viola. At 14 I taught myself to play the guitar. And somewhere in there, Mom enrolled me in a piano class. The teacher pulled my Mom aside after my first lesson and told her she couldn't teach me anything, because I played very well on my own, playing by ear. So, no formal training there. I wanted to play the flute. Mom got me a flute, and I taught myself to play. I sang in the church choir, and in a small trio. I also sang solo. And I wondered where that talent came from.

Daddy used to play the guitar, when I was really young. He wasn't formally taught, but he could make it sing! And he could sing! Oh my! Daddy had, and still does, have a beautiful voice! He doesn't share it except at the holidays when we get to singing some of the old carols, or if we get together impromptu and begin singing hymns.

And there was Mama. Poor Mommy. She tried to sing. She really did. But she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket if you carried the bail for her! She just couldn't do it. Which is why what happened that summer shocked me so much!

I was 12 and Mom and I had gone to a music store to pick up a set of strings for my violin. They didn't carry a lot of new  instruments, but that didn't matter, we were only after strings. And maybe resin for the bow, can't recall though. But what happened next just about knocked me off my feet.

Mom had walked over to a table that had dented up brass instruments on it, all marked down to ridiculous prices. The store owner told Mom if she saw something on that table she liked, he'd let her have it for half of the already knocked down price. Mom, being the lady she was, simply said, "Thank you, but I'm just looking." I paid for my strings, and walked over to where Mommy was running her hands over what I thought was a trumpet.

"No, honey, that's a cornet," she corrected me. I repeated it back to her, only it came out like "c-o-r-o-n-e-t".

"No, Cyndi, just one 'O'. Like corn-et."

The owner walked over and he saw the instrument Mom was touching.

"Yeah, it's a sad thing that old cornet will never be able to be played again. It's just too beat up. I'll probably have to scrap it" the owner said.

"Why?" Mom asked him. "Just because the horn is beaten up doesn't mean it can't make beautiful music!"

You could have knocked me over with a feather when my Mom put that cornet to her lips and played the most beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace that I think I have ever heard! It wasn't something from TV. It wasn't someone else. It wasn't a church friend. This was MY MOM!

She played through the hymn twice. Then she laid the cornet back onto the table. "Thank you," she told the owner.

His mouth was hanging open about as much as my own was.

Mom was embarrassed that she'd given way to her showing this gift she had. She blushed, something that you never saw my Mom do! You simply could not embarrass her that much!

She took me by the hand and pulled me from the store, and as we were going out the door, I looked back and the owner called out, "Thank you and come again any time!"

When an aneurysm robbed my Mom of many of her memories, she remembered playing the cornet in her school band. But she kept saying she didn't play very well. When I told her I thought she played beautifully, she didn't remember the incident in the music store. She was certain she would never have done such a thing! "Oh, I never played well enough to play in front of anyone!" she would tell me.

Mom passed away almost 2 years ago. But 45 years ago, my Mom proved to me that you should never judge something by what it looks like. You know, never judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, an instrument just because it was dented up. It's the musician that makes the music great, and not the instrument.

Whenever I recall the time my Mom proved you didn't have to be able to sing to play an instrument, I am reminded of the old poem, "The Touch of The Master's Hand". Unfortunately, I've never been able to find who wrote it, so I cannot give credit to whom it is owed, I can only say that it is lovely, and I leave you with it today:

The Touch of The Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while

To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"

"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"

"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,

From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,

Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,

He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.

"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"

"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."

"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.

He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,

The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mystery Monday - Am I Related to You?

****DISCLAIMER: The following review is a personal review of the app 'We're Related' for your iPhone, by Please be is a PERSONAL review, and this blogger is NOT obligated to review it.

A personal review of the We're Related app by 

I've seen a lot of negative talk out there in the cyber world about this app, We're Related. So, I had to give it a try.

I got the app just a short time after its release to the public. I thought of it as simply, 'oh how cute!' You know, I figured it was going to tell me some crazy stuff, much like a Magic 8 Ball (oops, just about told you how old I am!) In any case, I simply wasn't taking it seriously. I mean, there are versions of my family tree on ancestry that date back to 2001 when I first got on to the site. They are not professional in any way shape or form. I wasn't even using sources or making citations back then! I didn't even realize that I needed to! That's how green I was at this thing called genealogy. And over the years, I took my tree off of Ancestry because I saw people using my tree, including my notes! And when I confronted people with  that, they would swear that they NEVER used my notes. (Hint: if you have a genealogy program like FTM, when making personal notes, always end your note with a dash and then either your name or your initials. Dummy's don't even look to see those initials there! They simply download your notes, and say they are their own!)

Okay, so my tree is hidden. And there are NO NOTES attached to my online tree any more. I will share it if I feel like someone is a close enough relative, when asked. Meaning at least a 2nd cousin. Any further away in the chain of relatives, and you are on your own! Sources and citations are included, but no notes!

So, when I got the We're Related app, I thought it would be about as useless as t-i-_-s on a boar hog. (Yeah, you know what that "_" stands for..) It was just going to be for fun. I got some hits that said I was related to some of my favorite genealogy people out there. But since I know that nothing even remotely connected to 2nd cousin would come of any of it, and seeing that our common ancestor was like 8-10 generations ago, no I didn't bother to contact them. Or to put them in my tree. Not that my tree doesn't have some people in it who aren't even remotely related to me, but that's because I did research for some of my cousins, on my Dad's side. (Dad came from a family of 15 children. Grandpa outlived two of his three wives, and had children with all three. So in all fairness, having taken on the mantle of family genealogist, I did do some research for my cousins who are not from my Dad's immediate siblings.)

So, why am I excited about my app? And how, or has it, affected my research?

Okay, so I wanted to know if I really was related to John F. Kennedy. Out of curiosity. But, I didn't have research back as far as the app had our common ancestor. But it did give me some names to pick up where I had not tread before. And it began as a game. Not to PROVE the relationship, but more to DISPROVE it. And a funny thing happened.

I was able to PROVE my ancestry back to the common ancestor! But that still didn't prove that I was related to Kennedy. So, instead of moving backward, as I had to prove my link to the common ancestor, I began researching forward from the common ancestor to see if I could, once again, disprove a relationship with the former President. And guess what. I DID prove we shared the same common ancestor!

So, for about the first 10 or so that I received I went right to work to see who all I am related to, or NOT related to.

Funny thing is this, I was able to provide documentation on those first 10 or so that proved I was related to them. Very distantly mind you, but the connect was there. But I wasn't excited about the connect, I mean, if you're a Christian and believe in the Bible, then you already know we are all related someway. Right? If you could do it, we would all be able to trace our roots back to Adam and Eve. Am I right? (Don't you just love looking at those trees on Ancestry or Family Search that have Adam and Eve listed as their ancestors? As I always say, the proof is in the pudding, and you ain't got no pudding there my friend!)

What I was excited about, was the fact that in doing the research, I was getting hints at where to go to find my next set of grandparents. you know, we all have them. 10x great-grandfather was married to UNK. (We've all got them, don't we? Those mystery grandparents?) Suddenly I had names. And with names I could begin to cross reference marriage bans, licenses, birth and death records, property taxes, and could corroborate distant aunts and uncles. These people had been mysteries to me until now!

Okay, so I'm not supportive of using the trees that you are shown on the app. Some of them are just plain weird and make no sense! But do take some time and look through them. I have busted through SEVERAL brick walls with this app's help!

Not to mention that I can say I'm 8th cousins with Johnnie Depp, or 2nd cousins, 36 times removed with Queen Elizabeth. Okay, laugh. Some of my family really get a charge out of knowing things like that!

But, what if I can tell you that I have reputable research that states I am a direct descendant of Charlemagne? Oh, you too??? Yeah, right, so can 2 billion other people on the planet! But hey, I did the research to find my trail (ancestry) back to him. How many of those 2 billion other people can say the same? (I even found out that Henry VIII had some of my ancestors noggins lopped off!)

So, I am totally infatuated with the app. At first I was able to keep up with doing research on each new tree match. I had to give that up in a hurry! There was no way I could prove everybody as fast as the trees were coming in. And no, I am not related to every tree I am sent. For instance, I am NOT related to Kurt Cobain, or Toby Maguire (through a common ancestor listed as Frances UNKNOWN, yeah let's see you prove that one!)  But without much effort at all I have proven some very interesting people share a common ancestor with me. Sadly, the closest any of them have been is 4th cousin 4 times removed. Care to guess the lucky relative there? None other than the original fright poet, Edgar Allan Poe.

So, if you have a smart phone, go ahead and download the app. But don't take it seriously, unless you're willing to do the legwork to prove that you're related to Charlemagne. Don't forget sources and citations. And none of this "UNK" stuff. Find out who it is, and then set out to disprove it. (I find it easier to find a name, and then disprove the relationship than trying to prove it. I start out with the premise that it's all a fairy tale, unless you can prove it.)

Have fun with it! Use the app when you have your next family gathering and play charades with everyone taking a famous person you're related to and try to guess who it is!  (Just make sure you let everyone know that the connection hasn't been proven unless you actually have!)

Seriously, though, it's a fun app, and it really has helped me break through some walls where I had been stumped before. In some cases moving back only a single generation, or as in the case of Charlemagne, 38 generations!

On a scale of one to five stars, I rate the app with FIVE STARS.