25 May 2013

Cutie Pie is Three!

My adorable niece, Cutie Pie, is three today.  I hope she has a wonderful birthday.  I wish I was there to celebrate with her.  Cutie Pie's mom says she loves to do things for herself; is into a Princess stage, especially, Cinderella; likes to do arts and crafts and likes playing dress up.  She watches PBS' Dinosaur Train and received Dinosaur Train characters for Christmas.  My parents (Cutie Pie's grandparents) visited Cutie Pie this past year and my dad calls her little mook and she calls him big Mook.  She talks to them on the phone and they video chat with her.  I need to visit Cutie Pie more often because when we video chatted she was pretty quiet.  Cutie Pie sent me a beautiful giraffe that she had finger-painted the spots on.  I love it!  I have it hanging on my refrigerator.   Happy Birthday, Cutie Pie.  I love you.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the past year of Cutie Pie.

 Cutie Pie and I


Cutie Pie Loves Elmo!

Pretty in Pink

A Cutie Pie Size Pumpkin

Elmo needed a candy break.

I'm going to be a BIG Sister!  YaY!
(hmmm! I am going to have to think of a nickname for a boy)

M Go Blue!  I think her Dad had a little influence here.

14 May 2013

Why Didn't I Think of That?

I am studying Thomas W. Jones "Mastering Genealogical Proof" book this week.  All research has been set aside because I want to finish this book and start practicing the principles of the Genealogical Proof Standard, now that I have a better understanding of them.

I am on Chapter 3 and on page 25 there is a table on Suggestions for Identifying Sources to Answer Genealogical Questions.  The last suggestion Dr. Jones gives is "study documented articles and compiled genealogies of families in relevant areas, even when the families seem to be of no interest, to learn about the sources their authors used."  As genealogists we get so wrapped up in our own research and the numerous resources we need to find for our own ancestors, why would we want to read about someone else's ancestors?

After I read the suggestion, I thought that made a lot of sense.  Why Didn't I Think of That?  I can see this particularly useful for areas where my research is struggling.  Now, I need to plan a visit to Allen County Genealogy Center, check their online catalog for compiled genealogies, check PERSI for articles, and find new sources to further my research.

12 May 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013

 My mom holding me with my sister, Linda, looking on, circa 1958

 Moi, Mom, Linda in backyard of Pine Street House in Deckerville, Michigan

Me, Mom, Linda on front porch of Pine Street House in Deckerville, circa 1961

My mom and I at my brother's wedding in Dallas.

I love being a mother to two wonderful children and I can't imagine my life without them.  Plus, I am fortunate to still have my mother in my life and my mother-in-law, too.  I am surrounded by beautiful, strong women.  I wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day.

11 May 2013

Prom Season 1975 Style

Prom season is in full swing here in Michigan.  The stores have beaded dresses, long and short, with a lot of skin baring possibilities.  Tuxedo's with vest that match their dates' dress are being rented.  Tanning booths, manicures, pedicures, and hair style appointments are being booked.  I read that the national average for prom this year is just over $1100.  Wow!  That is a lot of money.  I attended prom in May of 1975.  I did my own hair, bought my own dress, did my own makeup and nails, and wore shoes I already had.  If I spent $50, I would be surprised.

I went to the Junior Senior Prom and Banquet with my high school boyfriend, Don. We had been dating for about two years at that time.  I remember the excitement of getting ready for Prom.  I felt so grown up.  I bought my own dress for $40 in the neighboring town of Bad Axe, Michigan.  It was a silky knit halter style long gown with a short sleeve shrug that tied under the bust.  I loved that dress and wore it to a few weddings after graduation.  Years later, my daughter used it for dress-up. Don gave me a bouquet of yellow and pink daisies with a pink ribbon.

The Prom was preceded by a Junior Senior Banquet.  The Junior Class organized this event.  Our banquet was held in the multi-purpose room at Harbor Beach High school.  It was a catered dinner.  The menu consisted of swiss steak, chicken, spaghetti, dinner rolls, salads, relish tray, cake, milk and coffee.  For the ticket price of $4.00!

The Junior Senior Banquet Program consisted of the Junior Welcome with a Senior Response.  Invocation and Dinner followed.  The Class Will, a list of what the seniors were willing or leaving upon graduation.  My Class Will was, "Brenda Glover leaves for Western Michigan University to do some lab experiments on finding a shorter route to Michigan State." I was going to Western Michigan in the fall to study Medical Technology and my boyfriend was going to Michigan State.

Next, was a speaker.  Our English teacher, Ms. Layton, gave the speech.  I don't remember the specifics of the speech, but I wrote in my senior memory book that it was good.  Class Prophecy was read next.  It was a prediction of your future.  I don't remember mine. A closing was held and it was off to the Prom, which was a short walk down the hall to the high school gym.  No fancy restaurants or venues for a Prom in 1975.

The Prom music was a hard rock band and I remember spending a lot of time in the foyer outside of the gym chatting with friends.  It wasn't a dancing type of band. We left early around midnight and went out for pizza.  My date and I; my friend Mary, and her date Tom; my friend Ann, and her date Bill went to Fosters Bar, south of Harbor Beach.  My parents let me stay out later than usual and I got home around 1:30 a.m.

I remember Prom as a special time in high school.  The Senior Prom was the start of the graduation festivities.  Good friends and good times will always be remembered when I look back on that day in May of 1975.

09 May 2013

Mastering Genealogical Proof Book Review

Genealogists are all a twitter over Thomas W. Jones book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.  A few on Facebook even joking about going to bed with Thomas Jones.  I think Dr. Jones has a hit on his hands.

I received my copy over the weekend and couldn't get into it very well as my daughter was visiting and I didn't want her to think I was neglecting her over a genealogy book.  Although, I did look it over that night.  She did look at it and commented, "it even has worksheets".

Mastering Genealogical Proof is a National Genealogical Society Special Topics Series book, written by Thomas W. Jones, an award-winning genealogical researcher, writer, editor and educator as written on the back cover.  I had the pleasure of attending one of Dr. Jones sessions at FGS 2011, in Springfield.  He is an excellent presenter, if you ever have the chance to hear him speak or present, please take advantage of it.

As excellent of a speaker as he is, he is just as good of an author.  Mastering Genealogical Proof is a nine chapter book written for anyone interested in producing quality genealogical research.  No matter if you are a seasoned researcher or just beginning your genealogical journey you will benefit from Dr. Jones book.

Mastering Genealogical Proof takes the reader from the simple question of "What is Genealogy?" to the more complex principles of the Genealogical Proof Standard(GPS).  The book is broken down into easy to use chapters that conclude with exercises for you to complete.  The worksheets allow you to put into practice what you just learned.  There are two articles in the back of the book that are used with the chapter exercises or worksheets.  Real research examples are spread throughout the book.  A glossary of terms and a bibliography/ reading list adds to this great genealogy learning tool.

I appreciated Dr. Jones' words in the preface, "When I began tracing my family's history, almost a half-century ago, I gave no thought to accuracy.  Trusting what I read and what people sent or told me, I naively shared false information with relatives and other researchers." I could relate to those words as I followed the wrong Frank H. Glover for a generation or two.  This book is a must read for those starting their research.  If I had had such an excellent resource in the beginning, I would not have made the mistakes I did early in my research.

I have just begun my study of this book.  I look forward to learning more about thorough searches, complete citation of sources, analysis of sources and information, resolution of conflicts and writing conclusions (which I am not very good at).  The teacher in me even enjoys the worksheets, which allows me to apply the concepts of each chapter.  I hope you will join me in furthering your genealogy education by reading Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Disclosure:  I purchased Mastering Genealogical Proof myself and receive nothing for writing this review.  I am so impressed with the quality of this book, I wanted to recommend it to my readers.

08 May 2013

10 Can't Miss Photo's To Take Each Month

I could spend hours looking on Pinterest for Genealogy ideas.  Recently, a new group of genealogy boards were created by Trace Magazine.  Every genealogist likes freebies and I am no different.  I was looking over the board titled, "Genealogy/Freebies" and came across this great photo idea.  It is a list of suggested photos to take for each month of the year.  For example, in May suggestions are:

  • Barbeques
  • Grandma’s hands
  • Prom happenings
  • Photos with Mom
  • Flowers in the garden
  • Mother’s Day presents
  • Cinco de Mayo celebrations
  • Students moving out of the college dorm
  • Cemeteries decorated for Memorial Day
  • People drinking mint juleps or wearing hats for Derby Day
Can you add to the list?  I thought of confirmation.  Trace Magazine has a lot of genealogy related pins and boards.  Some of the boards, all related to genealogy, are How To's, Kids, Organization, Infographics, Research, Blogs, Must Haves, Events, Funnies, Scrapbooking, Recipes, Maps, Roots, and so much more.

Head over to Pinterest and check out Trace Magazine, but don't blame me if you get lost in it and waste a lot of time.  I have!

01 May 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Update: As of 2024 this website is no longer able to be found.

Are you looking for just the right historical picture to place on your blog that is in the public domain?  Look no further than the website America As It Was.

The May/June 2013 Issue of Family Tree Magazine has an article written by Lisa Louise Cooke on Family History Freebies.  I was happy to see a section on photos and images that are in the public domain.  I am always looking for photos or images to include with my blog posts and now I have a list of them to go to.  Thanks, Lisa.

My list which I saved to a Blog Resources board on Pinterest includes 14 websites, all from the Family Tree Magazine list.  Take a look at all the free resources that are available.  You will find clip art; postcards; images from old, rare or classic books; photographs from World Wars, the Great Depression, and Child Labor; vintage posters; art; fashion; United States History and more.

The first website I went to was America As It Was.  This website is a "directory of non-profit websites that feature vintage postcards", as it states on its' home page.  Take a minute to read the website information.  Then, scroll down to a list of states and click on the state you are interested.

I started with Michigan, my home state and home to all of my great grandparents.  There were four choices:  Detroit, Manistee County, Mason County (currently a broken link) and Copper Country (Northern Michigan).  I could not have been any luckier.  My father grew up in the Detroit area, my mother's family lived in Manistee County, and my paternal grandparents and paternal great-grandparents were from Northern Michigan.

The first section I went to was Manistee County.  There are historical postcards as well as more current photo's on the page.  I did notice that the photo's had a copyright notice at the bottom of the page, so I would ask permission before using.  Photo's of churches, schools, businesses and more are included.  I liked the logging photo because my Great Grandfather, J. August Fredrich, was an early pioneer in Manistee and worked in the logging industry.  I contacted the person for permission to use the picture, but didn't hear back from her.

Next, I visited the Copper Country page.  I clicked on "Image Gallery" and was delighted to find photographs of other Upper Penisula railroads.  I got to see a picture of a 1910 engine from the Duluth, South Shore, and Atlantic railroad.  My great-grandfather, David Watt, was an engineer for this railroad in 1910.  He even had an accident and was trapped under the engine.  That was one big engine.  It is true what they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

The next time you need a picture for your blog or just want to see America's past through photo's, check out America As It Was and the other websites from Family Tree Magazine, which I saved on Blog Resources on Pinterest.