Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October: Sandy, Snowtober, and Cousin Time

October 2011 - Days before Halloween
Note to self: Do NOT plan any travel for the last weekend in October.

In 2011, hubby and I were about to leave for a long weekend with family when the weather report gave us second thoughts about going north.

We stayed home instead, which meant we experienced the joy of 8 inches of heavy, wet snow that brought down a tree limb on our deck (left) and a limb across our driveway.

Luckily, we got the driveway cleared before the electricity went out and stayed out for 3 days. Sigh.

October 2012 - Cousin time

This year, we planned a museum weekend with my sis and the family of my wonderful second cousin Lois, who found me through this blog exactly two years ago this month.

Here we are, enjoying a bit of cousin fun --->  --->  --->

BUT with Hurricane Sandy headed our way, we had to cut the trip short. Luckily, my sis (who lives in a different state) was able to drive us to a train station where we took the l-o-n-g way back to our car. We immediately stocked up on food and batteries.

October 2012 - After Sandy

Hunkered down at home as Sandy lashed the area, we feared the worst but were pleasantly surprised not to lose power. More than 95% of my town is in the dark, but my street has electricity. Of course, as you can see above, a couple of trees crashed down in my yard, but nobody was hurt and nothing was damaged. A treat instead of a trick!**

** As of November 3, 28% of my town remains without power and all homes and businesses should have lights by Monday, thank goodness. Arborists working on a neighbor's downed trees came over and mulched our downed trees and removed the limb that was weighing down my electric lines. Supermarkets have restocked and the diner is doing a land-office business! Welcome to the new normal.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Surname Saturday: Facebooking Benjamin McClure and fam

This is the week I finally tried using Facebook for genealogy. After establishing a Benjamin McClure account and logging in as him, I proceeded to the bottom of the Facebook timeline page, where I clicked "Create a page" and created a public page that I called "McClure Family Tree - from John McClure to Brice Larimer McClure."

Why? Because in my searches of Facebook, I found about a dozen other McClure family pages, some for reunions and some for family communications...but none, so far as I can tell, connected with the McClure branch I'm researching. So I want anybody who lands on my McClure page to instantly see which line of the family this page is for.

In PowerPoint, I created a sketchy pedigree chart showing Benjamin* (his box is at top right, outlined in red) and his wife and their son, who married Margaret Jane Larimer and, finally, their son, Brice Larimer McClure. That's hubby's grandpa. I exported this pedigree as a .jpg and then posted it as the cover photo for the McClure Family Tree public page. (Trust me, it looks better on FB than it does in this screen shot I took.)

Every couple of days, I'll be posting on both pages, excerpting from Benjamin's obit and listing facts and relatives in the hope that someone else researching this family will connect with me.
2022 update: I've had contacts with a few McClure distant cousins via this FB page! Great cousin bait.

*I could have included Benjamin's dad, John McClure and his mom, Ann McFall McClure, but space is a bit tight, as you can see.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tech Tuesday: Experimenting with Facebook for Genealogy

Can Facebook help me research the Benjamin McClure family?

I've been tracing the McClure family tree, and I know that Benjamin is hubby's g-g-grandpa on his father's side. Earlier this year, I finally located this ancestor's obituary (complete with woodcut portrait, above).

Erin, the program chair and a recent speaker at my local genealogy club, suggested creating a "public figure" page on Facebook to try to attract other researchers and distant relatives who are interested in a certain family or ancestor.

I'm trying a variation of that idea. I created a FB account as Benji, uploaded this woodcut as his profile photo, and have been posting a little about his life to fill out his Facebook page. I've also friended him from my real FB account and explained to my fam and friends that Benji's account is an experiment.

His account is Benjamin.McClure.35 (so if you search for him, you'll probably have to use this "name" because there are too many guys of this name on FB).*

Since Benji's birthday is April 30, 1812, I couldn't enter that info into FB. Instead, I gave him a bday that's exactly one century later. I showed his "location" as Wabash, Indiana, where he lived for most of his life. His profession is "genealogy researcher." LOL! (In reality, he was a farmer.) ** 2022 update: Benji's description now explains that he's the ancestor-in-law of, well, me! Just wanted to clarifyl

* For earlier followup, please see my post here

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two Servings of Heritage Pie (with Surnames!)

Thanks to Randy Seaver, Sheri Fenley, and Diane Haddad), I've been thinking about creating genealogical heritage pie charts for hubby and me. Alas, I don't have enough info to go back to all of our great-great-grandparents, so I had to adapt the idea...for now.

At left is Wally's heritage pie for his great-grandparents. He's 25% UK (2022 update: the Slatter line is England but now I know the Shehen was originally from Ireland).

The rest of his great-grands (Wood, Larimer, Demarest, Steiner, McClure, Rinehart) were from the US. The one Ohio great-grand might actually be from Pennsylvania, but we're not sure yet.

The second heritage pie, below, is for Sis and me, showing our grandparents' origins.

We're 50% Hungarian (both maternal grandparents were from Hungary), 25% Lithuanian, and 25% Latvian.

I do know the names of my great-grands on the Farkas and Schwartz trees, and can be sure (as of 2022) that they were from Hungary, as well.

The Latvian great-grands (Birk) are mostly a mystery, and I know nothing at all about the Lithuanian (Mahler) great-grands (if that's where they were from). At least I now, in 2022, have names to research.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Alex Farkas and the Farkas Family Tree

Thanks to my wonderful cuz Betty, who's spent about 25+ years researching our Farkas ancestry, the family tree is full of leaves. And it's full of stories that Betty has collected from family members over the years and written down for the benefit of future generations.

There are just a few missing dates, including the exact day when my great-uncle Alex died. Alex (real name: Sandor) was the oldest of 11 offspring of Moritz Farkas and Leni Kuntsler. My grandma Hermina Farkas Schwartz was the second-oldest in the family (the oldest girl).

Today I was noodling around on Ancestry and decided to look for his obit. Sure enough, I found it in a newspaper in mid-January, 1948. And because the Farkas Family Tree placed the notice, I can be 100% sure that this is the correct Alex Farkas.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Three Wood Brothers

Three of the four Wood brothers are in this photo: Edgar James (the oldest), Wallis W. (next-oldest), and John A. (third of four).

My guesstimate of the year is between 1911 and 1913.