Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - In the Summertime!

Randy says 
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) It's the first day of Summer 2014, so let's talk about what we did as children (not teenagers or young adults) on our summer vacations from school.  
2)  Write about your life as a child in the summertime (say, any age between 5 and 12).  Where did you live, what did you do, how did it influence the rest of your life?
3)  Write your own blog post, or leave a comment on this post, or write something on Facebook or Google+
When I was in first grade, my family moved from Chicago to west suburban Elmhurst.  We had a large yard, front, back and side.  There were lots of kids in the neighborhood and summer evenings found us playing games like Red Light Green Light, Red Rover, Mother May I and Frozen Tag in the yard.  The whole neighborhood played but the rule was when the street lights go on it is time to go home.   When I visited my Oak Park cousins, they also had a large yard and lots of kids around so we played Fruit Basket Upset.   We played mostly with my cousins and their neighbors the Monacos.
During the day there were so many things to do that we were never bored.  The city park just one block away had free tennis lessons, free ballet lessons, and concerts under the stars. 
Elmhurst Public Library
google images

 The park also was the home of the city library which had a wonderful summer reading program.    The children's librarian was Mrs Zimmerman and she was always cheerful and kind.  The local elementary school (then called a grade school) would hold handicraft classes in the mornings where you could but a craft kit for $.10 to $1.00 and learn how to do it.  Some of the things we could do included lacing a comb holder or coin purse, some wood working, or painting.

When I got older we were allowed to ride our bikes across town to the other large city park where there was a pool that offered a summer pass in addition to swimming lessons.  Going to the pool meant that after lunch it was time to grab a swimsuit and roll it into a towel.  The rolled towel went into the bike basket.  Riding the bike across town to meet friends.  After we showed our season pool pass, we would head to the locker room.  There we would be issued a numbered basket which had a large metal, numbered pin on it.  The number on the pin matched the number on the basket.  After changing we would return the basket removing the pin and attaching the pin to our suit so we could reclaim our clothes and towel.  One year I actually took a Water Ballet class thinking I would become the next Esther Williams.
Rainy days my favorite thing to do was sit on the screened in front porch and listen to the rain and read my current book.  Some summer nights we would catch lightening bugs and put them in mason jars or peanut butter jars with air holes punched in the lids.  If we got enough it was a lantern!  
My children grew up in a smaller town but had many of the same summer activities in addition to little league.  It is amazing to see that the grands also do some of the same things.  There have been modifications over time of course but some things never change.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Randy says "It's time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun"!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) It's Father's Day in the USA on Sunday, so let's talk about our fathers.  

2)  What did your father really like to do in his work or spare time?  Did he have hobbies, or a workshop, or did he like sports, or reading, or watching TV?

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

Dad had a workshop in the basement.  It wasn't fancy but it had all his tools in it!  It used to be the coal room in the basement.  I don't remember him being crafty but he did finish the basement of our circa 1900 house by creating a recreation room and laundry room.  I think he did that out of love for his family.

Dad wrote doggerel or poems commemorating family events.  A child's birth, an illness, an achievement.  I believe he did this out of a love of words and as a way of expressing his emotions.  One of these poems is how I learned that one of my brothers was born with red hair.  I learned this after I had two redheaded children of my own.

Dad loved sports.  He played basketball for the YMCA in Chicago when he was in High School.  One year the team went to the state level.  I think he was about 17 then.  I know he got a gold basketball as an award.  I saw it in mom's jewelry box and think it may have been on her charm bracelet.  

Dad was the tall one in the center

Later he also was a football fan and also enjoyed horseback riding.  Dad didn't go to college but during that era of his live he followed college football.  Notre Dame was one of the teams he supported, even traveling on at least one occasion to Iowa for a game.  
At some point in time Dad became a horseback rider and took mom on a date riding.  Evidently they rode often enough that they had their own boots and jodhpurs  I remember finding them in a closet upstairs that also held mom's old cocktail dresses.  

.I also remember that dad was an avid Bears football fan and every year we would watch the pre-season Chicago College All Star game which pitted the NFL Champions against the All Star College players.  Dad and I always made a $.25 bet.  Usually he was NFL and I was pro All Stars.
One year we were at the beach and dad joined in a pick-up game of baseball on the beach and while sliding into base inadvertently  broke another players leg.  He felt so bad.  I think that pretty much ended his sports participation.

Sadly dad died at the age of 49 when I was a senior in high school so who knows what loves or hobbies he may have developed.

Friday, June 6, 2014

D Day - My Visit

As a genealogist I have also found it important to become familiar with history to understand the behavior of my ancestors.  It is also important to understand the history that happens during our lifetime.

Dave and I were fortunate to be able to travel to Germany frequently to visit our daughter and her family while they spent six years living there.  Usually we stayed with the kids for two to three weeks and did a weekend tour or two by bus with a group.  One of these tours was to Normandy, France and its beaches.

Dave had been a paratrooper during his military service and was a proud member of the 101st Airborne Division so the D Day invasion held a special fascination for him.

In the Spring of 2002, we boarded a bus in Sembach, Germany about 8:30 pm to travel through the night to Normandy.  Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area and had some interesting insights into the War since his father had been a German soldier during the war.

I remember being on the beaches and seeing the fox holes which are still there.  Somehow that was a surprise to me.  Actually setting foot in such an historic site was mind boggeling.  As we wandered the beaches we could only imagine what the soldiers had experienced.  Dave was one of the many men of out group to capture a little of the sand in an empty film canister.

When we visited the American Cemetery I was in awe of the silence and respect shown by all of the visitors.  Children and teens were silent and the only sound was the magnificent carillon as it chimed the hour.  Another place we visited was the first French town liberated by the Americans and the place where the British gliders landed.

We did other things in Normandy of course but today I wish I had some Calvados so I could lift a glass to all those wonderful warriors.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday Treasures - An E-mail from Norway

Last summer I received an e-mail from a direct descendant of my Great grandfather's second wife Nathalie Bull.  Anders de Lange ( a great-grandson of my great-grandfather Adolf Hansen) had found my blog about two years earlier and spoken to his grandmother Edit Hansen de Lange about my writings.  Since then we have corresponded several times.  In the e-mail last summer, Anders included a small ad from a Norwegian newspaper.

Thanks to Anders' translation, I know this is the announcement of the death of Einar Adolf, 8 weeks old.  Einar is the son of Dorette Hansen born Christensen and Adolf Hansen, Musician.  Einar is buried at Krist Kirkegaard (cemetery) in Oslo, Norway.

This was pure treasure as there was no indication of Einar's existence otherwise.  Anders also provided the death announcements for Dorette (my great-grandmother) and her also previously unknown daughter Aagot Dorette in 1887.  They are also buried at Krist Kirkegaard.

Getting this information allowed me to go back to the Norwegian Church records to verify the dates of birth, christening and death of the two children of Adolf and Dorette of which I had no previous knowledge.

Krist Kirkegaard, Oslo, Norway

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Research Opportunities during FGS 2014

From the desk of 
Sandra Crowley

Here is some information about Research site in San Antonio during the conference and their hours. I'll try to send some information at least once a week on some of the workshops, presenters and special events. 

The San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society library will have extended hours during the conference. I've also attached a JPG of the library.

San Antonio Research Opportunities during FGS 2014
The Federation of Genealogical Societies 2014 Conference, “Gone to Texas,” will be held in San Antonio, August 27-30.  In addition to an extensive program that includes sessions on records, methodology and researching in Texas and neighboring states, you can take advantage of some of the research facilities in San Antonio. Here are two of the best:
·         Located on the 6th floor of the San Antonio Central Library, the Texana/Genealogy Department includes 65,000 microfilms, 77,000 books, 150 drawers of archival files, 75 map drawers, and 300 cu. ft. of archival collections. Visit this research facility at 600 Soledad St. in downtown San Antonio.
·         The San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society Library, located at 911 Melissa Dr. in north-central San Antonio, houses a vast collection of books, periodicals, maps, vertical files, microfilm, and family history volumes for San Antonio, Bexar County, and all 50 states. The library will be open extended hours for research during the conference: Thurs., Aug. 28 10AM-9PM; Fri, Aug. 29 10AM-4PM; Sat., Aug. 30 10AM-6PM; Sun., Aug. 31 1PM-5PM.