Monthly Archives: February 2011

With All Their Technology…

I finally got around to buying FTM 2011 the other day.  I had my evening clear, and was looking forward to playing with some of the new features it has, and I foolishly assumed that I would be given a link to download it and I’d be on my way.  Nope!  All the technology Ancestry has, and their flagship product being an online service, yet they have to ship it to me.  So I also got to pay extra for the shipping and sales tax (if I could have just downloaded it, since there was no physical item, it would not have been subject to sales tax).  I can’t think of a single software vendor that hasn’t gone to downloading software instead of handling physical media.  Come on guys.  You already have 99% of the technology in place, just a little further…

Day Late, Dollar Short?

With every passing day, I regret my “waiting” (I wasn’t so much waiting, I just wasn’t exposed to this “Genealogy” thing) as long as I did to start researching.  I have a couple of brick walls that I have found posts on Ancestry or some other site, from people who are writing about some of the very people I am trying to find!  But these are dated 1998, 1999, 2002.  I’ve tracked down some e-mail addresses, but some get bounced, others just go unanswered.


My 2nd Great Grandmother Augusta (Bewig) Harston (Married Clay O Harston), Great Grandmother Gertrude Harston, my Grandmother Gertrude Florance Harston, and what I am guessing are “cousins” of my Grandmother, taken at “Grandma’s house” in St. Louis.  I have a friend in St. Louis that was going to go out the house and take a picture of it form (I have the address).  This part of St. Louis is apparently , not the safest anymore.  😦

If I had “caught the bug” earlier, I could worn my Grandmother out of them.  Now I am just hoping for some luck (and Google Alerts!)

Ah, Happy Monday….

How Did They Do It?

I was browsing Facebook the other day, and some person I had “friended” (for Mafia Wars no doubt.  Yeah, I played it for a while) knew somebody who had lost their six year old daughter after tonsil surgery.  They posted a video that they had done for her “Celebration of Life,” and I watched it.  Being a “family historian” (it’s only been a couple of years.  That “title” carries too much weight to use it already, but I don’t know what else to say), while I was watching it (even though I don’t really know anybody involved, I was moved)  I started thinking about my ancestors and how they themselves lost children.  I know specifically of two, and suspect a few others, children my Great Grandparents lost in infancy or soon after.  Up until fairly recently, this was not an uncommon occurrence (not to the surprise of genealogists).  I have a few ancestors who were named after their dead siblings.  A hundred years ago, parents lost their young children all the time (assuming a large statistical population).  Farther back in history you go, the worse it gets.  How did they do it?  Nowadays the loss of a young child is a tragedy.  In earlier generations, it was almost expected.  How did they get past it?  I’m emotionally moved by [essentially] a total strangers loss.  What would I do if it were my own?  It really makes you think.

Going Through Grandma’s Stuff

After my Grandmother passed 11 years ago, things got pretty hectic.  My cousin was running the ranch, and Grandma’s house was the closest to the barn (hard enough getting up at 3 in the morning to milk cows, much less have to add a drive to it), and his then wife was somewhat of a “patriarch wannabe.”  So before my Mom could get her self ready to “go through Grandma’s house,” said then wife had most stuff moved across the lane into my Uncle’s house and they moved in. 

As one can imagine, this caused, shall we say, “issues.”  With a few exceptions, most of the the items that were moved are still in my Uncle’s house, and we’re aren’t 100% sure the attic (attic in this case meaning space upstairs that nobody ever got around to turning into a room) is empty.  This has been somewhat of a festering sore over the years.


At some point during the previously mentioned time, my oldest Cousin met his current Girlfriend.  I can’t say enough good things about her.  My maternal Grandfather was from Denmark.  She lived in Denmark.  She can read and write Danish.  She found a living relative in Denmark (she’s into Genealogy as well.  Just so you know Smile).  She has even been “pestering” me to get her scans of those pictures my Mom does have.


I say all of this, because I finally made the decision, to make the trek up to Ferndale, and to go through all that “stuff” of my Grandma’s (with my Mom of course), I am going to actually have a face-to-face meeting with this “non-relative” who has made such strides in my Danish linage, and even going to go to the graveyard to see where several generations of my family are (I’m not a “graveyard” kind of person).  While Grandma tended to “purge” things as she got older, I know there is still a load of boxes and such, both in my Uncle’s house and in the attic.  With all the podcast listening and blog reading I do, I hear of all these amazing family history discoveries folks have made.  I just hope I get to be one of them!

My Boys Are “Related” to U.S. Grant?

Early in our relationship my Wife had told me that she was told that Ulysses S. Grant was a “cousin” of some kind.  I never thought much of it, but eventually I got a copy of a letter her Grandmother wrote where she not only mentioned this, but stated the possible relationship:  Grant’s father and a particular Grandfather of hers were “brothers.”  Haven’t gotten farther than that, but an intriguing puzzle to follow no doubt.  First cousin, four times removed or something like that?  Yeah, it’s a stretch…  Smile