Sunday, May 14, 2017

Memories of Mays Past

google images
Today is like many of the May 14ths of my childhood.  It is both Mother's Day and my dad's birthday.  Many of these combination May celebrations were also shared with a First Communion celebration. As each of the nine children in our family passed through the second grade, they made their First Communion.  In addition two of my brothers were born during the month of May. All of these events occurred during the first two weeks of May. Truly a period of celebrations!

I don't remember the exact celebrations but they undoubtedly involved cake and, in the case of birthdays, candles. Gifts were secondary to the occasion and of more sentimental than monetary significance.
google images

For Mother's Day we would go to Woolworth 5 & 10 store with whatever we had saved from our allowance and pick out a gift for mom.  Dime store jewelry and cologne were favorites. Those gifts were treasured as were the school crafted cards and gifts.

google images
First Communion gifts were usually a small missal and rosary set, black for boys and white for girls given by the parents. Grandparents and aunts and uncles might give a medal or other remembrance. This was in addition to the expense of a white dress and veil with new white shoes for girls and suits, ties and dress shoes for the boys.

I don't remember adults gifting each other for birthdays and holidays, and I am sure that our gifts for the birthdays of our parents were handmade cards and other small tokens of love.
google images

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Memories from the 1950s

Easter Sunday meant the celebration of the Risen Lord.  It meant attending church on Sunday morning.  A church with all the statues either replaced in their position or unshrouded from their purple coverings.  It was a day of joy and celebration with flowers decorating the altar in abundance. We prepared for Easter during the six weeks of Lent by making sacrifices and attending additional church services.  There were meatless Fridays, days of fasting, and personal sacrifices.  No candy for six weeks or attending daily Mass were popular personal sacrifices.

Good Friday was commemorated by abstaining from meat, fasting between meals and observing silence between the hours of noon and three o'clock. Then most businesses closed at noon or at least observed the practice of silence.  Many spent those hours in a church on their knees.  If you were at home, silence meant exactly that.  No talking and no radio.

Easter Sunday was a time to wear new spring clothes to celebrate Christ rising from the dead and His return to the world,  It is also a time of rebirth in the world of nature. Baby  animals are born, flowers bloom and trees leaf. This is the reason for some of the traditions that we observe.

In our house, Easter eve meant that it was time to decorate the hats that the girls would wear to church the next day.  Earlier in the week, each of the girls was allowed to choose one of our straw hats to wear with her Easter dress.  Then we would go to the local "dime" store and pick out a flower spray and ribbon to trim our hat.  The decorating was done on Saturday night when Mom would use a needle and thread to attach the flowers and ribbons to the hats. With five daughters this was never a small project, and it was long before glue guns. After the hats were ready, it was time to fill the Easter Baskets with candy treats and small gifts. Sometimes they included new lace trimmed ankle socks or new white gloves. Sometimes the boys got new socks or ties. It probably depended on who needed what to complete their outfit.

On Sunday morning we would walk the block to church as a family,  We were quite a sight in our Easter finery.  All of the boys in suits or jackets with white shirts and ties.  The girls in pastel dresses with flowered and beribboned hats and Mom with the corsage that Dad had purchased for her on her left shoulder. Dad was very proud when the eleven of us would arrive at church and fill an entire pew!

I don't remember the holiday menu but there was definitely a holiday dinner, sometimes including anunts and uncles.  Easter Baskets included outside toys.such as kites, glider planes, jump ropes, and jacks.  It was Spring and time to celebrate the great outdoors!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Suddenly Seven - Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Sometime around the 10th of February, at the kick-off of the Winter Olympic Games, a challenge was issued by Thomas MacEntee  to become a better genealogist.  I think it appealed to be because my husband and had attended the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.  The premise  was to set genealogical goals for ourselves and at the end of the games determine how well those goals were achieved.  Then we could aware our selves medals of achievement!

Here are the challenges of those winter games and what I did. (or didn't do)

Winter Genealogy Games are over!

The Winter Genealogy Games have now ended and I have been reflecting on how much I have achieved.
To even enter the games I needed to create this blog. Next I created a flag to represent my heritage.

1 Go Back and cite your sources - I have been citing sources and earned a Bronze Medal.
2 Back-up Your Data -I have completed task C making a new DVD back-up of all my digital
media. I also have MOZY back-up my data daily and store it on their servers. That
qualifies for a gold.
3 Organize Your Research - I have individual files for each family line I am researching and I
also have digital folders for each family. A silver!
4 Expand your Knowledge - I learned how to create a blog and I played around with googlemaps.
I also created a WORDL using the names of the families I am researching. Another gold!
5 Write, Write, Write! - I wrote a summary of my blog and listed the names I am researching. I
also am participating in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge. One more gold!
6 Reach Out - I index regularly for both and I check message
boards to see it I can help with a request, and I have begun following several different
genealogy blogs. Gold again.

Summary: 1 Bronze, 1 Silver, and 4 Gold not bad for a newbie!

I began slow but was proud of what I accomplished and determined to continue to grow as a genealogist.  To that end, in the past 7 years:
  •  I have posted 399 blog posts.
  • I have joined a local genealogy group and created and maintain a website for them, began giving presentations on various topics, organiized 4 consecutive community programs to raise awareness of our group, and I am currently program chair for the group. 
  • I have joined several state genealogy societies as well as the Federation of Genealogy Societies.Attended several national conferences such as RootsTech 2015, FGS 2014 & 2015, and the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree several times.
  • I volunteer one day a week at both my local public library and local Family History Center to help others with finding their stories.
  • I have taken several Genealogy Cruises where classes were taught on "sea days"
  • I am currently participating in Thomas MacEntee's  "Do-Over" with emphasis on source citations and file structure and organization.
  • I currently manage 6 DNA kits and am trying to get a handle on DNA and how it all works.
  • Preparing the membership application for my daughter to join the DAR since we found her connection to John Ferguson, a Revolutionary War Patriot.
  • Preparing for my second trip to Salt Lake City for research purposes.
  • Continuing to write of my Genealogy Adventures!
I am proudest of the fact that I have continued this blog for the past 7 years and the chance it has given me to measure my growth.  Pre-blog I was a solitary recearcher alone at my desk,  This challenge has helped me make hundreds of like minded friend who are always ready to help.

Learn - Do Be!  I love my life!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It's More Than a Slip

It all began the Christmas of 1964 when I was pregnant with my son.  That year my Aunt Kathy gave me the Christening gown. It was an entire set, slip, dress, coat, and bonnet. It was pure white nylon with white satin embroidery and delicate lace edging at the neck and sleeves. In early May of 1965, my son was wearing the outfit for his Baptism. Later, it was washed, dried and carefully folded into it's original box. To be saved. For later.

In September of 1968, it was taken out of the box once again for my daughter's Baptism.  As it was being prepared for storage once again, a tradition was born. Since I am the oldest of nine children, and it was hoped that the gown would be used by all of my parents grandchildren, we decided to record those Baptisms by embroidering the names of the children who wore the gown on the slip.  All of the girls names would be in pink and all of the boys in blue. 

Recognizing that other families might have a similar gown tradition, we decided if a child wore any part of the outfit, their name would be included on the slip. For instance, my own grandchildren wore a gown made from their mother and grandmother's wedding gowns but they all wore the slip.

And so it began: David, Laura, Kurt, Erik, Nicole, Stacey, Sarah, Toby, Andrew, Brent, Nicholas, Adam, Keith, Jason, Jenna, Leslie, Michael, Gregory, and Brian.  The gown was shipped from family to family and state to state.  Illinois to California to Florida back to Illinois and back to Florida.  As each grandchild used the gown, a name was added to the slip.

In the mid 1990s, the next generation began to make its appearance and once again the gown began its travels.  The pink and blue embroidery changed to Apricot and Mint. The gown traveled to New York, Germany, Florida, Maryland to Illinois and back to Florida. Those original 19 babies who wore the gown added the names of their children to the slip.  Not all of my parents great-grandchildren have worn the gown but at least nine of them have worn it. 

Most recently, the gown was used in 2015 by my brother's granddaughter who was photographed with my son (the original wearer of the gown). Sometimes I need to send a query to my nieces and nephews regarding the current residence of the gown, but I am very satisfied to let it keep traveling.  Wonder what colors will be chosen for the next generation.Fifty years and still in use. It is looking pretty good for 50 don't you think.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Amanuensis Monday- Last Will and Testament of John Ferguson 1755 - 1842

Last Will and Testament of John Fargerson

The last Will & Testament of John Fargerson of Sugar River Township, Boone County, Indiana.  In the name of God, I John Fargerson considering the uncertainty of this mortal life & being of sound mind & memory(Blessed be almighty God for the same) do make & publish this my Last will and Testament, in manner and form following (that is tve and o say)  First I give and bequeath my wife Bethany Fargerson the sum of one dollar to be paid out of my personal property, also the one third of all my Real Estate (in Lieu of Dower) Item I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Mary Chinnault the sum of one dollar.  Item, I give & bequeath my Daughter Martha Knott the sum of one dollar. I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Rebecca Knott the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & Bequeath to my son William Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & Bequeath to the heirs of my son David Fargerson the sum of one dollar.  Item, I give & Bequeath to my son John Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item. I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Young the sum of one dollar.  Item, I give & bequeath to my son Joseph the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & bequeath to my son Benjamin Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item, I  give & bequeath to my Daughter Hannah Green the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & bequeath to my son Moses Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & bequeath to my Daughter Sarah Hill the sum of one dollar.  And all of the Balance of my property after paying the above specified funds, my Funeal expenses & all my just Debts I give & bequeath to my son Jonathan J Fargerson & my Daughter Bethany Fargerson to be equally divided between them at the time that Bethany is 18 years old.I do hereby appoint James L McConnell the county and state aforesaid my sole executator of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.  In Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal, This Twenty fifth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Forty.
                                                                                John   X    Fargeson                 
Signed Sealed published and delivered declared by the above named John Fargerson said to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of  the Testator Wm P Davis.
State of Indiana/ss:                                                                         Samuel R Boyd
Boone County                                                                             Cornelius Westfall

                                                 Personally appeared before me the undersigned Clerk of the Probate Court of said county William P Davis & Samuel R Boyd two of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing Last Will & Testament of John Fargerson Decd & being duly sworn upon this solomn oath that they saw the said Farguson sign seal & acknowledge the forgoing Last Will & Testament & that he requested them to sign the same in his presence & believe that he wat he was at the time of signing the same of sound mind & memory further saith not.  
                                                                                              Wm P Davis
                                                                                             Saml R Boyd
Subscribed & sworn to before me June 27th 1842  SS Brown clerk. !

John Ferguson was a Revolutionary War Soldier for the State of Virginia. In his will he named all fourteen of his children, including the married names of his daughters. He was my husband's 5th GreatGrandfather. His son Benjamin is Dave's 4th GrearGrandfather.

1 Indiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1798 - 1999 online images
Vol A, 1833-1853
Page 29-30, image 24
accessed 9 Jan 2017

image from Find a Grave

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Genealogy Goals

With the beginning of the new year, it's time to check-up on how well I did with my 2016 genealogy goals and establish the goals for 2017.

I am still working on the Do-over and will continue in the coming years.  I want my tree to be as accurate as possible.  As I re-evaluate information I continue to find new information.  I will also continue to maintain my online trees as cousin bait.  Last year they provided contacts in both Norway and Germany.

I will once again participate in the Family History Writing group sponsored by Lynn Palermo in February.  Last year I got off to a pretty good start, but found some additional research was needed to continue the story.  I have done the research and so I will resurrect the story and hope to finish it and publish it here.

On the DNA front, I am currently the manager of 5 kits and have had some minor success in connecting my brother and a known first cousin to another branch of my grandfather's family.  The most common recent ancestor was my grandfather's grandfather.  He was born in Norway in 1817.  I will be watching and re-watching DNA seminars this year and I now have Blaine Bettinger's book "Guide to DNA  Testing and Genetic Genealogy" so maybe this year I will become more comfortable with DNA analysis.

I am making tentative plans to go back to the Family History Library in April and the SCGS Jamboree in June.  My trip to Salt Lake was a wonderful adventure and as is typical, I made substantial progress on a brick wall on Saturday afternoon! (my last day)  I hope to go to Jamboree for both its educational opportunities and fellowship.  I may also see my cousin while in California.

My greatest fail this year was with blogging.  Far from the weekly posts I had hoped to do, I only managed a total of nineteen blog posts.  I don''t knoe if I need different ideas or just more determination.  I guess I better figure it out.

One last goal is to finally finish my daughter's application to join the DRA.  There is one loose end to connect in the 1810-1830  time period.  That will probably require land and tax records.

Surely these things will keep me busy and out of trouble. Here's to 2017!!