Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Monroe Bean's Newsletter

For all of the Monroe Bean's Newsletter readers, you can read the newsletter by clicking HERE.

Be watching for the February newsletter in a couple of weeks!

Happy New Year to ALL!

(There has been a lot of email addresses that have not gone through, so please pass on to everyone to come here to get the newsletter monthly if they are not receiving it in their email in box. Thanks for everyone's assistance in this matter!)

Tuesday Tips

Just starting out in your genealogy quest? Well come on in, cause the water is fine!

I will let you know that there are several forms you can use that will make your research go much smoother. Especially when you start looking back at what you did, and trying to make sense of it all. Because, if you're like me, you probably make these little chicken scratch notes, and then try to put them together. There is simply going to be way too much information to keep all of those notes straight and sensical.

My favorite place to find forms that help has been on the BYU site, which can be found here. This is a wonderful site to get you started. Lots of free forms, and instruction and videos. Even a free genealogy study.

An example of a very good research log.

I still have forms that I downloaded from Ancestry.com in 2001, and those I use most of the time. If they still have the forms, I wasn't able to locate them. However don't overlook their video series to assist you in locating information!

And let's not forget FamilySearch.org . It's one of the oldest, and most comprehensive sites out there for research. It was there before the others even thought about it! They also have a lot of very good information to help you get started!

And finally, don't count entirely on the world wide web to locate the information you are seeking.  Most of the records you search for have yet to be digitized. That means hoofing it to libraries, court houses, churches, cemeteries, and more to locate the best of the records yet.

The main thing is to simply get out there and get started! Start finding that family history you've been wanting to find! If not you, then who?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mystery Monday

William Bean's ancestry, is for the most part, a mystery.

Somewhere a Bible was seen with the inscription of his parents marriage, and their names, along with his birth. No one knows where the Bible is now, so we have only someone's say-so that this was true.

In Morton's History of Monroe County, Morton reflects that William's son stated his father was from Ireland, and had stolen on board a ship to come to America (which would totally through out the Bible theory). And he was then put into servitude as an indentured servant at the age of 12 (actually on his 12th birthday) until the age of 21 to repay his passage and education.

The possible scenario of William's parents went around like crazy, and while not proven, many claim it as cold hard fact. But the recounting of William stowing away on board ship to get to America makes more sense. It explains the DNA testing we have had done so far.

The latest DNA study indicates that William was most likely from England or Ireland, which would explain the story as recounted in Morton's.

Monroe County, West Virginia court records shows that a John Bean was placed in indenture in February 1804. While William was placed on September 18, 1804. William also told his family he had a younger brother named Roy who ran away from indenture and was never heard from again. Court records have not revealed a Roy, however.

Family insist that William told that his father, also named William, fought in the American Revolution on the British side, along with Cornwallis. No record has been found of this however.
There is a record of a William McBean taking the American Oath and receiving local land grants. These would place the younger William right where we expect he should have been.

I did see his exact birthdate listed in a parish record in Baltimore, with William McBean and his wife, Sarah as his parents, which would then throw out the English/Irish theory. But would, in fact, cement the Bible record.

Our DNA tests have matched no one, except for expected cousins from William's line. Which causes one to pause, and wonder if McBean/Bean was his actual name. Unless we are of the last of that line. Even so, we should at least partially match someone else. But nothing to date to tie us to another Bean line, or even another family.

This is my brick wall.

William was born September 18, 1792, in Baltimore, Maryland to the best of our knowledge. He was placed under indenture on September 18. 1804 until the age of 21, where he was to be taught to be a blacksmith (that is fact, we have copies of this indenture).

The rest we know.

It's the past that keeps me awake at night. That mystery of simply not knowing for certain! It's what keeps the research going. It's what keeps it incomplete.

Perhaps I may never know the answers in my lifetime, but by golly, I've made my stamp trying to figure it all out! And that's going to keep me going for a long, long, time.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sentimental Sunday

My baby girl, 32, has left the nest. Again. She has moved out several times, but has needed her Dad and I to help out, and come back home for love and support. But this time, I think she's moved out for good.

A beautiful young lady, Crystal was born in 1984, in the post hospital at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The youngest of my five children.

She may have been spoiled a bit more than the others (I think Mother's tend to do that with either their eldest or their youngest for some reason). But she is generous to a fault. If needed, she would give you her very last dime.

Smart, witty, and fun to be around, we have an especially close relationship. And I am feeling the empty nest harshly for the first time. I wonder just how many quick selfies like the one above we will have from now on.

I miss her already.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sympathy Saturday

Last week, my cousin, Pam, lost her husband. I never did find out what happened. Just that was fine one moment, and gone the next. Jim will be missed. I only saw him at family reunions, but he never failed to make me laugh!

James R. Young

James R. “Wetback” Young, 56, of Madams Creek passed away Friday, January 13, 2017 at his home following a sudden illness.

    Born November 25, 1960 at Presque Isle, Maine he was a son of Ople H. “Sarge” Young Jr. of Madams Creek and the late E. Marilyn Young.

    James was an U.S. Air Force Veteran and a former utility worker for Asplundh and Weatherby Guns. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, his dog, sports - Dallas Cowboys and NC Tarheels and NASCAR- Jeff Gordon.

    Besides his father those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Pamela A. Young at home; beloved dog, Bear; three siblings, Liz Young Huffman and husband Greg of Jumping Branch, Opie Young III and companion Kami Sisson of Pipestem and Robin Young Jeffries and husband Eric of Jumping Branch; two nephews, Justin Young and Austin Dunn; three nieces, Emy Young, Kara Via and Makaylah Jeffries; one great nephew, Carson Young; one great niece, Hadley Dunn and father and mother in law, Jack and Vivian Ashley of Hinton.

    Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Monday, January 23, 2017 at Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel with Pastor Robbie Merritt officiating. Burial will follow in the Lilly-Crews Cemetery at Nimitz. Friends may call from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. on Sunday at the funeral parlors.

    Pallbearers will be Bo Jeffries, Billy Kleintop, Pat Noble, Alan Harvey, Jackie Ratliff and Chip Johnson. Honorary pallbearers will be Justin Young, Austin Dunn and Lot Williams.

Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.ronaldmeadowsfp.com

"Go rest high on that mountain,
    Son your work on earth is done,
  Go to Heaven a shoutin',
    Love for the Father, and the Son"

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Funny

I thought this was super cute!

I don't know to whom this should be credited. The name says simply HAGEN©2006.
I found it while looking through genealogy cartoons, so I'm not sure where it was published. If anyone knows, please pass the information on to me so that I can give them credit for this funny cartoon!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thrifty Thursday

My grandmother had three babies at the end of the depression. She also had a husband who was 32 years older than she was. He had a stroke. And she had to make do with whatever she could find to make do with.

As a child, our home had an abundance of everything, from food, to clothing, to furnishings and automobiles. And I used to laugh at the things that my grandmother did.

She saved bread bags. I couldn't imagine why, but she felt it was something we should keep. She stored everything from children's wet swim suits in them, to homemade biscuits.

She would even, (gasp! horror!) send my sandwich to school in them if we ran out of sandwich bags. (No children, this Grandma did not have Ziploc sandwich bags back then! Take a look at the following.)

She also saved the tie wraps for the bread bags.
She used these for everything from tying up loose hair to make a ponytail, to securing the bread bag she'd cut short to make a sandwich bag out of.

She saved old jelly jars.
These she would use to put left over soups in. Or can more jelly if she was in the mood. Or even drink lemonade from in the summer time.

She always wore white sneakers.
I once tried to get her to pick out a pair of colored shoes rather than the plain Jane white ones. She told me they were too hard to keep clean. I will admit, Grandma's white sneakers were always a beautiful white! How could she keep them so clean?
Baby powder! Every morning when she was dressing, she took a powder puff and dusted the outside of her sneakers with it. Since her sneakers were canvas, they absorbed the powder and kept the shoes brilliantly white!

Grandma also saved aluminum foil.
Grandma would say just because it was used once (or twice!) didn't mean it couldn't be used again! As long as it was cleaned, the wrinkles were smoothed out, and the foil folded neatly and placed in the kitchen drawer for future use.

I look back now, and realize that Grandma taught me a lot more than I ever dreamed of. She taught me to value every penny in a dollar. To this day, even if it's only a penny and I spy it on the ground, I pick it up and add it to my piggy bank. (More than once those pennies have pulled me financially from the fire!)

She taught me to appreciate what I have. From the extravagant diamond my husband gave me when we were engaged, to one of those silly little bread ties. They all have a purpose and a use.

She taught me to use it up. Wear it out. Then you buy more.

So, I am happy living in a humble mobile home, and am considering downsizing even! I don't need all this space! I once had a huge closet full of clothes and shoes. Not any more. They went the way of the Goodwill. I only need enough to see me through for three or four days, and then they all get washed. When I buy something new, it's because I've worn out what I already have. Literally.

Yes, Grandma taught me a lot. You don't need vitamins, if you know what foods to eat to start with! Dandelion greens, turnips, spinach, poke (only you country folk will know what that is!) crabapple jelly, mulberries. Eat only what you've canned or frozen yourself from fresh. Never over eat. Eat only until you are comfortable.

Waste not. Want not.

Boy, do I ever wish I'd paid more attention to my Grandma! What a woman she was!

Here's to you, Grandma!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wisdom Wednesday

In light of all of the "hoopla" of our newly inaugurated President, let me share this with you:

'Nuff said. Ya'all behave yourselves now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Travel Tuesday - My Favorite US Military Post

Back in 1979, I traveled to Furth, Germany to be with my (then) husband. It was a wonderful 2 year experience that I will never forget!

In the spring of 1980, my husband's unit was transferred and moved to Grafenwoehr. Most Army personnel, or ex-Army personnel, will know the place. This is where Elvis was stationed when he went to Germany! And there wasn't a German town more romantic than Graf.

I traveled about a bit, but this was always my most favorite post. I could've stayed there forever.

Here's a picture that anyone who has ever been there will recognize. The clock tower.

There is a saying among military wives: When you go to Germany you either come back home with a cuckoo clock, or a new baby. I guess I couldn't make up my mind. While stationed here, I gave birth to twins. Out of a post of about 2200 military civilians there were 20 that gave birth to twins that year, and I was one of the lucky ones.

I never have missed getting that cuckoo clock I wanted!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday's Obituary

Carole Ann Chaplin

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

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

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

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


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sibling Saturday

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

Well, here we go! (Be forewarned!)

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Funny

(cartoon credited to www.amfor.net )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A good habit to be in.

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travel Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 9, 2017

Motivation Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sentimental Sunday

This is a rare photograph, if not the only photograph, of my Mom's family all together at once.

Mom was the youngest of five children. The eldest was 14 years older than Mom, and she used to recall her brother Billy as being the one to whom she was closest, as he was only 2 years older.

The photograph was taken with a Kodak Instamatic camera about 1968. It is a little fuzzy, but I treasure it still.

From left to right:
My grandpa, Henry C. Dreher (1902-1977)
Ethel Dreher McCutchen (1924-2012)
Arthur C. Dreher (1926-2013)
Laura Marion "Maryann" Dreher Grose (1931-2006)
Billy Leon Dreher (b. 1936)
Lois Dreher Beane (1938-2015)
My grandma, Irene Banet Dreher (1906-1989)

The occasion was the only family reunion I remember Mom's family having. My grandparents lived on a farm then, and we all camped about in one way or another to stay. Little Indian River ran through the property and we swam for hours! We also canoed. And we had a giant fish fry! I remember Mom being the fish "fryer". Dad had caught a big old catfish, and Mom was frying it up, and it flipped out of the skillet (any of you fisherpeople know what I'm talking about when you fry fresh fish!). It landed on Mom's foot, and as I recall blistered it pretty good.

It was such a precious time! If I could revisit a time in my life when "all was well with the world", this would be it!

Do you have such a time you would like to be able to revisit? If so what would you do differently, if anything.

I would sit down and ask my Grandpa more questions about his family. I'd love to find about more about his grandparents and great-grandparents.

Yep, it was a great time!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Surname Saturday

With the recent popularity of the Apple download for iPhones, We're Related, I had to give it a try.

With the large populace that I suddenly found myself related to, I simply had to pick a name and check it out for accuracy.

I chose John F. Kennedy, who quickly came up on my list. And sure enough, I can trace my ancestry back to our common Ancestor, who oddly enough, was also named John Kennedy. And yes, this is verified.

Knowing that the information provided in We're Related comes merely from individuals who have placed their family trees on Ancestry.com, and ran against mine, and thousands of others, a common ancestor in our trees is found. But the reality is that many, if not most, at least in my experience, have not been researched and verified through documentation. So, I took the app as a fun thing to bring out at a family party, and nothing more when I downloaded it.

The truth is, I am happy to say, that I am finding more and more of the matched ancestors are correct, and the paper trail lead right to me, and to the indicated individual.

Jokingly I told family members that saying we were related to the Kennedy's was one thing, after all, both families are traced back to ancestors who came to America in the 1600's. That narrows the gap all by itself. So, I said, "I'm just waiting to find out that we're related to Elvis!" Well, I had to eat my words. Elvis, is in fact, my 8th cousin. (I know, related from afar, but still related.)

The individual I was probably most excited to see and to research was an old favorite of my Dad's. Johnny Cash. Our shared ancestor is Johann Georg Buhler, who arrived in this country not long before he died with his family of grown children and their families as well. He landed in Virginia. And from there we stay in Virginia for a while. But as the wilderness went further inland, so did Cash's ancestors, while mine stayed on the Virginia frontier.

Johnny and June Carter Cash
And yep, you got it, we share a common ancestor with Cash's second wife, June Carter, who also stayed settled in what was the Virginia frontier.

While you might download the program as a lark, take the time, if you wish, to do a little research. you just never know who you might be related to!

(In case you're wondering, Johnny Cash and I are 8th cousins, 1x removed.)

I'm off to do a little research now. I just got a notification that Harry S. Truman and I are 7th cousins 4x removed. Hmmm, we'll just have to wait and see what the paper trail says, but stay tuned! You just never know! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Family Recipe Friday - Cranberry Salad

In the past week we celebrated the New Year. And one of my favorite family recipes is my grandmother Dreher's cranberry salad.

Of course cranberries are the main ingredients. And grandmother's recipe called specifically for Ocean Spray brand cranberries. (The above photo is taken from their website.)

The recipe calls for strawberry Jello,  a can of pineapple tid bits drained, a Granny Smith apple, and walnuts.

Grandmother, and everyone else in my family who makes the salad, processes the cranberries, pineapple, peeled and cored apple and walnuts in a blender or food processor to a combination of very small pieces. The Jello is made according to package directions, and set in the refrigerator. After it begins to gel, the fruit and walnut combination is spooned into the  Jello and allowed to finish setting.

Me, on the other hand, am always doing things different. Especially if I can cut corners!

I cut the cranberries into halves (yes, it takes a while and you are left chasing cranberries if you don't take precautions, as they skitter away from you!). I cut the pineapple bits into half as well. The apple is chopped. And the walnuts are left halved. I also sometimes add canned and drained mandarin oranges, or coconut. I use 4 regular sized packages of cherry Jello, simply because I love the flavor.  I mix the Jello with 2 cups of boiling water and make sure the powder is completely dissolved. I then add two cups of ice so that it begins to set up faster. As it begins to gel, I add the fruit and walnuts.

The difference?

This is what Grandmother's cranberry salad looks like. It is quite delicious. And you certainly can use chewing as an alternative you like! Safe for the denture wearers at the meal.

And then there is mine....

This is crisp, chewy, and your dentures had better be in with good adhesive for this bad boy salad! The condensed Jello gives it a thicker consistency that holds everything together. It can be placed in a mold when preparing it, and you can safely unmold it without losing any contents, or fear of it falling apart.

Either way it is delicious. And both ways are delicious if you add whipped topping to each serving.

Of course, my family (siblings, etc.) think I'm crazy for this. It simply points out the lazy streak that runs right through me! But then, sometimes, cutting corners, or being lazy, is half the fun. Or in this case, half the flavor!

Bon apetit!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Those Places Thursday

This photo was taken at Bluestone Dam in Hinton, Summers County, West Virginia. It is a control of the New River and helps to form Bluestone Lake.

The dam was built beginning in 1949 as a flood control. At it's basin, the pool is 1,406.5 feet. It can withstand a "Noah flood" if need be. This past June of 2016 it was put to the test when the so-called "thousand year flood" hit the area, displacing thousands in areas nearby, but the dam held strong.

There is a You Tube video which was taken during the construction phase and is exceptional in looking at the construction and quarry mining of the stone needed to build it.

The dam provides for recreation in the area such as camping, hiking, fishing and boating. It is a favorite spot for many visitors. It is also a stop for the Amtrak rail system. And is located a short 12-miles from Interstate 64 at the Sandstone exit.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday

Yesterday I posted about my Mother as my Matrilineal/Military post.

Today I would like to show you her beautiful stone.

Unfortunately, you can see that the finish is highly reflective and you can see the photographer. But the stone is clearly visible.

This is a black, polished granite. The surname is engraved in a large, bold lettering. In the left corner, you will find a photograph of my Dad and Mom on their honeymoon in December 1958. Dad will lie on the left, and you see the inscription for him there. Mom lies on the right. Her name, Lois Velleda, with birth and death date are engraved on the lower right. In the center are the depiction of the praying hands. You can see a small angel to the lower left of center, but it is a reflection of a small angel that adorns the grave.

I'm afraid I haven't taken a photo of her military memorial, which is at the foot of the grave. It is a flat bronze plaque memorial.

My sister visits often, even though the journey is well over an hour for her, and keeps the grave adorned with flowers and decorations that reflect the season.

The grave sits at the top of a very steep hill. I have sarcoidosis of the lungs and the climb is never easy for me. And then, I always get emotional when visiting, so I haven't been back but a couple of times. The climb, and my emotions companied with the difficulty breathing during the climb, leave me so drained that I simply am exhausted for days afterward. (Terrible excuse I know, but I stand by it.)

I have no doubt, as I stand there looking at the stone that Mother would have been proud of it. She so loved that photograph of her and Dad. And she would love the little decorations my sister so lovingly places there.

I hope in time I will feel I can visit it more often.

One day, hopefully not for a long while, I will be placed to the left of Dad's grave, and by his feet.

This is located at Mount Zion Union Church cemetery, located in Waiteville, Monroe County, West Virginia. The cemetery is nearly full. The large, beautiful oaks that once adorned, and shaded the cemetery, were cut down this past year. It has left the cemetery rather stark. But the little white church that sits at the bottom of the hill has been there for nearly 150 years.  And within the confines of the cemetery lie most of my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, my grandfather's siblings and their families, and my great-grandparents. It seems like a good place to rest these old bones when the time is right. Perhaps then my children, too, will climb the hill to visit.

And that is a comfort.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Matrilineal/Military Monday

It's been a while since I've been into the swing of working on my genealogy blog. I've only recently got back into the habit of daily genealogy research and newsletter writing for my family.

So I wanted to start back with the GeneaBloggers daily prompts today. Thomas can always get you in the mood for some fun and antics in genealogy, as well as inspire you to further your research!

Today I chose a dual subject for Monday. Both Matrilineal and Military. Why? Because I have not honored my Mom since her death on this blog. (Heck, I haven't written but once on the blog since her death!)

Lois Velleda Dreher was born in 1938 in Indiana and passed away in 2015 in West Virginia. On both occasions she was surrounded by those who loved her most. In between the two dates, she lived a life full of service to our country and to those who were in need. She never shirked her duty. At times to her children she had to be both Mother and Father, as her spouse was a military man. During those times, I am sure it was especially tough. But she never complained.

She was introduced to the man who would become her husband while she was in the Women's Army Corps (or more affectionately known as the WAC's). The friend who introduced her was also in the WAC's. The two women were friends until the very end.

Lois was a lovely woman. Although she'd never tell you she thought herself pretty or handsome. My memories of her will forever be tainted with the scent of her Tabu cologne. I pass someone in the market, and for a brief moment I look around and wonder where my Mother is hiding to jump out and make us both laugh!

I've seen her cut her grass in a sandy yard on the beach with a pair of sewing shears, and replace the carburetor in the car. And yet again, sit in the floor and play Barbie's with her two little girls who wanted Mommy to play with them. As well as read the family Bible and have prayer each evening; never forgetting to ask God to watch over Daddy who was away at sea. When I was older, she asked me what dress I wanted to wear to the spring prom, and I showed her a picture in a catalog for a dress I knew we didn't have the money for. Yet, when it came time for the dance, I wore that very dress. Only, Mommy had made it with her own two hands, without even a pattern to go by, just the photo in the catalog. My friends never knew it was a handmade a dress. That's how good of a seamstress she was. She taught herself to crochet, and she could make anything, simply by looking at a picture of it. Flowers, dolls, sweaters, afghans, and doilies.

As a teen I saw my Mom grow a garden and then can everything in it for winter. She put up thousands, and yes you read that right, thousands of quarts of vegetables every year. Going to the grocery store meant for disposable items like toilet paper, napkins, and dish soap. I've seen her churn butter and make cheese.

And I've seen her sit quietly by the side of the bed of someone dying. Holding their hand, or wiping their brow. Praying when they asked, aloud. And silently the whole while. I've seen her start a bus ministry from scratch, needing a 64 passenger bus in the end to transport the children and adults to church. I've seen her teach children's Bible scouts. Bible quizzing. Sunday school. And Bible school.

I've seen her spend years caring for the elderly in the community. Solving minor crises within the community. And offering transportation or counseling to those in need. More than once I've seen a troubled couple show up on the doorstep and ask for Mom and Dad's help when their marriage had hit hard times. Why? Were my parents any different than so many others? My parents had endured through a military marriage. They had to put Country ahead of Family. And they both knew that. The only difference was that they put God before either. And that made all the difference in the world. I've seen those same couples who came seeking help still together after many years.

My Mother left a legacy behind that few today can lay claim too. As she lay dying, all of her four children, were at the bedside around the clock. Her last few breaths were taken with the four of us and my Dad praying, our hands holding each others, over Mom. It was a somber time. And yet, we looked forward to Mommy's graduation day in Heaven! We knew when her last breath here was over, she'd be taking her first in Heaven, with purest of air! And we rejoiced that she would be the first to see our Savior!

Mommy entered the military in 1957. She married a handsome sailor in 1958. And she was discharged in early 1959, expecting her first child. Me.

My Mommy was my hero! She was not only my Mommy, I had the distinct honor, and privilege of calling her my teacher, my counselor, and my best friend.

On July 30, 2015 she stepped away from the mortal realm, and began her eternal walk with Jesus. I can only imagine that little has changed about her. She wasn't perfect by any means. But she was about as close to it as anyone I've ever known, and I am proud to be her daughter.

Lois Velleda Dreher Beane