Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday, Maple Shade Cemetery, Onsted, Lenawee County, Michigan

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Remember, clicking on the photo will open it in a larger window, click the back button to return to Reflections From the Fence.

Frank T. Baker
May 13, 1906
Oct. 3, 1982

Oceans of Love
on rocky shores

Stella M Baker
Apr. 9, 1907
Apr. 3, 2000

W. Lynn Halstead
1909 - 1984

C. Jeanette Halstead
1912  2008

Patrick Ryan Bergeron
Feb. 7, 1990 - Aug. 25, 2004

I like the individualism of each of these stones. 

The message on the Baker's stone makes me wonder about their lives, obviously filled with love, but also with trials.  The story inscribed with the water, a rainbow and couple walking along the shore tells the story.

The shape of the Halstead stone is interesting, and the inscription of a swan swimming in a pond with trees in the background is peaceful, don't you think?

The small toys on Patrick's stone are particularly touching.  I can see a young boy playing with them, or maybe they represent activities Patrick enjoyed.

I have created a memorial for each at Find A Grave.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday's Moaning, Lost Marriage Certficiates

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Man and I discovered a little town near Fort Wayne that we knew nothing of, and seeing that it is in the heart of a small Amish community just 10 miles north of our campground, we just had to go visit.  Grabill, Allen County, Indiana.  In all the years we have been coming to Fort Wayne, we were unaware of this little jewel.

There are only a few stores, a great hardware, a new grocery type store where they sell spices and all kinds of goodies in small containers at bulk food prices.  There are also two Sauder stores, one of which is the General Mechandiser.  I have a few photos today over at Reflection's Flora and Fauna showing their Candy, Coffee and Checkers.  The other store is Sauder's Furniture (est. 1907).  The store is now all about antiques (well almost), a number of vendors rent floor space and place their wares to be sold.  You can buy a Vera Bradley product there, that is the "almost" part of the store.

They had some great stuff.  I found a sewing cabinet exactly like mine, which I inherited from my great aunt Sarah.  Here is mine, they had the one there priced to sell at $95.00.  The ends (under those two gold lamps) lift, for deep storage.  One of the drawers has a little sliding type of tray to hold small sewing items, like needles, thimbles, etc.

I found some old cradles, lots of jewelry and what always saddens a family researcher, old photos, someone's great great grandparents.  Some large, fully framed photos, some smaller.  I would love to save them all, but, finances and space do not permit. 

I did not feel that I could stand there and photograph all of them, I am pretty sure that would have upset the owner and the vendors.  My ethics just would not stretch that far.  Besides, most have no names, no way to identify the people, so, sadly, why bother?  SIGHHH

However, that said, ethics sorta took a hit when I found two marriage certificates, one dated 1909 and the other 1915.  I whipped that ole Sony out and took photos! 

So, what is the purpose of this Monday Moaning??  I would love to find someone who is related to these happy couples, and reunite them with their ancestors.  No, I did not purchase them, again, finances and space just do not permit.  Of course, I have NO idea how long these marriage certificates may stay unsold.

So, here's the deal, I will NOT post the photos, again, due to ethics, but, I am going to tell you WHO the happy couples were.  If you recognize any of these names, contact me, find my email addy here on the blog and write me.

Charles F. Pence of Converse, Indiana and Louella A. Wright of Converse, Indiana were married on September 7, 1909.

Charles H. Rodenbeck of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Ardelia E. Schultz, also of Fort Wayne, Indiana, were married on December 1st of 1915.  Charles and Ardelia were married in Fort Wayne.


If you know anyone who might be interested in these names, in this area, please let them know about this post.  Thank you.

OK, Monday's Moaning is over.  Man and I enjoyed our visit to Grabill, and we will go back again, next time we are here in the Fort Wayne area. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Allen County Public Library, A Great Place To Research

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Those of us that are lucky enough to have been able to research at the Allen County Public Library are all in agreement, this is one great place to research.  It is packed full of books and microfilm and microfiche, they have open stacks, and I have yet to find a book misfiled, which to me is a wonder in of itself, what a daunting chore, rather amazing.   I know it has to happen, but of course, however, the staff does an outstanding job.

My tablet PC with just a few of the open stacks
of county research books available.

They say this is the second largest genealogical collection in the United States under one roof.  I found a reference that stated that the Genealogy Center occupies 42,000 square feet, includes more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche.  (Note that this web site has out of date information concerning the hours of operation, as they are now closed Saturdays during the summer as well as Sundays.)

Microfilm and microfiche stored here,
LOTS & LOTS of good stuff,
vital records, newspapers, directories,
military records and of course, CENSUS!

Want to look at previously written family histories, looking for clues, ACPL has a room full of stacks and stacks of family histories.

Just one row, of many, many rows of family histories.

In another area they have books stored on two long, long rows of these movable stacks, amazing, and space saving too.

These movable stacks glide without effort and quietly.
To move the walls/stacks of books, you simply engage
the touch buttons.  Spacesaver, perfectly named.

Many of the staff are knowledgeable in genealogy research and have plenty of patience.  All in all, a visit to the Allen County Public Library is a great experience.

Fort Wayne is an exciting, vibrant city.  It is a favorite city for Man and I to visit.  Hotels and motels are close by, within 10 minutes drive time to the library.  There are several restaurants close by (for lunch time) and lots out by those hotels/motels (for dinner, like Banditos, yum yum Mexican).  (I speak of the west side of town, near I-69.)  The city parks here in Fort Wayne are beautiful.  There are also several campgrounds within a 20 minute drive of the library if that is your mode of travel.  It is hard not to love this place.

Allen County Public Library, if you research, you just MUST visit.  I think you will enjoy your visit to the library and the town.

The library is located at 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Film Readers and Photographing Images

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I was asked about taking photographs of images from microfilm readers.  Is it doable?  Yes.  Is it easy?  Sorta.  Is it preferable?  Maybe.

At the Allen County Public Library the majority, if not all, of the microfilm readers are this type.

These readers have the lens at the top, shooting the image to the white, slightly sloped area, below.  As you can see, there is already a shadow on the white surface.  My experience is that there usually is some kind of shadow, or glare, even when loaded with film. 

Lets be up front here, this is one of my first experiences trying the photo the image vs the printers onsite.  My experience is limited. 

For really great reproductions of the images, you need to take the film to one of the printers available in your library.  There be the difficulty here at ACPL.  MY experience, MY opinion, MINE, is that the new computerized type printers they have here are a nightmare.  They are extremely hard to learn to use, I am no hacker, but, I am not a computer newbie either, and these printers give me a headache.  Well, they give me a great case of heartburn and agnst.  They are by far the most irritating, horrible machines.  Can you tell, I will do just about anything to NOT use them??  Don't get me wrong, if you can figure out how they work, they do work great, fab images, you can print to paper or to your own flash drive.  To get one image out of these new fangled machines has taken me 30 minutes and more.  My patience does not last that long, eh??

SOOOO, that is one reason I have been experimenting with the camera.

So, here are some preliminary opinions I have made, learning curve still ongoing:
  1. You WILL be fighting shadows and the curved white surface.  (Unless you can find a reader with the image on a screen in front of you - like a telie or computer monitor.  I have not tried one of those, not had the opportunity, but, I feel they might work best for photography.)
  2. Take a LOT of shots, digitial, you get to toss the bad ones.
  3. If the pages are wide, like old vital records tend to be, I take several across the page, not trying to get the entire image in one photo.  If you want the entire page in one image, you might want to try "stitching" the photos together.  I can "stitch" images, but, it is not one of my more favorite digitial enhancing tools, so I tend to just capture the most I can per photo and use more than one for my output/saving to the database.
  4. Obituaries are easier to capture, they usually don't extend more than one column wide and are fairly easy to get centered in your photo.  You can push the image on the reader to one side or the other, allowing you to get a more "square" looking photo.  By the way, if there is a photo of the ancestor published with the obit, I found they turn out pretty nice, I zoom in, then edit digitally later. I mean, an image of the ancestor is an image, if you don't have one, this will beat the heck out of never having one!
  5. You will have to fiddle around the lens and the adjustment handles.  This was the tough part with the vital records, handle in the way.
  6. Watch for your own hands and camera shadows in the image BEFORE you shoot.  I found that by getting the camera up as high as I could, near the lens, I had less issues with my own shadow.
  7. Again, take LOTS of shots, zoom in a bit, take the entire page, then, zoom in.
  8. I try to take a photo of the film box, or film description image first, THEN take the photos of the images I want.  (I do the same with books, take a photo of the title page, etc, first, then the pages I want.  Ya, sometimes I mess this up, but, still learning!  LOL)
No, all your images will not turn out, as you can see:

So, here is another hint , preview your captured images before you  move on.  I preview just about every photo I take of books and film.  So, when I previewed the image above, I could easily see, it needed a do over.

The image I used on last night's post was cropped, auto enhanced (which made the background turn even darker and the print even whiter), and sharpened (to crisp up the edges of the letters), and re-sized.

Try using your digitial camera, and if you don't like the results you see when you preview the image, take the film directly to the in house film printers and do what you have to do to capture that record you have been hunting down for 20 years.

Since I had my laptop computer with me, and the camera with me, I also thought ahead to take the cords to download the photos from the camera to the computer.  I downloaded the photos each day before I left the library, verifying that the quality was satisfying and sufficient for me. 

Try it, and be your own judge.  Verify quality before leaving the image and the library for the day.  Have fun!

One side benefit to photographing books, etc, is you can use that snifty program, Transcript, with the images.  My camera saves as jpg images, which load easily to Transcript, and I can type from that image.  Don't we all just LOVE Transcript??  YAA, we do!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Researching - - I Only Need ONE Hit - -

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I am sorta a greedy sort when it comes to my research, but as I get older, and frankly, have done a LOT of research, and have a lot of really great stuff already, I find that I am a little less greedy, and will settle for one really good hit per research trip.  IF, however, I happen to get more, I will greedily take it all!  LOL

This trip started out slow, partially because I did not have a to do list, 'cept for the running list on Rootsmagic.  I was brain numb and exhausted, and to be honest this trip was as much about relaxing, getting away from the house and some real R & R for Man and I, as it was about researching.

I plugged along all week, finding a few things, some which I will hope will lead to some great research days as soon as I get somewhere that has the films I need, ohhhh, to be able to hit Richmond Virginia for about 2 weeks!  Ya, some great leads there.

Yesterday I worked all day for one of my cousins, filling in some nice details, but, not breaking any walls down.  She will be getting a nice CD in a few weeks with goodies for her to absorb.

Today, is my last day here in Fort Wayne, and the library is only open till 6, but, I have to leave about 4:30, a short day.  So, I decided to go back to that old to do list of mine, and work on my Virginia lines.  I found several deaths and at least 3 marriages, I'm happy. 

Then, I decide to look ONE more time for my great grandmother's first marriage - - first of FIVE marriages!!  I have looked before, in several counties.  I have looked several times in those counties.  But, I looked again, because I have done this before, look and look and not find what I want, and look ONE more time and there it is, looking me right in the eyes.  Goodness, it was there all along.

So, I spent some time reviewing the microfilm again for several counties.  Nadda.  Something told me to go to FamilySearch and have a look, so, I did, went to Virginia marriages, typed in her name and dang - - up pops a hit, and oh, my!!  It is her and that first hubby.  Oh, it is the only hit with that name and it is the one I want! 

I ran for the microfilm, not believing, but, lo and behold, courtesy of FamilySearch and my trusty Sony camera, here is part of the page, with her marriage on it!  WAHOOOO

(Remember, click on the image for a larger version, click on
the back button to return to Reflections.)

So, finally after a bunch of years, and a lot of do overs, I finally have her first marriage. 

Now, wonder if I can find his death before I leave here today??  Well, if not, I have my ONE hit for this trip.  I can deal with one hit like this, makes the entire week a total success!  WAHHOOOO

Carol is doing that happy dance thing, dancing in Fort Wayne, thanks to FamilySearch.

*Graphic courtesy of horton-szar.net

Sharing a Slice of Life, Sneaky Snake Goes Dancin'

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Over at Sharing a Slice of Life, the prompt this week is about snakes, where we are urged to tell "stories about finding our slithering friends out in the garden, behind the washing machine, or one takes a strike at you hiking."

Ya, ole Carol has a snake story, ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

Our current home has 4.9 acres of land, about 3 of which is now groomed and cut, the rest is pond, swamp and woods.  The previous owner was not cutting 3 acres, but, probably more like 2.  The first summer we came to realize very quickly that we had some serious landscaping to do, the lawn area was so rough and furrowed.  How rough, well, that is another story, some day.

So, bout this time of the year (late summer), we hired a local landscaper, and we started a project that would cost a bucket of $$ and take about 2 months to complete.  It included killing off about 90% of the existing lawn, errr, weeds.  Then we had dirt moved around, lots of raking, seeding, more raking, hours and hours of work. (And, of course, because we live on what could easily be called a gravel pit, thanks to the glacial age dumping of gravel and sand, we also paid for a lot of picking up of rocks and more rocks and more - - - )

BUT, first we cut down the weeds and briars and such so we could see the lay of the land, and that is where the snake story comes in.

The uncut areas were cut with a brush hog.  Only when you cut with a brush hog, you cannot get real close to trees or shrubs.  So, there is still a lot of tall grass and weeds out there.  Did you know that snakes love that tall grass stuff?

The day after the brush hog was there we met with the landscaper, and one of her helpers.  Man, landscaper, helper and I were out walking the property discussing the project.  (You need to know that I had never met the landscaper helper, who happened to be a man, ya just need to know that for the story.)

So, we are walking around the property, chatting away at what needs to be done, how, when, what, where, why and $$.  We approach one of those bushes that still had a lot of foliage around it, when, all of a sudden, (this would not be a story without the ALL OF A SUDDEN, now, would it??), there starts a racket and a swishing.  This "noise" got my attention RIGHT NOW, cause along with the noise, what should arise out of the bush, but a HUGE snake.  OK, he did not really arise out of the bush, but he did raise up and sorta stood on his hiney (do snakes have hineys??) and he started down the hill headed for the pond.  He did that snake wiggle walk, squiggle, wiggle.  Dancin' he was!  And, goodness sakes alive, he moved fast, REAL fast!

While he was standing up on his hiney, I was getting one of those scares of life that, thank you very much, I can do without.  I nearly jumped into the arms of that nice landscaper helper that I had just met.  I let out a yelp, ok, a scream, and I think I jumped over 2 feet straight up!  My heart was racing, I guarantee!

So, why all the reaction, I mean, other than this thing moved like lightening?? MMMMMM, twas the size.  He was HUGE, I kid you not, HUGE!  At least 6 foot long, I swear he was 5 inches in diameter.  HUGE!

Nice landscaper helper told me it was a blue racer, and that, blue racers would flog a person if they felt it was necessary to do so to procure their own escape.

This graphic was identified as a blue race, no kiddin!  (Look at that ugly mean looking face, ewwwwwwwwww!)  Ya, no wonder I was scared, and nearly jumped into the arms of a perfect stranger!

Sneaky snake, blue racer snake, big, fast, snake, goes dancin' indeed!  He dances, Carol jumps!  And, years later, just thinking about that big snake still gives me the creeps, ewwwww!!

*Graphic of the blue racer courtesy of Arthur's Snake Clipart

**Graphic of my little green friend here, courtesy of Webweaver.nu

***And, no, I did NOT do any research on blue racers and the truth of that flogging stuff, don't want to ruin my story with the truth, do I??  LOL

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday, Arthur N. Stevens, The Bus Driver & His Watch

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Some of the treasures from Man's mother's affects are small in size but large in emotional value.  Man's father, Art, drove bus for a number of  years before World War II.  I found this photo of him in his bus driver's uniform deep in one of those boxes retrieved from Millie's house.

Now a bus driver just HAS to be on time, eh??  Art carried his watch on  a pocket watch chain.  It now hangs in this small dome.

The bus driver's watch, an essential tool,
and a treasure in our treasure chest.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dorothy Agnes Butts Followup - - NOT What I Expected

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Earlier today I posted about Dorohy Agnes Butts, it is her birthday.  I noted that even tho I had a photo of her headstone, I had no death date.

So, I decided early today to go find a phone number for the cemetery and call them.  And, I started going there - - and yes,  I got sidetracked - - and now I have 289 pages of old handwriting to plow through.

Somehow, I got onto the McHenry County Illinois county home page and found this little jewel.  Seems that Journal 1 with the earliest records came home to McHenry recently.  According to the web page, "In 2010, the original leather-bound first volume of the McHenry County Commissioners’ Court Minutes resurfaced ..."

So, they have scanned the entire thing, which you can open, and I saved to my hard drive, two large wonderful files.

Seeing that Man's 3rd great grandfather was known to be in McHenry County by 1843, I cannot wait to delve in.

289 pages written in  old handwriting, oh, ya.

And,  I still have not found that phone number - - - - Sorry Dorothy, you are gonna have to wait a bit longer - - - - but thank you so much for the lead!

*Graphic courtesy of McHenry County web site.

Birthday Obsevances, Dorothy Agnes Butts, Where Are You?

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Dorothy Agnes Butts, daughter of Albert Butts and his wife, Agnes Jackson Butts, was born August 25, 1905 in Harvard, McHenry County, Illinios.

Dorothy is found on the 1930 U.S. Census of Altona Village, Knox County, Illinois, ED 48-57, sheet 2A, page 282, she is a boarder in the home of John H. Larson and his wife Anna C.; Dorothy is 24 years of age, single, born Illinois, both parents born Illinois, teacher in high school.

Other than the 1930 census, little else is known about Dorothy.  I did find this great bio information from the 10th Edition (1977-78) of Who's Who of American Women:

"Butts, Dorothy Agnes, ret. educator, civic worker; b. Harvard, Ill., Aug. 25, 1905; d. Albert and Agnes (Jackson) Butts; B. A. summa cum laude, U. Ill., 1928, M.A., 1940; postgrad. (Hills Found. scholor) U. Minn, Ill. Conservation Sch., 1945, (Kellogg Found. scholar) So. Ill. U., 1949, 50. Tchr. biology, pub. high schs., Altona, Ill., 1928-37, Abingdon, Ill., 1937-42, East Moline, Ill., 1942-45, Rockford, Ill., 1945-46; instr. botany U. Ill., Extension, 1947-52; asst. prof. botany Rockford Coll., 1953-58, cons., summers 1955-65; asso. prof life scis. Rock Valley Coll., Rockford, 1966-72, Hostess women's council Bay Cliff Health Camp, Big Bay, Mich., 1965-76; vol. worker psychiat. dept. Swedish-Am. Hosp;., Rockford, Ill., 1973-75. Recipient Outstanding Tchr. award Rockford Women's Club, 1968-69. Mem. NEA., Ill., Rockford edn. assns., Bus. Profl. Women's Club, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi. Republican. Mem. Congregational Ch. Club: Eastern Star. Home: 208 N. Oak Knolls Rockford Il 61107"

And, that is the last I hear of Dorothy. Searching on the popular genie web sites has not turned Dorothy up again. SSDI, nadda.  A glance at Rootsweb.com World tree submissions does turn up a hit, but, the submitter does not know what happened to Dorothy either.  No entry on Find A Grave, yet.

She does have a headstone at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Dunham Township, McHenry County, Illinois.  As you can see, the end date was MIA when I was there several years ago.

I need to take the time to contact the cemetery and see if they have some information.  Maybe that is where she is afterall.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday, Angels of Sanford/Wheaton/Woodstock

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This small country cemetery in Lenawee County Michigan has 3 names that it is known by: Sanford, Wheaton and Woodstock.  For the life of me, I cannot figure out how stuff like this happens.  It is listed as Woodstock, also known as Sanford, on Find A Grave.  Here is the sign, Sanford Cemetery.  More research will be done on this cemetery in the near future, maybe I can figure out this naming thingy!  LOL

Now that we are all confused, lets enjoy the rest of the day with three angels from Sanford.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Relatively Speaking, Organizing Your Data Base Photos

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Recently, Diane (our non-blogging Wild One) and I chatted a few minutes about organizing photos or scanned documents you want to link to your data base. This is not a high priority in Diane’s research life, so she has not really done much. On the other hand, I, have, mmmm, almost afraid to type this number, almost 7, 750 multimedia (photos, videos, documents, maps, sound bites, etc.) attached to individuals on my data base (maintained by RootsMagic 3.x). Anne and Karen have many more than I do, linking wild one ladies!

There is no doubt you need an organization plan, you need to be able to find those photos. Here is my master plan.

Photos are NOT buried inside the RM program on my hard drive, they are instead, stored in a separate directory, mine is called, “Family History Photos”. Isn’t that original?? LOL

Within that directory there are many, 54 to be exact, subdirectories. Most are named for the surnames I am researching, Trumbo, Halterman, Lashbrook, Gehrke, Fenton, Eley, etc. There are also directories for special needs, such as Heirloom and special stuff, where I store photos of heirlooms and other special stuff we own; Lihue Lutheran Church records, for scans of records from that church, this file contains 91 scans. I have several files named “Places cemeteries and stuff” (1, 2 and 3), these contain maps, photos of gates at cemeteries, photos of houses.

I have found that I prefer not to have a lot of photos in one directory. I used to let the files grow and grow, and have one that has over 700 photos in it. TOOOOOO many! I am happier with 200, but that is a personal preference.

Remember, organize the way your logic works, and what works for me may not work for you.  The challenge is that you need to be able to find the files.  Have fun, organization is a great thing!

*Graphic courtesy of clker.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Wild and Crazy - House Hunt - The REST of the Story

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Last evening Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings posted his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, the prompt got my attention quite fast.  Part 1 of the story was published last evening here at Reflections, now, here is the REST of the story:

The Search for the Charles G. Trumbo House, Rockingham County, Virginia, April 1997, Part 2

The rest of the afternoon was spent driving around Rockingham County by compiler and a nap by Nancy. I thought the subject was closed. Nancy DID NOT! I told you, she is a determined type lady!

I show up back at Nancy's place around dinner. She has been thinking and discussing the situation with her son. He tells her there is a much easier way into the place, from the other direction, from the Mountain Road. Nancy announces that we are going to go try to find the house, again, this time from the Mountain Road. We take her hubby with us this time.

We follow her son's directions and lo and behold, we are right back at the same area of the county, only on the other side. We recognize the area. We drive up to a tree farm we had seen earlier in the day. Nancy knocks on doors, if we can find someone home who has lived in the area for a while maybe they can tell us where the elusive Charles G. Trumbo house is. And how to get to it! For over an hour we work our way up and down the road that runs parallel to the ridge that we had hiked earlier in the day. We just know we are getting closer, we can feel it in our bones. We are having a fine time, laughing, joking, seriously looking, but not taking much of this seriously. Like I said, we just know we are getting closer.

We drive up every road, even the really small ones, looking for the house. Nancy knocks on doors, quite a few of em. Of course, there are a few houses she wisely decides to not knock on the door, but rather to stay in the car, these are the homes with MEAN dogs in the yard, some tied up, others not.

After knocking on doors for quite a while and not finding one living soul home, except of course, previously mentioned canines, I had to finally ask Nancy, "Ok, why when they lock up the towns and roll up the roads at 5 P.M., why are these people NOT home? Where are they??" Answer, "Visiting with family, having dinner, and they come home late and go to bed."

We finally spy real LIVE people out in their yard. Nancy pulls in, jumps out of the car, and of course, she knows them. She proceeds to ask, "Where is the Charles Trumbo house?" These people point and say ---"Right there!". WOW, we are really close now! We can actually see the place! The sweet, knowledgeable lady says, he taught here at the school (pointing over her shoulder), he taught my parents! So now we have found the house, have directions (go to the next road, turn left, pass the first house on the left, look for the burnt out trailer home, turn left again) and we also know where Charles taught school. COOL!

We take our leave, go to the next road, turn left-------well you get the idea. We pull in, the drive has a fork, we take the left fork. We end up in the front yard of a home that is 210 years old and still occupied. (Yes, it had been refurbished.) Nancy gets out of the car again, looking for a live soul and finds one. This nice young man informs us that the right fork would have led us to a locked gate, which we could climb, and right up to the house. He also tells us that the property is used EVERY weekend by a group of young fellows who have "encampments" and practice "reinactments" with swords and cannons. They have tepees in the yard near the house and they have turned the barn into a cafeteria and "ole style saloon". He continues to tell us that the group is a very nice bunch of fellows who have invited him to Saturday night grub, errr, dinner. After a cordial discussion we decide that we are close enough, and will consider coming back the next day. After all it is getting dark, your's truly had to find a bathroom SOON, and Nancy's hubby was at the end of his ropes with us and hungry as well. Time to head back to Timberville.

Now, I was tired, but after that visit to the toilet, and a little time to reflect on the day's happenings, I came to the conclusion that we had probably opened a hornet's's nest by snooping around. Remember, the road was supposed to be overgrown, and was not. The young men looking over me like I was a VERY crooked mile. Encampments at a place that was supposedly abandoned. Remember the young man insinuating that "Oh, yea, there is a house down there, over a couple of hills, etc." That nice young man was a lying little twerp! Not only did he know about the house, and where it was, he was camping in the front yard every weekend! Add the fact that Nancy who knows WHAT is going on in Rockingham, knew nothing of this weekly happening.

Conclusions: We were lucky that after trespassing the young fellas just stopped and talked to us. I was really lucky that Nancy was with me, her drawl, so obviously local, was what probably convinced them that we were actually a couple of ditzy ladies looking for some ole run down shack of a house and that I was not a reporter from the "north" (remember the BIG camera I was hauling around). Maybe they figured out from our body language that we were actually telling the truth, no one could tell a story bout children's heritage and laugh and be so flip and relaxed if they were trying to cover up some other explanation for being on the property. Second conclusion: I was NOT going back to that house the next day. NO WAY!! Next conclusion: Ever heard of the "militia"? Why else the little fibs bout the house, the reluctance to say who they were, why they had a key and what THEY were doing on the property?

Footnote: I took a photo of the house, it did NOT turn out, I lost the entire roll of film that I took the first part of the week I was in Rockingham County. Some technical foul up. More like, Murphy's law!

I left Nancy still determined to get to that house! She wants to get inside and maybe find a old piece of wood laying around that was part of the house. She will have her grandson build her a bird house from it if she does. She wants to get a photo. I made her promise she would not go alone or on the weekend. There was some plan about her son, a four wheeler and a Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Well, it was a fun day filled with laughter and surprise. A bit more surprise than we bargained for, but hey, life is full of surprises!

Endnote, in 1998, Nancy, Carol and Man, did indeed get onto that property, escorted by Pauline Trumbo Whetzel, daughter of Charles, who had spent her childhood in that home. I got my photos, and a piece of wood from the house. It appeared at that time that the "reinactors" were no longer using the property.

The Photo! 
For sure the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall AND stupid thing I have done in pursuit of my ancestral families and their family history.

*Pauline Trumbo Whetzel died in April of 2000.  Nancy died in February of 2009, leaving a major hole in her family and community.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Wild and Crazy - House Hunt

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Randy Seaver from Genea-Musings has posted his challenge this week it is "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Wild and Crazy Genealogist?"

* What is the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing you have done in pursuit of your ancestral families and their family history?

I knew immediately the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall AND stupid thing I have done, hands down this story wins!  And, here it is:
The Search for the Charles G. Trumbo House, Rockingham County, Virginia, April 1997

The occasion was Heritage Day for descendants of Brocks Gap residents. The event is held every spring and this compiler had been unable to attend until 1997. Of course, that also meant a long drive from Michigan, the car packed with more family files, computer and research paraphernalia than with clothes. I looked forward to researching in several libraries I have heard so much about, but had not had the time to get into on a couple of previous trips, haunting a couple of county courthouses in search for documents on several elusive ancestors, cemetery visits to photograph headstones of ancestors, finding houses that my ancestors had lived in and of course, taking photographs of those, and visiting with Alva and her sister Nancy Bodkin.

Sometime during the visit, Nancy and I decided that we should find the house my great- grandfather lived in. (It should be noted that compiler thinks that Nancy decided we should go find the house!) Nancy even knew who owned the land the house was on. So she called the home of the owner, finding his wife home, but not the owner. His wife gave us directions, of the general type and told Nancy that the drive, the land and the houselot were over grown, and that finding the house would not be easy. She also told us that her husband was out of town and would not be available to take us out there on the day we wanted to go.

Nancy in a fit of frustration blurts out that we are going to go try to find the house anyway!! Nancy is DETERMINED!! Now you have to know that Nancy has lived in Rockingham County for all her life and she knows everyone! She also has what one would commonly call "spirit". And Nancy loves to laugh and have fun. Anyway, off we go. Nancy and her grandson, who should have been in school, but was not because he had smacked a kid the day before and was expelled for the day, and yours truly.

We drive to Timberville, head back to the orchard area and root around for a while. We drive several of the back roads and don't find the "locked gate" we need to find. While we had been having lunch just prior to this little car ride, someone had mentioned to Nancy that maybe the city hall would have a detailed map and could point out the property on it to us. After snooping for a while we decide that the city hall plan sounds pretty reasonable, so back to town we go. When we walk into city hall Nancy knows the lady working there. Of course. But, this lady says there are no such maps. However, she has a suggestion. How bout the firemen??? They need to know where all these houses are in case of an emergency. One of the firemen, almost all of whom are volunteers, also happens to work for the city. So this kind lady gets on the CB and calls up a fireman for us. He calls back, talks to Nancy, he knows just where we need to go, after a few minutes of describing the route we need to take to locate the property he decides to come to the city hall and lead us out there.

A few minutes later we are headed back towards the property, we are led right to the gate, locked gate. Oh, we had been in the right place the first trip out, but did not see the gate, did not look on that side of the road. So, Mr. Fireman tells us, you go up that hill, round that little bend, look for a tree, etc., etc., etc. I ask him, how far??? Bout quarter of a mile?? Yea, that sounds bout right.

Nancy, Grandson and yours truly duck under the gate and start walking up the hill. Looked like a little hill, but that thing never stopped going up!!! After about a mile Nancy announces she is not going any further. Of course, her grandson and I keep going, I went about another quarter mile, and he went maybe even another quarter mile. I think he said he reached the end of the road. NO HOUSE!!

Oh, and that road, it was in great shape! Fresh gravel, wide, clean, no briars. This does not look like a road that is unused. In fact this road looks better than a lot of driveways do in Rockingham County. This road was good enough to drive a 18 wheeler down, well, maybe not a 18 wheeler, but a truck of substantial size would have no trouble whatsoever navigating this "driveway".

It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm and a pleasant breeze, a great day for a hike, which is about all we got out if it.

On our way out, much to our surprise we are met by a pickup truck driven by a young man, say, bout 24 years old and his buddy. Clean cut, an earring here and there, but nice clean cut guys. They must have a key, oooo, we hope they left the gate open, then we could drive back here and snoop around some more. Well, it was just a fleeting thought. The boys in the truck were as surprised to see us as we were to see them. Now, technically, we were trespassing. Nancy did not seem to think so, but technically----------

The truck pulls up beside us and we have a little conversation: We are looking for the Trumbo house. Is there a house still standing? Yes, we think there is one, way down over several hills, briars, hard to reach, abandoned, roof may still be there. I am the great-granddaughter of the fellow that lived there, I want photos for my children, to preserve their heritage, etc.,etc. etc. Yes, the gate is locked again, it HAS to stay that way.

These two young men are looking at me like I am full of poison. I don't have the Rockingham southern drawl/accent. I have a big, fancy, professional looking camera. I mention a couple of times bout my great grandfather, they look at my camera very suspiciously each time. You know that saying, "the hair on the back of my neck stood up", well it DID!

After a short conversation we continue back to our parked car. We are disappointed that we failed to find the house.

*Alas, the story is NOT finished, come back tomorrow morning for the REST of the story!

**Graphic courtesy of findfreegraphics

Frazzeled and Frazee

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Above, most, but not ALL of the greeting cards
still left to sort and organize.  All told the pile is
8 inches tall.
Well, been working on Man's mother's collections for 14 days now, pretty much 10 to 12 hours a day, sorting, organizing, shredding, and starting again.  Man and I did escape a couple of days for a few hours to go buy more storage supplies and buy groceries and snagged lunch out.  AHHHHHH! Thursday we also escaped for the evening by visiting the twins and their parents, they fed us, we supplied desert, the weather was still warm, but we were able to sit outside all evening, delightful.  I am now at the brain numb point, all these decisions.  Whew! 

Toss in  few hours for some serious shrub trimming, ick, in the heat, because it HAS to be done.  We have hired a painter to spiff up the outside of the place, deck, the poles and door of the pole barn, the 2 back entrance doors to the house, and the front of the house, which includes entrance door, decorative trim at top of 2 peaks and the poles and spindles on the front porch.  Seems the spindles have a lot of rot, so, now, that entire area must be replaced, you know the routine, you start with simple paint and next, you are redoing the front and the rear porches/decks.  Oh well, a bit of time, wood, paint, and $$ will have it all fixed up.

So, that covers some of my frazzeled.  How 'bout Frazee??

Today, may be the birthday for Glenn Frazee.  August 21, 1903, maybe.  Glenn married on May 24, 1922 in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Letty Lorraine Lashbrook(e).  He claimed on the marriage record to be 23 years of age, and that his birth place is "Jonesborough, Ind."

You can see that he names his father as L. B. Frazee and his mother as Martha Linde.  Glenn divorced Letty on March 25, 1925 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana.  Letty did not contest the divorce and Glenn, as plaintiff, was "prohibited from remarrying for two years from this date".

If  you search for Glenn at the popular genie sites you will no doubt run across some family trees, that tie a Glenn Frazee with parents Ludlow and Martha  (Linde) Frazee to a birth date in 1903 and a second wife, Helen Gertrude Burnett , who Glenn married on 25 March 1925.  Wow, that is the same day of the divorce from Letty! 

Even better, when I got around to chasing down a marriage for Glenn and Helen, I found it in Starke County, Indiana.  The marriage took place on 23 March 1936, Glenn names his parents as Roy Frazee, deceased and his mother is named as Ethel Stanford.

Glenn Frazee frazels me.  I did locate Glenn with Ludlow and Martha on the 1910 U.S. Census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana.  I need to revisit the 1920 and 1930 census reports and my notes, frazeled again.  LOL

Yes, Saturday is frazzeled and Frazee.  I could solve both situations if I could find out what happened to Glenn, son of Ludlow and Martha.  I guess he could have married Helen twice, once in 1925 and again in 1936 oh, yea, frazzeled.

* May 2016:  A follow up post is here, with some corrections and some new info and some more frustration.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Sharing a Slice of Life, Beach Bound

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This weeks challenge at Sharing a Slice of Life, is Beach Bound, "your choice of writing about swimming, boating, fishing, beach combing, sunbathing, etc. If it's got to do with water and hot summer rays, it's game."

However, when I heard the challenge, my first thought was, WOW, that covers a lot of territory for us camping types, I am sure I can dig up a bucket load of sand, errr, photos covering this topic. Then, I thought about the photo of Man and I on the Rifle River, a LONG LONG time ago, canoeing. But, much of the back story of that particular photo is not something I am sure I want on my blog, snicker, as it would contain a few words of angst, along with stories of bruises, some cheap wine, long bus trips, and cold cold river water.

However, when I pulled the memory strings, where was it that I had my most wonderful beach days. Surely, the Outer Banks of North Carolina would rank high, gosh, I still love it out there. I may have a photo or two of me as a little tyke on the beach, but the ones I can lay my hands on in a hurry don’t show the beach, just this little tow head in her short outfits, one with a little purse, the other with this funky hat.

Then, I remembered Port Crescent State Park near Port Austin, Huron County, Michigan. The campground lies on the shore of Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes. Oh, yea, now that was some beach, and we spent several weeks there, at least one parked as close to the beach as the campsites would allow. It was wonderful, listening to the lapping of the water against the shore, fantastic sand, long walks along the beach. Days spent in swim suits, drinking Gevalia coffee in the AM while reading and listening to some wonderful classical music.  Lazy wonderful beach days.

Here is what the rig looked like, the photographer was standing on the beach, well, actually he was standing IN Lake Michigan, looking up the hill.

And, here is what it looks like thanks to Google Maps. That loop/circle is the campground, we were along that portion that lies closest to the beach.

Man and I have not been back in well over 20 years, hmmmmmm, maybe next summer, we could/should be beach bound for Port Crescent.

Hey Man, I got an idea for you - - - what cha think??