Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games--FINAL TOTALS


I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. I want to thank those that organized the event. It has been a stellar learning tool for me.

I had no idea that there were numerous free genealogical tools online. I had not experimented with Google Maps and TimeToast will have me back again working on time lines for other ancestors. I had tried Wordle in the past without any success--this time it worked.

Who knew you could pre-publish blogs. When I think of how I would write the blog a couple of days ahead, then get up the morning it needed to be posted and have to cut and paste it into a "new post" so it would be dated correctly--no more of that! In fact this blog will be pre-published since I have to work on Friday.

Various challenges motivated me to dig back into my files and get to work on ideas and research that has been sitting around for years. Indexing the Pool marriages from the Monongalia County, WV Marriage Record has been in a hard file for over two years. It is now part of the WV Archives on GenWeb.


I did exceed my goals. I had not originally planned to participate in three challenges. When I saw some of the new Wordles appearing on other competitors blogs, I decided to give it another try and became obsessed by the Expand Your Knowledge challenge. It was not one I had listed as one of my events and ended up completing all the tasks.

On my final day all I can add to my total count is that I do back up all my files onto an external drive which gives me one in the Back Up Your Data category. Assuredly, that is an area where I need to do LOTS of work. Something for the future.

Here is the final count for Flipside in the Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games.


Final Medal Totals:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources--Platinum Medal
50 new sources cited

Back Up Your Data--Bronze Medal
1 Task completed
-Task C: Backup all your data using an external drive.....

Organize Your Research--Gold Medal
3 Tasks completed
-Task B: Organize at least 20 digital files into folders....
-Task D: Organize at least 20 digital photos into folders...
-Task E: Scan at least 20 photos or documents.....

Expand Your Knowledge--Platinum Medal
5 Tasks completed
-Task A: Use Google maps to locate an ancestor location
-Task B: Create a timeline related to one of your lines of research
-Task C: Create a memorial page
-Task D
: Visit tutorial and learning pages on Ancestry

-Task E: Create a surname visualization using Wordle


Write, Write, Write--Platinum Medal
6 Tasks completed
-Task A: Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it
-Task B: Participate in a genealogy blog carnival--Smile for the Camera 20th Edition, 90th COG and 7th Festival of Postcards.

-Task C: Prepare several drafts in draft mode and pre-publish them.
-Task D: Write a brief biographical sketch on one ancestor.
-Task E: Create a page on your blog listing surnames
-Task F: Participate in a 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy--Did Challenge #7.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness--Platinum Medal
5 Tasks completed
-Task A: Comment on a new (to you) blog.
-Task B: Post one or more gravestone photos on Find A Grave--posted 20
-Task D: Assist another researcher with a research request
-Task E: Participate in an indexing project

-Task G: Use the Follow feature and follow one or more blogs.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Treasure Chest Thursday--Baby Welcome Card

I decided to post this little Congratulations card for my cousin Kent as a thank you for all the wonderful photos he has shared with me on our mutual Stark family from Avalon, Pennsylvania. I think it will be a surprise for him.

The card was sent to my parents on the birth of my brother, Ken, on February 12, 1952. Readers might remember my blog on Ken's birthday a couple of weeks ago and the glorious colorized version of the black and white photo done by Terri Kallio at The Ties That Bind.

As mentioned above the card, Lorraine Wilma Miller, was my mother's first cousin on her father's side of the tree. Lorraine and Mom grew up in Avalon and were very close as children.

On July 29, 1947, Lorraine married Edgar Henry Kretzler and they had two children, Kent and Karen.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter 2010 GB Games--ORGANIZATION DAY


I am running out of time to devote to the Olympic challenges and have left the two that need the most work. Over the past several days, in between family responsibilities, I was able to spend time working on the Organize Your Research event.

I have been scanning photos and documents, making new folders and moving files and photos into them...all on my external hard drive. Frankly, I have done quite a bit of scanning work on most of my lines; however, I was able to find a sizeable hole in several of my Frederick files that needed work.

This will probably complete my work on the GB Winter Games unless I can find some free time Friday morning to work on one or two more tasks.

Today's medal totals:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources--50--Platinum Medal

Organize Your Research--3--Gold Medal
-Task B: Organize at least 20 digital files into folders....
-Task D: Organize at lesat 20 digital photos into folders...
-Task E: Scan at least 20 photos or documents.....

Expand Your Knowledge--5--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Use Google maps to locate an ancestor location
-Task B: Create a timeline related to one of your lines of research
-Task C: Create a memorial page
-Task D
: Visit tutorial and learning pages on Ancestry

-Task E: Create a surname visualization using Wordle


Write, Write, Write--6--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it
-Task B: Participate in a genealogy blog carnival--Smile for the Camera 20th Edition, 90th COG and 7th Festival of Postcards.

-Task C: Prepare several drafts in draft mode and pre-publish them.
-Task D: Write a brief biographical sketch on one ancestor.
-Task E: Create a page on your blog listing surnames
-Task F: Participate in a 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy--Did Challenge #7.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness--5--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Comment on a new (to you) blog.
-Task B: Post one or more gravestone photos on Find A Grave--posted 20
-Task D: Assist another researcher with a research request
-Task E: Participate in an indexing project

-Task G: Use the Follow feature and follow one or more blogs.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wordless Wednesday--Melrose in Bloom--Melrose, Scotland 2005



© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Bettie Levada VanGilder Pell

Bettie Levada VanGilder Pell is my paternal great-grand aunt. She was the daughter of John Oliphant VanGilder and Mary Louise Hill VanGilder. Bettie was born on July 26, 1868 in Monongalia County, West Virginia and died on February 05, 1959 in Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia.

She is buried beside her husband, Charles Pell, in the Beverly Hills Memorial Park, Morgantown, West Virginia.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser




Monday, February 22, 2010

No wonder I get confused!


We all can probably identify with this....you go to find a particular record on an ancestor and can't or you do and it doesn't match up with what you think it should say. For my paternal grand grandmother, Jessica Pool, her early documents are just plain WRONG!

Way back, at the beginning of my genealogical explorations, I was thumbing through William Marsh's multi-volume set of the 1880 West Virginia Census, checking on my many state surnames. It wasn't rocket science to locate Pool, which was spelled on the census report as Poll, but what really threw me was that their child Jesse was listed as a son.





Once I located the actual census record, there it was, a son named Jessie. Hummm, that is my paternal great grandmother, Jessica (Jessie) Pool. Now how could anyone make a mistake like that, I asked myself.
Recently, I noticed that the West Virginia Archives has added birth records for Monongalia County, West Virginia. Anxiously, I scrolled through the Pool/Poole names and there it was--Jesse Pool. Again, that back and forth shaking of the head as I saw that her birth record lists my great grandmother as a son.

Was it wishful thinking on the part of her father, Sampson Frum Pool....so desparately wanting a son? Or did the recorder of both the census and birth registry simply ask for the name and guess is was a boy.

So what do you do when you are told to source, source, source your work and the source is incorrect? Very, very strange.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

A somewhat shorter side bar for Flipside



Since I found out that we can add and link additional pages to our blog, I have been working to remove some of the information on my sidebar onto these pages. It has helped me to complete one of the GB Olympic tasks and is also cleaning up my blog.

For some time I have wanted to get the section listing all the Flipside blogs by alpha order moved somewhere else and still have it accessible to viewers. They are currently finding a new home; however, it is S-L-O-W going.


Hopefully having less information on the side bar will allow Flipside to load faster and there will be less for viewers to scroll through.

Fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

GB Winter 2010 Games--More medals


A recap of my first week of the Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games shows that I have competed in four of the six competition categories. I hope to complete those four by Monday and concentrate on the final two the remainder of the week. I have done nada on the Back Up Your Data and Organize Your Research--both of which need some serious work by Flipside.

I reinjured my left leg at work last night, so was home today with my leg up, thus giving me some valued time to work on the games. I was able to write and submit:

-Memorial Page for my
Aunt Barbara Ann McGoey Hughes on Facebook and Footnote
-Indexed the
Pool/Poole marriages in Monongalia County, West Virginia to the West Virginia USGenWeb Archives.
-Three posts in draft mode and pre-publish them for this week. I never knew you could do this!

Today's medal totals:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources--50 Platinum Medal

Expand Your Knowledge--5--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Use Google maps to locate an ancestor location
-Task B: Create a timeline related to one of your lines of research
-Task C: Create a memorial page
-Task D
: Visit tutorial and learning pages on Ancestry

-Task E: Create a surname visualization using Wordle


Write, Write, Write--6--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it
-Task B: Participate in a genealogy blog carnival--Smile for the Camera 20th Edition, 90th COG and 7th Festival of Postcards.

-Task C: Prepare several drafts in draft mode and pre-publish them.
-Task D: Write a brief biographical sketch on one ancestor.
-Task E: Create a page on your blog listing surnames
-Task F: Participate in a 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy--Did Challenge #7.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness--5--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Comment on a new (to you) blog.
-Task B: Post one or more gravestone photos on Find A Grave--posted 20
-Task D: Assist another researcher with a research request
-Task E: Participate in an indexing project

-Task G: Use the Follow feature and follow one or more blogs.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, February 20, 2010

TimeToast Timeline--Jessica Pool VanGilder


Work has taken me away from my Olympic quest at the end of this week; however, today found me working on Expand Your Knowledge Task B: Create a timeline related to one of your lines of research. I hope to blog about my paternal great grandmother Jessica Pool VanGilder for the upcoming COG and a timeline of her life is a GREAT beginning.

This was a BLAST to do! Who knew opportunities like this were FREE for genealogists. I will admit it did take me all morning to complete this task and it is almost 1:30 and I am still working on it.







Here is the site of The Timeline for Jessica Pool VanGilder. For easier reading, click on the "View as list" under the timeline.

As you can see, I have added numerous photographs, documents and newspaper articles.


My count has only risen by 1 in the past several days; however, this event is one of the best I have done to date. WAHOO


Today's medal totals:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources--50 Platinum Medal

Expand Your Knowledge--3--Gold Medal
-Task A: Use Google maps to locate an ancestor location
-Task B: Create a timeline related to one of your lines of research
-Task E: Create a surname visualization using Wordle


Write, Write, Write--5--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it
-Task B: Participate in a genealogy blog carnival--Smile for the Camera 20th Edition, 90th COG and 7th Festival of Postcards.

-Task D: Write a brief biographical sketch on one ancestor.
-Task E: Create a page on your blog listing surnames
-Task F: Participate in a 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy--Did Challenge #7.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness--4--Diamond Medal
-Task A: Comment on a new (to you) blog.
-Task B: Post one or more gravestone photos on Find A Grave--posted 20
-Task D: Assist another researcher with a research request
-Task G: Use the Follow feature and follow one or more blogs.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Hughes Antique Butter Mold


A dear family friend gave this antique wooden butter mold to my mother when we moved into the house on Bramble Lane in 1961. It moved to Ohio with my mother in 1982 and when she died in 1999, I kept it from her estate. I can remember that it was always was prominently displayed in her kitchen and brought back memories of her valued friendship.



The butter mold comes apart and is three pieces--the carved back and two cornered side sections. The side pieces of wood are held together by a metal hooks which fasten onto metal screws. There is a groove inside the side pieces which holds the back in place. Over the years the hinging mechanism has become much looser and it is occasionally difficult to get it all back together.


A a family history researcher, I could help but do a little poking into the Blanchard and Son's Company of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Quote from: Hall, Elton W., The Blanchard butter-worker, The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc., September 2003 issue.

"The intensity of the labor in farming and dairying is well-known to all who have ever concerned themselves with it. Little wonder then, that ingenious mechanics have perennially sought ways to reduce the labor with machines to lighten whatever parts of the work they could. One such entrepreneur was Porter Blanchard. According to Barbara S. VanVuren, co-author with her husband Robert E. Van Vuren of Butter Molds and Stamps, Porter Blanchard opened a small workshop in 1818 next to his home on Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire.

In 1867, his two sons, Charles P. and George A., joined Blanchard in the business. Since about 1870, they had been in the business of manufacturing churns, butter molds, scales, thermometers, and other tools used in dairying. Porter Blanchard died in 1871, and in 21 February 1882 the firm, which was by then known as Porter Blanchard's Sons, was issued a patent for a new butter-worker which they believed to be better than any other device then on the market."


Our ancestors certainly knew a thing or two about serving "the food". Much better than putting a stick of butter on a plate or setting out a plastic tub of margarine, don't ya think ;-) And, yes, I have, on occasion, pressed butter into this antique mold and then slid the cake of butter onto an antique serving plate for the holiday table. Talk about presentation!!

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter 2010 GB Games and 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge # 7

This is waaay cool. Wordsley, Staffordshire, England. This is the furthest back I have been able to trace my Hughes surname. Wordsley was and is a small village outside Birmingham, England located on a Stourbridge Canal.

I have decided to turn this into three events. The Google map for Expand your Knowledge and for the Write, Write, Write competition, a brief blog on the Hughes Family that lived in Wordsley, England and participating in 52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #7.



To date I have been able to trace my Hughes line back to William Hughes and Mary Green of Wordsley, Staffordshire, England. They are my paternal gggg grandparents. From the 1841 United Kingdom census, which a dear English friend sent me one year as a Christmas gift, William is listed as living on the Dock in Wordsley and is employed as a boatman.

In the late 18th century, canals were cut to open up landlocked areas of Britian, providing transportation for mined goods. The Stourbridge Canal opened up Wordsley as a port village along the long canal system.

My friend Heather put it best. "The boatman bit is interesting. That part of the country is criss crossed with canals which were a major way to transporting goods before the roads were improved. Exports from that part of the country would have included coal and pottery. In order to give the canal boats something to use as ballast on their return trip, sand was often used. Sand is the primary material used in glass and Wordsley has a large glassmaking industry."

There is a road near the canal marked "Dock Road", which may have been the area where, in 1841, William Hughes hung his hat after a day of walking a horse up and down the tow path along the canal.

More research and scanning documents and photos is definately on my "To Do List" of future blogs on this branch of my Hughes surname.

Today's medal totals:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources--50 Platinum Medal

Expand Your Knowledge--2--Silver Medal
-Task A: Use Google maps to locate an ancestor location
-Task E: Create a surname visualization using Wordle

Write, Write, Write--5--Platinum Medal
-Task A: Write a summary of what your blog is about and post it
-Task B: Participate in a genealogy blog carnival--Smile for the Camera 20th Edition, 90th COG and 7th Festival of Postcards.

-Task D: Write a brief biographical sketch on one ancestor.
-Task E: Create a page on your blog listing surnames
-Task F: Participate in a 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy--Did Challenge #7.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness--4--Diamond Medal
-Task A: Comment on a new (to you) blog.
-Task B: Post one or more gravestone photos on Find A Grave--posted 20
-Task D: Assist another researcher with a research request
-Task G: Use the Follow feature and follow one or more blogs.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Winter 2010 GB Games--Flipside's Day 2

Holy Cow....I did it!!! I tried to create a Wordle months and months ago....probably when I first saw it on another geneablogger's blog. It just wouldn't work. Just goes to show....if at first you don't succed try again, and again, and again.

I hadn't planned to compete in "Expand Your Knowledge" unless I had time, but when I saw a Wordle on someone's blog yesterday, I just couldn't help myself.

After work and a doctor's appointment, I came home to complete 27 more citations. Thank heavens for take out food.....dinner is served ;-)

Completed Today and Totals:

Go Back and Cite Your Sources--50 citations are now finished

Expand Your Knowledge--Task E


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tombstone Tuesday--Anna Margaret VanGilder

My paternal gggg grandmother Anna Margaret VanGilder. To date little work has been done on her ancestry. There is some confusion as to her maiden name. The pension file for her husband, Jacob VanGilder has her maiden name's first letter written over. It is either Gibler or Kibler. There is some evidence that there was a Frederick Gibler also living in the Morgantown, West Virginia area when the VanGilder removed from Maryland and he could be her brother.

Anna was born about 1754, Bingen on the Rhine, Germany and died at age of 95 on September 16, 1849 in Marion County, (West) Virginia.

Anna's tombstone is very weathered and almost unreadable. She shares a marker with her husband,
Jacob VanGilder. His information is on the back of this stone. They are buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Winfield District, Marion County, West Virginia in the old section. There are literally hundreds of VanGilder's and their descendants in the old and new Mt. Zion Cemetery. It is a walk through my history.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter 2010 GB Games--The First Day!


Already two days behind and late off the starting block....why does work always get in the way of fun and a social life? I am poised to surge ahead today primarily concentrating on the "Go Back and Cite Your Sources" event. I am ready to compete today. I have what's left from my Valentine's candy for an energy boost and a large mug (no cup and saucer) of English tea to sustain me. And I'm off and running........

This is an area of my genealogy that is in MUCH need of help. Actually, one of last year's hopes was to get source material onto my Family Tree Maker database. I came out of the gate at full speed and somehow lost the momentum midyear.


Can anyone else identify with this??!

Frankly, I have had to play alot of catch-up this year while writing Flipside. I get the blog outlined and written and then can't find the photos to go with, or find them and they are not scanned, or have scanned them and can't find them in my computer. If I am REALLY doing a bang-up job on the blog and decide to cite my sources, it takes me more time than writing the actual blog to get the source material all together.

So, here we go....

GO FLIPSIDE

B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E

be agressive....be aggressive

Tally of sources added to my Family Tree Maker database on Monday, February 15, 2010:

23

LESSON LEARNED: Slow going as each time I find a new reference to source, my mind wanders to research online to find out more information.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thank you Terri Kallio


I have been a follower of Terri over at The Ties That Bind for a year now. She is a master at colorization of black and white and restoration of damaged photographs. I have marveled at her workmanship over the year both on her own blog and in an article she wrote for Shades of the Departed entitled, "The Wanna-Be-Artist." Terri, you are no "wanna-be", you are the real deal!

Saturday I opened my blog comments and was surprised to see a little note from Terri to check out her latest blog. What a THRILL to see that she had honored me with a colorized version of the black and white photo I had posted of my brother and I taken back in 1952.

Terri, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games--Opening Ceremonies


I am very excited to be participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games right along with the athletes in Vancouver. Some of the challenges are items that I already do; however, they need a little fine tuning ;-) Others are projects that are on my "To Do" list, so they will now become "Must Do".


My Winter 2010 flag incorporates the three most prevalent countries in my family tree. The United States where I live and on my paternal grandmother's side has lived since the Jamestown colony. The flag of the United Kingdom represents my paternal grandfather and grandmother's roots. It was not until I participated in a Randy Seaver SNGF that I realized just how many German ancestors my tree holds, so the German flag has to be included, too. In the middle is the Hughes coat of arms--my surname.

I had to check my work schedule for the coming week to see how much "free" time I have to devote to the Winter Games. I would love to compete in all six events, but think that choosing only a couple would be more prudent; however, if the following week's work schedule is light, I just might add a few more!

Most definitely, I will compete in the Go Back and Cite Your Sources. Last year I began the process of updating my sources and it got lost in the shuffle. I AM one of those genealogists who opens up FTM and wonders, "Where in the world did I ever find that information!" Much of it is in my hard files, in loose notebooks scattered here and there and in the books I have purchased. The time has come to concentrate on this and hopefully I will be awarded a platinum medal.

Write, Write, Write is the next event I plan to enter. I have yet to write a summary of my blog or participate in a 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy. I think I can get to the diamond medal stage and maybe surprise myself with a platinum!

Reach Out and Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness is my third event. I am already a contributor to Find A Grave and also work on family trees for many of my friends--gratis. I should be able to earn a platinum medal on this one.

My stretch in the competition will be to tackle the Back Up Your Data and Organize Your Research events. I will be a late comer to those events depending on my work week. I hope to at least give it a go because these are two events that need some work in my genealogical house.

I have set my bar high and hope to come back with the platinum and diamond.

What fun!!! Let the games begin in GeneaBlogger Land.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Happy Valentine's Day


HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

FROM FLIPSIDE


Join me for a soda

Friday, February 12, 2010

7th Festival of Postcards--Light--George Henry Hughes


Time for the 7th Edition of The Festival of Postcards featuring a scene of Light. Scenes – lit by the moon, neon or - lights of all kinds – street lights, headlights, lamps etc. or the play of light or objects as light as a feather, something that light-ens your heart, lights your way or lights your fire! Thank you to Evelyn over at A Canadian Family for hosting this event.

This postcard is part of my family photo postcard collection. George Henry Hughes is my paternal grandfather. Now you might wonder why it has been posted for the festival when the topic is "light". This is REALLY stretching it....the postcard photo was overexposed and was very light! Sorry, it is the best I can do. I suppose I could also say that the young people were outside sitting in the sunLIGHT when the photo was taken.

I wish I knew more about where this photo postcard was taken. If it was a day camp or a weeklong one where the kids stayed overnight. I certainly was unaware that my great grandparents had the finances to send their son to summer camp. However, thinking upon it further, since my great grandfather was employed by Jones Laughlin Steel Company, perhaps the summer camp was company owned.


One of the neat findings is that my grandfather wrote a note on the back of the card to one of his grandmothers. My suspicion is that it was Granny Olesen, Wilhelmina Weiss Olesen, as she was a widow. If he was writing to his Hughes grandparents he would have addressed it to Grandma and Grandpa, as both were still alive. Apparently, the card was never sent and it is now one of my proud possessions.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Abe and My Brother, Ken


Today my brother Ken is......well, I probably shouldn't give that number out. He was born on February 12 at Camp Carson, Colorado where our Dad was stationed before he left for Korea. Okay, it was 1952, so you can figure out his age....lol

Following Mom's birthday on December 4, 1951, we left for Colorado to join Dad at Camp Carson. The day we drove to the train station in Pittsburgh, the snow was swirling; the drive was difficult. I can remember the train ride heading out west--my face pressed against the glass windows looking for cowboys.


Two months after we arrived, Ken was born in the base hospital. He nearly didn't make it. Dad went back to check on "our baby" soon after he was born and Ken wasn't breathing. Dad saved Ken's life on his birthday. Thank goodness Dad went back when he did and that he was a doctor.


Readers of Flipside know that Ken is a favorite traveling companion and always, yes always, indulges me in my genealogy and photography whims while on the road.....stop at a cemetery....no problem; walk around taking photos of store fronts.....a non issue; stopping in unusual places for a photo op....his pleasure.

We are a good duo.....I do the research and find the places to go and Ken puts it in motion and always adds to the excitement by pushing my idea even further. Ken's philosophy is to let the day unfold as it will. With that in mind, every excursion has one or more stops that become "special"....a bloggers dream!

We have enjoyed countless memories over the years and I look forward to many, many more.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO



© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Treasure Chest Thursday--Precious Little Dress

This precious little dress was made for me by my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark. Judging from the size of the dress, I would guesstimate it to be circa 1948-1949. It has stood the test of time (60 years--ouch) showing only a few little wear spots in the yellow dotted swiss material.


I have mentioned in other blogs that my grandmother, affectionally named Teek by me, was a seamstress beyond compare. As explained to me by my mother, in the old days Teek would order dresses from Joseph Horne's in Pittsburgh and they would be delivered by truck--does anyone remember when a department store delivered ;-)

Teek would then cut a pattern from the dress and send it back--very creative! This little dress is sewn TOTALLY by hand--no sewing machine was used. Her precise little stitches are clearly visible when holding the dress--the tiny lace, the seams, the thin finished edge of the puffed sleeve.



Teek's signature on all dresses was the hand creweled flowers on the lapel or elsewhere on the piece. My mother, as she became older, hated those touches. It was fine when she was in elementary school; however, not appreciated when she was in high school. In fact, one of my mother's greatest delights was when she was able to go to a department store and purchase a "store bought" dress for the first time since her mom made all of her clothes.

Teek made all of my dresses, jumpers and skirts when I was in elementary school. They always had e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y long hems to be let out as I grew taller. As mentioned in last week's blog, she would also make a matching dress for my Ginny doll.

She made some of my clothes throughout my junior and senior high days. A vivid memory for me was in 1964, the beginning of my senior year in high school, coming home one day and taking scissors to several of those skirts. Someone had made fun of the length of the skirt I had worn, saying it was way too long. As a student planning to major in home ec in college, shortening a skirt was child's play! I never heard that comment again...lol


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Wilhelmine Catherine Schwarz Stark


Wilhelmine Catherine Schwarz Stark (Wilma) is my maternal great grandmother. There is no known knowledge of her parents names....just stories that have been passed down through the generations. It is said that she came from Alsace-Lorraine to marry Charles Stark.


Recently a cousin sent me some old photos of Wilma as a young girl, perhaps before she married, and she was already living in the Pittsburgh area--Lawrenceville. Again, relying on old stories, there supposedly were other family living in that area; however, I have not been able to trace who they were.

Her background continues to be somewhat shrouded in mystery (which is fun!) and I have only the records from about 1880 forward to depend on for any picture of her life.

She married Charles Stark on February 6, 1878 in St. Louis Missouri. Why they traveled out of Pittsburgh to marry is anyone guess. Again, another mystery....the minister was one Charles Stark!


Wilma died on March 27, 1940 in Avalon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from broncho-pneumonia at the age of 88 years 7 months and 2 days.. She is buried beside her daughter, Dorothy Marie Stark Cooper, in Uniondale Cemetery, Section B 22-26, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My mother told me that her father and his brother never spoke after their mother's death. It was my Grandfather Stark who decided his mother would be buried in Uniondale and his brother felt that their mother deserved a "better" resting place--whatever that means ;-)

Photograph of tombstone: Jeffrey Charles Hughes

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Monday, February 8, 2010

Smile for the Camera 20th Edition--Valentine





Thank you to Shades of the Departed for hosting the 20th editon of Smile For The Camera. The word prompt for the 20th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "Valentine." Love is in the air, so celebrate with Smile by sharing a photograph of a Valentine; be that person or paper. The interpretation of Valentine is yours.




My parents, George VanGilder Hughes and Martha Jean Stark, attended school together from kindergarten through high school. It was a small school in a medium sized town outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--Avalon.

From old high school newspapers that Mom saved (she was the editor) it appears that Mom and Dad did not attend their senior prom together. Perhaps their attraction bloomed after Dad had already invited another senior and he was already committed. They did date during the summer between graduation and college and then left for separate institutions--Dad to Washington & Jefferson in Washington, Pennsylvania and Mom to Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio.

They dated throughout their college years and married on November 23, 1943. Below is their engagement photograph.


I do believe I get my "pack rat" gene from my Mom. She saved many items--cards, letters, memorabilia. Her college items are carefully contained in a scrapbook. The Valentine's Day card and flowers were sent from my Dad to her at Wooster College on February 14, 1940, which would have been her freshman year.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, February 4, 2010

90th Carnival of Genealogy--Third Annual iGene Awards


And now it's time for the Call for Submissions! The topic for the next edition (#90!) of the COG will be: The Third Annual iGene Awards, The Best of The Best! It's Academy awards time... time for the Academy of Genealogy and Family History, aka AGFH, to honor their best blog posts of 2009 in the following 5 categories:

•Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2009. Tell us which you liked best and why.
•Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2009 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?
•Best Documentary - Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history in 2009?
•Best Biography - Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2009?
•Best Comedy - Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2009?


Thank you to
Creative Gene for again sponsoring this carnival.

Welcome to the third annual iGene Awards. Ah yes, genealogists are an obsessive bunch. Since I am one of them, I can certainly understand these recently overheard comments from a local genealogical gathering; "Not tonight dear, I just found that they have listed the local turn of the century newspapers from Columbiana County Ohio on ancestry," or from the newbies, "Ok so I don't descend from anyone--now what?"

Always found on any geneabloggers wish list is, "I want relatives who religiously wrote in the family Bible, journalising every little event and detailing the familial relationship of every visitor" and "I want ancestors who were wealthy enough to afford, and to keep for generations, the family homestead, and who left all the aforementioned pictures and diaries and journals intact in the library". However, uppermost in all genealogists minds is I want ancestors I can FIND!

During my first year as a geneablogger I have met and made some solid new genealogy friends who have given me warm and yet constructive comments. Many are here tonight walking their own red carpets. Oh, I have seen Carol from Reflections From the Fence and there's Hummer from Branching Out Through the Years; Lori from Genealogy and Me and Greta from Greta's Bog to mention just a few. I know they will be among those stepping up to the microphone to announce their blogs personal picks.


This is my maiden geneablogging year and the time has come to reflect and pick the best of 2009 from Flipside. The envelopes please.

•Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2009.

There were so many contenders for this award; however, the winner is my paternal grand aunt, Mary Louise VanGilder showing a little skin on her tiger skin rug, who topped the list at Carnival of Genealogy 74th Edition Swimsuits.


•Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2009 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?

After searching through the entries to find the appropriate blog that could become a screen play the Gene goes to My Dad's Homecoming From Korea a SNGF entry that has the promise of pulling at the heart strings.

The Cast for A Soldier's Homecoming

Dad: Matt Damon
Mom: Kate Winslet
Linda at age 6: Lucy Merriman
Ken at age 1: Twin boys from central casting
Dr. Arthur: Ben Affleck
Pop Pop: John Travolta
Grams: Geena Davis
Teek: Jane Fonda
Soldiers on base: Extras from central casting

•Best Documentary - Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history in 2009?

The Morgantown West Virginia roots win again! Best Doc goes to Sampson Frum Pool at Carnival of Genealogy 73rd Edition--The Good Earth.

•Best Biography - Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2009?

The winner and one of my favorite subjects to write about....hands down, my paternal great grandmother, West Virginian, Jessica Pool VanGilder and her biography featured at The 67th Carnival of Genealogy: Nobody's Fool.

•Best Comedy - Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2009?

After several ballots the top vote getter, not genealogy related at all, is The Bay Leaf Fiasco a Wordless Wednesday blog which beat out several other worthy opponents.


Thanks go out to all the compelling prompts supplied this year by COG, SNGF, Smile for the Camera, Festival of Postcards and Graveyard Rabbits as well as the weekly memes. We thank the ballot tabulators of Flip & Side for counting and organizing the Third Annual iGene Awards for 2009. Congratulations to the winners and we look forward to the 2010 contenders next year. BLOG ON

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Treasure Chest Thursday--My Jill Doll


Ah, my old Jill doll. As a young girl, I did not have all that many dolls probably because the doll buyer (my Mom) was not a doll fancier. She loved stuffed animals. I had so many plush critters covering my bed that it was difficult to get into it at night.



I can remember three dolls....Betsy Wetsy, Ginny and this Jill doll. Girls from the 1950's will remember Betsy....feed it a bottle filled with water and it would wet the diaper and cry "real" tears! There was also another version by a different company--Tiny Tears.





Ginny was my favorite. I have none from my childhood, but have collected the old, hard plastic ones as an adult. Truth be told, I became somewhat obsessed with doll collecting as an adult. Perhaps that is another blog. I don't know if I was trying to make up for not having dolls as a child....or what....now I currently have hundreds of them in antique display cases around the house.

My Jill doll shows some wear. As a child, I was not too "easy" with my toys or dolls. They were played with, taken into the bathtub and I usually gave them a haircut or two ;-) Enough to make any collector cringe.

The necklace is original to the doll. I'm not certain if it was actually purchased with an outfit or if I custom made it from a broken piece of jewelry I already owned.

When I found Jill among boxes of my saved memorabilia, she was wearing a little dress that was handmade by my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark aka Teek. Back in the day, Teek made most of my dresses and she would always make a smaller version for Ginny or Jill. Come to think of it, I need to get a photo of that little dress!


For this photograph Jill is appropriately attired in a late 1950's ensemble with strappy gold heels.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser