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Saturday, January 31, 2015

West Coast -- East Coast

There is a BIG difference in the geographic coasts in terms of current weather. We here in Northern California will again be in the 70s this weekend. Not so in the East.

It is fair to say that the respective roads look similar to the above. I have lived with both conditions and I do have a preference, though they both have some emotional ties.

It is hard to say how different our lives would be if we were living with the snowy conditions. Right now we go out only to maybe shop for necessities and I suppose that would be the case in the snow except that we might use Amazon even more to deliver our everyday items.

So How Are Those Begonias ?

About 40 years ago Gail borrowed some begonia cuttings from her mother's favorite begonia.

From those days until now she has kept several plants alive from those cuttings.

We have them in several rooms in the house and Gail dutifully cares for them each week.

But something magical happened this week to the begonia in our guest bathroom -- it has produced flowers.

Gail does not ever recall seeing flowers on any of the begonias that we have in the house. For whatever reason the above begonia chose to have these beautiful white blossoms.

I suppose some research is called for . . .

Events of the Week

This was a webinar-filled week which for me was a good thing! Besides taking a fresh look at how-to-do genealogy the webinars provided fresh perspectives and techniques.

The first webinar this week was on "scrap booking". While I found it interesting, I am not sure how involved I will be in that. I love the results of some of the work and I certainly have some material that I could use to make family genealogy exhibits -- we'll have to wait and see . . .

The next two webinars had to do with "using newspapers" to flesh out more about our relatives. This is something that I use all the time but welcomed the material that was presented by both Thomas MacEntee and Michelle Patient.

There are a "ton" of resources that provide both current and historical views of newspapers. I look forward to delving more into newspapers and am anxious to share what I find.

An Early Valentine

Gail put her energy into completing the puzzle that she had been working on (since Thanksgiving)
during last week -- and it was satisfying. The one thing that was a "downer" was that somehow two pieces were missing in the middle of the puzzle.

But we have been buying Liberty Puzzles for the last several years and they are precision laser cut wooden puzzles. They have a wonderful "fragrance" of freshly cut wood when you open the box.

In this case -- with two missing pieces -- we took a picture of the puzzle and emailed that to Liberty. Since the cutting is computer controlled and the pieces easily identified -- within a couple of days we had the missing pieces mailed to us enabling the puzzle to be complete.  Wow!

We also ordered a new puzzle (for Valentine's Day) but when it arrived a few days later Gail was looking for a puzzle challenge and so she has started that one now as well.

Above you can click and make the picture larger and see the intricate and interesting shapes used in this heart-shaped puzzle. The only problem is that Gail is moving way-too-fast towards completing this one . . .

Some Tree Researching

On the right can be seen the pedigree chart for Clarence Fisher . . . "Who, you might ask, is Clarence Lucas Fisher?"

Christopher Hiles is the brother of John Hiles Jr who is my 3rd Great Grandfather.

Christopher's youngest daughter, Mary Polly Hiles married George Washington Lehman.

And they had a daughter Nancy Lehman who
met (and maybe married) Henry Fisher and from
that union came Clarence . . . who would be a 3rd
cousin to me.

On the left is a snapshot of the 1860 Federal Census from Green, Hocking County, Ohio.

Three families listed living in a row are relatives:  Christopher Hiles and his wife Jane and next to them can be found George Lehman and Mary with family including Nancy.

At the top is John C Hiles another son of Christopher and his family.

This would be just about the time of the start of the Civil War.

This whole exercise started with a request for information that I received from another user regarding a question about Clarence Lucas Fisher who up til this week I was not aware of . . .

The pedigree chart shows that Clarence married Ada Kimmel, what it doesn't show is that they had a large family -- possibly nine children -- all of whom would be cousins of mine (ours).

Hopefully,  I'll be able to trace some of these newly found cousins to living folks and maybe even be able to communicate with them. We'll see.

Tomorrow's  Big Game

Of course we are looking forward to watching the 49th Super Bowl game.

We have our special menu of "eats" for during the game.

And we are always interested in the variation
of the "big" personalities that are always present
at the Super Bowl.

And we like to watch the commercials for a change. At $ 4 to $5 million per commercial they just gotta be good.

And Lastly . . .

I think it was my daughter who sent this to me and I found it very amusing. My mother always expressed dismay over Ralph's braggadocio manner and threats, even though this would put some credence to his talk . . .

And so went our week -- it is Saturday and it may mean burgers . . . see you all in a few!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Healdsburg Sun-Times

Growing up one of the papers that I delivered was the Chicago Sun-Times. It was tabloid shaped and I delivered it along with the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal in my neighborhood in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Now, I'm just delivering the good and obvious news (to those of us here in Northern California) that this weekend we are having mid-seventies weather.

While we are still in a drought we might as well enjoy our sunshiny days. It is indeed just like the song says -- "lookin' all around, there is nothing but blue skies . . ." and so it goes.

But as the nursery rhyme might say: Rain, rain has gone away, but please please come again, Dino, Gail and me, want to play . . .

Maybe a "Do-Over" is Warranted

For some reason this rings true a little bit. As I look back over the research that I have done there may have been some times that the charts
needed tweaking.

There is a huge on-going effort right now about doing a "Genealogy Do-Over" and I am intrigued with the idea.

I have joined the "Do-Over" group on Facebook and am considering my options.

There are plusses and minuses for all of this to happen -- we'll see how this all plays out.

For now, I will continue some research as usual.

Follow-Up Serendipity

You just never know what you'll find when you go into the old newspapers. I was exploring in when I found this "rest of the story" involving a cousin of mine (ours), Malcolm Hiles from LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

If you do a search -- using the search bar at the top of this post for Malcolm, you'll see the post I wrote about in March of 2013. Malcolm unfortunately was murdered in January of 1931 when he was just 50 years old.

We knew who the killer was, but just not what happened to him -- until now:

If I had seen this front-page story when it came out -- I would probably have never thought that it had anything to do with our family. But I would have been wrong.

This is the article that explains what happened to the killer of Malcolm Hiles in 1931:

What is interesting is that the killer abandoned his own car shortly after the killing in Wisconsin and somehow ended up in Illinois about 170 miles away. You can read the newspaper article about the events that close out that part of the story.

I have not seen this story published in a Wisconsin paper (maybe it was and I just missed it) but it definitely was published in the Rockford Morning Star.

Malcolm Hiles' life was cut short due to some very unfortunate circumstances.  There are several descendants of Malcolm & Emma, his children and grandchildren that probably have a lot "to say" about the events of January 1931.

To the left is a picture of Malcolm & Emma,  probably not too long before the murder. Emma lived until 1954 -- I think not ever remarrying.

It would be nice to link up with some of the cousins from that family.

I am going to see if I can locate any of the living cousins and if anyone knows them please share that information.

I will publish my findings about this family as I find out the facts.

Things To Look Forward To:

As usual, I HAVE started my Christmas shopping as I go throughout the year.

Whenever I see a "good" deal on Amazon or another online site, especially if it offers free shipping, I make a purchase.

The shelf in my office closet gets filled by the end of the season and sometimes -- no usually -- I forget a lot of what I have purchased . . .

And of course, in the back of my mind is the upcoming
Super Bowl game next Sunday.

How will the media keep from talking about the subject of the day -- pictured to the right . . .

The 49th Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The current cost for some tickets -- $4,000 to $14,000

The current cost to watch on TV -- $0

We are planning a "special dip" as a snack during the game.
I remember last year we had a huge bowl of guacamole and chips that we managed to polish off.

This year I saw a "Philadelphia Cheesesteak Dip" featured on that we plan to have in addition to
the guacamole and chips . . .

Things are lookin' up!

That is a bit of our week. Tonight being Saturday, it looks like burgers & fries! See you all, in a few!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rain . . . and Then Some

It's true, we did get some rain this week. Not a lot but some. The grass and other plants appreciate it. The forecast does not look good though for much more rain in the near future. We still are living in the shadow of a big drought.

There's something comforting about rainy days -- even dreary rainy days. Which for us translated into comfort food. We had roast beef for two dinners this week, we had pork roast for two dinners this week, we had salmon along with angel-hair pasta and fresh vegetables just to name a few.

We're as comfy as the pelican atop our arbor. Dino has to be "encouraged" more to go outside for his "business trips" after which he curls right up on one of his beds.

Here's Good Advice -- NOT

It is hard to imagine this kind of thinking from just about 60 years ago. This was an ad placed by "The Soda Pop Board of America".

I remember growing up in the 40s and 50s and "pop" was very popular but fortunately, our family was only allowed to have "pop" with Saturday night's dinner (burgers).

This ad and many others are amazing to look at as I pour over old newspapers. As a matter of fact, I just received a new book -- "Searching for Your Ancestors in Historic Newspapers" this morning as I was about to start writing this post.

I do subscribe to a couple of newspaper sites as well as that includes newspapers. It is fun to find facts about relatives and then look at the ads of the period.

I am hoping that the new book will give me even more ways to explore old newspapers.

Genealogy on TV

This week "Genealogy Roadshow" started again. It is on PBS on Tuesday nights starting from January 13 through February 24.

This week the show was in New Orleans with several folks having their genealogical questions addressed.

The show is down-to-earth and a pleasure to watch.

I'm hoping that on one of these episodes I will strike-it-rich and find out about someone from our tree -- highly unlikely, but maybe the method used will enlighten me to make the same discoveries about one of our folks -- we'll see.

Genealogy On The Web

Well, I spend a lot of time "on-the-web" and this week was no exception. I got lucky in that there were two webinars from "Legacy Family Tree Webinars" on this week. The first was their first evening webinar on Wednesday night and the second was on Friday morning.

Mary Hill on Wednesday evening presented how to track your relatives via migration patterns by using the "big four" record sources. Then Marian Pierre-Louis presented "Expanding Your Research from a Single Fact".

Both webinars were excellent and are available for about a week at no charge on the Family Tree Webinar site.

The upcoming webinars are listed and next week's Wednesday presentation should be a real doozy in that Thomas MacEntee is going to detail how he is going to "start over" with his genealogical research after many years of work.

NFLology On TV

Well, genealogy is only part of my (our) scheduled activity this week.

It is hard to believe that the NFL season is almost over for this season.

But tomorrow is the second to last big NFL game days.

Starting in Seattle the Packers will contend with the "12th Man" and maybe some rain to play that Championship game. On Fox.

Then the afternoon game will be between New England and Indianapolis on CBS. The winners then of these two games will meet for Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix on February 1.

Don't even ask about ticket prices, hotel prices (or availability) or air-fares . . . unless you are a recent lotto winner . . . for us TV will just be fine, actually much better.

Lastly --

Actually I am working on gathering more information from a "cousin" in Wisconsin that I just met recently due to a close match of DNA.

We are e-mailing things back and forth and he is exploring the HILES website. Hopefully I'll have
new found people and things to talk about shortly.

And today being dreary, cool and looking-like-rain, we might just have some real comfort food for dinner -- chicken pot-pies . . .

See you all in a few!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It's Just Grand . . .

We did not get any rain this week, but we did get some sunshine -- enough that I think some of the plants thought it to be springtime. The roses are already starting to look grand. I hope that they don't pay the price as we are still getting some cold weather.

The colors are exceptionally pink and the shapes are nice. It is hard to believe that we have a chance to view these beautiful flowers at what seems to be such an early time in the year.

While we are getting a lot of sunshine -- not every day, but some days, we are also getting a lot of "moonshine" (not THAT kind) the natural kind.

Dino and I went out in the yard one early evening just in time to see the moon clear the hills off to the East. Dino was I guess a bit "moonstruck" -- enough of this . . .

The two lion fish were as usual, non-plussed over the whole thing . . .

They probably will be getting some tank-mates soon that just may impress them though.

Now Speaking of Grand . . .

What a "Grand" way to start a new year! My brother's granddaughter had twin babies yesterday.

That would make him a Great Grandfather for twice already!

Kim Jean Nielsen Slaughter gave birth to the two a few minutes apart -- Davis Victor Slaughter and his twin sister Riley Hope Slaughter.

Some early -- just in -- snaps of the new ones.

Jon & Kim live in Park City, Utah and have doubled the size of their family. We offer our congratulations and thank them for putting colors on the kids to id them.

This makes me a Great Grand Uncle for the first time as well.

Off to the left you can see the chart showing some of the relationships involved.

I think that this is the first time that I have been able to report a birth after just one day -- thank you social media!

We can only imagine the happy times ahead for this family as they grow and enjoy life.

Hopefully we will get the opportunity to visit them in Utah at some point. I always enjoy going to Utah and Park City especially.

Another view of the family chart is on the right.

I suspect that we will be adding to the chart in the coming months and years.

What Else Happened this Week

Well, I did do some searching for family this week but nothing as earth-shattering as the "twins".

I did attend a great Webinar on -- it was an excellent presentation on using the iPad and other tablets while working on genealogy.

If you click on the above you will see the upcoming webinars for the month of January -- they pretty much have the year filled out with some very interesting speakers and topics.

All of the webinars are free -- which is not the case on some other sites.

What is on our Nightstand Currently

We just finished one of the best biographical type books that we have read -- "Still Foolin' Em" by Billy Crystal. Everything that Billy Crystal does is top-notch.

The book was really a delight to read and I hope that we can read more from him in the coming years!

Now we have begun to read a biographical book by James Garner.

He has always been an interesting personality AND he may even be related.

His birth name was Bumgarner -- even though it is different than our Bumgardner family there may be a connection.

We have read a few chapters and already have been surprised by some of what we have learned about James.

There are many more chapters to go and hopefully we will see where there may be a connection.

And so, that is a bit of our week -- it is Saturday, and the NFL playoffs are on today and tomorrow.

We might just have burgers or then again we might have BBQ beef sandwiches made from the leftover pot roast this week . . .  see you all in a few!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year's Moon

Last week we had the Christmas Moon which was several nights of a crescent shape and this week starting last night a full moon appearing over the houses across the street and winding it's way around to the back yard high in the sky.

So a New Year's Moon . . .

Polar plunge anyone?  We saw pictures from across the country showing the daring folks who started the year by taking the plunge into some body of water with freezing temperatures all around.

Who would have thought that here in Healdsburg we too had freezing temperatures. Actually our nighttimes temps have been well below the freezing point the last several days.

On New Year's Day just before tuning in the Rose Parade (from Pasadena) my new weather station pointed out the 27 degrees outside . . .

Speaking of the Rose Parade, having lived in Pasadena for several years, I remember well spending the evening on Colorado Blvd waiting for the parade to arrive the next morning. That ship has sailed though as now it is just fine observing from the comforts of home.

New Year's Eve Eve . . .

We are such party animals . . .  well maybe not so much. But we did have a great time:

The celebration started at an early hour and concluded well before the bewitching hour.

My brother and his wife came over for a holiday dinner -- a purely quiet evening topped off with just plain comfort food.

Coming from the Midwest both my brother and I absolutely love meatloaf and remember watching our mother prepare that loaf working all the ingredients by hand.

I too wound up with "meatloaf" smelling hands and the results were great.

We also enjoyed twice baked potatoes and of course fresh green beans. For dessert, it was vanilla ice cream and/or sherbet along with some of Pepperidge Farms finest cookies . . .

We had a chance to reminisce about holidays past and some of the current goings-on today. For certain we are in a different phase of celebrating the holidays. We enjoyed these recent holidays.

Current Search Results

Over to the right you can see some of the most recent photo updates that I have made on the HILES website.

I try to work on that site every day even if it is just a little tweaking. Of course it all takes time.

When I receive photo Christmas cards (and it seems that we get more and more these days) I can then update pictures for folks in the tree.

Also, I update photos from other sources as well. When you get the chance you might visit the site to see the updated images and documents.

To visit the site:    HILES Website  and please remember that I am happy to offer assistance about the site and to even give tours . . .

If you have suggestions about the site, please let me know.

It Takes a Village

Gail has been working on the puzzle pictured on the left since Thanksgiving.

The puzzle is truly a challenge and the most difficult part is at hand -- the border.

Olivia stopped by for a quick visit and was able to actually find four pieces of the all one color border, giving hope for finding the rest.

Gail had another friend stop over the other day and she found one piece, so little by little the puzzle will get done -- but it will take the "village" one by one . . . I'm steering clear.

Something Fishy

Our aquarium has taken in a new inhabitant -- a lion fish. It is a magnificent specimen and seems to like his surroundings:

We are hoping that he stays for awhile. He has already captured the imagination of some visitors. We may just need to find compatible tank-mates. In the meantime, it is enjoyable to see the regal fish as he rules his twelve gallon domain.

And that is about it for the first week of 2015. Later today we will start watching the NFL playoffs.
The team that we would have been rooting for, of course, is also a spectator for the playoffs.

But it is still Saturday and that means burgers fillet of sole. So there you have it, see you all in a few!