Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just a Thought - Back It Up

By now I’m sure most of you have heard many comments about backing up your files, data. Well yes that was my thought today. We are always reminded about setting up a time to change out our smoke detector batteries. I think we should do the same when it comes to backing up our files. So I’m setting up the last Thursday of every month as my back up day. Have you set your back up day yet, “Just a Thought.”

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Momentous Day in 1917

Published in February of 1917 in the Daily Alaska Dispatch out of Juneau, Alaska.
The third day of February, 1917, is probably destined to go down in history as one of momentous consequence in the history of the United States if not of the world. It is a solemn occasion, and one fraught with possibilities of which we now may have no conception.
     War between two of the great advanced and most highly civilized nations is in itself a catastrophe but the  most calamitous result of a war between this nation and the German empire may not be the ordinary result of international hostilities so much as the internal troubles created her in this republic.
     As this is written the news that war has been declared has not arrived but the act which, it was said, would be regarded as a casus belli has been committed. The name of the steamer Housatonic may occupy a place in the page of history similar to that of Fort Sumter. After the warning had been issued and after the American ambassador had received his passports a German submarine committed the very act whose threatened commission had been the cause of the breach of diplomatic relations. It is quite possible that Germany may be able to show the act to be a mistake or not premediated. The commander of the submarine may have exceeded his instructions or may have blundered. There is still the hope that some way may be found to avoid taking the extreme step, but if it must be war let it be hoped that the Stars and Stripes will come out of it more than ever the emblem of honor, power and victory. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday's Treasures - Needlework

My grandmother, Martha Colleen Elfrank, had many ways of expressing her creativity. It wasn't unusual to find her flexing her creativity gene through needlework or painting. I remember my grandparents living in a couple different homes, no they weren't military, and I assume they liked change every so often. With each of these different homes I can remember seeing this particular piece of needlework hanging. On the back grandma signed her name with the year 1973, which I assume was when she finished it. It might sound strange to some but it was comforting to see it. That’s what makes it so special now for me because no matter how many homes we live in it will always have a place.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Cemetery Mistake

Published in July of 1910 by the Oregonian out of Portland, Oregon
Byron P. Vincent Buried in Absence of Sexton – Hannah Smith Still Cannot Be Found. 
The mystery involving the disappearance of Hannah Smith, May 8, appears to be no nearer solved than nearly two months ago, when the woman with $600 she drew from the bank, dropped out of sight completely.
     The thread of belief that the mysterious grave in Baker Cemetery 14 miles east of Portland on the Base Line road, might offer a clew as to what became of Hannah Smith, was exploded yesterday by Sheriff Stevens, after a thorough investigation of the graveyard incident that set Fairview and that community agog with gossip.
     The new mound of earth was discovered by Mrs. O. H. Jenkins, of Fairview, May 29, when she went to trim and decorate the graves of her father, mother and sister. She was astonished to find a newly-made grave on her family lot. She reported the circumstance to D. W. McKay, the sexton, who lives a few hundred yards from the cemetery.
     The headboard bore the inscription: “Byron P. Vincent, died 1905.” McKay had no record of a Vincent having been buried there and the mystery deepened. A theory was advanced that the grave might contain the body of Hannah Smith.
     While Sheriff Stevens was conducting an investigation yesterday morning he learned that the grave contained the body of Byron P. Vincent, a son of Dr. A. W. Vincent, 207 West Leavitt street, St. Johns, who died five years ago. Dr. Vincent explained the circumstance. He said that when his son died he was unable to find the owner of the cemetery or the sexton at the time, so the burial took place without the sexton having a record. He said that the grave had been partially obliterated by earth from other graves being thrown upon it and when he renewed the mound for Memorial day it had all the appearances of a new grave. He also said there was a mistake in the property lines and that the grave is not in the lot of Mrs. Jenkins, as supposed. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Alabama History

Published in September of 1922 in the Montgomery Advisor out of Montgomery, AL
     It took Alabama about a hundred years to show any special interest in its own history, but of late its people have been concerned over the preservation and teaching of that history. This modern movement for marking historic sites and stimulating in various ways the study of Alabama history was led by Dr. Thomas M. Owen and his work as the head of the Department of History and is being carried on by that department.
     It is now being fostered by the Centennial Commission of which Governor Kilby is chairman and Mrs. Thomas M. Owen now head of the Department of History, is secretary.
     The unveiling exercises attendant upon the setting up of a boulder, with a suitable inscription at St. Stephens, is one of a number of series of historic occasions of that character. Boulders or monuments have been erected at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff on the Alabama river, marking the rite of the first settlement in Alabama, a site which preceded but was merged into the establishment of the city of Mobile. Then a monument was erected at Old Fort Toulouse, nine miles from Montgomery at the junction of the Alabama and Coosa rivers, designating the site occupied by a garrison from 1715 to 1760 by the French, when it was taken over by the English. This is a point of significant importance in the State’s history, reminding us that Alabama was once colonial territory, its fate decided by a battle between French and British armies on the plains of Abraham, overlooked by the walls of Quebec.
     Into the same fort, dismantled even on this day, Andrew Jackson marched his victorious riflemen after the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. There he summoned the Creek chiefs and forced them to sign a treaty which gave most, but not all, the lands of the Indians to the white settlers.
     Old Hickory was frankly an “imperialist” and untroubled by modern theories of the consent of the governed and the rights of small nations. He held to the crude practice followed by soldiers of every age, that when your enemy fought you and tried to kill you that he owed a penalty if he did not succeed.  Moreover, the white settlers wanted to come in and cultivate the unused lands that were occupied by the Indians.

     The Centennial Commission in commemorating events which fell in and around centenary of Alabama’s birthday put up last year an inscribed boulder to mark the site of the first capitol building at Cahaba. St. Stephens was never the capital after the government of the State was organized. It was the capital of the Territory of Alabama. All these events have revived interest and stimulated study of Alabama history and all help to conserve the history of the State. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Just a Thought

How many times do we hear someone asking us for our input on a particular subject, everything from world happenings to the world of genealogy as a whole? I thought I would try out a new blog post on Thursdays expressing my thoughts on different subjects about this great addictive world of genealogy.  So this is my first posting under “Just a Thought.” 
I know many of us have heard the phrase “just step away from it and come back to it later.” Usually we hear that when someone sees that we’re getting frustrated with a project, writing, building a tree house or putting together a power point. Believe it or not that same phrase holds true with doing your research. Sometimes you might find yourself reading the same document over and over again and still not finding that key piece of information. Next time you find yourself in this situation try walking away. Put your research aside and come back to it in a week or two with some fresh eyes.  It does work, the hard part is putting it down, trust me I know.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday's Treasures

There are many things that I have found in my home that hold history, family history that is. I thought it would be fun to photograph a few of these “treasures” and share them with you and maybe a little story behind them.  So in short that is what “Tuesdays Treasures” is all about, maybe you have a few things in your own home that hold some piece of your family’s history. One thing that I have found through time is not all pieces or hints of our history are on paper, some of these hints might be hanging on our walls, sitting on a shelf or even hanging in a closet. I challenge you to look around your own home and find your own “Tuesdays Treasures.”  Please feel free to share them I would love to see and hear about your “Tuesday Treasures.”

Some would say that my grandma Elfrank was a woman set in her ways that spoke her mind whether you asked for her opinion or not. I won’t lie that is true but she was also very creative and had a great since of humor. That’s why I love this plaque; it shares so much of her options, creativity and her humor. She created this in 1979, noted on the bottom along with her name, Colleen.  No matter what home we live in there is always a place for it on the wall offering her advice with a dash of humor.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Flooding Cemetery January 11

Published in April of 1904 in the Philadelphia Inquirer out of Philadelphia, PA
Water Still Flooding Old Cemetery
     The water from a subterranean spring which has flooded the old Menonnite Cemetery at Germantown avenue and Herman street, still continues to flow at an alarming rate. Employes of the Water Bureau who were called upon to pump the water from the vaults were unable to make any headway against the flood and were forced to desist. In the Rittenhouse family vault a score of coffins can be seen floating upon the surface, and it will be necessary to disinter a number of bodies from the flooded vaults.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Plants and History

Published 1903 in the month of January in the Montgomery Advisor out of Montgomery, AL
Sugar, Tobacco and Cotton Have all Influenced History
     Rather more than sixty years ago, says Stray Stories, a tiny fungus – itself a plant – appeared in Ireland and fastened itself on the potato. Fostered by a cheerless summer, the fungus spread until the whole potato crop, the mainstay of the Irish, was ruined and the resulting famine of 1845 stands out in history as a time of overwhelming trouble.
     Its relief occupied the whole attention of the British ministry and when the famine was over a quarter of the whole population lay slain by the fungus.
     And the potato disease acted in two distinct ways on history. It had an immediate effect in helping the repeal of the corn laws and throwing the country open to free trade.
     In the second place, it had a great and unforeseen effect on another continent, for there then started a stream of emigrants across the Atlantic which has steadily continued.
   At the beginning of the seventeenth century the English and Dutch were rivals for the possession of a certain little island, Amboyna, in the East Indies, because of the cloves that grew upon it. At this date the production of cloves was extremely limited and finally the Dutch massacred a small English colony established there. This aroused the bitter feeling in England against the Dutch and, as a great historian tells us, furnished a popular way for two years.
     A sudden passion for tulips turned the heads of the usually placid Dutchmen in the seventeenth century, and the tulipomania is a well recognized event in Dutch domestic history.
     It is a time when the desire to possess an uncommon tulip was sufficient to drive men to meet extreme lengths of speculation, to cause the ruin of noble houses and to carry whole families to misery. In fact, so acute did the rage become that the Dutch Government was obliged to step in with a heavy hand and by stringent measures allay this fever of the tulip.
     The tea plant was the “last straw” which brought about the independence of the United States, as we all know.
     The poppy involved England in the opium war with China at the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria. Though the war was an unjust one, yet it did ultimate good in opening up China to foreign influence and trade.
     Sugar, cotton and tobacco have all influenced history, for these three plants were particularly responsible for the slave trade of modern times.