31 December 2008

Wreaths Across America

Arlington National Cemetery - photo by James Varhegyi

A few weeks ago, I wrote a little piece on a wonderful organization called "Wreaths Across America". I belong to El Toyon Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and on December 13th we participated in the wreath laying ceremonies at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine, California. Yesterday, the lady who took photos, gifted me with some to remember the occasion. The article appeared on my other blog - The Educated Graveyard Rabbit, but it was such a great experience I want to share it with you here on this blog.

San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Gustine, California

The Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard at Sharpe Depot conducted the services.

Yes, that's me on the right.

My stepfather - Lyle Dean Hartley

Past Regent for El Toyon Chapter NSDAR

Husband of El Toyon NSDAR chapter member

REMEMBER the fallen
HONOR those who serve
TEACH our children the value of Freedom

This is the motto of Wreaths Across America, a nationwide project, started by one man who simply wanted to show his remembrance for fallen soldiers.
The Wreaths Across America story began over 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our Nation's fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays.
Humbled with a new understanding about the impact the Arlington Wreath Project has made, not only in honoring the dead, but recognizing the sacrifices of the living, Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company committed himself to doing more, by reaching out across the country.
On Saturday, December 13th, along with members of El Toyon Chapter NSDAR, I went to the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine, California to attend the wreath laying ceremony. It was a very moving experience. We laid wreaths on the graves of my step-father Lyle Dean Hartley, a past regent of El Toyon Chapter NSDAR Esther Bonta and the husband of a chapter member Milton Farley.

A little about San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery - In 1989, the Romero Ranch Company donated land to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the creation of a National Cemetery. The first phase developed 105 acres of the land, and was completed in May 1992, giving enough space for the interment of over 20,000 remains.There is a small military museum on site, which has exhibits of uniforms, medals, and other memorabilia.

The California Korean War Veterans Memorial, erected in 1998. It consists of 16 five foot tall granite monoliths arranged in a circle. Engraved on each monolith is the name of the 2,495 veterans from California who died during the Korean War.

The 11th Airborne Memorial is a granite and bronze monument that was dedicated on May 11, 2002, in honor of all airborne soldiers. The sculptor was William Porteus, a member of the 511th unit.

24 December 2008

New Year's Resolutions

The 63rd Carnival of Genealogy asks us for our New Year Resolutions for 2009.

At the top of my list is to complete my portfolio and send it to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Becoming a board certified genealogist is top priority for me in 2009.
Next on my list is to find Pauline's whereabouts from 1875 to 1905 and to come to some conclusion the reason she used the name Helen Hunt.
More member participation is another goal I have for the San Joaquin Genealogical Society here in Stockton, California. I am the editor for the society's newsletter and I hope to use this position to meet this goal.
Membership to the DAR for Mummy Dahling. I am already a member (registrar for my local chapter) through my father's side of the family.
I turn 50 in 2009 and need to complete my list of things to do before I turn 60. A few items I do have already include:
1. Learn how to Belly Dance.
2. Ride camels with Brenda Dougall Merriman.
3. I have been a passenger on a motorcycle, now I want to drive one.
4. Take Elizabeth Shown Mills' class at Samford and pass with flying colors.
What are your goals for 2009?

Merry Christmas!

The Proximidade Award

Elyse's Genealogy Blog has given The Educated Genealogist the Proximidade Award. Thank you Elyse!

"These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I am passing this award on to:

Before My Time
Kathy's Genealogy Blog
Little Bytes of Life
We Tree
Nordic Blue
Janet The Researcher
Chapter & Wurst

22 December 2008

Three Unknowns

The 9th Edition of Smile for the Camera is coming up soon. The prompt is "Who Are You - I Really Want To Know".

If we have any photos in our collection that are unknown to us, we should put them on our blog with as much information as we know about them.

In my entire collection of family photos, I have only three that are UFP's (unidentified family photos). Maybe they belong to your family?

The first is a lovely family photo that includes a nun. Oh how I wanted to be able to claim this as my own family. (You know how I feel about the sisters!). I have absolutely no information about this photo.

I call this second photo "The Two Brothers". This photo has a little clue that was written on the back - "Sunday Morning on Maple". Again, no idea who these charming young men are.

For all you football fans, the third and last photo I have is something I like to call "The Jock". Some one left us a little clue on the back of this photo as well - "D. Boldt Bachman". Or at least that's what I think is written there. No explanation on how this made it into my family photos.

If there is a possibility that one or more of these photos belongs in your family, just let me know and I'll be happy to send it on it's way to you!

21 December 2008

Donna Is A Poet And Now Everyone Will Know It!

Donna Pointkouski who is the author of the blog "What's Past Is Prologue" has written a genealogical Christmas poem that blew me away.

How does she do it?

Donna is a very talented and gifted writer. Take a few minutes out of your day for some Christmas cheer over at Donna's place.

Saturday Night Fun On Saturday Night!

I can't believe that I finally get to play along with the funmeister, Randy Seaver, on Saturday night instead of later in the week. This week the game is called "Saturday Night Fun - The History Edition".
What day of the week were you born? Tell us how you found out.
I was born on a Monday.
Monday's Child Fair of Face.
I have always known this to be true. All my life I was told that I was born on "Easter Monday." But for those of you who do not know what day of the week you were born on, Pro Genealogists has a very nifty calculator to figure it out for you.
What has happened in recorded history on your birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

30 March 1533 - Henry VIII divorces his 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon

The Barbie doll, invented by Ruth Handler was first introduced to the world on March 30, 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City sporting a ponytail and a black-and-white striped swimsuit.

30 March 1858 - Pencil with attached eraser patented by Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia

30 March 1955 - 27th Academy Awards "On the Waterfront" is awarded best picture.

30 March 1867 - US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 (this works out to be 2¢ per acre). Secretary of State William H. Seward was the dealer maker. Critics attacked Seward for the secrecy surrounding the deal, which came to be known as "Seward's folly." The press mocked his willingness to spend so much on "Seward's icebox" and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden."

How did I find this information? I knew about Barbie because she and I share the exact same birth date and birth year. As soon as Barbie hit the shelves, my mother ran out and purchased one for me. It was the beginning of a collection that now numbers well over 350.

The other 4 items were obtained from the same place as Part I, Pro Genealogy website which had yet another really nifty tool called "This Day in History"
Thanks Randy for another delightful evening of diversions.

20 December 2008

Facebook Fiasco!

Today - Saturday, December 20th - Facebook.com has been offline all day. Is anyone else experiencing the same thing? When I go to their website I get this message :

Sorry, an error has occurred.
We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.

I am surprised at myself, however, getting hysterical over a damn socializing website.

But how am I to know what is going on with everyone? Oh my, whatever shall I do?
UPDATE: I followed the instructions that "anomonyous" left me, using the https instead of http and Voila, I made it in the door to Facebook! Thank you.

19 December 2008

What Are Your New Year's Resolutions?

63rd Edition Carnival of Genealogy

New Year's Resolutions!

What plans do you have for your genealogy research next year? How about for your blogging? And don't forget how you are going to be better organized.

Write 'em up and share it with the rest of the world.

The Deadline For Submissions Is January 1, 2009

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form.

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Who Are You?

The 9th Edition Smile for the Camera - Who Are You? - I Really Want To Know.

Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased, but have no idea who they might be.

Deadline for submission is midnight 10 January 2009

HOW TO SUBMIT: There are two options. 1. Send an email to the host, footnoteMaven. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are submitting, your name, and the name of your blog. Put 'Smile For The Camera' clearly in the title of your email! 2. Use the handy submission form provided by Blog Carnival.

17 December 2008

62nd Edition COG - 3 Wishes

The 62nd Edition Carnival of Genealogy - 3 Wishes

Jasia over at Creative Gene has outdone herself once again. She has taken the wishes of 36 genea-bloggers and turned it into a bloggeranza you won't soon forget.

Grab your favorite cup of cheer and get on over to the carnival!

Blog Caroling Gift From footnoteMaven

Well the footnoteMaven promised something special for the blog carolers and she has outdone herself this time!
Head on over to fM's place and have a look!

Thank you fM Baby!

Who Is Frances Dinkelspiel ?

Frances Dinkelspiel is the author of this wonderful book "Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California". Her book, published by St. Martins Press, just recently hit the shelves of bookstores everywhere.

Isaias Hellman is the great great grandfather of Frances. About 8 years ago she wanted to learn more about her family history and started looking at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. There she found literally dozens of boxes full of papers about Hellman.

From her website :

Frances is a fifth-generation Californian who grew up in San Francisco. A graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Frances spent more than 20 years in the newspaper business, working as a general assignment reporter for a broad array of papers, from the Syracuse Newspapers in upstate New York to the San Jose Mercury News in northern California.
In 1998, Frances took a leave of absence from the Mercury News to focus on writing personal essays. One day she decided to go to the California Historical Society in downtown San Francisco to peruse some papers of Isaias Wolf Hellman, her great great grandfather. She was astonished by what she saw: her relative had been business partners with many of the iconic men of the 19th century: Collis Huntington, Henry Huntington, Meyer Lehman, Levi Strauss, Harrison Gray Otis, and Edward Harriman.
Frances quickly decided that writing about Isaias Hellman’s life was far more interesting than writing about her own life. She quit her newspaper job and embarked on a decade-long journey to discover the details of Hellman’s amazing business career. Frances went through more than 50,000 pages of archival documents, including letters, receipts, copy books, court cases, and newspaper articles.

Best news of all for me? Remember the research I posted about my sister-in-law's family? You can find them here, here and here . Well....Isaias Hellman had a daughter Clara. Clara married Emanuel Heller. Emanuel is the brother of SIL's 2nd great grandfather!
This book is rich with California history with an insiders look at the San Francisco Jewish community which began in the 1850's.
Reviews of this book can be found at:

16 December 2008

Dear Genea-Santa.....

Dear Genea-Santa,

I've tried so hard to be good this year. I've been late with a few projects (like this one) but still managed to turn them in. Your elf Jasia said that we could have 3 wishes - 3 items from our ancestors.

First, I would wish for the original deed to the land that was owned by my 3rd great grandmother, Angeline Fulton Solomon. This land was located near Tescott, Ottawa County, Kansas.

Second, I would wish for the location of the tombstone of James Arthur Solomon, my 3rd great grandfather.

And for my last wish, I would like to have a photo of my 3rd great grandfather Daniel Derondo Delaney.

14 December 2008

The Next Best Thing

That new family tradition I was trying to start? Up on the rooftop click click Boom! (Thanks TK!)

Well, it just didn't work out. Besides, we were suppose to do this project as a family unit and the cowards bailed on me! And another thing, I do not have a camera. Well that's not true - I have a 110 Kodak Instamatic that still has a roll of film in it from 1972. And while I'm on a roll, I do not have a laptop or or a projector or one of those laser pointer things. Hell, I believe that I am the only human being on the planet that doesn't have a cell phone!

I am going to work on them for next year's decorating. In the meantime, I will share my picture book with you. I gathered all of these photos to glean ideas from for my own yard and roof.

Aren't they just the grooviest yards ever!

12 December 2008

Santa Baby, I'm Blog Caroling

Santa Baby,

Just slip a sable under the tree

For me

Been an awful good girl

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby,

a '54 convertible too

Light blue

I'll wait up for you, dear

Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed

Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed

Next year I could be just as good

If you'll check off my Christmas list

Santa Baby,

I want a yacht and really thats not


Been an angel all year

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa honey,

one little thing I really need

The deed

To a platinum mine

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie,

and fill my stocking with a duplex

And cheques

Sign your 'x' on the line

Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree

With some decorations bought at Tif-fa-ny

I really do believe in you

Lets see if you believe in me

Santa Baby,

forgot to mention one little thing

A ring

I don't mean on the phone

Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight

Written in 1953 by Joan Javits, "Santa Baby" was first sung by Eartha Kitt.

11 December 2008

Fa-La-La-La Blog Caroling Is Coming

The footnoteMaven's Christmas Tradition Of Blog Caroling is tomorrow, Friday, December 12th. Post your favorite Christmas song on your blog and then make a comment on her blog to let her know you are joining in the fun.

You can view last year's A Choir Of GeneAngels. She promises something new for this year. fM always throws a great party so don't be the only genea-blogger who misses out.

10 December 2008

Picture Puzzle

This happy family is my grandmother Maryellen Harris and her parents Hazel Bertha Berry Harris and Hillery T. Harris. My grandmother is the only child they ever had, but she told me that they had more fun together than a family of 10.

It appears from this photo they are having a great time being silly. The banjo Hillery is playing looks so small in his big hands. Speaking of hands, I'm not sure what Hazel is doing with hers, but she is laughing.

As for my grandmother - what is the paper or book in her hands? I have tried to blow this up but it is too fuzzy. Maybe Santa will bring me a good photo editing software program for Christmas.

In the meantime, here is some information on the three stooges above that may help us find out what Maryellen is holding.

The photo was taken about 1924-1926. The house is in Allen County, Kansas just outside the town of Elsmore. The little family of 3 were pretty well off financially. Hillery was a supervisor for the Kewanee Oil Company (no longer in business). Hazel did not work outside the home.

I'd love some help on this - anyone out there have a better photo program than I do? CSI where are you when I need you!

UPDATE: Jasia over at Creative Gene was kind enough to take a good look at this photo and says that Hazel has a harmonica in her hands and Maryellen is holding up a song book or sheet music of some sort. She wasn't able to make out the picture or title though. Well, wadda ya know, musicians in my family! Thank you Jasia for your help.

"...And The Stockings Were Hung By the Fire With Care"

The 8th Edition of Smile For The Camera will be hosted by the footnoteMaven. The theme for this edition is "Stocking Stuffers". I usually do not wait until the last day to submit my photo to this carnival, but I was having a hard time finding a suitable photo. With some divine intervention, I stumbled upon this cartoon.

So...I would like to place this cartoon into the stocking of my 2nd grade teacher - Sister Mary Anastasia. I am sure that Sister has passed on by now, she was as old as dirt when I attended Mary Immaculate Catholic School in Pacoima, California. I will never forget her. She had wooden rosary beads as big as my fist. She wore them around her waist, the end with the cross swinging like crazy as she barreled down the hallways chasing after one kid or another.

ps. For those who may be worried about my eternal salvation, just remember - I had divine intervention on this one so I feel confident that I won't go to hell for this one anyway.

09 December 2008

More About The Educated Genealogist

Boy oh boy. Thomas over at Destination: Austin Family sure has me pegged. The newest meme entitled "Forty Things About Me" asks you to name 3 people who you think will complete this meme (question #20). Thomas named Apple, Miriam and yours truly.

Well...it's very close to being a "Double-Dog Dare" and if you know me at all, I never walk away from one of those. So buckle up and let's take a ride!

Forty things about me :

1. Do you like blue cheese? Noooo!

2. Have you ever done something you regretted? Yes.

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? I still drink Kool Aid and I like the pink lemonade and the grape flavors.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I like them with chili and cheese.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee with 2 cream and 2 sugars.

9. Can you do push ups? I can do A push up.

10. Favorite hobby? Gardening and reading. Bet you thought I was going to say Genealogy didn't you! Well I do not consider it a hobby for me. It is a profession that I have worked hard to be good at. Well, it will be a profession once I have a paying client!

11. Do you have A.D.D.? No.

12. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I am too tight with the purse strings. My boys say that I squeak when I walk.

13. Middle name? Louise - Who wants to be Thelma?

14. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?

a) I absolutely have to finish my Pro Gen homework - I am 2 days late already.

b) I have to finish decorating the roof of my house.

c) When I got married to Mr. Right, I didn't know that his first name was Always.

15. Name 3 drinks you regularly have? Dr. Pepper, Kool Aid pink lemonade and every now and then a shot or two of Jose Cuervo.

16. Current hate right now? Selective Stupidity.

17. Favorite place to be? On the beach.

18. How did you bring in the New Year? Which one?

19. A place would you like to go? With Brenda to go camel riding. It is on my list of things to do before I turn 60.

20. Name three people who will complete this:
Julie Tarr , Wendy Littrell and Amy Coffin

21. Do you have slippers? I have 10 pairs of slippers. What? Well you certainly do not expect me to my wear pink bunny slippers with my lime green jammies!

22. What shirt are you wearing? Are we supposed to be fully clothed when completing this meme?

23. Do you like sleeping on satin? No, I slip right off the bed.

24. Can you whistle? No, but I am not giving up.

25. Would you be a pirate? Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Jose.

26. What songs do you sing in the shower? This week it is "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" which I alternate with "Love Shack"

27. Favorite girl's name(s)? Sophia

28. What's in your pocket right now? See question #22

29. Last thing that made you laugh? My cat (Piggy-cat) getting stuck in the Christmas Tree this morning.

30. Favorite bed sheets as a child? Now what kind of question is that to ask a child!

31. Worst injury ever? I broke the index finger on my right hand in 4 places. It is crooked to this very day.

32. Do you like where you live? Yes.

33. How many TVs do you have in your house? 4

34. Who is your loudest friend? Danelle

35. How many dogs do you have? Zero.

36. Does someone have a crush on you? I hope so!

37. What is your favorite book? Anything by Anne Rice or Stephen King

38. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate Malt Balls

39. Favorite Sports Team? None.

40. What song do you want played at your funeral? This is a tough question for me to answer right now. I promise to answer this one at a later time.

07 December 2008

Saturday Diversions on Monday

Last week I told you that my Saturday nights are fun and exciting so I would have to play any sanctioned genea-games on another night.

Well my Saturday nights are still fun and exciting but find that I am free today to play. This week there are 2 great games to play.

Lori at
Smokey Mountain Family Historian found a Christmas meme for us to reveal more about ourselves.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper until I run out, then gift bags.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Always real. They smell sooo good.

3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? The day after New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog? No.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Barbie Dolls. They are still one of my favorite gifts.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My mother.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My sons.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. But I only have 1/2 of the baby Jesus.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I have not decided this year. In the past I have always mailed them.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? None.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Grinch who Stole Christmas.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I do a little all year long.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pie!

16. Lights on the tree? Yes

17. Favorite Christmas song? We Three Kings and Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This year travel.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? It depends on how much christmas cheer I have had that day.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve, the rest in the morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Those who are Bah Humbug and don't let me enjoy the season.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? All of them.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime Rib.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? You'd laugh if I told you.

Now on to the next genea-game.

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings is at it again. Fun and games at the genea-cave. This week it is a Treasure Hunt genea-blogger style. Here are the rules:

For each person listed below, provide the name of the spouse of the person and the genea-blogger to whom they are related.

Please post the answers on your blog (if you have one), or in the comments section of Randy's blog if you don't have a blog. That way it doesn't matter who was first, only that you played the game well.

A bonus question: Who in your ancestry has a very unique name? Tell us - amaze us with the creativity of your ancestors!

1) Emma Priscilla Libby - This comes from West In New England. Emma Priscilla Libby was born June 2, 1849 in Medford,Middlesex, Mass. She married Hugh Martin of Nova Scotia, Canada in November 1869, and they also lived with her parents, Varanus and Ann Smith Libby. Emma and Hugh Martin had one daughter, Elizabeth E. Martin, born about 1872 in Lowell.

2) Cerena Whipple - Can be found at
Apple's Tree. Married 1st to Isaac Davis; 2nd to William D Nichols; 3rd to Amos M Quinby or Quimby.

3) Elenor L. Vreeland - Belongs to Mariam at
AnceStories She was married to John Wallace Lewis.

4) Abbie Ardell Smith - belongs to the host of our hunt, Randy at
Genea-Musings. Abbie was married to Henry Austin Carringer.

5) Daniel Derondo Delaney - Why this is my 3rd great grandfather! He is married to Ellen Collins and you can read all about him
here and over at my companion blog - The Educated Graveyard Rabbit.

6) Ophelia Elizabeth Nix - I recognized this name right away as belonging to Terry Thornton at
Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi. Ophelia is married to William Alfred Hollingsworth.

Well that was such great fun. I can't wait to see what he comes up with for next week!

05 December 2008

On Superheros and Clever Mr. Tucker

Mark Tucker over at ThinkGenealogy has an interesting proposition for all Super Heros and Genealogists. He asks, "If Superman were a genealogist instead of a super hero what would he stand for?"

Mark challenges us to give 3 reasons why we do genealogy. Each reason must begin the sentence with “As a genealogy super hero, I lead a never-ending battle…”

Here is my response I gave to his challenge.

As a Genealogy Superhero, I lead a never-ending battle to:

1. Turn county clerks everywhere away from the dark side

2. Save genealogists everywhere from the evil metermaids lurking outside every repository in the nation waiting to ruin a great research day with a parking ticket

3. Change public opinion that genealogists are not geeky nerds - we can Happy Dance anyone under the table!

Take a few minutes to visit Mark's blog and add your own response to his challenge

Genea-Santa and The 3 Wishes

The 62nd Edition Carnival of Genealogy is one that just shouldn't be missed.

This is your chance to write a letter to Genea-Santa.

Make a list of 3 gifts you would like to receive this holiday season from 3 of your ancestors. These have to be material things, not clues to your family history (we're talking gifts here, not miracles!).

Do you wish your great grandmother had gifted you a cameo broach? Or maybe you'd like to have the family bible from great great grandpa Joe? How about a baby doll that once belonged to your dear Aunt Sarah?

This is a fantasy so you can dream up gift items. They don't have to be actual items that you know your ancestors owned. However, they do have to be historically accurate to the time period in which your ancestor lived. Do your research. No asking for a new computer from your great grand aunt! Genea-Santa wouldn't like that ;-)

The Deadline For Submissions Is December 15, 2008

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you! Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated! Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form.

My Difficulty With Daniel Derondo Delaney

I've another puzzle to solve and this one is a doozy! The headstone above is located in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery just outside of Moline, Elk County, Kansas. It belongs to my 3rd great grandparents Daniel Derondo Delaney and his wife Ellen Collins. If you look closely, you will notice that there is no date of death engraved for Daniel. Not so very unusual and a phone call to the caretakers would probably clear it right up.

Well nothing ever goes quite so smoothly for me. Read all about this adventure over at my companion blog -
The Educated Graveyard Rabbit. This puzzler was worthy of 2 posts!

02 December 2008

My Quest To Establish A New Christmas Family Tradition

Everyday I learn something new. My latest discovery has taken me a week to learn. I have learned that trying to introduce a new Christmas tradition to my family is not as rewarding as I thought it would be.

I decided that the blah-blah string of lights that get thrown up on the gutters every year needed some revamping. Being the educated type person that I am, I procured several books on how to decorate the outside of your home. Oh, they were busting at the seams with all kinds of advice, hints and tips.

"Whatever you decide, your Christmas decorating style should be one that is uniquely yours. It should express the feelings you have for this particular day."

I think that this is code for - you can do whatever the heck you want to do, it's your house right?

After much thought, I decided that the roof of my house would be my showcase. The wonderful world of Christmas. Life-size everything and lights, lots and lots of lights. All I was going to need was lots and lots of huge sheets of Styrofoam, a glue gun and a couple of extension cords.

Let me share what I have learned.

Steak knives do not slice through Styrofoam like butter.

Garbage cans should not be used in place of a ladder to climb onto the roof.

Humans that fall from roofs onto said garbage cans bounce more efficiently when garbage can is full rather than empty. This actually is only an assumption as this human did not attempt to prove this with another fall onto full can.

If any one were to ask me how far can a 5 foot 1 inch female weighing approximately 125 pounds be launched across the yard after a 3 foot fall from the roof and just the right bounce off a garbage can go I believe that I can give the correct answer - 40 feet give or take a few inches. I kid you not, after my family heard what they now describe as a bottle rocket gone bad, they came rushing outside. Finding me in a twisted pile of pink wellies and Styrofoam, they told me not to move. My middle son ran into the house and brought out the measuring tape. He is sure that I have set a new world's record for this kind of thing.

It does not have to be raining to make a roof slippery, foggy weather works just as well.

My pink wellies do not have quite enough tread on them to obtain the traction required to keep me upright and stationary on the roof. I have already made a note of this and will procure official roof climbing shoes as soon as I can find a pink pair in size 4.

After careful consideration Frosty the Snowman should be placed at least 10 feet away from the baby Jesus but on the other hand he doesn't clash to bad when placed next to the 3 Wise Men.

I hope to finish my rooftop masterpiece before Christmas Day. At the very least my grandson will make a hefty profit from the tickets he has been selling to his classmates. Yesterday twenty 2nd grade kids were on my front lawn waiting for me to bounce off the garbage can.

I shall keep you appraised of my progress of my quest for a new family Christmas tradition.

Saturday Night Diversions on Tuesday

Randy Seaver over at Gene-Musings has stepped in to fill a void for those who have no fun on Saturday nights. Well I do have fun on Saturday nights lately, but my Tuesdays are free! So with the feeling that better late than never, I will play along with Randy.

This past Saturday were were instructed to find the person in our genealogy database whose number assigned to them was 1000. Mine is my 5th Great grandfather Abner Womack. Abner was born 7 January 1764 in Prince Edward County, Virginia and died 14 February 1845 in Butler County, Kentucky. He was married to Agnes Nancy Reed 24 September 1787 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Abner is special to me as he served as a private in the Revolutionary War and is my patriot ancestor who I used to become a member of DAR.

The previous Saturday , the funmeister asked us to grab the nearest book, open it to page 56, find the 5th sentence and post it for all to see. OK, you asked for it:

"Nice fly rod," she remarked.

Thanks Randy, my Tuesday is now filled with fun. Can't wait to see what you come up with this week!

01 December 2008


Looking back to my much younger days, my family had more traditions at Christmas time then I thought we had. Here are a few that I clearly remember.

Before going to bed Christmas Eve, left a plate of cookies and a glass of milk out for Santa.

Christmas decorations ALWAYS started going up the day AFTER Thanksgiving and ALWAYS came down no later than New Year’s Day.

Christmas tree ALWAYS bought the weekend after Thanksgiving and ALWAYS came down the day after Christmas.

Gifts from Santa were ALWAYS left unwrapped by the tree with name tags attached to them.

One and only one gift could be opened Christmas Eve before midnight mass.

My family always went to midnight mass, children under 18 required to participate. When I was growing up, my father’s job moved us around a lot. For 5 years we lived in San Antonio, Texas and attended St. Dominick’s Catholic Church. Midnight mass was an outdoor pageant affair complete with the barnyard animals except for the wise men from the East who came sans camel. For each of those 5 years, my brothers and I were forced participants in these festivities. I managed to find one surviving photo of me and one of my brothers. I was always one of the “choir of angels” and my brothers were out in the field tending their flocks. I only remember being forced to stand on a very high wooden platform ( which was hidden from view by the manger) freezing my ass off while lip syncing “Hark The Herald Angels”.