Saturday, April 30, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Weather

Week 18. Weather. Do you have any memorable weather memories from your childhood? How did your family cope and pass the time with adverse weather? When faced with bad weather in the present day, what do you do when you’re stuck at home? Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her ha

nds: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History.

Living in the Midwest has provided me with an abundance of weather memories as both a child and as an adult.

As a child, I remember sitting on our screened in front porch while Spring thunderstorms raged around me. It was a great time to curl up with a book. In the winter it was snow. We lived a block away from a park that had a hill for sledding and a rink for skating. We loved to go skating in the evenings. All the 7th and 8th graders went and practiced showing off for each other. I remember the large piles of snow left as the snow plows cleared the streets and parking lots. I remember the summer vacation at my aunt's cottage in northern Indiana when my parents hurriedly packed up the car and all of us children in the middle of the night to run from an approaching severe storm. (Hurricane or tornado not sure which) I remember the greenish yellow sky of tornado weather and waiting for the storm to come.

As an adult and young mother, I remember the Blizzard of 1967. My husband got stuck on the way home from work and did not get home for 3 days. From that day forward I learned to be prepared for any eventuality. I also remember the tornado outbreak on Palm Sunday in 1965. There was the year we had an ice storm over New Year's and has a house full of people. Luckily we could walk to the little general store for supplies. We played lots of games over those 3 days.

When we retired and moved to Florida, we were greeted by Hurricane Andrew and my exit from Florida was marked by Hurricane Wilma.

Yes, I have seen some weather over the years and have learned to be patient and wait it out. Given time, it does change!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Techno Tuesday - Capturing Microfilm Images

In the Family History Center I use on a regular basis, the only film reader with a printer no longer works. With the advent of digitized images, these readers and their printers may never be repaired. Although and are working hard to digitize all records, there are still many occasions when we will need to resort to the old fashioned microfilm. Without a working printer, how can I take home a copy of the image I need?

In the FHC I volunteer at, we recommend taking a photo with your phone or digital camera. While not perfect at least you have a copy of the image. A couple of years ago, I heard that placing a sheet of pale yellow or pale blue paper over the image would reduce the glare. It works ok but the paper is a little too opaque. I had also heard that cellophane serves the same purpose. Last week I stopped at the Dollar Tree store and picked up a roll of cellophane used to wrap Easter baskets. I didn't find any yellow but I did find a light green roll. I cut a single layer to fit a standard page protector. Placing the cellophane and sheet protector over the image, I have tested the proceedure. I got a satisfactory image. I have found that the cellophane reduces the glare from the projector and turning off the flash helps. This should also help with the micro fiche readers. Time to check out the 1/2 price after Easter sales for cellophane.

Sharing Memories (Week 17): Easter

It's Week 17 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Follow along each Sunday as we write and share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Write here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but please write! This series is proposed by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy

Easter at growing up in the Chicago area was a mixed bag of weather! Would it be sunny and nice or snowy and ugly? Or somewhere in between? A certainty was Mass on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday Mass was the culmination of a religion orientated weekend. The Friday before Easter (Good Friday) was a day of penance. There was either church from noon to 3PM or total silence at home for those three hours. Good Friday was a meatless day with no snacking allowed.

Mom would change the ribbons and flowers on 5 straw hats to go with whatever dress each girl was wearing. The boys had a least a dress shirt and tie. Sometimes a jacket if they fit into one on hand.

My Dad's greatest pleasure was to march his whole family down the main street of town to the church and fill an entire pew at church. He was so proud of his family! Unfortunately we were between the ages of 17 and 2 when he died. The traditions continued though thanks to Mom's perserverance.

We always had Easter baskets to find. Lots of candy and spring toys. Toys like paddle balls, jacks, kites, and sometimes roller skates. I don't remember coloring eggs, but I'll bet we did.

Our favorite Aunt Kathy's birthday was near Easter so that was always part of the celebration. I don't remember what was for dinner it might have been leg of lamb. I do remember there was always company. I didn't know it then but the company was family. People whose relationship I didn't know have turned out to be cousins of my Mom and Dad's. It is funny how many of the people of my childhood have turned out to be members of my family tree.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Military Monday - An Irishman in Cuba

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Captain Joseph Fleming Walsh,
Company 7, 33rd Michigan Volunteers, 1897

The 33rd and 34th Regiments arrived in Cuba via the “Paris” and “Harvard” transport ships. They were assigned to General Duffield’s brigade, famous for defeating the Spaniards at Santiago.
While they did not participate in the San Juan Hill fighting, they were engaged in the attack at Aguadores.
Three men of the 33rd died of wounds, but yellow fever broke out in the camp at Siboney and 50 men died.

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Captain Walsh contracted Yellow Fever but survived. Hi is said to have lost so much weight that his sisters did not recognize him.

Photos and military information courtesy of Geraldine Walsh of CA

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - From my In-Box

Nathalie Egberg Hansen 
circa 1815 
(from the victor library page)

This web link and photo appeared in my in-box on Monday afternoon as part of an e-mail from my cousin Pat's husband.  He was looking for some old records and came upon this list of the recordings of Nathalie Hansen.  Nathalie was the second wife of my great grandfather Adolf Hansen a Norwegian composer and musician.  Adolf died in 1911 and Nathalie began her recording career.

What a treasure to find on a Monday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Creating Web Sites

I have found out that Google will allow you to create a website that will be hosted on Google at no charge. Once you have a google account, just go to more, sites and create a website. If you use blogger it's really easy. You can build from scratch or use one of the many templates available. Many of the same widgets and tools are used. Some of the graphic capabilities are limited but you can work around those limitations. I have created pages in a word processor and pasted them into the website. The website can be fully public, invitation only or a combination with certain pages password protected. I think it's a great way to develop a web presence. So far I have created one for the local genealogy group and one for our Girl Scout troop.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Surname Saturday - Flemings of County Limerick Ireland

The surname Fleming, with it's variants Flemon, Flemming, Flemmyng, Flemminge, originally came from Flanders. The Flemings arrived in Ireland at different times and may have descended from different families of the name in Flanders. In the 17th Century Fleming was a principle name in Limerick. In 1659 there were 12 Flemings listed in the Barony of Costlea. This information is from the book "Families of County Limerick Ireland by Michael C. O'Laughlin, president, IGF.

My Flemings came from Ballylanders which is indeed in the Barony of Costlea. Thomas Fleming and Mary Hennessy married in Ballylanders, Co Limerick about 1845. Of their 10 children that survived to adulthood, all emigrated to the United States. One, Patt, returned to Ireland claiming, according to family stories, that one had to work too hard in the United States. Patt Fleming opened to grocery and spirits shop in Dublin on his return to Ireland. Of those who remained in the all settled in the Midwest. Today their descendants range from coast to coast.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Military Monday - Civil War Soldiers - Fergusons of Willow Hill, IL

We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History.

About 1848 the Ferguson family, having migrated from Virginia to South Carolina and then to Ohio and Indiana, settled in Jasper County, Illinois. Jeremiah Ferguson began buying land in Willow Hill, Jasper, Illinois as did his father and brothers. Between 1848 and 1852 there were 14 recorded land purchases within the Ferguson family.

During the Civil War, at least 2 of Jeremiah Ferguson's sons served in the Union Army. William A Ferguson age 18 enlisted at Olney, Illinois. He served as a private in Company B of the 155th Illinois Infantry from 7 Feb 1965 to 4 Sep 1865. He was mustered out at Murfreesboro, TN. His brother Hiram volunteered on 26 Oct 1863 and mustered out on 27 Oct 1865 in Springfield, IL. Since the records show that Hiram joined Company L of the 5th Illinois Calvary in Black River, Mississippi, it would appear that he had already been in the Army.

A total of 57 volunteers from Willow Hill served in the Civil War so there are many more collateral ancestors who were Civil War Soldiers.

The State of Illinois has a super searchable Civil War Soldiers data base at Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database

Monday, April 4, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy - Week 14 Spring

Week 14. Spring. What was spring like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc. Thank you to Amy over at We Tree for sponsoring this event.

Spring meant milder weather, the scent of lilacs, and the return of robins. In northern Illinois, we never planted before mid-May, since we could have snow and or frost that late. But come mid-May my dad would declare "Sit in the Mud Day" and we could start planting. Little did I realize he was really referring to "17 Mai" the Norwegian Independence Day. Our backyard was a true treasure in the spring. We had lilac bushes, a cherry tree, a pear tree, and a rhubarb patch. We also had tiger lilys that returned every year.

Spring also meant roller skates, bikes, jump rope, and playing jacks on the sidewalk. Hopscotch, Red Rover, Mother May I, and Red Light, Green Light were popular games.