Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Recap

We took down our Christmas decorations today. It looks pretty depressing around here. I thought I'd write about the happier things from the past week.

So my dad was here for a week and it was beyond awesome. It was awkward at first but that didn't last long. We went to parks and restaurants.Or just stayed home and relaxed. In the evenings we just sat on the couch. No tv or anything. It was lovely.

One evening we went to the beach to watch the sunset. He and I walked one way, my mom walked another. Our alone time I guess. I mostly listened to what he had to say. I know it was hard for him. I didn't really have questions for him. He basically said that he doesn't have a good reason for not being there. I accept that. I know he wasn't ready for my awesomeness back then. I'm ok with that now. I have my moments of course but I do understand. I'm just glad that he's involved now. Can't live in the past. I found a shell while we were walking. I decided to give it to him the night before he left.

We were like a normal family for a week. Like my mom would be cooking, he washed dishes, and I dried. It was... normal. Hung out on the couch. Parents held hands. Normal. It was so normal that it was weird. Because it shouldn't be normal.

Christmas was lovely of course. We didn't get started until 7:30... later than I would've liked but thats ok. All of the gifts were wonderful. I'll break it down to the most... meaningful ones.
So my mom and I decided a while ago to make a photo album for my dad. Pictures of me from when I was a baby until now. It went over very well I must say. He looked through it at least four times that day. And I know he's shared it with his mom and sister.

Later he and I were talking and I mentioned that his album didn't include the rejects. The blurry, unfocused, and down right bad pictures. He said he still wanted to see them. So he and I sat up in the guest room looking through photo albums. I might have to end up making more copies of photos to send to him.

Now for my mom, she was just completely gone when she opened her gift. Here's the back story. She used to collect music boxes about 24 years ago. When they were together he got her a music box with a carousel horse in a snow globe. Since then most of her music boxes smashed, but that one might be packed away at my Busia's house. Flash forward. She didn't even get the box completely open and she lost it. It was a music box. Carousel horse inside a snow globe. He remembered. It was the sweetest thing ever!

My turn! Ok so everything else was opened and he gave me another Christmas card. A sappy one this time. I sat on the couch conveniently next to a stocking. I finish reading the card and he says "oh I think you forgot something in your stocking". I'm thinking oh boy here we go. So I reach in and its a small box. Once again I'm thinking oh boy here we go again, its another small box. So I mentally prepare myself. He bought me earrings. I found out there's a story to this as well. The first Christmas my parent's spent together he gave my mom a pair of earrings. First Christmas I spend with him? I get earrings. Just makes it even more special I guess.

His last day was Wednesday. He and I spent the day together. That evening was the most emotional of all. The three of us were all just snuggled on the couch for a few hours. He called me his baby girl. Then he called my mom his Baby Mamma. (It's been a joke for a little while) It was bittersweet.

He says he will be back as soon as he can. I don't doubt that. I can't wait to see him again.

Friday, December 28, 2012

All good things...

Well, my dad left yesterday. It sucks but I know he will be back as soon as he can.

I don't have much time this morning but I did want to post these two things.

This has been the best Christmas ever!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'm sitting here in my room trying to be very very quiet. I'm being nice and letting my parents sleep a little bit.

I already know this will be the best Christmas ever. Just with my dad being here. I can't wait to give him his presents. One in particular. I can't wait to give mom her presents. And the ginormous 26lb box has just been screaming "open me!" For like three weeks. He's excited for us to open our stuff and I know he's a very good gift giver. So. Woo! But even without those presents the past few days have been amazing.

We might end up going to the beach today. Just to rub it in to everyone up north. Haha. We actually stopped the other day after dinner. Watched the sunset. It was very nice and quiet and peaceful. We found a sand Christmas tree with shell decorations and presents of horseshoe crabs.

My mom is the happiest I've seen her in a long time. I caught them holding hands a few times. Well, I can't really say caught. It's not like they were trying to hide it. It was sweet. Kind of weird because I'm not used to that. But it seemed normal like they haven't been apart for over 23 years.

I'm not going to jinx anything there. Anyone who has been following this saga knows it's like a hallmark movie. Hallmark movies always have a good ending.

Well, I made it to 5:30am. I think I'll start to get ready for the day... Very quietly... And impatiently wait for my parents to wake up.

Friday, December 21, 2012


He's here!! My dad flew in for Christmas! They kept it a surprise!... For the most part. I figured it out before he got here though. Haha.

How could I figure it out you ask? Everyone at work did such a good job keeping it a secret. Well here's a few of the clues I picked up on.

-roast thawing in the fridge. Ok 2 ppl can't eat all of that, plus we specifically bought that to make spicy pulled pork when he did come down (think that happened tues...)
- extra soda in the fridge. Even if we have a get together Saturday that doesn't mean we have the fridge filled Thursday or earlier with 12 cans...
-mom was all perky and peppy before her second cup of coffee.
- dressed in a cute jean skirt and asked me how her hair looked. Asked her where she was goin all fancy. "To pick up a man"
- then of course the FaceTime thing. When he first suggested that I was like ok cool... But what about the wifi? He didn't have wifi.

Of course the biggest hint was me stalking his Facebook and seeing that his friend told him to have a good trip down south. Heh.

I was very good pretending that I knew nothing. Until I got home. By then I was just smiling too much and couldn't hide that.

But I am just so excited. (In fact I thought of doing the Kristin wiig surprise skit when I walked in the door...)

But just think. This is the first Christmas I get so spend with my dad. AHH!

His mom opened her presents from us last night I guess. She liked my Xmas balls. No doubt in my mind she would like them but its still nice to hear that confirmation.

Well that's it for now. More to come I'm sure!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Handmade Christmas Gifts

I don't recall if I talked about my Christmas ornaments last year. I originally got the idea through one of my twitter peeps Caroline, aka @familystories. She's awesome with the genealogy crafty stuff. Here is the link to her tutorial.

I decided I wanted to try to make some. Just for my grandparents at first. I found old photos of their parents. I made them two each, one photo on each Christmas ball.

Mildred & Lewis Bieda

Then I decided to make one for my aunt and Uncle.
Last year my friend and coworker got married and I picked her name for secret santa. Actually, today is her anniversary. I had so much fun making the ornaments for my family, I figured I'd do the same for her.

The gifts went over so well that I decided I would make more for my grandparents. And when I found out my cousin was getting married, I made up my mind to make some for her.

I look just adorable in my blue dress...

Can you tell the pics were taken at the same time?
I had a reason for choosing these particular pictures. The whole meeting my dad and other grandma thing. I didn't want them to feel left out or that I was abandoning them for a new family. I dunno if that makes sense but hey.

For my cousin and her hubby...
I made them two balls, two pictures on each. One with the first dance pictures, and one with pictures outside the church.

Decided to make one for my uncle too. One ball, four pictures.

 I also made ornaments for someone else. But because its not Christmas yet, they haven't seen them and I can't post those pictures. ;)

Ok well I can post this one...

The blue one is actually pictured above. The one with my Busia and I.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Well I'm just sitting here waiting for the hobbit to start. I have an hour to go and no one is here. Ok I think there's 2 other people in the theater. Whatever. I'm excited. I'm going to be exhausted tomorrow but I don't care.

- I'm feeling better since my last post. That same day actually. I was just moody I think. But I had to get it out there anyway.

-I've been slowly working on my tree. I had to delete a large branch. Which sucked. The people are still in my tree somehow and I still get hints on them. It shows me there's no relationship path. Yet I still get hints. Mmm Kay. But anyway idk if I wrote about those people. They're on my dads side. I just kinda went with the hints I was getting. That's how they ended up there. It was before I met my grandma so now I know the real ppl I had to put in there.

- I'll talk about those people eventually I guess. We'll see.

- oh did I mention my dad and I are going to FaceTime Xmas morning? I think I did. That will be fun. I can't wait!

-I'm just rambling now. I only wasted 7 minutes. A few more people trickled in. Think we have a total of  7 people in here now lol.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


*note* Part of this post might be fueled by female hormonal stuff that involved hatred of all men.

I've said before that I'm not angry at my dad for not being there. Mostly I'm not. But deep down there's this little person inside that likes to remind me of the little things that I usually do not dwell on. She is a angry and jealous little person. And she's itching to get out this morning. I don't know if writing will help me feel better or if it will make my day worse. Its rather early and I should be getting ready for work.

When I was younger I had some feelings of anger towards him. Rightly so. Towards the end of the year there was usually a school project that involved Father's day. I had to do the stupid little craft. Had no one to give it to. Kids occasionally asked and I had to explain I don't have a dad. They would say well you have to have one and I would say well I don't. Then all of the kids had both parents at their sports games. I had my mom and grandparents. And that was fine. But he should've been there..

He should've been at my art shows. My graduations. Sports games. Should've been there while I was getting ready for Homecoming and Prom. He should've been there when I was sick. Should've been there on birthdays and Christmases. He should've been there. He should've had to deal with little kid temper tantrums and teenage drama. He should've been there when I was growing up. He wasn't. I didn't have the chance to be the cliche "daddy's girl".

I know he regrets not being there. As he should. I was fine with that.

Last night I was... not facebook stalking... How about we call it research. Yes. Research. I was just going through some of his pictures and saw him and a woman standing outside of a baseball... whats it called... stadium? (See I would have all this technical crap down if he was there to teach it to me) Anyway I looked at it and just instantly felt... probably closer to annoyance and jealousy than anger. I mean, why is he there with that woman? I dunno who she is. Could be a friend. Cousin. Girlfriend. Whatever. My thought is why is he there with her. It should be my mom and I. He should've taken ME to games. I don't like sports that much  but if he was around I might.

When we met for the first time and we were talking he mentioned (briefly) about going to some game of his (ex) girlfriend's kid. Ok so he dated someone with a kid... but didn't want to deal with me? I felt that stab immediately but hid it. I doubt he realizes that stuck with me.

The other day I was in Hallmark looking for Christmas cards. I got one for mom and grandparents... Then I looked at the "dad" and "grandma" section. I couldn't find anything that worked for me. They all said something to the effect "you've always been there for me" "wonderful dad" "when I was little". None of the cards applied to my situation. I had to get generalized cards for these people because they were never there until now.

I have similar feelings, perhaps on a smaller scale, towards his parents. His father is gone but his mother isn't. I had one set of grandparents. I should've had two.

I am thrilled that we're building a relationship after all of these years. Excited that we're going to FaceTime on Christmas morning.That he has plane tickets and he and my mom won't tell me so it will be a surprise. But I can't help feeling like this. It's normal I guess. I haven't talked to anyone who has been in a similar situation.

Clearly I have to figure out all of these feelings. That's just a taste of what I'm dealing with and thinking about this morning. I know I'll have to deal with it eventually. Both of us will. I also know nothing will change the past. You can't go back. What good would it even be to bring all of this up?

This is where I'm stopping for today. Must get ready for work. I know this isn't very organized but it's how my mind is flowing at the moment.

Until next time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The rest of the story... for now

I've been neglecting my blogging duties. I apologize. I've been busy and distracted and yadda yadda...

So where did I leave off? oh yes the necklace. That was a Friday.

The next day I was feeling very blah. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to see my dad again before we left on Sunday. The original plan for that day was for me to go out with my mom, uncle, and little cousin. I was going to take fall pictures with pumpkins and all that kind of stuff. After that there would be a festival, a restaurant, and a Halloween fest with my best friend. Well, the first didn't happen, and I was even more bummed out. Having free time and doing nothing, but knowing that later on would be busy and I couldn't spend more time with my dad.

Later on I got to thinking. I decided to ask my bff if she would mind if I asked him to come with us at the Halloween thing at Knoebels. Of course she had no problem with it. After all, I've kept her up to date on everything. From the minute I found out about him she was googling stuff just like I was. She's the one that called me after midnight to say she found him on facebook.

So I sent him a text and in less than two minutes he replied saying yes. We met up around 8:30 and went on a few rides. It was weird but normal I guess. I mean, most kids take it for granted when they're at a park riding rides with their dad. Me? I was thinking huh... this is different... this is new... It was fun though. And cold. Not used to the whole... cold weather thing.

The park closed around 10, and with the lines and everything we only managed three rides. So we were standing around awkwardly and he said sooo what are you doing after this? (did I mention he said that the other two times we met up?) we had no plans so we decided to go to a bar. Just talked about random things. He said he wished he could see us off at the airport which was just... I dunno what word to use. lol. it meant a lot. When we got ready to leave he gave me a big hug. I got into the car with my friend and she drove back to my grandparents house.

Now I was ready to cry anyway. I was barely holding it together. I got out of my friends car and wasn't even to the door when my phone went "bing!" and it was a text. I read the text and just... lost it. It was very sweet. Actually an understatement. lol. That message (and the others that followed) just meant so much. He said he loved me. I don't know if I wasn't expecting that, or if it was all the emotions or what but... it was an amazing feeling. I can't even describe it. Anyway, I walked into the guest room and my mom saw me and I couldn't even talk I just shoved the phone at her. I cried, and she cried. Lots of female emotions going on lol.

Next day we were getting ready to leave. Emotional again. Between me crying and her crying and trying to hide it from my grandparents... sheesh.

Gonna try to speed up the story. lol. I told my Busia about this whole thing the day after we got back. Surprisingly she was happy about all of it. I dunno why I was so freaked out. She told my grandpa and I guess he's cool with it too. And apparently my Busia told all of Elysburg. Or a few people. and you all know about gossip in a small town. After I told her I told my aunt and had her crying. Everyone we told this story to has cried and compared it to a hallmark or lifetime movie. People at work couldn't wait to hear how everything went.

My dad and I are still talking on twitter and facebook (he requested us!), and text. He has tickets to come down to visit, but I'm not allowed to know when. He and mom are conspiring. Isn't that weird? It's like what normal parents do. Plan a surprise for their kid.

I don't know how everything is going to work out but it has been amazing so far. I'm working on some projects right now. Some super sneaky Christmas gifts. Homemade of course, some similar to last years. I'll post pictures later. Can't give anything away yet.

Ok peeps, that's it for now. I'll try to post again later this week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Two years!

Holy cow! So much has happened in the past year! Some really really good things. Just to list a few...

- Wall Street Journal Article
- Free Geni stuff

-... What was that other thing... Oh yes. Learning about my dad, being able to plug whole other side of my tree and see it light up with hints. Most importantly meet and spend time with my dad. Everything is changing for the better. I'm sure of it.

- So what is next for the year ahead? No flipping clue. Hah! Obviously I'd like to explore more of my dad's side. I've learned a lot so far and I will do a few posts on that soon enough. I'll keep looking for any new or interesting info on my mom's side of course. As you all know genealogy never ends. It's just that I have so much to find out about the other ancestors.

- Next year I hope to visit more cemeteries. I only went to one this year. I'd like to find out more about my DNA results. Find some more cousins. Get someone to comment on my blog.

- Who knows what will happen in the next year. But I am almost certain it will be good. I can't imagine it otherwise. Until next time peeps!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Necklace

Oh man... so much has happened in the past week. Just amazing. So where did I leave off? oh yes, we agreed to meet up with my dad on Friday night for dinner.

We sat down and we talked and ate and laughed. Very fun. After we left the restaurant we headed over to see his mom. I think she felt a little... whats the word... She seemed to be guarded with her emotions? She was very very nice but I'm sure she had to feel awkward and nervous. But she still gave me a hug. We talked a little bit and then moved into the dining room... she had six photo albums on the table. SIX! She was prepared show to the granddaughter she had yet to meet six photo albums. That is just amazing right there. And more proof that this woman interested in genealogy is related to me. I took photos of photos and notes. There was something else that was cool. Apparently my aunt made a family tree poster in college. Helloooo gold mine! Notes can get a little confusing so to have a visual tree... Just amazing. And I asked if I could take a picture of him and his mom. They agreed. I was to nervous/awkward to ask to be in a picture with either/both of them. Next time.

We didn't leave until around 11:30 at night. She hugged me again and stayed inside while the three of us went outside. We talked for a little bit. He asked what we were doing the rest of the weekend and I said we weren't sure... we were leaving Sunday morning and still weren't telling my grandparents at that point. But I said I'd let him know.

Then he said I have to get something out of the truck. I said ok and kept talking to mom. He came back with a box and said I'd like to give you something. I opened it and inside was this beautiful necklace. Two intertwined tear drop shapes, one silver and one gold. With a diamond in the middle. Gorgeous. He gave me a really big hug that lasted a long time. I could tell he was getting emotional. Then mom and I got into the car and started to drive away. He watched us leave.

Up until that point I had held it together pretty well. But five minutes after we left I started to lose it. Everything had been so overwhelming but up until he gave me the necklace it seemed like I could deal with it.  Besides, at that point I didn't know if I'd be able to see him again before we had to leave to go home. I do have an update or two left in the story. Not that it's close to ending. It's just getting started.

After showing people my necklace at work, I heard a few of them call it a father-daughter necklace. I didn't know there was such a thing... but if that is what it's really called it just makes it even more special. It means he put a lot of thought into it. Which apparently is nothing new.

That's all for now! More updates to come and my second bloggerversary is coming up. No idea if that's spelled right. But hey, I'm using Blogger so... Anyway... later peeps!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And it keeps getting better

Yesterday I got a message from bio dad about the next meet up on Friday. We decided to meet up at a fancier restaurant... Well according to my mom it's fancy. I've never been there. But any way we're meeting up around 7pm. So I was like ok sounds good.

- and of course that's not all. It gets better.

- the next thing he said was "would you be ok meeting my mom" .... Lets just say I was in a restaurant when I got that message and I had to control myself. He wants me to meet his mom. Holy cow. My reply back did include multiple exclamation points. Lol. So we're going to dinner and then going to see his mom.

- I still haven't told my grandparents yet. I'm becoming more convinced that they won't take it well... But I'll tell them. Eventually.

- ok that's it for now! More updates to come :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So much excitement!

Greetings from Pennsylvania! I've been very busy the past few days. My cousin was married this past weekend. Very beautiful bride and of course I already added some of the groom's family to the tree. I'll do an updated post on that later.

- The biggest news of course is about yesterday. Yesterday was the first meeting with my bio dad and it went pretty well. I brought my mom with me to the restaurant around 9am. My stomach was in knots but her being there made it better. I think. I just imagine it being worse if she wasn't there lol. So he comes in and gives me a hug and then my mom a hug and we sat down and talked and ate. I mostly sat there folding and refolding my napkin. I was a little nervous. Lol. My mind was pretty much blank but my mom kept the conversation going and I chimed in a bit. We talked about work and music and hobbies and some family stuff. He's very nice and funny. We were cracking up. We brought some pictures along since he didn't have any. One was prom, another middle of college and the other was a college graduation pic.  He was smiling the whole time he was looking at them. So that's good.

- he did say he told his sis he's been talking to me. Yay! Still no go with his mom though but I get that. I would like to meet her before we leave but hey I'm not gonna push anything. That could still happen. Fingers crossed lol. He asked if I/we would like to see him again before we left. My brain was like wooo! But my mouth was like yeah sure. Lol. Then... This is pretty cool... Then he asked what we were doing the rest of the day. I was like oh going to a cemetery to visit a friend. I didn't say it was to find part of his family that was there. I didn't know if that would fall under creepy research or not... But anyway he was like oh my grandparents and an aunt and uncle are buried there if you want I can show you where. Um. Guided cemetery tour? Hells yes! I didn't say that. I was more like
yeah that would be cool.

- so we followed him to the cemetery... By this time we were at the restaurant for at least three hours. They had the lunch buffet thing out for a while... We get there and kinda all split up. Then he found the... Care taker guy? Apparently he had a list and even without the list knew where everyone as buried. So he came back to me and showed me where everyone was. I was my crazy picture taking
self lol. Then the care taker was like is there anyone else? And I said my friends name and he's like oh she's over there. I'll meet you at the bottom of the hill I'm like ok. So we finish up there and walk 
down. We found my friend and I guess the fresh cut grass triggered allergies or something bc my nose was running and eyes watering and such.

- after that we got ready to leave. Talked a bit more. Said we'd figure out when to meet and stuff. Hugged goodbye and everything. By then it was 1:30 or so... So about 4.5 hours. Pretty good start I think.

-Some other stuff that came up in the convo: he wasn't that surprised I guess that I contacted him. Then mom joked he prob. Didn't have a choice in meeting me cuz I woulda found him. Which... Yeah that's true. And he laughed. And I was like hey... It's not stalking it's Internet research. And he's like yeah it's not stalking unless you break into the persons house.

-another thing... It was an awkward silence moment and mom asked what he was thinking and he was
like well where do we go from here. And it was kind of like a... What ever you want whatever she (me) want kind of thing. So he's open to whatever. And obv. If he wants to meet up again...

- after we left mom was... What was she. Like dear lord how are we gonna fit this in what should we
do when should we do it over and over. And so was I. I think mine was more an excited ing and hers was anxiety. I dunno.

- last night I got a very nice message on "The Twitter" and he's looking forward to seeing me again. Also found out he was nervous... Which I figured he would be but I'm glad he said it lol. So we
agreed on Friday for the next meet up and that he would work on the details. Oh. Also asked if he 
was ok with my mom being there. And he was. So yay!

So that's all for now I think. I'm sure I'll have another post for you by Friday! Later peeps!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Countdown and preparation!

Nine days! That's it. Only nine days until the flight leaves for Pennsylvania. I'm half packed of course. And since I'm going back home....I think I'll always call it home... I have to have a genealogy game plan right? And I do. For the most part.

- I'm gonna meet bio dad. That will be a nice chunk of genealogy right there. I dunno if I'll meet his mom. I'd like too. I've decided that. Plus she's the genealogy type person too and I could learn a lot of family stuff from her.

-last year I went to a bunch of cemeteries and posted on every single one. You think I woulda covered them all. Well, learning about the other half of the family tree opened up a whole nother list of cemeteries. So naturally I'm going to take my camera with me and photograph like I did before.  One of the cemeteries I was planning on going to anyway. My friend passed away almost a year ago so I was going to visit her. That's a first for me.

- but of course I will keep you updated on everything. I'm excited about everything especially the meet up. I'm sure when the day comes I'm going to have multiple panic attacks and my intestines will want to send things in multiple directions. I don't know what I'll say or what we'll talk about. Or where we're even going but hey. I'll just... Go with the flow. Which is difficult since I like everything planned out in advance. Lol

That's all for now folks!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kate and Leopold

Have you ever seen the movie? A duke from the 1800s goes through time and meets Meg Ryan falls in love but has to go back to his own time?

- wouldn't that be cool!? I mean, sure I'd love a hunk with a British accent to show up and be all polite and chivalrous and romantic and crap. And dear lord the clothes he wears in that film. But anyway. Wouldn't it be awesome genealogy wise if we could go through time and observe our ancestors with a little camera? Or have a chance to talk to them.

- but I just love this movie. So that's it. No major genea news today.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Overwhelming number of shaking leaves

Have you ever been overwhelmed with your genealogy stuff that you don't know what to do next? I mean sure, most of the time I'm searching for more stuff. The missing links. Those times when you have hit every other brick wall and are forced to spend time working on siblings of your direct ancestor. And then boom. You're at your 15th cousin five times removed's wife's uncle's second wife's great grandfather. Usually that only happens to me on geni. Just keep adding and adding and adding....

- if you have a tree on ancestry... And I think most genea-nerds do... You know about the hints. Those shaking leaves everyone gets excited about in the commercials. There may come a time when the number of hints is... Overwhelming.

- you think that would be awesome right? So many hints how can that be bad!?!?

- lets just say that I have 9095 hints as we speak. And no I didn't make up that number. How did it happen you ask? I just kept adding to my tree. Those lovely family tree hints? Yea those are like the gateway drug or something. Before you know it you're in deep. Oh it has five siblings and the parents?! Cool! You think so. But then boom. Those 7 new people all get 2 hints each and that's 14 leaves. One hint led to 14. Hypothetically.

- think of it this way. You have 4 grandparents. Say each has the family tree hint, an in each of those you have parents and 2 siblings. 16 people. If those 16 people have a family tree hint thats 16 hints. But they should all have at least 1 census hint right? 32 hints. All of your male ancestors so far have military records? Add 6 more (minimum... You could have draft and pension records ) so we're up to 38 hints. If all of those people are dead? Add a record each for SS, Obit, and findagrave.  So now we could have 86 records for 16 people! Imagine if you have thousands of people in your tree! It just gets worse from there too.

- the further back you go you have more records, for the obvious reasons of the tree growing. But back in the day people may have had 8 kids or more. Adds to the hints you get. And of course anyone can have those headstone pictures. Do you have a Revolutionary war vet? Even if they're not a direct ancestor you get the war record, a pension file, a dar or sar record. Then if you're lucky enough to get to back in the day Europe, maybe some nobility or royalty, you get those family crests and flag pictures. You know what I mean. Then there are the wicked awesome castle pictures. Before you know it you have hundreds or thousands of hints and you ask yourself how did this happen?

- in not saying I don't like the hints. They're wonderful. But what do you do at this point? Start with photo and story hints? I have less of those so it could be a start. Family tree hints? Nooo that's how we got into this mess. Just walk away from it? Sounds like a plan for now at least.

-anyone else have this problem? What do you do?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

43 days... And DNA!!

It's been a while I know.  And I'm on the iPad so no paragraphs either lol.

- I told you all that I sent in my DNA results and I was expecting them 6-8 weeks after they received them. Guess who got them early! I sent them in on 7/16 and got my email results on 8/4!!   Holy cow!

My results say I am 50% eastern European, 34% British isles, and 16% central European. Well, I understand eastern Europe. That's Poland. Both of my grandmas parents were polish. Found out that my dads side has a good portion of British blood. After being in this country for quite some time. Central European? That's Germany. I thought that would actually be higher. But hey. Not complaining.

- I don't completely understand the DNA matches. All the high matches I've looked at seem to have no common ancestors. Even 96% confidence matches. I do have a possible explanation. I don't know the names of any cousins on my dads side. I don't even think I have all of the ancestors siblings. And of course the only family from that side I could find is from his moms side. I only have his dads parents and that's it. (that's actually new... I found that out from him). So it's a good possibility the 96% match is from my dads side of the gene pool. 

-My vacation starts in 43 days. Not that I'm counting. Can't freaking wait! Going to Pennsylvania the end of September. In addition to just being excited to get away from work and Florida heat I have another reason. I mentioned to my bio dad that I'll be coming up to pa and asked if he'd like to meet with us (did I say anything about finally telling my mom I was talking to him? Well I did and it's all good. Even offered to go with me if I wanted to meet him!) . He's been very cool with all of my questions and stuff so I'm not really sure why I was so freaked out asking if he wanted to meet up. He said yes. Very accommodating. Like hey let me know what days will be good for you I'll arrange my work schedule.

- so I'm like. Ok that's cool. I'm trying to evaluate my feelings on everything. Still. Every time I send an email or a message I kinda worry that he won't reply. I'm not sure why. I mean so far so good right? But there's that little fear of rejection in the back of my mind. I don't know what to expect and that freaks me out a bit. Not being in complete control. I don't know what I'm going to do or say when I meet him. I don't even know the exact day yet.

-I'm not angry. I know a lot of people might be? But strangely I'm not. Ok when he didn't reply for a month I was a little bit but the moment he replied and showed an interest... I mean... I don't understand that lol. I mean I don't wish things had been different. I mean how would that be? Would I really want to be a kid shuffled between two parents? Would I be in Florida now? Would i be better in math, physics, and chem if I had him to help me with that? I mean I like how I grew up. It was fine and dandy for the most part. I dunno. I dunno how I feel about everything. It's a good thing I know that but. I dunno.

- I know there are other people out there dealing with the same thing. Somewhere. Any of you have the conflicting feelings or what? No one ever comments on my blog so please do if you can relate!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's all in the genes

I finally decided to open up my laptop. So 30 minutes and a million pop up windows later here I am. It was really bugging me that my paragraphs weren't showing up on my iPad. Then again, it also annoys me that I actually have to spell stuff right because apple auto correct won't fix it for me. Le sigh.

So last time I was saying how I contacted my dad and started talking to him. Well a few days ago I sent him some of my questions through a facebook message. And we ended up messaging back and forth for about 4.5 hours. Holy cow. Time seemed to fly by. And I learned a lot.

Did you ever wonder how much of your personality is related to how you were raised and how much is because of genetics? Me too. And now it's looking more like genetics has a lot to do with it.

When I was talking to him, I found out he likes Investigation Discovery, Silence of the Lambs, and even read a book on Charles Manson. His dad was into forensics too apparently.

That alone just kind of surprised me. I mean... SotL is one of my favorite movies. I get so... excited when I see it on tv. I mean I majored in forensics. My mom's even been like ok where do you get this from you are way too into this creepy stuff. Well I guess I know now.

His mom and his grandma are/were into genealogy. No one in my mom's family is. I mean my Busia a little bit but not like what he's described.

Could it be in the genes?

Other similarities:
I listed a bunch of concerts I've been too. He's seen them all. The Styx concert that I went to last summer? He had tickets but gave them to a friend.
He said he has a dark sense of humor, quick wit, and over analyzes things. When I read that I was like whoa... cuz... thats me.

It just seems so weird that we have all that in common and we've never actually met.

Anyway on the topic of genetics and asking questions... I found out a bit of medical history. I wasn't planning on asking right away but it came up. I wasn't considering that an important question to ask, but all the websites I looked at (I had a hard time coming up with questions so I Googled), suggested that one.

Turns out it is important.

Apparently cancer is in the family. Lovely. His dad and his dad's dad died of cancer. His grandfather was in his 50's and his dad was in his 60's when he died. Not freaky at all. His sister had cancer but is a survivor. His mom's sister died of cancer in her 60's. There might have been another one in there. But either way its scary. As far as I knew I only had to worry about heart problems on the Bieda/Lapinski side.

You must be able to tell how excited I am.

On the bright side (I think, my uterus hasn't decided how she feels about it yet) twins run in the family. His mom is a twin (with the sister that died). Identical twin even. I used to think that was so cool. Now I just think holy cow how would I tell them apart? If I had identical twin boys though I would totally name them Fred and George. Haha. Anyway. My grandma's sister had a son that had twins (boy & girl). Then one of her granddaughters had twin girls. I don't know what my chances are, but I'm thinking it's quite possible I'll end up with twins.

I kind of like that idea though. I don't know.

I'm feeling really good about this whole... talking to my bio dad thing. Everything is positive so far. I still have more questions of course but that will come in time.

And then there's the whole I'm going up to Pennsylvania the end of September thing. What will happen then? Will I just stick to the norm and hang out with my Busia & Pap? Or will I meet some new family? I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Until next time genealogy peeps!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My brain just won't shut up.

Last month I decided to contact my bio dad. It sounds so weird typing it out. My friend found him on Facebook so after much debate I messaged him. And waited. And waited. For what seemed like forever but was only a week. Then I sent another message. Longer, more sarcastic and more me. The first was just a "hey I'm you're daughter and I'm really into genealogy" type thing. By the time I wrote the second one I was like ok wtf it's been a week. So I was a little peeved and that just lets my writing flow and not be all... Formal? Stuffy? What's the word I'm looking for? Anyway it was more me and less ok does this sound ok? I think it sounds ok. Does it sound stupid? Cuz face it I do that a lot when I message people. On here I don't care. Words just flow. So I sent message two and waited. And waited. And kinda gave up. Not completely. I was thinking of what else to do. I hate phone calls. So that was out. My brain kept coming up with scenarios though. Like if I did call. And pretend to be a genealogist working for a client or something. Or what if the messages didn't go through. What if ou can only send one to a friend? Then again why would they have the button there. Then something happened on Thursday night. Or Friday morning, whichever you like. I had a reply. Of course I didn't find this out during normal times. Of course not. I get up for a drink in the middle of the night and check my phone and there it is. Think I did a triple take. Then I freaked out. And texted my bestie at 2:30 am. and none of my peeps were online to consult. I obviously couldn't sleep so I had to read it. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe I do. Maybe I was just automatically expecting rejection. Maybe that's why my brain was giving the "pretend your a genealogist working for a client and call" scenario. But it was ok. Whatever I was expecting, this was better. I don't think I can accurately describe it but... I'm relieved and excited and happy. Yet still awkward and nervous and freaked out. He said I was brave. Ok if you consider typing a message for an hour, doubting yourself a million times, debating on whether or not to actually push the send button, and freaking out for at least an hour after sending the damn thing. I guess it was brave since I was flipping terrified. He said he' thought about me. And he's up for questioning. And communication. Which sent my brain into a whole new spiral of not shutting up. And there's all sorts of emotional... Stuff flying around in there too. And I can't really categorize the emotions which is so frustrating. Apparently technology didn't want to cooperate. That's why he didn't see the message earlier. He mentioned that in the second part. And I guess I made him laugh which is good. I really have to get used to this. I have a mild heart attack every time I see a message or something. Oh yeah, cuz he's on twitter. And I can't flip out on Twitter. So I have to flip out here. But I have a link to my blog on twitter. I'm taking the chance that he won't click it when I'm done writing. Or at least not let me know he looked at it. Dear lord I'm a bundle of nerves again. Ok. I can do this. I don't even know if this post made any sense.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Short and sweet

Just a quick note. No time for a lengthy post. Plus I'm tired and distracted by Lord of the Rings #2. Good battle scene and all. Anyway. Last week I received a package. One of the most exciting packages ever. My Ancestry DNA kit. My nerdy joy could barely be contained. I made it from the mailbox to the car before a squeal of delight escaped. And as I drove the half mile home these screeching noises of glee kept coming out of my mouth. When I walked in the door... Happy dance ensued. Several actually. Of course I was sick last week, so I had to wait to spit for science as I've been saying on the twitter. Thought the DNA people would appreciate non contaminated saliva. So I waited until Monday to spit into the vial. I thought it would take longer. Then I doubted myself about 5 times. "is that up to the line? Doesn't include bubbles right?" But in any case, the package is in the mail again and product has been registered. As far as I know it will take 6-8 weeks, probably longer since its in beta... So hopefully by... October I will have results. That's all for now folks. "The road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began now far ahead the road has gone and I must follow if I can..."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hi, My Name Is Chloe And I'm A Crazed Geni Tweeter

I have a problem. I love Twitter. I have another problem. I subscribe to Geni so I can see how I relate to cool and or famous people. Put together? I tweet quite a bit about the people I'm related to. The relationship paths. I don't care if it takes up three tweets because I'm limited on characters and the path is so absurd... I don't care it's going up there. But I believe being a crazy Geni tweeter has its advantages (says the girl with three free shirts, two pens, and a huge mention in a WSJ article...) So yesterday while I was sitting on my couch feeling all blah and sick like and watching the revolutionary war documentary thing on the history channel can you guess what I was doing? Of course you can. I told you in my post yesterday. I was on Geni on the project titled signers of the Declaration of Independence. I started out going through every. Single. One. And then I was afraid twitter would screw me over like it did for the finale of WDYTYA... And God knows I can't deal with the hour long twitter banishment again... So I started picking out the interesting names. Didn't matter if they signed the paper or not. Or seeing what other people on my home page were following, even if they were from the British side (I do love Brits in all other matters...) Where was I. Oh yeah. I probably had 20 shared paths on there yesterday. And today I looked at my phone and saw this tweet: “@geni: @bibliophile89 wow, that was just awesome! You should totally turn it into a blog post” So blog I shall. Don't worry, I won't bore you all with every single person. I'll find the highlights. So obviously one major person is George Washington. "George Washington, 1st President of the USA is your 11th cousin 7 times removed. " Making it more personal is this little blurb from a genealogy book I downloaded from my nook, and is also available online here: I don't know Joseph Fisher. Apparently he's connected to Pitner and Farley. Trivia time! Who knows the Pitner revolutionary war ancestor? That's right! Captain Lambert Pitner! So look here: "Lambert Pitner was with Washington at Trenton, Dec. 26, 1776, when the memorable expedition was made across the Delaware..." The site is pretty cool. Although it won't let you copy and paste. Which right now is annoying my. Or at least it won't on the iPad. Whatevs. Everyone knows of Paul Revere. The British are coming the British are coming! "Paul Revere is your 9th great aunt's second cousin thrice removed's husband's father." This next lady I didn't know about. Yes I said lady in reference to the revolutionary war. Apparently Deborah Sampson was the early American version of Mulan. (side note: I posted that on Facebook and it started aback and forth comment singing of "I'll make a man out of you") "Deborah Sampson (Continental Army) is your 7th cousin 7 times removed." Here's the Wikipedia page: Basically, she dressed like a man and signed up for the army. She had two musket balls in her thigh and wanted to die rather than go to the hospital. Secret would have been out then. Well she didn't die. She removed one of the balls by herself. By. Herself. With a penknife and a sewing needle. Oh dear god. That's worse than when Willie from Swamp People was shot in the eye and arm and his dad tried to remove the one with the "family butcher knife". I digress. She was found out the next year after she got a fever and a dr tried to treat her and was like.. Whoops that's not a man... That was all fine and dandy.What pisses me off though, her pay was withheld because she was a woman. She eventually got some, but she had to petition for it and jump through all these hoops. No fair. But hey that's how it was I guess. Ok now for one of the signers. Plus one of my twitter followers reminded me of the WDYTYA drinking game, and I thought hey, alcohol! So I thought of him: "Gov. Samuel Adams, Signer of the "Declaration of Independence" is your 18th great grandfather's wife's fourth cousin once removed's wife's fifth great nephew. " That's hard to wrap your mind around. So I said to myself "Self! You could be connected to him on the other side of your tree too!" "Gov. Samuel Adams, Signer of the "Declaration of Independence" is your third cousin 8 times removed. " See? Much easier. Well,I think I shall return to my regularly scheduled television programs. And the laundry that I started but never finished. Or the packing I promised my mom I would do... Two hours ago. Tata for now!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I was so ready for today. I had my old navy flag shirt. I had my red white and blue ponytail ribbon hair thing. I had red white nd blue hair clips. Ready to tackle a flag cake at work with my residents. My body clearly had another idea. Started to betray me on Saturday. Boss gave me the day off today which most people would've like woo! Off on the fourth of July! But I can't enjoy it. Well, I'm sitting on the couch watching a history channel special on the revolutionary war. And I've already tweeted a bunch of my geni revolutionary ancestors, or declaration signers and I'm afraid it will limit my tweets. So here I am on blogger. I'll make this quick note before I forget: watching this show, they portrayed Ben Franklin as having a mullet. Nice. So was he the first one to sport that look or what? Also: any weird unconnected train of thought is related to my meds. Lol. A while back, I mentioned my gazillion my DAR troubles. How on one side of my tree those relatives may not be blood relatives. Then on my "fathers" side, I have so many related by blood, but no way to prove it. So frustrating. I've already mentioned the other revolutionary ancestors, so now I'll focus on my dads side. I can't prove anything, since there is no marriage certificate or other proof to connect me to my fathers line. I wish the DAR would just accept a tree and look at it that way. Anyway... A list of revolutionary ancestors from my father's mother's side: George William Byrd - 7th gg James Hudson/Hutson - 8th gg Adam/ John Addem Foust - 7th gg Frederick Emeret - 6th gg Capt. Andrew Mellick - 5th gg Daniel Weidman - 5th gg Abraham Labar - 6th gg Archibald McMahn Johann Martin Schultz Anthony Cressman - 7th gg Um... Holy cow. Here is some stuff I found on I'm not citing anything because... Well my head hurts and I'm not in school so there lol. "when cornwallis surrendered (at yorktown)george byrd was a standing right thar and saw it...." Decisive Battle Patriots vs Loyalists; Archibald R McMahan was taken prisoner, escaped, turned himself in. Battle of kings mountain in N.C I hope the links work. I'm starting to get sleepy so I'll end it here. Hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Headaches, Hatfield's, and Free Stuff

Well this has certainly been an interesting week. Month really. Between finalizing plans for a photography gig and finding out I get new/additional responsibilities at work the week has been nuts. And things have just been whirling in my brain. Oh, and I did absolutely nothing productive on my two off days. Or that's what my mother would say. In my mind adding 1000 people to my tree and going through hints on is quite productive.

Now I know just clicking on hints for family trees is not necessarily the good thing or the right thing to do. And I admit to quickly going through them when I should take my time and check the dates and yadda yadda. But hey I'm an impatient chick. Anyway betweem and geni I added about 1000 people to the tree. The merging feature on geni really helped with that. Mind you, you have to pay for that feature but it does help. Then there's the whole who am I related to feature. Since I added all of these new peeps to my dad's side of the tree I wanted to see if any of those changed. They relationship path's didn't change. New ones just appeared. It seems that I'm related to most people on both sides of my tree. Meaning that my parents are distant distant cousins. Safe to say my head was spinning trying to keep everything straight.

I'm not packing up for West Virginia or going out to buy a banjo yet.... Although I am related to the Hatfields (on both sides of my tree). If you follow me on twitter (@bibliophile89) you know all of this already. I've been tweeting during the History Channel special of the Hatfield's and McCoys. At first I was just kind of doing my little accent imitation... it's so easy to get caught up in that... but then it was more of the yelling at the tv/ yelling on twitter and just thinking the whole thing was pointless. Which, it was. I mean all those people were killed over a fight that started with a pig and a Romeo and Juliet romance. And testosterone of course. There was a lot of that going on.

Before I forget I'm going to throw in a little plug for Geni. By now you should all know I love them and that they are responsible for getting that WSJ writer to contact me. A few months ago they offered to send me a free shirt for being so awesome (you all should know when I'm throwing in some humor/sarcasm in by now). So I was like oh thats cool sure here's my address. I told my mom and she was like oh yeah whats the catch? Or... yeah that will happen. Actually that was her response to my "I might be in the wall street journal" comment. And we all know what happened with that.

I received the package a few days ago. The reason it took so long is that there was a typo in the address and was sent back yadda yadda. But they emailed me and we got it straightened out. Well I just figured there would be a t-shirt in there and I would've been satisfied. So I opened it up and le gasp not one but THREE shirts and two pens. I don't know about you, but I love free stuff. Especially clothes. I believe their merchandise is available on their website too if anyone is interested. P.S I'm not working on commission although I wouldn't decline any offered money. LOL. Anyway the one shirt was just plain white with the geni logo on the arm. The second is black with the Geni logo across the front and a mini tree on the back with the words "who's your daddy?". The third is a cute pink tank top with the logo on front and the tree on back. I think that's my favorite so far. If you are interested in buying the tanks run a little small and the t-shirts run a little big. Oh! I almost forgot about the pens. Now normal people wouldn't be excited about pens but hey. The one is just a normal pen with a logo. Blue ink. Writes well. But the other... the other is fun. I love fun writing utensils. If I had my way I would be like Garcia on Criminal Minds with the feathered pens and bright colored stuff. This pen lights up. It glows blue when you click the little button. But all of that for free! I was pleasantly surprised and excited. I can't wait to wear my new gear and get more people into genealogy.

I meant to talk about more things tonight. I really did. I guess it will have to wait until next time. I really would like to talk about my DAR troubles and the whole biological father deal. Those probably have to be two separate posts. Perhaps I'll visit some of those "new" relatives I added in a future blog. Like I did with the Persing's and Bieda's when I first started.

That's all for now folks!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The end of Who Do You Think You Are

First, I would like everyone to know that yes I am alive after tonight's episode. Twitter just cut me off from tweeting. In the last bit of the show too!! How dare they! I had some witty comments and at least 8 more drinks to report on. I can't even view my drafts now because twitter is retarded on my phone and I can't figure out where it is on my iPad. Le sigh. I forget what I was going to say. That's what happens when you actually participate in the drinking game I guess. Especially when the last segment had 4 yalls and we drank to those too. Oh yes last wdytya. Apparently NBC doesn't follow us on the twitter. Otherwise they would know how important wdytya is to us. I mean sure PBS has finding your roots. It's not as fun. There's no drinking game (that I know of). Will they put the show on another channel? Can I view episodes online if I don't get that channel? I mean, it's nice to see that we're not just a lone batch of crazy people stuck on the branches of our family tree. To have celebs be interested in genealogy... It makes it "cool" or something. I mean I'd still do it anyway but hey. I like being able to talk about the show with people too. I mean I can't just hop on a plane and meet people at a genealogy conference. I have no money and plenty of social anxiety. So. Tv and twitter are perfect for me. But noooo. Let's cancel the show. And another thing. It's not common for websites to work together. Especially when both are looking for the same clients. The same paying clients. Wdytya kind of brought two together. Not that was saying hay everyone go to geni! Or geni saying hey go to ancestry! It's more of a pro for if you think of it. Notice that every Friday or nearly every time wdytya is on they post the celebrity profile so you can see how you are related. Kicker? You need to be a member to see the path. But it shows their support for a show sponsored by And of course geni probably thinks hey maybe I can get more members if I try to get in with the crew. Face it has more commercials and probably more popularity. But I digress. They still shouldn't cancel the show. Twitter shouldn't block people from over tweeting. Even if they're rambling alcohol induced tweets. Well I should be able to tweet now so I will end this here and pray I made some sort of sense in this blog.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Being Crafty

Lately I've gone back to my artsy fartsy self doing charcoal drawings and such. Genealogy kind of went on the back burner. But hey I'm getting money for the drawing I did where as I get zippo for genealogy. I even went to a museum this weekend (Ringling up in Sarasota) and that just made me want to do even more stuff.

I went on pinterest today and found that has a pinterest page. Woohoo! This is dangerous though. If you don't know, pinterest is crack. And I start looking and hello genealogy craft!

Photography leaves would make an awesome family tree!
Photo leaves! You can see the site it came from here. Now I was really excited thinking there would be a tutorial on how to make it. Sadly, no. From what I understand someone else makes them onto cloth and then sells them. Well as nice as that is I have no money. Whats a girl to do?

I started thinking... I printed out some photos back in December when I was working on the genealogy ornaments. (Thinking back, I don't even know if I posted pictures for those on here) Anyway I'm thinking of making a tree with similar leaves.

The tree would be on canvas. Made out of gesso and cheesecloth. If that confuses you then don't worry. It's something I did in high school. and a little in college. So much fun. Almost as fun as charcoal and I think even more messy. When ever I get around to it I might post a tutorial with pictures. Have to figure out how to do pictures with gesso. I really don't want it all over my pretty camera or phone.

Anyway. Gesso and cheesecloth for the tree. Maybe some gesso texture in the background. Then let all that dry. Then comes the paint. I'm trying to figure out the colors. I might have to order some stuff online though. I remember using something in high school (maybe another kind of gesso?) that had a pearly quality to it and looked pretty and shimmery when mixed with acrylic paint.  After it's all painted I would add the leaves. My version of the leaves would probably just be the photos sprayed with hair spray and cut out into leaf shapes. Probably covered with mod podge. I'd have to fool around with it.

I just had to get the idea out into written form before my brain exploded.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Addiction

I've decided that some people are just too hard to find in the 1940 census. If you don't know where your peeps lived then your pretty much screwed. For example. My philly Biedzinski family. Philadelphia is huge and has about a bagillion ED's. My aunt was able to give me the address she thought I could find them. No dice. Then I found a 1950 city directory with an address. Apparently they weren't living there either. Ps... in that directory it was actually spelled Biedzinski. Apparently its just Shamokin thats messed up.

If you look on on their nifty map to see who all is indexed... Pennsylvania is a lonely 4%. So I've decided to help out even if it's just a few pages of the census. Better than nothing right?

It's actually pretty addicting. As long as your computer doesn't move painfully slow. Like mine. But I'll keep on going.

So if you want to procrastinate from whatever it is you want to avoid, download the software and help out. Its pretty easy. And pick the PA census records! You know you want to! You might even find a page with your ancestors. I haven't yet. But its possible.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Ocean of Memories

As you all may or may not know, the 14th and 15th of this month mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. As I'm typing this I'm reading the tweets from @TitanicRealTime and listening to the soundtrack. It is a wonder I'm not sobbing like crazy.

I'm not directly related to anyone on the Titanic. That I know of anyway. But I have found some distant cousins. And in the process some (obviously) sad stories.

For example. Mr. Daniel Warner Marvin, first class passenger. Only 19 years old. My 16th cousin thrice removed. Recently married, coming back from his honeymoon.

On the night of the accident Daniel assisted his wife to a boat with the words "It's alright, little girl. You go. I will stay."

I mean how can that not get to you. And here's another one. I can just picture the scenario too.

Bessie Waldo Allison is my 14th cousin thrice removed.

When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Alice Cleaver took Trevor and left with him in lifeboat 11 . Bess Allison was put in a boat with Loraine, but refused to leave the ship without her baby. She dragged Loraine out of the boat and started searching for Alice and Trevor.

"Mrs Allison could have gotten away in perfect safety," Major Arthur Peuchen told the Montreal Daily Star "But somebody told her Mr Allison was in a boat being lowered on the opposite side of the deck, and with her little daughter she rushed away from the boat. Apparently she reached the other side to find that Mr Allison was not there. Meanwhile our boat had put off."

Major Peuchen, also gave this account of Mrs. Allison's last moments "She had gone to the deck without her husband, and, frantically seeking him was directed by an officer to the other side of the ship. She failed to find Mr. Allison and was quickly hustled into one of the collapsible life-boats, and when last seen by Major Peuchen she was toppling out of the half-swamped boat."
Trevor Allison was the only survivor having been rescued by the child's nurse Alice Cleaver. Bess's body, if recovered, was never identified.

The whole family. Except the son. But even so Trevor still died young. Only 18 from Ptomaine poisoning. 

There are many more stories on the encyclopedia titanica site. Here are the links to the two people I mentioned:

As I mentioned before Titanic makes me think of my Bieda's. They were probably third class. And  came over not even a whole year after the Titanic sank. I can totally see them partying it up down in third class. Lewis knew how to play several instruments (accordion, violin, and concertina) which makes me think Jakob would've known too. And Polish people like to polka. And drink. From what I heard about a wedding shindig that went down years before I was born. 

Watching the film now that I'm older just seems to be more meaningful. I know about some of the characters and can point them out. Like the couple in bed when the water is rising, Isidor and Ida Straus. Or Benjamin Guggenheim who was dressed up and prepared to go down as a gentleman. 

It's all so sad. Which is probably what attracts so many people. But really? Only 705 people survived? It makes you want to go back in time and smack some people. In a similar way to discovering your family is listed on an illegible census record and wanting to smack the census taker for their horrible handwriting.

Lastly, I leave you with this:

Hope you have your tissues ready.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's in a name? (Part 2)

It occurs to me that I should have split the last post into two sections and just stick the Bieda family by itself. And I have to say this again. They are driving me crazy.

Today I started looking in directories again thinking the name changes I found yesterday will make a difference. I even looked in one with Lewis Bieda that I already saved. And then I saw it. Bigenski. Oh but isn't that the same one I found yesterday? Nope. The ole switcheroo with an i and an e. Well that's ok I thought. Not too bad I can deal with one more. So I go to another one. And again. Biegnski. Ok just put the i and e together now and slide the gn together. Sure.

Before today I had no record of my peeps in the 1930 census. After looking in all these directories I think to myself "Self!"... Sorry I had an Emril moment.. if you don't get that don't worry. Anyway I did a search in the 1930 census and found Joseph and his wife, Jakob and Anna, and Alex and his wife. With yet another spelling. So at this point I'm getting kind of ticked off. Not to mention that Alex, who already has several variations to his first name, is spelled Elex in this census. AH! I believe it was at this point where I wanted to crack open a bottle of vodka at 10:30am. But I digress. The last name this time was Bignskie. See it's not major differences but if you try to search for them, even using the soundex or whatever it's called on it's just annoying. I also want to add that Alex or whatever the hell his name is eventually moved to Philly with his family. Philly is a whole hell of a lot bigger than Shamokin and with this many name variations, and possibly more... how will I ever find him?

A brief note on the 1930 census, I actually did find some helpful info. For example Joseph's wife Mary (not to be confused with Alex's wife Mary) and her parents were born in Germany. Yet the language in the home was Polish. But go back to thinking about the crazy borders back then. It also said they arrived in 1908. That could be helpful, but then again for the Biedas they said it was 1912 and not 1913. I also saw Alex's children in the 1930 census: Joseph, Eleanor and Angela. Now I called my busia to confirm about Angela and she wasn't sure. She gave me the name Marie before, so I don't know. The last thing I found was that Joseph, Jakob, and Anna couldn't speak English. I can kind of see Jakob and Anna but Joseph? He was only 11 when he came over, and this was 17yrs later so he should have picked up something. Anyway.

Lewis was living in a different ED. So again I had to fiddle around to find it but it wasn't that bad. I had the address which helped me before. And when I got to 1212 Hemlock... dear lord I almost had a fit. Borzinskie.  Its not even a mistake in the indexing. Its clearly a cursive 'or' on the sheet.

So here they are:

And I thought the Lapinsky's were bad! I still haven't found Jakob. I know in 1936-37 he was living at 440 s. Pearl and in 1948 he was at 34 s. Franklin. I checked both on the 1940 census. So I don't know where the guy is. Or was I should say. Hopefully I won't have to do a part 3 for this name thing.

That's all for now!

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's in a name?

I hope everyone had a good Easter Sunday and a successful first week of census searching.

After the initial frustration on release day I've been pretty successful so far. Only a handful of relatives missing.

The first batch I was able to view was on my dad's side, the Turner and Melick families in Mount Pleasant Twp, Pa. I found his mother, my grandmother and her six siblings. Yes, six. Holy cow. Elaine Turner is a twin, I don't know if I mentioned that in one of my other posts. Her sister was Eilean Turner and she passed away a few years ago. One of the other Turner sisters is named Della Jane. I kind of like that name and I don't know why. Anyway the parents (Ellis Turner and Minnie Melick) were listed there too and her father's occupation was a farmer. Shocker in Pa woo! Lol. I also found Ellis Turner's parents Harry and Lovina. A few other Melick's as well but I'm not 100% sure on a connection, if any.

I figure that was a good start considering I didn't know anything about those guys and never talked to any of that side of the family. Onto the next one!

I was finally able to get into Ralpho Twp that night YAY! I found Clinton, Ida, and Dora Pitner in one place. Then I found my great great grandfather Marion Hauck with Ruth Pitner and my great grandmother Eleanor and her brother Wilferd. In Shamokin I found Morris Yeager with Florence Persing and their brood including Elizabeth/Betty Yeager who I met last December. I also foun Russel/Rudy Persing with Jessie and someone named Doris. Walter Persing (my great grandfather who married Eleanor) was living with his mother Cora in Shamokin. It said he worked in a dye and paint mill. Next I found E. W Persing who is Earl, confirmed by the fact his occupation is listed as Potato Chip factory.

Those were all pretty easy. The Polish on the other hand. Sheesh. I tweeted that they were harder to find than  Waldo, Carmen Sandiego, and Voldemort's nose.

Well apparently they weren't hiding in Shamokin Borough like I thought (or not all of them anyway)

The borough is apparently inside of Coal Twp. and has completely different ED numbers. Today I finally realized this and looked in 49-11 and 49-12.

I found some type of cousins. Or aunts and uncles. I don't know anymore. Stanley Kozloski married Frances Lapinsky so I found those two and their children WITH Anthony Lapinsky. Oh wait sorry. The census says Lipinski have to be correct here. He would be my great great grandfather (Mildred's father). He was 79, not working (duh) and had 0 education. Cioci Francy (aunt there it is I remembered) had a 3rd grade education.
Next up is Frank Yucha and his wife Charlotte (Frances' daughter I think) with 2 of their children. Charlotte just passed away in March.
Then I found Lawrence Matlock (?) with Louise Lapinsky (also goes by Julie. see these people can't make up their minds!) Their kids are shown along with two daughters (+ on of their husbands) from Louise/ Julie's first marriage (surname Glock/Gloc).  One of the Gloc's was lucky enough to be in the extra questions but only thing I learned was Polish was spoken in the home.
Then we have Stanley Lapinsky (actually spelled Lapinsky) with his wife and 2 children.

Ok so the Lapinsky/Lipinski thing I've seen before. No surprise.

But these damn Bieda's are going to kill me.

I mentioned before there was a name change to Biedzinski but my great grandfather Ludwik/Lewis/Louis changed back to Bieda. Well apparently not until after 1940.

The census lists Budzinskie. Louis, Mildred, and my uncle Emil (my Busia's brother). I found them after remembering I had a directory saved to from 1930 and 1941. 1212 Hemlock St. Shamokin Pa. I actually passed them by the first time I looked through the 49-12 section.

So then I went back to the Shamokin Borough and the million of pages that section. I had Joseph and Mary in a directory for 1928 saying they were at 442 Pearl St. and Jakob and Anna were at 440 Pearl St. Well I only found Joseph and Mary. I think Anna had passed away by then but I still didn't find Jakob. In 1950 he's listed as living with Jozef in the directory. Anyway, you would think Jozef would be listed under Biedzinski or Budzinskie. Nope. Beginskie. I'm tellin ya they want to drive me mad!

But if you think of it, in Polish the dz combo sounds like a dg sound. I think.

So I still need to find Jakob Bieda... or whatever.... and then Aleksander/ Alex/ Alexandor is somewhere in Philly at this time. But I have no address or anything so I might have to wait until the indexed version is out. And then of course deal with the possible name combinations. But I won't think about that now.

Sorry this was so long! Gotta go, I'm going out tonight. Titanic 3D Yes!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Waiting.... Waiting... Still Waiting...

NARA is clearly friends with the FGCU internets people. It's like deja vous. really hope that's spelled right. Anyway. Every semester FGCU students log on to gulfline at 12am hoping to get their pick of classes. The lower down the food chain the less chance you'll get that class. Most of us wouldn't get in until 1am. Freshman year I just said screw it, went to bed, and woke up a few hours later to try again. The 1940 census seems to be going the same way. This time instead of complaining to room mates or people on facebook I can complain with people on twitter. 

Right now doesn't have the Pennsylvania records up yet. So I sit and wait. And wait.

But it's not like I haven't been through this before. I shouldn't be surprised but all the genealogy peeps on twitter are very mature about it. All you would hear on FB about FGCU was cursing and complaining. On twitter people are giving tips and good luck and congrats for getting in! 

In other news. I went through some photos yesterday. Some of my moms photo albums and pictures when I was little and blah blah blah. Tried to organize some of the stuff (the one album was a mess!) My mom told me to look through and throw out any blurry ones or doubles. Now, as a borderline hoarder/pack rat/photo nerd this was... difficult to say the least. I still have photos on memory cards from a few years ago because I thought "I might need that one!!!" or "oh, its blurry but maybe I can touch it up somehow" Anyway I did get rid of quite a few pictures. 

All this blabbing and still no progress. *sigh* Well, I'm going to pick my mom up from work to go for lunch today so maybe when I get back something will change. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On This Date...

On March 25, 1913, my great grandfather Ludwik (Lewis) Bieda arrived in America with his parents and two brothers. I find it amazing that it was 99 years ago. Not even a year after the sinking of the Titanic. How scary would that be?

Left to Right: Ludwik, Jakob, and Anna Bieda

They sailed from Bremen Germany on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. I found a few pictures of it online through Google.


 another view of the smoking room.

I doubt my Polish peeps would've been up in first class. I mean photos of Jakob make him look rather snazzy with a pocket watch and everything but the surname "Bieda" translates to "Poverty" in Polish. Lovely

File:Photo of the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie in New Yorlk.jpg 

Ever since the movie came out and we learned about it in 3rd grade, I've had a thing for the Titanic. When I found out they came to America not even a year later... I see the movie different now. Maybe all of you genealogist types see it too. When I watch the first half (pre iceberg) I feel... It helps me imagine what my ancestors might have been feeling when they boarded the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. Then when everyone is scurrying for the lifeboats... it just makes it more real knowing that it could've happened to my ancestors too. 

In other news... did you all hear Titanic is coming out in 3D? Excited! Just made plans to see it with some coworkers. I'm sure I'll post about that, as well as a whole Titanic themed post including distant cousins I'm apparently related to that were on the ship. I found some sad stories (surprise right?) about some of the families. I'll share those too (if I can remember where I stashed them).

Thats all for now folks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Other Half

This is called the Persing & Bieda family history for a reason. Up until about a week ago, I had no idea about the other half of my tree. My dad's side. Never met the guy. It awkwardly came up in conversation last week (how would that conversation not be awkward?) but I'm glad I know now. Besides. Every tree has some interesting tidbits in it. Some good some bad. But it is what it is.

I usually don't include names of living people in my blog, but I think I'll make an exception. Maybe I want him to randomly google something and find out that I exist, or to remind him that I exist. Maybe because they'res a teeny part of me that's angry and hurt and wants other people to know he's a jerk (maybe not 100% jerk. perhaps coward is a better word?)

So who is this man and his family and how much do I know? And how did I get past the little info I was given initially? Sit back and I'll tell you.

His name is Darrin Kay Snyder. He has a sister named Donna. His parents are Donald and Elaine K Snyder. The names of his parents I actually found on You know, that creepy website where you can find terrifying amounts of information. Hah. I have a free account but it didn't really help. I found more by not signing in. Anyway the names were confirmed by my mom so I know I have the right people. Another good tip for finding living relatives? Check the white pages online. If I wanted to I could call Darrin or send him a letter. Doesn't mean I'm going to.

Based on the birth dates of my grandparents, couldn't help me with what I had. Well, not until the 1940 census comes out anyway. But I was googling here and there. And I found a Gedcom file online. I've never seen one or used one or anything before so the code took some getting used to. I think I could be a pro now.  Here is the link that I found:

It shows all of them. I learned that Donald passed away in 1999 and he was a Korean War vet. It even said an occupation for prison guard. The file shows that Elaine's maiden name was Turner. Her mother's maiden name was Melick. The file has the Melick/Moelich family going back to the 1500s in Germany. So last week I had no idea.... and now I'm in the 1500s? In WDYTYA drinking game talk... thats like 10 shots right there.

Does it end there? Of course not! I plug everything into all generations from that page. No hints for Donald, except a ss. death record and military record. I was able to find my great grandparents, Minnie Melick and Ellis Turner. And guess what? THERE WERE PICTURES! You all know how I am with pictures. Heck how all of us are with pictures. There was even a picture for Elaine's sister. Apparently they were twins! I found more twins further back. Anyway long story short I found a crap ton of people back there. Mostly German ancestry. But all of them were in America since the 16-1700s. Another branch I found, now this is exciting, goes to England. I love the UK and Ireland. You have no idea. When I saw England on the ancestry tree I was about as excited as Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang Theory when Sheldon gave her a tiara. At this point I'm in the 12-1300s in England. And there's a castle.

I think I'm starting to ramble a little bit so this is where I'll end it. As always leave me comments. Please? Or if you are related to me don't hesitate to let me know :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

WDYTYA Workout

Right now I'm watching Reba on Who do You Think You Are. Apparently she's my 19th cousin. In the drinking game that means I should take a drink. But if I was going to follow that I would be completely smashed right now. (Actually I'm cheating on the exercise version only b/c i have a headache and jumping jacks don't help with that).

Like I said last post, I'm modeling this after the drinking game (link in last post too) so if some of the things are similar well, you know why.

So here we go. The WDYTYA Workout:

5 crunches if...
-we go back 3+ generations in several seconds
-celeb travels to another state in the U.S
-they look at an old document
-the celeb compares their life with their ancestor's life

10 crunches if...
-there are no gloves used on an old document and it bothers you
-celebs travel overseas
-name change
-impossibly quick "finding" of documents in the library. 

5 push ups if... mentioned in the show
-photograph found in a library
-emotional moment

10 jumping jacks if...
-they are shown a nice family tree
-wow!/ gasp/ shock/ surprise
-they go to a census

20 jumping jacks if...
-you are related to the celeb
-you've been to the city/town that they travel to
-they go to the 1600s or earlier

This is just a rough draft of course. I'm making it up as I go. 

Suggestions are welcome!

(Also, I'm not proofreading any of this. Long day at work plus distracted by the show. So if something doesn't make sense... just go with it. LOL)