27 February 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Cub Uniform Items

If you have a mother-in-law as awesome as mine, you will know how blessed you are to have a collection of things carefully preserved over the years. Among the collection of things she painstakingly cared for and moved, which was many times, was the boy scout artifacts for my husband. Over the next two months, I'll be sharing much of his collection.

I hope you'll see that our family heirlooms can be part of our personal history. Additionally, I hope you'll recognize that somethings do not change. And finally, I hope you'll be inspired to photograph the collection of items belonging to your spouse, your ancestors, or even the current scouts of today. Today's events are tomorrow's history.

Cub Scout Family History
Cub Scout Ranks and Arrow Points
(ISO 100, f/5, exp 1/5, bias +0.7, AV, Macro Focus, Center Weight Average)
Boy Scout patch, Religious Knot, and Arrow of Light
(ISO 100, f/5, exp 1/3, bias +0.7, AV, Macro Focus, Center Weight Average)
Progress to Rank, Den Patch and Award
(ISO 100, f/5, exp 1/8, bias +0.7, AV, Macro Focus, Center Weight Average)
Webelos Colors and Activity Badges
(ISO 100, f/5, exp 1/8, bias +0.7, AV, Macro Focus, Center Weight Average)



The memories of the awards from Cub Scouts are no longer concrete in my husband's mind. So, I won't be able to share any stories specific to these artifacts. I know what my boys are going through to earn their Bobcat, Wolf, and Bear ranks. The progress to rank beads help keep the boys encouraged throughout the advancement process. Eventually, the boys can earn a religious knot, the only Cub Scout award that carries over to their scout uniform. The program my husband did is certainly different than what the boys do now as the current program is fairly new.

With boys soon to be advancing through the Webelos level and earning their own Arrows of Light, I'm excited to have photographed "Dad's stuff" to show them that scouting hasn't changed much. That's a good thing. Tradition creates connections that span the generations. And isn't that what family history is about?

Perhaps this post shows that just because someone is living, they might not have the answers to the  questions you seek. However, my husband does have memories of some specific events that happened while he was in the scouting program. The questions I'll need to ask won't be of the 'what is this?' variety but more of tell me about when you were in Cub Scouts.'

We'll have to capture those stories and couple them with these photos in order to enjoy a rich story. Happy documenting!


26 February 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Military Pages About the Home Front

When millions of Americans headed to various parts of the world to defend the US of A during World War II, there were families left behind to maintain the home front. One of those family members was my Lewis Brown's wife Louise.

Heritage Scrapbook Page Military
Heritage Scrapbook Page that features the home front of World War II

Heritage Scrapbook Page Military
Heritage Scrapbook Page that features the home front of World War II
In your heritage scrapbooks, be sure to not only include the service of your veterans. Also pay tribute to those they left behind.

Again, I used the Americana Kit by No Reimer Reason. (By the way, I haven't received any compensation for promoting Amber Reimer's designs. She provided this kit for free and I don't know how else to share my appreciation for her awesome kit than to provide links to her site).

You will also see in this collection of photos how they overcome the overpowering background paper. Yet the pattern on the background paper makes the page exciting, and not boring. Less need for embellishments. Gotta love that! Yet, I did use a few embellishments from the Home of the Brave Kit.

On the previous scrapbook page, I cut the background out of the artifact's photo. On this layout, I include the background for the bracelet front and back side. Decide if your layout would look better with the background of your memorabilia photos included or excluded. It's all a matter of preference.




To learn more about creating family history scrapbooks, purchase the eBook Create a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps at Amazon.com.

24 February 2014

Family History Writing Challenge: Even More Written

My Writing Challenge Update shared how I beat my 4,000 word goal midway through the month. I asked the question whether my bar was set to low. This week, I must share that I've increased the number of persons that I've written about and the number of words I've written.

So far, I've written about nine ancestors for a total of 

9,400 words. 

And February isn't even over! Hooray.

For many people, they need a goal to push themselves. For me, I wanted to make a commitment that I could achieve and then see by how much I could beat that goal. I knew that I would have ups and downs this months. I would be busy helping to decorate for a Cub Scout banquet, home school my kids, try to fight off the winter blues in the insane winter temps we've had, and my kids or I would get sick. All of that has happened this month. Yet some how, I met my goal and more than doubled it. So, with four more days left in the month... I think I might have to see if I can triple the goal. How fun. At some point, I might need to switch my focus from a word count to a number of ancestors that I want to write about this year and then create a goal measurement chart of some sort to see how close I'm getting to that grand number of narrative stories written. Hmm...

Thanks Lynn Palmero for the Family History Writing Challenge and allowing everyone to make the challenge fit their needs.

Amanuensis Monday: General Affidavits Nancy Miller for William Townsend

Mary (Clabaugh) Townsend had another person provide a witness affidavit for her Widow's Pension claim of 1890 after the death of her husband William James Townsend in 1889. This statement is from her daughter Nancy E (Townsend) Miller.

What is interesting in this statement is that Nancy doesn't exactly say that Mary is her mother, unless the statement "The claimant is the first person I ever called" is lingo for, she's my mother. Ida does not make any mention of a potential relationship. But Nancy seems to hint at it.

Nancy Townsend Miller Affidavit for William Townsend Pension
Nancy Townsend Miller Affidavit for William Townsend Pension


State of Ohio
County of Franklin, SS


In the matter of Pension Claim No. 422.500 of Mary, widow of Wm J Townsend late of Co. “K”, 133rd Reg't, Ohio Inft Vol.
Personally came before me, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, Nancy E Miller aged 24 years.


Citizen of the town of Reece's Station County of Franklin State of Ohio well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn, declares in relation to aforesaid case as follows: The claimant is the first person I ever called. I know that she has not remarried since the death of her husband Nov'r 13th 1889


I further know that she is wholly dependent upon her own labor for the support of he self and her children as she was cutting corn last week and does washing whenever she is able to get and do it.
Further that her children Ethel may, Sameul LeRoy, Emma Virginia, and Harry Augusts are all living and under the care of the claimant


And I further say that my knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following sources, viz: personal knowledge .

Signed Nancy E Miller




KNOWLEDGE GAINED:

  • Nancy has a really nice signature.
  • Nancy is living in Reece's Station.
  • Mary works in various ways to support her family from cutting corn to doing laundry.
  • Mary's youngest children are living with her, not with extended family members.

QUESTIONS:
  • Where is Reece's Station?
  • Did Nancy have formal education to make her handwriting so nice?

20 February 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Robert Geiszler Bracelet

I can't believe that my father has been deceased for almost a year now. He was an interesting man who didn't like a lot of flashy stuff when I lived in the home. Apparently, prior to my birth and after I left home, he did pay attention to his looks. The reason I mention this is because I have this bracelet of dad's. My mother gave it to me to be photographed the summer before she passed. I'm glad there was something of my father's mixed in her collection.

Family Heirlooms
Personalize Bracelet
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/4, exp 1/13 sec, bias +0.3, ISO 80
Focal length: 16 mm ; Center Weight Average metering

Notice how simple and understated the bracelet is. I do remember my father wearing this throughout my childhood and into my teens. It was just always on dad's arm. As you might guess, I don't know the story behind the bracelet. But I'm glad to own it and have it to include in his biography that I'll write someday. I just wish I had had it before I created Dad's heritage scrapbook. It would have made a nice addition to it. Oh well. Maybe someday I'll reprint the book and include the photo. Until now, I'll put the bracelet in a shadow box of mom and dad, and the photo in the family history files.

Personalized Bracelet
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/4, exp 1/13 sec, bias +0.3, ISO 80
Focal length: 16 mm ; Center Weight Average metering


Notice how changing the orientation can change the connection you feel with an object? Arrange and rearrange your jewelry to see if you can capture the right perspective.

And of course, if you think your photos are not as wonderful on the computer as they were on camera, use a photo editor to brighten things up a bit.


Family History Jewelry
Lightening the photos using photo editor

Family History Jewelry
A little photo editor magic



19 February 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Military Pages

One of the reasons I chose an American theme for the scrapbook featuring my grandfather Lewis Brown is the fact that he served in the Army during World War II. In my family history collection, I have a lot of documents and memorabilia. All of this makes easy pickings for scrapbook pages about his participation in second Great War.

Military Inspired Heritage Scrapbook Pages
Military Inspired Heritage Scrapbook Pages

Military Inspired Heritage Scrapbook Pages
Military Inspired Heritage Scrapbook Pages

Notice all of the documents that I've included on the first page. All of these things pertain to Lewis' participation. Also notice that I included the red military medal I photographed for my Photo Friday series. On the second page, I include a variety of photos, both black and white and sepia, of my Grandpa Lew in India. On this page, another artifact I photographed is included.

Now, I used the Americana Kit by No Reimer or Reason. The few additional embellishments were from a kit called Home of the Brave by Nikki Barber. I found that kit at Scrapbook.com. Notice that I don't really need much. The photos, documents, and the artifacts dominate and leave little room for anything else.

Now, I don't share my adventures in photographing memorabilia simply to show you how to photograph your objects, but to tie that in with the ability to included these items in your family history projects, such as a heritage albums. Get your cameras and scanners out and start digitizing your family history treasures to be included in your family history scrapbook.




To learn what additional pages you should include in a family history scrapbook, purchase the eBook Create a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps at Amazon.com.


17 February 2014

Writing Challenge: Goal Beat! Was it too easy?

Family History Writing Challenge
I had decided to participate in the Family History Writing Challenge this month and set the goal to write 4,000 words. I'm happy to say, by February 10th, I had beat that goal. Before I discuss whether this goal was too small or not, I wanted to recap what I did.

I am writing a genealogical narrative. Essentially I'm turning the names, dates, and places, into a written format. I'm using the facts found on my Ancestry.com account timeline for an individual, plus the Timeline feature for an individual in my RootsMagic 6 database. The Ancestry.com account has sourced facts that I haven 't downloaded to RootsMagic (because it doesn't syng easy, ugh) but RootsMagic can show me timeline events of relatives (death of father, birth of sibling, etc).

In viewing these two life tools, I can see what happened in what year for a specific individual and in the narrowed family dynamics. This has enabled me to see, how old someone was when their sister was born. I've seen where there was a year of happy events, or tragedy. I can  quickly see how old someone was when their siblings died. And I can track their lives (thanks to City Directories) to see changes in locations and occupations. In short, these facts can help me turn...

Annie M Geiszler was born on 28 Oct 1888 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She died of spasms on 5 Nov 1888 at the age of 0 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.
into

Almost two years after the death of the unnamed Geiszler son, Henry, 29, and Maggie, 28, had another child. Anna Margaretha Geiszler was born on 28 Oct 1888 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.i She was named in honor of Magdalena's sister Anna Margaretha Hoppe, aged 19, and the sister's mother Anna Margaretha Kalsberger, aged 64. It's interesting that Maggie would carry on the maternal name rather than her sister. However, Annie didn't marry until the following year and she died shortly thereafter. It's not likely that Maggie and Annie knew that this would happen. It's possible that Maggie did want to honor her sister and mother and Annie thought she wouldn't use the name if she had the opportunity to have a child.  
Tragedy struck the Geiszler and Hoppe women as baby Annie died of spasms on 5 Nov 1888 barley a week later. The death occurred  Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.37 She was also buried in an unmarked grave in the Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio on Annie M (Kalsberger) Hoppe's plot.



So... here's the run down of what I worked on and when:


2/1    789 words for William Joseph Geiszler
2/2     676 words for Infant Geiszler, Annie M Geiszler, and William Talbot Peak (part 1)
2/3    1239 words for William T Peak (part 2)
2/5    1030 words for Evaline Townley (part 1)

I took a break to watch RootsTech, so no writing for me!

2/10    766 words for Evaline Townley (part 2)

GOAL beat : 4500 words (positive 500 words)

Today, I started working on another relative named William R Peak, the son of William T Peak and Evaline Townley. What I'm finding is that some of saved sources are great on Ancestry.com, but I should have put notes in the description field in order to track the residence and job information quickly. So, I've had to slow down on the writing in order to improve the quality of my note taking. So today, I've had the lowest word count, only 568 words.

Since I've beaten my goal, I'm not to upset with my low word count. I could lament my disorganization or lack of preparing for my project. However, that wasn't the purpose of my participation in the writing challenge. I didn't sign up for this challenge to write a bazillion words and look like a writing champion. Instead, I was using this writing challenge to establish a habit. Writing in the morning before the kids get up. I knew RootsTech would take time out. And as the month wears on, other things will interfer. But, if I can establish a habit of writing, then I will have achieved the purpose of the challenge for me.

Quick note, I did NOT feel like writing this morning. I woke up even earlier than normal but I did not want to write. I wanted to surf the internet and veg. But, the call for the habit beckoned, and I wrote. So, anything more than zero words today is a success.

Just to remind everyone, my year long goal is to write the narrative of what I've researched. In so doing, I'm going to come across research that I have done but did not do due diligence with. It could be missing or incomplete source citations. It could be saved records that I haven't created notes or follow-up steps to (like the things D Joshua Taylor spoke of in his RootsTech presentation.. that 2 hours or follow-up after an internet research).

Today, I was fighting with myself because I felt like I was wasting time 'fixing' my research notes rather than writing William's story. However, I realized halfway through the process that I didn't need to fight. By achieving my goal early, I can focus on the habits I wanted to build thanks to the writing challenge rather than word count. When that realization struck, I relaxed and fixed my resource notes.

So... my goal for the remainder of the writing challenge is to read the inspiring articles provided by Lynn Palmero and other guest writers. I probably won't participate in the forum much (sorry, I won't get any writing/research note fixing done if I do). Ultimately, I will write everyday that the schedule reasonable allows and strive to turn the names, dates, and places into a reader friendly format. If I find research notes or source things that need to be fixed, I'll take the time to fix them as I go. It will improve the quality of my biographical sketches, and will save me time later.

Now I'm off to make smiley face pancakes for the kids because I'm hungry and I like a smile to brighten my day. Happy Writing!

Amanuensis Monday: Midwife Affidavit in Civil War Pension file of William Townsend

As you may recall, I hired a Professional Genealogist to go to the National Archives and make a copy of the Civil War Pension file for my relative William James Townsend. For the most part, the experience was wonderful, and a great value (less expensive and substantially faster than the NARA fulfillment time). However, this is one time example of the need to be careful when scanning records for yourself or if you're hired.

I'm not disappointed, because I am able to determine the person's name in the documentation. However, I really like to have a full scan of each document. You never know what else is hidden.

Birth of Ethel Mae Townsend
Witness Statement regarding the birth of Ethel May Townsend,
Midwife's name not scanned.

State of Ohio
County of Franklin, SS


In the matter of Pension Claim No. 422.500 of Mary, widow of Wm J Townsend late of Co. “K”, 133rd Reg't, Ohio Inft Vol.
Personally came before me, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, Reca Yous aged 65 years.


Citizen of the town of Edwards Station County of Franklin State of Ohio well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn, declares in relation to aforesaid case as follows: I attended Mrs Mary Townsend as a midwife on the 27th of September 1887 at the birth of a female child named Ethel May, who is still living and in the care of her mother.





(The bottom of the affidavit was cut off by the person scanning the documents.)

KNOWLEDGE GAINED:

  • 65 year old Reca Yous was the midwife for Mary's last child, Ethel May. 
  • Reca Yous was also from Edwards Station.
QUESTIONS
  • Who is Reca Yous and is this the correct spelling of her name?
  • What more can I learn about the 65-year old midwife?

13 February 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Penny's High School Charm Bracelet

For the past two weeks, I've shared the charm bracelets that belonged to my mother. This last one (for now)  must have been the one that started them all. Why do I say that? Because it's filled with charms from her high school, South High School in Columbus, Ohio. I know she attended that High School from her memory books, her telling me stories of her high school, and the fact that not only did she and her older sister go to the same school, but her younger sister did as well. So, South High School is the right school.

South High School Columbus Ohio Charm Bracelet
High School Charm Bracelet
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/4, exp 1/8 sec, bias +0.3, ISO 80
Focal length: 13 mm ; Center Weight Average metering

From hearing about South from the sisters, I know that their mascot is the bulldog. On this bracelet is a bull dog. There is are a few charm bracelet that also say South High. The year 66 is the year she graduated, and there is a graduate charm as well. She participated in twirling, though not at the high school, and there are charms reflecting that interest. There are other charms (including a ring) that I do not know the history behind. Ugh! I don't know if I'll ever know. But at least I can place the heirloom for her high school days. I wonder how many other ladies from South High School also had charm bracelets, given the school had such charms. I also wonder how much a fad these charm bracelets were.

Family history jewelry
Lightened in photo editor.

I look forward to combining my mother's high school memory books, this charm bracelet, and some of the stories I had her record of her high school years into her life history. I'm sad that she won't be around to tell me that she likes what I've done. But, I know she expected me to treasure her memory and care for her history. And I will.


12 February 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Incomplete Trees

The beauty of heritage scrapbooking is the inclusion of family trees with photos. But what if your family tree is incomplete with both photos and names?

heritage scrapbooking ideas
Family Tree Scrapbook Page
What do I say? Come on. If you've read my posts before, I say, include the incomplete tree. It's your family. It's what you know. Scrapbook the most accurate information you have at this time. Because you never know when you're going to get new information.


creating a heritage album
Don't Let the Fear of Change Stop You From Making Something

If you'll notice, Lewis Brown is the handsome man with the Army uniform on on the bottom of the tree beside his beautiful wife Louise (yes, I'm biased). This tree was included in the scrapbook featuring Penny Brown, their daughter.

In the album featuring Lewis Brown, the left half of this tree will stay and Louise's right have will not be shown.

scrapbooking layouts family tree
Photo Pedigree Chart
Page Kit: Americana by No Reimer Reason

Notice that Lewis's tree has more holes. There are blocks were no name is known at this time. It's interesting that the maternal lines have names but the Townsend and Brown men do not have parents in the great-grandparent generation. Notice how I do not have photos of William Townsend or Mary Clabaugh. Given what I've learned about William and Mary Townsend, it's not likely they had photos taken given how poor they were.

I attempted to add embellishments to this page but I couldn't find anything that wasn't distracting. So, I think sometimes, all you need on a page is photos and background paper. Don't be afraid to not have embellishments.

Hopefully you'll see that incomplete trees are still worthy of inclusion in your scrapbook. Someday I hope to know the parents of Samuel Curtis Brown and William James Townsend. Until then, Lewis' scrapbook should have the most complete family tree that I have at this time.


To learn what additional pages you should include in a family history scrapbook, purchase the eBook Create a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps at Amazon.com.

10 February 2014

Amanuensis Monday: General Affidavit by Ida Sanborn

Mary (Clabaugh) Townsend needed to provide a number of witness statements about her living conditions after the death of her husband William James Townsend who had served in Co K 133rd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry Volunteers during the Civil War. William had died in 1889 living Mary to care for four young children through her efforts to take on day labor. 

This witness statement is Ida Jane Sanborn. Ida also lives in Edward's Station... possibly near to Mary. Now, here's what I know that Ida does not reveal in her statement. She says she was working for Mary in 1884 for Samuel Townsend was born. Samuel is her brother and Mary is her mother. It's possible that Mary needed witnesses for the births of her children and only had family witnesses due to the poverty her family lived in with a blind farmer for a husband. It's possible that Ida could not say, "This is my mother and I was a witness to my brother Samuel's birth" because of these affidavits stating that the person witnessing is not concerned with the outcome of the claim. Well, Ida would certainly care about the outcome as it would greatly assist in the provisions for her mother and her siblings. Ida was 23 at the time this statement was recorded and she had been married for five years.




State of Ohio
County of Franklin, SS


In the matter of Pension Claim No. 422.500 of Mary, widow of Wm J Townsend late of Co. “K”, 133rd Reg't, Ohio Inft Vol.
Personally came before me, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, Ida J Sandborn aged 23 years.


Citizen of the town of Edwards Station County of Franklin State of Ohio well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn, declares in relation to aforesaid case as follows: I was working for Mrs Mary Townsend the claimant on previous and subsequent to the 8th of July 1884 on which day I distinctly remember and known that she had a male child born to her afterwards named Samuel LeRoy who is still living and with his mother.
I can further state that the claimant has never remarried since the death of her husband Nov'r 13th 1889. That her children Harry A., Emma V., Samuel L. and Ethel May are in the care of their mother, the claimant and that the claimant is dependent upon her own labor for the support of her self and her children.


And I further say that my knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following sources, viz: memory and personal knowledge as stated above.

Signed Ida Jane Sanborn


KNOWLEDGE GAINED
  • Ida was 18 when she witnessed the birth of her brother Samuel. 
  • Ida was living in Edwards Station in 1890/1891. 
QUESTION
  • How close was Ida's home to her mother Mary's in 1890/1891?
  •  Ida had three small children of her home at this time. Did her children play with their young aunts & uncles when Mary took in odd jobs for her family's support?


06 February 2014

Heritage Scrapbook Page: Same Topic, Different Approach

What is amazing with scrapbooking is that the same topic can be presented in different approaches and still provide great layout ideas. Heritage scrapbooking is no different. In one album, a person might be a mother. In another album that same person will be someone's grandmother. The two scrapbooks can have very different color schemes and overall feels yet still compliment the nature of family history information and photos.

Heritage Scrapbook color schemes
Heritage Scrapbooking Color Scheme 1
Emma Townsend
In the scrapbook featuring Penny (Brown) Geiszler, Emma is Penny's grandmother. In the album featuring Lewis Brown, Emma is his mother.

Heritage Scrapbooking Mother Page
Heritage Scrapbooking Color Scheme 2
Page Kit: Americana by No Reimer Reason

You'll notice a few things. First, I still have the memorabilia items with Emma's printed married name. And I still have the same basic layout for the two pages. Why reinvent the wheel?  I essentially made a mirror image of the layout because of the direction Emma is looking in the photos. I wanted her to look into the middle of the book (this is a right hand page).

Second, you'll see that I have new photos. I always say Don't Let The Fear of Change Stop You From Making Something. I didn't know these two photos existed when I created the scrapbook for Penny's album. I might have to swap out the photos in Penny's album if I reprint it. At some point in the future, I would love to have someone restore the top photograph of Emma. However, I didn't want to wait for that someday before I created the page.

I also want you to notice how I was able to use the text from the first layout for the second. That's the BEAUTY of digital scrapbooking. I just copied and pasted the old text onto the new layout.

As you can see, both topics can be treated in different ways but still be perfect for the project you're working on. Have fun with your heritage projects and know that once you've created your first album, it's a cinch to make other albums using people from the same tree!




To learn what additional pages you should include in a family history scrapbook, purchase the eBook Create a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps at Amazon.com.


Treasure Chest Thursday: Penny's Sorority Bracelet

As I mentioned last week, my mother gave me her jewelry collection to  photograph before her death. She was so pleased with all that I had done thus far and wanted to make sure I photographed more of her treasures. I'm glad she gave them to me. Unfortunately, I did not have time to record the stories behind the charm bracelets and all the charms. However, with this charm, I have lots of clues as to what it is and what the items mean.

ΒΣΦ Charm Bracelet
ΒΣΦ Charm Bracelet
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/4, exp 1/13 sec, bias +1, ISO 80
Focal length: 12 mm ; Center Weight Average metering

This charm is full of silver stars. You can see that some stars have the year 1967, 1968, and 1970. Some of the stars say Charter member, Founders day and Heart fund. And, the big clue for me are the symbols ΒΣΦ. That clue tells me this is from when mother participated in Beta Sigma Phi. Now, I don't know if the current organization is like the one my mother participated in in the late 1960s. I do know she would have participated in this group after she graduated college, and she was married. I remember that prior to her induction into the group, her grandfather-in-law Victor Zumstein would quiz her on her being able to read Greek. So this was definitely something she participated in as a married woman.

Heirlooms from fraternal organization
Here's the same photo after I cropped it, and
lightened it using a photo editor. 

I still have this bracelet. As I mentioned last week, you should play around with the charms so you can see as much as possible. I don't know if trying to photograph all sides of this bracelet would be helpful. Again, I like that there are clues... the stars, the years, the reason, and the sorority symbols. I think I'll keep the edited version of the photo but go back and record all the other things inscribed so I can perhaps gain a richer understanding of Mom's participation. Perhaps someone from the Columbus, Ohio chapter who knows the history of Beta Sigma Phi from the late 1960s and early 1970s could contact me and let me know more about the organization and what it did. That would be awesome. Someday, I'll pursue this research on my own if the “reach out and help me” fishing line doesn't work.

What clues are in your family heirlooms that you haven't noticed before that could help you better understand your relative?


03 February 2014

Amanuensis Monday: General Affidavits Jennie Tewell, Midwife

The contents of the Civil War Pension file are about to become a little more interesting. The next series of posts will be those willing to attest to the events in Mary's life. These witnesses could be neighbors, family members, or care providers (as in this case). MUCH research will need to be done with regards to these persons to see if any more relationship connections can be made or more historical context can be found to better understand the life of William James Townsend and his wife Mary Clabaugh.

General Affidavit from Jennie Tewell, Midwife
General Affidavit from Jennie Tewell, Midwife

State of Ohio
County of Franklin } SS.

In the matter of Pension Claim No. 442.500 of Mary, widow of Wm J Townsend late of Co. “K” 133rd Reg't, Ohio Inf't Vol.

Personally came before me a Notary Public in and for said County and State Jennie Tewell aged 37 years No. 462 Poplar Ave.
Citizen of the town of Columbus County of Franklin State of Ohio well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to aforesaid case as follows: I attended Mrs. Mary Townsend at the birth of her child, a female named Emma Virginia, on the 15th of January 1879, of which date I have a record, in the capacity of a midwife. I know that the child is still living and under the care of her mother who is dependent upon her own labor for the support of herself and her children
I also attended the claimant at the birth of her child, a male, named Harry Augustus, on the 27th day of February 1875 who is still living.
I can further say that Samuel LeRoy was born the 8tj of July 1884 and know such to be the case although I was not in attendance -
And I further say that my knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following sources, viz; personal knowledge as state from record and that he has no interest or concern in this matter.

Signature of Affiant. Jennie Tewell

The cover for this affidavit (not shown) says:
NO.422.500
GENERAL AFFIDAVIT
Case of
Mary Townsend, wid. Of
William J Townsend
Co. “K”, 133rd Reg't Ohio Vols
for
Widows Pension

AFFIDAVIT OF Jennie Tewell
Filed by A.H. ADDINGTON
Pension and Patent Attorney,
Columbus, Ohio

US Pension Office stamp Nov 10, 1890


 KNOWLEDGE GAINED
  • Mary used a midwife named Jennie Tewell for at least two of her children (Emma and Harry) but she only knows of Samuel's birth though she was not in attendance. Jennie mentions she kept a record of her performances as a midwife
  • Jennie Tewell lived at 462 Poplar Ave, possibly in Columbus, Ohio.
QUESTIONS:
  • Does Jennie Tewell's midwife records still exist? Where are they? What can they tell me about the Townsend births, and Jennie's service as a midwife?

01 February 2014

Family History Writing Challenge: Starting Off

Family History Writing Challenge
I often wonder if I bite off more than I can chew. Yet, I think I found a writing challenge that fits my goals for this year.

With the plans happening in the Lee Family Home this year, I decided that I should focus on writing, writing, and writing. I really need to get the information I have discovered out of my head and into a tangible form before I forget or I can't be corrected.

Enter the Family History Writing Challenge. As I understand it, I need to commit to writing this month. The commitment should be a number of words by the end of the month, with the goal of developing a habit. I believe this is something I can do, to an extent. I would like to write 4,000 words about my ancestors. That would be 1,000 words a week (simplified estimate).

I'm trying to set the bar low because a computer malfunction set me back last month, and this month is scheduled to be extremely busy with the kid's activities and such. So, I'm setting my bar low so that I can achieve it for sure.

However, I'm not someone who likes low standards. I hope to bust that number, if I can. I hope to reveal at the end of the month the total number of words I've written and have it been extremely high. Yet, I am also a realist and do not want to strive for an ideal that didn't take into account the fact that I still have young children in my home and things come up.

So, 4,000 words is my goal.

Today, I focused on my great uncle William Jospeh Geiszler and I wrote about 780 words. I'm off to a good start, especially since I'm teaching a class at the public library on Family History basics in a few hours. I'm a little nervous and hope the class will be well received and possibly a start of more class teaching opportunities.

For those of you also participating in the Family History Writing Challenge... good luck!

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