Monday, November 26, 2012

Tika & the "Elephants"

This is how Tika keeps watch for elephants who dare to enter our yard.... and she'll loudly bark when she even thinks she sees one.......... quite a dog, eh? 

I wish she would bark like that when an "elephant" of a mistake appears in my family history researching. Or at least would she alert me when an "elephant" of an erroneous online posting appears. Case in point:  Handy Man has a Smith line which I thought went back into Viriginia. Doing a search in the Family Trees at, I found his line traced clear back to John Smith who married Pocahontas. Wow. But............

Good grief. Every student of U.S. history should know that John Rolfe married Pocahontas, NOT NOT NOT John Smith. Yet, there it is bold as sunshine, posted on for all to find.

Does that discredit Ancestry? Not at all. Does it cast shadows on the person posting that mistaken lineage correction? Greatly so! And how will it affect you, the researcher? You can accept what you find or reject what you find........... or better yet, do your own research to confirm or reject what you find, even on   

Or teach your dogger to bark and alert you to the presence of elephants in your family tree. Good luck! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tika & Thanksgiving

For Tika, Thanksgiving is not a joyful time. She'll get hauled 80 miles and then have to interact and be forced to be nice to her cousin dogs........ Dolly, Cody, Bently, and OneSpot. And now Dozer!

 And this was taken last July! Dozer (short for Bulldozer) is close to 100 pounds by now. 

Tika better remember her small size and keep her distance but you know doxies. She keeps telling me "WHY???" And "you better make it worth my while!"  Doxies!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tika & The Doctor

We have had snow! Some four inches in the last 24 hours! Tika loves it..... but does not want to stay outside in it for very long. Good thing for I need her help to finish up a project. For EWGS ( I'm finishing up my project to learn what I could about Dr. John George Gundlach, a Union Navy Civil War veteran buried in Spokane's Greenwood Cemetery. 

John Gundlach was born in 1849 and grew up around Baltimore Harbor in Maryland. He was not able to join up (due to his age) until 1864 when, finally, his mother signed for him. He served from 1864 to 1869 and was 19 when he was discharged from the Union Navy. I'm guessing he observed medics or corpsmen or doctors (whatever they were called then) on board his several ships and determined that medicine and helping others was what he wanted to do with his life. 

In 1883, he became a licensed Allopathic Doctor from the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri at St.Louis. By this time he was married to Sophia and had Alpha, Helen and Georgiana. Thanks to Google Images for a picture of this college. 

Alpha was his uncle's name and Uncle Alpha Gundlach was a dentist in Spokane. Soon John and Sophia moved their family to Spokane was he is listed in the City Directories as a doctor and on the census as a physician.  Dr. John Gundlach died here in Spokane in 1910.

The real point of this story, Tika wanted me to stress, is that I knew very little about John George Gundlach except some of the high points of his life. I wanted to know what his young life as a sailor might have been so I Googled "Civil War Union Navy" and found several pages of helpful background material. I had not a clue as to what homeopathic medicine was or an Allopathic Doctor. Again thanks to Google, I learned that Allopathic medicine was practiced by homeopathic doctors employing natural herbs and simple home remedies to effect cures. 

Tika reminds us all that there is so much background material that we can find on the Internet about our ancestors........ you just have to come in out of the snow and go Googling. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tika's Adventure

Tika, Handy Man and I went on a mini adventure over the weekend..... we went to a cemetery!  I had heard that our local Greenwood Cemetery is the site of recurring and nationally-known paranormal activity........... these marks on the sandstone of the old Elks mausoleum are thought to be scratched by ghosts........... what do you think?

I don't know much about ghosts but I do know that I regard cemeteries as interesting places to visit, to walk about in and to learn about. Our Greenwood Cemetery welcomed its first burial in about 1890 so by "eastern standards" it is quite young. Nonetheless, to me it is full of stories just waiting to be explored. 

Tika thinks so too. She strained at her leash, bounding from one spot, one tombstone to another (she is a girl dog and does not piddle on them) telling me "This one! No, this one!! Tell the story of this one!!" 

We will, Tika, I promise.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tika & The Avocado

Tika and I have a friend living in Miami who often sends us a box of HUGE avocados from the tree in her back yard. I'm sure these #3 monsters have a specific name but when I asked Tika, she said she had not a clue. After we enjoyed the last one, we decided to see if we could sprout one.......... you see how big it is by how it fills up a normal drinking glass. Think here in Spokane (Zone 5, -20 degrees) that we will ever see it grow to produce fruit?

This wonderful avocado got me to thinking........... first I was thinking about hubby's ancestors who lived in Georgia and other points south. Did they enjoy these huge avocados? Or is this a modern hybrid? Which caused me to wonder further....... how many "regional" foods do we know of that were NOT available to our ancestors? 

For instance, peanuts are synonymous with The South but did our pre-Civil War ancestors grow peanuts? What about peaches? Pears? Onions? We know they did not eat tomatoes, believing them to be poisonous.  Did they regularly eat meat from animals that we would avoid today? Like opossum? Squirrel? Anybody have any ideas about this??

(And no wonder English is so difficult to learn!  The plural of avocado is avocados,  no "e."  The plural of tomato is tomatoes, with the "e."  Go figure. Tika just says try barking and woofing all you want to say!)