Thursday, December 27, 2012

Domelle's in the 1940 Federal Census

Still taking a detailed look through the 1940 census and this time I focused on looking for Domelle families.  It's another unusual surname like my Kleylein surname.  I wrote an earlier blog post that describes what I know about the origin of my Domelle line.  There are 2 variations on the name in the US, it's either "Domelle" or "Domele" and I'm told that the heads of the families of these 2 variants were cousins.  Whether they were first cousins or 15th cousins I have no idea but the name is rare enough that I'm relatively certain they are related.

Today I just looked in the 1940 US Federal census for any occurrence of the name "Domelle" or its variant "Domele".

Here is what I found:

1) There are 9 households of Domelles in the US in 1940 (6 Domelles and 3 Domeles).  There could be 1 or 2 more but they are currently spelled so incorrectly in the ancestry database that I couldn't find them.  I might stumble across them later.  :-)

2) 5 of them are in the northwest corner of Indiana (4 in Newton County, 1 in Lake County).

3) 3 of them are in Chicago, IL (not far from the northwest corner of Indiana - also 2 of those were young Domelle ladies on their own in the big city).

4) 1 of them wandered over to Tompkins County NY (thank goodness since that's where he met my grandmother!).

My direct line is the Newton County, Indiana 2-L Domelle branch of the family.  It's my grandfather there in NY - he left behind the farm in Newton County.

Below is a map showing the distribution.  Just one big cluster except for the 1 outlier over in NY.

Originally all the Domelles were in Chicago, but my great-grandfather and his brother moved down to Indiana to farm land for a family friend that owned it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kleyleins in the 1940 US Federal Census

I actually have scheduled some time to wallow in genealogy this holiday season and today I began that wallowing by going through the 1940 census.  I will admit that I am a bit disappointed in some of the transcription errors I came across (I've been using Ancestry and I know it was all out-sourced.).  For instance, "Andrene" instead of "Andrew"?  Come on.

But I'll also admit that the surname I searched on is not an easy one for transcribers or enumerators.  Kleylein is a rare surname.  Growing up I was so frustrated and wished my last name was Smith.  Once I started genealogy though I counted my lucky stars for such an unusual name.  I discussed its origin a bit in an earlier blog posting.

Today I just looked in the 1940 US Federal census for any occurence of the name "Kleylein" or its variant "Kleilein".

Here is what I found:

1) There are 12 households of Kleyleins in the US in 1940 (10 Kleyleins and 2 Kleileins).  There could be 1 or 2 more but they are currently spelled so incorrectly in the ancestry database that I couldn't find them.  I might stumble across them later.  :-)

2) 5 of them are in the Baltimore, Maryland area. 

3) 4 of them are in either Brooklyn or Queens, NY.

4) 1 of them are in Miami, Florida.

5) 2 of them (the Kleileins) are in Richland County, Ohio.

My direct line is the Baltimore branch of the family.  It's my grandfather there in Miami living with his mom and step-dad - he came from the Baltimore Kleyleins.

Below is a map showing the distribution.  Just a handful of clusters except for the 1 outlier way down in Florida.

Most of the Kleyleins are first generation immigrants or the children of those immigrants.  It looks like the Kleileins were here earlier, in the 1800s and may have actually migrated to Ohio from Pittsburgh.  That, however, is research for another day.  :-)

Mix Children in the 1940 Census

My grandmother Ann (Mix) Domelle was one of 10 children born in the Finger Lakes region of New York between the years 1905 and 1927.

Now that we have the 1940 census available, I went and looked up each of the Mix children to see where they were living at the time of the census.

1. Floyd Mix, the eldest, was living on Shaffer Road in Newfield, Tompkins County, NY.  In his household was his wife Rena, their 4 children Betty, Beverly, Floyd Jr and Jean.  Floyd's dad, William Mix, was also living with them.  Floyd was 34 and working as a farm laborer.  His dad was also working, listed as a laborer.

2. Spencer Mix, the 2nd eldest, was missing (as usual).  Spencer left the area in 1933 and no one in the family heard from him again.  I was unable to locate him in the 1940 census so he either avoided it or gave another name.  He would have been married to a woman named Helen Smith with one child.  I was unable to locate them as well.  I do have Spencer's death certificate, but for now, his whereabouts in 1940 are still a mystery, as apparently, he wanted them to be!  :-)

3. Laurance Mix, the 3rd child (and yes, that's how his name is spelled) was living on Niagara Falls Blvd, up in Wheatfield, Niagara County, NY.  In his household was his wife Hazel and their 2 children Laurance Jr and Jessie.  Laurance was 29 and working as a millwright.

4. Mazie Mix and her twin Daisy Mix were the 4th and 5th children and the 1st girls in the family.  I'll focus on Mazie here for the moment.  She was living in a rural area of Seneca, Ontario County, NY.  She was married to John Patrick and they lived with their son John.  Mazie was 27 and had no occupation listed so of course she was taking care of the house.

5. Daisy Mix was living at home with her mom Cornelia (Akins) Mix Simpson and her step-Dad Leon Simpson and 4 of her younger siblings.  Their home was at 402 Center St, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY.  Daisy was 27 and working at housework in private homes. 

6. William Mix, the 6th child and 4th boy, was living in Chatham, Tioga County, PA.  In his household was his wife Mary and a hired hand named Leonard Coazer.  William was 26 and working as a farmer.

7. Leslie Mix, the 7th child and 5th boy, was living at home with his mom Cornelia (Akins) Mix Simpson and his step-Dad Leon Simpson, his older sister Daisy and 3 of his younger siblings.  Their home was at 402 Center St, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY.  Leslie was 21 and working at farm work.

8. Ann Mix (my grandmother), the 8th child and 3rd girl, was living at home with her mom Cornelia (Akins) Mix Simpson and her step-Dad Leon Simpson, her older sister Daisy, older brother Leslie, and 2 of her younger siblings.  Their home was at 402 Center St, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY.  Ann was 20 and working at housework in private homes.

9. John Mix, the 9th child and 6th boy, was living at home with his mom Cornelia (Akins) Mix Simpson and his step-Dad Leon Simpson, his older sisters Daisy and Ann, and 1 younger sibling.  Their home was at 402 Center St, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY.  John was 14 and attending school.

And last, but certainly not least!

10. Donald Mix, the 10th child and 7th boy, was living at home with his mom Cornelia (Akins) Mix Simpson and his step-Dad Leon Simpson, his older sisters Daisy and Ann, and his older brother John.  Their home was at 402 Center St, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY.  John was 13 and attending school.

Finally, below I marked on a map the locations of the children of William Homer Mix and Cornelia Elizabeth (Akins) Mix Simpson as based on the 1940 Federal census.  Other than Spencer, the Mix kids tended mainly to stay around the New York and very northern PA area, which I greatly appreciate as I do my research.  :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordy Wednesday - 12 December 2012

This is my Uncle Steve.  The story behind this slightly crooked photo is that it was taken by my mom, his younger sister, who was due to have a baby soon - the first of the 3 siblings to have a child.

He had been away and while he was gone, my mom had me (unexpectedly - a few weeks early) and no one told him.  When he got home, he went to visit with his sister, she was in her bedroom supposedly resting.  On his way to the bedside, he walked past the bassinet and this is the look on his face when he realized there was a baby in it!  That baby was me, and my mom managed to snap this wonderful picture from the bed.

Surprises like that aren't easy to pull off any more - we're so intimately connected with everyone.  It's a lovely picture that I'm so grateful to have!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Visit to Indiana

Last week I took a trip to Indiana to visit with my 97-year-old Great Uncle Pete.  My parents and my aunt took the trip with me as well, we drove out, visited, and drove back!  We rented a minivan so everyone could have a roomy trip and now I'm thinking I need a new car because I don't have cell phone chargers and USB ports hiding out everywhere in my car!  We're all so spoiled!

Anyway, we took the trip specifically to visit with my Great Uncle Pete Domelle.  He is the last of the Domelle siblings, Tony, Mary and Bill (my grandfather) have all passed away.

It was just lovely visiting with him and with his daughter, my 1st cousin once removed, Mary.  Mary and her husband Larry welcomed us and let me rummage through all kinds of photographs.  :-)

Here is a photo of Mary and her 1st cousins, my Mom and aunt.

Uncle Pete regaled us with many stories during our visits with him!  The last time we were out in Indiana was over 9 years ago. 

It was strange - Uncle Pete doesn't really look like my grandfather, but the way he used his hands - the gestures he made, as well as the cadence of his speech - when it came to that they were nearly twins!!  It made we wonder - did they learn their gestures from being around their father?  Uncle Pete would still toss out a German word or two - growing up, their parents were immigrants and spoke German.  My grandfather says he remembers his dad reading German language newspapers from Chicago (they lived in the northwest corner of Indiana).

I'm so glad we were able to make this trip.  It was a long car drive but so worth it to visit with everyone!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 12 September 2012

It's me and my sister.  If you look carefully, you can see I'm hanging on to her arms for dear life probably trying to keep her from rolling off the prop.  My guess is if you want to know where my Mom was, follow her gaze.  I'm dutifully looking at the photographer trying not to mess up the shot.  :-)

I'm younger in this picture than my nephew is now.  Which of course doesn't make sense since I'm only 15 now.  :-D

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My First Enumerator!

Imagine my delight as I'm transcribing data from the 1940 census and I see that the enumerator is one of my Domelle relatives!

She's not technically a blood relative, she's Mae BINGHAM DOMELE, the wife of my 2nd cousin twice removed, Tony DOMELE, son of John DOMELE.  This line uses only one "L" in spelling of the name.

Seems she is the enumerator for Lake Township, Newton County, Indiana.  Yay for Mae!

At the time she did this, she was 35 years old, with a 12 year old and 15 year old at home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordful Wednesday - I am the Keeper of Things

This is a photograph of a corner of my living room.  As some of you know, my grandfather recently passed away.  His birthday is in a couple of weeks - he would have been 94!!  He lived a long and full life and I miss him, and my grandmother (who passed away nearly 2 years ago) every day.

Now that they are both gone, the family did what families need to do, and we went through their belongings making sure that important items and furniture went to those in the family who wanted or needed items.  We then had an estate sale for the rest of the things.  It wasn't easy, seeing my grandparents belongings carried away out the front and back doors of the house. 

What made that a trifle bit easier to bear was the knowledge that some of those items went to people who needed them so badly - one person was gathering items for her neighbor, whose house had just burned down.  Another was a young couple that had just moved to the area and had no furniture at all.  Another was a petite elderly lady, who was so grateful for the chair to put in the bathtub because her husband needed help bathing.

And now after that, I have my pile of boxes and items.  As the family genealogist and historian, I was the default whenever a pile of papers was found.  They always save it for Leah and I am so happy for that!  (You don't know how easy it is for my Mom to throw things out.  She would probably have tossed me and my sister long ago except that we're hard to catch!!  Well, ok, maybe she have just tossed me, I was the really annoying teenager and probably deserved to be out on the curb - my sister was the smart one!)

It's hard though, looking at this corner.  I dutifully brought everything home and packed it neatly in boxes and stowed it away here in this corner where I don't see it every day.  When we are gone, we leave behind all the detritus of life - receipts for things you don't own anymore, rubber bands, spare glasses.  And someone has to come in and decide what is important and what isn't.  When we're alive, we think it's all important.  I have a fabulous collection of plastic bags I use to take out the kitty litter.  Do I need 8,000 plastic bags?  Well, I guess I'm planning ahead in case tomorrow the world suddenly stops manufacturing them and after all, I need some way to get the kitty litter out of the house.  Did I mention I use recyclable bags and paper bags only now?  I don't even bring new plastic bags into the house and yet the piles of them never seem go down down.

I'd be mortified if something suddenly happened to me and my family came into my house and had to make decisions about what to keep and what to toss.  I'd probably have to haunt one of them if they threw something vital out, like my important collection of wheat-back pennies in the console of my car.  There's at least 5 of them there, and a 1976 quarter too.  I just know my mom would gather it up and put it in a regular coin jar or something!!!  And someone would just SPEND it WITHOUT knowing!

So yes, my point here really is actually that yes, as a genealogist I do have a very high-level view about life and death.  I see my families where children have died as babies, I see my families where a spouse passed away while still young, I see families that never had children and I fret for them, wondering who took care of them when they were old, even though they died more than 100 years ago.  I know death happens, it has happened for always, and it will keep happening.

But it is hard when it's so close and personal, and you actually have custody of someone else's belongings.  I feel a responsibility for all those papers I carefully packed away.  And yet I hesitate to look at them because, well, they aren't mine.

A while back, my Grandfather allowed me to take a box of old letters to scan.  When I went through them, there was one that was from my Grandfather to my Grandmother.  He was away on a business trip, this was back in the early 1960s.  He wrote stuff for the whole family and then he wrote in the letter that the rest of it was for "Mom" only to read.

So you know what I did of course?  I folded it up and put it back in the envelope.  Maybe one day I will read it, maybe never.  I'll have to figure that one out.

Taking a peek into someone's life when they lived 200 years ago is fascinating.  The distance in time makes it so interesting.  Taking a peek into my grandparent's life, when they aren't here to frame the discussion for me, well, that's harder.   

In the meantime, this stuff will sit for a bit in my living room, getting accustomed to its' new custodian.  When it's ready, it will welcome me in.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Obituary of William A. Domelle (1918 - 2012)

Last Tuesday my grandfather passed away.  He was just over a month shy of his 94th birthday.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit with him in the past couple of weeks, his health declined very rapidly at the end, and he was able to pass away peacefully, in his own home.

I can't say enough for the good that hospice workers do.  It must be so hard to walk into a house where you've been told to go, and you don't know what you are walking into what with worried and stressed relatives.  Hospice workers are people who embody how we all should be acting towards one another.

My grandfather was born on a farm in northwest Indiana.  He always called it "flat, flat, flat" when I asked him about it.  His parents were immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (specifically from the western part of what is now modern-day Romania) and he remembered them speaking in German to each other when they didn't want the kids to know what they were saying.  :-)

He was super intelligent - the type of person that would say, okay, I'm going to build a house now for my family - and he did!  He learned what he needed to and just did it.  Nothing stopped him.  In the early 1980s, he decided he wanted to learn computers, and he did, in his spare time!  In the last week, I saw receipts and letters and manuals for computers I'd never heard of from the 80s.  He was exchanging letters with people discussing nitty-gritty details about computing that I couldn't even begin to understand.

He was one of the hardest working people I will ever know.

He spent his life doing carpentry and construction, and once he retired from that, he got terrible arthritis.  He never complained though.  And he always ate whatever you put in front of him.  We asked once about that, like my mom would ask him what his preference was for dinner and such and he would never really give her the preference.  He always said that if someone was going to go through the trouble of making food for him to eat, then he was going to eat it.  It is a good philosophy and one which makes me feel I owe my mother an apology for being a picky eater as a child!

I miss you Grandpa, and I love you!


Below is the text of his obituary:

MILLERSBURG - William A. Domelle, 93, passed away Tuesday at his home.

Born in Newton County, Indiana, on September 16, 1918, son of the late William and Elizabeth Obendorfer Domelle.  He met his future wife, Anna G. Mix, in 1938, and they married in 1942. They lived in Millersburg for the past 30 years.

He was a retired self employed carpenter.

He was pre-deceased by his wife of 68 years, Anna, 2010, and a son Stephen, 1998.

Surviving are his two loving daughters, Deborah Kleylein, Philadelphia and Rebecca Lucas, Lykens; 9 grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; one brother Peter, Indiana.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 25 July 2012

(You know it's a good party when you can start building structures out of the champagne corks!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - John Francis Mix

My Great Uncle John Francis Mix died in 1981.  I've posted his obituary in a past entry (here) and recently I scanned this picture taken on May 26, 1995 of his gravestone.

My Mom always referred to him as Uncle Johnny so that's what I've always called him during my research.  I have a vague memory of meeting him before he died, but it's not corroborated my the memories of my Mom or Aunt.  So much for memory!!!  :-)

He's buried in Hector Union Cemetery, in Burdett, Schuyler County NY.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - 19 June 2012

This is the grave marker for my paternal grandparents Leon and Sophia (Pawlak) Kleylein.  It's located in Dade Memorial Park in Florida.  It's odd to see my own last name on a gravesite, the only other place I've ever really seen it was in a cemetery in Germany when we visited the area from which all Kleyleins sprang forth (northeast Bavaria).

For instance, below, there's 5 of them just on this one memorial to the fallen from World War I and II that's located in the small town of Unterrodach, Germany.  It's a strange surname, can't really be translated to anything and you might think, oh, it's German, it should probably be "Kleilein" and sometimes it is, but more often it's "Kleylein", even on really old records.  Maybe one day we'll figure it out!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 06 June 2012

(not completely wordless - this is my Great Uncle Leslie Mix, from a picture in my grandmother's possession - it's her handwriting on the back)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 23 May 2012

(Not totally Wordless!  This is my Great Uncle Stanford Kleylein, know as "Uncle Tanny", and his lovely wife Harriet Copple Kleylein.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and mother-figures out there! 

But most of all, Happy Mother's Day to MY mother!  Love you Mom!

Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart.  
~Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Destiny Cannot be Escaped

So, provides one of the definitions of "destiny" as "the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events".

Just keep that in the back of your minds while I tell my little story...

My favorite Star Trek character, ever since I was a little girl, is Spock.  He's so trustworthy and reliable and smart.  He knows everything and he won't yell at you about it, even if you do something really dumb, which we have to admit, Kirk did all the time.

I was introduced to science fiction by my Dad who grew up loving it.  I never became a super-duper die-hard science fiction fan, I admit, but I've read the important ones, the Foundation books, the Dune books, all of Ray Bradbury (oh man I love Bradbury).  And I love sci-fi movies.  It's very likely that one of the reasons I always had a soft spot for Spock is that I felt like he was like my Dad.  Even the pointed ears.  Ok, just kidding on that one.  But they were both tall, slim and had dark hair.  And both always knew the answer to every question and were very logical.  I never felt that I was like that - I'm neither tall, slim, or have dark hair.  I felt like I didn't know anything but had feelings about everything.  I was always a very feeling type person.  I have sympathy.  I have empathy.  More, really, than I wish I had. 

My poor Dad would try to tutor me for my math classes which for some reason, starting in high school, I never did well in.  I remember just not getting ANYTHING he was trying to tell me.  I excelled with the word stuff - english, writing, literature classes were my forte.  To this day I find math very frustrating.  I think one of the issues was that I was one of those people (still am actually) that makes a leap to the answer of something.  I was never someone who could show my work.  Even when writing, I didn't make notes, or create an outline of my paper.  When the deadline came, I sat down and just wrote it.  It sprung fully formed from my forehead as they say.  Sometimes, when we were required to turn in our outlines ahead of time before the actual paper was due, I'd write the paper and then just figure out an outline to turn in.  I just don't think in that one logical step at a time way.

Not feeling like a logical person, I ended up majoring in Psychology in college - it's hard to get more liberal in Liberal Arts than that, right?

One weird thing?  I had to take a statistics class.  I LOVED it.  Totally aced it.  The rest of my math classes were all remedial - only what I had to take in order to graduate and I struggled with them. A strange anomaly in my anti-math career.

Being unable to follow in my Dad's footsteps into Computer Science due to my broken math abilities, I ended up temping when I got out of college and fell accidentally into the Pharmaceutical field.  I worked many years in Regulatory - the department that works with Health Authorities to get drugs approved.

When I finally ended up leaving Pharma a few years back, I ended up at a firm that does consulting work for Pharma companies.  I found myself in the software department, Product Management to be exact.  There I've created requirements for software based on my years of experience in Regulatory.

And meantime, something was happening.  Something quiet and insidious.  I was accidentally absorbing programming concepts from the software developers around me.

It didn't really hit me until the other day.  I was having a conversation with my father about something going on at work.  He responded to me describing situations he's been in (he's been in the technical world for ever - starting with programming, eventually running a data center).

I suddenly realized as he was talking that I TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING HE WAS SAYING!

Was it the first time ever?  There is a strong possibility it was.

And I realized then that I had actually managed to follow in my father's footsteps even though I had done everything possible to go the opposite direction.  What could be more anti-Spock than a degree in touchy-feeling-tell-me-all-your-problems-and-I'll-help-you-Psychology!!!!  I know, right??????

And yet here I was.  And even crazier?  I love what I do.  How about that?

So beware out there.  Your destiny awaits.  :-)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Tale of Two Rivers - Part II: Der Rhein

Recently I traveled internationally for work, and I posted about my trip to London here: A Tale of Two Rivers - Part I: The Thames.

Just a week after that trip, I flew again for work, going to Basel, Switzerland. The corner of Switzerland I went to is right where France, Germany and Switzerland meet. It is near the Alsace-Lorraine region which is near and dear to my heart due to my maternal DOMELLE surname. In the 18th century, many people from the Alsace-Lorraine region migrated south to what is modern day Romania (then it was the Austro-Hungarian Empire), so it is likely my DOMELLE ancestors came from near that region as they were german speakers living in Pre-WWI Hungary.

Anyway, back to Basel!

So where London was two weeks ahead in spring compared to my home, Basel was 2 weeks behind. Bulbs had come up, but the trees weren't really showing their buds yet. The weather was a bit dreary for most of my visit, not pouring rain, but that misting type of rain, although the sun did make some peeps.

Basel is ancient - they've found pre-Roman settlements and the old city is well-preserved with lots of winding little streets. It's a bit hilly where the old city is, but nothing crazy. I didn't have a lot of time for site-seeing so I made my way straight to the Basel Munster which is the cathedral right on the Rhine river.

I guess because it was a Monday and because the weather wasn't great, I was completely alone in the cathedral for about 20 minutes before any other tourists made their way in - very different from Westminster Abbey!

The cathedral was mainly built in the 1400s - there was one there earlier but it fell down during an earthquake in the 1300s!

There is a beautiful colored roof on the cathedral outside, as well as a little walled garden attached to the south of it. This picture is from behind the cathedral which faces right onto the Rhine river. There's a drop of a couple storys to the river.

This might be the first sandstone cathedral I've ever seen.

In the area next to the main cathedral and attached to it, there were some doorways to clergy offices and covered walkways around a small garden.

In that area, of all things, I heard a female opera singer singing, I could tell it was inside because I could here the echos, but I couldn't place where it was coming from. I am no opera student, but it didn't sound like Italian opera, it sounded like German opera.

Finally I found this door and that's where it was loudest. So naturally I immediately decide it's like Phantom of the Opera and the little door must lead to steps down to and underground room that can be accessed by caves from the shores of the river.....

But then I realize the little door leads to steps that lead UP to this large chamber next to the cathedral and that's actually where the singing was coming from. :-) So much for my imagination! But it was beautiful and a little odd to hear live muffled opera like that while walking around empty cathedral walkways and gardens.

This is a picture from right out back of the cathedral looking to the right. So now I could say I saw the Thames and the Rhine rivers 2 weeks apart. :-)

Here's the view looking to the left. These houses here that are right next to the cathedral have been here in some cases since the 1400s - I saw the plaques on the houses.

Once on modern day streets, what I saw were banks, banks, banks. So I knew I was in Switzerland!! People were very friendly and nearly every one spoke English, which was good for me, since my tired brain kept trying to provide me with French phrases rather than the German one's I had looked up!

And finally, just a few more pictures from my brief visit!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Wow, 4 years!!! I'm hardly ever that consistent with anything!! Must be all these nice people I've met over the years now while blogging - both other bloggers and newly discovered cousins!

And so, on to what I most enjoy about my blogiversary - let's take a look at some of the oddest search terms from the past year that somehow sent people to my blog:

1. Nose

Ok, I admit, I've talked about my nose in the past...but who just types in "nose" for a search?

2. skin falling off

Ok, again, I admit, I had an episode a couple years ago where I described a skin peel that, hmm, how shall I didn't go well. Maybe I exaggerated a bit when describing it. Whoever you are, I sympathize.

3. undressed yoga

Now this one I am NOT taking credit for. I have never discussed this (although now I have I guess) -! The only way this should be searched for is "solitary no one else watching ever in locked house undressed yoga".

4. absalom caterpillar tattoo

Got me. I have no idea.

5. cat math physics

If this is true, the human race is doomed.

6. eating lamprey

Dude, don't do it!!! Especially not a surfeit of least that's what Englands Henry I would say...

7. i fell outside

I'm sorry about that. I fall inside all the time. I have a problem with stairs. Safe stair navigation has eluded me both during my childhood and adult life. :-)

8. is urban dictionary accurate?

Yes. Glad I could help.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to every one who stops by! :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Tale of Two Rivers - Part I: The Thames

So a long while back in 2010 I had a posting of cool things I'd been lucky enough to do in my life (Already in the Bucket). I thought often of that posting in the last few weeks of traveling that I had to do for work.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to attend 2 meetings in Europe for work - one in London at the beginning of March, and one in Basel, Switzerland last week.

First off, before you think I'm cool or anything, I have to admit that traveling like that - spending a couple days overseas, flying home, having our stupid early time change here in the US, then flying out to Switzerland, staying for a couple days and coming home.......HOLY COW it did me in. Last Wednesday coming home from the airport, I just about made it home I was so freaking tired. How do people travel all the time? Am I just a huge wimp? Wow. I might have shaved a few years off my lifespan these past few weeks. But don't worry, I have a trip to Jamaica later this year where I'll add them back on. :-)


So while in London for the London meeting, I was able to spend a few hours sightseeing and was truly fortunate to be staying in a hotel right across the Thames from Big Ben. And when I say, right across, I mean, RIGHT ACROSS. Here's the view from my hotel's front door.

So I got to walk across the bridge and over the Thames river like Jessie and LeStat at the end of the Queen of the Damned movie (yes, sorry, I do enjoy that horrible horrible movie and how could I not think of it while crossing that bridge) and marched myself right over to Westminster Abbey with the Kidneythieves song from the movie ending playing in my head.

I'd been to Westminster Abbey once before while actually on vacation and had really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be wonderfully decadent not only to go again, but to listen to every single word of the tour and really just wallow in it. And I did! I spent a good 2 1/2 hours there just really soaking in it in, reading every plaque and listening to every option on the walking audio tour. They don't allow pictures inside, but I took many in the cloisters and outside areas.

One funny note, at least it was funny to me, is that they had Jeremy Irons doing the spoken audio tour. Now, I really like Jeremy Irons as an actor, but the last thing I'd seen him in is the Borgias series where he plays the not-so-holy Borgia Pope.

So hearing him speak so nicely about the Abbey and inviting me to stay for a service if I liked felt kind of ironic, but in a fun way. :-)

The sheer volume of famous people buried at Westminster is a bit hard to grasp. And when I say "famous", it's not just plain old famous, but more like legendary, at least to a student of English history like I am.

Below are a few of the pics I took where I was allowed to take pictures. I actually bought a big fat hard-back coffee table book as a treat to myself that has all the inside pictures (but much better of course) that I would have taken.

I also managed to squeeze in a visit to the National Portrait Gallery where I spent time mainly in the wing for 12th-15th centuries, and a visit over to the Temple Church (famously shown in the Da Vinci Code movie).

At the National Portrait gallery I bought my second huge coffee table book to lug back to the states - a big old book on ossuaries (places where the bones of the dead are stored). I can't help it, I just love really old churches/cathedrals and cemeteries/crypts!!!

And yes, I realize I could have gotten both these books on amazon or wherever, but it's much better to look at my bookcase and say, there's the book I lugged back from London, and over there's the book I bought while traveling through in the Trossachs and then of course there was that one time I was sailing past Majorca (just kidding on that last one... who gets the reference?)

So anyway, here are a few pics of the Temple Church and Trafalgar Square outside the National Portrait Gallery.

I'm so glad I had a few hours to walk around London on this trip!!! I feel very fortunate.

In Part 2, I'll talk about the trip to Switzerland!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Will of Kinsey Harrison

Kinsey HARRISON, born in Maryland in 1758, is my paternal 4th great-grandfather. He served in the Revolutionary War as a Private in the Maryland Line from 1776 to 1779 in Thomas Beall's Company, in Moses Rawlings' Regiment. It is his information that I submitted to DAR in my application for membership.

While I was researching him, I requested the microfilm that contained his will to be sent to my local Family History Center library. I was able to get my own scan of the will there at the library.

Below is a transcript of the will, found in the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Will Book 40, page 224. I've added some paragraphs of my own, just to make it more readable. The original is just one big long paragraph. I left spelling variations intact.

I think probably the coolest thing is to now have a visual of Kinsey's mark:

Will of Kinsey HARRISON:

In the name of God Amen, I Kinsey Harrison of Anne Arundel County in the State of Maryland being weak in boddy but of sound and dispossing mind memory and understanding considering the certainty of death and uncertainty of the time thereof and being desireous to settle my worldly affairs and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence do therefore make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say,

First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God and my boddy to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executrix hereinafter named and after my debts and funeral Expences are paid I devise and bequeath as follows,

Item I give and bequeath all personal Estate to my beloved Wife Sarah Harrison.

Item I give and devise all my real Estate to my beloved wife whereon I now reside containing twenty three acres of land more or less.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Grove Harrison one dollar.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Kinsey Harrison one dollar.

It. I give and bequeath to my son Wesley Harrison one dollar.

It. I give and bequeath to my son Nimrod Harrison one dollar.

It. I give and bequeath to my daughter Polly Harrison one dollar.

It. I give and bequeath to my daughter Cordelia Clarey one dollar.

It. I give and bequeath to my daughter Amelia Shunk one dollar.

It. I give and bequeath to my daughter Matilda Ritchie one dollar, all of the aforesaid bequests to be paid by my Executrix out of my personal Estate.

And Lastly I do hereby Constitute and appoint my dear wife Sarah Harrison to be my Sole Executrix of this my last Will and testament revoking all others by me made heretofore ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last Will and testament. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this Twenty first day of February in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and thirty three.

his mark

Signed Sealed published and declared by
Kinsey Harrison the before named Testator
as and for his last Will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto

George W. Wolfe
Warfield Todd
Henry Bussard

Anne Arundel County ??? The 18th day of July 1835. Then came George W. Wolfe and Henry Bussard two of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing last Will and Testament of Kinsey Harrison late of Anne Arundel County, deceased, and made Oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God that they did see the Testator therein named sign and seal this Will and that they heard him publish, pronounce and declare the same to be his last Will and testament, that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding and that they together with Warfield Todd the other subscribing Witness respectively subscribed their names as Witnesses to this Will in the presence and at the request of the testator and all in the presence of each other.

Saml. Brown Jun. Reg. Wills, A. A. County

Anne Arundel County Sc??
The 18th day of July 1835

Then came Sarah Harrison and made Oath in the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, that the aforegoing Instrument of writing is the true, whole and last Will and Testament of Kinsey Harrison late of Anne Arundel County, deceased, that hath come to her hands and possession and that she doth not know of any other.

Saml. Brown Jun. Reg. Wills, A. A. County

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Where was my invitation to the Vienna Ball?

So apparently there is this big event every year in Vienna - the Vienna Opera Ball. Society people allow some famous people to attend and it's a huge social event at the Vienna State Opera. The opera house looks like what you would expect it to look like:

Being a student of European history, I'm fascinated that "royals" still exist so I like to check out the UK equivalents of gossip rags online so I can gaze at them in their natural habitat.

Today I stumbled across an article about this Vienna ball on one of the sites and I'm looking at the pictures of the ball getting all irritated that debutantes still exist in the European sense (Sorry Southern US gals, this is a whole different level of debutante here). Why irritated? Because I'm not a debutante. But anyway, while I was irritating myself with the pictures of those annoying girls, I stumbled across two absolutely fantastic men who attended the ball:

First Fantastic Man Who Attended the Vienna Ball:

In the first picture right at the top of the article (full article is here: there is what is supposed to be a photo of Helena Christensen looking lovely and Grecian.

But what is really happening in the picture is the guy to her left is completely stealing her thunder! His confidence, his poise, his panache, his glorious moustache - I can barely see Helena in the photo:

That man is cooler than me. He's cooler than you. He's cooler than all of us put together. Oh how I wish I knew him!

Second Fantastic Man Who Attended the Vienna Ball:

So then I get to the last picture at the bottom and it's the UN Secretary and the President of Austria with their wives. At least, that's what we're supposed to think.

But in reality, I'm pretty sure that the President of Austria is a relative of Thufir Hawat, the Mentat from Dune!

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the President is a very nice man and runs Austria very capably, but I really think that this is the first indication that everything Frank Herbert wrote is true. I'm just saying, maybe we ought to keep a closer eye on Sting, that's all.

Then again, I could have it totally backwards and it's just that Thufir was from Austria...