Thursday, November 29, 2007
Dear Santa . . .
First of all, I, like every other genealogist who works a day job to support the genealogy habit, would like a huge endowment which will enable me to quit my day job and do research full-time as well as travel to all the places my ancestors lived to do research, order or make all the copies needed for my research, support my book-buying wishes and needs, pay for all the really cool genealogy databases that I'd find helpful, attend all the genealogy conferences I want to attend, etc.
Second, I would like for you to find the cave in the hills of northwest Alabama where my ancestors hid all the details of their lives when they decided to burn down all the courthouses over there to erase evidence of their existence and from whence they came.
Third, I'd like to find backup copies of all the documents that were burned in those courthouse fires that I believe my ancestors deliberately set to hide from me generations later.
Fourth, I'd better ask for an addition to my house with floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves and additional filing cabinets to house all those additional books and files I'll be accumulating when you supply my first wish.
And, last but not least, I'd like LOTS OF SNOW! I'm tired of winters with no White Christmas, White New Year's Day, White Birthday, or White Valentine's Day. I'd like at least four days with 6 or more inches of snow with one of those being Christmas eve so that I have a White Christmas.
I hope this isn't asking too much!
P.S. - Brumley says he supports my request for more time away from work so that I can be with him more and wishes for a lifetime supply of catnip.
Some Thoughts on the Cancellation of Emeril Live
I've not really seen a good reason for the cancellation. If they say it was ratings-related, they brought about the poor ratings themselves by moving it to a poor time-slot so they could air the junk I've seen all fall in their prime time slots -- most of which I've ended up turning off because it doesn't interest me. I used to be able to know that there was decent programming at night on Food Network. This fall, I've sat with the TV turned off a lot because I can't find anything decent to watch.
Partial vs. Full Feeds
Let's Get Kids Reading Again
P.S. - I've added another entry in the page 161 meme. I made some comments about a comment that George Morgan made regarding library funding that really ties in well with this.
Update: An interesting Wall Street Journal editorial on the subject of reading.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
In a Christmas Mood . . .
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
36th Carnival of Genealogy
Light Blogging the Next Few Days
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Terry's Name Meme
1. Rock star name = E.R.M. Toyota
2. Gangsta name = Cherries Garcia No Bake Cookies
3. "FLY" name = Ltho
4. Detective name = Red cat
5. Star Wars name = ThoLo
6. Superhero name = The Blue Latte
7. NASCAR driver name = James Irving
8. TV Weather Person Name = Cutcliffe Cincinnati (or Wilf Warsaw or Reeves Rome or Allen Aberdeen) - [Note: We changed classes in 5th grade.]
9. Spy name = Winter Tulip
10. Cartoon name = Watermelon Shirty
11. Hippy name = Biscuit Dogwood
12. Rock Star Tour name = The Cross Stitch Snow Tour
13. Soap Opera name = Ann Amory
14. Witness Protection Name = Ann Thomas
Thanksgiving: A Simpler and Humbler Holiday
It is a day not indeed heralded and emblazoned, like the corresponding festivals in our ancestral land, in all the pomp and glory of song. It has not been celebrated like Christmas, by the imperial song of Milton, the dove-like notes of Herbert, or the classic beauty of Keble. Connected with it are no superstitious rites handed down from time immemorial; no revelings in baronial halls; no decorations of churches or houses with garlands or evergreens; no wassailings; no shoutings; no carols; no riotous dissipation. Simpler in its nature, humbler in its pretensions, better suited to a people of more recent origin, it is set apart to the exercise of those home-bred affections, those "honest fireside delights," which are greener than laurel or fir-tree, and which, from a natural affinity, most closely harmonize with the sweet sanctities of our holy religion.
I found this to be an interesting description of a holiday that I know some friends consider to be their favorite. Thanksgiving is a time when families get together, but it is less commercialized than Christmas. As Dr. Adams wrote, it is "simpler in its nature" and "humbler in its pretensions." We are reminded that we have so much for which to be thankful.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
A Thanksgiving Poem
Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood --
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting-hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood --
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for pumpkin pie!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Page 161 Meme
Open up the book you are currently reading to page 161 and read the sixth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag.
Last night, I started a "fun read." It's called Cooking Up Murder and is written by Miranda Bliss. The sixth sentence on page 161 is "I breathed a sigh of relief."
I am tagging:
Linda at The In Season Christian Librarian
Suzanne at CBCTS Librarian
Maggie at Maggie Reads
Taneya at Taneya's Genealogy Blog
and the footnoteMaven
First, I confess that I only had one of the 4 books I'm currently reading downstairs with me at the time, so I only gave you the book I really was reading between blogging and watching TV. I will give you page 161 of my other books in progress now.
I'm reading a children's book entitled Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles. It's aimed at about a 4th-6th grade audience and was a National Book Award finalist the year it was written. The "draw" for the book is that it is about a girl who lives in a funeral home in Mississippi and writes obituaries. What family historian can resist such a book description? Anyway, the 6th complete sentence of page 161 is "He nodded."
My most literary book in progress at the moment is Ross King's Ex-Libris. The 6th sentence of page 161 is actually a somewhat incomplete sentence in that the subject and verb are implied from sentence 5. It is "Records of your sales?" Let me just say that they are trying to locate a rare manuscript that has been taken from a home. In this sentence, the antiquarian dealer/investigator is asking the person whether he keeps records of the sales. I can't help but think about the sales ledgers from the store in Quincy, Mississippi that Terry posted.
The other book in progress is my non-fiction history book. I'm reading Communities of Kinship: Antebellum Families and the Settlement of the Cotton Frontier by Carolyn Earle Billingsley who blogs over at Life in Possum Holler. I've had the book for awhile but I'm just getting around to reading it. Page 161 is in the references of that book. I don't know how to count bibliographic citations. If I go with punctuation as a guide, the 6th sentence is "19. Woodman, King Cotton and His Retainers (see esp. chap. 9, "Bankers and Planters"); and Cashin, A Family Venture, 6-7."
Taneya reports that she's too busy with genealogical research to read at this time.
Here's a listing of bloggers that have participated in the meme. If you know of others, let me know, and I'll add them to the list (or you can just add as a comment).
footnoteMaven replies with The 161 meme.
Randy at Genea-Musings replies with The "161" Meme.
Terry at Hill Country of Northeast Mississippi responds with The 161 Meme. Terry challenged his readers to reply so there are several who have responded in the comments. I'll extend the invitation to my readers to reply in the comments as well.
In what may well be the most amusing entry, Jasia at Creative Gene who was reading a Janet Evanovich book (need I say more?) responds with 161 Meme, Oh My!
Becky at Kinexxions replies with The 161 Meme.
Maggie of Maggie Reads has responded with Sixth Sentence 161 Meme.
Schelly at Tracing the Tribe has entered with 161 Meme: Tracing the Tribe Tagged.
Lee at the I Seek Dead People Blog has posted The "161" Meme.
Steve at Steve's Genealogy Blog has asked "Do You Really Want to Know What I'm Reading?"
Miriam at AnceStories replies with Two Memes: 161 and Can You Top This?
Jessica at Jessica's GeneJournal responded with The 161 Meme.
George at Genealogy-Photography-Restoration has also entered The 161 Meme.
Chery at Nordic Blue has also submitted The 161 Meme.
John at Transylvanian Dutch responded with a meme of his own. He invites anyone who wishes to participate. No tagging required. It's called Can You Top This? I won't give a spoiler, but I can't top the number of children there! The replies are interesting too!
Nikki-ann has also entered the 161 Meme.
Karen at Passions of My Heart has replied with Naughty or Nice?
Apple at Apple's Tree has responded to The 161 Meme.
Craig at GeneaBlogie has added Page 161.
Bill of West in New England has responded with MEME 161. This one is rather colorful as would be any post which includes the word "entrails."
Susan at Family Oral History Using Digital Tools entered 161 Meme!
Paula Stewart-Warren of Paula's Genealogical Eclectica chimes in with Page 161, 6th Sentence.
George Morgan has replied with Do You Really Want to Know What I'm Reading? I will say that as a librarian, I really appreciated his comment about keeping funding for public libraries. I've seen too many public libraries closing their doors in the last few years because government officials decided it is an expense they can live without. Not everyone can afford to purchase books. Most of the free book programs such as Dolly's Imagination Library only extend to children up to age 5. If we are going to do something about the growing problem of illiteracy in this country, we need to be committed to public libraries and to their funding.
Preserving Community Names
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Putting Up the Family Tree
Labels: family tree
Monday, November 12, 2007
On this day in 1812
I have no idea how much truth there is to this family story about the cattle drive and petticoats; however, in discussing it informally with professional genealogists most have said there appears to be at least some element of truth in it. Wouldn't it be neat to find a record of a sale of cattle from Kentucky to someone in the Starkville area? Mississippi State's predecessor (The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi) was not founded until 1862 so a sale to the land grant university would not have been an option.
I haven't had a lot of time to spend researching this line prior to their arrival in Itawamba County, Mississippi. With the record loss in Giles County, it is going to be difficult. However, I am hopeful that some more progress can be made when I do get to work on this line with such a common surname.
On one census, Walton's name is spelled Walther; however, the majority identify him as Walton as does my grandmother's Bible.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
On the Menu: Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner
Turkey was, of course, the traditional meat served. It was placed in a large roaster in the oven. We did not stuff it. Instead we had a separate dish called dressing (or cornbread dressing). The turkey and dressing were accompanied by giblets and gravy (although there was usually a little of it set aside without the giblets for those who didn’t like all those “innards”). Jellied cranberry sauce was always served. Mom always chilled the can in the refrigerator ahead of time. Both ends of the can were opened and the sauce would just slide out on the relish tray where it could be cut in slices. Side dishes usually included green beans or a green bean casserole, a sweet potato soufflé or butternut squash casserole, Waldorf salad, and ambrosia. My maternal grandmother was the big fan of the ambrosia. After he died, I often heard mom talking about how he always insisted on ambrosia at Thanksgiving. Rolls (some store-bought variety) were usually served also. For dessert, we’d have pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie and pecan pie.
In later years, Thanksgiving meals have been modified to accommodate the changing tastes of my nieces and nephews. The Waldorf salad has been replaced by a fruit salad that my sister-in-law makes that is basically just cut-up fruit (apples, oranges, grapes) with sugar on it. The sweet potato soufflé has been replaced by the hash brown casserole. The pies are usually either fried apple pies or a cheesecake (although sometimes some of us insist on one of the more traditional pies although we rarely get them both). The turkey and dressing remain the same, although we often only purchase the turkey breast now. The gravy is now always minus the giblets. Last year I made real cranberry sauce. It was much better than the canned stuff, and I definitely prefer whole cranberries. The rolls are homemade now. Green beans are still usually on the menu, even though the nieces and nephews avoid them. Due to the amount of ambrosia left over each year, it eventually was removed from the menu.
In On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes what they had one Thanksgiving. They had stewed goose with dumplings in the gravy, corn dodgers, mashed potatoes, butter, milk, stewed dried plums, and three grains of parched corn as a reminder of the Pilgrims’ first dinner.
The Thanksgiving menu in Fannie Farmer’s 1896 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book consisted of oyster soup, crisp crackers, celery, salted almonds, roast turkey, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, onions in cream, squash, chicken pie, fruit pudding, sterling sauce, mince, apple, and squash pie, neopolitan ice cream, fancy cakes, fruit, nuts and raisins, bonbons, crackers, cheese, and café noir.
So, what was your family’s traditional Thanksgiving meal? Has it evolved over the years to accommodate changing tastes?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Happy 120th Anniversary!
While the couple only lived to celebrate 47 years together, today marks the 120th anniversary of their marriage!
Labels: Thornton family
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Carnival of Genealogy #35
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Reading Roundup - November 3
Is your society looking for an interesting event? Try a genealogy fair such as the one Birmingham Genealogical Society held this weekend. The concept appears to be similar to that of the science fairs we had back when we were in middle school. Each member brings a project which is placed on display. Awards are given for first, second, and third places.
footnote Maven really had her creative juices flowing when she wrote about Little Red Genetic Hood.
I used to live in Ohio. The town of Yellow Springs was about an hour away. It was an interesting little town made up of all sorts of New Age shops. There are a lot of artists in the town. The heart of the town has always been Antioch College which announced earlier this year that it would be closing its doors. Thanks to the college's alumni, the college is going to remain open. One of the more interesting features of the college is Glen Helen which is like a small nature preserve. I always enjoyed hiking there. No visit to Antioch is complete without a visit to Young's Dairy Farm. It looks like their menu has been updated to include gelato now, but it still looks like they have many of the same tasty treats!
Randy has posted the table of contents from the latest issue of The American Genealogist. There are several articles that look interesting to me: Card-Playing and 'The Corrupting of Truth'; Of Nightgowns and Childish Misapprehensions; One Wife Too Many? Two Wives Too Many? 'How It Is and How It Was' (by Ronald A. Hill).
Noel is now only a tropical storm, but Bill West tells us his observations on the storm. I'm glad we won't have a repeat of the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635.
And, now, in the just for fun category, this video reminds me of my cat, except that my cat is successful in his lower level attempts to get his slave out of bed to feed him.
2007 Weblog Awards - Time to Vote
Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635
There are several first-hand and second-hand accounts of the storm available. Increase Mather, the well-known Puritan minister who is a central figure in the Salem Witch Trials, has this to say:
I have not heard of any storm more dismal than the great hurricane which was in August, 1635, the fury whereof threw down (either breaking them off by the bole or plucking them up by the roots) thousands of great trees in the woods. Of this some account is given by Mr. Thacher in the first chapter of our present collection. And I must confess, I have peculiar reason to commemorate that solemn providence, inasmuch as my father and mother and four of my brethren were then in a vessel upon the coast of New-England, being at anchor amongst the rocks at the Isles of Sholes when the storm began; but their cables broke, and the ship was driving directly upon a mighty rock, so that all their lives were given up for lost; but then in an instant of time, God turned the wind about, which carried them from the rock of death before their eyes. (1)
Writing two months after the storm, William Bradford, the well-known leader of Plymouth, described it thusly:
This year, on the 14th or 15th of August, a Saturday, there was such a fearful storm of wind and rain as none living hereabouts either English or Indians, ever saw. It was like those hurricanes and typhoons that writers mention in the Indies. It began a little in the morning, a little before day, and did not come on by degrees, but with amazing violence at the start. It blew down several houses and unroofed others; many vessels were lost at sea, and many more were in extreme danger. To the southward the sea rose twenty feet, and many of the Indians had to climb trees for safety. It took off the boarded roof of a house which belonged to the settlement on Manomet and floated it to another place, leaving the posts standing in the ground; and if it had continued much longer without the wind shifting it would probably have flooded some of the inhabited parts of the country. It blew down many hundred thousands of trees, tearing up the stronger by the roots, and breaking the higher pine-trees off in the middle; and tall young oaks and walnut trees of a good size were bent like withes, -- a strange and fearful sight. It began in the southeast, and veered different ways. It lasted, though not at its worst, for five or six hours. The marks of it will remain this 100 years in these parts, where it was most violent. There was a great eclipse of the moon the second night after. (2)
Today, we know that many hurricanes spawn tornadoes. In his history of Newbury, Joshua Coffin recounts the town’s official record of the storm. The account seems to be that of a tornado spawned by the hurricane:
August 14th: About eight o’clock there was in Salisbury and part of Amesbury the most violent tornado, or short hurricane, perhaps ever known in the country. It continued about three minutes, in which time it damaged, or entirely prostrated, nearly two hundred buildings. It removed two vessels one of them of ninety tons, twenty-two feet from the stocks. The vein of the tempest was about a quarter of a mile in width on the river and about a mile and a half in length. (3)
The descriptions in these accounts remind us so much of today's hurricanes. Today we have heavier settlement so the impact may seem more devastating, but to those early settlers, the hurricane of 1635 was just as devastating.
(1) Increase Mather, Remarkable Providences Illustrative of the Earlier Days of American Colonisation (Boston: Samuel Green, 1684. Reprint. Reeves and Turner, 1890), 220; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 3 November 2007).
(2) William Bradford; Harold Paget, translator, Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650 (New York: Dutton, 1920), 270-71; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 3 November 2007).
(3) Joshua Coffin, The History of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury, from 1635 to 1845 (Boston: Samuel Drake, 1845), 241; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 3 November 2007).