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.