Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tika & Snowy Passes

This was Snoqualmie Pass, elevation 5420 feet, on Monday, April 29..... and this is springtime in the Rockies???  Wikipedia explains that "The name Snoqualmie is derived from the Lushootseed name s•dukʷalbixʷ, generally interpreted to mean "ferocious people", a name applied by another Coast Salishan tribe in reference to the Snoqualmie tribe.[5]"

Well, it was a ferocious snowstorm on Monday I can tell you but I put my 4-Runner in 4WD and plugged on through with no problems. The big trucks were all lined up putting on their chains.....

The point Tika and I want to make today is that travel today is so easy. It's 400 miles from Spokane to Port Angeles and I was visiting with grandson after only an 8-hour drive. I reflect that it's so easy to visit family today no matter how far away they are. My friend Joan lives in New Jersey and twice yearly goes to Hawaii to visit her two sons. That is possible in 2013 but surely not never in 1913 and totally unthinkable in 1813.

My great-grandmother Magdalena Regner came to America as a 16 year old girl in 1866. She traveled all that time and all that way by herself. And she knew that she would never, never see her mother again. We say how hard that must have been, but they knew no different. Yes, it was hard but there was no choice.

Today we have a choice and all that keeps us from seeing our loved ones is time and money. But at least it is possible.

Had Tika been with me she would have burrowed in her travel sac and not looked out!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tika & The Symposium

 Tika went with Handy Man to a building-fence-project south into Spokane County where she happily dug for China..... or critters, whichever came first.

I attended our second annual FamilySearch Symposium! It was held in our LDS meetinghouse; we had 280 folks attending; we provided a free lunch AND homemade bread, butter and jam for a morning snack.
The program for the day was a roster of five "tracks", each one having four classes so there was most certainly something for everybody. If you'd like to know more about our Symposium, click to www.rememberinggenerations.com .

The teaching point of today's bit is this: If you are at all able to attend, then go and attend any and all family history or genealogy meetings, workshops, seminars and symposiums. They are planned to teach YOU and me and anybody interested how to do their genealogy, how to understand the records and (most importantly) how to use the records you find.

You just cheat yourself if you stay home and do genealogy in a closet.

The homemade bread was worth the effort! (I did bring home a bit for Tika. She's no dummie; she loves homemade bread.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tika & Icelandic Cousins

Tika can read the newspaper you realize. She sits by me in our chair and gazes intently at whatever I'm reading......... and watches out the window for elephants to bark at. I was explaining to her this recent bit I was reading:

"Iceland is a country of 320,000 folks where most everyone is distantly related and inadvertently kissing a cousin is a real risk," stated the article. "A new smartphone app is on hand to help Icelanders avoid accidental incest. The applets users "bump" phones, and it emits a warning alarm if they are closely related."

This is possible because of the Islendiga-App,  "App of Icelanders," an app created by the University of Iceland engineering students. This is an online database of Icelanders and their family trees stretching back 1200 years to the group of 9th century Vikings who were the first settlers.

Tika and I think this is way cool; modern technology to the rescue. Tika reminds me that she is from Idaho and wonders if there is an Idahoan Dachshund database??

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tika & Detroit

Flying from Manchester, New Hampshire, to Detroit, Michigan (on my homeward bounding trip), I got this wonderful picture. Did you know that Detroit gets its name from the French le detroit du Lac Erie which means the strait of Lake Erie and connects Lake Erie with Lake Huron. The strait includes the St.Clair River.

It's one thing to read this information and quite another to see it with your very own eyes. Way cool, don't you think?

Tika says: "Big deal; just hurry on home."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tika & Puzzles

I spotted this "Tika" puzzle in a Made in New Hampshire shop; isn't it darling? But I have a real life Tika so I did not buy it. But thinking about it and puzzling on my genealogy, I thought of something......

Aren't we all puzzle pieces from the past generations?  And isn't doing genealogy and searching for our family's history putting together a 1000 piece puzzle (that does not have a neatly defined border)???

If we put the puzzle together correctly, the pieces will all fit. Referring to an earlier post about heart rocks, you cannot (or should not!) just make the pieces fit. Several dozen pieces were in this "Tika" puzzle; I'm looking for the thousand dozen pieces of my family history. 

Tika is always a big help; she gives doggie kisses whenever I score a find...... and even when I don't. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tika & Mustards?

No, not growing mustard, nor French's mustard, but the Mustard family!  I have a Catherine Mustard who married my William Potter in about 1730 in York Co, Maine (then Massachusetts) and I've never been able to find a durn thing about her family. UNTIL! My friend Maureen and I were talking about Google Books so  last evening I went looking around on Google Books. And I found a book (the first one I ever found) on the Mustard family!

It was published in Canada in 1980 and according to WorldCat there are copies in our Library of Congress and three Toronto libraries. Wonderful. Now how do I get my eyeballs upon said book? Do Canadian libraries inter-library loan to the U.S.? 

But the point of this wonderful story is that I thought I had looked everywhere, and at everything, and into every resource, and obviously I had not. A book I need to look at was published 33 years ago and I never knew....... because I had not checked everything, everywhere and at every resource. Are you in this same situation with a dead-end problem?

Tika says, "Don't you ever smear that yellow stuff on my nose again!! Yuk!!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tika & the Trees

Maine forest are beautiful, no question. I'm here in April which means spring has not yet arrived and the hardwood trees are leafless (thank you Google Images for this pix) so I'm not seeing a lovely green forest but a lovely leafless tree-trunk forest. That's good and bad. Yes, I miss the leaves and flowers but without the leaves we can see into the distance, near and far, to see more of Maine. We're seeing more of the old very distinguishable New England style of homes. Does that make sense?

Sometimes we focus too much on name gathering in our genealogy. I know I did that with my Potter line twenty years ago. I collected all sorts of lifeless and leafless trees in the hopes that one would leaf out and be "my" Potter line. Yes, sometimes it can and maybe does happen that way. But a far better way of doing family history is to concentrate on the surnames growing in one area, one town, one county. Had I done that twenty years ago I'll bet I'd have made surer and faster progress with my genealogy. Live and learn.

Tika says: "Trees are for running in, rooting around and chasing critters in." Figures.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tika & Heart Rocks

My daughter and I have looked for heart shaped rocks on any beach we're on. Whether it's coral rock hearts on Hawaii beaches or slate rock hearts on Maine beaches we're always looking for obvious heart shaped rocks. And they have to be good ones....... no maybees, wannabees, leave-er-rites, or perhaps-ites. 

So it is with our genealogy. When we go researching to find the ancestor at the dead end beach, we must be careful to pick up only those ancestors who truly are of our family..... no maybees, wannabees or we'll just make the pieces fit-ites. 

Sounds pretty simple but having just spent hours sifting, sorting and paging through eight books on early Temple families in New England, it was so tempting to just make something fit (and there were plenty of likely candidates). But they were just not heart-shaped-rock ancestors. 

Tika says "Whaaaatt?" Rocky beaches are for running on, period. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tika & History: Lowell Mill Girls

I'm taking notes for Tika; today I toured the Lowell Mills National Park in Lowell, Massacusetts. In the period 1820 to the Civil War, some 10,000 "white Yankee" girls (no immigrants and no black ladies until after that war) were employed in the nation's largest textile mills in America.

Theire lives were strictly regimented; theyhad to be approved and accepted into a mill boarding house and then they could have a mill factory job. They worked 14 hour days (beginning at 4:30am) and onlhy a haf day of 8hours on Saturday all for under $3.00 per week. Their contract said they must attend church on Sunday.

But I also learned that these girls were eager to come...... to leave the farm life for the big city with things to do and their own money to make and spend. Seems to me it was the beginning of a sort of emancipation for women. Even if they were mostly always under the watchful eye of the boarding house mistress or factory boss.

Tika will be interested to hear all about this...... if she stays awake long enough.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tika & Mayflower Ancestry

Tika's missing me but I am in Plymouth, Massachusetts, trying to see and feel the life and times of my ancestors who came from England for religious freedom and a new life. William Bradford and seven others of the group are my direct ancestors.

A first stop is to see THE rock which sits on the beach in a Greek style "display case." From my studies I know that while folks here might swear that this is THE rock, nobody knows for sure. But who cares? Standing at the rail, gazing down onto this relatively little engraved beach boulder, I cared not for "the truth" about this rock but enjoyed the feeling of gazing at history.

Being and seeing here proves again to me that there is so much more to learn about every single ancestor than I have spent time learning. My good governor is well documented and all I have to do is dig out all those references. But many of my ancestors (and yours) lived quiet lives with never leaving much of a mark except paying their taxes, having their marriages solemnized and babies baptized in churches, being enumerated on censuses, enlisting for military service......... and my point is that even our small, quiet ancestors left a paper trail and it only takes our diligence to find the stories.

Tika will happily snooze at my feet while I computer research, looking for these stories. Bet your dogger (or your kittypuss) will do the same for you.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tika & War of 1812 Pension Records

War of 1812 Project to Digitize Pension Records

1812preserve_pensionsRecently the Federation of Genealogical Societies announced the donation of $135,000 to the “Preserve the Pensions” War of 1812 Pension Project. The donation is a generous gift from the estate of the late Jon Stedman in memory of his mother, Ardath Stedman. It will be used to help preserve and digitize the War of 1812 Pension records for all services (Army, Marine, and Navy).
In conjunction with the National Archives & Records Administrationfold3, and Ancestry.com, FGS is helping to digitize 180,000 extremely fragile pension applications representing an estimated 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812, a war many consider our country’s second Revolutionary War, which gave the nation a sense of complete independence from Great Britain.
Tika burped as we settled into our chair after her dinner to learn about the War of 1812 and especially the project to digitize these records and so make them available to us. I had already done some Google searching and found this bit from the Naval Historical Foundation's website. I did not realize that there were 7.2 million pages of papers in these files.

Getting these records digitized and searchable to us is certainly a huge and exciting project and I'm proud to say I have contributed, my society has made a donation and I, personally, "ring the bell" for this project whenever I have the opportunity. 
Whether or not you had an ancestor who was involved in the War of 1812, I hope you will choose to donate to the fund to get these records digitized.  Did you know that Ancestry.com will match your society's donation???
By now, Tika was snoring. She's from Idaho, remember, and has no War of 1812 ancestry.