Friday, October 31, 2008

Four in One

left: Charles Romaine Brubaker, born August 19, 1871 (my great grandfather)
right: Hazlette Aileen Brubaker, daughter of Maud Wise and Charles Brubaker, born January 16, 1902 (my grandmother).

left: Virginia Phend, daughter of Hazlette Brubaker and Vic Phend, born May 9, 1928 (my mother).
right: There are no formal "baby" portraits of me, or my younger brother. There are several of my older brother, the first born. And of my sister, the last born. There are a few casual snapshots of me as a toddler, but the picture on the right is the only one taken of me in a formal studio setting. It's a hand-painted black and white photo, dated 1951, so I would have been 3 years old.

Contributed to the 7th Edition of Smile For The Camera :: Oh, Baby!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Deed is Done!

Took all of 10 minutes. One of the advantages of living in small-town America! And in Indiana. Now, if only the irritating political ads (on both sides) and the very annoying phone calls would stop!!! The ladies at the polling place said there has been a good turnout for in-person voting. I was number 1,136. That doesn't sound like much but there's only about 20,000 registered voters in Noble County. They have also gotten "a lot" of mail-in absentee ballots too. Like everywhere else in the nation they are expecting a record turn-out. It's been pretty amazing to see all of the attention that Indiana has gotten from both parties. For the first time since I started voting, I feel like my vote will actually mean something. 'Bout time.

The Residence of John Brubaker

I'll admit it. Oftentimes, as I've perused the old county atlas books, I've been somewhat envious of the beautiful engravings of family farms within their pages. I always thought it would be "neat" to have one of my families included but they just weren't there, at least not in the books I've looked at! Several years ago, my uncle gave me some of the pictures and other papers that he had gotten when his mother (my grandmother) died. There were pictures I had never seen before, at least not that I remember having seen before. Among them, the image below, which shows the residence of John Brubaker, my 3rd great grandfather.

Yellow and faded, securely attached to a piece of heavy cardboard, it just barely fit on the flatbed scanner. How and when did my grandmother come into possession of this picture? Well, that's a good question. In that box from my uncle, there were also some pictures of Thornton Brubaker and his family as well as several of the children of Samuel Brubaker. They were John's sons and half-brothers of my 2nd great-grandfather, William Brubaker. My guess would be that whomever gave her those pictures also gave her the picture of John's residence. Wherever she got them, I'm sure glad she kept them!

I've seen the "Combination Atlas Map of Huntington County, Indiana" published in 1879, but I don't recall seeing this image in it. Yesterday, I decided to see what other atlases had been published in the late 1880s. The first thing that came up on Google search was a hit on the David Rumsey Collection! Turns out, the image above was printed on page 125 (center of page, left side) of the "Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana" which was published by Baskin, Forster & Co., Chicago, 1876. Engraved & Printed by Chas. Shober & Co. Props. of Chicago Lithographing Co.

What is great about it being in the David Rumsey Collection is that you can zoom in and enlarge the pages. The detail in the images on the Rumsey site is incredible. A map of Huntington County is on page 66 of the atlas. The "homepage" of the atlas shows that there are 187 images covering all 92 counties of the state.

Thanks to an unknown benefactor many years ago, my grandmother, and my uncle, I have a very nice piece of my family history. One of these days I'm going to make the trip to Huntington County (it's only about a 40 minute drive) and see if I can find his farm. I doubt that the house is still standing, but it's possible...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :: Another Hoosier Farm

Noble County, Indiana. Summer of 1982.
Sepia toned infrared photograph.
Copyright © 1982/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: John and Catherine Brubaker

John Brubaker, my 3rd great grandfather, is buried in Barnes Chapel Cemetery, Rock Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana. His stone is in the middle, foreground. On the left is his 11 month old son, Franklin who died on March 6, 1865 and on the right is his wife, Catherine. Most of their children are buried at Barnes Chapel or in neighboring Star of Hope Cemetery, which is a short distance to the north.

JOHN BRUBAKER / DIED / Feb 8, 1879 / AGED / 59 Ys. 8 Ms. 17Ds.
Remember friends as you pass by.
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you must be.
Prepare for death and follow me.
CATHARINE / Wife of / JOHN BRUBAKER / DIED / March 8, 1877 / AGED / 55 Yrs & 4 Ds.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Scandal in the Family

John Brubaker, my 3rd great grandfather, was born May 19, 1819 in Perry County, Ohio and is the son of Martin Brubaker and Nancy Neel. He passed away on February 8, 1879 in Huntington County, Indiana.

John was the father of William Brubaker (1843-1912), my 2nd great grandfather, but he was not married to William's mother, Sarah Foster (1818-1904). The family story goes that John had two girls pregnant at the same time but he married the "other" girl who was a cousin to Sarah.

John married Catharine Clum on March 18, 1843 in Perry County, Ohio. Less than four months later, their daughter Annetta was born on July 8, 1843.

It is highly likely that John was not aware that Sarah Foster was pregnant at the time he married Catharine since William was born on November 20, 1843 - eight months after his marriage.

In 1849, John and Catherine Brubaker moved from Perry County, Ohio to Rock Creek Township in Huntington County, Indiana. He purchased land from his father, Martin, who had bought the land in 1838. No evidence has been found to substantiate claims mentioned in biographies of several of his sons that Martin actually ever lived in Huntington County. John's brothers Samuel and James joined him in Huntington County within the next few years.

The Huntington County census records for 1850 through 1870 show that John was a farmer. With each census year his family grew, as did the value of his personal and real estate. John did quite well for himself. In 1870 his real estate was valued at $6765 and his personal worth was $1100, both sizeable amounts for the time.

John's obituary was published on February 13, 1879 in The Huntington Democrat (Huntington, Indiana).
After a long affliction Hon. John Brubaker was called from his labors among men. On last Sabbath his mortal remains were placed in the silent grave by a large concourse of mourning friends and sorrowing neighbors. The history of Rockcreek township is incomplete without the mention of his work. He settled there in 1849, twenty nine years ago. He, with twelve others, built the first school house in the district where he died. John Henderson, Geo. Bear, James Marshall, William Heindle, James Bonawits and Samuel DeHaven are of that number. Mr. Brubaker has been identified with all enterprises tending to improve the material interest of our county. At the October election of 1866, he was elected county commissioner, performed the duties of his office with fidelity and to the very best interest of our county. He was a thrifty, enterprising farmer. He was a man whose integrity no one doubted. He will be greatly missed in the community. One by one the old pioneers are passing away. Their toils and sacrifices will live in history. Peace to their ashes.
Catharine Clum was born on March 4, 1822 and died March 8, 1877 in Huntington County, Indiana. She is buried beside John at the Barnes Chapel Cemetery in Rock Creek Township. Regarding the family story that Catharine was a cousin of Sarah Foster: I have not found evidence of that but I do think that Catharine was related to George Parkison, whom Sarah married on March 28, 1849 in Perry County, Ohio.

John Brubaker had twelve children with his wife, Catharine Clum. (They will be listed in a separate post.) William Brubaker is not mentioned in John's will so it is not known if William had a relationship with his father or not. In both the 1850 and 1860 census records, William was listed in the household of his step-father and mother, George and Sarah Parkison, under the Parkison surname. In the 1870 census he is listed in their household as William Brubaker. When William enlisted, at the age of 17, in Co. E, 17th IVI on April 21, 1861 he did so as William Brubaker. George Parkison, in his will dated June 10, 1902 stated "It is my will that said William Brubaker, although he is my step-son only, shall take his equal share as hereinbefore and hereinafter set out, the same as if he were my son by blood."

My grandmother knew that her grandfather, William Brubaker, was an illegitimate child, or "born out of wedlock" as she stated so often. Grandma started researching her families in the 1960s and continued into the 1970s. Early on, she had no luck in finding out anything about William's father. But in February 1970, grandma received a letter from a great grandson of Nancy Jane Brubaker Kemp, daughter of John and Catharine. We'll call him Don. He had gotten her name from a researcher in Illinois! Mind you, this was back in the days of snail mail, where connections were still made between researchers, but at a much slower pace than is done today.

Don's letter gave some family information and stated that he thought Nancy's father, John, was a son of Martin Brubaker of Perry County, Ohio. This was exciting information for my grandmother, as it gave her some clues to pursue. I found it interesting, that in her response to Don's letter, grandma states that she remembers "Aunt Jane Kemp" as well as Nancy Jane's brothers, Thornton and Samuel. She goes on to state that she attended several Brubaker family reunions in Huntington when she was a young woman. She mentions that her grandfather is William Brubaker and that he was a brother to Nancy, Thornton and Sam.

Having gone through all of grandma's papers, several times, I have not found another letter from Don. But in May 1970 grandma writes to him again, replying to his letter (the one I don’t have). In her letter she tells Don the story she was told by her parents and Uncle Thornton's family. The story about John getting two girls pregnant, etc. saying "I wish that I knew more about the way this was handled, but my grandfather took the Brubaker name and was always friendly with the half brothers." Apparently the information in Don's letter (the one I don’t have) convinced her that her grandpa William was the son of John Brubaker. She says "I was not sure of the name, as I am sure now from your records, this has helped me very much." Why didn't she keep those letters and records he sent?

About this same time, grandma made contact with another Brubaker researcher, Kenny Fawley. I don't know the details of how they hooked up (possibly through the sign-in sheets at the Allen County Public Library) but Kenny is married to my first cousin, Caroline. Weird, huh! Her mother and my father are siblings. Kenny is my 5th cousin once removed and our common ancestors are Hans Jacob Brubaker (the 3rd) and his wife Elizabeth Steinweg/Stoneroad. She may be the subject of a future post as Kenny has an interesting story about her surname. Kenny was able to provide my grandmother with information on the parents and other ancestors of John Brubaker. He made her very happy! (Thanks, Cuz.)

As you might think, there can be a stigma (for lack of a better word) attached to being a descendant of an illegitimate child. Not so much from my point of view. That's life, those things happen. If he hadn't been born I wouldn't be here. I am delighted that he was born! And it doesn't bother me in the least that my 2nd great grandfather was born out of wedlock. But apparently it bothers descendants of the children of John and Catharine. I've been in contact with several of them over the years. Each time it starts out fine, until they begin to think that I'm not part of "their" John's family. One lady was putting together a history of the Brubaker families in the area. We exchanged information. The book was printed. But William and his family were not included. I never received a response from her regarding my inquiries as to why.

So, what evidence, or clues, lead us to the "fact" that William's father was John Brubaker?
  • The missing letter from "cousin" Don that satisfied my grandmother.
  • After her parents, Charles Romain Brubaker and Maud Catherine Wise, were married in February 1897 (against the wishes of Maud's parents) they went to live near relatives in Huntington for a year or so.
  • In the photograph of grandma's family at the Goose Lake Farm, Uncle Thornton Brubaker is sitting on a tree stump off to the left side of the family.
  • The obituary of Martin Brubaker published in the Columbia City Post of November 13, 1908 states: "William Brubaker of near Etna was called to Rock Creek township Huntington county Saturday by the death of his brother Martin Brubaker."
  • William's obituary published on January 27, 1912 in the Columbia City stated that he "is survived by two brothers, Samuel, of Fort Wayne, and Thornton, of Huntington, and one sister, Mrs. Wm. Kent [sic], of Huntington"
But the one thing that my grandmother didn't do (and I don't know why she didn't) would have provided sufficient evidence of the name of William's father. She didn't check the Whitley County death records. Why not? I'll never know. . .

His death records found at the Whitley County, Indiana Department of Health (Bk 2A pg 55 #19-12 AND City Book 1 pg 14 #4-12) clearly show the name of his father as John Brubaker. His mother is given as Sarah Fosler (the clerk had a habit of not crossing his t's). The images above are from Bk 2A, click on them to view a larger image.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Second Thoughts on First Impressions

It was one month and one day ago that I mused about my first impressions of the Fujitusu ScanSnap S300 document scanner. To say that it has exceeded my expectations would be a gross understatement.

The above print screen from the ScanSnap manager shows that 8,335 pages have been scanned!

In just one month.

Only one paper jam. Only one sheet of paper got "scrunched up" a bit because of it. No real damage done. Impressive, indeed.

2.1 gigabytes of data generated in 1,363 files of varying sizes, ranging from 1 to 200 pages per file.

Confession time. I've been scanning the "easy" stuff first! The stuff that is already somewhat organized. Also a five-volume set of books on the Berlin family - soft-cover, spiral bound. Easy enough to remove the binding without causing damage. They aren't listed in the online catalog of the Allen County Public Library so the books will be donated to them. Maybe someone else can get some use out of them. And several other books that will be passed on to other researchers. I certainly don't want to get into any trouble over copyright issues, so to put that issue to rest, the scanned copies are strictly for my own use, they won't be given to or shared with anyone else, except perhaps for a few pages.

The scanning is amazingly quick. I'm using the laptop computer to do the scanning since it is newer, faster, and has USB-2 capability. The output is quite acceptable but, to state the obvious, the quality of the output is dependent upon the quality of the pages being scanned. Just think of the adage "Garbage In - Garbage Out" which is true with most things! On average, it takes about half as long to generate the searchable pdf file as it does to scan the documents (i.e., an hour of scanning will take about half-an-hour to make the files searchable). If the pages are double sided text it will take twice as long to make them searchable.

The software that comes with the ScanSnap creates the searchable pdf files without the need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat. If you have pages with very small type or with the older style fonts (think old newspapers) the software doesn't do that great a job with the OCR but I've been impressed with how well it does overall. The software also allows you to add or remove pages from a pdf file (if it was created by the software) so you can scan in small batches and then combine those into one file. I'm not sure how much data the scanner will store in memory so if I'm scanning a large number of pages I usually do a maximum of about 30 pages to one file. After all the pages for that particular document are scanned, I merge them into one file, then delete the small files. It's really not as complicated as it sounds.

To make some space for the scanned stuff, I had to spend a couple of days cleaning up the hard drive of my desktop computer. Basically I created an Archive folder on my laptop and on the external drives used for backups and moved a lot of older files to that folder. They are still accessible to me, just not on the desktop computer.

Well, I still have lots of files left to scan, though there are now some "blank spots" on the shelves! Progress is being made... and, believe it or not, it really isn't that tedious. One advantage to having the files digitized is that, in most cases, the information is easier to read. Another is if the pdf files are made searchable then the text can be copied and pasted into a word document or into my genealogy database, saving on some typing.

If you are thinking about digitizing your genea-documents, I highly recommend this little scanner. It is a bit pricey for a scanner, but in my opinion, well worth the money! It won't replace your flatbed scanner for scanning photographs since that isn't what it is meant to do. But it does what it was designed to do - scan documents - and does it very well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Phend Family at South Park

The Phend plot at South Park Cemetery, Whitley County, Indiana.

Henry and Susie Phend, my great grandparents, with their infant son Richard Lincoln.

Virgil Gilbert Phend, son of Henry and Susie.

Rolland Victor Phend, my grandfather, son of Henry and Susie.

My grandfather was 22 years old when his brother Richard was born. He once told me that he was holding little Richard at the time of his death.

Virgil was married to Heneretta Nelson on November 5, 1930. They were divorced six months later. Heneretta then married Virgil's brother, Don Phend, on September 5, 1931. Virgil graduated with the 1922 class of Columbia City High School. Like so many boys and young men, he worked for a while on the Aker onion and potato farm that was then located west of Columbia City. Later he attended an electrical engineering school at the University of Chicago. For a number of years he was associated with his father and brother, Gerald (Dufty) Phend in the building contracting business. Many of the downtown store fronts were renovated while he was an associate of the firm. In 1963 he began working as an architect with Roy McNett Designs, Inc. with whom he was employed at the time of his death.

All photographs taken May 4, 2007 by Becky Wiseman

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sometimes You Have to Say No More!

As rabbits naturally have a tendency to do, the Graveyard Rabbit is producing new blogs at an astounding rate! Just in case you haven't heard, Terry Thornton has started a new venture and has invited fellow genea-bloggers to join The Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

I wish Terry and all of the other bloggers joining him great success with their blogs and will be supporting them from the sidelines. It is with some degree of regret and envy, that, for a variety of personal reasons, I will not be joining Terry and the other bloggers in this project. I believe the Graveyard Rabbit is an admirable project and that only good things can come of it.

Perhaps I'm just not good at time management, but the primary reason for not participating is, quite simply, a matter of time. There are only so many hours in a day and so much that I want and need to accomplish that I just don't feel that I can add another obligation to the list.

In addition to not taking on any new projects until my current list has been whittled down a bit, I have recently cut back on active participation in my local genealogy society. For a little over five years I was editor of their quarterly publication, was chairperson of the First Families and Pioneer Families programs, was chairperson of the Publications Committee, and was the go-to person for questions regarding computer problems and the internet. For the most part, those positions are being handed over to someone else.

I have also chosen to not participate so much in Facebook. I'll still add friends and join other Blog Networks when requested, but I am no longer accepting "gifts" or invitations to most of the other "applications" available in Facebook.

Also, I will be selective about the memes and challenges in which I choose to participate. I applaud those who dream up the memes and those who participate in them, but choices, sometimes difficult must be made if I am to accomplish my goals. Distractions are good, in moderation, but it seems that lately there have been too many temptations pulling me away from my goals. So please, do not be offended if I choose not to respond to a meme or challenge, it's not personal, by any means.

I wish you all well in your endeavors, whatever they may be.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So, What was in that Box?

Well, it's been nearly 5 weeks since Denise Levenick issued a Treasure Hunt! A Challenge for Genea Bloggers so I should have had plenty of time to open and explore the contents of the box! But, as always it seems, time has gotten away from me and the box was still sitting in the same spot, unopened. Until last night.

I didn't really expect to find any valuable treasures within, but I'll admit I was a little surprised. It's been a little over two years since the box was packed up, and memory can be a funny thing. Just get my mother and her four siblings together telling family stories and you'll get five different versions of the same event! But I digress. Back to the box.

After cutting the tape and pulling out the crumpled newspaper that was used as a filler, the discoveries began. On top, several magazines, from the 1960s and 70s, in very good condition by the way, especially considering that they would have traveled with me to every duty station while I was in the Navy.

  • Kennedy And His Family in Pictures by the editors of Look. No date on the cover but one of the inside pages has a copyright date of 1963. It probably came out the week after his funeral. I was a sophomore in high school. Inside the pages was a "First Day Cover" envelope issued by the post office on May 29, 1964.
  • Flying Saucers was another special edition by the editors of Look, copyright 1967.
  • Apollo 11: On the Moon was a Look special edition that came out in late 1969. Sunday, July 20th, 1969 10:56:20 P.M. Neil Armstrong declared "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." My youngest brother was graduating from Navy Basic Training at Great Lakes that weekend. Mom, my sister and I were there to visit him and spent some time glued to the television screen in the motel room.
  • There is life on the Moon. . . was a publication of Pace magazine in August 1969 and includes essays from Arthur C. Clarke, Wernher von Braun, Ray Bradbury and eight other scientists and science fiction writers. It was billed as a "down-to-earth" look at space.
  • Prizewinning Pictures from Life's photography contest was published on December 25, 1970. I was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia and pilfered this copy from the station library, where I was working at the time. I was hoping to get into the Navy's photography school.
Next up was a mess of cards, letters, photographs, and travel pamphlets. Just tossed in the box haphazardly. Most of the cards and letters are still in their envelopes. Birthday cards (predominantly that 50th milestone), along with notes from cousins and aunts. I haven't sorted through them yet to determine whether I want or need to keep them. They will temporarily go into another box for sorting at a later date. With the travel pamphlets were post cards and souvenir brochures, all from our trip to Mississippi and Louisiana the end of June and into July of 2003. Pascagoula, New Orleans, Monroe, Shiloh Battlefield in Tennessee.

Beneath that mess was a sheet of cardboard. At first I thought I had reached the bottom of the box but then realized I'd only gotten halfway down. Lifting the cardboard revealed, what else, but another box! Measuring 9x12 and 4" deep.

I totally do not remember this box! It may have been packed up when we sold the farm house in 1997, but I'm thinking it may have been earlier, back when I quit my job in Fort Wayne in 1986 and put all my belongings in storage for a year. Regardless, these are my treasures, rediscovered!
  • My birth certificate, issued in 1969 to prove my age for joining the Navy. Why is it a treasure? It includes my mother's maiden name. Current birth certificates issued by the state of Indiana no longer have that, they just have the mother's first name.
  • Several "at a glance" calendars from 1972, 1978, 1979. With sparse notes but enough to jog the old memory about certain events.
  • Letters. Letters that I thought had been lost. In a way, I guess they were. Being boxed up for 10 or maybe 20 years. Most appear to be from my time in Japan (May 1977-May 1979) and through school (Indiana State 1979-1982). From family, and from friends long relegated to the back recesses of my mind. I opened several, but they are all going back into the box for now. I'm just not sure I'm ready for the flood of emotions they are bringing back. Long lost, found again. These letters won't be making it into the pages of this blog!
Personal treasures partially revealed, to be put back for yet another day. I can only wonder what will happen to them after I'm gone. Who will be the one to re-discover them then and what will they think? The question becomes, for me, is this: Do I really want someone else to find some of the letters? Taken out of the context of my life their true meaning is lost. And, as with most discoveries more questions will arise than will be answered.

So, there you have it. Are my treasures valuable? Intrinsically, yes. Monetarily, no. But as a family researcher, where does their real value lie?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spine Tingling Stories - Fact or Fantasy?

The Carnival of Genealogy, 58th Edition has been posted by Jasia over at Creative Gene. With Halloween rapidly approaching, genea-bloggers share their "spooky, eerie, and haunting stories involving their ancestors." Are they fact or fantasy? In some cases it really is very difficult to decide. I'm looking forward to the "reveals" to see if I guessed correctly. For a variety of reasons, I did not participate in this edition of the COG :-( but I've certainly enjoyed reading the tales that have been told. If you haven't already done so, go check them out! Good stuff!

Jasia has also issued the Call for Submissions for the next edition. The topic is:
"Politics and Our Ancestors" - The next edition of the COG will be published on Election Day in the U.S. (November 4). So it's the perfect time to research and reflect on what we know (or can find out) about our family members' involvement with the election process. Did one of your ancestors run for office? Who was President when your immigrant ancestors first set foot on American (Canadian, Australian, etc.) shores? What do you know about your grandparents' voting record? Which of your ancestors was first eligible to vote? Do you have any suffragettes on your family tree? What did the electoral process mean to your ancestors? Do you have a personal Election Day memory you'd like to share? Think about it, write about it, and submit it for the next COG! The deadline for submissions is November 1.
Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

5x5 + 2x5 = more than you really want to know

Apple and Donna have both tagged me in the latest meme that was started by Randy. We're supposed to tell five things about ourselves in five categories and then tag five bloggers.

10 Years Ago I...
  1. was getting settled into my new house
  2. was spending more money than I had coming in (on stuff for the house, mostly)
  3. took some classes at Ivy Tech, Fort Wayne
  4. traveled to Kalona, Iowa for the Phend Family Reunion
  5. played in the water sprinkler with my nephew
5 Things on Today's To-Do List... first four completed, fifth is ongoing
  1. go for a walk
  2. have lunch with a friend
  3. lookup several obituaries on microfilm at the library
  4. visit my mother and run some errands for her
  5. continue scanning genea-documents (none done today)
5 Snacks I Enjoy...
  1. Apples
  2. Craisins
  3. Corn Chips
  4. Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M's
  5. Cashews
5 Places I Have Lived... (all courtesy of the U.S. Navy)
  1. Norfolk, Virginia
  2. Bainbridge, Maryland
  3. Keflavik, Iceland
  4. Port Hueneme, California
  5. Yokosuka, Japan
5 Jobs I Have Had...
  • Dishwasher in a Restaurant
  • Factory Worker
  • Office Clerk
  • Photographer
  • Systems Analyst
And, I saw that Donna added a sixth category, 5 places I’ve been that I want to return to:
  1. Iceland (to traverse the Ring Road that goes around the country)
  2. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
  3. The Grand Canyon, Arizona
  4. Traverse City, Michigan
  5. Washington, D. C.
Since Donna broke the rules, I'm going to add a 7th category. . . 5 places I've never been to that I want to explore:
  • Alaska
  • Peru (specifically Macchu Picchu)
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
And, finally, 5 bloggers I'm tagging:
  1. Taylorstales at Taylorstales-Genealogy
  2. Denise at Moultrie Creek
  3. Chery at Nordic Blue
  4. T. K. at Before My Time
  5. Sheri Bush at TwigTalk

Wordless Wednesday :: Spiraling Downward

Madison, Indiana ~ September 1994
Copyright © 1994/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Brubaker Family

The Brubaker plot at South Park Cemetery, south of Columbia City on State Road 205, in Whitley County, Indiana. Photos taken in October 2004. Top photo, taken 10/24, is looking east and the second one, taken 10/09, is looking to the west.

In the top photo, the marker on the left is for my 2nd great grandparents, William and Malissa Joslin Brubaker. On the right is the marker for their son, Maurice Hale, whose life was cut short at the age of 24.

On the Front: BRUBAKER / CO. E 17 REG IND VOL. INF. / WILLIAM 1843-1912 / MALISSA M. JOSLIN / HIS WIFE / 1849 - 1937. On the back: BRUBAKER / G. A. R.

Hale's stone, on the front: BRUBAKER / MAURICE HALE / SON OF Wm. & M.M. / BRUBAKER / 1886 - 1910. On the back is: 1st LIEUT Co G 3rd INFTY. / I. N. G.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Peruse our Virtual Album and Tickle Your Funny Bone!

Welcome to the 6th Edition of Smile For The Camera ~ A Carnival of Images!

Show us that picture that never fails to bring a smile to your face! An amusing incident, a funny face, an unusual situation. Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that tickles your Funny Bone. . .

A big Thank You goes out to everyone who participated in this edition of Smile for the Camera, there were 29 posts by 28 contributors. As you peruse the pages of our virtual photo album, I am sure you will find more than a few pictures that will tickle your funny bone!

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Leading us off today is Midge Frazel of Granite in My Blood. She reminds us to "Never forget that your parents were once young, crazy and impulsive; even if they are gone, laughter about them will endure forever." Good advice, indeed. Her contribution to the carnival is My Parents Tickle My Funny Bone and it's likely to tickle yours too!

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Amanda Erickson presents Photo of my grandfather having fun posted at Random Ramblings. Two pretty girls and a "drunken" young man. Is it for real, or just pretend? Amanda's grandfather reveals the truth.

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Sheri Fenley, The Educated Genealogist, provides a "word picture" of her "Mummy Dahling" as "a lovely woman, a little uptight, a lot of prim and proper" but does that really describe Sheri's mother? Seems there is a funny side to her mother too, as shown in It Must be Genetic.

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Linda Stienstra, blogging at From Axer to Ziegler, presents some recent family pictures in These Just Tickle my Funny Bone!. A happy, laughing family with a little guy whose laughter is contagious and another of a couple of goofballs! When I viewed Linda's second contribution, Wouldn't this make you laugh out loud? I did, laugh out loud that is.

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Normally, you wouldn't think that a picture taken of a man in the hospital would be funny, but Elyse Doerflinger shows us that it can be with Hilarious Pictures Of My Family posted at Elyse's Genealogy Blog. Be sure you find out what he's reading!

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Wendy Littrell gives us "Scream" for the Camera posted at All My Branches Genealogy. Wendy says "Yes, we are a bunch of sick individuals! This picture shows just how twisted we are." Well, it is Halloween after all.

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Jasia, the lady with the Creative Gene has some new-found cousins with a sense of humor. And it shows in It Tickles My Funny Bone..., which is also a very nice tribute to a WWII Navy veteran.

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At I Dream of Genea(logy), Amir Dekel presents us with a photograph of his paternal grandfather that shows "an amazing blend of extreme happiness, some sadness, pain and sheer terror". And given the circumstances, I agree! You'll find it posted at I Dream of Genea(logy): Smile for the Camera.

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T.K. asks "The funny bone is in the ear? Who knew?" Check out Tickle! posted at Before My Time. A wonderful, amusing portrait of mother and son!

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Colleen M. Johnson presents Pouty Laughs posted at CMJ Office Blog. Colleen has a right hook that had her grandfather laughing. And a second photo has Colleen admitting that "Pouty faces tickle my funny bone."

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Summer is officially over and autumn has set in. Where has the summer gone? Miss Jocelyn presents her Summer '08 Memoirs posted at A Pondering Heart that will have her smiling with remembrances for a long time.

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Bob Franks presents Yawning for the Camera? posted at Itawamba History Review: The Itawamba Historical Society. Bob says "From the first time I saw it many years ago, this photo has always brought a smile to my face. To me, it looks as if the subject was caught yawning the moment the photographer captured the image with the camera."

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Julie Cahill Tarr recently went antiquing and rescued some orphan photos. One in particular, Funny, Ha-Ha posted at GenBlog, made her chuckle. Their expressions are priceless.

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Terry Thornton, of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi, presents A photographic essay of an orphan --- a visitor at Christmas. He says, "A few years ago, Sweetie and I "adopted" an orphan. During the few weeks the orphan was at our house, he took over our household. He was out of control --- and in need of a Ten Step Plan for rehabilitation. We sent him on his way and our household returned to normal --- what a relief. All we have left of that time are these photographs."

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One picture says it all! Donna Pointkouski combines all of the suggestions given in the prompt for this edition: "an amusing incident, some funny faces, an unusual situation" in her contribution My Father, the Comedienne posted at What's Past is Prologue.

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With My Dad, the Birthday Boy - But on a Horse?? posted at Attala County Memories, Janice Tracy wonders was a horse, a car, a tractor, and a wagon pulled by a goat all “accepted” as normal places for photographing children “way back when"?

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"Is this your grandma? Let's see, height, about 6'4", clean shaven, broad of shoulder... hmmmm..." Well, Sheri Bush says that Kind Of A Drag . . . posted at TwigTalk is an orphan photo but I wonder if she is just embarrassed to claim it as one of her family?

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Melody Lassalle presents Look! It's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! posted at The Research Journal. Melody says " I can’t help but look at that fake city background, then the car, and laugh."

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With The Chart Chick: The smile on a little girl's face. posted at The Chart Chick, Janet Hovorka, shows us several of her mother's favorite pastimes, well, maybe one isn't quite so much a favorite.

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John Newmark presents Smile For the Camera: Funny Bone posted at TransylvanianDutch. A grandmother who hides behind a large pair of sunglasses and a grandfather who prepares to dive into the water - aren't candid photos the best?

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Msteri River says "This family line is full of silliness!" and you can see the truth of that statement in It Tickles My Funny Bone posted at Heritage Happens.

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Carol presents 6th Edition Smile For The Camera - Funny Bone posted at iPentimento In Your Reader. She says, "I can’t say this picture necessarily makes me laugh, but it does make me smile :)"

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M. Diane Rogers, blogging at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' says " Here's a family photo that always makes me smile!" Funny Bone - Smile for the Camera.

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At Taylorstales-Genealogy, Pam Taylor authoritatively states Laughter really is the best medicine! and gives a short, loving tribute to "two people who loved to share a smile and a laugh."

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Randy Seaver presents Family Photographs - Post 26: The Kids posted at Genea-Musings. According to Randy, "Children always make me smile, and laugh, and appreciate the gift of unconditional love between parent and child, and grandparent and grandchild too. These are my favorite people in the world."

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Over at Destination: Austin Family, Thomas MacEntee wonders if it is Funny, Embarrassing or a Cruel Joke? What? You ask? I'll just say it involves a cake and a 13-year old girl on a special day.

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footnoteMaven shares a special photo of Mr. Denver Colorado posted at footnoteMaven. There's more to the tale than a tall hat!

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And, rounding out this edition of Smile For The Camera, is my contribution Funny face, I love you! posted right here at kinexxions.

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The word prompt for the 7th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Oh, Baby! Show us those wonderful family photographs of babies, or those you've collected. Share the ones that are too cute for words, or those only a mother could love. Your favorite of grandma or grandmas' favorite. Grandpa on a bear skin rug or grandpas' little love. Everyone has a baby photo, so let's see it!

Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that is the epitome of Oh, Baby! and bring it to the carnival. Admission is free with every photograph!

Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!

Deadline for submission is midnight (PT) November 10, 2008.

There are two options for submitting your contribution:
  1. Send an email to the host, footnoteMaven. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are submitting, and the name of your blog. Put 'Smile For The Camera' clearly in the title of your email!
  2. Use the handy submission form provided by Blog Carnival.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Walkin' the Land of my Ancestors

With clear skies and 80 degree temps (in October, no less!) I just couldn't stay indoors today. The Crooked Lake Nature Preserve lies mostly in Whitley County on the Noble-Whitley county line about half a mile west of State Road 9.

The southern area, which I explored today, is the Lawrence Bishop Memorial Addition and is located on the south side of Little Crooked Lake, off of County Road 600N. This southern area borders the land where my 3rd great grandparents, Jacob and Malissa (Stem) Wise lived. And where her parents, Conrad and Indiana (Sisley) Stem lived on a neighboring farm.

Below is a portion of the 1889 Plat Map of Thorncreek Township, Whitley County. It shows that M. A. Scott (Malissa Ann, married Jacob Scott in 1876) owned 106 acres of land in Section 3 on the south side of Crooked Lake. This land had been purchased by Jacob Wise in August 1849. To the east of the Scott property was C. Stem, who owned 32.5 acres. Conrad had purchased 152 acres (most of that southeast quarter) in December 1853. Nowadays, the majority of their lands have been subdivided into 2-5 acre lots, several are still available for purchase. Some of the houses being built are ridiculously large, especially in light of the current economic situation.

The map below is from the Indiana DNR (Department of Natural Resources). The outlined area encompasses the Crooked Lake Nature Preserve. As always, click on the images to see a larger version. The dotted line on the right is State Road 9 and the dotted line along the bottom is County Road 600N.

A mowed path meanders along the south and east sides of the meadow. It enters the woods on the north side, weaving in and out several times before emerging into the meadow once again on the west side. This first view is looking to the northeast (from the west side of the trail).

Christian Phend Family Photographs

Christian and Mary Emily "Mollie" (McConnell) Phend, date unknown.

The family of Christian Phend and Mary McConnell. Probably taken sometime in 1907 (the youngest child in the picture, Dwight Rhoades, was born January 30, 1905).
two men in the back: Frank Wehrly and Delvin Phend
middle row: Waldo Phend, Harry Phend, Hattie (Phend) Rhoades, Grover Phend, John Rhoades holding his son Dwight, and Clarence Phend
front row: Ivy (Phend) Wehrly, Belle Phend, Clifford Phend, Christian Phend, Mary Phend, Mary McConnell Phend, and Helen Rhoades.

Christian Phend and his sons, taken at the same time as the previous picture, sometime in 1907. Seated in front are Harry, Clifford and Grover. Standing in back are Waldo, Delvin, Christian, and Clarence.

Location of original photographs is not known. These are digital copies of copies of copies! The quality is not the best in the bottom two; the texture of the print shows up in the scanned copy. As always, click on the images to view a larger version.

Related post: Where's Waldo? (subtitled "Go ahead, Make My Day")

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Funny face, I love you!

This has to be one of my favorites (it's been cropped and enlarged to show their expressions). On the back is written: "Grandma with Phyllis Phend & Francis Palmer. They each weigh 20 pounds & my arms are nearly broke." The "Grandma" in the picture is my 2nd great grandmother Malissa Joslin Brubaker Bower and she would have been about 74 years old at the time, which I estimate to be the summer of 1923.

August 1972 at the San Diego Zoo. My brother, Jack, got tired of me taking his picture. Just as I was about to snap one more, he decided to hide behind the booklet he was reading. I like how his ear and hairline blend in with the picture of the monkey (or baboon or whatever it is). Of course, this could be one of those instances where it is only funny if you were there ;-) but we always get a good chuckle out of it. And there are other good memories that go along with it too. We were both in the Navy, he was stationed on the West coast and I was on the East (at Bainbridge, Maryland). We both took leave and met at home in Indiana then he and I drove back to San Diego together. We were young, we had fun.

Contributed to the 6th Edition of Smile For The Camera :: Show us that picture that never fails to bring a smile to your face! An amusing incident, a funny face, an unusual situation. Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that tickles your Funny Bone. . .

Where's Waldo? (subtitled "Go ahead, Make My Day")

In the late 1980s, while researching the family of Jacob and Louisa (Fisher) Phend, I wrote lots and lots of letters in an attempt to make contact with their descendants. Jacob and Louisa had seven children, six of whom had children, and those six children had a combined total of 53 children. Of the 53 grandchildren of Jacob and Louisa, 48 survived into adulthood, though not all of them had children.

Being a relative "newby' to genealogy at the time, I didn't really think too much about the fact that I actually made contact with or found out information about the families of all of the grandchildren. Well, all except for one of them. Looking back on it now, I think the response I received from writing all of those letters is pretty amazing. I realize now that I was fortunate, and lucky. Very lucky.

You have to remember that this was "BTI" (Before the Internet). But now we have the Internet, and the World Wide Web. Where once it took weeks to receive a response to our communications, it now takes a few hours, or a few minutes, or even seconds to respond and pass information back and forth.

Where's Waldo? Well, as mentioned above, there was just one grandchild that I didn't make contact with or find out much information about his family. His name was Waldo. Waldo Guy Phend was born on October 27, 1893 in Kosciusko County, Indiana and was the son of Christian and Mary (McConnell) Phend.

Christian was a brother of my great-grandfather, Henry Phend. From what I was told by several of Christian's grandchildren, he was a very strict disciplinarian. Very strict. While Mary was reported to be a kind and gentle woman. Christian and Mary had twelve children born between the years 1876 and 1895: Clarence Delbert, Marion Ora (aka Orie), Carrie Louisa, Delvin Henry, Harriet (aka Hattie), Harry, Myrtle Iva (aka Ivy), Lillie Belle, Ethel, Grover Hillis, Waldo Guy, and Clifford Lester. Carrie died from complications of childbirth when she was 24 years old; Ethel died at the age of 10 months; Grover was killed at the age of 21 in a tragic railroad accident; and Clifford succumbed to tuberculosis when he was 15 years old.

Probably, at least in part, due to Christian's strict discipline, when he died in 1929 only four of his eight surviving children were still living in Indiana. Clarence was a preacher living in Arkansas; Marion Ora was in Franklin County, Washington; Delvin was in Scott County, Iowa; Harriet was married to John Rhoades and living in South Bend, Indiana; Harry was living in Kosciusko County, Indiana; Myrtle was married to Franklin Wehrly and living in Elkhart County, Indiana; Lillie had married Alvin Miller and they were living in Johnson County, Iowa; Waldo had also gone to Johnson County, Iowa where he married Edith Palmer, but in 1930 they were living in Nappanee, Indiana though he would later return to Iowa.

The obituary of Harriet Phend Rhoades, published in the South Bend Tribune on July 25, 1964 provided a clue as to where Waldo might be. His residence was given as Jefferson City, Iowa. So I wrote to the public library there and they told me that "Waldo had a shoe repair shop at his home, married a second time, and moved to California. When he died on Jan. 26, 1979 he was cremated and brought back to Jefferson and is interred in the cemetery there. He was survived by two sons and five daughters: Elmo Phend, Grover Phend, Mabel Milan, Louise Dawson, Jeannette Snodderly, Lois Groves, and Grace Ross." The only other information provided was their places of residence: Dubuque, Davenport, and Jefferson (all in Iowa); South Bend, Indiana; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

That little bit of information was all I had on Waldo and his family when the Phend Family history was published in 1991. I've since learned that he died on June 26, 1979 rather than January 26th and he was living in Corona, Riverside, California (Social Security Death Index and California Deaths on His first wife, Edith Palmer, was born on February 17, 1898 in Johnson County, Iowa and died on November 2, 1970 at the home of a daughter in Edwardsburg, Michigan (her obituary, published on that date in the South Bend Tribune). His second wife, Dorothy Vernon Myers, was born September 15, 1906 in Iowa and died December 10, 1989 in Riverside County, California.

Several attempts have been made in the intervening years to contact Waldo's children, without success, until June of 2000 when I made contact with Elmo Lowell Phend, oldest child of Waldo and Edith. He went by the name of Lowell and was born on April 15, 1918 in Washington Township, Mason County, Iowa.

Lowell served in the U.S. Navy from July 1942 thru December 1945. A year after his discharge from the Navy he enlisted in the U.S. Army; retired in December 1966 as a Master Sergeant; was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, Army Occupation Medal - Japan, Korean Service Medal with 5 bronze stars, Good Conduct Medal with 3 loops, Expert Carbine, and National Defense Service Medal with one Oak Cluster. He started College at a late age, in his 60's, and received the Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree on May 8, 1987 and Associate of Theology on May 20, 1988. He was licensed to preach the Gospel by Concord Baptist Church in Caroline County, Virginia. He had been married twice but had no children.

In April 2002, his wife informed me that Lowell had been placed in a nursing home, a result of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. A little more than a year later, a note from her told of Lowell's passing on July 22, 2003 in Richmond, Virginia. Interment was in Concord Baptist Church Cemetery, Ruther Glen, Virginia.

I'll admit it has been a while since I've attempted to find the other children of Waldo. I'm sure that if I tried just a little, I could probably locate one or two of them. Maybe one of them will read this and contact me instead, I'm getting a little lazy in my old age ;-)

One of the reasons for starting my website five years ago, and then this blog, was the hope of making contact with relatives. Yesterday morning I received an email from a grandchild of Waldo, a daughter of his son Grover. She found the Phend obituaries on my website first and then the blog. We've been passing emails back and forth and she has now read many of the postings on the Phend family.

She wrote "You have just made my day." And I'm here to say that she made mine, simply by contacting me. Thank You! For all of the hits my blog gets from people searching for the same surnames I'm researching, very few actually make contact via email or leave a comment. Why is that?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wordless Wednesday :: Up, Up, and Away!

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race
St. Louis, Missouri September 1994
Copyright © 1994/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: William and Elizabeth Lavering

Interred at Benton Lutheran Cemetery, at the intersection of CR 33 and CR 44 in Benton, Elkhart County, Indiana are William and Elizabeth (Schuder) Lavering, my 3rd great grandparents through the Shuder line: Me > Dad > Elsie Shuder Wiseman > Nancy Jane Lavering, wife of Isaac Shuder > Daniel Lavering > William & Elizabeth

Wm. LAVERING / DIED / Oct. 5, 1870 / AGED / 73 Ys. 1 M. 7 D.
ELIZABETH / Wife of / Wm. LAVERING / DIED / June 5, 1863 / AGED 55 Y's. 4 Mo. 28 D

In 1897, Col. John Levering and the Levering Historical Association published the "History and Genealogy of the Levering Family" which chronicles the descendants of Rosier Levering, particularly Wigard and Gerhard, who crossed the ocean in 1685. They initially settled in Germantown, near Philadelphia, but in 1691 removed a short distance to the west to Roxborough Township. Apparently Wigard was really good about keeping records but Gerhard, alas, was not.

On page 833 of this massive missive, the compiler mentioned having received a telegram on October 14, 1895 from Henry Lavering, of Milford, in Kosciusko County, Indiana, informing him of the death of Daniel Lavering. As it turns out, the telegram was missent to Col. John Levering in LaFayette instead of going to John Lavering, a brother of the deceased Daniel. John and Daniel were sons of William and Elizabeth (Schuder) Lavering. Apparently, the Colonel did not know of "our" little branch of the Lavering family. He attempted to "fit" them into the family and discovered a "possibility" in a child named William, of Gerhard's line, born about 1796 and who was reported as having died in infancy.

Two years later, Samuel Lavering, brother of Daniel, contacted the Colonel and provided the following information:

William was born about 1796, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, and was the oldest of three children. The names of the brother and sister were not known. The maiden name of William's mother was Haus, or Hass. While too young to remember, William's parents separated and he was reared by a Mothberger family whose place of residence was not known. When he attained matured years, William removed to Montgomery County, Ohio, where he married Elizabeth Schuder, and where their first child, Daniel, was born. Soon after Daniel's birth they removed to Allen County, Ohio and from there to Elkhart County, Indiana.

On page 835, the Colonel states: "As my compilation is considered complete, and these descendants are a recent accession, and I can not place them with certainty, I assign them place collectively. William appears a dropped stitch in the family fabric in the sixth generation."

Dropped stitch or not, the Colonel then lists, in the next nine pages, the descendants of William and Elizabeth (Schuder) Levering, most with full dates of birth! And, when known, dates of death and location of residence. Additional research by my cousin has shown that most of the information is correct! It was, quite literally, a goldmine. But we still haven't been able to determine who William's parents were...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Visit to Pisgah Marsh

We had our first frost Friday night and Saturday was a beautiful fall day, though a little chilly in the morning. After running some errands I decided to play hooky!

Pisgah Marsh is located in the northwest corner of Whitley County, not far from the Noble and Kosciusko county lines. It is a Wildlife Diversity Area owned by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The road used to go through to the other side. The area flooded so often that eventually the water just never went away. I've visited before but this time I had my camera with me. And I had the place all to my self!

Left: Dire warnings near the entrance. Right: On the boardwalk. The trees pretty much hide the view of the marsh to the west. All you could hear were the sounds of the leaves rustling in the breeze, little unseen animals scurrying in the underbrush, and the birds. Didn't see any eagles though.

Left: Pisgah Lake, at the north end of the boardwalk. The water is only a few feet deep. Some geese were landing and taking off but didn't stick around long. It was very peaceful. Right: Some berries along the shores of the lake.

Left: More berries. Right: Looking to the northwest. A preview of the colors to come.

After spending some time on the boardwalk I ventured down the road. Left: The view to the north. The boardwalk is in those trees on the right. The sign says "State Refuge. Do Not Enter. No Trespassing, Hunting, or Fishing." Like, I'm going to go in there! Right: The view from the road, looking south. The water is covered with what I call green slime. There were fish in it, I heard some jumping, and saw the ripples they left in the water.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Salute to the Old Timers!

As Tim Agazio noted a couple of days ago in his post Everyone's Turning 2 This Year, there are indeed a bunch of genea-bloggers and genea-websites that came on the scenes in 2006. Bloggers especially are notorious for starting-up and then, after a few months, no longer posting or even deleting their blogs. Two years is a long time in the blogosphere. A few genea-bloggers have been blogging for three, four or more years! I think they can be considered "Old Timers" in regards to blogging ;-) and as such, I think they deserve some recognition!

These are the blogs I've been following for the past two years...The listing is presented in two THREE sections. The first includes those who blog about their family history while providing some tips and resources along the way. The second group doesn't blog about their own genealogy research, rather they provide us with the latest information about Genealogy Resources, Tips and News. The last section will be updates to the list...

Where I could find it, I've linked to the first post of each blog. If you have the time, please explore their archives, you will no doubt find it rewarding, interesting, and entertaining.

Section I :: These are the people that inspired me to start blogging. And, for better or worse, have inspired me to continue to blog. I've laughed with them, and cried with them, and ran the gamut of feelings in between. They write about their families, relatives, and ancestors. With each post they give us a little of themselves. They have my heartfelt thanks for doing what they do, and doing it so well.

Susan Kitchens :: Family Oral History
April 23, 2004 :: Family Oral History weblog begins!

Lori Thornton :: Smoky Mountain Family Historian
June 8, 2004 :: Welcome to My Family History Page

Craig Manson :: Geneablogie
September 06, 2004 :: Blogging My Genes Off

Denise Olson :: Family Matters and Moultrie Creek
Denise uses Wordpress and doesn't have an archive feature on her blogs so I can't determine how long she has been blogging, but I know it has been awhile; it seems like forever ;-) Well, anyway, I'm pretty sure she was blogging long before I was, so she's included with the old-timers. Update: Denise notified me that she has been blogging since February 2005!

Tim Abbott :: Walking the Berkshires
September 30, 2005 :: Hi Tim. This is your first post

Jasia :: Creative Gene and creator of the Carnival of Genealogy
October 25, 2005 :: Intro to NaNoWriMo

Miriam Robbins Midkiff :: AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors
January 16, 2006 :: Moses Crothers - possible son of John Crothers and Mary "Polly" Wyckoff?

Janice Brown :: Cow Hampshire
March 2006 :: Cow Hampshire: Celebrating My Second Anniversary
Does anybody know anything about where Janice is? She hasn't posted anything since August 26th. Hopefully there is nothing majorly wrong and she is just taking a break from blogging.

T. K. :: Before My Time
April 1, 2006 :: Evelyn

Randy Seaver :: Genea-Musings
April 15, 2006 :: Who? Me? Blog? OK...

Steven Danko :: Steve’s Genealogy Blog
April 18, 2006 :: First Day of My New Website

David Bowles :: Writing the Westward Sagas
June 28th, 2006 :: Welcome!

Chery Kinnick :: Nordic Blue
August 28, 2006 :: Welcome, Family and Friends

Tim Agazio :: Genealogy Reviews Online
October 23, 2006 :: Welcome to my Blog!

Apple :: Apple's Tree
December 4, 2006 :: Older Articles
Apple started blogging in December 2005 at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree and created Apples' Tree just for her genealogy.

On January 12, 2007 I started blogging. And a few others came along in the first two months of the year, including:

Bill West :: West in New England
January 23, 2007 :: Beginning

footnoteMaven :: footnoteMaven
February 28, 2007 :: Shelter From the Storm, Stories of the Home and Hearth

John Newmark :: Transylvanian Dutch
February 28, 2007 :: 100 Years Ago

Cheryl :: Two Sides of the Ocean
February 2007 / August 27, 2008 :: Immer Etwas
Some kind of big screw up with Blogger caused the disappearance of Cheryl's blog in August. She had been blogging there for the past 18 months. Her older posts are currently not available but she will be recreating them in the future on her new blog site. Right now, Cheryl is on her long-awaited trip to Germany!


Section II :: This second group of bloggers have also been blogging since sometime in 2006 or before. In most cases, they don't blog about their own genealogy, rather they provide us with the latest information about Genealogy Resources, Tips and News.

Pat Richley, as Dear Myrtle, gave us her first blog post on December 3, 2002. Yes, 2002! But she began posting in the current format in earnest on April 1, 2005 with Oh where, oh where is my ancestor from?

Kimberly Powell :: Kimberly's Genealogy Blog has had a column at since before blogging came along!

Dick Eastman :: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
In June 2004, Dick converted his long-running email newsletter to a blog format.

Leland Meitzler :: Everton's Genealogy Blog has been around for a few years too.

Chris Dunham :: The Genealogue and mastermind behind the Genealogy Blog Finder where he has catalogued 1,092 blogs in 29 categories that are related to genealogy in some way.
May 26, 2005 :: The Dark Side of Genealogy

John D. Reid :: Anglo-Celtic Connections
March 14, 2006 :: Library Elf

Michael John Neil :: RootDig
March 17, 2006 :: Civil War Pension Indexes

Joe Beine :: Genealogy Roots Blog (and others)
April 18, 2006 :: Missouri Death Index 1910-1955 Now Online

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak :: Roots Television Megan's Roots World
Started her blog in April 2006, Roots Television went live in September 2006.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti :: Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog
August 8, 2006 :: What to expect from Tracing the Tribe

Sally Jacobs :: The Practical Archivist
I don't know when Sally started her blog, but one of the earliest posts I came across was December 14, 2006 :: Life Catching Life Hack

In all probability, I've likely missed a blog or two, so I apologize in advance! If you started blogging genealogy BEFORE January 2007, are still ACTIVELY blogging and not listed, please let me know (leave me a comment or send me an email).

Section III :: Updates to the list (updated October 5, 2008).

As Thomas MacEntee stated in a comment, his very first post at Destination: Austin Family was on December 28, 2006 with The journey "re-begins". So, "technically" he could be considered one of the Old Timers of genea-blogging ;-) However, Thomas didn't commit to posting regularly until September 28, 2007 when he posted The Weather Gets Colder - That Means Only One Thing . .

The Staff of the Sandusky Library and Follett House Museum :: Sandusky History
June 06, 2006 :: Libraries in Sandusky - A Brief History

Lorine Schulze :: Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
February 9, 2003 :: Alms House Admission Records, New York City, NY 1855-1858

Juliana Smith :: Family History Circle
March 31, 2006 :: The First Issue

Arlene Eakle :: Arlene Eakle's Genealogy Blog
June 12, 2006 :: Hello World!

Henk van Kampen :: Trace Your Dutch Roots
August 3, 2006 :: What this blog will be about

Colleen McHugh :: The Oracle of OMcHodoy
October 23, 2005 :: Why bother blogging?

M. Diane Rogers :: CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'
February 3, 2005 :: 101st Canadian Heroine-2005 Contest

The Ultimate "American History" Reading List

The recent Carnival of Genealogy :: 56th edition focused on the indespensible genealogy books in the libraries of the contributing genea-bloggers. It was a very good exercise and Lori produced a valuable list of essential resources we all can use for future reference.

The following article could be considered "old news" since it was published nearly four years ago, but I thought it appropriate in light of the recent COG.

American Heritage Magazine published the article America Unabridged in December 2004 drawing "on the knowledge and enthusiasm of leading historians, writers, and critics to offer a compendium of the very best books about the American experience."

The list is divided into chronological and subject categories with each section presenting "the writer’s choice of the 10 best books in a particular field, along with lucid, lively explanations of what makes them great."

The chronological periods covered are The Colonial Era to 1776, The Revolution 1776 to 1787, The Young Republic 1787 to 1860, The Civil War 1861 to 1865, The Industrial Age 1865 to 1917, Modern America 1917 to 1941, World War II 1941 to 1945, The Postwar Years 1945 to 1974, and Modern Times from 1974.

Subject categories are Biographies, Historical Novels, African-American History, The West, The Immigrant Experience, Popular Culture, Business, Technology, Indispensable Photographs, Sports, Women’s History, and Historical Movies.

There is something for everyone on this list. I know I'll be adding some of them to my reading list, particularly those covering the Colonial Era, as I prepare to research my New England ancestors!

A tip of the hat to footnoteMaven. Her article this morning on Shades of the Departed included a link to American Heritage. Be forewarned, don't go there if you don't have a lot of time to spare!