Monday, November 30, 2009

Half Moons

In Upstate NY we love our Half Moons and debate who has the best ones. We never call them black & whites! That's their downstate name. I prefer the buttery cookie with frosting as opposed to a sourdough cookie with icing.

1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. Buttermilk
1 1/2 teasp. vanilla
1 egg
1 teasp. Baking Powder
1/2 teasp. Baking soda
2 C. all purpose Flour

Preheat oven to 350°
grease cookie sheet
Drop dough by 1/4 C. about 3" apart. Flatten slightly.

Bake 15-19 minutes until edges begin to brown and tops spring back when touched. Remove to wire rack.

(Can be made much smaller for a cookie exchange; shorten baking time as necessary.)

Frost cookies half white & half chocolate.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Over the last year and a half I have been piecing together the story of my great-grandmother, Rose. I hope her childhood wasn't half as sad as I imagine it.

Rose was born Susan Arazina Graham on 9 October 1852 in Indiana. Her father, James Madison Graham, abandoned his family before she was born to seek his fortune in California. So her mother, Elizabeth Doughty Graham, was in effect a single mother with five children to support and care for. Per family records, Rose was born near Muncie, Delaware, Indiana, however in 1850 her parents and siblings were living in German, St Joseph, Indiana and she may well have been born there. Which ever the case may be, Elizabeth returned to Muncie at some point prior to 1855 when she filed for divorce. I can only imagine the struggle and hard decisions Elizabeth faced.

By 1860, Elizabeth was living in Warren, St Joseph, Indiana and listed as a domestic in the home of Nathan and Eliza York. None of her children were living with her. So while both of her parents were still living, Rose was in effect an orphan.

While I have not located all of the children in 1860, I believe I have found Rose in Bertrand, Berrien, Michigan. Listed there is Susan A. Graham, age 7 and born in Indiana, living in the home of John and Aramalinda Blake. I have no idea if Rose was somehow related to the Blake's. The next household enumerated on the census was that of her paternal Aunt, Martha Graham Opfel. Why was Rose not living with her?

John Blake was born about 1809 in Virginia and Aramalinda about 1810 in Ohio. Elizabeth Doughty was born in Virginia and James M Graham was born in Ohio so it's possible they were relatives. Also in the household was Sarah Hogue, age 78 and born in Maryland.

Irregardless of whether they were family or not I have no idea how Rose was treated. Did the family welcome and love her or was she simply tolerated? Did she get to see her mother at all? Did she receive letters from her father? Besides her Aunt Martha she had other paternal aunts and uncles living in Bertrand, along with her grandparents, Porter and Susannah Graham. Was she close to any of them? Did she see her siblings at all when she was growing up? While the older Blake children had attended school in the last year the box for Rose was not checked. It is obvious from the letters she wrote later in life that she did not receive a great education but she was not illiterate either. Did she attend school at some point or was she taught the basics at home?

By 1870 she was using the name Zena or Zina. At the age of 17 she was listed as a servant in the home of Sidney Allen in Buchanan, Berrien, Michigan. On 8 May 1873, still using the name Zena, she married Joseph Harrison Camfield.

I wish I knew when she started using the name Rose. Was it a pet name that Joseph called her, had she been called this earlier in life or was it simply a name she liked? She seems to have used the name for the remainder of her life.

Rose and Joseph had five children. The oldest, Fred, lived most of his life with his grandparents, Michael and Sarah Ann Camfield. I'm not certain exactly how the arrangement came about but knowing how Rose was raised I can see where it could have seemed perfectly reasonable to her to send a child to live with others. I do know that while not a big part of his life most years she was in touch and Fred did return to live with his parents at various times.

This is the only picture I have of Rose and I certainly wish I had one or two from her younger years. I have several pictures of Joseph. The discrepancy in the number of pictures saved may be explained by the fact that they separated after the children were grown. There is an undercurrent of hard feelings towards Rose in the family that I don't totally understand.

Rose lived her later years with her daughter Ruby in South Bend, IN. At the end of her life, when Ruby could no longer care for her and work too, she moved to Buchanan, MI where she spent her final days with her daughter, Pearl Camfield Carlisle. She is buried in Silverbrook Cemetery, Niles, MI with her mother, together in death where they could not be in life........

This was written for the 85th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy to be hosted at Greta's Genealogy Bog.

The topic, “Orphans and Orphans,” can be interpreted as follows:

The first type of orphan refers to those ancestors or relatives who lost their parents when they were young.

The second type of orphan would be those siblings or cousins of our ancestors who could be called “reverse orphans.” They are the relatives who, for whatever reason – death at a young age, never having married or had children, or having children who did not survive to provide descendants – have no direct descendants of their own, so it falls to us, their collateral relatives, to learn and write their story.

I have only one ancestor in my tree that was truly an orphan, my great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Camfield Carlisle. I wrote some of her story for the 72nd edition of the COG. Rose's daughter, Ruby Camfield, was a "reverse orphan" and I wrote about her for the 20th edition of the COG. Two more "reverse orphans" were Oscar Mere and Henry Bogardus.

Thanks for the poster fM!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekly Rewind

Weekly Reading

I really enjoyed, Talk to me, Aunt Elssa "Lena" Margheim, by Becky at Grace and Glory. I hope she finds more answers.

Karen Taylor took me on an interesting trip back in time through several archives in Great Britain. At Twigs and Roots she shares, Madness Monday: John Woodsell - Anglo-Indian not Scottish!

Do you know where the "baby hub" of the US once was? Heck I didn't even know there was one, let alone where it might be. Craig Manson explains at GeneBlogie with his post, The Florence Crittenton Homes.

Does it matter where you find a genealogical record? Thomas MacEntee discusses Sex Offenders Database as Genealogy Source? at Destination Austin Family. I remember a time when a post such as this one would have generated lots of comments. Head on over and weigh in with your opinion.

Miriam has resumed her series on building a following with Get More Traffic to Your Blog, Part 7: Check It at AnceStories. She also links to the rest of the series and even though I'm and old hand I've found some tips I could use.

Randy Seaver, at Genea-Musings, reminded me of a great Canadian resource that I hadn't looked at in the last couple of years. Read Kemp and Sovereen Lands in Norfolk County, Ontario to learn more.

Randy also tipped me off to Ruth's, Grandma's Genie Camp, at Genealogy is Ruthless without Me. I love what she did with maps!

With all the quilting that Sarah Ann did I couldn't help but love Dave Tabler's post, A body can take comfort in layin' herself out on the quiltin' of a patch quilt, at Appalachian History.

History on YouTube? Who knew! Elementary History Teacher talks about her favorites from the One Hundred Great American Moments in History and provides a link to the rest at History is Elementary.

Thanksgiving may be over but you have to read Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2009 at Margaret and Helen. And thanks to Lee Anders for sharing it.

Carnivals and Roundups

Bill West hosted the Great American Local Poem Genealogy Challenge at West in New England. Sorry I didn't participate Bill! Poetry is just not my thing - unless of course it is set to really good music and tells a great story. So I guess I could have submitted this or maybe this.

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings shared his Best of the Genea-Blogs.

John Newmark at Transylvania Dutch shared his Weekly Picks.


Please note that at the time of this writing the Blog Carnival site is down. If you cannot access the site to submit your post you can always email a link to the host for the next edition or leave a comment with your link on their blog.

Submissions are due tomorrow, November 29th, for the Canadian Carnival of Genealogy. This is a Carousel edition so pick your own topic. Kathryn Lake will be our hostess at Looking4Ancestors.

Tuesday, December 1st, is the deadline for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. The topic is Orphans and Orphans; to be hosted by Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories also begins Tuesday. Get the details at GeneaBloggers.

If you have a recipe you want included in the GeneaBloggers Cookbook you only have a few days left to submit it.

My Week

I spent a bit of time poking around the DAR's Genealogical Research Databases and found some new leeds on a line I've just started working on.

I dealt with a nasty virus on my computer. I no longer panic at the thought of wiping my hard drive and starting over but thankfully I didn't have to this time.

I enjoyed both participating and reading the posts for last weeks SNGF at Genea-Musings. Who is your MRU

With my schools being on different schedules I stayed in town all day Tuesday and Wednesday. I took my computer and transcribed a few letters, that I then lost to the above referenced virus :( I also spent a couple of hours walking the local cemetery. When I mentioned to a co-worker that I planned to have lunch there they were aghast.

The week was filled with family. On Sunday we all got together for Liz's birthday party in their new apartment. She's 7 already! On Monday the boys had a half day of school so John got them off the bus and brought them here. Tuesday was Sprout's Thanksgiving feast at school so I ran Twig home quickly between routes so he could run John ragged ;-) Wednesday we had Sprout and Twig overnight and took them with us for Thanksgiving at my sister's.

All in all a very good week despite the fact that I got almost nothing done!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Will I Ever Learn?

It has been a very long time since I had a virus on my computer. I got a doozy yesterday. It took over everything, including my anti-virus program. I was going to reformat the hard drive but luckily John had the CD for the newer version of our anti-virus software of choice, System Suite, and suggested trying that first. He put in the disc with the idea of just installing the new version. The disc allowed him to reset my computer to the latest restore point, created last week. It appears that all I lost were the letters I transcribed during the week. It being a very busy week, there weren't that many.

Lessons learned?
  • I will never click on a "tiny url" again. If when I mouse over a link, it does not show me where the link will take me, I do not want to go there!
  • I never open attachments that I am not expecting. This is the first time I've gotten a virus simply by clicking on a link. I will be much more careful in the future!
  • Monthly backups are good. Weekly backups are better!
  • Virus scans go much more quickly if your computer is not full of junk you do not need!
Today I will spend time backing things up and deleting everything I don't use or need. Then I plan to hold to tradition and put up my Christmas tree. I'll work at getting back on here sometime over the weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank You!

I'd like to thank Sharon at Kindred Footprints, Herstoryan at Herstoryan and Pam at Granny's Genealogy for honoring me with the Kreativ Blogger Award!

According to the rules of this award, I am supposed to post seven things about me, and award seven bloggers.

So seven things you probably don't need to know:
  • I detest snow and yet I've lived in the north east all my life except one year in North Carolina.
  • I'm a Trekkie
  • I love to snorkle
  • I will not answer the phone between 8 and 9 on Thursday. I'm a member of the Hat Pack.
  • I compete in the regional Road-eo every May and have advanced to the state level twice.
  • I do not like to cook
  • I'm hoping to retire within the next five years
I can think of dozens of great blogs and don't want to leave anyone out, so I'll pass on passing this on.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mary LNU

This week Randy Seaver, at Genea-Musings, has tasked us with:
Hey, genies, it's Saturday Night, time for some Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (where's my Mission Impossible music...drat, lost it), is:

1) Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don't you scan it again just to see if there's something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or a comment on Facebook or some other social networking site.

Number #13 in my tree is my great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Camfield Carlisle, the adopted daughter of Michael and Sarah Ann (Wisner) Camfield. There may be records somewhere in Onondaga County detailing her adoption but I haven't looked for them. For me her adoptive parents are my family history. Perhaps one day I'll look into it more and discover the reason for her being given up.

The ancestor that I really should focus more effort on is number #21 in my tree, my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary. I am really focused on my maternal ancestors at present so I have done very little research on Mary.

My line to Mary is:

>Harvey G Berry, 1926-2000
>>Mary Leith Kelly Berry, 1900-1970
>>>James Kelly, 1856-1936
>>>>Mary, born ?? - died ??

The first I find Mary is the 1855 New York Census, Jefferson County, Adams, page 217:

Michael Kelly, age 33, born Ireland, resident 2 yrs, alien
Mary Kelly, age 35, born Ireland, wife, resident 2 yrs, alien
John Kelly, age 2, born Canada, child, resident 2 yrs, alien
Ann Kelly, age 11/12, born New York, child

So from this I learn she was born about 1830 in Ireland. She moved to Canada at some point prior to 1853, when son John was born and very shortly after his birth the family moved to Adams, NY.

I believe she spent the remainder of her life in Adams, NY.

1860 - age 27, born Ireland
1870 - age 33, born Ireland
1880 - age 45, widow, born France, parents born Ireland
1900 - age 69, widow, born Aug 1830 Ireland, parents born Ireland

I believe Mary died about 1901 so I should be able to find a death certificate for her that may give me more information. I have searched the local papers available at Old Fulton Post Cards, however there may be more in the South Jefferson Historical Society clipping file.

My grandmother was named Mary Leith Kelly. Could Leith have been Mary's maiden name?

I travel often to southern Jefferson county as that is where my sister lives but rarely travel further to Adams or Watertown. So I need an afternoon off where I can go and see what records can be found.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekly Rewind

Carnivals and Roundups

The 84th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy was posted by Jasia at Creative Gene. Read just how important the COG has been to us not only as individuals but also as a community. The topic for the next edition is Orphans and Orphans and will be hosted at Greta's Genealogy Bog.

You will find the 18th edition of Smile for the Camera, Travel, posted at Shades of the Departed. I love the way Footnote Maven presents all the entries. The word prompt for the next edition is "Gift."

Al Wierzba, at Al's Polish-American Genealogy Research, was the host for the 24th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy which focus on research tips. The topic for the next edition is Christmas/Hanukkah traditions and will be hosted at Jessica's Genejournal.

At TransylvanianDutch, John Newmark had his Weekly Picks.

Randy Seaver had the Best of the Genea-Blogs at GeneaMusings.

Upcoming Events

Scanfest is tomorrow! Details at AnceStories. I'll be at a family birthday party but may be home in time to chat for a bit.

You only have a couple of days to submit something for Bill West's Poetry Challenge at West in New England!

Submissions for the 9th edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival are due by the 25th. Topic: In the News.

Thomas MacEntee is busy, busy at GeneaBloggers. You can submit something for the GeneaBloggers Holiday Cookbook and then participate in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Weekly Reading

At Kay B's Place, Kay is looking for answers, What Did Willie Do? A great read! Kay is also looking for some help identifying a few pictures. If you have coal miners in your tree take a peek.

T. K. found A Smokin' Anecdote from the 1600s that she shared at Before My Time.

"Little Doctor on the Black Horse" is a new series by Dave Barton at Firelands History. A series of 58 letters! Follow along from the beginning with Post #1 - Doctor David Deforest Benedict Joins the Union Army.

Joan has written a wonderful love story at Roots'n'Leaves. Mostly truth, partly fiction it all began with a photo - Tombstone Tuesday: A Love Story in A Umitilla Cemetery.

Caroline M Pointer continues her series about Roscoe with Setting the Setting at Family Stories.

Earline Hines Bradt shared some interesting recipes at Ancestral Notes with Things (Greatgreatgrand) Mother Used To "Make Do." I love your new stocking Earline!

At We Tree, Amy Coffin has started an interesting series, Anatomy of a Military Pension File.

Denise is taking a peek into the future at Family Matters with The Digital Life - A Look Ahead.

A Few Ways Snow Makes the Tug Hill Different
at Adirondack Almanack reminded me to be grateful that I live just off of the Tug. If you've never heard of the Tug Hill you can read what I wrote about it here. (And so far we are snow free here in Snowville :-)

Brenda Joyce Jerome shared the Capture of the Alice Dean at Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog.

At Relatively Curious About Genealogy you'll find a great list for Finding Family Stories in Online Digital Books.

Sue, one of my bus driving friends, has posted Family treasures!!! at Susans World. With three explanation points can transition to a geneablog be far behind?

My Week

I had one of those weeks where I just did not feel like working on anything - so I didn't. I ended up in the dog house at work again and parent teacher conferences have screwed up my days with my schools operating on different schedules. I did get quite a lot done at Mom's this week and I spent more time than usual with the grandkids.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm having a very busy week and not get much done other than trying to keep up with my feed reader. Blaine Bettinger tipped me off to a new tool that is making it much more enjoyable for my aging eyes. Check out Readability. It was super quick and easy to add to my tool bar. It works well with most blog posts however sometimes when I try and use it it does nothing at all. Then I resort to the old ctrl+ method and usually end up having to scroll back and forth.

There are a handful of blogs that I follow where the type is set to tiny! Tiny is not a pleasure to read folks :(

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eckley Miner's Village

I've been meaning to write about our visit to the Eckley Miners Village since our trip to the Poconos last July. For one reason or another it has been pushed aside. Last week Bob Kramp wrote about his summer visit to a Pennsylvania coal mining region at Life's Journey and that jogged my memory. As far as I know there are no coal miners in my family tree but I found Eckley fascinating.

The weather was not great the week we traveled but we took a chance one day and drove to Eckley which is a few miles northeast of Hazelton.

Our first surprise was the empty parking lot. We were the only visitors when we arrived. The museum was undergoing renovations but the friendly staff more than made up for that. We paid $15 for both of us which included admission to the museum and a tour.

Even though there were only the two of us they started a short video that provided us a history of the region and the town. It really added to what we were to see later. Following the video we browsed through the museum displays and headed outside to await the arrival of the volunteer that would give us out tour. Meanwhile another visitor turned up. It turned out he, too was from upstate New York. (If you go, call ahead to find out what time the tours will be offered. We had to wait about an hour.)

One of the most interesting things about Eckley is that people still live there. Not just anyone can move in however. To live there you have to be a descendant of someone who lived there in the past. Talk about living in the shoes of your ancestors! Today, only Main Street is preserved. This map shows how the town was laid out in 1874.

All of the buildings in the town were owned by the mining company and were laid out in a definite class structure. Along Main St the most prosperous residents occupied the far western part of the town. The further east up the street you lived the less affluent or important you were. The two other streets in town would have been were the newest immigrants to town lived. As they made money and moved up in status they could move onto Main St.

The Visitors Center is located at the eastern (right) edge of the map and our tour began there. Our first stop was the Catholic church. It would have served primarily the Irish. Those Catholics from other parts of Europe mostly walked to nearby Freeland where there were several other churches to serve each ethnic group.

While not overly ornate it is a very pretty church.

Next stop on the tour was a typical duplex house.

Notice the summer kitchen in back. The mining company was quite happy to let tenants make improvements to the houses, at the tenant's expense of course. There is enough land with each house to allow for reasonably sized gardens.

The first side of the house that we toured was set up as it might have been for a family starting out in town. The furnishings would have been very basic and the family would most likely have taken in several boarders to make ends meet.

These houses had only four rooms on each side. This was the front room. The parents would have shared the room with some of the children and the other children and boarders would have occupied the upstairs rooms, which are not open to the public.

The kitchen stove also served as the heat source for the home. No shelving and a minimal number of cooking utensils.

Furnishings and tableware were very basic. There was no covering on the window.

The other side of the house depicted life after the family had better established itself.

No longer sharing the front room with children, the couple have added furnishings and painted.

A bigger stove and more utensils are evident. The stove would have been moved out to the summer kitchen when the weather warmed and back sometime in the fall.

A nicer table and chairs have been added and the woman of the house might have shown off her needlework as a window covering. (Embroidered on the valence is Mila Horencina. Is this a phase or a name?)

Moving on down the street we next toured the Protestant church. This church would have served the mine bosses, the town doctor and other important people in town. This building is not original to he town. It was moved here from White Haven, PA, however it closely matches the church that had stood in Eckley.
It was a small church, serving a small number in the town.

Very ornate stained glass windows and cravings decorated throughout.

A very nice pipe organ.

As you walk down the street and near the western edge of town you will see a few single family dwellings.

Looking back to the east

The doctor's home was large but included his exam room and surgery downstairs. Hired by the company, the miners still had to pay for his services.

Mine owner's residence.

Mule barn with a slag field in the background.

In 1969 Eckley was used as a movie set for the filming of The Mollie Maguires. The town had changed so little from the 1870's that the production company only had to remove TV antennas and move the electrical service underground. The company store and the breaker were built as props for the movie. While the movie was a box office failure it probably saved the town of Eckley from demolition. Today the town is owned by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. (The events depicted in the movie did not transpire in Eckley)

Company store

Movie prop breaker. If you check the map above you will see that "breaker 2" stood at the southern center edge of town. I don't know if a breaker ever actually was located here. Check out Bob Kramp's photo of the breaker.

When I was looking for more information on Eckley I checked the Library of Congress digital archive. I found no pictures of Eckley but I was soon lost for hours looking at images of other coal mining towns and the people that lived there. Many of these pictures have names on them, especially some of the photos of breaker boys. If you have miners in your ancestry you should spend some time looking at what they have available. While many of the photos are labeled, many more are not so be sure to look through all of the pictures in a group.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weekly Rewind

Weekly Reading

I wrote yesterday that the COG forced me to learn about genetic genealogy. Science was never my best subject but that's OK because the brilliant, Dr. Blaine Bettinger continues to teach me. Check out Everyone Has Two Family Trees - A Genealogical Tree and a Genetic Tree at The Genetic Genealogist. - And while you are there congratulate Blaine on passing the Bar Exam!

Greta had A Great Genealogy Week at Greta's Genealogy Bog. I love it when one blogger makes a connection through another!

I have been following Jasia's search at Creative Gene to discover how Chester Lipa fits into her tree. She shares how she made the connection with a little help from her blogging buddies with Honoring A Very Special Veteran.

Donna Pointkouski at What's Past is Prologue directed us to a site that will Say It in Polish. Hearing how your surnames are pronounced may help you figure out new creative spellings to search for. I used it to hear what some of my German surnames might sound like and there were a couple of surprises for me.

David Parmer did an amazing amount of work on Stories of Dumpling Run at Orlando, West Virginia. From the geography of the area and how it got it's name he then introduces you to the residents that lived there.

"Please Pardon Momma from Jail"
at Family History Blog was very interesting to read. Today we have foster care, just over a century ago kids were sometimes left to fend for themselves.

Randy Seaver's Treasure Chest Thursday - The Spoon Holder at Genea-Musings was very interesting. Sir Isaac Newton + Belt Buckles + Spoons = more research for Randy to do.

Another interesting Treasure Chest Thursday post was The Mystery Chest at Nutfield Genealogy.

Ernie Magheim had great back to back posts with The Dust Bowl Days and My Visit to A Concentration Camp at Ernie's Journeys.

I admit to being very unorganized in my research. Caroline Pointer, on the other hand, has a very detailed plan to discover the details of a family story. At Family Stories she offers us a Road Map of all the steps she plans to take on this very ambitious project. I look forward to following her progress.

John D Reid continually finds and shares great links at Anglo-Celtic Connections. This week's great find for me was his post Historical Canada Gazette searchable online.

Brian at Zalewski Family Genealogy found a unique way to use a blog format to present Everything I Know About Frank Zalewski.

What to try something new? Earline Hines Brandt introduces Viviti at Ancestral Notes.

Carnivals and Roundups

In reading Randy Seaver's Best of the Genea-Blogs at Genea-Musings I realized that even though I susbscribe to Lineage Keeper, I had missed a great piece by Lee Drew - Navigator, Undertaker, Carpenter, Survivor.

Also check out John Newmark's Weekly Picks at TransylvanianDutch.

Submissions are due by tommorrow for both the Carnival of Genealogy: "What the Carnival of Genealogy has meant to you." and the Carnival of Central and Eastern Genealogy: "Tips, Tricks, Websites,.... for researching Central and Eastern European Genealogy."

My Week

I did a lot of reading this week. Besides trying to keep up with my feed reader I had a nice trip down memory lane rereading some of the past editions of the COG. I also spent about an hour a day working on my blog index. With just over 130 posts indexed and about 600 to go I'll be at this for a long time yet!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Seed from which Apple's Tree Grew

I started my first blog in the final days of 2005. The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree is one of my mother's sayings and it seemed perfect for a family blog that would keep family members updated and allow me to share some of our family history with them. It turned out that I was writing mostly for myself. I did write a little about family history but I also wrote about so many other things that my blog had no focus .

I suffer from CRS and no longer remember how I first discovered Jasia and Creative Gene but I was surprised to find someone else writing about genealogy. I read through her archives and discovered the Carnival of Genealogy. That led to the discovery that there were others writing about family history too! I started lurking and poking around their archives too.

On 3 December 2006 Apple's Tree was born and on the 7th I wrote my first submission for the the COG. That was the 14th edition and my letter to Santa was something totally different than anything else I'd done. I submitted it and waited to see if it would be accepted. It was :-) That edition turned out to be an early milestone for the COG as Jasia wrote:
I want to thank each and every one of my fellow genea-bloggers who contributed to this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. To Steve, JMK, Randy, Apple, Cameron, Dana, David, Miriam, Lee, and Susan I say a great big thank you! This marks a special milestone for me. It's the first Carnival edition that I didn't have to go out and look for blog posts or web sites to supplement those submitted for the Carnival. I like to have somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen (or more would be great!) posts to feature in each edition. I just think the Carnival needs to average that level of content to be worth publishing on a regular basis. I wasn't sure the idea of a genealogy Carnival would fly when I started it but I'm cautiously optimistic now that it will.

From that time on I became a regular somewhat regular contributor to the COG. If you were to poke through my archives you would notice that when spring arrives Apple's Tree is sadly neglected while I focus my energy on my other passion, my garden. I have missed other editions for various reasons from time to time too.

The topics for the COG have inspired me to research and write about things I might not have otherwise. One such edition was the 45th, Cars as Stars! I immediately thought of all the times my grandfather talked about the Franklin automobile that was manufactured in Syracuse, NY. In researching the only picture I have of one of Grandpa's cars I discovered it was not a Franklin! I may have gone a bit overboard for that edition as in the end I wrote three different articles. Another edition that springs to mind was the 35th, Genetic Genealogy. At that time I was still very hazy on just what genetic genealogy was all about and the COG forced me to learn.

One of the best things about the COG for me personally has always been reading what others have written. There are so many very talented writers that I have discovered through their participation in the COG. Eighty-three editions have provided hours and hours of interesting reading! I've laughed and cried, I've been inspired to write about things that were difficult and I have learned so very much.

One of my most memorable COG moments was when Steve Danko read what I wrote for the 28th edition: Surnames. I was a bit lost and said, "I don't speak or read Italian and really have no idea where to go from here so it will probably sit on the shelf until I find some motivation to dig deeper." Steve not only read what I wrote, he wrote a post, Beginning Italian Genealogy, to help me and anyone else needing help with Italian ancestry. Thanks again Steve!

Another highlight for me was hosting the 73rd edition: The Good Earth. I wouldn't hesitate to host another edition but I could never write the great introductions that Jasia used to write.

This is my 42nd submission to the COG. I was surprised that I was only at 50%. I may not have written for every edition but I have tried to read them all.

I've enjoyed this trip down COG Memory Lane. I'll list my top five favorites (and it was very hard to pick just five!) and you can find the rest of my submissions here. You can find links to the past editions of the COG on the carnival index page.

  1. The 42nd edition was Dinner with ancestors: Dining Out. I can't tell you how much fun I had writing this!
  2. The 45th edition was Cars as Stars: Grandpa Loved Franklins. This is by far the best research project I have done for the COG and it was fun too!
  3. The 36th edition was a carousel: Uncertain Future. In some ways carousels are tougher to write for than when I have a specific topic. What will happen to your family's treasures? I'd still like to hear your thoughts!
  4. The 55th edition was Show and Tell: A Pink Ball Gown. I kept putting off dragging this gown out of the closet and writing about it. Thanks to the COG I finally got it done.
  5. The 81st edition was Blog Obituary: What Is and What Could Be. Writing this was truly a turning point for me. I had stopped enjoying my blog. Writing out my feelings really helped to put me back on track!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Etola Robinson, March 26, 1909

Medford Okla. March 26 1909

Dear Annie:

Tamerson writes me that you are not well; am very sorry hope you are feeling better by this time. am not very well myself and think there is nothing in this world that is so hard to bear as being sick; especily when one feels as though they must keep going as you and I do. am glad your mother is some better any way.

I have got to move. Thought I should go to Caldwell Kans. and told my land lord I was going and then made up my mind I would not go, but in the meane time he rented the house so I have got to get out. houses are very scarce and am not shure but shall have to go now. have one house on the string hear expect to know today if I can have it. have to get out by the first.

I have been making a switch and used $1.00's worth of your hair in it so will send you money in this. There is some left which I shall probably have a chance to use later. We are having pretty good weather now but not very warm, however the peach treas are coming in bloom. I did not know that Maggie had broken her arm untill Tamerson wrote me. how did it happen? have not had a letter from B. for some time.

Woolsey's have all had the grip and are not well yet have not seen Mae since the

page 2

holidays. Melvin and family started back to their claim last friday. I am glad I do not half to go out their.

Well I believe I have written all there is to write so will have to close. Tell Tamerson I shall write to her as soon as I get settled and tell her where to address me.

Oh yes I must tell you that I have finished my embroyered waist except the bottons and botonn holes and it is a beauty it is in islet and french work and is a delicate pattern. Think I am geting pretty smart in my old days.

Well good bye I think you owe me two letters now but will let you off with one if it is a long one.

Remember me to all

With lots of love I am as ever
your friend

I'm confused. In Toley's letter of 10 January 1909 she mentions a five year contract. Now she's talking about picking up and moving to Kansas. And I haven't figured out who the other people that she references are yet.

For more see:
Camfield Family Letters
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner
Michael Camfield

Robinson, Etola (Medford, OK) to “Dear Annie”
[Sarah Ann Wisner Camfield] Letter. 26 March 1909. Digital Images 1-2.
Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,]
Snowville, New York. 2009.
[Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1909,
Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Veterans!

Both John's and my families are full of Veterans and I want to send a big thank-you each one. Three of my brother-in-laws have served. Most of our uncle's as well as my father served in WWII & Korea.

There are two Vets that most others will not think about today. The first is my Mom. She followed her brother into the USN as a Wave. She worked for the weather service. At one time she worked on a top secret project that her children and grandchildren jokingly dubbed the great paper clip project. We later learned that there really was a "paper clip project". To this day we have no idea what exactly she worked on but we can't help but speculate. She rarely talks about her military service but it was to change her life forever. She never again lived near her family, returning to Michigan only for brief visits. I wish she had had a happier life but then I wouldn't be here.

The other vet I'm thinking of today is a cousin, Richard Carlisle. Over the years my Mom lost touch with this branch of the family but she remembered that she had a cousin that served on the S.S. Robin Moor, a Merchant Marine vessel sunk by a German sub in May 1941. Anyone that thinks that the men that served in the Merchant Marine during the WWII era aren't Veterans needs to think again. If drafted by the army these men were released to continue serving aboard their ships. The Merchant Marine was crucial to the war effort. So please join me in thanking these men also today.

This originally appeared at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree on 11 November 2006.

Mary B Bogardus, Feb 25, 1909

Bronson Feb 25th 1909

Dear Mrs. Camfield,

How do you do this winter? I hope you are quite well tho' the weather is agains us old folks. Just now we have a blistering time and feel the cold, but we had much colder weeather some years ago. I hope you are not sick in any way. We are about as usual. Have a little snow and can call it sleighing if we want to. but really we have heard but little snow at any time this winter. There has been little sickness

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I don't know of any.

Very little change about here. but will mention one and that is. Mr. Hardmare that bought your old place has taken the house down and made some out building near his home place. Henry says it looks odd. I havent seen it as I do not get out this winter. We heard from Irene Saturday. She and her family are all well. Isnt it funny - her three sons have been married some time from three to fifteen years, but she has never had a grand child. We hear nothing new from Syracuse, but nothing strange about that as they or any of the Bogardus' are no hands to write. Every thing all right

[no signature]

Even though the letter is not signed I am sure it was written by Mary B. Bogardus.

I have not looked at any land records from Branch County however based on this letter and the 1910 census I believe that Sarah sold the farm to Martin Hardman (b. abt. 1859 Ohio).

Irene most likely refers to Mary's sister-in-law. Irene was Henry's half sister and right now I have no idea who she married or where she lived.

She mentions that she has not heard from Syracuse and the assumption is that Sarah Ann had asked. This makes me wonder if Sarah Ann had made any effort to contact any of her Badgley cousins that still lived there.

For more see:
Camfield Family Letters
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner
Michael Camfield
Henry Bogardus, Shirt-tail Cousin

Bogardus, Mary (Bronson, MI) to “Dear Mrs. Camfield”
[Sarah Ann Wisner Camfield]. Letter. 25 February 1909. Digital Images 1-2.
Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,]
Snowville, New York. 2009.
[Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1909,
Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]

Monday, November 9, 2009

One year later

It was one year ago yesterday, that I started on the Camfield series of letters. In the last year I have transcribed and posted 226 of the letters in this group. Certainly not the 365 I was shooting for but still better than 4 letters a week. Thus far, the letters have spanned 35 years, starting in 1875 and through 1909.

In addition to transcribing them I have spent a considerable amount of time researching people or topics mentioned. Occasionally this has kept me from working on things I'd rather be doing but all in all I have learned so much about my family that I'm happy with the journey they have taken me on.

I try not to read too far ahead, mostly because it takes time away from transcription. I know I am getting close to the end of the current batch of photographs and will have to start formatting the last batch soon.

I also have to decide when to stop. I certainly have no intention of publishing the letters written by my mother or her siblings. I haven't quite figured out exactly where the stopping point will be. Perhaps I will simply skip over the letters written by those of my mother's generation and stop when the remaining letters run out.

Although I do not know how many letters are left in this group I do not foresee it taking another year to complete. Therefore I should be starting on the Carlisle group sometime next year. I would like to have Ashley's Civil War letters to include with this group so I really need to figure out how I am going to obtain them. I would love to travel to Michigan and photograph them as I did all the others but haven't quite worked out how I can make that happen. There are other options and with letters in the Camfield series still awaiting my attention, I guess I really should not get too far ahead of myself.

Unforseen Benefit of Indexing

Way back, on 25 March 2007, I posted the picture below. In it are my grandmother, Pearl Camfield and her sister Ruby. Last week when I was indexing my posts I looked at it again and thought what a shame it was that I had never tracked down anyone related to any of the others. So I poked around at Ancestry in the public member trees and a tree with Blanche Ireland and contacted the tree owner. She got back to me and Blanche is related to her and she had not seen this picture before. But it is better than that - it turns out that she and I are very distant cousins! What are the chances of that?

I looked at the 1910 census again and found Pearl, Ruby and their mother, Rose in South Bend, Indiana, living at 525 Scott St. Blanche Ireland was listed one page before them, at 625 Scott St and a boarder in her home was Rose Burkheiser. I also found Virena Hack and Harry Helsman might have been Harry Helman.

If I keep working at it maybe I'll make another connection!

Back row: Tillie Diffenbach, Frank Hildebrand. Verena Hack, Walter Kyser, Helen Hildebrand

Front row: Rose Berkhuner?, Pearl Camfield, Harry Helsman?, Ruby Camfield, Blanche Ireland

Taken at 318 Scott St, South Bend, Ind.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SNGF - Comveldt?

Family oral history (is it still oral history if someone writes it down!?) tells that Michael Camfield came from Germany and his name was Anglicized:
TALES OF OUR ANCESTORS. By Cecil R Camfield, March 28, 1995

This tale starts with Michael Comveldt. (I am guessing at the spelling.) (One day Earl Camfield's wife had a salesman tell her that he came from Alsace-Lorraine and the name was common there.) Mike was born on the German side of Alsace-Lorraine in 1819. Eleven years later he was separated from his family on arrival in New York and bound out as an Indentured Servant to an upstate New York farmer. (The way my father told it, "He was separated from his family on Ellis Island when Mike was 11 and 'bound out'." I have since found out that Ellis Island, as an immigration station, did not exist in 1830. I think the family indentured themselves to pay their way. Anyway, Mike served seven years to pay his indenture.)

The next I know Mike is driving horses on the Tow Boats on the Erie Canal. Sarah Wisner liked to sit on the Canal bank, where it ran through her father's farm, and met Mike, two years her junior. Can you imagine the furor in the Wisner family when Sarah announced she was marrying that Mike Camfield (his Master had Anglicized his name) who couldn't speak passable English. I don't know when they married, but when Fred (my father, Mike and Sarah's grandson) lived with them, 1887 - 1896, he learned a lot of German because Mike's English was so broken.

This week for our Saturday Night when we get around to it fun, Randy at Genea-Musings has tasked us with finding the geographical distribution of our a surname. He suggests we use the World Name Profiler site. I have tried to use the site in the past to try and determine what exactly Mike's surname might have been with no success. But I figured, what the heck, maybe I'll hit on it this time. The site doesn't seem to allow wild cards so I typed in every variation of Comveldt that I could think of and for each and every spelling I tried I got, "We could not found an exact match for "COMVELDT". Please search again."

What I had not tried previously was to actually search for Camfield.

Lots of dark blue in the United Kingdom and exactly what I expected to find. But wait! There is a bit of beige there in France and Belgium.

A closer look at France and I find there are no Camfield's anywhere close to Germany.

I do have Mike's death certificate and on it his name is shown as Mikel Canfield. So I tried that and found:
Again the U.K. is shown in blue but there's a bit of beige there in Germany too!

A closer look shows that some of the beige is actually close to the border with France, near the region of Alsace Lorraine!

So was Mike's name actually changed from Canfield? Was the name changed at all? Was Mike really from Alsace Lorraine? He came to the US in the 1830's and Alsace Lorraine didn't come into being until 1871. On census records his place of birth is shown as Prussia or Germany. Am I any closer to an answer!? I don't know.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Did You Know 4.0

Anyone who has been following along here at Apple's Tree knows that although I try very hard, I am more than a little "tech challenged." I do not have access to a computer at work so what I know has been learned from what I can find online. I have a cell phone with 400 prepaid minutes - for the year. Up until last month I thought I could only make phone calls with it. My students took pity on me and taught me how to send a text message. I haven't sent one yet but I'm confident that I could if I could think of a reason to. I finally joined Facebook this year and while I'm happy to be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews I'm not sure I really "get it." Twitter makes no sense to me at all. I guess I'm just an old lady in a middle aged body!

So when I see videos like this one, they just boggle my mind. Technology has changed so rapidly since my birth and continues at a pace I can no longer seem to keep up with. After you watch this try and put it in context with your family tree. What new technology did your ancestors see and how did they deal with it? How have technological advances affected you personally? And lastly, how will your descendants see you from their future perspective?

Hat tip to