04 December 2012

Advent Calendar: Christmas Cards

Now that triggers a fond memory. Back in the 50's, 60's and 70's I guess postage was a bit cheaper than it is today. Literally hundreds of cards arrived at our house. It wasn't that we were some real important people or something I think that it was just a different time back then. People had more time. How many had a stay at home mom like mine? I know for sure that she was the one who ended up signing all of those cards that were sent out from our house.

Back to the fondness of the cards because it was actually when the card arrived in the mail box. Oh my sister and I would run to get the mail each day but of course only mom could open them up. But it was my sister and I who got to hang them up. Starting with the back of the coat closet door. Thin cord was thumb tacked on the left side and stretched across to the right side and thumb tacked again. With real old fashioned thumb tacks not these new fangled push-pins. Row upon row went down the door. When the cards arrived we would all look to see who it came from and then gently slipped it over the cord for all to see for the entire season. Oh there must have been at least 15 or so rows. When the closet door was filled, we went to the back of the front door and proceeded to continue the same stringing and hanging. Just when you would think that we had received our last card more would come. Where to hang now? Well right over the front windows, up near the ceiling we could stretch another long string. But this time we waited for dad to hang the card because he was the tallest in the house to reach that high.

It makes me smile to remember how this simple act of receiving a card, stringing and hanging could cause such a fond memory. I wish that I would have taken some pictures of those colorful doors.

Until our next appointment…remember with fondness

09 August 2012

Introducing me...

#717 Box Elder Tree Necklace
Introducing me is being brought to you today via the other blog that I write for TheWoodArt Studio.

So for today I request of you to follow the link to piece together all that I do in life at this moment in addition to my own personal research, taking part in furthering my education via the ProGenStudy Group, cooking, cleaning and overall life chores.

Until our next genealogical appointment... create your own event.

15 June 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Genealogy Events

So I was inspired by this week's title from Amy Coffin's, The We Tree Genealogy blog, series 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy to write. I know that quite often we will think of an event as a one time adventure. For me one of the most memorable events actually happens 12 times a year on the fourth Saturday of every month.
You see that is when the Patchogue Medford Library Genealogy Research Group (PML) that I belonged to while living in New York met. So once a month you could find me sitting on one of those folding chairs with my fellow obsessed genealogists eager to absorb anything of a genealogical nature. Little did we know at the onset of this group how it would grow to become such an important part of not only my life but the community of people dead set on finding their ancestors (no pun intended).

Indexing, databases, books galore, workshops, field trips to just tell you about a few of the items you may find in and around the PML. In fact I can now add that even though I am no longer able to attend these events due to a driving distance (434 miles) I was still, today, able to have a PML day event. Maybe I should call it a Genealogical Appointment rather. You see because if several other things, like the 1940 census opening and now having Ancestry.com name index New York I have not had the chance to pop over to the PML site. Having to double check the URL address for this blog I took the opportunity to glance at the site again and I have to tell you that is is like meandering into the grand opening of a retail store after renovations. So many new and interesting areas to see. Videos, charts, forms, links and more. I can't wait to get the time to go back and get lost down the aisles of the new and improved PML Genealogy. I recommend you all, even if you are not working on New york genealogy to visit this site not once but often.

And on a final note I will end with letting you know who just might be the major force behind this enhanced genealogical area of the PML...Toni Raptis, that's who. So after taking a stroll down this lane if you like what you see then please recommend it to your friends and drop Toni an email to let her know what you think.

Until our next genealogical appointment... create your event

25 May 2012

Funeral Card Friday: Uncle Bill

I only had one uncle growing up, Uncle Bill. I remember when I saw him at my wedding to my husband Steve in 2004. He was happy at the age of 88 to be able to come to my wedding and help us celebrate. I can recall making the rounds to our guests and arriving at his table to thank him for attending our joyful day. He told me that he was pleased to have come but that it was probably going to be the last time he saw me alive. Little did I realize how correct he was because I didn't ever see him after that. Time and life's happenings got in the way of me visiting him.

I attended his funeral and picked up the card as a tangible remembrance of his life. I always kept this card in a special book that I read daily, mostly because of the serene picture on the front side. Now as I reread the verse it seems to take on new meaning again. In fact it gives me "Strength". Read the words. Life, destination, journey, unexpected, turning point, mountaintops, valleys. Each one separate unto itself and yet all can be summed up in the final sentence of the sentiment. Thank you Uncle Bill for being part of my life then and now.
Until our next genealogical appointment…

17 May 2012

Genealogy TV

If you haven't noticed I am still not on track with a set date. Should I worry about this? There is that German perfectionist side of me that says yes you better. After all what is an appointment but a meeting involving a set time and place, more than likely in the future. And then again there is that American jump out of the box side of me that says whenever we meet it is an appointment. So bring on the past, live in the present and prepare the future for your descendants. Work your genealogy today.

With all of that said have you seen that my blog is now listed on the Geneabloggers site? Type Genealogical Appointments into the search and there we are. I feel just that little one or two liner gives me the motivation to move on and blog more. Share my blog with your friends as it inspires me to write more. Tell me what you want to see or not see for that matter. The largest problem I see is having the time. Time is wasted on the youth. Did you know that? When one is young you have forever. When you get old you are doing the catch up dance. But I do have to say that in watching the recent edition of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. finding your roots and seeing Margaret Cooper at age 98 working strong on her genealogy energized me to write today.
I have seen that the buzz around the internet today is that "Who Do You Think You Are" will not have another season after this one is finished. Sad for many of us who have enjoyed watching it but please remember that  there is the Dr. Gates show on PBS and also TheGenerations Project on BYU TV. So we aren't being left high and dry so to speak.
And so as with any new project, this one included I am still in the groping stage of it. Not exactly having any format or plan. So please hang in there with me on it. I promise I will get better as I travel along the path of my genealogical appointments.

09 May 2012

The Acorn

Does the acorn really fall far from the tree when it drops? How often do we reflect on that thought in our genealogy? All of those years ago when I started to work my genealogy I did some of the things that all of the people have said to do in the beginning.

ü work with yourself and then backwards
ü interview your family members
My semi-timeline might begin on the day I was born and the musical area of my life no doubt began with my first vocal cry. At the age of seven my parents purchased an organ that they (Santa) gave me for Christmas. The onset of lessons began soon after the holiday and continued into my young adult years. In between we added an extensive vocal period. A highly disciplined madrigal group and a much rewarding Lutheran folk service group complete with guitars. Such was life in the 70's. No I don't play much anymore but I do sing whenever I can.
Questions to Molly (1st cousin one time removed) began soon after I started this never ending path to connect with my ancestors. Molly is my grandfather's niece. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will open, ask and it shall be given. What can you tell me about our family I soon asked. Among so many different tales she shared, the one that reminded me that this acorn didn't roll to far from the root of the tree was when I read in one of her first letters to me about my 3rd great grandfather, "Christian SPRECKELSEN, a musician who played at Weddings, Funerals etc…". How awesome is that? The musician of the town in the "old country". I don't know of any musicians in between him and I. Funny how life talents can skip some generations. Now if that wasn't enough of a twist of fate where does this next one sit on the tree?
I found a local FamilyHistory Library (FHL) and had early on in my research decided to spend my days off from my ten to six job there, sitting in front of one of those massive machines, dubbed microfilm reader. You see back then there was very little on the internet, let alone software programs. If you wanted to see a census record you had to actually get dressed, drive on down to the stake (or any other facility that held the record), thread it on the machine, wind and wind till you found your family and then hand write all of the information down on good old fashioned paper. Well on one of the blessed days on the hunt for my 2nd great grandfather, Jacob KIEFFER, there I sat. I only knew his name because it was written in my baby book but not too much more. I did know that they were someplace in massive New York City. Finally after hours of spinning, there at the end of my session was Jacob in the 1850 New York census.
1850 New York State Census*
He had a wife and 2 daughters and his occupation was stated as a "Turner". Fast forward and we have another one of those acorn rolling moments. Ask me what my husband does for a living? Well he is a woodturner of all things. (You can read all about his work in the other blog I write, The WoodArt Studio). Furthermore what did he do before he transitioned to woodturning? He was a musical instrument technician. Yes there is that music connection happening again.

So some might call these coincidences in life where as I have dubbed them genealogical appointments. It is times like these that drive me to research more. To have more new day appointments with my family passed. With that in mind for today I thank you for joining me in yet another of my numerous genealogical appointments.
* Source Citation "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MCT8-SMQ : accessed 9 May 2012), Jacob Keifer in household of Jacob Keifer, New York City, ward 8, New York, New York, United States.

27 April 2012

Abundant Genealogy: Historical Books

So I am not quite on any schedule yet with when I want to routinely post to this new blog. As some of you may or may not know I also write the blog for my husband's business The WoodArt Studio (so be sure to stop by there and start to follow us there also). I really try to post there once a week and I am thinking that is what I would like to do here also but commitment is the real thing. Can I really make an honest to goodness appointment with myself once a week to post? And if so what day of the week is good? (Any suggestions?) The WoodArt Studio gets posted on Friday so maybe a day earlier in the week for Genealogical Appointments. But then again even though an appointment is usually for a set time doesn't that give me a little posting license?

So with that in mind on to today's post, which has nothing to do with scheduling. With so much to write in the beginning of one's genealogical blogging life it is hard to pin down what to write first. Subsequently I dashed over to Geneabloggers for some prompting. And there it was: 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, Week 18: Historical Books. (Actually the article says that this prompt is for April 29th through May 5th so I am a bit early). Now I am not really sure if we could call this a historical book just yet as it was only published in 2010 but for me it just filled what I needed when I moved down here to the Shenandoah Valley. You see I had just moved out of NY, away from one of the best genealogy groups on Long Island (Patchogue Medford LibraryGenealogy Group), down to this wonderfully rich area of Virginia history and I was eager to get back into genealogy and also learn a bit about the area that I planned to spend the rest of my life in. So I headed over to our local library and asked them to recommend something for me. Eureka did they hand me a winner; Judy Yoder's, Vera's Journey. This 707 page book not only gave me the personal history of a Mennonite woman who passed away in 2008 it enlightened me to the area that we now moved into. I couldn't put it down and look forward in time to visiting the various areas that Vera in her 102 years of life walked through. I find that if you are searching around for information about the Shenandoah Valley area and life as a Mennonite woman this should be the book that you pick up next. It is a keeper. If your local library doesn't carry the book, recommend it of course or better yet you can purchase your own via Amazon.com.  You can also read a quick post at Harvspot.
So until the next genealogical appointment…read on my friend.

12 April 2012

Hold Your Nose, Close Your Eyes and Just Jump In

Random thoughts keep circling my mind like runners on the race track. The committee is in session, Where do I begin?, My name is…, We’ve only just begun…, Titles, Time enough…, Commitment…Woodturning…and these are only the front runners on the track and field. Oh let's not forget to “Start at the very beginning..” from Do Re Mi. But I have to admit from the start that timelines, organized thoughts and overall conventional thinking were never my forte. I like to think of myself as out of the box a bit. I also think that looking beyond the four walls into the next field is what has helped me with my genealogy past, present and future.

So do I have a goal here with this blog thing that I am commencing with? Yes I think so. To express myself, share what I have found and learned through experience, educate myself and possibly others who may run across this little field of mine and to grow within my own genealogical appointments in life. Oh did I tell you that this is the second time in my adult life that I have written a blog? So be patient with me please my people because as most things I have done, I learn as I travel. I feel that sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump into the stream of life. Lucky for me that I can tread water.

So back to that beginning paragraph up top and those runners…The committee is in session… is in the lead and is telling me that I need to give birth to this blog with a name…now understand that the business side of me has always said KISS (keep it simple stupid) but the crazy mind side says to heck with that.

So until the next genealogical appointment…

29 March 2012

It's Coming

It's like the opening of the 1940's United States Census. It's coming soon.