Monday, October 28, 2013

Tika & The Many Marriage Documentations

We genealogists all too often go in search of a "marriage certificate" not realizing that there are several "marriage documentations" and that most often while there is no "certificate" some other piece of evidence can be found to document a marriage.

Remember when you got married. You two went to the courthouse and paid a fee and filled out an application. You were given paperwork to take to the official who was to perform the marriage to sign and for you to return, a marriage return. Sometimes this was the certificate and sometimes with the receipt of the return, the county clerk issues a certificate.

The county clerk would send this community information to the local newspaper and ultimately to the state (after about 1910ish in most states) and not retaining a copy in the courthouse. There are exceptions.

The local newspaper (especially in smaller towns) would print the story of the wedding which could be quite detailed and often included a photo. Often these stories would be clipped and tucked or glued into a family Bible, or cookbook, or scrapbook.

The minister of the church may have kept a record in the church of this marriage.

Lucky is the researcher who finds several of these pieces of documenting evidence; "seek and ye shall find" is good advice.

You just never know where a great tidbit of history will show up. When Chuck married Esther in 1940 in Spokane, his part of the application asked if he was or was not free from venereal disease. Her portion did not include this question.

Tika reminds us that she never married. Never had the inclination after her young trip to the vet.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tika & Peanuts

Tika loves peanut butter. Her favorite treat is to give her a 99% empty peanut butter jar and let her, with her long snout and longer tongue, go after the residue. Peanuts and peanut butter are a universal treat and have been for a long time.For doggers too.

But they were not always so. They have a long history of growing in the Western Hemisphere and, to shorten the story, made a resurgence after the Civil War but only among the poorer folks in the South. Why the South? Because peanuts grow best there.

To bring this around to genealogy, think how many of our "poor folk" Southern ancestors must have grown and eaten their share of this delicious legume. Wonder if they mashed them to make a form of peanut butter? 

Remember the Kingston Trio song something about "eating goober peas?"  They were singing about peanuts.

To learn more about peanuts than you ever wanted to know, click on the link below:

Meanwhile Tika is asking, "Is that jar empty YET?"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tika & Search Engines

Sitting in the October sunshine, Tika listened intently as I explained what I'd learned in Jim Johnson's presentation, "A Tour of Genealogy Search Engines," at the Heritage Quest Research Library's AutumnFest in Sumner, Washington, last weekend.

Jim shared several pearls with all 150 of us such as "Google is still by far and away the best all around search engine around. BUT using other search engines might just give you different hits sometimes."  He said that BING and YAHOO were numbers two and three in the standings.

Jim also explained that Google (or any search engine) might get you to a specific site but perhaps will not search within that website. For that you'll have to learn that website's search engine specifics.

With a big smile, Jim quipped that "all search engine searches will give you what they think you want, but not necessarily what you think you want." And, "if it's been put on wrong on that website, you will find it wrong," explaining how often you seem to find incorrect information.

It all comes down to knowing how to inquire of Google when you're searching and he advises taking the time to learn from the many Google tutorials available. Or come to the HQRL library and take his class.

Tika says that her nose is her search engine; she can find anything she wants with her nose. Good for you, little dogger. But neither your nose nor my nose will find Seaborn Phillips's father.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tika & Writing Your Own Obituary

Tika appeared to be listening intently as I explained what I'd learned at our society's recent Fall Workshop.

"Paula from Heritage Funeral Home gave a great presentation explaining why we should all write our own story, our own obituary," I told Tika. She blinked.

Paula explained how she sits with families every day and helps them struggle with questions that should have been decided long before that day. "It's such a stressful time for the family, and I'm so sorry for them to have the added burden of writing an obituary now when I know they could have done it long before on a less-stressful day," Paula said. "It's especially hard on the children, especially grown children, who never wanted to "interfere" in their parent's lives."

Paula quipped, "Talking about sex dos not make you pregnant; talking about funerals does not make you dead.  Crafting your own story, your own obituary, is a healthy and kind-for-your-family thing to do."

"Why not write what you  want others to read about you and not what your daughter-in-law has written about you?" asked Paula. "The best person to write your story is yourself. And write your story now while you're in full possession of yourself..... say whatever you want."

I chatted afterwards with Paula and she assured me that most every funeral home will help with writing that obituary whether in a pre-need situation (which is best) or at the time of the death. Most funeral homes offer a packet of information pages outlining just what is needed in a "good" obituary, "so don't be shy about asking," Paula said.

"So, Little Tika," I asked her, "shall we now write your obituary?"  Tika was born on the 18th of September 2009 somewhere in Idaho.........................