Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Life Remembered


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Washington, DC 1888 Streetcar Map

1888 Washington, DC Streetcar Map.

Now, to find out the history of the Streetcar Lines and the ones which dad would have ridden from Arlington County, near Ft. Meyer, to Gonzaga in Washington, DC.

Annual Event? Not what I intended......

I'm beginning to wonder, why have my posts been an annual event?  That was certainly NOT my original intent!  Answers:  Mmmmm......Life Happens (job changes, moves and demands); lack of "free" time; feeling like you have nothing to say that would interest anyone.  Well, after listening to the fun and inspiring archives of Thomas MacEntees', Geneabloggers, I feel very compelled to post, even when I think I have nothing worth sharing.  Dear Myrtle over and over again would tell callers and listeners to bascially just do it, when she guest hosted.  So as not to disappoint "Dear Ol' Myrt" as I've heard her called, here's an update on what I've been doing, genealogically speaking, in my blog-posting absence:  

I've been recreating my tree on Ancestry.com.  Due to budget constraints, I was unable to renew my account when it came due.  When I was able to renew for a limited time frame, I just couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get into the old account - even when I thought I had.  I, evidently, set up a NEW one!  Unfortunately, my <shaking leaf hints> are often my old site profile - ha!  Sometimes, I use the information but honestly, I'm better at citing information, now, so I'm rather enjoying starting from scratch.  And lucky me, I have a cousin and aunt who have been doing extensive research on my maternal line, so I have some rather wonderful <shaking leaf> hints from them! <3

I've also been doing some research on a friends family, and I find that just as fascinating as my own line.  It's in a different area of the country which entails hunting for and utilizing different records and databases.  Since I started as a recorder and title examiner in 1979 in the old Fairfax County, Virginia, Land Records, I've enjoyed the nuts and bolts of research in the real estate field, especially the old books (as long as I could make out the writing on them and had "Jeff" "Bob" or Bill Johnston to ask questions of!).  It felt like I was stepping into the past, seeing the government programs/types of loans for people in the 1930's; seeing when utilities, such as telephone lines and electricity lines, came out to the rural areas of where I was researching. I remember when I was in my 30's being amazed at a large plat at the Stafford County, Virginia, Land Records showing Stafford County BEFORE Interstate 95.  I grew up in the Tyson's corner, Washington, DC/Metropolitan area and have no memory of life BEFORE I-95 and the Springfield "mixing bowl"!  I remember one search referencing Rte. 1, a major route running north and south along the east coast, that had evidently been relocated in the area of my research.  I only knew what "I knew" as I was chaining back the title, and not realizing it had been relocated was inhibiting me from finding my property - felt like it had 'disappeared'.  Jeff to the rescue!  It's so interesting, just seeing the changes in the areas I've researched through the 60 year required research span whether I or someone else had started it.  I just LOVE the feel and smell of the moldy old books!

The same thing applies in my Washington, DC research.  (Can't wait for a field trip there!)   I found some interesting historic maps showing the trolley car routes I remember my dad talking about,  that I want to do some overlaying and comparing to more recent maps available and see where my family lived and worked and moved, utilizing Lisa Louise Cooke's DVD set Google Earth for Genealogy, Volumes I and II.  Dad lived in Arlington County, Virginia, but attended Gonzaga Catholic High School across the Potomac in Washington, DC.  He said that his mom would give him trolley money, but that he would save it in his pocket and instead run to/from school!  I really want to track the path he would have taken to do that.  He was young, hard-headed and probably did!  LOL  I also remember him telling me that he and some friends of his skipped school and went to swim for the day in the Potomac river - this would have been in the 1940's and believe it or not, there were some rural areas, then.  He couldn't understand how his father new he had skipped, until at some point he realized he had a sunburn!  Kids never change, do they?!

It's the "time" thing and needing to not feel "brain dead" after coming home from work that has inhibited me from pursuing my research and goals.  (As an aside, I'm am more than thrilled that the real estate settlement market has encountered a title wave of new activity!  Funny thing is as I am working on a closing, I am even more aware of the public part of the information from each settlement that will be available to future researchers and the 'gems' (as Lisa would say) and leads it will provide.  Ah, from walking in the past to journeying to the future! )

I have also taken steps towards some other family history projects that I hope to unveil in the very near future.  I may be "doing them for myself" and be the only interested one, but as I saw someone say on the original PBS video tape series, Ancestors, that I purchased off of Amazon - it sometimes seems that the ones you are researching want to be found.  Maybe that's just in my imagination, but that's okay, too.  I love seeing their time on this same earth through their eyes.  It's my honor and my joy to do so.

Meanwhile, Happy hunting!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pick yourself up. Brush yourself off. Start all over, again!

That's exactly what I am doing, since the beginning of my endeavors in the world of blogging. A move, new job, computer crash...on and on. It sure didn't leave much room for research or blogging. Add to that, changes to the blogging set-up. But, I'm still here....wow, I'm full of songs, today. Did you get the reference to the Ginger Rodgers / Fred Astaire song? And, who can forget Shirley MacLaine - I'm still here?!

Today, I took my first trip to a Family History Center, hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Church, in Stafford, Virginia. They were so kind and I intend to discuss that experience and what one can find when going to his or her local center, in a future post. My trip today was to order the microfilm of the Marriage License for my Great Grandfather, Andrew B. Cole to Mildred L. Ousley, 20 Nov. 1901. We have been unable to discover Andrew's father's name, though from the census we can ascertain that his mother's name was Ann E. Cole. But of course, we can find nothing under her name. I am told the microfilm will be in in about 3 weeks. I will venture back to Stafford at that time, gather a bit more information on the center itself, and report again, this time with a copy of the marriage license!
Looking forward to visiting with you then and until that time, happy hunting!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Beginnings in Family Research

Hi fellow family history traveler. Glad to have you along on this journey! Though I began in land research in the old Fairfax County, Virginia Courthouse, it wasn't until my Aunt Jan and Cousin Michael showed me the family genealogy they had and are still performing on my mom, Phyllis', side of the family, that I really got hooked. Add to that BYU TV's
"The Generations Project", PBS's "Faces of America" and the now infamous show on NBC, "Who Do You Think You Are?", and well, it became almost an immediate obsession. I may have had courthouse research experience in land transactions, but genealogy was a different animal. So, I immediately "Googled" genealogy and through various clicks came across a few sites and subsequent pod casts that I would recommend, especially to the newbie, but actually also to the well worn researcher. My list of current favorites are:

Genealogy Gems by Lisa Louise Cooke ... wow what I've learned from her! I don't know her personal history, but I would not be surprised to find that she was a teacher, and a favorite one at that! You will find her at www.genealogygems.tv....I highly recommend her site and podcasts. One of her recent interviews with PBS's own History Detective's Tukufu Zuberi (Professor of Sociology, Author) was so uplifting and informative. You'll find her videos on YouTube, also. Check her out.

The Genealogy Guys with George G. Morgan and Drew Smith....Evidently, The Genealogy Guys Podcast is the longest running regular weekly podcast in the world. They share their vast knowledge on their pod cast with a friendly banter between themselves (along with Fletcher, Tosca and Rex the wonder cat), that will include current news in genealogy, listener emails, and among other things, the latest genealogical events The most current of which I am aware is the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree going on June 11, 12 and 13th 2010! Sure wish I could be there. You will find them on-line at www.genealogyguys.com.

And lastly for today's blog and actually the one that first got me started on my way is, www.rootstelevision.com. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak is one of the partners who started Roots Television, and you may have seen her on the "Who Do You Think You Are" episode with the wonderful, Emmit Smith, explaining his DNA. You will find short videos on various subjects, events and interviews given in much like the YouTube format. I could watch for hours...oh, yes.....well, I guess I have!

I hope you will check out the above sites and pod casts. They are up on their game and are current with the modern trends in genealogy. And, they are just alot of fun to hang out with, cyber space and pod cast world speaking!

Next time, I plan on sharing other favorite sites/pod casts as well as some "tips and tricks" I've gleaned from these and other expositors of wisdom. And of course, though the learning is fun, what it all comes down to is family, and I will share where I am now in my research and would love comments from any interested reader on their genealogy journey.

Thanks so much for being here and I sure look forward to hearing from you!

Kim a/k/a KimmyT!