Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slim pickins, postwise

First, let me apologize for not posting in so long. It's not like I haven't been doing genealogy - quite the contrary. But I've also been swamped at work, and busy working on my latest ProGen class assignment (a locality guide, which is WAY more complicated than I thought). However, I do have some quickies to write about:

1. The church records from Manitoba are on their way!! Thanks to some help financing the research from a very generous relative, the records have been paid for, and should be arriving any day now. I can't wait!!!

2. My great-grandmother Rosie was waaaaay more photo-prolific than I ever imagined. I've written before about the three albums I've scanned and (thanks to my grandmother's patient help) identified, totaling over 1300 pictures. My last visit to my grandparents' house to celebrate my grandpa's 85th birthday turned up even more pictures. There's a blue album (shorter than the red, brown, and beige ones) devoted to pictures of my great-grandfather Charles Wagner's involvement with the Technocracy movement. I've read a little on it, but need to do some more digging.

3. Not only that, there's a couple little boxes FULL of literally hundreds more pictures of Grandma Blossom's family. One box is broken out by decades, and if I remember right (I only had time to briefly glimpse the contents) the other was just a jumble of stuff from the 40s through the present. My mom (who is awesome at big projects) has graciously volunteered to scan the individual photos in the boxes, and then go back and label them with whatever was written on the back by my great-grandma. I may still need to do some additional identification, so hopefully Grandma Blossom doesn't mind a few more hours of who's who.

4. I also got to see for the first time a portrait style photo of Grandma Blossom as a young woman, and one of Papa Fred as a 17-year-old Marine. Very good quality photos, that I didn't know existed.

5. I FINALLY finished annotating my database with all the easy-to-cull data from Tracks of Time, a book on the area of Glenella, Manitoba where lots of my Joseph ancestral relatives lived. I'm now working my way through the stack of marriage licenses I found at the Montana County Marriages database at If only I could stop myself from going after more...

6. Speaking of which, while trying to do research for my locality guide assignment, I took a moment to just play around with one of the newspaper databases I was looking at, and found the marriage announcement for my mom and dad. It included the same photo that's in their framed wedding photos on their wall at home. That's probably the most recent record I've ever found in my genealogy research.

7. One of my wife's relatives recently started a Facebook group for descendant's of my wife's grandfather, Walter Allen McFarland Sr. The response has been awesome! Lots of Lisa's cousins and a few aunts have joined and posted who they are, how they're related to Walter, and who they're married to and who their kids are. It's been awesome to see how interested everyone is in each other's lives, and how they're really coming together, even planning a reunion for next year. Lisa and I put together a little chart (well, it's actually a pretty big chart!) of everyone that's posted so far, and how they're all related.

8. And one of the biggest highlights of my genealogical career was my grandpa's birthday party previously mentioned. Aside from having a lot of relatives there (which is always a good time with my family), for a birthday present my mom (and the rest of our family) gave my grandpa a DVD set of all his old home movies, completely and professionally digitized. He had over 50 reels of old home videos going back to the mid 50s (including my dad's 7th birthday party!) and we just sat and watched a few of them for a couple hours. Everyone just busted up laughing at some of them, and told stories and backstories about them, and I just had the best time I've ever had with my relatives (even when they started playing the videos from karaoke nights at the reunion back in 2000). I got a short recording of everyone just laughing at one video, and it's awesome to hear. Really brings home why I do genealogy - it's all about family, and just remembering and rejoicing in being a family.

1 comment:

Gibson Family said...

That was a great night. One I'm sure all will remember and cherish. And, yes, I've missed your weekly posts... glad you're back!