Thursday, May 29, 2014


Today I had the wonderful opportunity to teach poetry to 4 classes of sixth graders. It was a delight to pick their brains and help them create their own poems. While talking to them I shared some of my own poetry. One of them was a poem I wrote about a civil war soldier.

Part of the lesson we talked about what inspires a person to write a poem. Some people write poetry, some write stories, other people don't write anything at all. So how is that there are people who even write poetry. As I was sharing with them the back ground of the poem for the Civil War soldier, I mentioned that I had a great grandfather who fought in the that war.

Not only did I write a poem in memory of him, he too had written poetry. This is probably where I get the gift, why I do it, or the penchant to write words in such a way that they rhyme. I had an Aha - light bulb moment! Besides poetry lesson, this is also a genealogy blog idea!

Did you ever wonder where you got some of your talents, or traits? I know this is one thing with which adoptees struggle. So when they find their natural parents it's such a joy to find out where their traits or penchants come from. Why do you throw your head back and let out a big bahaha laugh? Where did your son get that interest in music, or where did you daughter get her red hair?

Maybe no one in your immediate family plays anything except the radio, or mp3 player. Who knows, you might find an article in a newspaper someday where your great grandfather played in a band, at the Grand Opening of some fine establishment. You'll lean back in your chair and say - so that's where my son gets his natural talent for the guitar - my own great grandfather played a guitar.

Or maybe you'll find military papers (one of few places that will tell you color of hair), and you'll realize that this is where your daughter gets her red hair, even if no one else has red hair, ...or so you thought. She got it from your great grandmother.

Digging into genealogy helps you uncover all kinds of treasures. So keep at it. You'll always find something unexpected. (And you thought it was just about dates, names and places!!! Surprise!)

Let me know what YOU find!

Now You Know!!!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tombstone Symbols

Memorial Day is coming soon and many of us will be visiting our family graves. If you are one of those who will be doing so,  take time to note what 'decorations' or symbols are part of the tombstone. They have different meanings. Some can be symbolic like a cross, or dove or anchor. Others could be insignias for military or fraternal organizations, or maybe occupations.

Last Monday was our genealogy society meeting for May. The topic of the evening was tombstone symbols. Two of them that were mentioned I have found on my family's markers. The broken column is on my Great-grandfather's grave. My Great-grandmother had said he was the pillar of the family and now he was gone. So a column was made to look broken in half and the top part lay across the top of the marker. (If I had pictures I'd post them. If I run across any, I will.)

(Sample; NOT my great-grandfather's)
Another common item is the lamb. It's used for many reason. Jesus being the Great Shepherd and we are his sheep. But also, it is often used for babies or young children. My parents had a little boy that died before I was born. So on the top of his little grave rests a lamb - sweet and innocent.

These two are NOT from my family's graves, but they are similar.

Take time this year to look at your family's markers as well as maybe some of the others in the cemetery. Also, if  your relatives get together over Memorial Weekend, now would be a good time to talk to some of them and ask questions! Don't miss your opportunity!

Now You Know!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How Did Your Grandparents Meet?

Show and Tell was the program at our DAR meeting for this month. I picked out my great-grandparents marriage certificate from 1875 and also two sets of picture - one about the time they got married and one much later in years.

Alvin and Amy about the time of marriage, 1875

I had wondered how on earth they could have met. Alvin lived in Bradford Co., Pa. (East Smithfield) and Amy was from Hector, Schuyler Co., NY. In the 1800's that's quite a distance. There must have been something that stands out from ordinary life that would bring them together.

This is a good example of paying attention to documents and papers when you do your research. Be sure you don't get so zeroed in on your personal ancestor you are researching. Be sure and look at what you find before and after on those documents.

That is what paid off for me. I had been researching for a few years - enough that I was familiar with Amy's parent's relative. Her mother was a Kingsley and "lo and behold" - Caleb (Alvin's father, and Mary, his mother) had some Kingleys for neighbors, her relatives!  Well, 'dontcha' know that when Momma went to Pa. to visit family, the kids were out getting acquainted with the neighbor's kids!

(Amy and Alvin in later years, closeups of pics in certificate.)

In this instance it sparked a romance. Oddly enough Amy went to Pennsylvania to have her wedding, even, instead of back home. (Now I haven't figured out that one as to why, as I had never thought of it before till just now writing this post. Guess I better get back to digging.)

Now You Know!!!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Scrap Notes Notebook - Done!!!

Today, I went out and got my notebook (3 ring binder), dividers, and page protectors!  I couldn't fine one that already had the alphabet on the tabs so I had to buy 3 packages of dividers that were 8 to a package. By putting X Y Z on the last tab I had just the right amount. Now if you're reading this and you have a different alphabet, you'll have to figure out the number of dividers you need.

I put two page protectors behind each letter - one for Surnames and one for Topics, et. al.  Although on the book title sheet I did list only Surnames. Oh Well, I can always do that over. You can see by the illustrations how I set this up. I have already started putting my scrap notes in it.

Here you see two notes - one in each page protector - hard to see because they are clear.

This will be handy to grab when going through boxes and piles, finding new scrap notes. My cost was about $20, partly because I found the binder at a garage sale and it was given to me free! Now, do you have yours done???

"History is who we are, Genealogy is who I am." SG

Now You Know!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Scrap Notes - HELP!!!

Since I have retired from my profession, I have created a to-do list, at least mentally. One of those items is to get my office area organized (do we ever?) and begin going through the boxes and boxes of genealogy notes, files, and other ephemera!

One thing that I am bad about and maybe you are, too, is writing myself notes on small scraps of paper. Have you ever wondered what to do with all these little pieces of paper? Well, so have I. Tonight I had one of those 'light bulb' moments. I have an "information please" notebook for general tidbits of information - why not one for genealogy. It can be as simple or complex as you want it. However I have found that the more complex I make it, the less likely I am to keep it up.

Sometimes just buying an A-Z dividers is the easiest way to sort the information. Course, the question comes when you can file something 2 or 3 different ways. How do you solve that? Make a list in the front of your book - like an index. It will help you remember what you filed where.

I sorta use this idea with my bills and important papers in an accordion file. So here's a good example of 'where do I file?' I have insurance papers: house, car, and medical. Do I file everything house related under H, or do I file all things insurance under I? These are the kinds of things you have to decide what works best for you when you do your genealogy information notebook.

When it comes to genealogy my inclination would be to file everything by surname. SO -- for me, A would have any/all information for Adams, Allen, Aldridge etc. B would include Bowers, Bennett, Brown. C would possible contain information for Clark. However this is not a surname I am not actively searching. But if I proved a "c" section, it will be there whenever I decide to throw something in.

I was all ready to post this when I realized there are 'other' information tidbits we also collect: hours a historical society is open, tips in researching Germany, how-to this or that! You could create two notebooks - one for surnames and one for all else - or - just throw them all into one book. It's what works for you!

NOW - Let's get our act together and make us a note book for scap notes!!! We'll conquer the paper mountain one piece at a time!!!

Now You Know!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Marquand Family

Genealogy tip for the day: Marquand Family

I've talked about networking before. This is something I have learned by experience. After working on my side of the family for several years, I started working on my husband's side.

His grandmother was a Gilbert, but alas it was one of those hush hush subjects because her father had deserted her and her mother when Grandma was about 5. So I had to find information the old fashion way - search and research!

In the process I did find information about her Gilbert side. Along the way, I also found a cousin. LRC is about our age, but technically she was a second cousin to my mother-in-law, daughter of the above mentioned Grandmother.

In the meantime LRC and I have corresponded and become acquainted. We found each other on Face book and today she posted a photo of a grave marker of one of Grandma's ancestors, E.D. and Mary Marquand.

Many things came together to make this possible: research, networking and social media. Now I have a picture I formally did not have!!!! Woo Hoo.

“History is who we are; Genealogy is who I am” sg


Now You Know!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Recommended

Genealogy tip for the day: Book Recommended

Do you remember the series, seen or heard of "Who Do You Think You Are?" Megan Smolenyak has written a book of the same title. She is also part of the team that puts together the TV series that we see from time to time.

I would suggest you get this book, if you get the chance. It does come in soft back and is less expensive. It does contain all the same good advice. The only thing it doesn't have compared to the hardback are the pictures that are in the center of the hardback copy.

Some of the ideas that I put on here, come from that book. I know you can get it through Barnes and Noble, and from Amazon. There are probably a few other sources that you can use as well to obtain the book.

If you get the chance and can save your pennies for it, I would highly recommend you buying it. You can take your time working your way through it, mark or underline the parts that will be helpful to you, making it easier to find. It will be worth your while to get a copy. The copy I have cost $16.00 (softback). Make yourself a note to check into it today... You'll be glad you did.

“History is who we are; Genealogy is who I am” sg

Like what you read? Let us know.


Now You Know!