Showing posts from October, 2008

Organizing, Again

Seems to me I spend to much time organizing. Every time I think I am done and ready to move on I find something else that needs organizing. The toughest thing for me to keep up with is photographs. I seem to always be taking photos. I download them, and sometimes when I download them I get lazy and you never know where you will find the latest download. Having my paperwork all filed and organized is great, the scanning I have done this year is all in the folders they belong in. My digital pictures for the last three years have only been downloaded, never labeled or organized. I have organized the two oldest years and they make sense now, one more year to go. (This does include personal pictures, along with my genealogical shots) I have improved my download process to help simplify my organizing process. But really, who has time to label every picture you take? I have been working for a long time on getting everything in order, and have accomplished so much. I am happy about that. But w

Wordless Wednesday ~ Happy Halloween

Grandson's first pumpkin. Date October 26, 2008. Location Livermore, California. Digital Image. Photo by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Dolores Howard

This is the sign outside of the Downieville Cemetery. Downieville is a very small town in the mountains on the way to Sierra City in Califonia. My husbands family lived there when he was a child. His parents owned the motel, his uncle owned the gas station, still the only one in town. Every year we make an official Harley run to Downieville. My husband leads the run and we have several bike take the ride with us. We have been doing this for about eight years, if I remember correctly. We have the "old faithfuls" who make the trip each year. Some of riders from the chapter don't make any other chapter runs during the year, but they won't miss this one! Originally this run was a one night, overnighter. People loved Downieville so much, it has now become a two night trip, which I believe we having been doing for about six years. We average approximately 25 to 30 bikes each year, with a total of 40-50 people attending. We take over the whole town! My husband has family bu

Graveyard Rabbit

If you haven't heard yet, there is a new association that has developed called the "Graveyard Rabbits". Terry Thorton is the founder. Many Genea-bloggers have chosen to be charter members by starting a Graveyard Rabbit blog of their own! These members each represent an area and will be blogging on the cemeteries of that area. The blogs are for this purpose only, to cover any and every bit of information they choose regarding cemeteries! From what I can see so far it looks like there are at least 29 Rabbits! Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia - Graveyard Rabbit of South Alameda County- San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit - Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit - Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek - Untangled Family Roots - Graveyard R

Another Class ~ Land Records

I have to admit, I wasn't to enthused about this class, probably because I haven't gotten to the point of delving into land records. At one point I thought I would have to miss this class. We had so many plans for the day, between my husband and I. Originally we were supposed to have house guests for the weekend and with everything else we had going on, it was almost a blessing they cancelled. My morning was busy as I had so much to get together for the day, phone calls to make prior to leaving for my class, and making sure my grandson was taken care of, as I usually babysit him on Saturdays. My husband agreed to watch him so I could take these classes, but on this day he also had a major commitment. My daughter got it worked out which was good as I was feeling guilty. I am generally early to everything, and hate being late. I gathered everything I could remember that I needed for the day and jammed out the door, running late. First obstacle, the garage door wouldn't close!

Family Photographs

I finally made my purchase of Maureen Taylor's "Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs." I have been wanting to get this book for some time. After doing the post regarding our top ten books in our genealogy library, I was even more adamant to make this purchase. I have read almost half of the book and am finding it extremely interesting. I wish I had some of the old daguerreotypes and tin types of my family members, however at this point all I can do is keep wishing one may fall in my lap unexpectedly. Learning to date and place family photos is a science. What type of paper was used for the photo, how it may be encased, clothing, hairstyles, and possible photographers imprints are all clues to help you uncover the information you are looking for. There are many clues in this book to assist you with your photograph. The history of photography is related in this book, including when color photography came into play. The photos alone in the book are amazing. I

Pennsylvania Genealogical Cause

Here is a link to a web site that is promoting more and better access to death certificates in Pennsylvania. Online indexes currently aren't available. This site gives all the information how you can help promote updated information on the web and where write to in order to help all genealogy researchers involved with the state of Pennsylvania, I happen to be one of them. Death certificates are tough to get in this state. Please if you haven't done so already, check out his site and write in, support this cause for all genealogists! Thanks you. Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! Msteri

Halloween Hauntings ~ Was my Story Fact or Fiction?

Time to unveil whether the post I did for the COG's 58th edition was Fact or Fiction! In case you missed this post, you can read it here: Almost all of you who left comments were exactly correct in guessing the post was fact. I needed to stop the story when I did or I would have given to much away! Besides I decided leaving a "cliff hanger" gave something more to ponder. These two women lived together in their younger years as well as in the later years of their lives. They were mother and daughter! The daughter took care of her mother during her final years of life. The mother developed Alzheimers Disease and was a tough patient for her daughter. The daughter spent many sleepless nights as she was always on the watch to make sure her mother was ok. Her mother would try to leave the house in the middle of the night and do many other off the wall things. This mother was the victim of a ter

Wordless Wednesday ~ Cake

Baby Shower and New Home Cake. Date October 2006. Location Alameda County, California. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Heredia, Costa Rica

Heredia Cemetery. Date April 30, 2008. Location Heredia, Costa Rica, Central America. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008 This is a view of the only cemetery located in Heredia, Costa Rica. I was amazed to see all of the burial sites elevated on top of the ground. I am used to seeing headstones and the burials under ground, although I remember when we were back in Pennsylvania we saw graves elevated same as these. This Californian had her eyes opened in the last year with cemeteries. The graves are all nicely finished, some in cement and many with tile. Some are plain and some are rather elaborate. Many have several family members in one plot. My family spent a bit of time there, but this genealogist would have loved to spend more time there than we actually did. I was fortunate to even get to the cemetery as my family just doesn't see the "vacation" in doing this. Some of the family didn't even come along. The entrance

Seventeen Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago today I had my family over to celebrate my mother's birthday. It was a great day with my family, and we were enjoying each others company. Mother had opened her gifts and we were getting ready to have a nice meal. The television was on and for some reason we all caught wind of the flash alert across the screen. It seems there was a hugh fire going on in the Oakland Hills. The newscasters were talking about mandatory evacuations, and all of a sudden my family's hearts sunk. It was like the world came to a sudden stop. We listened eagerly, trying to hear exactly where the evacuations were. You see, my grandparents lived up in the Oakland Hills and we were all very concerned about them. Suddenly my phone was a hot line. Calls were going out and coming out. My husband, even though it was out of his district, immediately was called to go to work, and he left to head for the hills! My father was trying to find my grandfather. We were all in shock..........and I ca

Getting Serious Class-Probate Records

Pop Question - Can you explain what the term "orphan" referred to? My class yesterday was another real eye opener! Any of our ancestors affiliations with the government would have taken place at the county courthouse. So, the coverage of the class involved county courthouse records, primarily probate records. Our fabulous instructor covered the who, why, and wherefore's of probate. The purposes of probate, the probate process and the many records that could be available for us to research. Again, I was impressed and amazed at the records involved. Here are some records possibly available when a probate is involved: Petition to Administer the Estate Hearing on the Petition Bonds posted by the Executor Letters Testamentary Letters of Administration Inventory of property Creditor's claims Interim accounts Sales of property Determination of widows rights Guardians for minors Bond changes Resignations Revocations Final settlement What a lot of information there is to be fo

Feelings on Friday

Having not felt well this week, I took a couple days off from work sick, a difficult thing for me to do, but probably this best thing I did. I haven't had much ambition to "think" very hard about anything. So at this point I can offer to share some feelings I have had the last few days, they tend to come easy when I am ill. With just under a couple months from starting this blog, I feel I have been blessed. I have been able to participate in a meme, a few carnivals and a couple of challenges. They have been so much fun! These events put you in a position to focus on whatever the subject is. I'd find myself wondering, before I was blogger, if I would have ever written stories on my own. Probably not. In fact, 100% probably not. Many articles I used to read said to me, "you can write about that" and I would add it to my list of things to write about. Did I do it? No. Writing for these events has given me written information I would never have written on my

Pier 39 ~ Wordless Wednesday

The picture I posted yesterday is one of my favorites taken a couple weeks ago when our daughter was here for a visit from Tennessee. She brought a little girl with her who is six. This little girl has been a BIG part of our daughter's life since this child was born. She had never been to California, so it was our duty to entertain her as much as possible for the short time they were here. We chose to take the family to "The City" the day after their arrival. Once in San Francisco, we took a cable car to get down to the wharf. I found out later that this was the first time my daughters had ever been on a cable car! Oh, did we parents get blamed for that one! One of the highlights for this little girl was to see the bay, and another was most definitely the sea lions! She loved hem, especially when they were "barking" away. This picture happens to show where we were and in the background you can see bits of the Golden Gate Bridge. Also in the background you can se

Would You Care To Comment?

I accepted the challenge from Kathryn at Looking4Ancestors! Her blog is @ She has challenged us to leave at least 10 comments on the blogs we read. Such a great idea! I am guilty in that there are many blogs I read and most of the time I have not left comments like I should have. This has changed me forever though! I love getting comments and I know other bloggers do also. This challenge will help the genealogy blogging community get better acquainted and we can show support to our fellow bloggers. I believe I have left many more than 10 comments this week so far, but here 10 I have chosen to share with you! 1. Looking4ancestors, "Would you Care to comment?" @ 2. Creative Gene, "Who's Dog's Rule? These do!" @ 3. Janet the Researcher, "Thanksgiving Ca

Footnote Maven Tagged Me for a Meme!

I have not been tagged for a meme before, so this is new! I happened to be reading Footnote Maven's blog and was enjoying this post when all of a sudden the end of the Meme I found she had tagged me! Surprised, yes I was! Very surprised! Yes, thank you, I will play along! 10 years ago I~ --was a Cosmetologist --was getting involved with Harley Davidson Motorcycles --played golf --hadn't even thought of genealogy 7 Things On Today's To Do List~ --read all the new genealogy info --homework for the genealogy class --set up new files and relocate --order a couple genealogy books I have been wanting --watch my almost 2 year old grandson for about 4 hours --attend a Harley meeting --work on Family Group sheets 5 Snacks I Enjoy~ --ice cream --popcorn --granola cereal --apples and peanut butter --anything chocolate 5 Places I Have Lived ~ --San Ramon, Ca. --Hayward, Ca. --San Lean

Halloween Hauntings - Fact or Fiction?

There were two women who lived together for many years. These were the later years of their lives. They did just about everything together, shopping, meals, day trips to the market and such. They were great companions for each other. Conversation, communication and companionship made the arrangement wonderful for both of these women. Eventually though, the conversation became less, communication varied. One night the younger of the two women was totally exhausted, went to bed, called it a night. She was in peaceful calm sleep, dreaming away. All of a sudden her eyes opened, she instinctively knew something wasn't quite right. What she saw frightened her terribly! There, along side of her bed was the other woman, standing in the pitch dark of night. But that wasn't the worst of it! This other woman was bent over the bed with a pair of scissors in her hand aiming them at the younger woman's chest...............READY TO STAB HER!!! The younger woman couldn't imagine if thi

Wordless Wednesday ~ Pier 39

Pier 39, Date October 5, 2008. Location San Francisco, California. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California, 2008. Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! Msteri

Getting Serious Class - Military Records

This class covered the Military Timeline. Each United States war was discussed and we were given the types of records available and what you will find in these records. We were informed where original records would be found and the many online references available. The variety of records to search through are bountiful! A few new to me websites were nice surprises. A basic outline of the records to be searched covers the military career of the service person. Samples available to us include: The draft Enlistment papers Muster rolls, pay rolls, hospital records, court martials etc. Discharge papers Pension and bounty land applications Veterans homes and possibly more hospital records Headstone applications Looking at military records in this manner really opens what may be available and gives a definite plan to follow. And again, the list of reference areas was wonderful! I have to admit I am one who has basically used one site online thus far, and lately I am flooded with many other si

Immigration Passenger Lists Post 5 ~ Markings in Occupation Column

(Notes from a Study Group I attended) Obviously this column lists a person's occupation or trade. The annotations in this column generally didn't have anything to do with an occupation. Annotations may be numbers, dates, words and letters. In 1926 clerks began to note record checks, or verification and certification activity of naturalization's in this column. Because of a terrible scandal regarding fraudulent naturalizations this came into affect. The annotations noted would prevent anyone else from using a record for another naturalization. These annotations actually may be seen on manifests prior to 1926 as well as after 1926. The markings prior to 1926 related to activity occurring in 1926 or after however. Verification of naturalization annotations had a specific format. It would have one or more of the following: District Number - where the application was filed Application Number Date of Verification Document issued - which would be a form number At times clerks coul

"Dogs Rule Day!"

Riley. Date October 11, 2008. Location Riley's home, California. Digital Photo. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California, 2008 Dogs have been members of people's families for years. For some, dogs may be the "only children" they have ever had. For others, a dog may be their "main" companion. And still for others, some dogs are guides. But most dogs are pets and with this being Dog's Rule Day, let me introduce you to our "son," Riley, also affectionately called "Moose," a nickname my husband gave him. Riley joined our family almost 10 years ago. He is an English Springer Spaniel. We bought him from a breeder, he was the "misfit" of the litter. The white stripe down the front of his nose goes off to the side and not straight like a well bred dog's stripe should be. But we didn't care, his crooked stripe actually added character! After all, we never planned on showing our dog, we just knew we want

It Tickles My Funny Bone!

James Fleming, Date unknown. Location Knotts Berry Farm, California. Digital Image. Privately held by Msteri , [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California, 2008. During my recent scanning adventures I happened to run across a few pictures that "Tickled My Funny Bone!" The photos reminded me of the great sense of humor that this side of the family carried with them throughout their lives. It was tough to choose just one picture. Mostly the sense of humor in this line came out while speaking, as in telling jokes, being silly and maybe imitating someone famous. I do have a few "funnies" that are handwritten, and very precious to me, along with the few pictures. This family line is full of silliness! As I am writing this and realize my personality tends to be more on the logical side, questions popped up in my mind. How will my ancestors see me in photos? Do I really want to be the one who takes the photos all the time? As much as I dislike having my photo taken, shouldn'

The Sphere ~ Wordless Wednesday

I wanted to give the information that is on the plaque where The Sphere has been placed. It will help to understand what is is ~ "For three decades this sculpture stood in the plaza of the World Trade Center. Entitled "The Sphere, " it was conceived by artist Fritz Koenig as a symbol of World Peace. It was damaged during the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but endures as an icon of hope and the indestructible spirit of this country. The Sphere was placed here on March 11, 2002 as a temporary memorial to all who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks at The World Trade Center. This eternal flame was ignited on September 11, 2002 in honor of all of those who were lost. Their spirit And Sacrifice will never be forgotten." Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! Msteri

Wordless Wednesday ~ "The Sphere"

"The Sphere" Date October 2007, Place close by Battery Park, New York. Digital Image by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California, 2008.

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Viola Breithaupt

Viola L. Breithaupt headstone. Date October 27, 2007. Location Hawley , Pennsylvania. Digital Image. Privately held by Mysteri , [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California, 2008. I was so excited to get this picture of my great aunt last year when I made my first ever genealogy/vacation trip to Pennsylvania. I have learned so much since this picture was taken. First, I should have taken the picture at a different time of day. Then shadows would have been eliminated. This was the best photo I could get showing her name. Second, I realize that I didn't have the name of the cemetery noted with the picture. I am going to have to do a bit of research to update the name. As you notice, the date of her death is missing. It looks at though "19 " was engraved, but never finished. I have the death year as abt . 1966. If the date was ever engraved on the headstone, it looks almost as if it had been removed. The stop at this cemetery was not a planned stop. We had actually driven throug

Class-Vital Records

In class last Saturday we discussed vital records. What are vital records? They are records that were created because of a life event that occurred. Vital records include birth, marriage, and death certificates and even divorce records. Where can we locate these records? Church records, cemeteries and newspapers are a few ideas to help us with our research. Many online sites, town and county records are other ideas to look into. This lesson taught us how to begin looking for these records and how every search will be unique. Each search will depend first on what we already know and this will start us on the path to our next discovery. Each vital record has it's own discrete information that will be revealed, so depending what information we find on a given record, that information will guide us through to the next step. The instructor tested us on direct and indirect evidence with these records. Later on we also were reminded of primary or secondary information. It was emphasized t

Follow Up on Tables Are Turned

I received a response from my cousin regarding the information I e-mailed her about her paternal grandfather. (I blogged about this in my last post). She was very happy that I found some of the information she had in question regarding this side of her family. My cousin said I did a good job, and told me I was right with the information. She confirmed her grandparents names and even remembered 7 of their children's names! She also remembered a girl who had died. I need to go back and look at everything I found and send her additional information. I really wanted her to verify it was the correct family before I got carried away giving her information that may not have been who she was looking for. My cousin shared with me that at some point and time she had gone to the courthouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania and tried to look up records of her grandfather and his side of the family. At the time she was only able to find deaths of the children who had past away. She recalls the house he

Tables Have Changed

I have a first cousin once removed whom I met as a child but never knew while I was growing up. After I was involved in genealogy for a few years and had been asking family members for all of the stories I could get from them, one of my family members suggested I contact this person, who only lived about 10 miles from me. I contacted her and we met. It was wonderful. She shared so much with me about the family, pictures, stories, and memories. Through her I have met more family relations. I visited her and her husband occasionally and we always had such wonderful visits. Unfortunately, she lost her husband in July. He was a sweet, dear man, and lived a wonderful 91 years! To imagine, they were married about 64 years! My cousin is moving forward the best as can be expected, considering. She has moved in with her daughter and is now a little further away from me, but we keep in contact via email. This cousin of mine made a remark in one of her recent emails that she would like to do some

"Getting to Know You"

I would be really amiss if I didn't steer you to Terry Thorton's blog, Hill Country of Monroe County at ~ Terry has challenged bloggers to post an article about themselves and their blogs. The introductions alone have me curled up on edge wanting to read more! Make sure when you go to his page you click the title for an amazing intro to the collections of posts. I haven't even read one post yet, I am still enjoying the introductions and his presentation. There are 40 posts that I can hardly wait to start reading! See how nice I was though, I stopped my reading just so I could share this with you! Terry listed these posts of the "Brightest, Breeziest and Beautiful" of participating bloggers in three separate posts. They are ~ 1. 2.

Wordless Wednesday ~ My grandson

My grandson, age 18 months. Date April 24 2008. Place Cahuita, Costa Rica, Central America. Digital Image by Msteri, privately held by Msteri. [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2008