Day after first snow of Winter 2014-15, Nov 1 - from Black Mountain Golf Course.

Friday, November 28, 2014

All dressed up for the parade

My mom liked to dress up...she was 9 for this queenly looking costume...

I'm sharing this for Nov 29 Sepia Saturday
which shows a float and some girls dressed as swans, as well as a Swan Maiden on the float.
Details are:
As a general rule, if you take a daft photograph and then let it soak up eighty years of history it will become even dafter. This is certainly true of this 1930 photograph of the Swan Maiden's Carriage at the Grace Brothers Ball in Sydney, Australia. Grace Brothers were - believe it or not - a famous Department Store, and the strange scene depicted in this photograph (which comes to us by way of the Flickr stream of the Powerhouse Museum) is as strange as anything you might have seen in an episode of "Are You Being Served?". Possible themes for Sepia Saturday 256 include festivals, floats, feathers and fair maidens.
Come over the the Sepia Saturday site and look at other submissions to this theme..

Here my mother dresses up again, pretending to be a bit older than her 12 years.

And when she was a bit older, she was involved with this company of the ROTC...but I don't believe she was depicted here.  However, that's the recently built Thomas Jefferson Highschool of San Antonio, Texas from 1934.  I've posted more pictures of the ROTC companies as well as my mother's various uniforms before HERE.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sunny where?

Like half the other people in our mobile-minded country, I'm traveling for the holiday to see family.
But the place I am going is having rain.  Not fun.  I was hoping for sunshine.
So that means more time indoors, eating.  Or not, if I tie my hands behind my back perhaps.

I am not a shopper, so don't expect to see me in any malls or stores.  Ah, that's a relief.  And I'm glad that you're glad. 

For Christmas gifts...think either pottery (I know, you are a bit tired of it by now if you're my relative) or gift certificates if you're one of those young people that I know doesn't want pottery!

But try to find local businesses to support whatever you are gifting!  A dollar spent in your own community goes around and around keeping our neighbors happy and fed and clothed and housed...well, you know.

So as everyone prepares for the feast of Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy being with friends and relations.  Click on the link below...but come back here if you want to comment!

Norman Rockwell

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The ancestors calling...

I've spent much of this rainy day cleaning things around the house. (Sunday the 23rd Nov.)  Kitty litter (my un-faorite-est) then the 2 aquariums...which is such fun and now my fingers are all wrinkly.  But the chartreuse water is gone and now I have counted the guppies (20 teens, 10 adults) and kept them separated.  The big tank still has my 7 year old angel and some younger but ferocious big fish...oh that's not what I want to write you about.

Today with rain outside, I've happily searched on Ancestry.  Went climbing the tree to my great grandmother's side, the Williams.  She was a relative that my mother probably never knew, because her father had died so young.  The Williams came from Missouri to Texas, and from Kentucky to Missouri.

So I've got all these hints on the Williams tree, all these brothers and sisters about whom I know nothing.

I usually ignore them, but today took the time to look at an interesting name, "Liberty Williams" who was one of the elder brothers to William T. Williams, my great grandmom's dad.  Great times 3 Uncle Liberty.  Liberty and William T were born in Pulaski County, Kentucky.

And their parents were born in the same area as well, both Richard Frederick Williams and his wife Nancy Hansford Williams.  Richard Frederick Williams was born in 1792 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky,

Richard's father, Frederick Williams probably came from South Carolina, while his mother Cassandra Elizabeth, "Cassiah" Tate Williams came from North Carolina.  They were the pioneers who moved to Kentucky by 1792 when Richard was born.  Their first child had been born in South Carolina in 1787.

And the Frederick and Cassiah Williams family may have moved to Kentucky for a while, but they died in Tennessee, while Richard F. as well as Liberty Williams (and other Williams) moved to Missouri.  And then sometime between the time William T. was 38 and 56 (by 1863) he moved from Missouri to Texas, leaving Liberty in Missouri with all his family!

Farmers all.  They had such a job ahead of them when moving to new territory.

It wasn't just go look at the land, put up a cabin, and sew some seeds right away.  Clear timber.  Find fresh water nearby.  Plow the land.  Bring along some livestock as well, and maybe take a few trips back to sources of seeds, nails, the rest of needed livestock, and hope that everyone stays healthy while each of the people help build whatever buildings were first needed.  Put in a garden, or at least go pick those berries and nuts.  And while waiting for any kind of food to grow, what do you eat?  Not barely enough berries!  (Couldn't resist the pun).  The hunters were out getting deer, squirrel, rabbits, birds and whatever could be shot for food.  Mum would have been taking these carcases and skinning them, or plucking, and cooking over a campfire.

What do you think, campfires were not much different than cooking in a fireplace.  Hauling some iron pots and pans were very important in order to make meals.  Someone was bringing water from a creek or river...every night!  And someone was chopping some logs while the littlest someones just picked up sticks for kindling.

Yes a life that was out in nature.  Sounds idyllic, right?  Not when you think of snakes, cold, rain and many bugs and even heat at other times.

It must have made these very hardy folks, cause William T. lived to be 72.  And his wife, Dorcas White Williams, mother of 6, lived to 74 years of age.

I'm so glad I was born when I was.  I get the benefit of medical care and social security rather than an adult child who will care for me in my old age.  AND I get the internet.  I don't know how many of the people in the 1800's could read and write, and certainly it was far fewer in the 1700s.  Those folks were too busy killing their food and cooking it, or growing it and eating and sleeping to bother to write anything, let alone teach the kids how.  Schools were obviously a real boon when towns were formed.  But that's another topic for another day.

Monday, November 24, 2014

While reading my blog list

I'm so glad to have beautiful music to listen to while reading blogs, and eating breakfast.  You all out there in blogland don't care if I'm sitting here in my jammies.  And yet, there's the missing element which a shared breakfast used to have.  Pass the funnies.  My turn for "this section" of the paper.  We always waited to read "Parade"...I wonder if the Sunday paper still has it.

I haven't purchased a newspaper in probably 20 years.  But I do look at various news sites on line.  Not as often as I first did.  I hope they survive as on line sites, because that's where local news is archived.  What would genealogists do without the local listings of obituaries and weddings?  Do they still list the newborns also?

I'm pretty much addicted to these luminous screens for information these days.  I still like the funnies and go to Comics to read my favorites.  Sundays are special still.   I stopped reading Yahoo's news page long ago.  But I don't get much of the international news unless I stop by BBC or CNN.  How do you get your news?  Is it broken up by commercial messages on the big 4 networks on a TV?  Or do you select which things to read on your computer?

Thanks for being part of my life...and you didn't even know it.

How do you read your blogs?

Oh, my music is either streaming through iTunes (free internet choice of several thousand broadcasts with NO commercial messages besides support for NPR kinds of yearly things) or right now listening to "Elder Music on Time Goes By" which is published Sunday mornings with humor by Peter Tibbles from Australia.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where have they gone?

Monarch Caterpillar, for next springtime!  We know what to look for when he's gone.
Labyrinth in clay after Chartres Cathedral design - finger meditation
I was looking for a blogger that I used to enjoy.  How sad to find the blog has been removed.  No way of knowing what happened to her.  Where have all the flowers gone? (As Pete Seger used to sing.)

Recently Jimmy Carter celebrated his 90th, and still helps build homes with Habitat for Humanity.

I have a blog to be posted in the event of my untimely death.  It just says, "In the event I'm not here anymore."  So I can let people know (if my survivors happen to find it, or if the date it is scheduled to be posted actually comes along and I haven't removed it myself!)

Death for people in their 70s should no longer be a scarey word, or a life event that gives fear to any of us.  We need to shake hands with that old Grim Reaper guy, though his is obviously pretty bony...and just walk along for however long we have on this earth.  Just one day after another is all anyone has to live...and hope that we can live each of them to the fullest.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Paper cutting or...

Scherenschnitte (which means "scissor cuts" in German,) is the art of paper cutting design. The art work often has symmetry within the design, and common forms include silhouettes, valentines, and love letters. The art tradition was founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century, and was brought to Colonial America in the 18th century by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania. (Source: Wikipedia)
A shop window in Asheville, NC last Christmas-time
I think it was closed the day I caught these pictures.
My silhouette, cut in the 1970s I think

I know my parents had a pair cut of themselves when young, but I don't know where they went.  I wonder if my ex-husband has the one we had made of him still.  

It's pretty amazing to be able to cut a profile of someone who's sitting right there waiting to see what it looks I think that the paper cutters of the world are portrait painters extraordinaire.

Check Sepia Saturday for more interesting connections to this photo. Look at the names at the bottom of the page for other blog posts.   Link HERE.

On correct spelling

This article on reading penmanship is long overdue, and I was happy to see it on my newsletter from the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society.


Deciphering Old Documents

by Dee Gibson-Roles

One of the most difficult tasks for a genealogist is that of reading and deciphering handwriting in old documents. Besides the fact that some handwriting is almost impossible to read, there were letters and letter forms used in “the olden days” that are no longer commonly used, if used at all.

Coupled with that problem is the lack of standardized spelling until close to the 20th century. We will address all of these problems here and provide some tips on deciphering old documents.

One letter or term that is often seen in old handwriting and continues today is the word or term “ye” as in “Ye Olde Tavern.” Quite often today this “ye” is used when an ambiance of colonial times is desired. Most pronounce the word as “yee.”

But this pronunciation is totally in error. It seems hard to fathom that the correct pronunciation is simple “the” — just as the word “the” is pronounced. Of course the first question is, “How on earth did they get ‘the’ out of ‘ye’?!?” Perhaps a bit of the history of the term will explain.

The letter form that became the “Y” was called a “thorn” and was probably derived from a rune, part of a runic alphabet used by Northern European or Germanic peoples until about the 1200s. It represented what is now our “th.” But when the printing press came into use, there was no sign or letter for the thorn, which resembles a lower-case “p” with the loop moved down to the middle of the vertical line.

The letter closest in appearance to the thorn was the “y,” which was often substituted for the thorn in printed material. Thus the “y” when used in this context was pronounced “th,” and when the letter e was added to it, the word became “the” in pronunciation.

Few people today even realize that the word is actually pronounced “the.”

Another letter form that can be confusing to a researcher, especially a new one, it that of the double “s.” Almost anywhere in a document that a word with a double “s” (as in Tennessee) occurred, the two letters were replaced with a symbol or letter that was very similar in appearance to a lower case “f” or “p.” It is very important to remember this when reading or transcribing any old handwriting.

Obviously some indexers are not aware of this, as we sometimes see the word “Tennepee” or “Tennefee” in transcriptions of old handwriting used in place of what is obviously supposed to be “Tennessee.”

Capitals and Spelling Confusion

Sometimes it is very hard to distinguish between two or more letters at the start of a word. Good examples of this are the letters “I” and “L” or “J” and “I.” Also, it can be difficult to distinguish an upper case “S” from an upper case “L,” especially in given names or even surnames.

By comparing the unknown letter to a known word in which the letter is definitely the same as the one in question, one can usually ascertain which letter is correct.

A good example of this is confusion between the names Samuel and Lemuel. Often it is hard to determine which one is the correct, one as many writers formed the capital “S” and “L” nearly alike. The best way to resolve the question is to search for another known word in the document that begins with the same letter and compare the known first letter to the one in question.

For many researchers, the first attempts at reading on old document result in much frustration. There are several reasons for the difficulty. Two of the most obvious are the spelling of words and the embellishment of many letters with flourishes and so on.

First and foremost, there was no standard spelling until the late 19th century or early 20th century. We often hear the statement that a certain word or name was misspelled in a document. However, we cannot say that the spelling of any word or name was incorrect at that time because of the lack of standardization.

In fact, it has been said that the more ways a person could find (or invent) to spell his name or another word was an indication of his educational level and/or his intelligence. Doubtless this is an exaggeration, but it does bear a grain of truth.

Another spelling problem is that many words were spelled phonetically, as the writer heard them, and not necessarily the way we would expect to see them. For example, in one letter written by a Confederate soldier to his family, he stated that a friend had died of “new money” fever. He was referring to pneumonia or “pneumonie fever” as it was called.

Punctuation and capitalization of words is another problem. Punctuation was, at best, a “sometime thing” and again, there was no standardization where capitalization of the first letter of a word was concerned. One can expect to see several words within a sentence with the first letter capitalized even in formal documents. (Common nouns especially were often capitalized, as they still are in modern German.)

As far as the lack of punctuation is concerned, it is best to read a whole paragraph and determine where the punctuation should be placed to make the sentences “make sense.”

Transcribing Errors

We would be remiss if we did not mention transcription at this point. In transcribing any document, the contents must be recorded exactly as they are in the original documents, spelling problems and lack of punctuation included. In fact, the word “transcription” as applied to older documents indicates that it has been recorded word for word exactly as written in the original document.

If necessary, one can add footnotes or endnotes to the transcription explaining or clarifying any part that is still difficult to understand.

On a lighter note, one researcher was recently transcribing County Court minutes from the 1790s, recording the transcription as a Word document. Repeatedly, the program kept trying to correct the spelling and repeatedly, the transcriber reversed the correction to be exactly what was in the minutes. Finally the program gave up and notified the transcriber that it was turning off the spell-check function!

When attempting to read an old document in which words or passages are difficult to decipher, it is a good idea to record the entire document on paper, or least the paragraph that contains the difficult part or parts, leaving a blank space for any word that is illegible. After reading and recording the entire passage, one can often determine the mystery word by seeing its place in the context of the entire document.

Another “trick” is to try to locate the “mystery” letter or letters in another word or words that are legible and known. By comparing the two, it is often easier to determine what the mystery word actually is.

Reading old documents can be challenging, frustrating and discouraging to a beginner. Rest assured that it will be easier as time passes and more documents are read. And remember, help is available from local genealogical and historical societies in most areas.

Also check out what Ronni Bennett said last Wed over HERE at Time Goes By Blog.