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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Triple Digit Signature Week

August -- what can I say other than it is nice getting out of July and all that heat. Today, August 1st is rather cool compared to the 105° we enjoyed earlier this week . . . while we are not smelling any smoke -- thank goodness -- we see a lot of orange color on TV:

There have been a few grass fires nearby but the winds have not shared any fumes like we sometimes receive. About an hour or so away is a huge fire in Lake County with over 20,000 acres already consumed.

The drought of course has made the conditions throughout California extremely dangerous. I remember living in Southern California watching the flames crawl over the hillsides. Some of those same hillsides are being hit currently.

For the moment, Healdsburg has not had any major fire and we hope that stays that way. Maybe August will bring both heat relief and fire relief -- we'll see.

Webinars This Week

I was fortunate this week to have two webinars to attend. Both were hosted through Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

The first one, on Wednesday, was about how to "storyboard" your family history presented by Lisa Alzo. Lisa always does an excellent job and I learned many good ideas from this webinar.

The second webinar was presented by Melvin Collier and this too was excellent. Melvin presented his research techniques  for reconnecting his family after the devastation of slavery.

I was amazed at the material and facts that he found relating to his ancestors.

Both of the above webinars are free to view for the next few days at Legacy.

Coming up next Wednesday is a webinar hosted by Ron Arons and it has to do with "What's in a Name? Trouble!".  It sounds very interesting and I plan to attend.

By-the-way, at each "live" webinar presentation they offer about 4-5 door prizes to the more than 1000 attendees -- this week I was one of the lucky ones!

Researching This Week

I was all over the "map" again this week looking into Ellis Island, old newspapers and of course censuses.  Of all the interesting things that I thought about this week was looking at someone's signature.

Besides getting a photo of someone, finding an actual signature of an ancestor is also very illuminating:

Above are pictures and signatures for my two Grandfathers and for Gail's two Grandfathers. Males are easier to find signatures for as they were required to fill out so many forms.

The above four signatures are all from the WWI Draft Registration forms that most males were required to fill out and sign. This took place about 1917-1918 and the photos of each registration can be found on and other sites.

In upcoming posts I plan to share some of the signatures from the WWII Registrations and notice any changes.

For my two Grandfathers, I notice the long tail on the "s" in Hiles for Lloyd -- that says something.
And then I notice the very elaborate signature of Dayton Bumgardner and wonder how long and how much practice that took to perfect. That signature looks as though it could be from a founding father or someone like that . . .

Sadly While Searching

Besides searching the above resources, I usually peek through the lists of obituaries with names that are in our tree -- and this past week I spotted a couple -- one is on the left.

It is for Lawrence Pontier who is the husband of my cousin Helen Clifton. I do not think that I ever met Lawrence, but I know that I had met Helen several times -- the last time was at my own Mother's funeral in 1985.

The obituary shared some of the interesting points relative to the Pontier's life and family.

I will be putting that obituary on the Hiles website soon along with additional facts and photos.

Lawrence died 20 March 2015 in Florida and he was born in the Belgian Congo, 17 Jul 1930. His wife Helen passed away in 2013.

Coming Up -- What to Watch

While there are many choices, including MLB and some current TV shows, here are a couple of possibles:

On WDYTYA tomorrow night is (I think) J K Rowling -- which should be very interesting. Last week (Ginnifer Goodwin) was excellent. What I find is that it does not only matter who is being featured, it also matters about the process used to uncover such amazing facts.

So I look forward to watching that. I also will be waiting to see the start of NFL games -- in a week.

Even though pre-season football is not always "that good", it is still fun and we can always switch the channel, which we have been known to do . . .

And Lastly -- For That "Discriminating" Gift-Giver . . .

Right now, available on ebay, is the gift featured to the

What better way to say something to someone other than a pre-worn camo truckers hat from HILES, Wisconsin.

Act now to ensure the purchase . . .

That is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few"!

Saturday, hot dogs for lunch, burgers for dinner . . .

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