Friday, February 28, 2014

Funeral Card Friday - Evelyn Smith - Newfield, NY

Evelyn R. Smith

Mrs. Evelyn Rose Smith, 86, died at her home in Newfield on Sunday after a long illness.  She was born in Mexico on Jan. 16, 1887. Her parents were Frank and Marella Blount Rose. She spent her early life in this vicinity.  She was employed at Milo Graves Jewelry Store and the Kellogg Monument Works in Mexico. For the past 40 years she has lived in Newfield where she had owned and managed a grocery store. She was the widow of Luther Smith, formerly of Oswego. Mrs. Smith is survived by a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Alfred Olli of Newfield, a grandson, Michael Smith of Allenville and two great-grandchildren. The funeral will be held at the Newfield United Methodist church. Grave-side service will at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Daysville Cemetery.  The Palladium-Times, Tuesday, July 31, 1973, p 20 col 4.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday – Family Matters

Nunn-Maki family 1968

The events of the past week have prompted me to think about the things I am thankful for.  I am thankful that:

* Our first cousin, once removed is alive and on the road (albeit long) to recovery after being a random victim of gun violence.

* The Cincinnati hospital was successful in locating and removing the bullet, even though it was a new procedure for them.

* Garrison Keillor in his April 4, 2013 News from Lake Wobegone segment said shame on you to Congress for their inaction on firearm responsibility and being under the control of the gun manufacturers.

* I have the opportunity to meet my newly found second cousins, the grandchildren of Elizabeth Nunn Siebert. I am so excited to learn more about my grandfather’s siblings. I have been working on this family for seventeen years! Stay tune for more information.

* has a relationship calculator to make it easy to figure out how these relationships!  

* My sister-in-law recently found my mother’s lockbox that held Mom’s birth certificate, baptismal certificate from the Methodist Episcopal Church, Easter Sunday, April 12, 1925, my father’s birth certificate, my mother’s Certificate of Literacy dated November 1948, (ironic because in fact, my mother was the smartest person I will ever know), and my parent’s marriage certificate.  These are now in my possession.  My mother kept these important papers in a small metal lock box in the event of evacuation, her box could easily be placed in the trunk of her car and away she goes.

Family does matter and we are blessed to have great family relationships. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

I have a self made rule that my blog would contain only genealogy related information. I veered from that rule twice when I thought it was important to remember the victims of the Newtown school massacre.  This will be the third time.

On Friday evening, the daughter of my husband’s cousin was shot and robbed near Dayton, Ohio.  Another innocent victim of gun violence. She is in the ICU of a Cincinnati hospital with two feet of her intestine removed, plus other internal injuries.  

This young woman is a gentle soul, in her mid-thirties, and she and her husband work in a facility for geriatric residents located in the suburbs of Dayton.

Please don’t wait until gun violence visits your family.  Take action today by joining one of the groups making a difference.  Write your state and federal representatives. Tell them we no longer tolerate a culture of violence.  We HAVE to have some common sense laws to keep firearms out of the hands of those not qualified.

We demand owners of firearms to be responsible. Purchasers should have background checks, go through safety training similar as if getting a drivers license, and then be responsible for their firearm. 

Straw purchases should have heavy fines/imprisonment, parents charged when children under the age of 18 are in possession of a firearm.  Responsibility.

Funding for accessible and affordable mental health services is a must.  And parent awareness of violent video games goes hand in hand.

We missed the boat after 12-14. Congress should have passed a three or six month moratorium on assault weapons and high velocity magazines. Congress did nothing.  Consequently, the firearm industry after the Newtown massacre had their best sales year ever.  Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

I believed from the start that it will take a grass roots effort to change our American ways.  I now beg everyone reading this blog to give whatever support you can to your local community organization dealing with gun violence. There are many, but here’s a few:

I am distraught about the senseless act of gun violence that will change our relatives’ lives forever. We await further news of her recovery and if the assailant was caught. In the meantime I will keep repeating this verse:

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Yucca Flat – 1955

Every so often I come across interesting tidbits of information while transcribing my great-grandmother’s diaries. For the most part she jots down her daily routine of house cleaning, after baking several pies and a couple loaves of bread!  Then she is off to the hairdresser or grocery shopping, and then home to work on the church history or some other project, while welcoming visits from family and friends. In late April 1955 there was a more serious matter to record.  

On 25 April 1955 Jessie notes, “Dave Garroway at Las Vegas but the experiment postponed, bad weather.”  I wondered, what experiment?  I kept reading.

27 April 1955 – “Las Vegas atom experiment put off bad weather.”

28 April 1955 – “Dave Garroway and John Cameron Sweazy both at Las Vegas, postponed again.

And then on 5 May 1955 Jessie noted, “ The atom bomb test was given this morning a little after 8 a.m. – 8:10.”

On 6 May 1955 she writes:  – “Pictures from the atom bomb given this morning. Also pictures of the test on the survival of concrete house, also brick, also frame houses (Today). Cameras put in these houses and will record the damage done to houses. 5500 feet house nearly wrecked. (Survival City) test houses – yellow frame house, brick house, concrete house dummies in houses wrecked, frame house completely down. 2 Story brick house badly damaged, concrete house suffered least damage, but badly hurt. “

As the Cold War escalated during this time, I suspect it was frightening to have the photos of the destruction coming right into their rural Jacksonville, New York home via the television set. They had just lived through the Second World War – was this type of warfare in the near future?

The story with photos of the Yucca Flat atom bomb test can be found online.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Willow Creek School Teachers 1898 - mid--1950s

One of my Willow Creek school classmates sent me a PDF of the 1848-1948 Centennial program for Willow Creek school.  My great-grandmother, Mrs. Arthur (Jessie) Agard, gave the historical sketch; the keynote address was given by Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, Professor of Agriculture, Emeritus and Director of Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University.*

The program listed the trustees and teachers from the year 1898 through 1948. Those educators in the one (then two) room rural schoolhouse were:

1898-99 - Rose A. Troy
1899-00 – Charles F. Smith
1900-01 – Grace I. Bardwell
1901-03 – Lottie M. Eddy
1903-04 – Gertrude E. Mortimer
1904-05 – Bertha Blauvelt
1905-06 – Cora Drummond
1906-07 – Eleanor D. Smith
1907-08 – Nellie Grey Wilson
1909-12 – Leah H. Clark
1912-13 – Ella M. Pierce
1913-16 – Pearl I. Houston
1916-17 – Gyda T. Rumsey
1917-31 – Sarah Tichenor
1931-33 – Esther Hopkins
1933-37 – Alice Viele  (Married Bill Agard in 1937; Alice died in 1939)
1937-41 – Marion La Rue (Married Bill Agard in 1941)
1941-43 – Ruth Holley
1943-46 – Lydia Sears
1946-48 – Marion Evans (tenure lasted until school was closed in mid-1950s)

With a couple of exceptions it is interesting to see in the early years teacher tenure lasted one year.  Since only one was male, I suspect the females got married. It would be interesting to confirm why these women left after only one year.  Another project to add to my list!

* What’s a Hortorium? Here is the description from the Cornell University website.

“Founded by Liberty Hyde Bailey in 1935, the Hortorium has historically been the major U. S. center for the systematics of cultivated plants. Today, the Hortorium's mission has expanded to include systematic studies of wild and cultivated plants, ethnobotany, molecular systematics, paleobotany, phylogenetic theory, biodiversity studies, and pharmaceutical studies of tropical plants.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday’s Tip – Google plus Genealogy

Genealogy Guy Drew Smith mentioned Google+ as a genealogy resource in his presentation to the Manatee Genealogical Society last week.  I’m not so sure how successful Google+ is going to be as a social network, but it might be worth a visit to check out the genealogy communities, or if you have any other special interest.  Keeping up with the latest technology is one of my weaknesses, so I signed up for that community.

Google+ has communities of every sort and if you don’t find a community that suits you, Google+ encourages you to start your own!  Check it out!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Society Saturday - Fredericksburg VA Spring Lecture Series March 22, 2014

Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society
Spring Lecture Series
In Conjunction with the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Come join us and learn how to collect and share your family stories!

Saturday March 22, 2014
Lectures will be held in the Auditorium of the CRRL
1201 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Doors open at 8:30 am
Program is from 9 am – 1 pm
Light refreshments will be provided by FRGS

For more information please call the CRRL at 540-372-1144 
Or email FRGS at |

Lecture 1: Writing Genealogy: Using the Elements of Narrative to Tell Your Family's Story
Genealogy is more than just names and dates in a lineage-linked database or on a pedigree chart . . . it's about people, places, and events in historical context. The building blocks of genealogy are similar to the narrative elements that writers use to craft memorable stories: character, plot, setting, and motivation. Learn how to make your family's story unforgettable!

Presenter: Madaleine J. Laird
Madaleine spent last summer pulling records at the National Archives for the Genealogy Roadshow research team. She serves as copy editor for Casefile Clues, an electronic publication written by Michael John Neill. She has attended Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research several times, even earning her survival badge for the Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis course taught by Elizabeth Shown Mills. In 2012 Madaleine was awarded the Kansas Historical Society's Edward N. Tihen Historical Research Grant. She used the funds to record 360 names inscribed on a quilt in the Society's Kansas Memory collection.

Lecture 2: Gathering Family Stories: Conducting an Interview
Documents and records only tell part of the family story.  Family members can tell the rest of the story that is not in the documents and records.  What is the best method to obtain that information and what should be done with it once it has been gathered?

Presenter: Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., CG
Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr. is a Certified Genealogist, specializing in Southern New Jersey and 19th and 20th Century Death Records.  He is a Past President of both the Fairfax and the Mount Vernon Genealogical Societies and the NIGR Alumni Association.  Chuck is a grader for the National Genealogical Society's home study course and serves as the NGS Awards Chair.  In addition to his many volunteer activities, he teaches genealogy classes for the Fairfax County Parks and Recreation. Chuck is a co-host of Tracing Your Family Roots at Fairfax Cable Television Channel 10.  Rebroadcasts of the show can be viewed at their website at  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday’s Tip – Message Boards

The meeting room of the Manatee County Public Library was filled to capacity this morning for Drew Smith’s presentation on Effective Online Queries.  Drew Smith of The Genealogy Guy’s Podcast shared hints on using mailing lists, message boards, and groups/communities. 

Utilizing message boards is old news to many genealogists, but I wonder how many of those in that room utilized this way of crowd sourcing in the past, but not recently.  I’m guilty.  I also know there were a number of people there that had never used message boards. Even us seasoned genealogists came away with many helpful hints.

When posting queries Mr. Smith said make sure your query is relevant to the particular message board.  Craft your query carefully. It should contain enough information but not rambling.  The subject line should be concise – who, where and when should be stated.  Surname should be in caps. Share in your query what you know and where you have already looked. You don’t want to waste your time or that of someone trying to assist you.  Ask a specific question.  If you posted a query long ago and changed your email address, go back to that query with a reply and put in your new email address. 

Do not include your family surnames in your signature as this will confuse and interfere those researching the message boards.

Message boards can be found on, and