Monday, February 13, 2017

Suddenly Seven - Happy Blogiversary to Me!



Sometime around the 10th of February, at the kick-off of the Winter Olympic Games, a challenge was issued by Thomas MacEntee  to become a better genealogist.  I think it appealed to be because my husband and had attended the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.  The premise  was to set genealogical goals for ourselves and at the end of the games determine how well those goals were achieved.  Then we could aware our selves medals of achievement!

Here are the challenges of those winter games and what I did. (or didn't do)

Winter Genealogy Games are over!

The Winter Genealogy Games have now ended and I have been reflecting on how much I have achieved.
To even enter the games I needed to create this blog. Next I created a flag to represent my heritage.


1 Go Back and cite your sources - I have been citing sources and earned a Bronze Medal.
2 Back-up Your Data -I have completed task C making a new DVD back-up of all my digital
media. I also have MOZY back-up my data daily and store it on their servers. That
qualifies for a gold.
3 Organize Your Research - I have individual files for each family line I am researching and I
also have digital folders for each family. A silver!
4 Expand your Knowledge - I learned how to create a blog and I played around with googlemaps.
I also created a WORDL using the names of the families I am researching. Another gold!
5 Write, Write, Write! - I wrote a summary of my blog and listed the names I am researching. I
also am participating in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge. One more gold!
6 Reach Out - I index regularly for both ancestry.com and familysearch.org. I check message
boards to see it I can help with a request, and I have begun following several different
genealogy blogs. Gold again.

Summary: 1 Bronze, 1 Silver, and 4 Gold not bad for a newbie!

I began slow but was proud of what I accomplished and determined to continue to grow as a genealogist.  To that end, in the past 7 years:
  •  I have posted 399 blog posts.
  • I have joined a local genealogy group and created and maintain a website for them, began giving presentations on various topics, organiized 4 consecutive community programs to raise awareness of our group, and I am currently program chair for the group. 
  • I have joined several state genealogy societies as well as the Federation of Genealogy Societies.Attended several national conferences such as RootsTech 2015, FGS 2014 & 2015, and the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree several times.
  • I volunteer one day a week at both my local public library and local Family History Center to help others with finding their stories.
  • I have taken several Genealogy Cruises where classes were taught on "sea days"
  • I am currently participating in Thomas MacEntee's  "Do-Over" with emphasis on source citations and file structure and organization.
  • I currently manage 6 DNA kits and am trying to get a handle on DNA and how it all works.
  • Preparing the membership application for my daughter to join the DAR since we found her connection to John Ferguson, a Revolutionary War Patriot.
  • Preparing for my second trip to Salt Lake City for research purposes.
  • Continuing to write of my Genealogy Adventures!
I am proudest of the fact that I have continued this blog for the past 7 years and the chance it has given me to measure my growth.  Pre-blog I was a solitary recearcher alone at my desk,  This challenge has helped me make hundreds of like minded friend who are always ready to help.

Learn - Do Be!  I love my life!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It's More Than a Slip


It all began the Christmas of 1964 when I was pregnant with my son.  That year my Aunt Kathy gave me the Christening gown. It was an entire set, slip, dress, coat, and bonnet. It was pure white nylon with white satin embroidery and delicate lace edging at the neck and sleeves. In early May of 1965, my son was wearing the outfit for his Baptism. Later, it was washed, dried and carefully folded into it's original box. To be saved. For later.

In September of 1968, it was taken out of the box once again for my daughter's Baptism.  As it was being prepared for storage once again, a tradition was born. Since I am the oldest of nine children, and it was hoped that the gown would be used by all of my parents grandchildren, we decided to record those Baptisms by embroidering the names of the children who wore the gown on the slip.  All of the girls names would be in pink and all of the boys in blue. 

Recognizing that other families might have a similar gown tradition, we decided if a child wore any part of the outfit, their name would be included on the slip. For instance, my own grandchildren wore a gown made from their mother and grandmother's wedding gowns but they all wore the slip.

And so it began: David, Laura, Kurt, Erik, Nicole, Stacey, Sarah, Toby, Andrew, Brent, Nicholas, Adam, Keith, Jason, Jenna, Leslie, Michael, Gregory, and Brian.  The gown was shipped from family to family and state to state.  Illinois to California to Florida back to Illinois and back to Florida.  As each grandchild used the gown, a name was added to the slip.

In the mid 1990s, the next generation began to make its appearance and once again the gown began its travels.  The pink and blue embroidery changed to Apricot and Mint. The gown traveled to New York, Germany, Florida, Maryland to Illinois and back to Florida. Those original 19 babies who wore the gown added the names of their children to the slip.  Not all of my parents great-grandchildren have worn the gown but at least nine of them have worn it. 

Most recently, the gown was used in 2015 by my brother's granddaughter who was photographed with my son (the original wearer of the gown). Sometimes I need to send a query to my nieces and nephews regarding the current residence of the gown, but I am very satisfied to let it keep traveling.  Wonder what colors will be chosen for the next generation.Fifty years and still in use. It is looking pretty good for 50 don't you think.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Amanuensis Monday- Last Will and Testament of John Ferguson 1755 - 1842

Last Will and Testament of John Fargerson

The last Will & Testament of John Fargerson of Sugar River Township, Boone County, Indiana.  In the name of God, I John Fargerson considering the uncertainty of this mortal life & being of sound mind & memory(Blessed be almighty God for the same) do make & publish this my Last will and Testament, in manner and form following (that is tve and o say)  First I give and bequeath my wife Bethany Fargerson the sum of one dollar to be paid out of my personal property, also the one third of all my Real Estate (in Lieu of Dower) Item I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Mary Chinnault the sum of one dollar.  Item, I give & bequeath my Daughter Martha Knott the sum of one dollar. I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Rebecca Knott the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & Bequeath to my son William Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & Bequeath to the heirs of my son David Fargerson the sum of one dollar.  Item, I give & Bequeath to my son John Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item. I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Young the sum of one dollar.  Item, I give & bequeath to my son Joseph the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & bequeath to my son Benjamin Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item, I  give & bequeath to my Daughter Hannah Green the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & bequeath to my son Moses Fargerson the sum of one dollar. Item, I give & bequeath to my Daughter Sarah Hill the sum of one dollar.  And all of the Balance of my property after paying the above specified funds, my Funeal expenses & all my just Debts I give & bequeath to my son Jonathan J Fargerson & my Daughter Bethany Fargerson to be equally divided between them at the time that Bethany is 18 years old.I do hereby appoint James L McConnell the county and state aforesaid my sole executator of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.  In Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal, This Twenty fifth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Forty.
          
                                                                                          His
                                                                                John   X    Fargeson                 
                                                                                         Mark
Signed Sealed published and delivered declared by the above named John Fargerson said to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of  the Testator Wm P Davis.
State of Indiana/ss:                                                                         Samuel R Boyd
Boone County                                                                             Cornelius Westfall

                                                 Personally appeared before me the undersigned Clerk of the Probate Court of said county William P Davis & Samuel R Boyd two of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing Last Will & Testament of John Fargerson Decd & being duly sworn upon this solomn oath that they saw the said Farguson sign seal & acknowledge the forgoing Last Will & Testament & that he requested them to sign the same in his presence & believe that he wat he was at the time of signing the same of sound mind & memory further saith not.  
                                                                                              Wm P Davis
                                                                                             Saml R Boyd
Subscribed & sworn to before me June 27th 1842  SS Brown clerk. !



John Ferguson was a Revolutionary War Soldier for the State of Virginia. In his will he named all fourteen of his children, including the married names of his daughters. He was my husband's 5th GreatGrandfather. His son Benjamin is Dave's 4th GrearGrandfather.

**************************************************************************************
1 Indiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1798 - 1999
Ancestry.com online images
Vol A, 1833-1853
Page 29-30, image 24
accessed 9 Jan 2017

image from Find a Grave

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Genealogy Goals




With the beginning of the new year, it's time to check-up on how well I did with my 2016 genealogy goals and establish the goals for 2017.

I am still working on the Do-over and will continue in the coming years.  I want my tree to be as accurate as possible.  As I re-evaluate information I continue to find new information.  I will also continue to maintain my online trees as cousin bait.  Last year they provided contacts in both Norway and Germany.

I will once again participate in the Family History Writing group sponsored by Lynn Palermo in February.  Last year I got off to a pretty good start, but found some additional research was needed to continue the story.  I have done the research and so I will resurrect the story and hope to finish it and publish it here.

On the DNA front, I am currently the manager of 5 kits and have had some minor success in connecting my brother and a known first cousin to another branch of my grandfather's family.  The most common recent ancestor was my grandfather's grandfather.  He was born in Norway in 1817.  I will be watching and re-watching DNA seminars this year and I now have Blaine Bettinger's book "Guide to DNA  Testing and Genetic Genealogy" so maybe this year I will become more comfortable with DNA analysis.

I am making tentative plans to go back to the Family History Library in April and the SCGS Jamboree in June.  My trip to Salt Lake was a wonderful adventure and as is typical, I made substantial progress on a brick wall on Saturday afternoon! (my last day)  I hope to go to Jamboree for both its educational opportunities and fellowship.  I may also see my cousin while in California.

My greatest fail this year was with blogging.  Far from the weekly posts I had hoped to do, I only managed a total of nineteen blog posts.  I don''t knoe if I need different ideas or just more determination.  I guess I better figure it out.

One last goal is to finally finish my daughter's application to join the DRA.  There is one loose end to connect in the 1810-1830  time period.  That will probably require land and tax records.

Surely these things will keep me busy and out of trouble. Here's to 2017!!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Blog Caroling - Mary Did You Know?






Once again footnote Maven has invited us to go blog caroling with her!  It is a longstanding tradition of hers and this year I thought I would join the group.

To quote fM, " I challenge each of you to blog or post to Facebook your favorite Christmas Carol - Blog Caroling. We'll all sing along! (Blog Caroling is posting the lyrics, youtube video, etc. of your favorite Christmas carol on your blog.)"

I have always loved Christmas Carols from the time I first learned "O Tannenbaum" in both English and German.  I was probably in first or second grade.  Over the years I have had many favorites according to the season and my mood during a particular season.  

A couple of years ago, I heard a new to me Christmas Carol.  Although it wasn't as new as I thought, it was very new to me and made a huge impression on me.  "Mary Did You Know?" is now one of my favorite Christmas Carols.  When I hear it, I think of the 15 or 16 year old Mary preparing for the birth on her child.  I wonder how scared she must have been and what she would have thought had she known what was ahead of her.

According to Wikipedia: "Mary, Did You Know?" is a Christmas song with lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene. It was originally recorded by Christian recording artist Michael English on his self-titled debut solo album in 1991 (English and Lowry were both members of the Gaither Vocal Band at the time). It reached No. 6 on CCM Magazine's AC Chart.[1] Lowry would record the song several times himself, most notably with the Gaither Vocal Band on their 1998 Christmas album Still the Greatest Story Ever Told.
The song has since gone on to become a modern Christmas classic, being recorded by many artists over the years across multiple genres.

My favorite version is by the Pentatonix since I love acapella.  Listen here

Here are the lyrics to "Mary Did You Know"

That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know,
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered,
Will soon deliver you.
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
Your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know,
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby,
You've kissed the face of god.
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb.
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know,
That your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding, is the great I am.
Happy birthday Jesus!
A very merry christmas to all of you!
Please remember
Jesus is the reason for the season!
Songwriters
LOWRY, MARK/GREENE, BUDDY
Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Surname Saturday - The Leahy/Lehys of Bulgaden Parish

Bulgaden Parish Church
County Limerick, Ireland


Recently, I received two inquiries about my connection to the Leahy family.  One was via an ancestry.com message and the other was though MyHeritage dna. The dna match is to a Leahy branch that settled in Canada in the 1820s and the message board connection is to a Leahy who is still in Ireland whose aunts still live in the same area the Connerys lived in.  So I decided it was time to learn more about my Leahy ancestors.

My great-grandmother Mary Leahy was born 5 January 1827 to Patrick Leahy and Ellen McCarthy and baptized on 6 January 1827 in Bulgaden Parish, County Limerick, Ireland.  She married Patrick Connery of Kilfinane, County Limerick, Ireland on 4 March 1851 in Bulgaden Parish.  Patrick Connery and Mary Leahy had eleven children including my grandfather Michael Joseph.

Tracing and recording the births and baptisms of these children I have been able to determine the siblings of Mary Leahy.  As far as I have traced her siblings are:Thomas, Michael, Roger, John, Elizabeth, and Catherine. Based on the Baptismal records of Mary and her siblings their Leahy aunts and uncles are:Patrick, Mary, Thomas, Roger, Ellen, Michael, John.  The only unique name in these two generations of Leahys of Limerick is Roger.

Leahy and Lehy are interchanged on a regular basis.  I have seen both a Roger Lehy and Roger Leahy in the church records and until older records are available I will have to accept that my Leahy line will end in 1790 with the birth of the first Roger Leahy.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016 and A Life Well Lived!



Wanda and Gus
50th Anniversary


Today is Veteran’s Day and I salute all of my friends and family who have bravely served our country.  I also want to especially remember my father-in-law Gus Gulyban who died 6 November 2016, just five days before his ninetieth birthday.

Gus was born in Martins Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio to Gus and Mary (Fendrick) Gulyban.  They were both Hungarian immigrants who braved a long sea voyage to come to the United States for a better life.

As Gus grew up, he watched his coal miner father go off to a dangerous job with a metal lunch box in hand.  On his father’s return home, Gus would watch his father go down to the basement and try to remove the coal dust before going to the kitchen for dinner.  Mary, his mother would remain home to raise the three children (Gus, Mary Elizabeth, and John) and prepare the meals.  She also would cook for the church when there were funerals and other activities.

Gus attended public schools in Martins Ferry and St Mary’s Catholic Church.  He never out ended the habit of kneeling beside his  bed to say his night prayers.  As soon as he finished high school, Gus joined the United States Navy for the duration of World War II. 

After training at Great Lakes, Gus was assigned to ships in the Pacific, serving on the USS Zebra and the USS Lindenwald from which he was discharged. After the navy, Gus settled in Chicago where he was employed by AT&T. While working the night shift at AT&T, Gus met the love of his life, Wanda Peterson, a single mother of two children, David and Patricia.   Gus and Wanda fell in love and married on 1 Dec 1949.

After several years in the city, Gus and Wanda moved to Wheaton, IL where they had purchased a house.  It was there that their daughter Susan was born in 1952.
The family continued to grow and thrive.  In 1956, just before David was to graduate from high school,  the family build another house in Wheaton, to make room for Wanda’s widowed mother.  This enabled Wanda to continue working for Illinois Bell while Gus continued working in Chicago, walking to and from the train station daily.

 Gus joined the Knights of Columbus at St Michael’s Church in Wheaton, achieving the rank of 4th Degree ( the patriotic arm) and becoming a member of the Color Corps.  Gus also volunteered as a counter of the Sunday collection.  This was a task he performed weekly until they moved to Florida in 1983.  Gus had retired from AT&T and after selling the house in Wheaton, they purchased a condo in St Petersburg, FL just a block from the beach.  Not one to sit around, Gus established a lawn care company which he named “WANGUS”.  He then proceeded to take care of the condo grounds as well as several other nearby properties.  He even had a vanity license plate “WANGUS”.  

In the 1990’s Wanda and Gus moved to a bigger condo in Clearwater, where they lived a quieter livfestyle.  That was to be their final move.  Wanda’s increasing health issues limited the traveling they could do.  When Wanda was required to move into an assisted living facility, Gus visited her every day at both lunch and dinner time.  Between times he would often do laundry or grocery shop.

Sadly, in 2010, Gus’ health required his move to assisted living as well.  Wanda and Gus were now in different wings of the same facility.  He still visited Wanda as often as he could until her death in January 2011.


This is the man my children knew as their grandfather.  He was cheerful, generous, patriotic, religious, loving, and honest!  I can’t imagine a better example for a child to emulate.  I am so proud to have known and loved him.