Monday, April 28, 2014

Tika & Dog's Names

Tika asked me today how I came to name her Tika?  "To be honest, I made it up," I answered and she seemed satisfied. "At least you didn't give me a cat name!" she retorted.

So what about dog's names? According to a 2013 polling in Massachusetts the most popular names for dogs were (in order): Bella, Max, Buddy, Bailey, Molly, Lilly, Lucy, Maggie, Daisy and Charlie. 

And check out this article:

Few years back I remember reading that Brazil had passed a LAW banning people names for dogs..... here's the link to that story:

We have always given non-people names to our dogs. Over the years we've had Senna (Irish Setter), Mitzen (German Shorthair), Kira (German Shorthair) and now Tika. We have Dolly, too, another German Shorthair, but she came to us with that name.

A good friend of mine once named her mini-longhaired dachshund "Puddles." Wondere how the darling got that name????

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tika & Bible Records

Tika happily sits next to me in our chair when I do my almost-daily scripture study. She even pays attention when I tell her the stories.........but there are not many dog stories in the Bible.

Was explaining to her the other day that in days or yore, families had few places wherein to keep records of the births, marriages and deaths in the family. They quite often did have a big family Bible and usually in the center of the tome were some pages as a place to specifically record the vital record events of a family.

I know that as late at 1920 my Potter family Bible was in Latah County, Idaho (about 100 miles south of where I live now). But where on earth it is now???

Here's a website for those of us trying to locate our family Bible: . Doing a search on this website for the Potter name, I saw that they searched 1232 records (Bibles?) and came up with 13 hits (none of which was the one).

I also know that the Daughters of the American Revolution in their Washington, DC, headquarters has a Bible collection as does the National Genealogical Society's library. So there are places for us to look for that lost-misplaced (won't say long lost) Bible belonging to an ancestor.

Maybe, hopefully maybe, I'll find that Potter family Bible................  Tika licks my hand and says "Of course you will!"

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tika & It's A Dog's Life

Did our ancestors keep dogs for pets or for food? For companionship or to help haul burdens?

The Non-Sequitur cartoon in our paper today showed a fellow sitting on a bar stool with a sign on his back: "Treat me like a dog." The bartender tells somebody looking at the sign: "He's hoping someone will take him home, feed him, and let him sleep all day." That's a dog's life for sure!

But has it always been so? Since the 1660s a proverb has explained a dog's life:  "It's a dog's life, hunger and ease."  In common usage today, a dog's life usually means that life is hard and unpleasant.

But if my Tika is any example, a dog's life is pretty cushy. She's kept safe (baby gates on the deck), fed only good-quality kibbles, walked only on a leash and tucked in warmly at night (into our bed). Some dog's life.

My grandfather, George Louis Gurney (1895-1964) had a little black Cocker Spaniel appropriately called "Blackie," whom he doted upon. My Dad and his father had "Turk" a rangy looking hunting dog and I have several B&W pictures of father, son, rifles and dog.

My opinion: I think besides being food, carriers-of-burdens and hunters, I think dogs have been companions of mankind since very early times. Does this rock art prove that???

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tika & State Archives

Lee Pierce is an archivist at the Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives and he gave my genealogical society a grand tour and explanation of just what is and what is not available to you at a state archives. (I was telling Tika all about this but she was bored so I decided to tell you!)

To use an archives, Lee explained, you must know why the archives keeps records........ why THAT archives keeps WHAT it keeps and WHY. Then you must ask yourself, what of their inventory would be helpful to me in my research?

"Using archives for research is not like stopping by the 7/11 for a quick gallon of milk," Lee continued. "Using archives means learning to use a wide variety of resources. Even smaller or private archives might have more and completely different records and resources than does a state archives. One example would be police records. Here in Eastern Washington we have a wonderful Law Enforcement Museum and older police records are housed there." Another example would be the Diocesan Archives of the Catholic Church, also here in Spokane but covering all the parishes in Eastern Washington. "Those archives have materials that we don't and never will have," Lee stated.

Just look at my photo of the old books above that contain early deed/land information for Spokane County. Would you search in them by name? By address? By date? Would they be digitized and available online?  Also look at the endless rows of document-storage boxes......... what treasures might they contain about your ancestor?

What you will not see are family history books or any files on specific families. You must look for your specific family in the records that they left behind.......... school records, voting records, naturalization records, etc. Those sorts of records are what's in an archives.

Tika was really snoring-fast-asleep when I finished explaining all of this to her! She is a dog after all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tika & Choices

The other day I posed my darling little Tika to tempt her decision making process. A Milk-Bone dog chew or a fresh cookie?? (And no, I do not give Tika chocolate.) She would have happily chomped down both treats but I posed this picture to illustrate a point: We all face decisions daily in our lives.

This is so true in genealogy. I've been working on a couple of projects for other folks and I've relied heavily upon Almost any tree you set up on Ancestry will have some waving green leaves to lure you deeper into the website and some of those leaves will point to good records and some will not.

Example: Surely, I thought, Fitzroy Chapin was the son of Paul Fitzroy Chapin, whose mother surely was a Fitzroy. The name was unusual enough that it seemed logical. BUT. Fitzroy Chapin was born in 1821 and Paul Fitzroy Chapin was born in 1824, so that hardly works out. But it looked so good! There probably is a family connection here but Fitzroy cannot be the son of that Paul Fitzroy.  That was my "chocolate cookie" answer. I had to keep looking and that's not nearly as fun as chomping down the cookie right off the bat.

Most leaders in the genealogical community these days are teaching and touting proper research processes and procedures and documentation to the "enth" degree. And of course they are right. This is the "Milk-Bone treat" answer, ie, the better answer....... or path to getting the answer.

"Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made," said Wayne Dyer. 

May I paraphrase:  "Our family history is the sum total of the choices we have made."