Search This Blog

Saturday, July 25, 2015


We are fortunate that our house has a western exposure in the back and that we have a clear sky view throughout the day. In the evening though special clear nights give way to some very interesting sights:

All this week after darkness begins, the western sky brought out the moon. First as a "sliver moon" early in the week and then the last few nights as a "half moon". Since it was not foggy in the early evening hours we had some beautiful moon views.

We Got Postcards Numbers -- Lots of Numbers

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with numbers. Everything from the clock numbers (Gail mentioned yesterday-- Oh Look it is 11:11 . . .) to car mileage to dates to the temperature and so on.

Sometimes while driving I take notice of an upcoming mileage event on the odometer and am half-tempted to pull over and photograph the exact moment of transition.

I never felt that I was particularly very good in math classes,  but that probably had to do with other things as opposed to numbers themselves.

I very seldom forget dates of birthdays for those in my immediate family and have always had that built-in ability to keep track.

I am always interested to see numbers attached to people and events so much so that I feel satisfied when the numbers line up. 

I take blood pressure readings every morning on an electronic device. I 

often guesstimate the outcome and the time that it will occur.

Since school days, I recall dates such as 1066 -- the battle of Hastings & William the Conqueror.

And the date of 1215 -- the signing (or the granting) of the Magna Carta.

Which brings to mind the 800th anniversary of that event. One of these days I will delve into more of why these dates are so significant. In the meantime, I will work on more personal history though the merging of 1215 and 1066 into the family history is getting closer.

The Search This Week

Again my searching took me all over the tree and also to other trees. I get caught up in a certain branch and I just keep going and going.

But I did manage to stumble across one of Gail's folks who I had never met and it was interesting to take a peek at her:

Gail's grandfather, Henry J Rahman, was married twice. His first marriage to Edna Marie Benson produced five daughters. One of those daughters was Alice Rahman and Gail's Aunt -- but she also was the mother of Gail's first husband . . . 

Henry J's second marriage was to Jenny Jensen and from that marriage came two sons and two daughters, one of whom was Gail's mother -- Myrtle. 

But the person that I found this week was from the first marriage and that is Grace Mae Rahman and her third (at least) husband Wallace Lavery.

It was nice to put faces to two more names. One by one,  pictures are found for some of these elusive relatives. It is encouraging to get these photos.

Webinar This Week

On Wednesday this week I attended the Legacy Family Tree's regular webinar offering.

This week was about searching your Swedish Roots -- and we have some, probably more than we know.

But the webinar was done very professionally with a ton of links for doing Swedish research.

Above are the Family Group Sheets for the two marriages of my Great Grandfather, Samuel B Swante Nelson.

I never met Samuel nor either of his two wives. His first wife, Ella,  died abt. 1896 and he shortly later remarried this time to Annie. Annie died in 1938 (Samuel died sometime before 1930).

Because of the Webinar, I took an interest again to search more about Swedish relatives and it paid off a little bit at least. 

I did not know when Samuel died (still do not know the dates) nor did I know when Annie died nor have her correct birth name. 

Above I show a newspaper clipping regarding "Final Rites" for Sam, but no dates and no newspaper name. 

Also above is the death certificate for Annie Charlott Bergquist Nelson which I purchased from the Illinois Records Archive site. From that I found out her parents names and from where in Sweden they were all from and saw that the "informant" of the information for the death certificate was her daughter, Lillian Marie Nelson -- Mrs. Frank Johnson.

Hopefully, more information will come as the result of the above.


Who Do You Think You Are begins its new season this Sunday evening -- TLC at 8 pm.

This show is always interesting and it always encourages me to delve deeper.

Ginnifer Goodwin and her genealogy I'm sure will be fascinating.

The show is amazing to me in that it proves that so much is out there waiting to be found and I am always surprised at the material that is uncovered.

So, this Sunday night our DVR will be set to record this episode and the whole series -- as usual.

That was a bit of our week -- it is Saturday and that means burger and fries tonight. 

See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tower Flower Power

It was an energizing week is some respects. While we stayed fairly close to home we managed to accomplish some of our vague objectives. It seems like forever ago that I had to come up with "goals & objectives" quarterly -- and then face the dreaded reviews . . .

One objective that we had this year was to create a flower box display that was "fun" to look at -- and we think we accomplished that. With a combination of bulbs and plants we have a display of flowers that so far keeps our interest -- not to mention bee interest.

Webinar this Week

Legacy Family Tree did not disappoint with their weekly webinar on Wednesday -- or should I say
Karen Clifford did not disappoint.

This was the second in a series of webinars by Karen that she details her research plans for given genealogical situations.

Viewers in advance were encouraged to send to Karen their brick wall cases e.g.

Karen then went step-by-step into her approach for solving the questions. I learned a lot by following along with Karen and hope that I can copy her approach with some of our brick wall cases from the HILES Family Tree . . .

The Search This Week

Speaking of "The HILES Family Tree" I work almost every day on the Hiles tree that I started there a few years ago.

Often I start by inputting folks into my Family Tree Maker tree and then enter them into  When I finish those two trees I then enter some of the folks into the tree at the Hiles website:    all of this takes -- t i m e . . .

But, when things are clicking the time just flies by and gives me a lot of satisfaction.

On I actually have 20 trees. Some are for branches of the Hiles tree, but many are for friends. And often I climb into those trees and lose myself for an entire week -- and that is what happened this week.

I went after some of the low-hanging fruit available in a couple of the "friend" trees. But it gives me a great sense of accomplishment to expand the trees. It often opens up approaches that I can use in my researching of our tree.

While I was busy doing all this researching, Gail had some of her own projects that she was working on and finishing up:

The Needlepoint to the left, Gail has been working on and "setting aside" for awhile -- this week she finally finished the Christmas Stocking and it has been sent to the "finisher" to turn it into a beautiful stocking.

She also "retired" the indoor herb & spice growing factory.

She started these herbs earlier this year and there have been enough herbs produced to last us a very long time.

We may decide to grow indoor flowers next -- but that will be a while before we start that.

Another project we continued with is the ever on-going paper trail in the office created mostly by the health care industry though the financial industry creates its fair share as well.

Getting & keeping a handle on the paper is forever a problem. We have a ways to go and then we have to tackle the closets and the worst area of all -- the garage. Who knows where all that stuff came from . . .

Another Worthwhile Project

To the right is my "facebook" sharing of a
Kickstarter project that I donated to this week.

Thanks to Dick Eastman from
for publishing the information.

"The People Who Made Me" an illustrated children's book being written by Troy Hallewell
was seeking "crowdsourcing" money on to fund the writing of this book.

The other day when I donated they had not yet reached their goal to continue the project and only had a few days to go.

Yesterday or today, they got to their goal and can
continue and hopefully publish this book.

The book tells the story to young kids about who their ancestors were and what type of people they were and other details. It sounds like a perfect book to spark the genealogical interest in kids and especially grand kids.

A Reminder About WDYTYA

We have this to look forward to in July. It seems that the seasons fly by, but this show has always brought my interest.

I have not checked out the participants yet for this season, but they have always been good -- well -- except for that one . . . just kidding. So in a little over a week we'll find out WDYTYA.


We're staying in the shade -- mostly the shade in the family room though.

We do though sit outside every day, usually early
well, 9am -- 10 am and then again around 6 pm.

The rest of the time we are inside with the a/c on.

We enjoyed the MLB All-Star game and now the beginning of the second half of major league baseball.

Thinking ahead -- preseason football in the NFL starts next month, just a few weeks away.

And that is a part of our week -- see you all "in a few"!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Behavin' Bee Haven

This week it reminded me a lot of my days in the Pacific Northwest with one exception -- not a lot of rain but a whole lot of gray . . . we did get a smattering of rainfall one day this week -- Wednesday. It came the day after one of the days that we can water the lawns and garden.

The above comes mostly from our current flower box -- formerly our garden produce box . . . we decided this year to give up the benefits of vegetables and opt for a more visual benefit.  We are enjoying the change.

We planted several types of flowers and bulbs aimed at inviting bees to join in. We have seen some bees -- hard working bees -- and hope to see many more in the coming weeks.


The rain that came on Wednesday left the cover on the pool with interesting patterns. It almost looks like a printed circuit-board. Usually, we have so much sun that any moisture on top of the cover is dried immediately and looks not-so-good.

The cover is almost mandatory these days due to the rapid evaporation and it definitely has helped reduce that. The first time we put the cover on it looked like solid ground to Dino . . . he quickly recovered from stepping onto the surface and suffered only one wet foot . . .

Whoever heard of a lab that doesn't like water to jump into . . .

Webinars This Week

One of this week's features for me was attending two webinars hosted by Legacy Family Tree.

On Wednesday, Thomas MacEntee presented "Pinning Your Family History".  This was a very well-done webinar and reinforced the value of Pinterest and other pinning sites. I hope that I can put to use the many ideas that he shared.

Then on Friday, Judy Russell presented "Making a Federal Case Out of It". This too was an excellent webinar and one that I'll be revisiting more as I encounter records possibly in Federal Courts.

The two folks above account for many of the webinars that Legacy has hosted and they are examples of the top-notch professionalism that make the webinar series so worthwhile.

The Personal Search This Week

So many times my search involves the folks located in the Gillett branch of the family -- and this week found me there once again:

Click on the above chart to see (starred) two of the 16 GGG Grandparents that I have. Thomas Gillett and Sophia Pratt. They had a bunch of kids (12) and one of those was Clarissa. Clarissa married Elisha Kelley and one of their daughters was Regina Delilah Kelley -- who married Harvey Brown Rittenhouse . . .

Above you can see a Family Group Sheet showing the family with 11 children. And it was among these kids that I spent a lot of research time this week.

As an example, one those kids was also a Clarissa (Rittenhouse):

Clarissa Rittenhouse (and all of her siblings) is a 2nd cousin (twice removed because there are two generations between us).

So for now I have my hands full of research documenting those 11 children and it is why there are now so many Rittenhouse cousins in the tree . . . where before this week I knew of none.


The news these days is filled with the upcoming Presidential election candidates. I wonder how soon it will be that we see some of them "drop out" of the race.

I have added the above "widget" to the top of the blog and it will keep us reminded of just how long we have to go before casting our vote.

And that is a bit of our week. There are other activities going on, like watching the Giants lose more than win their current games . . . and working on puzzles, and shopping for just the right dinner menu items and, well, stuff.     See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday, it IS the 4th of July . . .

This was a HOT week, today is a bit cooler and for that we are glad! Earlier this week, I think the same day that turned out to be extra long (leap-second day) I checked the thermometer out back:

On the left it shows a couple of degrees hotter than 100 but on the clock it shows much higher -- must be a mistake. Never-the-less it was hot and this was at 6:20 in the evening.

The beautiful orange flower chose to bloom on that day as well. Before they blossom they almost look edible.

We are ready for the 4th, in terms of decoration that is . . .

We have resisted buying any of those "safe and sane" fireworks packages that are not legal in our city anyway.

Almost always there are random displays though throughout local neighborhoods and our city has a great fireworks show every year.

Our thoughts go back to the many 4th of July holidays growing up.

I remember certainly having sparklers to wave about in the evening. There was a distinct smoke type odor produced from these.

Of course we used to "mar up" the sidewalks by burning the "snakes" that curled up when lit. And if we were lucky, we had a stash of "lady-fingers" that we could set off.

Once in a while we even had some cherry bombs . . .

The Searching this Week

The searching gave me a variety of things to think about and the collage on the left is amazing to me.

These are four women who are living today AND they were living in the 1800s as well.

Four people that have lived for a very long time and I can only wonder about the events that they recall first hand during their lives -- things that we only have read about.

There are probably a few other folks that are alive from the 1800s -- they just have not been identified.

We have some examples of folks from our tree that have lived more than 100 years.

You can check them out at the Hiles Website.

On the right is a pedigree chart showing
my 4th Great Grandparents down to
Angeline Hiles (1/2 First Cousin).

Angeline married Henry Dearing in 1889
in Perry County, Ohio.

Angeline & Henry had at least 11 children and what caught my curiosity this week while rummaging through was one of their children's obituary:

This obituary appeared in The Logan (Ohio) Daily News, Wednesday, 14 January 1970.

I happened to spot it and thought the name looked familiar -- Vaul, which of course is an unusual first name.

The obituary spells out the fact that Vaul was a retired coal miner and that he
died leaving his wife, Emma, and five coal-miner sons and four coal-miner daughters.

With the listing in the obituary, names of his children, all of whom are my 1/2 3rd cousins, I hope to follow those folks to current living cousins.

I happened on this obituary by accident while looking for others.

I find searching throughout the old newspapers very addicting and part of the result is that I wind up with a lot of various and sundry material.

On the right is an article that also caught my eye
as I was searching and is NOT about a relative.

This appeared in The Logan Daily News in 1950 during the Korean War.

It is hard to imagine that a couple that young experienced such tragedy.

I know that there are a lot of similar stories but
they always are eye-openers when I read about them.

I'll be scanning more papers in the weeks to come and there will be more things to ponder.


In honor of "The Fourth" we will be enjoying what we feel is appropriate for the day:

Hot Dogs for lunch & Hamburgers for dinner.

What could be more American than that . . .

A preview of tonight:

Have a Great Holiday & we'll see you all "in a few"!