Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Celebrating another Milestone

Happy Birthday Cuz!

I had intended to post this picture of my cousin Valerie and I yesterday for her birthday, but yesterday was one of those crazy sort of days. Well, as always, better late than never. Separated by 2 months and 10 days (I'm the younger), we'll both be celebrating that milestone birthday that begins with a 5 and ends with a 0. Seems like just yesterday we were kids.

The above picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Part 2

Randy Seavers, Gena-Musings, has posted this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. The subject matter for this week is Who's to Blame.

Instructions are as follows:

Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:

  • Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?
  • Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?
  • Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?
  • If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

On the paternal side of my family, my response to the first question has to be the fact that growing up, it was almost like we were lead to believe there were no other relatives besides the grandparents, dad / aunts/ uncles, the grand kids, and Cousin Alice whom I was always told was a distant relative and we were her closest kin. Funny thing is that all that all anyone had to do was ask, like I did, and they would have found out that Cousin Alice was my grandmother's first cousin. Not very distant at all.

My response to the second question is the same as on Georgia Black Crackers. No, I did not pick up where a relative left off. In the case of my paternal family, there weren't even any stories handed down.

As stated on Georgia Black Crackers, my interest steamed from my own curiosity about my ancestors and also the mini-series, Roots, which aired during my sophomore / junior year (1977) in high school and by Roots: The Next Generations, which aired during my senior year in high school (1979). However, I didn't really get started on actually attempting to research my family until the late 1980s. My first find on my paternal lineage was my grandparents marriage certificate, which contained my grandfather's biological mother's name.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Picture obtained via photo request at FindaGrave.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family History Month - Challenge #1

My Childhood Home

The month of October is Family History Month and in honor of the occasion, AfriGeneas is once again doing their Family History Challenge. I really had fun participating in these last year.

The first challenge for 2010 is as follows:

What are your memories about the house where you grew up?

Interpret that question any way you like. Write as long or short as you like. Feel free to post photos to illustrate the story.

Just a couple of rules:

1. Make our lives easier, please! Post your story as a response to this thread so we can keep track of the stories in each challenge.

2. Challenge #1 begins today, Oct 2nd and ends at 11:59 pm CT on Oct 6th.

When talking about the house I grew up in, I always like to point out that the house was build for moi. Before my entry into the world, my parents were boarders in a house that was a few houses away from my maternal grandparents’ house. I’m sure that my parents were probably wishing for a house of their own one day but I don’t know if they had put a plan in place to attain that goal, when they found out they were expecting a little bundle of joy, which would be me.

Even so, I still don’t think it registered with dad that they needed to move. My mother says she had to tell dad that they needed a bigger place if not their own place.

I guess it eventually sunk in because dad applied for a VA loan and plans were soon put in place to build a new home. A lot one street over from my grandparents house was selected (ours would be the second house build on the street) and thus the building of the house for me commenced. I understand during the building phase, mom would often take walks to check on the property and report any happenings to dad.

The house didn’t quite get finished in time for my arrival, so I spent my first 3 months being a boarder with my parents. We eventually moved in and until I went off to college, I spent all of my growing up years in that house.

The house was a typical brick ranch build in the early 1960s and had a full basement, which was often my favorite place to play. The basement was also the social hub of our house and family whether it was hosting birthday parties for me, family dinners, or having friends over (the folks or mine) who wanted to play a little ping pong or shuffle board. (My dad had a shuffleboard lane painted on the floor.)

The back yard was a good size and offered trees that a sometimes tomboy, me again, could climb as well as providing enough land for summer gardens, which my mother loved to do. There were wild bunnies, hoppy toads, and the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the spring time. Even though we were in the “city,” the critters would visit our property and as a result I still have a fondness for them to this day. Yes my hometown and home were the perfect combination of city and country living all rolled into one.

As time marches on, my parents and I must decide what to do with the old homestead. None of us have lived in it since 2005 and yet, neither I nor they are ready to sell it, just yet. For me, the house represents my anchor, my rock, the place I can always go back to if times every really became tough and yet, for a variety of reasons, I don’t think my parents or myself can really envision ever living there, again, although we all contemplate it from time to time.

Finally, as I’ve reflected back on bygone times one more time, it always eventually comes back to the fact that it wasn’t the house that created the memories that I carry in me but the people who lived inside.

This picture of the old homestead is ca 1962. That's me, mom, dad, my first cousin, and my uncle pictured in front.

The above picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September's in the Rear View Mirror

As noted on Georgia Black Crackers, I wasn't very productive during the month of September. I didn't even meet my blogging goals on Conversations with my Ancestors.

That being said, I do think I unearthed a set of 3rd great grandparents on my grandmother's line. I just have to do a bit more work, to build a case for that being them.

Hopefully, I can get more accomplished during the month of October.