A few site updates…

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to update you on a few site updates.

Header:  A few months ago, I posted that I was going to try to get a new header for my blog.  I was looking into Esty.com and see if I could find one that I liked at a reasonable price.  Although they were reasonably priced, I didn’t find one that I liked.  So, I decided to try to make my own.  With the help and advice from Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers.com, I found a way to make my own header.  The pictures used above are either my own collection or my husband’s collection of photos.  All photos used are of family members from both of our families and used with permission. 

Declutter:  As you can tell, I did a lot of decluttering on this site as well.  I wanted to make it more clean and easier to read and follow.  I have also decluttered the menu under the header as well.

Disclosures:  I want to start this paragraph off by saying that I do not intend to use this blog as an income producing blog.  I have a full-time job that supports my genealogy obsession, so any income produced from this blog will fund my genealogy education endevors. This blog is a way for me to not only keep family members up to date on my research, but also to help others in their research.  With that being said, in the new menu at the top of the page, you will notice a new tab that I didn’t have before.  One that is titled Disclosures.  There you will be able to read my disclosure policy.

Afilliates:  I currently only have one affiliate and that is for Legacy Family Tree.  I am affiliate with Legacy Family Tree because 1) it is the software I personally use to keep my research in order and 2) I love the product.  I am not an expert on everything about using the program, but I know that I like it and it is easy for me to use and understand.  So if you want to help a girl out, you can click on the link and purchase something from their store.  My genealogy educational fund will love you for it!!!

My other blog:  I know in another older post I had posted the link to my other blog called One Crafty Mom.  I had decided to moved that blog from blogger to WordPress and have a new link for it which is located at the bottom of every page.  I also gave it a new, more updated name: One Creative Mom.  Oh, you might notice the header is very similar too.  So if your looking to find some creative ideas on just about anything, head on over to One Creative Mom and take a gander.  Leave a comment, you know I always read them all!

Have a great day y’all!!!


The Moment I knew…

Lynn Palermo over at The Armchair Genealogist blog wrote an wonderful post about the moment she was hooked on genealogy, you can read it here.   At the end she asked her readers when did they know when they were hooked on genealogy.  Here I will try to tell my story of when I knew.

Back in the late 1980’s, my dad’s side of the family was having their annual family reunion.  My dad is one of 13 kids so the number of family members that attend the family reunion is rather large.  My father was walking me around the backyards of my two uncle’s homes which were right next to each other.  It was pretty handy for the reunion! 

While my dad was walking me around the backyards, he was re-introducing me to relatives.  Because my parents divorced when I was very young and I was raised by my mother, I only saw my dad’s side of the family at the annual reunion which is why my sisters, brother and I were always re-introduced each year.  After meeting a few of my aunts my dad asked me, as we were walking away, if I remember them.  Sadly I answered no, I didn’t remember my aunts. 

It wasn’t till a few days later when I was remembering that moment, I realized how little I knew of my father or of his family!  It was then that I decided to first learn more about my dad, what his favorite color was, what his favorite subject in high school was, did he go to college, ect.  After answering those questions, I then turned to the ones about his family.  Where was grandpa from?  What was grandma like?  What was it like losing your mother at such a young age (seven years old) and if he even remembered it?  What was it like growing up in the 40’s and 50’s?  What it was like being a part of a migrant farm working family?

The moment that solidified my interest in genealogy was when my uncle showed me a portrait of my grandparents shortly after they were married and I realized that I looked a lot like my grandmother.  I was so happy to find an ancestor that I looked liked!  My other sisters all look like an ancestor or two on my mom’s side of the family but I finally found the one I looked like!

So yeah, I got bit by the genealogy bug hard. 

I must also ask like Lynn did…when did you know???

News bits

I know that there are plenty of well-known genealogy blogs that report the latest in genealogy news.  I have been thinking of doing the same for a while now, but I didn’t want to repeat what the others are posting.  So I will be looking for interesting, off the beaten path, not what the others post, type of genealogy news stories. This will not have any regularity in posting because to be frank, I have no idea when or where I will find an interesting genealogy story that I think my readers will want to read.  So I will post them when I find them.  I hope you like what I find. Here is the first installment:

12 Oct 2011 – The Bellingham Herald – Zoe Fraley – Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham man reunited with father’s wallet, lost in 1950s.  A lost wallet was returned to David Van Duisen.  It belonged to his father who died in 1995.  It was originally lost when Van Duisen’s father was at Mount Baker Theater.  The most prized possession in the wallet?  A picture of his mother when she was 16 years old.

11 Oct 2011 – Casa Grande Dispatch – Staff Reports – Arizona

Casa Grande Woman Receives Genealogy Award.  Dedicated Casa Grande Family History Center library volunteer receives the first Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board’s Projects Award.

Military Monday

I’m sorry this is a day late, but it was important to me that this get posted.  You see, I found an article pertaining to military records and thought it would be very useful to the new genealogists and a refresher to the seasoned genealogists.

Yesterday, while I was home (it was a holiday for me), sipping hot tea and reading the 70+ blogs I follow, I came across an article by one of my favorite blog authors.  Her name is Kathleen Brandt and is the owner/author for a3Genealogy.  Kathleen is an Expert Author for Archives.com as well and it is an article that she wrote for Archives that I was really impressed about.

In this article, she talks about how 80% of the Army records and 75% of the Air Force records were destroyed in a fire on July 12, 1973 and what genealogist researchers could do to get military information they needed to reconstruct their ancestor’s military “experience”.  You can read her full article here.

In her article she goes through and shows the reader how to obtain their ancestor’s Report of Separation (DD214).  However, she also talks about other documents and resources to request, such as the Last Pay Voucher, Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical-Related Alternate Records, and Morning Report.  This was very, very helpful to me.

I am researching my father-in-law, Robert Harold Stanard (1931-1991).  He joined the Army in 1950 and was honorably discharged in 1952.  I have requested from the National Personnel Records Center (Military Records) and received a copy of his separation Report (DD214).  Also with the DD214 was a letter telling me that Robert’s military file was one of the unfortunate files that was destroyed in the 1973 fire and that the DD214 was all that they could provide to me.  After reading Kathleen’s article, I have sent a follow-up request and requested Robert’s last Pay Voucher, any Medical-Related Alternate Records and the Army’s Morning Reports.  I am crossing my fingers that they are able to find the records I requested.  I should hear something from them in about 4-6 weeks.

I love reading Kathleen Brandt’s blog, a3Genealogy.  She is great author and when I grow up, I wanna be a professional genealogist just like her!!!

Have a great day everyone!

Miss Martin – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History
Week 41 – Teachers
Did you have a favorite teacher when you were growing up? What class(es) did this person teach and why did he/she make an impact on your life?
This challenge runs from Saturday, October 8, 2011 through Friday, October 14, 2011.

This challenge is run by Thomas MacEntee over at his blog called Geneabloggers but was originally authored by Amy Coffin over at her We Tree Genealogy blog.  When I can, I try to participate.

This one I knew I had to participate in because of one special teacher that I had in the 4th grade.  I went to Cogswell Elementary in El Monte, California.  From what I remember, it was a small school that at the time of my attendance, only went up to 6th grade.

My 4th grade teacher was named Miss Martin.  She was special and made me feel like I was part of the crowd.  I always felt out-of-place at school because at the time, I didn’t make friends easily.  I remember that she has a larger than life personality, had beautiful black hair and was a very tall woman (although that last one could be because I was short in the 4th grade.)  She was fun, always telling funny jokes and made learning really fun and enjoyable.  She made me feel that it was ok to be different and that I didn’t have to be part of the “in” crowd, than individuality was a good thing.

Several years ago, I was going through an old box from storage and found my 6th grade autograph book.  When I read it, all of my memories came rushing back.  Including those of Miss Martin.  Even though I was in 6th grade, I went and had her sign my autograph book.

The cover of my 6th grade autograph book. Photo owned by author.

As you can see, it is staring to fall apart.  I plan on scanning the whole book to save it from any further damage.

The first page that I filled out myself. Photo owned by author.

Back in the day, I actually liked calling myself Pat even though my first name is Patricia.  Now, I really dislike Pat and prefer Tricia.  I filled it out myself and even put down my address.

Miss Martin's Signature in my 6th grade autograph book (I had to enhance this photo to make sure the pencil showed up). Photo owned by author.

Here is Miss Martin’s signature in my autograph book.  I always loved the little face she drew!  She put that on all of the assignments that got good grades.  You can even see my notation that she was “The best teacher I ever had!”  However, I don’t remember when I wrote that in.

When I did find this in my storage box, I immediately showed my daughter and gave her the rundown on the best teacher I ever had.  I always wondered whatever happened to Miss Martin.  I think I will try to find her and tell her what a wonderful teacher she was!  Maybe she is on facebook?  Although I could never duplicate her drawing, here is my electronic version…  😛