My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Follow Friday -- Research to do Only Once

In the past week, I've been thinking about the lives of my parents before I was born. A blogger, Remembering Those Who Came Before Us and facebook friend, Sara Campbell mentioned Union College. Hum, that is where my father went, and a thinking out loud thought to myself was written to Sara. I was curious to know if I could get a yearbook photo of him and any other information from his file. Sara sent me a link to the college, and the process began. After calling Union College in Schenectady, I called my mother's college, Skidmore in Saratoga Springs, both in New York. Below are some of the things I received.

Three days after my call to Union, I was looking at his yearbook page, and other copied files. I discovered my father was in the Choir, Dramatic, Track and Camera Clubs. Who was this person? He never sang, did any sports, didn't attend plays, and took very few photos. As my father, he collected old maps, old guns, old stamps and was an avid ham operator.  His nickname was "Pud," what kind of name is that, where did it come from, well, I'll never know.

The file contained my birth announcement, printed in two newspapers, and a few other pieces about his service. His obituary was in the file, and date stamped at the college a week after he died. Seems my mother knew what to do, as she sent all these articles to Union. He majored in Science/ Chemistry and became a Chemist, working at several Boston area companies.

My mother's  file was similar, with a yearbook photo and listing of her clubs. Since she majored in Costume and Textiles, she was quoted as saying, "Have to make a sweater to match the socks I knitted for the game tomorrow" Looking at her photos reminded me of the movie, Mona Lisa Smile, since Skidmore was a woman's college. (She was her class agent 15 years up to the time of her death.) Many years later, she attended Northeastern University and received her Masters Degree in Education, and became a teacher.

If your parents went to college, this might be a nice resource. I found out more than what is mentioned above. Neither college asked me for any information, perhaps because obituaries (with my name mentioned) were in their files. The process was so painless, and I got a huge payoff. Photos below are of my mother.
My mother holding the magazine.
My mother on the ladder.

Looking Back

I like to acknowledge those who enjoy my blog and thought I should have an award. Some bloggers mentioned they knew I don't accept them, but wanted me to have one anyway. I understand why people love giving them, as well as receiving them. However, from the very first day I received one, I decided that wasn't the route I wanted to take. But thank you ladies for the three different awards. Please check out their blogs, you will be so glad you did.

The Ancestor Approved award was given on Jan. 20th, and I didn't discover it until months later. It was embarrassing that I didn't catch it earlier, and it pays to read each and every blog you follow, you just never know what might be in a post. And, I think it is important for recipients to also thank the sender, which I don't see happening very often.

My Ancestor Approved award came from: Suz of The Hunt for Henrietta

One Lovely Blog awards from:
Cyndi Beane Henry of Mountain Genealogy                     
Leslie Albrecht Huber of The Journey Takers Blog
Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here
Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt of ATCO, Georgia, The Village

and Betty Huber Tartas of Betty's Boneyard Genealogy presented me with the Genea-Angel award.

The past month has been busy, and I will be blogging about some of the events in the next few weeks. One interesting thing, I hate to admit, is I didn't learn all I could about my parents and grandparents first and then work backward. I instead by-passed them and steam rolled through each generation rather quickly, (which took about 21 years). But, I realized I didn't know the first thing about my parents, especially before I was born. During the past week, I discovered some great information about them, and will share that. If I had asked questions about the last two generations years ago, some relatives were around to answer what I wanted to know.

Much of this winter-like month has been devoted to webinars, I love them and in one week attended five, and one day there were two. I'm getting a great free education, learning about things such as: Using Twitter, Backing up your Genealogy Data, Tracing Female Ancestors, Writing your Personal History, two on Blogging, and several on RootsMagic4. I hope you have been able to take advantage of them, some are still available to listen to/see and new ones have been scheduled. Most are FREE, so please visit the above webinar site.

This has nothing to do with genealogy, but to illustrate how quickly time flies. When I heard it was 30 years ago that President Reagan was shot, to me, it was like yesterday.
I was working at the Veteran's Administration, my office on the first floor of a 14-floor building, and on the L Street side in Washington, DC. When we heard the sirens and saw police cars fly by, we knew something serious had happened. We grouped together, and imagined a disaster at the White House, which was a few blocks away. Soon we knew the real story. Now, it's hard to believe it was 30 years ago. Did I age, what was I doing as a hobby (not genealogy yet), no idea what I was doing, but I remember that freeze in time.