Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Announcing a Marriage

Please forgive me, I have been down the rabbit hole. I popped up to show you my latest discovery and an old one.

The story begins thus: years ago when ebay and I were on friendly terms, I bought an antique gold wedding ring reportedly to be a size 7. I was fairly green about real sizes and weights. I took said ring to Jeff, my jeweler, to have him check it out. The ring was considerably smaller than stated (a size 4 1/4) and lighter than the weight stated in the ad. I made the mistake of allowing Jeff to clean it up. He said the inscription looked authentic, but people these days can produce fakes every day of the week.

I wrote the seller, thinking perhaps he had both rings and he had sent the smaller of the two. He would not allow me to return it after I told him I had it to the jeweler. He claimed I had ruined the ring by taking off the old. The ring would only fit my pinky at the time and I have a reputation of losing them, so for the longest time, it sat in my drawer.

The inscription in the ring reads, Napoleon Jennie Sept 13, 1869. I often thought (wondered) if I could authenticate it and find out if it was real or not. Yes, It could still be a fake, but with my ancestry subscription - I did locate their license. Napoleon was a popular name in that decade and I found half a dozen Napoleon and Jennie's in the marriage licenses. I was quite surprised. The old guy who sold me the ring, said he thought he had gotten it in a lot from an estate in Ohio.

 I'm wearing Jennie's ring now, as my hands have shrunken with age. I couldn't keep my wedding ring on anymore and had thought to try it on. You have to know - I am very curious what happened to that young couple. Wouldn't you be?
Sorry for the lousy picture of Jennie's ring.
Going to bed and then back down the rabbit hole. I hope everyone is doing well!

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I woke to snow this morning. The only visitors I had were the pair I had the other day. I was hopeful when half a dozen cardinals flew into the fig, but they were not interested.

The snow is gone now, except for in the shadows. No help there.

Good Sunday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Brief Success!

First observed visitors - 01/21/15 - We moved the feeder next to the fig tree last week, it didn't seem to do more than to keep the birds out of the fig. The feeder is right outside of my womb window. Hard to believe it took a month before I had comers. It is deserted once again, I don't understand. Perhaps there is too much natural food available. Snow would solve the problem, though I do not desire snow just to make my bird watching complete.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Those Bleep Immigrants!

“The absolute nerve of these people, coming into our country, they don’t speak English, and they don’t understand our money. Yep, the lowest riff-raff of society is moving in on us! I imagine they are a bunch of beggars and thieves. What is this country coming to? They are allowing so many ignorant people to come in to take over our jobs. It won’t be long and the economy will be spiraling so deep, we’ll never get out of the hole the president put us! It may be their dream, coming to America, but it’s our nightmare.”

These words probably spoken in the mid-1800s, about our great-grand parents and our second great-grand parents, yet I hear them again today. It makes you want to think a little bit—doesn’t it? The terrible Irish—now we all want to be Irish, at least one day a year. Those nasty Italians—what would we do without our pasta and pizza? You get my drift, don’t you? So many of us would not be living here, had it not been for the guts and dreams of our ancestors.

Doing some of my research has made me cry. I read death records, trying to find out what happened to my great-grandfather. He became a widower after making that trip with great-grandma and part of his children. (I still need to go more in depth on this; I sincerely hope I am wrong.) What I have figured out is this—he had five children, ages 5 to 10. He died of liver disease at 73, but not until he raised his brood. I notice that many children died from meningitis, typhoid, and one from croup. It was heart breaking to see a young man had died, after coming all this way from Wales—to be crushed to death in a mine accident.

I have figured out that census takers probably had their hands full. The people almost always had a thick accent. I seriously think that Chicobena was Jacobena, a popular name at the time. Say Chicobena with a thick German accent—see? I have been trailing my line, more by address than by actual spelling. Entries were all made by hand and a ...dau could look like a ...dan or a ...dow, or even a simple ...d!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Playing the Ancestry game

Think you can spot me?
My extended family used to go all out for occasions. This time it was for my sister's confirmation. I couldn't begin to tell you for certain who everyone is. I have a few question marks floating in front of me.

I'm having a good bit of fun and frustration playing the Ancestry game. It gives you clues or hints where to look for information. Pick the wrong hint and your family tree is not going to come out right. You talk to your computer. Seriously, "Where did you get that? I can't find that!" Sometimes, you're saying, "No, no, no, that is soooo wrong," and then the next day you find out you were soooo wrong. Yo do realize that you are playing the game with your cousins or other family members. You don't want to look stupid, ill informed, or wasting their time. It's really not a game, but if you don't play well, you just know they are going to be talking about you behind your computer screen.

I swear, I am going to get carpal tunnel problems or need surgery on my shoulder. When I can finally leave it alone, I feel as if I have been hit by a garbage truck and my desk looks like it too.

I think I need lessons in old fashioned cursive writing. Some names are so hard to tell what that first letter is. I have to take into account that a lot of the people couldn't read English yet and the census taker had to wing it on some of their names when they were saying them in broken English. I found a lulu today, I left it there until I can decipher it. It looks like Chicobena - German name. Not.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Little Cup

As most of you know, I am trying to research my past. Some of my past still lingers in my mind. Some I never knew and have been continuing to be surprised each day. Trying to keep it all straight, is a bit difficult. No, make that extremely difficult, causing insomnia. This is the little story I posted in my family history.

Remembering Great-Grandma

Discovering new ‘old’ things. I remember going to visit Grandma and Grandpa at the house on Edmund Avenue. At the time, I didn’t know that the house belonged to the little old lady who sat in the little bedroom at the back of the house. From time to time, I would peek through the door for a little girl visit. The only thing I knew about her, was that she was Great-Grandma.

She never came out to visit with the rest of the family, although I knew she could walk just fine. One Christmastime, she had this glass tree; it was like empty branches with sharp ends. Skewered on the ends of the branches were spiced gumdrops. It wasn’t very large; I would guess roughly about 8” in both directions. (I since, have acquired a plastic one, similar) We sat and chatted, eating spiced gumdrops, she in her chair and I on her bed. I have no idea what we talked about, what do little girls and very old ladies have to talk about? She was comfortable to be around and I liked our infrequent visits.

I thought I was 5-6 at the time, but the nearest numbers are seven going on eight, when she passed. My family and everyone else in the extended family, gathered for the Luau (As Tom and Gloria referred to the after burial, food and chat.) and I went into Grandma's bedroom. The door was shut and they had all these pretty things on her bed. They were dividing Great-Grandma’s personal property.  Someone said to leave. Okay, here’s the thing, only certain little girls received her things. I have always been a little pushy when I don’t think something’s right. I told them I wanted something, and then I would leave. To shut me up placate me, I got the little cup and saucer. Grandma said, not to tell anybody. I guess I sold out cheap, didn’t I?

I used to think it was horrible to have her shut away like that, but now that I’m a Great-Grandma, I can see the point. It was probably her choice. I always think of her when I look at my little cup. Somewhere out there is the rest of the set – the bottom of this one is marked ‘8’, in gold paint.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Houston er... Ancestry.com, we have a problem...

Seems they have a problem with 3 brother marrying 3 sisters...

My mom has been gone 20 years now. Think I will go watch a movie before I go insane. (Probably too late for that though.)

Something that makes me say, "Hmm"

My father was in some sort of something - He was in uniform in a couple of pictures, but I cannot find any military information on him. If I were to guess, I would say the cavalry, but in 1935? I could use some info on just what kind of uniform he is wearing.

1934-1935 - Dad kneeling in front with my mother (seated)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

No luck

Think he could come just a few feet closer? That feeder must be giving off bad vibes. They look at it, but they are not coming.
In the old fig
 Jack is looking like Old Yeller or something like that. It's from his ringworm treatment, it should all wash out eventually. I called the vet and she said to give him another bath - He still stinks, have been having him snuggle up to the lavender scented giraffe. Actually - I put it between him and me.
Mr. Stinky
I just started using my new printer a few days ago and it is screaming for more ink! I have more sheets of paper filled with many different fun and not so fun (more like boring) facts about my family and doing some work on DH's just to add to the confusion.

The most popular name for a girl in the 1800's was Annie and they seem to be in absolutely every generation on both sides of my family. One bleep census taker wrote down Emmy one year and it is so screwed up now. The thing thinks he had a second wife with a separate family. Just before I quit for the night - another Annie.

I need a new mouse, this one is going to bleep from all the scrolling and clicking. DH working another week and Dollie's car is on the fritz, so I hope it hangs on.

My shoulders are burning, Good night folks! I think I will try to leave it alone for a couple of days... but you know me...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sharon's (Pandora's) Box and loose ends.

Something I never thought of when I signed up for Ancestry.com... It gets them off the boat - kind of. As near as I can tell it costs more to search where they came from to get on a boat. My family pretty much came to a screeching halt at the dock in the 1800's.

My husband's family is really messed up. Tennessee had hired people with the worst penmanship to fill out the thin lines on those census forms and obviously never asked for a spelling. It all has to be taken with a grain of salt. (And a good guess) Had all sorts of spellings for the same names on different census years.

It was 7 degrees this morning. I dripped the water all night. Irritating drip, drip, drip, all night long. Dollie did Jack's stinky dip on Tuesday, he still stinks. I have my lavender giraffe laying on him so I can stand having him in my womb. He's cold - he want's my bed.

My brother or someone from his household sent me a stollen in the mail. Have been eating on it. I like it with butter, so I am still packing on those Christmas pounds.

Dollie may not be here for a while, something wrong with her car. She will need a shovel by the time she comes back. Haha.

The price list on those pictures are prohibitive... cost me a medium sized fortune. Not sure what I am going to do about it. Can't blow up the ones on the monitor... pixel problem.

Oh! My son has ordered me an original G. Boese figurine. Not as intricate as when my brother began helping him, but truly his work. I would know that signature anywhere!

All for now... PS the birds hate it on this side of the house or something. No visitors YET.

Have a good, day, night, whatever! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Father the Artist - G. Boese

Years ago, before even my older brother was a twinkle in my daddy's eye, my dad was an artist. During the depression (and coming out of it, maybe), he got on the WPA. At first he worked on the Como Park Zoo and then somehow he ended up teaching wildlife watercolor painting at a college... I think. That's why I wanted to do a search on him. I know very little about him.

Yesterday, I found that the Minnesota Historical Society has some of his early watercolor paintings from when he was teaching his class. Now, I will say, these are not his best works, but he was basically learning, himself, I believe. I have been conversing with a person at the MHS about making a book of his pictures for myself and any children that are interested. The pictures are copyrighted to the Society. 

You can see at: (Copy and paste)


I'm so glad I found them, I hated to think that his life was just being born and dying. He was an intelligent, complex man.

Oil that I have here at home. c.1940-50?
 It could use a little restoration, and a frame would be nice, Haha. One thing at a time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Twilight Zone

This family of mine is a mystery... I have yet to find a marriage license or anything of that type of thing for my folks. I know they were married, just no documentation - so far.

I find that the Census Bureau plays fast and loose with the spelling of names, oh, and where my great-grandfather came from, guess it's take a pick or choose the latest. Maybe it was due to WWI. ??? He came from Poland, Prussia, Germany. My great-grandmother's name was from Johana, to Johanna, to Johama.

I am coming up with names of grand aunts and uncles that the names were familiar, but I hadn't heard since I was maybe 7 or 8 and I sure didn't see them! It's too bad that you can't find the dirt on the reason why there is all of a sudden a son, who had never been mentioned before - no birth record but he's on the census - twice.

Sigh... if only I could write a book..........................

Monday, January 5, 2015

Didn't find any monkeys...

...on my family tree. I will be SO sore tomorrow from bending over this keyboard. I am finished for the night! Maybe for a day or two. Still not much on my dad. He was born, lived (according to the census) and died. Other than that... Sigh...
This is how far I got...

Lost my father...

Last night, I was surfing on the net and thought I would look to see when a certain friend of mine had passed away. I got caught in a web that took me three hours to pull away from. I didn't only look up my friend... I decided to look up a few relatives. There is not much information out there on most of them. 

I'm seriously thinking about joining one of those ancestral sites. Any idea which one is the best? I couldn't find my father's obit, didn't find much of anything. He was listed on 1920 census and then ????

My grandmother is a mystery too. She came to US at age of four - if legend is correct. She had a different name. Couldn't find anything to substantiate what I thought I knew. I own few pictures.
I found these on a site - The top one looks familiar.

Friday, January 2, 2015

For aches and pains...

DH went shopping this morning. He found these at the local Aldi's store for $10 each! Of course, the dogs think they are toys for them. Not happening, kids! This kid is going to warm her shoulder and maybe get some soothing relief! I am keeping the giraffe and DH will put the teddy bear in his suitcase. At our age - any help is appreciated, even if it is cute as everything.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Well! That's done and done!

The holiday lights in the neighbor's yard went out a couple of days ago. (I'm doing a mental happy dance)
 Dollie was here this morning, doing clean up and playing with Jack. The dogs really love her!
DH cooking our New Year's Day Lunch

 Jack had his 1st shampoo and dip on Tuesday - talk about a stench. It's a sulfur dip. It took hours for the smell to thin out.
Jack n Jill playing. He's in fine spirits now!
 Still no birds coming to the feeders. I do not know what is up. At first, I thought maybe the central was spooking them, but I had several sit on it when it was running. Yesterday, one little fellow was sitting on the unit, and seemed to be looking at me through the window, and then looking at the feeders.

If I haven't said it to you yet - here goes for the final time - Happy New Year!