Archive for February, 2010

The Big Green Tractor… Music Monday

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 8, 2009

I grew up around tractors. Lots of them. Big ones. Little ones.  ‘Tricycle’ front end ones like my dad used to cultivate the cattle feed and squatty little red and green tractors with big wide fenders perfect for children to ride along with their parents.

I don’t remember my first tractor ride…

I don’t remember my first tractor ride. I was much too young for that to ‘stick’ in my memory.

I do remember countless hours riding on the fender, hanging on, then getting off when mom or dad stopped (yes, they had his and hers tractors) and running in the furrow behind the plow, my bare feet pounding the sun-warmed damp earth.

I watched out for fishing worms (and picked them up if there was any chance we might go fishing soon).  Little baby bunny rabbits ran to get away from the tractors (and me).

Back then,  the long, muley-eared jackrabbits were a common sight in Sumner County, Kansas.   Now, jackrabbits are pretty rare.  I’ve not seen one in a good, long, time, but I have it on good authority that they are still around.

Nowadays children would be taken to a baby sitter…

Nowadays children would be taken to a baby sitter while mom and dad worked, but mom was a ‘work at home’ (or in the field) mom, and I went along. Mom and Dad’s day began at 5:00 a.m. when Mom and our collie dog Lassie brought the dairy cattle in to be milked.

After they milked, dad took the truck with silage in it out to the pasture and the feed bunks to feed the cattle while mom came in and got ready to feed the people in our home, which in the time period I’ve got in mind included Dad, myself, and my brother, Gary.

After breakfast, if it was spring, summer, or fall, Dad and most often Mom would head to the field on a tractor.   Not the fancy ones like they have now with air conditioning and GPS, just plain red, then later yellow, and much later the green John Deere’s made their way onto our farm.

I always felt sorry for city kids…

Those were good days, and good memories.  I know some city kids would feel sorry for me, no swimming pool around the corner, and no park to go swinging in.

But I always felt sorry for city kids (like my own kids later on) who didn’t get to ride on tractors and combines each summer, who had to play in a postage-stamp-sized back yard instead of a quarter section with pasture and creeks full of pollywogs and crawdad, and who never got to watch baby chicks scurry around after the mama hen, and baby calves grow from awkward to adult.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – The Super Bowl of Genealogy

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 6, 2010

Woo Hoo!  The Super Bowl of Genealogy, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings says! That gives me license to Dream Big!

It’s Saturday Night – time for some Genealogy Fun!! It’s also Super Bowl Eve…

Many American residents are focused on Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIV to decide the championship of the National Football League. After 20 weeks of play, the Indianapolis Colts (16-2) are favored by 5 points over the New Orleans Saints (15-3) in the game to be played in Miami, Florida in an outdoor stadium on real grass, starting at 3:30 p.m. (PST). The pre-game hype, er, programs, starts on Sunday morning on CBS.

So, your mission, if you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible theme), is to:

1) Tell us about your dream game of the Super Bowl of Genealogy?

* Where would it be played?
* What teams would play?
* Who would be the head coaches?
* Who would be the stars of the game?
* Who would win?
* Who are the cheerleaders?
* If you were playing in the game, what would be your dream play?

2) Who do you think will win the NFL Super Bowl Colts-Saints game on Sunday? Your score prediction, please!

3) Post your thoughts on your own blog, on a Facebook comment or Note, or as a comment on this blog post.

1. My Dream Bowl Game of  Genealogy!

Since this is a dream game, I can make up my own rules, and have my own players, right?

So here we go…

I hate to name players, teams, and coaches by name  in this, my Genealogy Bowl Game, because I might leave out someone important, and someone that I cared about very much.

In MY Dream Game, we’d all be Winners…

And in MY Dream Game, we’d all be winners.  (Note I don’t feel that way about football, basketball, baseball, etc., I’m definitely into winners and losers in that game.)

So, in my Dream Game we would all be at the Super Bowl of Genealogy.  In my Dream Game, it would be held at Salt Lake City, because I’m dying to go there and because we may want to run into the library to locate more facts, figures, and information.

What would make our Super Bowl awesome is that our coaches would be the most knowledgeable Genealogy speakers and authors, many of the names we know, and many that maybe we’ve never heard of, and they would all be there to share their wisdom and knowledge with each of us. (and unlike real life, we’d all have time to go to each speech/talk/demonstration without having to choose one and miss one!)

And at my Dream Game,  each of us would share our knowledge…

And at my Dream Game,  each of us would share our knowledge, wisdom and our time helping each other break down the brick walls that haunt each of us.

At my Dream Game when we entered the Bowl, there would be a giant database of interconnected surnames and data, and we would be able to tap into this in minutes, and break down brick wall after brick wall. (Someday, this may be the internet!?)

Each of us gets to Cheerlead the others on to victory…

Each of us gets to be a cheerleader, and cheer when the others ‘win’ the game, solve the puzzle, break down the brick wall. (Much like we do on Twitter now!)

My Dream Play, right now, would be to break down the brick wall that lets me tell my mom who her great-grandfather was.  And I would seriously also like to find out where my Laird and McGinnis family originated.  (This is my Dream Play, I can have TWO, right?)

I have to confess to not caring who wins the Super Bowl, nor do I even know who is favored, but I’m going to guess that the Colts will win.  Remember, this is just a guess…

Happy Saturday night everyone, and Happy Super Bowl!

The Underground Railroad – Great blog Post by Sandra Taliaferro

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 5th, 2010

When I found this wonderful Underground Railroad post from Sandra Taliaferro, we had just had our Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society meeting, presented by children’s historical fiction author Jim Baumgardner. Baumgardner spoke about his latest book, “Sarah’s Escape” (www.SarahBooks.net) where Baumgardner’s orphan heroine Sarah becomes involved with her mother’s work on the Underground Railroad, and I learned bits and pieces of information that I’d never heard before.

A few days later, I read Sandra Taliaferros’ great post at “I Never Knew My Father” and she shared with us the ‘password’ that opened the Underground Railroad to escaping slaves:

KNOCK, KNOCK!?!
WHO GOES THERE?

“A FRIEND OF FRIENDS

Taliaferro used such thoughtful and inspirational words, based on the people helping people concept of the Underground to encourage all of us, as genealogists and human beings, to help others along the way while we search and research our family trees.

Please, go read her post, you’ll be glad you did!

Wordless Wednesday – Constantine “Tom” Breneman’s Horse

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 3rd, 2010

Several last week asked me to post the close-up of Great-Grandpa Constantine ‘Tom’ Breneman’s horse (I meant to do that last week along with last week’s photo!) so here is my follow-up post!

Constantine 'Tom' Breneman's Buggy Horse

Constantine 'Tom' Breneman's Buggy Horse

Like many of you, I love horses, and this is a fine looking horse.  I’m guessing he was a dapple gray with darker mane and tail, but I suppose he might have been more of a cream color with dark mane and tale, like Dale Evans Rogers’ horse “Buttermilk”.

So many questions that I have with last week’s photo and this.  First and most important:

What was his name?   (the horse’s I mean)

What breed(s) was/were he?  In last week’s photo he looks to be a fairly tall horse.   Any horse lovers want to hazard a guess?

Did Great-Grandpa ride him, or was he strictly a buggy horse?

What year were these pictures taken?  I wonder?  I know with some detective work, I can narrow this down considerably.

Where was Great-Grandpa headed looking so spiffy?  Or was he just out for a drive?  Nearly all pictures we have of him, he is dressed in a suit, but in last week’s photo, he looks particularly spiffy.

I asked mom again this week “Was Grandpa a farmer?”

I knew that he lived on at least two different farms here, and she said that he did farm, but he really was more of a blacksmith, and did blacksmith work, rather than doing much farming.

His son, Otto or “Ott” as he was called, followed in his footsteps and had a blacksmith shop in Mayfield, Kansas. Those pictures are in a different box, but I will locate them and share here.

Neat!  I just love old photos, especially with horses!

Great-Grandpa Breneman was a Civil War veteran, but I’ve never seen a photograph of him in uniform.  I hope someday we run across one.

Related Posts:

Constantine Breneman and His Buggy Horse

My Poem to My Ancestors

Salinda E. (Rose) Breneman - Photograph Constantine’s wife,  Salinda, and her tombstone. Salinda and he divorced in later life.

Too Young to Die – Photo of Constantine’s son Albert Breneman,  his siblings, and another photo of Albert’s tombstone. Albert was killed in a Motorcycle Accident.

Tombstone Tuesday – Ruby L. Smith – Barren Co. Kentucky

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 2, 2010

My Tombstone Tuesday is Ruby L. Smith, buried in a small Smith Family Cemetery, Barren County, Kentucky, near the Temple Hill area.

Ruby L. Smith - buried in the Smith Cemetery - Temple Hill, Barren County, KY

On the Stone:

Ruby L. Smith
Mar 15, 1901
Jan 15, 1919

According to the Kentucky Death Record information I found online, Ruby was the daughter of L. H. and Sabina Smith.

What Did Ruby Die of?

She was so young that I had to wonder, what did Ruby die of at the age of not quite eighteen?  It was shortly after Christmas and the New Year?  Did she have flu?  Pneumonia? An Accident?

To get to this small cemetery, we crossed a bridge over a shallow but fast-moving creek that was rushing down the hill, then drove up a long, shady lane where the trees met overhead in places.  This seemed like a road, but it was narrow and may actually have been the home’s private driveway. It led past a home, past the small cemetery, and back to a field.

The home and the cemetery were on a hill that sloped away to a rolling little valley on the west (I think it was west, but I could have been turned around!) The cemetery was located past this home along the lane.

My first thought was that the home was deserted, as neither the yard  nor the cemetery had been mowed for some time.  But looking again at the photograph of the home that I took that day it’s obvious that there are flowers on the porch along with outdoor furniture.

I Kept Thinking About Snakes…

We parked our cars and hiked through the grass to the stones, (I kept thinking about snakes…) and all the time I was hoping to find names that I knew were “ours” but that day, it wasn’t to be.  That day, none of the names were familiar, so we went on down the road where we did find my mother’s great-grandfather’s farm, and then on to the Caney Fork Cemetery where we found numerous family members.

This cemetery’s proximity to other Smith’s that were our family leads me to believe that these Smith’s are related, and I was able to carve out some time today to do more research on this family.

From the death records that I’ve located today, Ruby is the daughter of last week’s Tombstone Tuesday, Lute H. and Sabina Smith.

Drat! The Name Fits But the Dates Do Not…

According to Lute’s Death Record, he was the son of William Basie Smith. (I’ve not done any fact-checking on these facts yet.)    There is a William in my Charles Smith family, but the dates are simply wrong for Lute’s father to be my family’s William.

I’m disappointed, but this small cemetery is very near to my great-grandparent’s farm, Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith, in the Temple Hill area of Barren County, Kentucky, and while they may not have been related, there is a good chance, too, that they were.

Another puzzle to solve, for another day, but as of today I have more clues to work with!

Other Related Posts:

Tombstone Tuesday: Lute and Sabina Smith Ruby’s parents.

The tombstone of  J. Thomas and Nancy A. (Smith) Harrison is just down the road a few miles in the Caney Fork Baptist Church cemetery. They may (or may not) be related to each other.

Warner LaRue Jones Tombstone. Warner was born in Kentucky to Willis and Martha Ellen Smith Jones.

George W. Smith & wife Lucy’s Tombstone

The Day the Serendipity Genealogy Angels Smiled

Use Your Family Tree Program to Create a Pooch’s Pedigree?

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 2, 2010

I would never have thought about using my Legacy, Family Tree Maker, or Roots Magic to create a dog’s Pedigree chart, but the Legacy blog shares photographs of how one Pedigreed Pooch owner is keeping tabs on her puppies’ five generation ‘tree.

To read more, see photographs of how the Legacy Family Tree chart looked or read the comments from other dog owners and even horse lovers, click here.

You can get free versions of some of the popular genealogy/family tree software programs.  To check out the free versions of two popular Genealogy programs, go to Legacy Family Tree downloads, and choose the free version, or download the Roots Magic program here.

I won’t be adding my dog’s Pedigree any time soon.  She was a ‘rescue dog’.  I rescued her from being left at a small cemetery out in the country over Memorial Day weekend.

My son says he understands why she was dumped, as she is definitely a ‘barker.’

But when I look into her big brown, soulful (and I keep thinking grateful) eyes, I’m still glad I brought her home.

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

By Sherry Stocking Kline
February 1, 2010

Smith, Hawley, Laird, Breneman, Stocking & Jones, too
Also McGinnis, Ames, Crabb, Corson
, and other names it’s true.
What inspired these ancestors and led them to leave home
To go far from their homeland and bravely roam?

Who are these brave people who came before?
Oh, How I love it whenever I learn a bit more.
I’m curious about what they sold or they bought,
About their lives and beliefs, even what they thought.

What brought them to America?  Why and when did they come?
What ship did they sail on, where exactly are they from?
All these questions I have, about each and every one,
I love finding clues, solving puzzles is such fun!

Was my Laird ancestor a highland Scots’ ‘prince’ or a pauper’s son?
It’s the hunt and the challenge that makes genealogy such fun!
Each answer brings new questions, then those answers I seek
To answer just one question, solve one clue sometimes takes weeks.

Who was this man, my Jones grandfather so elusive?
Must I dig deeper into the life of his mother and yes -  get intrusive?
Was she un-married/ widowed/ divorced when she married a ‘Crabb’
What was she like, how did she dress? Fashion plate? Or drab?

For religious freedom, in the 1630’s my Stockings sailed
To America on the Griffith, ‘twas from England they hailed.
Part of the history books they became, & helped found a new town
It was Hartford, Connecticut, with Thomas Hooker’s party they founded.

An Anabaptist, our Breneman ancestor left a dungeon deep,
Walked across castle floors and out of the castle keep,
His life spared, he came to America where freedom to worship would be
And down through the centuries, many have fought to keep America free.

In the Revolutionary War, 1812, and World Wars One and Two
Korea, Vietnam, and the Civil War, too.
My ancestors were there, along with many others who served
For keeping our land free, it’s our thanks they deserve.

Great-Grandma (Corson) McGinnis lived to be a whole century old,
My brother still remembers the story she told
About singing for then campaigning Abe Lincoln as a wee child,
When he promised her statehood for Kansas, a territory wild.

My ancestors were farmers, blacksmiths, merchants and more,
Teachers who taught, and those who owned stores
As we build for the future, on their shoulders’ we stand
And our family still has teachers, and farmers who farm the land.

There are plane builders, engineers, and more than one preacher,
There are programmers, a writer, and an NASA astronaut once a teacher
So many different folks now make up our family tree,
As we live here in America, land of the brave and the free…

I tried to intersperse some of the stories and legends that come along with my family.  I can’t prove that my Great-grandmother McGinnis (she would have been a Corson then) did sing for Abraham Lincoln as a child when Lincoln was campaigning, but she did live in the Springfield, Illinois area, did have a famous photograph that became part of the family story, and that is the story that she told her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, so I believe it to be true.

My Stocking ancestor, George Stocking’s name is on the founding father’s stone in Hartford, CT, and there are many documents on-line (and off) about George and the Thomas Hooker party that founded Hartford.  It’s a small world when I found out years later that my Junior High Latin teacher was a descendant of the Hart family that Hartford was named for.

My cousin has been to the castle in Switzerland and even down in the dungeon where my Breneman ancestor was kept a prisoner.  She said that it gave her goosebumps…

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