Thursday, March 31, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Middletown, Connecticut

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement finding much hidden family treasure in the way of furniture, silver, china, photos, negatives, Bibles, documents and books.  After a good airing out I am trying to devote at last an hour every Wednesday evening to scanning and photographing these items for posterity and so that I can share them here with you on Treasure Chest Thursdays.

This week I have scans from another Scrapbook/Album to share with you. This one is from




After leaving East Orange, NJ in 1935 to take a position at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, then a position at the University itself, my grandfather was eventually called back to Wesleyan University, his alma mater, when he was offered the position of Vice President of Business Affairs and Treasurer. It seems as though Dad took these photos shortly after their move east. My captions are his captions.

M.H.S. Band in the Parade

Isn't it a little cold up there, brother?

Float in the Parade

2nd governor's footguard in the parade.

2nd governor's footguarde in the parade.
 The drum reads 2nd Co. Gov's Foot Guard
Field Music
1775
New Haven, CT
State Police in the parade
Some band in the parade

A float in the parade
Old time hose cart in the parade

Sam Mattis and ex Mayor Bill in the parade

Dinosaur Footprints in Middlefield, Connecticut


Pennie 8 wks.

Pennie in a basket - 8 wks

8 wks Pennie asleep in the kitchen.

8 wks Pennie lying on the lawn.

The rest of this album are photos from Middletown High School but those will have to wait a couple of weeks. Next week I'll be sharing something of my mother's in honor of her 79th birthday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just for Fun - 24 Family Tree Questions

Earlier today Linda Stufflebean of Empty Branches on the Family Tree took a series of questions that her friend had posted on Facebook, turned them into a fun genealogy exercise and invited her readers to play along.

Her only rule was that the answers had to relate to direct line ancestors, not collateral ancestors.

Here are my answers:

1. What four places did my ancestors live that are geographically the farthest from where I live today?

Tranemo, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Somerset, England
Ireland
Scotland

2. What are the four most unusual given names in my family tree?

Experience (Mitchell)
Japhet (Byram)
Philinda (Gage)
Praxana (Gordon)

3. What are the four most common given names in my family tree?

Elizabeth (5)
John (5)
Mary (3) + Mary Ann (2)
George (3)
James (3)
Jane (3)

4. Name four places on my ancestral home bucket list I'd like to visit.

Tranemo, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Somerset, England
Ireland
Scotland

5. What are the four most unusual surnames in my family tree?

Kazar
Buzzell
Horler
Nimmo


6. What four brick walls would you most like to smash through?

Parentage of Benjamin Smith, born Long Island, NY - possibly Rockville Centre.
Parentage of Arthur Matthews, born Coleford, Somerset, England
Parentage and birthplace of Elizabeth Nimmo, emigrated from Scotland or Ireland to Montreal.

This was the one question to which I couldn't give four answers because I can't really say that other "missing" information in my tree are brick walls. Those are just ancestors I haven't researched yet, or future brick walls.

If you decide to play along, be sure to go back to Linda Stuffelbean's original post and let her know.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!


Celebration Sunday - Benjamin Smith connected to Rockville Centre


Standing: Orlando C, Charlotte Fisk, William Henry & George R Smith
Seated: Benjamin, Emma Edwards and MaryAnn Codner Smith
I started my happy dance early Tuesday evening. I was taking a quick minute to review some hints in my tree on Ancestry in anticipation of the fact that I will probably have to suspend my membership for a few months. I've been focusing just on hints for my direct ancestors but a passport application for a my maternal grandfather's uncle caught my eye for some reason. I opted to review the hint and then clicked on the link, just as I did, I thought I saw something in the index that said Rockville Center, NY. The link took tenths of a second to open, but it felt like forever...


Now, by the way of background I should explain why that would matter. Back when I was in very early days of researching my family I discovered that my maternal grandfather's paternal grandfather, Benjamin Smith, was born in Hempstead, NY. This was a big deal because we did not have any familial connection to Long Island that we knew of before we read his obituary. We moved here in the 70s so that my father could attend Adelphi University, not because we had any family here. That is where the name of my blog comes from, the feeling that I had tripped over my roots. 1820s Long Island was lousy with Smiths. Not only that it was lousy with Benjamin Smiths. Ugh! I knew that one of those families were the founders of the village where we settled on moving to Long Island, and were I still live, Rockville Centre, founded by John "Rock" Smith.

I've thought it would be very funny and pretty cool if we turned out to be related to the Rock Smiths, but Benjamin is a brick wall ancestor. I haven't been able to learn anything about him before his marriage except for those few tidbits from his obituary. Until now.

On his son's passport application he states that this father, Benjamin Smith, was born in Rockville Center, L.I., N.Y.

Now I've been at this long enough to know that the passport application of a son, completed 12 years after the passing of the father isn't proof of any of this, but it really is an intriguing clue and one I hope to have the time to work on soon!

Happy Easter

Celebration Sunday is a blogging prompt from Cheri Hudson Passey of Carolina Girl Genealogy.  This is a place to celebrate finding anything new in your research. So if you have a find to celebrate, write a Celebration Sunday post and share the link in the comments of Cheri's weekly post.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

My 5-Generation Birthplace Pedigree Chart

The sensation sweeping Genealogy Nation.

I've seen so many now, I can't remember where I saw it first. Only that it was started by J Paul Hawthorne who writes the GeneaSpy blog. Friends made their own, then their friends, and now it is everywhere and I am late to the party.


Some genealogists have made six-generation charts and obviously we can all make ours whatever we want it to be. Jana Last, Judy Russell and others have shared links to spreadsheets so you can just fill in your own information. I made mine on Numbers, the Mac spreadsheet so I just winged it.

I'm still working on those Continuing Education credits, as well as having a small Easter dinner tomorrow but I will have a post up for Celebration Sunday.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Chicago Pt. II

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement finding much hidden family treasure in the way of furniture, silver, china, photos, negatives, Bibles, documents and books.  After a good airing out I am trying to devote at last an hour every Wednesday evening to scanning and photographing these items for posterity and so that I can share them here with you on Treasure Chest Thursdays.

Last week I shared the first few pages of a scrapbook/album of my father's including the first photos that he ever took. His love of photography and trains were very evident in this scrapbook, including his photos and mementos from the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair which I share with you here.







"The 3' gauge locomotive of the Cripple Creek
and Tincup Railroad"

"The John Bull"

"Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe"

"An old Pennsylvania R.R. pay car"



"The Atlantic"

"Happy"

"The William Mason"

Dad the Jail Bird

"The DeWitt Clinton"

"An old gold mill"

"The Cemetery"

"Two old timers at the Railroad Fair"


Sorry for the lack of commentary, it was all I could do to get scanning done this week. I have Continuing Education credits to earn this week for my certification as a Medical Coder which is keeping me busy but I also wanted to stay on track with my scanning plan.

If you are interested in learning more about the 1948 and 1948 Chicago Railroad Fairs, Wikepedia has an interesting entry here. I learned that this fair may have inspired Disney World!

Be back soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Bible from Jerusalem

In 1938 my paternal grandfather, Howard B. Matthews, was working for the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and was sent on a three-month inspection tour of their digs in the Near East. My grandmother, Dagmar Alice Viola Anderson, brought home this lovely Bible.








It is 4" tall and 2 3/4" wide and has olive wood covers. It is yet another find from Dad's basement stash and I had never seen it until this past September.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Chicago, Illinois

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement finding much hidden family treasure in the way of furniture, silver, china, photos, negatives, Bibles, documents and books.  After a good airing out I am trying to devote at last an hour every Wednesday evening to scanning and photographing these items for posterity and so that I can share them here with you on Treasure Chest Thursdays.

Chatting on Facebook with a cousin the other day led to me rummaging through a box that contains some scrapbooks/albums that my father made as a teenager. This one is dedicated to his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.  It just happens that as I write this, on March 16th, it is the eleventh anniversary of his death.

The first two pages are photos taken around his school; The Chicago Laboratory School at the University of Chicago.




The next page are photos of the apartment building that he and his parents lived in and from the apartment itself.





From his childhood on my father loved photography and trains. Here are some of his trains that I had never seen. He only kept a Lionel train set into his adulthood.



Of course, a true train-lover goes to see the real thing as well.


I couldn't believe this find. I would never have expected to identify the very first photos Dad ever took. Of course, he did that for me. They were taken around the University of Chicago campus. Dad's caption says that they were taken with his "Donald Duck" camera. Intrigued, I did a Google search and found a few of these children's cameras from the 40s on Ebay, and even, if it is still there when you click here, a print ad that I am very tempted to buy, but probably won't.


Bartlett Gym

Mitchell Tower
Mandel Hall
Eckhart Hall

The Quandrangle Club

The rest of the album contains photos and keepsakes from his visit to the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair. And I will share those with you next week.

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