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Saturday, February 22, 2014

RED SKY NIGHTS . . .

Captain Rufus Calhoun (Gail's Gr Gr Grandfather) and Captain Samuel Martin (my Great Grandfather) would probably rest easier seeing the skies that we have seen this past week. Both of these relatives of ours were sea captains with an abundance of stories relative to their careers.


Gail alerted me to the above skies that appeared last night, and the pictures tell the first part of the ol' wives tale of "red skies at night" that I grew up hearing from my Mother as probably many of us did.

"Sailors delight" is the second part of the tale, and you can take our word that so far today it is true -- the weather is bright sunshine, no clouds at all in the sky and the temperatures will reach close to 80 degrees.

Gail and I have visited each of the Captain's homes -- Rufus Calhoun's is in Port Townsend, Washington and is a modest home bearing a plaque commemorating the Captain. Samuel Martin's home -- with Lake Michigan in the distance is in Racine, Wisconsin. The house has seen better days and is subdivided into multiple living spaces.

My brother relates to me that he was told that Samuel Martin's wife, Elise, could see the sailing vessels on Lake Michigan and could recognize her husband's ship due to the patches in the sails (that she patched).

Both Captains led adventuresome lives and those experiences will be shared in future posts.

A Most Productive Week

In my view anyway . . . by that I mean I worked on genealogy "stuff" a great deal of the time. And I did get motivated to again concentrate on either filing or deleting the thousands of screenshots that I have accumulated over the last few years.

As I have mentioned before, my favorite activity doing research is in the "hunt" for details and documents and pictures relating to folks in the tree. When I find these items I take a screenshot and move on to the next opportunity. And it is like panning for gold -- when you find some nuggets you're sure there probably will be more right away. Consequently, in a given day I might have hundreds of screenshots that I have taken but not filed with the appropriate relative or place . . .

So this week I have so far dealt with a couple thousand of screenshots and taken care of them by filing them with the right family or possibly deleting duplicates or not-so-good items.

Gail during this time was doing her own organizing of things like the family inventory that she is working on.
And one of the highlights of her week was the telephone call that she had with a close friend  (Linda) whom she had not spoken to for maybe thirty years. She is still riding "high" after their reminiscing and has now included in her "things-to-do" a search for the pictures that she knows she has -- in one of the many memorabilia boxes that are in the garage . . . more to follow on that.

But there are dates for the tree folks:


The February trend is holding -- a lot of births but not so many marriages. A special birthday wish goes out to my brother's wife Nancy, for her birthday tomorrow.

Webinar Wednesday

This week the featured webinar from Legacy Family Trees was again excellent. The topic was about bonds, not James Bonds, but the many other legal-type bonds that our ancestors left evidence in for us to find and enjoy.



Judy Russell, who is an attorney and a genealogist knows her "stuff"  and presents it well. I learned a lot about bonds that I did not know before and the valuable things that can be found in them.

I get a ton of benefits from these webinars and the next four coming up (one was on Friday) are listed. They are free to attend and can be seen for several days -- eventually they can be purchased on DVDs if desired.

Sochi and the Olympics

We are enjoying the games and some games more than others . . . we watch every evening and thanks to having them recorded we can zoom through the parts that are not as interesting to us as others.

We have enjoyed the bobsleds this week and are amazed at the minute things that make the differences in the timing of the sleds -- the Jamaican team was fun to watch again this year.


This is the final week-end for the games and overall they have been a lot of fun -- and we will be glad to see the closing events coming on Sunday evening. In the meantime there are a few more events we will view.

We will be taking down our "Team USA" banner after the closing and will look forward to the Summer Games in two years. As of this date the U.S. has been right near the top of medal count.

Right Next Door -- The Middle Ages  Kiev

In the last several days when the news comes on about Kiev, Ukraine, with pictures it appears to me as something right out of the "middle ages" (about the time of the signing of the Magna Carta, 1215 . . .):


It even looks like it may have been a depiction of "The Crusades" in some movie -- sadly it is taking place very near the site of the Olympics -- hard to imagine. Hopefully the situation is coming to a halt soon.

Just as I Predicted . . .

Last week as Gail finished her work on the most challenging jigsaw puzzle ever -- I mentioned that the downside could mean that she would move on to "real life" puzzles like maybe the garage . . . it happened.

In order to make room for at least one car to park in the two-car garage, the Christmas "things" would have to be moved back into our storage shed -- but before that could happen -- certain items would have to be dealt with . . . namely our three or four sets of golf clubs . . .


It is not like we are going to play golf probably anytime soon and it is very much like the disposal of other sporting items e.g. my skis and my bowling ball and other associated sporting items.

Gail contacted the local school in our town that has a golf program and if they are interested we will donate the above equipment -- which includes almost four sets of clubs, three bags and a large number of gold balls and tees. We have mixed feelings about letting these go -- some were Gail's parents clubs and served them well. We played golf for a few years and loved it.

We (I) kept thinking that we'd take it up again soon . . . (we kept a couple of clubs each for the range)

And Lastly -- From our Tree Way Back . . .

One of the great things about my going through "all those screenshots" this week is that I have found not only a ton of details about folks in our tree, but also screenshots of things that just struck me as "meaningful".

One of those photos follows and I'm not sure how it fits other than it is something I found interesting:



Harmony is what it is all about . . .

That is a bit of our week. Burgers (Sliders) tonight. See you all in a few!

























Saturday, February 15, 2014

RAINSOME . . . PUZZLING SOME

This was a week that "flew by". We did not venture outside except to make a few shopping runs as needed. The weather was "okay" but for me was perfect for working on family research. I spent a ton of time on different websites -- mostly Ancestry.com and GenealogyBank.com. And my travels took me to the "way out" branches of the HILES side and to the "Find-A-Grave" site.

On Tuesday I boiled a whole chicken, and we enjoyed a dinner that night of our favorite chicken pieces along with vegetables and twice-baked potatoes (skins for me). On Wednesday I used the remaining chicken along with the retained stock and made a chicken vegetable soup which we enjoyed that night AND the following two nights as well -- it was THAT good:


The soup was hearty and "slickery" from the pearl barley and everything just tasted so good. Topping that off Gail made some biscuits that were a perfect fit for the soup. We watched the Olympics while dining.

The bad thing is that I may or may not be able to duplicate this soup as I just add things that are on hand and in this case the combination just worked. We started with a huge pot and we have a couple of bowls left that we have frozen for when we need "something tasty".

Dates from our Tree Coming Up

February is a "busy month" for birthdays and anniversaries. Next week what would have been my Mother's 102nd birthday falls on February 20th. And what would have been Gail's parents 75th Wedding Anniversary falls on the 18th of February:


And of course this was a special week because of Valentine's Day yesterday. We enjoyed the day and celebrated with the exchange of tasteful cards and thoughtful gifts.


The Status of the "Search" 

As I have mentioned many times, I never quite know where my day and week will take me on the limbs of the family tree. Somehow, I wound up looking at some records for my cousin Ida Mae Hiles that appeared as I was poking around the databases.

Ida Mae is a cousin (3 generations earlier than me), and I last posted information about her three years ago on January 15, 2011. I had talked about Ida because she was the reason that I was finding "Loterbaugh" relatives in our tree . . . (you can always search my blog by using the search bar above . . .)

I was examining the Find-A-Grave site for Ida Mae (May) Hiles Loterbaugh and I happened to look at the name of the person who created the information for Ida:


Above you can see that it was a Vicky Claypool who put the information out and who mentioned that Ida was her Grandmother -- whom she never met -- that made me curious and I searched our tree for Vicky and came up empty.

I started doing some sleuthing and eventually realized that Vicky's birth name was actually "Loterbaugh". But who were her parents and what were the other details of obviously someone who is related to our line.

I spent a couple of days going through old newspapers searching for "Loterbaugh" and was not disappointed, there is a plethora of newspaper articles about the Loterbaugh families in Ohio.

And eventually I solved the mystery of "Vicky Loterbaugh Claypool" as witnessed in the following article regarding her marriage to Larry Claypool back in 1967:



From the above and other articles I could add Vicky and several others as cousins -- and almost feel as though I know them. I do have an opinion though of the quality of newspaper photos -- for most of us we do not get the opportunity to "see" ourselves in print but for a few times maybe in our lives. What a shame then that the darkened (and sometimes almost silhouette) photos are published.

I have some experience in providing photos to our local newspaper here in town when before the digital age most photos were processed at the lab and then given for publication. We took great care to make sure photos were color corrected and clear as possible only to see later total unrecognizable images in print.

After retiring I had taken a part time job in the last photo lab around here and found it to be a ton of fun and very enlightening. It just was sad to see some of the printed photos that bore no likeness to the original image.

Anyway -- something -- is better than nothing and the above photo does allow some good qualities and maybe even those that know Vicky may say that it is a "good" likeness. I do have to say that it is nice that the caption shows both the married name AND the maiden name which is not always the case.

Following are two charts showing my relationship to both Vicky and to Larry -- surprisingly I was related to both before they were married:


If you click on the above you can follow down the path to see the relationships for both individually to me.

Vicky and the other Loterbaugh family come via Ida who is related through John Hiles Jr and his second wife, Susie Crosby making them "half" cousins. Larry Claypool and family are related via John Hiles Jr and his first wife Charity Reed (as I am) making them full cousins. 

So now you have it -- there are a lot of members of the Loterbaugh family and a lot of members of the Claypool family which are all related to us . . . amazing.

So -- What's on our Nightstand Now?

Well, after what seemed to be "forever" we finally finished the 630+ pages of "Johnny Cash" that may have been a little long. The book was well written, and we learned a lot about the life of Johnny Cash that we had no idea of . . . 

We now have started -- three nights ago -- a book that is quite a bit smaller (and lighter to hold). But so far it has held our interest in a different way in that it is not a biography but is a "teaching" or instructional book so-to-speak.



It is written by Marilu Henner, who has always been a favorite of mine since first seeing her in the TV show. "Taxi". And as it turns out, even though it is not a biography per se there is a lot of biographical information so far just because of the subject matter being about "autobiographical" memory.

Additionally I found it interesting that Marilu grew up in an area of Chicago that I am familiar with as my grandparents (Dayton & Hildred Bumgardner) lived at 2521 N Bernard in Logan Square in Chicago. Logan Square has been mentioned already in the book, and many of Marilu's references are to that area of the city.

Marilu is one of only a handful of recognized people that have a memory condition that gives her the ability to recall EVERY single day of her life -- in full detail. We saw the "60 Minutes" segment by Lesley Stahl that told her story.

We are enjoying the book and are looking to view our memory capabilities differently.

Webinars This Week

We are again enjoying the Legacy Family Tree webinars after their week-off for Rootstech. This week it was another enthusiastic presentation -- this one on -- old Newspapers -- and how to use them to help tell our stories. It is one of the reasons that I spent so much time looking up the "Loterbaugh & Claypool" info.



The second webinar was from Heritage Collector, and it too was "right up our alley" as it presented ways to use GPS in identifying the locations in our photographs. I look forward to the time when a high percent of the photos in my collection identify the locations for future users.

And clicking on the above you can see some of the webinars coming up in the next few weeks.

The Winter Games -- Sochi 2014

We have recorded hours and hours of events and each night we go through as many of the events as possible -- we are having difficulty at times knowing if we have already seen an event or not . . . but one event that I kept waiting to see -- I didn't . . .

We found that we can't watch hours and hours of the same type of events over and over so we look for the more unusual event (to us): 


So we picked "Curling" to watch more of (at the moment) because basically we knew very little about the sport having never participated in it nor even seen it live. We recorded one whole segment that we could never get to "play" because of some technical problem.

Later we did have a couple of hours of curling to watch as the USA beat Germany. It was fascinating to watch and to learn some of the strategies and plays. I think part of the reason that curling is appealing is that it is understandable, and the pace fits our mood right now.

A Success to Report

As I was writing this post, Gail completed one of the most challenging puzzles of her career in puzzle solving. As I have mentioned, she almost boxed up the pieces several times, now she is so glad that she stuck it out.


The bottom right shows the completed puzzle -- finally. This puzzle took over one month to work, and it is a masterpiece. The other pics show the status as she is nearing the finish and can "taste" the victory.

There is only one tiny problem -- she is out of puzzles for the moment -- which is scary because the possibility of her uncovering a real puzzle (like the garage for example) is always a possibility . . .

That was a bit of our week -- tonight it is "Stir-fry Saturday" -- see you all in a few!











Saturday, February 8, 2014

It's All About Sochi, Rootstech & RAIN . . .

Sometimes we have weeks that are all-consuming -- and this was one of those weeks. It started out with the Superbowl game on last Sunday -- we were looking forward to a "good" game, and I know that is a relative term -- but for us a good game is one where there is back and forth scoring, and maybe the outcome is decided in the last few seconds . . . in this case the outcome was pretty much decided in the FIRST few seconds of the game.

We are happy for the folks in Seattle (and I was one of them for ten years) and can only say "we will look forward to next season".

We went about our daily chores until Thursday when the new agenda of events began. On Thursday, it marked the beginning of Rootstech in Salt Lake City (the biggest genealogical conference) which is winding down as I write this post. It also marked the passing of the "Tonight Show" hosted by Jay Leno after 22 or more years AND it was the beginning of the 22nd Winter Games in Sochi, Russia:


We needed a "big" athletic event to cleanse our brains, and the Winter Games are big. We started watching the pre-opening events (figure skating and snowboarding slopestyle) on Thursday evening. The site looked beautiful.

On Friday we started watching the "Opening Ceremonies" -- I say started because they ran for four hours, and we split that over into Saturday morning. They of course were spectacular and amazing to view and realize that it took seven years to accomplish the plan.

Team USA has 220 or so athletes attending, and it was fun to see them march into the arena just as it was impressive to see some countries with one athlete attending,  march in as well.

We look forward to the next couple of weeks as the events take place. We record the middle-of-the-night sessions and then watch them at our leisure -- even if we have heard the outcome on the news.

Genealogy Related

The other "big" event for me is "Rootstech". It is the fourth annual event, and it is held in Salt Lake City and rightfully so.  It is fortunate for those of us who can not attend to be able to "live stream" about fifteen of the numerous events.

I have watched about ten of those so far and will catch up later by watching recorded versions of the ones that I am interested in. So far I have been really impressed with the ones that I have seen -- and being live it does almost feel as though I have a special seat for each one.


In the large auditorium there is apparently seating for a very large audience as seen above, and it makes the streaming just that much better in that if I was in attendance I would probably be somewhere in the middle.

The opening remarks set the tone of the conference and the individual presentations focused on what we can expect to come in the near future as well as currently. "Family Search.Org" was impressive with their achievements and with their goals.

Ancestry.com as well was impressive and gave good insight into how best to utilize the huge database and amazing features of their site.

I have enjoyed "being a part of" the attendees. I recognized many of the folks that I "see" on the web as I do my research. The emphasis was on sharing our research with others and being of assistance wherever we could.

I will look forward to viewing the remaining videos in the coming week or so.

From Our Tree

Shown below are next week's birth dates for folks in our tree. Gail has two of significance:  "Jim Bouldron" (her father) in what would have been his 100th and her father's father, Walter Bouldron born 128 years ago.


And as for anniversaries (I thought that there would be more weddings on Valentines Day . . .)


I see just two weddings on that day -- there probably are many more we just don't have those dates.

Rain and Playing Indoors

We in Northern California are so lucky this week in that it has rained a lot. Our town had already put strict water usage laws in place when it was apparent that a drought was happening. We were beginning to be resigned to the fact of "brown" lawns, unfilled pools and lost vegetation -- hopefully the current rain will ease up on some of those restrictions.

We also heard that maybe there would be some relief coming next year as well.  In the meantime the rainy days are actually fine for just staying inside and working on projects around the house.



On the top left you can see the current rainfall as it hits our pool --  and it has almost topped it out and there is more reportedly on-the-way. Unfortunately in the next photo is our cleaned and empty fish tank. On Monday of this week after performing maintenance which included replacing maybe 20% of the water -- 100% of the fish died (all three of them). Obviously that maintenance was the factor . . .

We will start again being ever so cautious this time -- we had the other fish about four weeks . . . On the top right shows a bird working at emptying one of our feeders -- the rain has increased their attention to the available seed.

In the middle -- Dino seems to be not bothered by the rain -- except when we "ask" him to step outside for a few moments, then he is a bit reluctant.

In the bottom photos, Gail is making huge strides on the toughest puzzle that she has ever worked on and is about a quarter of the way complete -- she felt like giving up many times, but came back and eventually "found" another piece . . . the bottom right photo shows the screen for "Words with Friends" which is a daily routine and involves more than 30 games going on . . .(I play the other side of the game . . .).


And Lastly

Besides the above activities I am working at perfecting the use of Heritage Collector software. For some reason the software is at times very challenging. But fortunately the developer has several webinars and training videos that are available to assist.


This week I listened in on part three of "Getting Started with HC" and I viewed a couple of training videos that little-by-little I am making some progress.

The overall objective with this program is to be able to "get my arms around" the huge database of photos that I have on the computer. I would love to be able to have every photo labeled and organized in such a way that I could easily find and use them.

So, that was a bit about our week -- we will be watching more Olympics and having burgers tonight!

See you all, in a few . . .







Saturday, February 1, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football & Stuff . . .

Last year on the day before the Superbowl I was eagerly awaiting to be "freed" after my 21 day "visit" to the hospital with Guillain-Barre. This year I am eagerly looking forward to enjoying a good game (along with my brother and his wife) even though our home team is not playing -- they were soooo close . . .

But, I am amazed at the number of things going on all around the world that we will take part in by viewing from our sofa vantage point:


First of all -- Chinese New Year began on January 29 and runs for several days with all kinds of celebrations around the world. In China apparently it is the largest movement of people ever with millions making the trek home to visit and be with their families at this time.

It is the "year of the horse" and my birth year is in that sign. I am not sure how much of my own personality matches the traits listed for the horse -- but maybe some.

The "Big Game" 

What else could be more fun for football fans than Superbowl Sunday. Yesterday while in the supermarket glancing at the shopping carts it wasn't hard to see what kinds of things were being purchased and for what reason. There was certainly activity around the avocado displays. Growing up I had never even heard of an avocado, and I know we never had one. When I moved to California one of the first houses that I lived in there was a large avocado tree stretching over the house -- and occasionally we would hear thumps on the roof as an avocado would fall from the tree and we thought that that was very annoying -- boy, would I love to be annoyed like that today.


So, in case you need to be reminded, above are the two teams playing tomorrow. We have seen bits and pieces of them gearing up for the game which is being played in the "outdoors" for a change -- the way many folks think the game ought to be played. I just know that hopefully it won't snow over our couch as it may over the stadium.

We plan to enjoy the game AND the commercials. This is one time that we usually do not "skip" the commercials like on the regular season games. We have already watched a showing of the "greatest" Superbowl commercials and loved it -- except for the regular commercial breaks . . .

Webinar Wednesday

This week I enjoyed the webinar again even though going into it I wasn't sure as it was about Canadian ancestors and our tree has some but not a ton of them.



Surprisingly I did learn a lot which could be applied to doing research in other countries as well. But there were many aspects of the Canadian that I had never really thought about -- including the fact that there has been much back & forth activity with many families.


Fireside Chat(s)

This was a bonus for me this week -- finding out that Mocavo has opened up their conversations with noted genealogists to all who would like to "sit-in". Last week I watched and listened as well.


This week's chat was with Cindy of "Cindy's List" and was very interesting to see how the list began and grew to the huge size that it is today.

Last week I sat in on the conversation with Thomas MacEntee and found that interesting as well. What is really nice about the "chats" are besides being free, they are videotaped and then can be played at your own convenience, when and where you have the interest and time. Check out the link above . . .

From Our Tree in the Coming Week

The pace of folks having birthdays in the coming week seems to have picked up some. Notably for Gail, on February 8, marks what would have been her mother's 95th birthday. Myrtle Rahman Bouldron was born
in 1919.



Also on February 8th marks the 93rd wedding anniversary (1921) for Gail's Grand Aunt & Uncle Cochrane.


Follow-Up on Land Ownership

Several post ago I mentioned that I was looking for proof of land ownership for folks from our tree. I have a couple of examples for two of my Great Grand Uncles.

The first is for Thomas Hiles ( a brother of my Great Grandfather John):


The above shows a map giving the details of the 40 acres that Thomas owned and farmed near the town of Leon, Monroe County, Wisconsin. Interestingly as well, to the right and slightly north, property can be seen owned by A.G. Aylesworth who was Thomas' wife's first husband.

If you do a "search" at the top of this blog on "Thomas Hiles" you can see other references to him in other blog posts.

Secondly, is for Leroy Hiles (also a brother to my Great Grandfather John):


As you can see, Leroy owned 60 acres of land just south of the city of Viroqua. What also is interesting about this is that my nephew, Jeremy and family live in Viroqua today, and maybe they have driven past this land without ever having a notion that it was once owned by one of Jeremy's ancestors.

Both of the above are records located in Ancestry.com, and they are from the 1890s. You can also search this blog for other references to Leroy Hiles.

What Else Could be Happening

Unbelievably this week is the start of the Winter Games in Sochi. We always enjoy watching these events, and they represent (hopefully) some of the "good" things that are happening in the world.


There is sometimes a letdown after the Superbowl because it marks the end of that sport for the season -- but the above events will click in shortly and absorb our interest for a few weeks ( and we just heard that baseball spring training kicks in soon as well) . . .

And Lastly . . .

In what may appear to be "overload" the largest genealogical event is also being held this week. If I had had the gumption I would have -- maybe -- planned to attend in person . . . as I said last year, maybe next year:


The good news is that many of the "talks" will be available for streaming so that those of us who can not attend can still participate to some degree. The conference is being held in Salt Lake City again which especially at this time of the year is quite stunning.

The bad thing is that there is no webinar or fireside chat next week as everyone who is anyone in genealogy will be in SLC . . .

So that is a bit of our week -- we are having "gut bombs and guacamole" tomorrow, so tonight's dinner menu is up for grabs, so to speak.  See you all in a few!