22 May 2011

Scrapbook Sunday - 60 Years

This is a scrapbook page I made a while ago to celebrate MJ's parents' special anniversary. Family and friends arrived from all over to be with them on this momentous occasion.

Sixty years! Hope we are as lucky.

Happy Sunday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

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19 May 2011

Scrapbook Sunday - Resources & Ideas

The vendor fair at NERGC 2011 boasted a scrapbook supply vendor. This beautiful chart jumped off the table and into my hands and demanded to be purchased.

The company, Fun Stuff for Genealogists, offered a wide selection of, yup, fun stuff for genealogists. They had jewelry, mugs, pens, t-shirts, research aids, and quilting kits in addition to scrapbook supplies. I also picked up the Bazzill Basics Heritage Starter Kit

Need ideas for scrapbooking your family history? Check out some of these sites:

Do you enjoy scrapbooking your family's history? I would love to have others join in my new theme; Family History Scrapbook Sunday. If you have a blog and post a family history scrapbook page or product, include the title 'Family History Scrapbook Sunday' and I will link to your page.

Happy Thursday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

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17 May 2011

Tombstone Tuesday, or How a Tree Helped Me Find a Grave

The birds in the tree were singing so loudly during my Grandma Ruth's graveside service that I found it impossible to pay attention to what the priest was saying. It was as if all of our departed ancestors had come to sing Grandma's soul aloft. Her grave and the guardian tree are located at a high point in St. Joseph Cemetery in Bristol, CT. The funeral was twenty-four years ago this July. Wow, that's hard to believe. 

Don't Forget to Ask for Directions

Fast forward to last May 2010. As I mentioned, while attending my cousin's wedding in Glenn Cove, New York, MJ and I took a little trip to Calvary Cemetery to find my 2x great grandmother Sarah's grave. I had done my homework and knew she was buried in Section 2, Avenue 11, Plot P, Grave #8. There was just one key question I had forgotten to ask: Is there a map with sections, avenues and plots marked or are these locations clearly marked within the cemetery?

MJ and I arrived at the cemetery full of energy and ready to go grave seeking. The building at the main entrance was deserted. 

View Larger Map

There was a groundskeeper's truck parked nearby. The female in our group wanted to ask the gardener for directions, but the male was sure we could find the grave without assistance, so we started driving around. Luckily Section 2 was clearly marked. We hopped out of the car and started our search at the lowest point of the section. Immediately we realized that many of the gravestones were either missing or appeared to have melted. What were the odds that Sarah's grave would still exist after one hundred and ten years?

How a Tree Helped Me Find a Grave

After about an hour of reading stones and running short on time, MJ jumped in the car and left to try to find the groundskeeper and ask for help. While he was gone, I was suddenly transported back to my Grandma Ruth's funeral. There was a large tree at the pinnacle of Section 2. It felt just like the tree from which the birds had been singing at the funeral. I felt drawn to walk up to it.

Still scanning stones on my way up the hill, I immediately found this one:

Sarah Grace's parents were John and Sarah Murtagh, but from my research I knew that there were two so named couples. I hadn't yet determined John's date of death or place of burial, but took photos of the stones for later research.

Was it the Tree or Something or Someone Else?

I continued further, reading stones and waiting for MJ to return, but felt a strong pull from the tree back at the top of the hill. I stood very still and listened to the quiet voice. I asked this voice if I was imagining it, but decided that I didn't need an answer and, thinking about my Grandma Ruth, I wandered back to the tree.

The Duh Moment

MJ returned and reported no success in finding anyone to help us located the grave. I shared my recent experience and showed him the stone I had found and then we decided we must return for the wedding. Once in the car, I had the brilliant idea to try calling the cemetery office and luckily they answered. The helpful person at the other end of the line explained that each gravestone was marked with the section, avenue and plot. Hmmm....and we didn't notice that. Yikes, as my daughter would say. What a learning experience!

We jumped back out of the car and started looking again, this time for the location engravings. Using the engravings we were guided back to the stone I had photographed just a few minutes earlier. Although we could not find the location engraving on the Murtagh stone, here is the bottom of the Keilt stone from the photo above:

Section 2, Ave 11, Plot 10
 Genealogical Serendipity

A simple math equation of ten minus two made the Murtagh grave Plot 8, the unmarked burial place for their daughter Sarah and her infant. Some would say that it was all coincidental, but I know that we had some help finding this grave. It may have been my Grandma Ruth, or my Murtagh 3x great grandparents, or Sarah, or even her baby. Or, it may have been the tree, at the top of the hill.

Section 2, Avenue 11 is directly behind this street side grave
All I know is that genealogical serendipity has struck again and connected me just a little bit more strongly with my ancestors.

Scrappy Gen, looking weird because she couldn't figure out how to pose with a gravestone
Has genealogical serendipity happened to you? I would love to hear about it. 

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

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08 May 2011

Scrapbook Sunday - My Matrilineal Line

Four generations of females in the living room of my great grandparents. My parents, sister and I had just returned from living in Butzbach, Germany. I believe the photo on the left was taken in January of 1969 by a newspaper reporter. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

07 May 2011

Genealogy Organization - May 2011 - A Fresh Start

Spring is a time for new beginnings. I am so thankful for the change of years, seasons, months and days. Each change gives us a chance to start fresh. This month I am picking up again with DearMYRTLE’s Organization Checklist. After spinning my wheels fast and furiously over the last couple of months, it will be a good to dig back into getting my genealogical stuff organized. Who wants to join me? Let’s get going!

There are lots of reasons to visit the May Organization Checklist. Ol' Myrt shares about May Day and the grandmother after whom she was named. Using a pickle recipe she explains the difference between a transcription and an abstract. What a great way to simplify a sometimes difficult concept. Also included this month is a book recommendation, which I have already purchased, and resources for preserving fabric heirlooms. Based on the many recommendations this month, here is what Scrappy Gen will be doing.

MAY DAY – Back It Up!

I have written about my personal backup plan before, but it is always good to have a reminder. If you haven’t backed up your stuff, go do it now. We just had the first of our seasonal thunderstorms here in New England, and it was a doozy, complete with large hail. Don’t wait until after lightning zaps your stuff to back up. Although I have written about my backups, I haven’t backed up the Scrappy Genealogist in quite a while. Just did it. It took all of sixty seconds. DearMYRTLE shows you exactly how to do it

Scan Original Heirloom Paper Items

Ol’ Myrt shared her Grandma’s famous pickle recipe. It got me thinking about the stack of recipe booklets, cards, notebooks and scraps of paper my sister shared with me last month. The recipes belonged to my paternal grandmother, but this one probably belonged to her mother. 

The pages are yellowed and oily and wouldn't last a day of use in my kitchen. This month I am going to scan the rest of the pages. Wish me luck. If you need moral support to get scanning, head over to Scanfest at AnceStories on Sunday, May 22nd from 2-5 PM.

Mother's Day; Share a Maternal Photo

Already done. Check here tomorrow for my matrilineal line scrapbook pages.

Attach Scans of Heirloom Paper Items to Ancestors

Ol' Myrt used Legacy to show us how to do this. If you have Legacy and struggle with this, check out her demo. It looks pretty simple.

At NEHGS in April, Legacy had a phenomenal deal and I purchased a copy to try. I confess that I have not even opened the package yet. So my goal in May will be to open up Legacy and try it out. Currently many of my heirloom scans are in one generic folder labeled with my Dad's name because they belong to his ancestors. That is really pretty dopey so I will copy the heirloom paper scans to each of the respective person folders on my computer. The current folder holding these paper copies will be renamed with a scan place and date. When I am ready to upload the images to my chosen software, Legacy or other, it will be much easier if they are already attached to people.

Create an Ancestor Display

Scrappy Gen loves ancestor displays! It makes some people uncomfortable, but gives me a feeling of peace and security. I love having them watching us. Here is the display in our dining room. This is a good month to add a few new faces. 

You simply must take a peak at Ol' Myrt's pretty display

Memorial Day and Graves

I have several ideas in mind for this and will share more later this month. One possible idea involves my Great Great Grandmother Sarah's grave.

Whew! It feels good to get going and have a plan. Thank you so much Myrt for all you do! 

Happy Saturday night and happy organizing!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!
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06 May 2011

The Magical Backyard - a New Blog

Spring fever makes people do crazy things...like start new blogs. Bubba's backyard was and is and always will be a magical place. The Magical Backyard will use photos and stories to share the special experience of being there. It will feature photographs taken by Bubba. His photos capture the seasons, the weather, the growing things, and of course the people, who have spent some time in this heavenly haven. 

Please come over to this magical backyard, unfold a chair and sit awhile. We will watch the kids playing ball, the grown men playing with bonfires, and the generations growing and changing. Hope to see you soon.

Happy Friday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!
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03 May 2011

Home Again, Home Again...Bippity Boo!

Does anyone else say home again, home again? It's from an old nursery rhyme. We didn't go to market, or buy a pig or a hog, but we are home. My grandmother used to say home again, home again, but I added the bippity boo. Don't ask me why. I don't remember, but I do say it every time I get home.

My daughter and I just returned from Upper Marlboro, Maryland where she participated in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Finals at the Prince George's Equestrian Center. High school and middle school riders representing all parts of the country competed in both individual and team events. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association was formed to provide a more level playing field to open the sport to more students. It has succeeded admirably and is run by a group of dedicated and extraordinarily dedicated individuals. My thanks to them for providing this incredible opportunity. 

Before finals began, we spent a couple of hours visiting my favorite city.

We walked to the Washington Monument and were going to continue on to Lincoln, but it was HOT! So we sat at the monument for a bit, took some pictures, soaked up the atmosphere, and then looked for something to eat and drink.

The first restaurant we found was J&G Steakhouse on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street. 

The menu was expensive and limited, but sitting on the street allowed us to soak up more Washington atmosphere and the food was excellent. After dinner, we strolled back to the mall and were treated to a beautiful sunset.

These lucky folks were playing softball and soccer on the National Mall. What a place to live!

After enjoying the sites and sounds, we headed back to where our chariot awaited us. 

Washington is such a great place. I can't wait to return in August for the IAJGS Jewish genealogy conference and to do some research here. 

Happy Tuesday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

On the road again...4

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