Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Break

Christmas 1952, Middletown, CT

I've decided to take a little break until January. Hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday and you are able to squeeze all of the family histories you can out of your relatives a bonus.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - A Mystery Medal

Earlier this month, my mother arrived at our house for dinner with a little bag full of genea-goodies including the school athletic medals that I shared last week. This week's treasure is a mystery.

This is a gold medal (actually bronze) awarded to an exhibitor at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, also known as the St. Louis World's Fair. We are currently working under the assumption that this came from my grandfather's things and not my grandmother's, but we could be wrong. In either case, it wouldn't have originated with either of them; my grandfather turned six in February of 1904 and my grandmother was born that March.

I have found, on the Internet Archive, a copy of the list of exhibitors at the fair. It is a very long list, the book is over 1300 pages long, it will take me some time to get through.

Since my mother doesn't remember ever hearing any family stories about the exhibition, I don't know that we'll ever solve this mystery with any degree of certainty, but I hope to at least make an educated guess.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sepia Saturday - Fun in the Snow

This week's prompt shows two young women decorating a snowwoman.
Click on the photo to visit Sepia Saturday and find the links to other posts.

While I don't have any snowperson images in my collection, I do have snow photos, my mother is Canadian after all.

All of these photos come from my grandfather's albums. These are photos of family, taken at home in Thetford Mines, Quebec.

My great-uncle, William John White "Pin" Smith
My great-aunt Frances Ruth Smith
My great-aunt Lucy Hamilton Smith

These photos were taken around the campuses of Bishop's College School and King's Hall Compton in Lennoxville. Some are just taken in the snow.

But these more accurately reflect my take on the theme, Fun in the Snow.

These photos make me cold just looking at them, and now it's time to walk the dog, so out into it I go!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Bishops College School Medals

My mother has been decluttering and organizing her apartment. As a result I have been inheriting a lot of pictures, slides and artifacts over the past few months. I'm trying to scan and photograph these treasures as she brings them to me, but I'm really behind after the goodies she brought me this past weekend. On Saturday she brought me an envelope filled with photos, on Sunday she brought me these medals, among other things.

B.C.S. WAR YEAR 1917

B.C.S. WAR YEAR 1917

Mum had never even looked at these before, having just scooped up the box they were in when she packed up my grandmother's house for her move to assisted living back in the 1990s.  Neither of us had any idea that my grandfather had participated in fencing or high-jump while he was at boarding school at Bishop's College School in Lenoxville, Quebec.

Of all the photos he took at BCS, there were only these two of track and field events and none of fencing and he probably was behind the camera for both of them. The pole vault photo is captioned simply, "OVER."

"OVER" Taken in 1913.

You can just make out that this is some type of foot race. Taken in 1914.

Of course, we don't know for sure that these are his medals. We're really going to have to get in touch with the school and find out if we can dig into their archives for confirmation and hopefully photos. We'll be right down the road for a family reunion in August, I wonder if their archives are open in summer?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sepia Saturday - Christmas Illustrations

Sepia Saturday is going back to a new theme every week. Now, though, instead of posting an image with suggested themes, they are posting just the image and leaving the interpretations all up to the participants.

This week's image appears to be a vintage Christmas calendar or Advent calendar, with lovely illustrations.

Click on the image to visit this week's Sepia Saturday post and the other participants.

I am sharing some vintage Christmas illustrations, too. Rather than an advent calendar, though, my illustrations are on postcards.

Before I was hit with the genealogy bug, I bought these postcards to scan and copy and use in my paper crafts. Now I know that there could be a connection to be made by sharing the information on the other side of the card. 

I hope Santa Claus
will be real, real good
to you this year.

Miss Marie Sewright
1615-10 Ave
Los Angeles

I found a possible lead on Ancestry, but I'll have to do a bit more searching.

Dearest friend,
Wishing you
all a merry
Christmas and a happy
New Year

Miss Viola Immeli
#913 Mary St

I found Viola very quickly on Ancestry at this address in city directories, working as a stenographer. I did not find her in any member trees.

From Lois

Miss Susie Narbor
119 Hawthorne Ave

Hello Irving I wish
you a Merry Christmas
hopeing you will be 
well pleased with your
presents. This Card
is from the girl you
met that Saturday that
did so much talking you
was glad to get rid of me.
From a Old Friend.

Mr. Irving Virkus
491 Clifford Ave
Rochester N.Y. 

Irving appears in a few trees on Ancestry.

Dear Susie
I am so happy you
can walk and
are quite well
Thanking you
for the cards you
have so kindly sent
[illegible] she
has enjoyed them
so much she wishes
you a merry Xmas
Lovingly by your
E.C. Fellows

Miss Susie Narber
119 [Illegible] Avenue

A quick search of Ancestry didn't yield any clues about Susie.

I trust this well
find you enjoying
better health than
when I last heard
from you  we have 
had no cold weather yet.
Just a light snow about
ten days ago.
12-20-08. Omaha

John P Pomeroy
Great Barrington
The Oaks

I don't know if Mr. Pomeroy was found in better health or not when he received this card but sadly he did pass away about six months later according to his death record in Ancestry. I didn't find him in any member trees.

If you recognize any names or other information, please let me know. Also, if you know of any websites or social media pages where I could share these postcards, let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Remembering Philippa Ruth Weiser

Philippa Ruth Weiser was my mother's first cousin. Her mother, Frances Ruth Smith, was the sister of my grandfather, George Washington Smith, who's WWII photos I shared Saturday. Philippa passed away last Sunday the 20th, at the age of 82.

Philippa and her husband, William Graham Lynn, had four boys, one of whom is about my age. Consequently, I spent a lot of time at Philippa's house when we visited my grandparents in Thetford Mines, Quebec, when I was a little girl. I was at the Lynn house having dinner with my cousin when my grandfather collapsed at the dinner table at his own house on Easter Monday 1979. It turned into an impromptu sleepover while my mother and grandmother rushed to the hospital with him. In the morning, it became the place I learned of my grandfather's death, the first major death in my ten-year-old life.

George W Smith, Marjorie E Dean Smith and me taking a photo of my own.

Philippa was always deeply interested in the lives of those around her. For years and years she would phone my mother on her birthday and my grandfather's birthday; when she forgot we knew her mind was beginning to fail her.

Mum and I saw Philippa for what would be the last time when we were in Canada almost exactly two years ago, venturing two hours each way from another cousin's farm on rural, snow- and ice-covered roads just to visit her and my mother's childhood best friend. At the time it seemed a bit risky but I'm so glad that we did.

We weren't able to travel to Quebec for her viewing, funeral or burial over the weekend, but another cousin called Mum and told her all about it; who was there and that Philippa would have loved it; everyone was dressed to the nines and Philippa wasn't late.

Philippa Ruth Weiser was laid to rest on Saturday, November 26th at Elmwood Cemetery in Sherbrooke, Quebec, a beautiful, sprawling, tree-filled cemetery with lots of family. I hope that we will be able to visit her there next summer.

Below are the photos that Mum and I posted on the funeral home website memorial.

Philippa in the back with her cousins George and Janet (my mother).

Philippa, George, Frances Ruth Smith (Philippa's mother),
Janet and Herb Austin Smith (Philippa's maternal uncle)

Frances Ruth Smith, Marika Bey (a cousin by marriage) and Philippa

Marjorie E Dean (my grandmother), Philippa and June Smith (a cousin) at a celebration for the Canadian centennial.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Weekend Genealogy

Thanksgiving weekend! It means more than just Thanksgiving to many here in the U.S.; a long weekend to many, a family weekend, shopping to some, and extra genealogy time to others. I had a to-do list going for a couple of weeks leading up to the weekend.

I didn't, of course, get to everything on my list, but I had a good time trying.  Thursday my mother brought me a folder with copies of a couple of wedding notices, an article about a great-grandfather's funeral and my letters home from camp at the age of ten or eleven, they provided a bit of entertainment for us and Donald's family after dinner.

Friday I scanned the photos that my mother brought to me the previous week. She'll bring me an envelope- or folder-full of things at a time lately, and I'm trying to scan them as she brings them now. I'm absolutely in love with this photo of my grandmother.

Marjorie Elizabeth Dean, my maternal grandmother.

Saturday I got my photo files reorganized,

and reorganized digital genealogy records, too.

And while I was doing those tedious but necessary tasks, I listened to a couple of webinars over at Legacy Family Tree.

Yes, that's right, a beginning genealogy webinar. I thought beginner topics would be great for multi-tasking, something to listen to without worrying about catching every word. Peggy Lauritzen is a great speaker and I did pick up some great ideas.

Sunday I started a very big project. Relabeling all of my images with a proper metadata program, Photo Mechanic, recommended to me by JL Beeken of Life after JGEN. She was so right, not that I doubted her. The only thing standing in my way has been cost and budget.

Right now I'm using the software with a free trial for 30 days. That will take me to Christmas weekend, and then we'll see how the budget is. It may not happen at that time, but with many more photos, negatives and artifacts to be scanned and photographed, this is something I could really use, I have no doubt I'll be buying it sooner than later. Its too bad there isn't a subscription option, I don't think I'd ever unsubscribe and it would be so much more budget-friendly.

Finally, I spent some time getting to know Evidentia, but that will be for another post soon.

So, was this at all a genealogy weekend for you?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sepia Saturday - George W Smith and WWII

Oh, how holidays, birthdays and surprises wreak havoc with blogging plans. I had hoped to get some additional scanning and research done for this post, which was meant to go up last Saturday for Week 3 of the War and Peace theme at Sepia Saturday, but that was not to be with one thing and another, and then for Week 4 I was then planning to share some peacetime photos of my grandfather in his local militia.

Instead, I offer a mostly pictorial post of photos that I scanned recently after rescuing them from a magnetic album. There are more, with captions, in one or two magnetic albums that my mum still has, but they'll have to wait until after the holidays, I think.

My maternal grandfather, George Washington Smith, served in both world wars. These photos are from World War II when he was Lt. Col. George W. Smith, commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Engineers, serving in Europe. The first picture is his portrait, for reference.

Please be sure to visit everyone else blogging about War & Peace.


Published under a Creative Commons License.

Anna Catherine Matthews, "Sepia Saturday - George W Smith and WWII", Tripping Over My Roots, posted November 26, 2016, ( : accessed [access date]).