Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's the little things...

So there I was the other day, busily entering my Mix cousins that are in Kansas into my family tree database, and I came across one person in particular that caught my eye.....

Her name was Minnie Mix. She was born in December 1884 in Kansas, daughter of my 1st cousin (4 times removed) Jasper Mix and his wife Harriet Shriner. Jasper and Harriet were born and had married back in New York, but at some point around 1880-ish had journeyed with their children out to Kansas to make a life there.

Why did Minnie catch my eye? Well, in the 1900 federal census, she and her husband were living with her parents in Mission Creek township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas. That's a cool thing because a lot of times you lose track of the women in your family tree once they get married due to the name change. But when they stay living with the parents and the husband moves in, you get to find out the new family name.

Here's the census, it's a little messy, but I'm used to it:

So finally, here's why she caught my eye. She married a "William Maus". Sounds like a nice german boy.

But then that makes her name "Minnie Maus".

AHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa. whew. sorry, when you're looking at stuff like this for hours, you never know what you might find funny.

I'm reminded of old Mad magazines, or was it Crack'd? They used to put funny little things in the margins, little drawings, and sometimes they would do the funny name thing: if so-and-so married so-and-so, then their name would be so-and-so. And it would be really funny. Sorry, I can't think of any examples at the moment.

Okay, back to work!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - 24-Feb-2009

A tomb located in St. Mary's churchyard in Conwy, Wales. Taken July 2, 2007.

And oh yes, I did peer into it to see if I could see any bones or jewels or ancient jewel-encrusted tomes. Nothing. Either they (and the bones) were long ago removed, or the person did in fact turn into dust. For some reason I'm reminded of a Kansas song...... :-D

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why would anyone want to go on a picnic?

So I was wondering......back in the days of long ago, before central heating, when fires were the source of heat and the means of cooking....

Did everybody smell like smoke all the time?

I remember once, a long long long time ago, I went camping (yes I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true). Not actually lying on the ground camping, but staying in a log cabin type deal camping. Which of course, might just as well as been lying on the ground camping to me. I don't really consider myself the outdoorsy-type. This picture is the actual cabin that was camped within.

Those of you that know me know what a MASSIVE understatement it is for me to say I'm not outdoorsy. I'm not saying I'm a Morlock or anything, but, if the sun's out, I'll get burned, if there's a bug, it and all its friends and neighbors and 3rd cousins from out of town will bite me, and if there are angry plants that like to give people rashes, I'll somehow manage to rub them on my face. I don't understand people's fascination with picnics. What, so my hot food can get cold and my cold food can get warm, and there's no bathroom, and there's bugs crawling on the blanket, and a rock in my back and my shoes get all grassy and ruined and there's no ice for my gin and tonic. I'm reminded of a really great line by that lady who played the perpetually drunk socialite on Will & Grace, who in one scene looked around, and said, "Am I... outside?" I still use that all the time, it makes me laugh, and that's all that counts.

So anyway, we stayed in this cabin in the woods, just like in every single horror movie that's ever been made, and we had this fire burning and tra la la, it was a great time for everyone and we went home.

And every single item that I brought with me on the trip REEKED of smoke. REEKED REEKED REEKED.

Did people walk around smelling like that all the time? Did they love windy days because it cleared everything out? Did they just stop noticing after awhile until the black lung killed everybody off? Okay, that last bit is a little over-dramatic, but you see my point right?

One day, when the time machine that's invented let's me visit past eras, I'll let you know what I find out. And I bet I come back reeking of smoke.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - 2009-Feb-17

These are pictures from Edinburgh Castle, in, of all places, Edinburgh, Scotland. When looking down from one spot, you see a little piece of land jutting out from one of the many walls of the castle not easily gotten to by tourists, it's the cemetery for dogs owned by soldiers garrisoned at the castle. I thought it was sweet that they did that. Some of the names that I can make out are:


Monday, February 9, 2009

I know you are but what am I?

I just learned how to create a different kind of report out of my family tree software. I feel pretty dumb considering how long I've used the software, but hey, it was hidden!!!

It's called an Ahnentafel report. Yes, yes, the name is wonderful just on its own, go ahead, say it out loud a few times. It's very satisfying. Kind of like when PeeWee Herman speaks french in his movie (go on, go look, I'll wait, skip ahead to about 4:25 in the clip -

sigh. I miss PeeWee.

But beyond that, the report is a cool report because it goes backwards! Most genealogy reports start with the oldest person, list their kids, then list the kids of their kids, and so on and so on until you get totally lost and just pretend to be interested. This report lists you first, then lists your parents, their parents parents and so on and so on and so on.

I ran the report on me to see who my oldest direct ancestor was in my research and I came up with this guy:

Cerdic, King of Wessex

It's pronounced Kur-dick, or you can use the boston celtics pronunciation if you prefer.

He is 50 generations back from me!

Now don't get me wrong, I take a lot of this stuff with a grain of salt, and I don't have the documentation in place to prove that there is a direct link. I'm working on that. I'm pretty source happy at this point, but I'm focusing more on the last 4 or 5 generations, because if I can't prove them, I certainly can't prove I'm related to Grandpa Cerdic now can I?

Here's a picture of him from John Speed's Saxon Heptarchy. Can you see the family resemblance?

Here's him:

And here's me:

Definitely in the eyes, we're a lot alike.

Of course, this painting is from 1,000 years after he lived, and my picture is filled with early 90s Spiral Perm, so neither may not that accurate.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little Dash of Crazy Never Hurt Anybody

I'd like you all to take a look at this picture:

This is my Great-Grandmother Cornelia Elizabeth Akins Mix Simpson. She was born an Akins in Lockwood, Tioga County, New York, and married a Mix (my great-grandfather), then married a Simpson.

She's standing here with her half-brother, George F. Akins. They shared the same father, John Francis Akins.

I'm guessing from her dress that this picture was taken in the 1940s. It's likely on his or her farm up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, probably Tioga or Tompkins county, or somewhere near there.

I don't know this for sure because the Akin's are IMPOSSIBLE to find ANY information on other than the bare minimum. I think they must have hid from the census taker's and never got any marriage license's because according to the records, they DON'T EXIST. I say this after a day spent poring through censuses (census's? censi?) and NOT finding them. I figured after waiting a decade or so after doing a first look that something would have come up, but NO!!

Part of the problem is that Akins can also be Akin, Aken, Akens, Aiken, Aikens, Aikin, Aikins, and probably more I haven't figure out yet, thus the lack of finding ANYTHING!

But as usual, I digress.

Taking another look at the picture, you will notice that they are holding the skin of a timber wolf (at least that's according to what's written on the back of the photograph). Yes, wolves used to be all over the place, even New York state, before we (Americans) nearly killed them all off, so I'm assuming that this is a proud farmer showing off the skin of a wolf he killed. What can I say, times were different.

But now, if you still haven't noticed it, take another look, there's something else.

Something to do with George.

Something to do with George's hat.

See it? There is a.......chicken.....on Great-Great-Uncle George's hat.

Oh so many questions...

  • Did he always wear a chicken on his hat?
  • Is this chicken special in some way?
  • Does the chicken lay eggs up there?
  • Does he have different chickens for different days, like a sunday-best chicken?
  • Did he save the chicken-on-the-hat just for special occasions, like when you are showing off your timber wolf skin with your half-sister?
At least now I know which branch of the family the crazy came from, that's some progress.