Here are some of my favorite reads from this past week:

  1. Wendy shared a beautiful poem which her great-grandfather wrote when he left his sweetheart back home to fight in WWI. The  post is entitled “Military Monday: Andrew Lee Brittain in WWI”  Very touching and such a wonderful thing to pass down.
  2. Nolichucky Roots shared her grandmother’s “status updates” in Status updates from the past or how Grandmother beat Zuckerberg to the punch.  She’d be a Facebook junkie for sure!
  3. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the post entitled “10 things my ancestors did to annoy me” over at Caro’s Family Chronicles.  Don’t we all have some ancestors like these?  It keeps us forever searching…
  4. And I have to give a shout out to Wendy again, because she has been verified in the DAR!!!  And she’s using the same ancestor that I will be when I get off my rear end and finish the paperwork.  This is good news for me!:)
  5. I also think that you should go and visit Liz over at My Tapley Tree…and it’s Branches.  She is my self-proclaimed stalker.:)  Not really.  She and I met in line at the Atlanta Family History Expo and then continued to bump into each other again and again.  After the Expo, she started her blog and then found mine.:)  I’m hoping to run into her again in Charleston this May!
  6. Amy Coffin, over at the We Tree blog had some great posts about blog commenting.  Head on over there to read her post – and then turn off your word verification so that I can quit squinting.:)
  7. Would you like to win a dream vacation to your ancestor’s homeland?  Head over to Ancestry and enter to win their $20,000 Ultimate Family History Journey Sweepstakes!!  On second thought, please don’t.  The less entries, the more of a chance I have to win….
  • Wendy B. - January 28, 2011 - 1:25 am

    Thanks again, Cousin, for the shout-outs. I appreciate your support so much! Can’t wait for us to both be in the DAR together — it’ll be fun to compare notes. Now, I’m off to read the other great blogs you’ve shared. Have a great Friday!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Gurney - January 28, 2011 - 7:54 am

    Thank you for the Follow Friday shout-out, Jen, and for the links to some more great blogs for me to follow.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - January 28, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, Jen.

    Kudos to Wendy on the DAR. How nice to know you’re in – eventually. Sorry, had to tease. I’m well known in my family for procrastinating. Looking forward to checking her blog out.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - January 29, 2011 - 10:59 pm

    Jen, thanks so much for the shout out! I really appreciate the support. I picked the best person to stalk!! 😉 See you in May!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - January 29, 2011 - 11:36 pm

    Oh, and I turned off word verification! Feel free to leave comments now. LOLReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 30, 2011 - 11:34 am

      I will comment away! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy Coffin - January 30, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the mention, and for backing me up on the word verification thing. No squinting on my blog!ReplyCancel

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This is my grandma’s report card/high school transcript from Ballard High School in Seattle, WA.  Her maiden name was Eleanore Bergman.  She went on to become a nurse.

I wonder what she would think of me posting her grades for the world to see…:)

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I spent the first few years of my life in a tiny little corner house in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. I only have fleeting memories from living here though and I don’t think of it as “home”.

When I was still in preschool, and my sister was a toddler, my parents decided to transplant us from the city to a little wooded island in the southern Puget Sound.  I was approaching school age and Seattle was trying out a new system of bussing kids to different schools through out the city, so that they could diversify the schools.  Great idea in theory, but when it comes down to it, it makes the neighborhoods lose a sense of community.  My parents were upset that I might not be attending the school just down the street – and that I wouldn’t necessarily be going to school with the neighbor kids.  They didn’t want their Kindergartner riding across town to another school and I thank them for that.

My parents had already bought 5 acres on the aforementioned island and I think that they visited there on weekends when I was little – camping and clearing the land.  I have a bunch of pictures of me in the woods.  Here is one of them. This had to be about 1977 or 78. Don’t you love our ax-murderer van?  No windows in the back.  And plaid pants?  Very cool.  I especially love my Cookie Monster hat though.

We lived in a duplex a few miles away for a short while and then later moved into a trailer on the property while the house was being built.

Here I am in the unfinished house:

It was pretty small – 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, a large kitchen/dining room and a laundry room.  That was it.  I remember that my mom let me paint the walls Pepto Bismal pink.  I was in a Strawberry Shortcake phase. I would live to regret that decision, because I was stuck with that color on the walls for years….

After my two brothers came along, the house didn’t seem big enough anymore.  We added onto the house.  The “addition”, as we still call it, was actually larger than the original house.  It added on 3 more bedrooms, another bathroom, a formal dining room, and a 900 sq foot family room.

Yes, this is actually my sister and I in a septic tank.  I promise that it hadn’t been used yet.:)  We were just checking it out before it got hooked up to the house.

The addition became an ongoing project.  Both of my parents worked on houses and my dad was actually a contractor for a while.  When you have the skills, you just can’t pay someone else to do it – even if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.  So, a good portion of the addition just sat and sat.  My parents used the back “family room” as a shop for their woodworking tools.

Since I was the oldest kid, they finished my bedroom first (yes, I got one of the new rooms).  I had the coolest bed on earth.  It actually wasn’t even in my room.  My parents cut a large hole in the wall (near the ceiling) and put a queen-sized bed in there.  The neighboring room was a storage room and since my bed was a loft bed, it simply made a section of the storage room lower.  I had to climb a ladder to my bed, but it was the neatest cubby hole.  I really loved it.

The family room didn’t get finished until after I had already moved out of the house.  That’s what happens when you’re the oldest.  Your parents end up having more time and money as they have less kids int he house. Darn!

I feel lucky to have spent almost my entire childhood in the same home.

And now my parents are all alone in that really big house.:)

Someday, (if my husband ever retires from the Army), we’re going to be building our house on the adjoining 5 acres.

  • Greta Koehl - January 26, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    “When you have the skills, you just can’t pay someone else to do it” – oh, boy, that was so much my dad’s (carpenter/general contractor) philosophy – and living in a “work in progress” was very much my experience as a kid.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 26, 2011 - 9:34 pm

      Yes, me too!! The funny thing is that there are still things that aren’t finished in that house. The plumbing still has to be hooked up to the 3rd bathroom. And why isn’t it done? Because my little brother is a plumber of course!ReplyCancel

  • Marian Wood - January 27, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    Fascinating post. I love your memory of the cubby-hole bed and I especially like the photos–particularly the one with you looking out from the septic tank (pre-use, of course).ReplyCancel

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Here is a short biography of my ancestor, Alexander Cowen Robertson which is in the History of Washington County, Iowa.  Oh, how I wish they mentioned WHERE in Kentucky he was from.  I’m still trying to figure that one out. I am, however, very grateful that it lists when his family moved from place to place.

“Robertson, A.C., farmer; Sec. 34; P.O. Washington; was born in Kentucky, July 8, 1839, and in the fall of 1848 he moved to Knox county, Ohio; came to Iowa in the spring of 1860 and located in Louisa county, and in the fall of the same year game to this county locating where he now resides; he owns 70 acres of land; was married December 23, 1863, to Miss Elizabeth J. Covit, a native of Pennsylvania; they have seven children living; Elmer E., John E., Charles W., Ella M., Dessie A., George L., and Annie E.;  Mr. Robertson has held the office of constable for two terms.”

I also found another article about an Alexander Robertson who was the steward of the town’s poor house.  I got really excited about this article, because it was really interesting.  The poor house apparently burned down and 5 people died.  Alexander had tried to go up and save the people, but had almost been knocked out by smoke.  His son John had to get him out.  I was even more excited, because my Alex had a son John.   Then I was disappointed when I looked through the 1880 census and found my Alexander on a farm and this other Alexander working as the poor house steward. Darn!  I almost had a really cool family story….

I need to keep this in mind now when I’m doing research in this county.  There was another Alexander living here at the same time.  I need to make sure not to confuse them!!!

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