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Saturday, 19 April 2008
Ok, I did it!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Genealogy

Ok, I set up a genealogy blog this morning.  You can find it here:

Enjoy if you want to read!

Posted by wendylittrell at 3:59 PM CDT
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Possibly Expanding into another Blog
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Genealogy

So I've been flirting with the idea of doing a blog solely on genealogy stuff.  If nothing else, then I wouldn't have to bore you with details of family history searching, etc. and you can have the option of also reading that blog instead of wading through stuff you might not want to read to get to the other (good) stuff! 

This week has been quieter than last - in relation to having to be places 3-4 evenings a week and such.  Sad note, the family that I pet-sit for (a dog and a cat) - and are great friends with - called me on Thursday to alert me that the dog has cancer.  I won't get to pet-sit for him now as he'll need basically round the clock care.  So they'll get someone to actually "live-in" when they have to be out of town.  I will go visit from time to time as I'm quite fond of the guy (he's a Brittany Spaniel) and will really miss him when he's gone. 

The local video store is going out of business so they are selling all of their DVD's and games.  I tihnk they sent all the "new releases" from the last few weeks to the parent company to be dispersed among stores that aren't closing as none of them were there.  Picked up a boat load of videos and got 2 new PS2 games for under $20 each.  Sure, they're previously played games but that's a lot better than the normal $40-$60 price tag for new.  First grader doesn't know the difference between "previously viewed" and "brand new" anyway.  As long as he can play it - it doesn't matter.  Alas, the one movie that I REALLY wanted to buy if they still had it was gone.  Could someone please get me "Casablanca"?  It has been my favorite movie for eons and no matter how many times I watch it on PBS (no interruptions and they do play a lot of old, Bogie movies - and hinted about "sure would be nice to have it" - no one has ever given me one.  Hey kids - Mother's day is coming up! (how's that for a not so subtle hint!)  There's also a 4 DVD set of Bogie & Bacall movies - I saw them once at Virgin Records & Movies in the GM mall.  Now I'll probably end up with 4 of the same DVD's! ha ha! (which translates into - none at all because they'll all think - I thought you'd get it for her so I didn't.)

My irises have bloomed - I need to take pictures to post here.  They are very pretty.  I still have one poor little lonely rose on my rose bush out back. 

What are you doing this weekend?

Posted by wendylittrell at 8:13 AM CDT
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Monday, 25 February 2008
Searching for Rachel
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Genealogy
So I spent part of the weekend looking for Rachel - she is (or was) technically my great-great aunt.  My maternal grandfather's, mom's sister.  All I knew about Rachel is the year she was born and that at the time of my great-grandmother's death in 1930 she was listed on the obituary as Mrs. Rachel Givens from Missouri.  No one knew what her husband's name was and typically at that period of time if a woman is listed as Mrs. (her name) Surname - that generally means they were widowed or divorced.  Awhile back I finally found her in the 1900 census living in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband, Morris and 2 step-sons, William and Wheeler, and a 1 yr old daughter - (looked like) Shawn.  So yesterday after realizing that I was going to have to spread the net out a little trying to find her in the 1910 or 1920 censuses, I started using variations of the Givens.  Finally after I spelled it without the "s" on the end, I found Rachel and Maurice (spelled differently) in 1910 about the same place they were in 1900.  This time there were additional children.  Wheeler was now listed as Charles W., "Shawn" was no where to be found but Mary (about the same age as "Shawn" would have been) was there along with a son, Nathaniel and a son Arthur A., and twin daughters, Pearl and Mearl.  Rachel had listed that she was the mother of 6 children but only 5 were living - so somewhere in there was a child who was stillborn or died sometime between 1900 and 1910.  In fact I ran across the Missouri death certificate (thank you Missouri for digitizing the old death records!) so I now have a more complete look for this elusive branch of the family.  I found William in the 1920 census already married with children.  Now in 1920 Morris and Rachel were living in Wyandotte County, Kansas - so they hopped the state line somewhere in the 10 years previous.  I'm not sure my great-grandmother ever saw her sister after Rachel moved to Missouri from Indiana (where she was born and grew up).  So now I'm trying to locate Morris or Maurice in the 1890 census to see who he was married to before Rachel when the 2 oldest boys were toddlers.  Since Rachel grew up in Indiana, need to figure out if she was in Missouri visiting other relatives when she met Morris or if he was living in Indiana when they met.  I did find a Givens family living down the street from some of her relatives - but no Morris in the family - maybe he was visiting them (his relatives) when they met and he whisked her off to marry & mother his 2 children.  Oh, those elusive family members!

Posted by wendylittrell at 6:59 AM CST
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Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Climbing . . . and Falling . . . from the Family Tree
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Genealogy

So I've been on this journey to find my "roots" for the last (almost) 8 years.  Mind you, stories about my ancestors have always dotted my life.  This is one of those "wish I would have listened more to my grandmother" type things - or at least asked her many more questions.  Or told her to write the names of the people on the backs of the pictures!  If you poke around on my website, I have a genealogy page called All My Branches which has generated a lot of emails from distant cousins, relatives and whole assortment of folks wondering if I have info on "their" line.  I consider myself very lucky that I'm not one of those "don't know you, don't want to" type of people.  Hey - you're related!  How cool is that! 

Anyway the point of this post is actually to give you a hint as to what I've been up to the last few days.  Finally starting to put all my genealogy paperwork into some semblance of order.  Right now I have files with each of my branches stuff into them.  Next I'll go through those and weed them down even further - censuses, death certificates, newspaper articles, etc. 

Now back to those photos I referenced above - my mother has given me tons of old photos that she got after my grandparents died.  Luckily she knows most of the people in them so that was a major help!  Unfortunately there are some that she thinks they might be related - but not sure how - and others are just "friends" of my grandparents and she doesn't know who they are.

My husband (bless his everloving heart) indulges me - through humor - about my hobby.  Though there have been times when I hear him mutter "we'll need another wing to hold all this stuff".  As we were driving through the midwest last summer, I saw a billboard touting the wonders to be found in Rush County, Indiana.  Smart mouth that I am, said "Hey I know people buried there!"  Never missing a beat, hubby turns to me and asks - "And do you speak with them often?"  When he notices me doing more research, he asks "Back to the dead people again?" 

No, I'll never learn exactly who some of my ancestors are & when I keep hitting brick walls, it can be a struggle to keep going.  That's usually the point when I stop for awhile and concentrate on other things.  Over the last few weeks, I've heard from a couple of cousins I never knew existed and one who I hadn't heard from in a couple years.  And then I know - this quest makes it all worthwhile!

So what did you do over the weekend?

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:44 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008 7:46 AM CST
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