Friday, August 30, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for August 30, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
17 amazing examples of mosaiculture
Evacuation day: controversial Order no. 11
We can't do it alone, but together we can build a Lego tower
An arm finds its way to World War I museum
If this old sidewalk to could talk
The dreaded telegram at The Pendleton Genealogy Post
A love letter like no other
Fireman in the family at Nuts From the Family Tree
Death takes no holiday at Arlington National Cemetery
Evolution of the soda can
The business 9 women kept a secret for 30 years offers free views of immigration records through Labor Day
Grave sightings: Joseph Schlitz, brewing magnate
Rita Hayworth is Stayin' Alive
11 things you might not know about Missouri
Could you pass a U.S. citizenship test?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Two little White boys

"Clifton Melvin White age 6 months; Huston Lee White age 2 years + 8 mos."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday's Tune - Mickey Mouse Disco

Mickey Mouse Disco album cover by K. Dooley at Flickr
I am a child of the seventies. And in the radiant glory of rust-colored shag carpet and avocado appliances I danced to disco. Yes, disco.

As I have mentioned before, my family has always loved music and I grew up in a time of albums. My family would hang out in my parents' room and throw album after album on the record player. My parents would watch my brother and I come up with crazy dance moves. The best album was Mickey Mouse Disco filled with can't-forget numbers like Watch Out for Goofy and Macho Duck. Last night on my XM radio I heard Macho Duck and couldn't help but shed a few tears remembering the good days...or rather missing them.

The album was released in 1979 and included new hits and disco versions of Disney classics:

"Disco Mickey Mouse" - 4:00
"Welcome to Rio" - 3:23
"The Greatest Band" - 4:10
"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" - 2:13
"Macho Duck" - 4:36
"Mousetrap" - 2:56
"Watch Out for Goofy!" - 3:30
"It's a Small World" - 2:28
"Chim Chim Cher-ee" - 2:10


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday's Source - For descendants of Peter Kuhn

Peter Kuhn, born in Germany in 1748, has a lot of descendants. Clara Stamy Venable, one of his many descendants helped to write a book about Peter and his lot entitled, "History and Roster of the Peter Kuhn Family in the U.S.A." published in 1932.
I have a long relationship with this source. When I was very young, maybe 8, my father showed me a copy of this book which was kept on the shelves in his office. I was fascinated...this was history and it was my history! I didn't know a single person in the book but they were my relatives. And then the book mysteriously went missing. For years I thought it about and wondered where it could have gotten to.

Turned out, I stole it! Many years later a big storm went through Kansas City and a tree limb fell on my parents' outdoor shed. They had stored a lot of "excess" stuff from my room in that shed and asked me to come over to save what I could. In one box I found several high school memories and my mysterious missing Kuhn family book. Unfortunately, the fallen limb had smashed the box open and the book was soaked. I left it out for a week and let it dry out, but the pages were now molded and brittle. However, I couldn't bear to part with my little bit of history.

Flash forward another 10 years and my patience and persistence in tracking down another version of the book have come to fruition. A cousin brought to my attention that the Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle, Pennsylvania had a digital copy available online. Fantastic! Thanks to cousin M and to the Allison-Antrim Museum for bringing back this little bit of me!

To learn more about Greencastle and it's history visit the Allison-Antrim Museum website.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for August 23, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
The entire history of the one chart
The history of Fisher-Price Little People
Do you have New York Hewitts in your line? Check in here
Want a picture with the VP in his bathing suit? Just ask.
15 best blogging and publishing platforms
Happiness is stitching at Family History Fun
A day in the life of an Edwardian servant girl at Ancestor Quest
WWI tourism: looking for your family hero
A well-traveled travel book
Bringing black and white photos to color life
Ten days in a madhouse: woman gets committed for reform
11 things we no longer see in movie theaters 
Steel magnolias: those that stayed behind at Celebrating Family Stories
One of the best headstones I've ever seen
John at Filiopietism Prism asks: When all the paper is gone, what will we have lost?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Genealogy bloggers: what keeps us going?

Whew, what a conversation we had on Tuesday! I wrote a post about thoughts on quitting blogging. I had no idea it would garner the amount of discussion it did. I did not intend my post to be a pity party, but rather reflection on why blogging is important to me. Turns out that many people think about hanging up their blog from time to time. Many of you chimed in with why blogging is important to you and I thought it would be great to pull together all of your ideas in one post.
Better research - This was the most prevalent comment from our discussion. Blogging makes us better researchers. Knowing that what we post will be a part of the world wide web for as long as the platform exists, we put our best foot forward. Many of us attach sources to our posts so that down the line other cousins, relatives and descendants will have an easier go at following in our footsteps. And, perhaps more importantly, the information we leave behind will be correct to the best of our abilities.

Searchable research repository - Our blogs are our own personal libraries. We reference them to jog our memory and keep us from repeating our research steps and wasting time. Jacqi at A Family Tapestry made a great point: by blogging we create a public, searchable database of family information. Information that will be available to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our research and thoughts can now be found at a single Google click. That thought alone is fuel for creating well-written and researched posts! Many of you mentioned that you also turn your blog into a printed book. Blurb was one source mentioned for this option.
An outlet - I've written my whole life either in a journal or in my profession. It has always been an outlet for me so it is a natural transition to blog...especially about my favorite hobby. Several of you mentioned that you use your blog as a way to decompress and relax. Add that to a field of lavender and a hot bath and we're the most relaxed folks in the world.

Digging deeper - Not only do our blogs produce better overall research, but they help us to dig down to the interesting stories behind our ancestors. By focusing on creating a better researched post, we often come across stories that put the meat on the bones of our family story.

Finding kin - Our blogs are a great resource for connecting with distant relations. That Google search we mentioned up above? That is leading our information straight to cousins that just learned that we are related and may want to link up. What better way to draw cousins to you than your blog? And like Amanda mentioned below, they may have photographs!

Do it for you - Many of us are little guys in a big genealogy blogging world. We may never reach more than a handful of views for any given post. But for all the reasons above, it is worth the time...even if it is only for you. However, remember that the other little guys read your posts for inspiration or to cheer you along, even if you don't get many comments. We are members of a community that understand the joys and tribulations of finding a hidden uncle in the census or finally stumbling upon an obituary. It takes a community to grow a family tree.

My biggest take away from our discussion is that, for me, blogging and research are now one in the same. I have come to a point in my research where I have found most of the "hard copy" items on my ancestors: names, birth dates, death dates. By blogging I am pulling that information together and creating their story, rather than their facts. Thank you all for such a great discussion. Here's to many more years of blogging. And know that if you ever feel the urge to take a break or quit, there are so many reasons to keep plugging along!

Have I missed anything important to you? Please add it to the discussion!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - The best parents ever

This is a repost from last year, but since they are still the best parents I'm posting it again!

On Saturday my parents celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary. They were married in Kansas City, Missouri at the home of the parents of my dad's best friend, Joel. It was a small wedding and then they took a trip to Colorado for their honeymoon.

My parents got married during the time when bachelor parties were held the night before the wedding. My father, not one to ever shirk a good party, had a swinging bachelor party. Only problem was that somehow his glasses were broken amid the fun. (It will be long debated how this actually happened.) Luckily, my dad had a friend that wore a similar prescription and he borrowed those glasses for his wedding day. His glasses are crooked in all the wedding photos and I wonder how well he could see. No wonder that he had a headache with the wrong prescription glasses and a few beers too many!

My mother, knowing the bachelor party was the night before, refused to put her wedding dress on until she saw my dad pull up outside!

On a fun note, my husband and I also spent our honeymoon driving up Pike's Peak. Happy anniversary to the best parents ever!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Have you thought of quitting the blog scene?

Cheryl at my Heritage Happens wrote a great post last week about her thoughts on why she blogs. I was drawn to her post by the title "Serious Thoughts to Quit Blogging." The title grabbed my attention because I have been thinking the same thing.
I have recently thought of quitting my blog. All kinds of things are running through my head: Why do I blog? Why do I spend so much time crafting posts that very few people read? What keeps me coming back? Can't I spend my time better elsewhere?

I initially thought that it didn't make much sense to blog. No family members read my page and my kids are too young to read (even assuming they would care). The information I load helps no one but myself.

And then it hit me. Who cares? Who cares if I'm the only one that reads the blog? I have found myself utilizing my blog as a repository of information. In fact, when I need to remind myself of a story or how I'm related to an individual I check my blog first. And if the information only serves to help me, then it's serving its purpose!

Then I dug a little deeper. I've met some great blogging friends that are no relation and have nothing in common with me other than our love for the hobby. In fact, I've never met any of the in person. We comment on each other's posts and help with research suggestions. My blog helps them and they help me. That's a great reason to blog.

I don't know what my long term aspirations are for blogging or genealogy in general. I sometimes wonder if I could do this for a living, but I know how difficult it is and I haven't decided if I have the skills to move forward. But I do know that even if I'm the only soul that reads the blog that is good enough for me. It doesn't matter how often I post, because it is after all just a hobby page. The fact that blogging friends tune in is a great added bonus.

Thank you to all my loyal readers and blogging friends! Have you thought of quitting? What keeps you going?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for August 16, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
The legend of Oregon Trail
The 1909 road trip that proved women could drive 
First editions of famous magazines
Do you recognize this handsome gent in a bowler?
Boxers, Briefs of Loincloth? A brief history of men's underwear
DNA test prompts FBI to re-open 49-year-old kidnapping case
The British medic, the US Doughboy and the French post mistress: Tale of WW1 love and bravery
The lessons of the battle of Gettysburg
Do NOT steal this guy's mail
Letters from the front at Digging Up Roots
She saved napkins? At Who Knew?
The Family Recorder finds current newspapers can have genealogy gold, too
Family (non) secrets at The Family Shrubbery
Man finds historic papers in bathroom remodel
Throwback: 15 minutes of ColecoVision
Good thoughts on blog comments at MYOG Genealogy

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Surname Saturday - William Moulton Butler

William Moulton Butler is a 3rd great-grandparent on my paternal side. I have written about William many times...he is one of those ancestors that is fascinating because there are many "possibilities" and no clear answers.
He was born January 22, 1824 to Nathaniel and Rachel (Little) Butler in Watertown, New York. He was the first of six children.
The Butler family was originally from New Hampshire, then moved to New York. According to a biography on Altieri Butler's husband, Isaac Heustis, Nathaniel and Rachel Butler moved their family from New York to Chicago in 1837 where Nathaniel was in the hardware business. This was the same year that Chicago was incorporated as a city.
William M. Butler worked with his father for several years in both a clothier and a hardware business. By 1849 William had struck out on his own with a hardware and tin business. I can find him in the Chicago city directories fairly regularly through the 1840s and 1850s. In the 1860s and 1870s I find him sporadically listed or I can not confirm that it is actually him. His occupation is always merchant and he is found selling clothes, hardware, tin and tobacco.

William married Celia Temperance Bliss November 4, 1845 in a double wedding with her brother Seneca Bliss. The Chicago Democrat ran the following announcement:

At the residence of N. F. Butler, Esq., in this city, on last evening, by the Rev. F. Bascom, Mr. Wm. M. Butler and Miss Celia T. Bliss. Also, Mr. Seneca C. Bliss and Miss Betsy Lawson.
According to "The Descendants of George Little who came to Newbury, Massachusetts in 1640" by George Little, William had four children with Celia.
Sadly, only the two girls survived to adulthood. Celia Bliss Butler died in November 1865. And this is where the story gets hairy. On the 1870 census, William is listed without a wife and with five children. But remember, supposedly, only two of his children with Celia would have been alive in 1870. So who is the mother of the other three children?
William Butler's 1870 census from Chicago, Illinois.
Looking back again at the George Little family history, it appears that the mother of these children, and many more, is Elizabeth or Eliza Johnston.
You can see that three of these children would have been born when Celia was alive. If they are indeed Eliza's children, William was an adulterer and a big jerk. Of course, we'll never know for sure. I have never found a marriage record for William and Eliza, though they were clearly not married until sometime between 1870 and 1880 (she is listed as his wife on the 1880 census). Why does this matter? It doesn't really, except for my second great grandfather, William M. Butler II, is one of the three children in question.

William M. Butler, Sr., had some legal trouble with the children from his first marriage, which I have discussed in a previous entry. The long and the short is that he had to pay money to Willamena and Celia for misappropriating their inheritance. He was in the hardware business until the Great Fire in 1871. Soon thereafter William moved his family to Hobart, Indiana, just across the state line from Chicago.

William is listed as a farmer in 1880, but I have found no land records for him. I have no information on William between 1880 and his death. Even in death he is a conundrum. He has two headstones. The first is in the Hobart Cemetery in Hobart, Indiana.
Several of his children are also buried here. The second headstone is in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
Note that the two headstones list different dates of death: December 1, 1895 and December 1, 1909. Quite a spread there. However, based on his obituary he died in 1895. And based on records from Graceland I believe that he is actually buried in Hobart Cemetery.
His obituary reads as if he were a very stern man that only showed his softer side to a very few. I do know that his oldest son, William (my second great grandfather) was out of the home by 16. But that could be for any myriad of reasons. William Butler Sr.'s obituary also states that he was a spiritualist and the funeral speech was made by "the eloquent Cora L.V. Richmond, of Chicago, one of the most brilliant leaders of the Spiritualistic exponents in America." Still more to explore with William.
Due outs for William:
1. Research his role in the Spiritualist movement
2. Research the Unitarian church in Hobart
3. Try to find more information on William between 1880-1895; Start with local newspapers.
4. Try to determine where the family name Moulton comes from

Other posts about William M. Butler:

Brick wall - Who is your mama?
William Butler misappropriates inheritance
I was hoping for terrific-ness
Old Settlers of Chicago
Butler family breakthrough


Little, George Thomas. The Descendants of George Little who came to Newbury, Massachusetts in 1640. Rachel Little genealogy, pp. 171-172. Published by the author. Auburn, Maine. 1882.

Calumet Book and Engraving Co., Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois (with portraits). Isaac Heustis biography, pp. 474-475. Chicago, Ill. 1897.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for August 9, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
Minnie Spotted Wolf and the Marine Corps
Do we still need the telephone?
More died from flu than bullets at Pages from the Ancestry Binders
The BBC asks: Do you really need a camera on vacation?
USS Indianapolis sinking: 'You could see sharks circling'
Coloring book celebrates Advanced Style
Tips for visiting The Tenement Museum at Heritage Zen
California couple the epitome of love
You know you want to look at Awkward Family Photos
Downton Abbey fabric is coming our way
Resources for Chicago genealogy at
A great find: family heirlooms on eBay at My Maine Ancestry
A first family tree at Telling Their Tale
Save our Buttons: civil war button making factory needs help
Interesting finds in a WWI Service record at Kathryn's Quest

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday's Tune - He Stopped Loving Her Today

George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is the quintessential county and western song and by far one of my personal favorites. I'm not sure when I first heard the song, although it was probably while riding in an old Ford two-tone pickup with my grandpa. Soon after college I was really in to classic country music and my love for the song was reaffirmed.
The song was released April 14, 1980. According to his biographer, Bob Allen, George Jones didn't like the song when he heard it. His producer, Billy Sherrill, remembered Jones saying "nobody'll buy that morbid son of a bitch." Of course, Jones was wrong. In fact, he was awarded a Grammy for best male vocal performance and the Academy of County Music named the song single and song of the year for 1980.

Jones' later credited the song for reviving his career. A career which lasted nearly 60 years and only ended at his death earlier this year.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for August 2, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
Whatever happened to Agnes?
A great article about useful Civil War veteran records at Poore Boys in Gray
A random act of genealogical kindness to make you smile at Know Their Stories
U.S. veteran in North Korea to uphold a promise to fulfill a 63-year-old promise
New Google Maps app with cool new features
For my crafting friends: tips for perfect pressing
Breathtaking libraries from around the world
Beautiful architectural illustrations by Carlos Diniz
The one that got away at Before My Time
A southern homecoming at Celebrating Family Stories
Secret treasures in CIA museum
50 shades of summer: Summer across the 50 states
Has technology killed handwriting?
Nancy at My Ancestors and Me shares the story of the Civil War's hundred-days Men