Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Do You Do Genealogy #3

The Library IS open, today, our normal hours 9-5.

We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving Holiday.





Genealogy tip for today:  Why Do You Do Genealogy #3 – Blood Line

Yes, just why do you do genealogy? It’s a big waste of time and money; and just an amusing hobby, nothing serious. Right?

Here’s another reason why folks research their ancestors – establish their blood line. Some folks are looking for their birthparents. Many times I've heard the stories of adoptees, even when raised by loving parents, feel a disconnect and wonder where do they really fit in? One way to find out is to find their bloodline. In doing so, they use elements of genealogy to trace back to parents and beyond.

Proof of Paternity, maybe even Maternity is another reason for researching your genealogy. You’re the parent or assumed parent and you want to prove or disprove that blood line. Again it's the skills and resources of genealogy that are used for this.

With DNA, it gives a modern twists to this situation. When a child had been kidnapped and 20 years later he or she “shows up,” they don't look the same. How else are you going to know for sure that the victim has been reunited with the right family without using some knowledge and understanding how to research your family history?

Maybe your family life took a slightly different path and you have someone who has left home “never to be heard of again” – and you are trying to find or reconnect with that person. You have to be part “detective” when you work in genealogy. But the rewards are what make it all worthwhile.

Do you have an odd crooked finger? Or a dimple in your chin? Maybe you have a knack for drawing and no one in your immediate family can draw a straight line with a ruler (as my Mom used to say). When doing genealogy you just may find where some of your characteristics, traits, features or talents come from.

Here’s an example. I have written poetry most of my life, since I was a teenager. My maternal grandmother did a little bit of that as well as some other creative things that I do. So I just assumed I got it from her. When I researched my Dad’s side of the family, I discovered that his grandfather was quite the poet and even published. Today I have those manuscripts and treasure reading the poems he wrote and reading them in his own handwriting. Now I know I get the “bent” from both sides of my family.

Next week we’ll consider other reasons why folks do genealogy: solve mysteries, prove special connections; research possessions and more.

If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is helpful in anyway.



The British sign a preliminary agreement in Paris, recognizing American independence. (see picture above.)
Mexico declares war on France.
The British Parliament sends to Queen Victoria an ultimatum for the United States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were seized on the British ship Trent.
The Union wins the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
The French government denounces British actions in South Africa, declaring sympathy for the Boers.
Oscar Wilde dies in a Paris hotel room after saying of the room's wallpaper: "One of us had to go."
President Theodore Roosevelt publicly denounces segregation of Japanese schoolchildren in San Francisco.
Women cast votes for the first time in French legislative elections.
Non-belief in Nazism is proclaimed grounds for divorce in Germany.
Russian forces take Danzig in Poland and invade Austria.
The Soviet Union complete the division of Berlin, installing the government in the Soviet sector.
President Truman declares that the United States will use the A-bomb to get peace in Korea.
The United States offers emergency oil to Europe to counter the Arab ban.
The Soviet Union vetoes a UN seat for Kuwait, pleasing Iraq.
India and Pakistan decide to end a 10-year trade ban.
Pioneer II sends photos back to NASA as it nears Jupiter.
Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope in 1,000 years to attend an Orthodox mass.
Representatives of the US and USSR meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to begin negotiations on reducing the number of intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.
Thriller, Michael Jackson's second solo album, released; the album, produced by Quincy Jones, became the best-selling album in history.
US President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (better known as the Brady Bill) into law.
MS Achille Lauro, a ship with long history of problems including a 1985 terrorist hijacking, catches fire off the coast of Somalia.
Operation Desert Storm officially comes to an end.
Exxon and Mobil oil companies agree to a $73.7 billion merge, creating the world's largest company, Exxon-Mobil.
On the game show Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings loses after 74 consecutive victories. It is the longest winning streak in game-show history, earning him a total of over $3 million.
John Sentamu becomes Archbishop of York, making him the Church of England's first black archbishop.

Jonathan Swift, English satirist who wrote Gulliver's Travels.
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), American writer best remembered for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Winston Churchill, British prime minister during and after World War II.
Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables.
Gordon Parks, photographer.
Brownie McGhee, singer and guitarist.
Shirley Chisholm, first African-American congresswoman, a representative for New York.
Joan Ganz Cooney, television executive, founder of the Children's Television Workshop and mastermind behind Sesame Street.
Dick Clark, television host; (American Bandstand, 1957-87; Pyramid game show); beginning in 1972 and continuing into the 21st century he hosted Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on television.
G. Gordon Liddy, chief operative for the "White House Plumbers" (July-September 1971) during Richard Nixon's administration, he organized and oversaw the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters. He served nearly 52 months in federal prison.
Abbie Hoffman, political and social activist; co-founded the Youth International Party (Yippies); he became a symbol of the counterculture era.
Sir Ridley Scott, English film director and producer; (Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise) won a Best Picture Oscar for Gladiator (2000).
Billy Idol (William Broad), punk rock musician; member of Generation X band.
Bo Jackson, the only pro athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports (football and baseball); ESPN named him the greatest athlete of all time.








noun: A pompous reactionary with out-of-date views.



After Colonel Blimp, a cartoon character created by David Low (1891-1963). Blimp was a satirical look at the self-important and ultra-nationalistic attitudes of officials in the British army and government. Earliest documented use: 1934.



"Yet, far from being a blimp, Charles Napier was one of the most impressive and intelligent individuals the British armed forces have ever produced."
Frank McLynn; The Road Not Taken; Random House; 2012.

Quote for the Day
The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been. -Madeleine L'Engle, writer (1918-2007)



Today’s Recipe

Holiday Cooking

Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes

(for the vegetarian)


This vanilla mashed sweet potato recipe has been cast in a regular role on our Thanksgiving table, but is great the rest of the season as well. I'll take this version over the one showered with marshmallows any day. He re's what you're in for: plump vanilla beans, cream, orange zest, and butter combined with sweet potatoes that have been roasted in the oven until they develop a beautiful, rich, flavor-concentrated flesh. A quick whirl in the food processor produces a smooth, creamy, subtly sweet puree haunted by the delicious vanilla and citrus undertones. The consistency was that of a thick frosting. You can also use the puree as a base for other recipes:

- thin it out with some vegetable stock for an autumn soup.
- add an egg or two, maybe some grated cheese for a tart filling.
- yum. Sweet potato raviolis.
- wrapped in phyllo or puff pastry dough.

I topped the sweet potatoes with the Autumn Spice Oil: A bunch of spices including juniper berries, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, cloves - toasted, freshly ground, and bathed in warm oil. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we have!





Now You Know!




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why Do You Do Genealogy, #2

There will be no computer classes this Sat., 30th. However the Library WILL be open our normal hours 9-5.
We will be closed Nov 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving Holidays. Our blog will resume on Saturday.

Genealogy tip for today:  Why Genealogy?

We are discussing reasons why Genealogy is important. Yesterday we talked about family stories. Today we are looking at the value of recorded history.

HISTORY – the Broad Scope to the past:
We already know that history is important. We teach all kinds of history classes in school and even offer majors in the field of history. So at some level we already believe that history is important. Genealogy is actually nothing more than history on a personal scale. Or to put it in different words, genealogy is a microcosm of history. Genealogy gives us a personal tie to our history.

It has also been said those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In order to read it, someone has to put it down in some readable format so we can read it. How can we know what that history is if someone doesn’t record it to read? We can be that someone to put down our own family’s history.

Researching our personal history gives us a better grasp of history as a whole. I’ll never forget the day when I got thinking about the time period an ancestor lived. His life span include the Civil War, that meant he had no car or truck, not even trains yet, no electricity, no running water, no radio, no microwave – so many of the things we take for granted today. His life was much simpler but also much harder. He and his family traveled everywhere by horse or by some means of a wagon or device with wheels. What a different point of view I had of him when I realized this. When we think in these terms it helps to put people into context to better understand the world they lived in, determine what their living conditions were like or how they carried out their occupations at that time.

Given that genealogy is history on a personal scale it gives us a better understanding of family life, your family’s life, at that particular time. When done on a scholarly scale, it is a work that is cited, documented and dependable. The information that is recorded will be something that can be relied upon in the future for having accurate information. In doing a scholarly study it will also help sharpen your own research skills, improving your search skills the more you work on your personal history.

Some folks have gotten interested in genealogy because of researching a community’s history. Who were the people that settled here, where did they come from and what kind of trade or occupation did they have? How did that influence this town or community? Did it help or hinder the growth of the area? Often local groups will want to publish a history about their location. Doing research into the people that live there and their background identifies the community and the people that make it up.

Doing genealogy also passes on a sense of history to future generations. It also helps to foster a love and passion for history. If you don’t do it, maybe no one will, or no one in a long time. As does happen, records could be lost in the future that you have access to, today. Get it in writing while you have access to records that prove what you are writing about. We have enough lost records already. We need to do what we can to preserve information for our future families. They depend on us.

If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is helpful in anyway.

November 27
43 BC

Octavian, Antony and Lepidus form the triumvirate of Rome.

Clovis, king of the Franks, dies and his kingdom is divided between his four sons.

In Clermont, France, Pope Urbana II makes an appeal for warriors to relieve Jerusalem. He is responding to false rumors of atrocities in the Holy Land.

The French nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, crush the Flemish rebels at Flanders.

One of the two bridges being used by Napoleon Bonaparte's army across the Beresina River in Russia collapses during a Russian artillery barrage.

Jebediah Smith's expedition reaches San Diego, becoming the first Americans to cross the southwestern part of the continent.

George Armstrong Custer meets his future bride, Elizabeth Bacon, at a Thanksgiving party.

Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry kills Chief Black Kettle and about 100 Cheyenne (mostly women and children) on the Washita River.

U.S. Deputy Marshall Frank Dalton, brother of the three famous outlaws, is killed in the line of duty near Fort Smith, Ark.

The German colonial army defeats Hottentots at Warm bad in southwest Africa.

U.S. troops land in Blue fields, Nicaragua, to protect American interests there.

Bulgaria signs peace treaty with Allies at Unequally, France, fixing war reparations and recognizing Yugoslavian independence.

Allied delegates bar the Soviets from the Near East peace conference.

Great Britain's Anthony Eden warns Hitler that Britain will fight to protect Belgium.

The French fleet in Toulon is scuttled to keep it from Germany.

East of the Choosing River, Chinese forces annihilate an American task force.

Alger Hiss, convicted of being a Soviet spy, is freed after 44 months in prison.

Demonstrators march in Tokyo to protest a defense treaty with the United States.

Lyndon Johnson appoints Robert McNamara to presidency of the World Bank.

Charles DeGaulle vetoes Great Britain's entry into the Common Market again.

Syria joins the pact linking Libya, Egypt and Sudan.

US Senate votes to confirm Gerald Ford as President of the United States, following President Richard Nixon's resignation; the House will confirm Ford on Dec. 6.

San Francisco mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the city's first openly gay supervisor, assassinated by former city supervisor Dan White.

Kurdistan Workers' Party (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan, or PKK) founded; militant group that fought an armed struggle for an independent Kurdistan.

Britain and Spain sign the Brussels Agreement to enter discussions over the status of Gibraltar.

Helen Clark becomes first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Hubble Space Telescope discovers a hydrogen atmosphere on planet Osiris, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.

Pope John Paul II returns relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

First partial human face transplant completed Amiens, France.

Canadian House of Commons approves a motion, tabled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recognizing the Quebecois as a nation within Canada.

Anders Celsius

Anders Celsius, astronomer who devised the centigrade temperature scale.

Joe Mack, builder of gasoline-powered delivery wagons which eventually evolved into the Mack Truck Company.

Charles A. Beard, distinguished American historian who wrote History of the United States.

James Agee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author (A Death in the Family).

Jimi Hendrix, influential rock musician.

Bill Nye, scientist, educator, TV host; known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, host of the Disney/PBS children's show of the same name.

Caroline Kennedy, author, attorney, only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline "Jackie" Bouvier; named US Ambassador to Japan (2013– ).

Princess Desiree of Hohenzollern.



noun: The practice of making unfounded accusations against someone.

After US senator Joseph McCarthy (1909-1957) known for making unsubstantiated claims accusing people of being Communists, spies, and disloyal. Earliest documented use: in 1950 in a cartoon by Herbert Block.

"This is the greatest case of rampant McCarthyism to ever hit organized sports. ... There was no hard evidence that three other first-timers on the ballot used steroids, but that didn't keep the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters from denying them entry to the Hall."
Bob Keisser; Extreme Thinking Common for Hall Voters; Daily News (Los Angeles, California); Jan 10, 2013.
I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers. -Kahlil Gibran, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

Today’s Recipe
Holiday Cooking

I know many people have an aversion to cilantro - feel free to leave it out. This will change the personality and flavor profile of the dressing, but it will still taste delicious.
3 cups of pumpkin (or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
extra-virgin olive oi
fine grain sea salt
12 tiny red onions or shallots, peeled (OR 3 medium red onions peeled and quartered)
2 cups cooked wild rice*
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375.
Toss the pumpkin in a generous splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt, and turn out onto a baking sheet. At the same time, toss the onions with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and turn out onto a separate baking sheet. Roast both for about 45 minutes, or until squash is brown and caramelized. The same goes for the onions, they should be deeply colored, caramelized, and soft throughout by the time they are done roasting. You'll need to flip both the squash and onion pieces once or twice along the way - so it's not just one side that is browning.
In the meantime, make the dressing. With a hand blender or food processor puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and honey until creamy. You may need to add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the dressing a bit. Stir in the cilantro, saving just a bit to garnish the final plate later. Taste and adjust seasonings (or flavors) to your liking - I usually need to add a touch more salt with this dressing.
In a large bowl, toss the wild rice with a large dollop of the dressing. Add the onions, gently toss just once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out onto a platter and top with the roasted squash (I'll very gently toss with my hands here to disperse the pumpkin a bit). Finish with another drizzle of dressing and any remaining chopped cilantro.
Serves 4.
* To cook wild rice: Rinse 1 1/2 cups wild rice. In a medium sauce pan bring the rice and 4 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and splitting open, stirring occasionally. You'll have enough for this recipe and some leftover.


Now You Know!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why Do You Do Genealogy

Computer Classes : there will be no classes this Sat., 30th. The Library WILL be open, however, our normal hours 9-5.

We will be closed Nov 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving Holidays.





Genealogy tip for today:  Why Genealogy is Important

Have you ever had someone ask you why do you waste your time working on genealogy? What good does it do? You’re digging up information about dead people you never knew. Why would anyone want to do that? The next time someone asks you that, you can give them some of these reasons for answers.

‘Why not genealogy?’ would be my first question. What is history but the stories of individuals put together into one large historical event. Have you ever wondered ‘who am I?’ Genealogy is one way you can find out. It has been said, ‘To thy own self be true.’ What better means to learn about who you are and what makes up you as a person, than to research your past i.e. your family’s past. But even more foundational than that, it is our basic human curiosity. To see where we have been gives us clues as to where we are going and why. 

We will be discussing this topic over the next few days. As you will see a lot of these reasons will be overlapping. With the holidays upon us this week these topics will be something we can easily pick up to read and put down for later. But as with all our posts, you can always go back and catch the ones you may have missed.

I won’t say that these reasons I’ll share are all conclusive but after searching and doing a lot of reading myself, I have found quite a few and have grouped the reasons into 8 general topics.


1. My Story

One reason why folks want to research their genealogy is to validate any family stories or lore that has been passed down. It could range from nothing important to something really significant. Maybe someone was carried off by Indians, or your ancestor was the secretary to some big wig politician, or your ancestor was the one who delivered an important spy message behind enemy lines.

If these are true, and usually there is a thread of truth in there, this is part of your heritage. As you work on your genealogy and study these people you may find just the proof you need to show the family story was true or that it was false.

You may lean more to the family history side (more stories than stats). If that is the case you may be more interested in preserving your family’s story for the generations to come. Everyone loves a good story and when it is of your very own family – it makes it just that much more appealing and interesting. What better way to discover your own heritage and preserve it for your grandchildren and other ‘grands’ to come.



If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is helpful in anyway.


Louis XIV

Louis XIV declares war on the Netherlands.
A congress of colonial leaders criticizes British influence in the colonies and affirms their right to "Life, liberty and property."
George Washington proclaims this a National Thanksgiving Day in honor of the new Constitution. This date was later used to set the date for Thanksgiving.
Napoleon Bonaparte's army begins crossing the Beresina River over two hastily constructed bridges.
The Kappa Alpha Society, the second American college Greek-letter fraternity, is founded.
The first National Thanksgiving is celebrated.
The Hope diamond is brought to New York.
The Duma lends support to Czar in St. Petersburg, who claims he has renounced autocracy.
The Bolsheviks offer an armistice between Russian and the Central Powers.
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, archeologists, open King Tut's tomb, undisturbed for 3,000 years.
Poland renews nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union to protect against a German invasion.
The Soviet Union charges Finland with artillery attack on border.
The Japanese fleet departs from the Kuril Islands en route to its attack on Pearl Harbor.
France expels 19 Soviet citizens, charging them with intervention in internal affairs.
India becomes a sovereign Democratic republic.
North Korean and Chinese troops halt a UN offensive.
President Eisenhower suffers a minor stroke.
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is found guilty of an attempt on President Gerald Ford's life.
Oil deposits equaling OPEC reserves are found in Venezuela.
Yasuhiro Nakasone is elected the 71st Japanese prime minister.
At London's Heathrow Airport, almost 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million stolen from Brinks-MAT vault.
Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland's parliament.
Republican candidate George W. Bush is certified the winner of Florida's electoral votes, giving him enough electoral votes to defeat Democrat Al Gore Jr. for the US presidency, despite losing the popular vote.
NATO forces in Afghanistan attack a Pakistani checkpost in a friendly fire incident, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 13 others.
Ellen Gould White

Ellen Gould White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventists.
Willis Haviland Carrier, inventor of the first air conditioning system to control both temperature and humidity.
Norbert Weiner, American mathematician, considered the father of automation.
Eric Sevareid, American broadcast journalist for CBS News.
Cyril Cusack, Irish actor.
Charles M. Shultz, American cartoonist who created "Peanuts" starring Charlie Brown.
George Segal, sculptor.
Robert Goulet, singer, actor.
Rich Little, comedian, actor; noted for his ability to impersonate famous personalities.
Tina Turner, singer, dancer , actress ("What's Love Got to Do with It").
Velupillai Prabhakaran, founder and leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka.
Dale Jarrett, NASCAR driver; won 1999 Winston Cup Series championship.


This week’s words are words that come from usage in cartoons.






verb tr.: To repartition an area in order to create electoral districts that give an unfair advantage to a political party.
noun: 1. An instance of gerrymandering. 2. One or more electoral districts, widely differing in size or population, created as a result of gerrymandering.



A blend of Elbridge Gerry and salamander. Massachusetts Governor Gerry's party rearranged the electoral district boundaries and someone fancied the newly redistricted Essex County resembled a salamander. A cartoon showing the district in the shape of a salamander appeared in March 1812 issue of the Federalist newspaper. Earliest documented use: 1812.



"Country members such as Katter enjoyed disproportionate influence thanks to the Queensland gerrymander that effectively made a rural vote worth more than a city vote."
Tony Wright; Put Down That Blunderbuss; The Age (Melbourne, Australia); Aug 28, 2010.

Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use. -Charles Schulz, cartoonist (1922-2000)




Today’s Recipe

Holiday Cooking
This weeks recipes are with the Vegetarian in mind.
Vibrant Tasty Green Bean Recipe

The following recipe is best made just before serving time. But as I mentioned in the main post you can make/prep this ahead of time by cooking the leeks and dill first and setting them aside. Instead of cooking the green beans in the skillet, blanch them in a pot of boiling, well-salted water for about a minute. Drain the beans and dunk them in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and place the beans in a bag or bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use. When ready, combine the components - you can do it at room temperature, or heated quickly in a skillet or pan.

4 leeks, well washed, root end and tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped into 1/2-inch segments (see photo in main post)

1/3 cup fresh dill, well chopped
3/4 pound green beans, tops and tails trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
extra-virgin olive oil
fine-grain sea salt

In a large thick-bottomed skillet of medium-high heat add a generous splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and the leeks. Stir until the leeks are coated and glossy. Cook, stirring regularly until a lot of the leeks are golden and crispy. I stir every minute or two in the beginning, and more often as they brown using a metal spatula. All in all it takes me roughly 7 - 10 minutes to brown the leeks. At this point stir in the dill, and then stir in the green beans. Cook for a couple more minutes - just until the the beans brighten up and lose that raw bite. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and serve immediately. If you want to prepare these green beans ahead of time - read the head notes.

Serves about 6.




Now You Know!