Saturday, October 29, 2011

Society Saturday: Family History Seminars

Today, our local Family History Center hosted the annual Family History Fair. This year's theme was Family History in the 21st Century with the focus on using the technology available to us in this day and age to further our research, organize our findings, and share the results. There were display tables covered with heirlooms, quilts, photos, memory books, and beautifully made and uniquely designed family trees donated by volunteers, their friends and families. The program ran for seven and a half hours, consisting of six hours of instruction with seven individual classes and a study hall running simultaneously, forty different topics, eighteen presenters, and an untold number of volunteers ensuring that everyone had what they needed and all attendees had a positive experience. Attendance was open to everyone.

All this was provided at no cost!

Everything was done by volunteers who labored for months to ensure the day ran smoothly. I had the honor of teaching one of the forty classes, and it was fun! The presenters of the classes I was able to attend were engaging, knowledgeable and entertaining. These presenters were plain folks like myself who enjoy what they do and were happy to share what they knew with anyone who wanted to learn. Free.

Seminars and conferences are a valuable resource for all family historians. The ambiance at any family history conference is exhilarating and the opportunities for networking and collaboration are unparalleled. You don't need to travel long distances. Local genealogy societies and family history centers usually host annual seminars of some sort.  I plan to take advantage of all the opportunities offered within a three hour driving distance.

But for now, I'm going to take a nap and rest up after all the Family History month activities. I'm glad October is almost over; I'm pooped! I hope to be back to regular blogging in a few days. I've missed it!
Thanks for dropping by.



Society Saturday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You've Got a Friend

Today was one of the best days I've had in a long while.  When I was just a fledgling genealogist, some 14 years ago, I met a kindred spirit whose friendship made me a better person. She was interested in all the same things I was and more. She continually seeked to improve her knowledge and skills in everything and encouraged me to do so as well.  Everything is more fun when you have someone to share it with, right?

Unfortunately, a few years ago our family and business lives became a bit overwhelming and we lost touch. She reminded me that the last time we saw each other my daughter had just graduated high school. Well, my daughter graduated college a year and a half ago...that means it's been five and a half years since we've had any but the most cursory email communication. How sad is that?

But today, we talked and laughed just like old times. It felt so good to have my friend back. I didn't realize until now how much I've missed her. I'm reminded of the Carole King song:

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes I will
You’ve got a friend

Of course we made promises to spend more time together in future. Her life is a bit more crazy than mine right now, but I am absolutely not going to let so much time go by without regular therapeutic visits with my friend.

Thank you, Dear Friend, for making my life a little brighter today.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mystery Photo

We are pretty sure that the woman with the tire around her neck is my great-grandmother Oskara Francesca (Frances) Jackson nee Bye who is featured in many of my past posts. But we do not know who the other people are or where the photo was taken. This looks like it was taken in the 1930s based on the clothing the women are wearing. The photo was one of several unlabeled that were found with Frances' youngest daughter Lillian's effects. Lillian married  Lloyd Elwood Cornell in 1936 Chicago. Frances could have been visiting her daughter at the daughter's in-laws place? Or maybe she was visiting her own in-laws the Whittemore-Jacksons in Massachusetts.

Any suggestions on how to track down the who, when, where of this photo is appreciated!

Thanks for dropping by.

 Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Trouble

Viewer Discretion Advised. This post contains violence, unruly children, and humor.

My parents were very strict.  They doled out the usual punishments of the 1950s-1970s, spankings as we were children then grounding as we got older. I was one of those unfortunate children that almost always got caught. Consequently, I carefully evaluated every potential infraction to determine if it was worth the punishment before executing.

Everyone except Baby Bro. If you really feel the need, you may
use age progression software to advance it about 3 years to see
what we looked like when this unfortunate incident took place.
There was one, and only one, incident that I can remember when we were caught but were not punished. We had a vinyl ottoman (I think it was oval shaped, longer than it was wide). Sis (age 9), Bro (age 7) and I (age 10) got the idea that it would be really fun to prop the ottoman on the sofa with one end against the back and the other on the seat and slide down it. Mom was probably at work and the sitter must have been too busy with Lil Sis (age 4) and Baby Bro (age 1) to pay attention to what we were up to.

We were was FUN! The slippery surface of the vinyl made it a perfect slide. After several gleeful turns down the impromptu slide, the ottoman suddenly crashed through the front window (the sofa was placed under the window). Oh, oh! This was bad, very bad. We knew that we were going to get it and get it good. Once we got through the initial finger-pointing (I still say it was Bro's fault), we had another bright idea. Let's put books and pillows in our pants so that when Daddy spanked us it wouldn't hurt so much. We all hurried to put this plan into action.

When Daddy came home and saw what we had done, he gave us The Look and we all cowered. But when he saw our pants bulging with the books and pillows, he quickly turned away to hide his laughter. We never did get our spanking.

Although we successfully avoided the punishment that day, we were never foolish enough to try that trick again.

Thanks for dropping by.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is an ongoing challenge from GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin that invites genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants..

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Swimsuit Edition (uh, Sports Center Saturday?)

The other day Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame shared with his Facebook friends a photo of a bathing suit he was thinking of packing for his cruise. I will not share the post with you but I will share the link to the image should you choose to see the item in question for yourselves. I give you fair warning -- it is not a pretty sight (no, Thomas is not modeling it, but Borat is).

That post got me thinking about my early 20th century relatives and what they wore while bathing or just lounging on the beach. I thought I would share some of them with you today.

Frances (Bye) Jackson probably Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, c1910

Signa, Lillian & Dorothy Jackson probably Nantasket Beach, 1920.
Too cold to bathe, I suppose.

Jennie (Bye) Loring probably Nantasket Beach, c1921.
Check out the people in the background!

Signa, Frances, Dorothy & Lillian Jackson
probably Nantasket Beach, 1921.

Ida (Whittemore), Nettie, Signa, and Ethel Jackson
in Coronado Beach, California, June 23, 1922.
Not bathing and not technically on a beach, but in a town with
the word "beach" in its name so it qualifies.

Frances on Nantasket Beach, c1930

Paul Heinz probably in Chicago area, c1930

Bye cousins at the beach, probably somewhere in Maine, c1940

Mom and her sisters in Chicago area, c1945

You may not think this is technically a sport, but Sports Illustrated would disagree with you. Okay, I'm stretching it a little but who can blame me? This is my mother's family and you gotta love 'em! I do.

Thanks for dropping by.


Sports Center Saturday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers.