Week 2: Winter.  What was winter like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

I grew up on a small island in the Puget Sound.  The climate there is fairly mild and the winters weren’t usually snow-covered.  They were cold and the roads were icy, but we normally didn’t get the benefit of snow to play in.

So, when it did snow, we took full advantage of it.  School was cancelled.  We stayed at home and played.

I remember one year in particular (Feb 1990) where we must have gotten at least a foot.  The roads were impassable and we walked a couple of miles down to a neighbor’s house and had some snowball fights.

I think that it was that same snowstorm that my siblings and I decided to build a snow fort on the patio.  We used a large bucket, filled it with snow and then poured water in it.  We’d then let it sit for a bit and then flip it over to form an ice block.  We thought that we were going to build an entire igloo, but in the end we didn’t make it that far.  We did get a couple of buckets high though and we still thought it was pretty cool.  The patio ended up being completely iced over from all of our water pouring.  We went ice skating – minus the skates.

My little sister – being a goofball like always.:)

Whenever we got snow, we would head up the hill past our home.  It was a slow, steady climb to the top, but on the other side it was much steeper.  This is where we went innertubing.  We’d just hop on and hope we didn’t hit a tree.:)

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I have been contemplating a Genealogy Bank membership for quite some time.  I couldn’t decide if it was worth the money or not.  I have an Ancestry membership and had a Footnote one for a while.  Did I really need another one?

I took the plunge last night, signing up for a year-long membership.  And I’m so glad that I did.

I immediately started typing in names, seeing what would come up.  I found obituaries for a few of my great-grandparents, and while I didn’t necessarily learn any new information, they were nice to have.

I found some great pictures of my Great Aunt and Uncle, dressed in their Swedish folk dancing outfits.

But the greatest find of all was an article I found about my aunt and uncles.  It is hilarious.  I will abbreviate their names since they are living and I don’t want to completely embarrass them by making their exploits googlable.:)

The article was titled “Trouble Factory: Mother’s Day Hectic” from the Seattle Times in Feb 1961:

If there is anyone around wanting to borrow trouble, Mr. and Mrs. D. S. , Lynwood have a productive trouble factory from which they will be happy to make a quick loan, without collateral or interest.

But no returns, please.

In the family home at 50818 59th Place W. today, Mrs. S sighed the weary sigh of a despairing mother.

Their son, A, 3, was in Ballard General Hospital recovering from effects of an unauthorized medicine-sampling yesterday afternoon.

A was hustled off to the family doctor, along with his daughter, P, 6 months old, upon whom A also had “practiced” medicine.

That occurred whiled Mrs. S was preoccupied with still another problem, her missing 5-year old son, T,  who Mrs. S  learned at 4:30 o’clock was not where she thought he was and had not been seen since noon.

“T came home from kindergarten about 11 o’clock and later went up to a neighbor boy’s home to play.” Mrs. S said. “I thought everything was fine until the boy’s brother came looking for him here.”

“The neighbors started hunting and I called police. Then I called my husband at work. I had to stay with the baby. She has asthma and I’ve had her in the hospital five times since last November.

“Finally, the police found T about 5:30 playing at another neighbor’s home.  When I went to the bedroom, I found Patricia with pink asthma medicine smeared all over her face.”

“A was acting strangely quiet; so I called the doctor.  He said to hurry right over with both of them. The medicine has some sort of drug in it and the doctor said A had swallowed a big enough does for three boys four times his size.  He ordered him to a hospital.”

What other trouble?

Mrs. S sighed again.

“My other son, S – he is 6, got scarlet fever on Christmas,” she said. “On New Year’s Day he fell out of his top bunk  and broke his shoulder”

The article also included 2 pictures with it – one of my Uncle A with his nurse.  The other was my Aunt P, being held by my (step)-grandma and had the caption: Mrs. D S, Lynwood, held her daughter P, 6 months old, who was fed a dose of medicine yesterday by her brother, A, 3, while Mrs. S was looking for another son.

I of course immediately sent the article to my aunt and uncles and was surprised to hear that not only had none of them seen the article, but they had never even know that it had happened!  We all got a good laugh out of it.:)

This is the type of article I was hoping to find. An interesting family story was unearthed. I can’t wait to see what else I might find!

I do have one question though.  Does anyone know if you change a PDF into a JPEG?  That is my only gripe – the images are downloaded as PDFs, which means I can’t easily share them with you here.  The only thing I could figure to do was take a screenshot of the PDF, save it as a JPEG and then crop it where I wanted it.  Is that my only option?

  • Randy Seaver - January 14, 2011 - 4:03 pm

    I wrote about http://www.zamzar.com last week on http://www.geneamusings.com – it converted my 81 page PDF Civil War Pension Ffile to 81 JPG files of the pages quickly. You upload the file, wait for an email with al ink, then download the converted files.

    Good luck! — RandyReplyCancel

  • Jen - January 14, 2011 - 4:45 pm

    Thank you Randy!!! You’ve just saved me a lot of time. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sheri Fenley - January 14, 2011 - 5:21 pm

    I agree 100% with you about Genealogybank.com Newspapers stories give us a look into our ancesotrs lives that isn’t available anywhere else. Mahvalous find dahling!ReplyCancel

  • Greta Koehl - January 14, 2011 - 5:53 pm

    I also love Genealogy Bank. One thing, though, the OCR quality isn’t always terribly good, so if you are seriously looking for a particular article, you may either have to use a lot of different search terms or browse a particular publication for a limited time span. I have been converting the PDFs through screen capture, but it sounds like Randy’s solution saves a lot of time.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - January 15, 2011 - 10:37 pm

    Thanks so much, Jen, for this tip. It has only kept me up half the night last night (and away from most chores today) searching and searching and searching! :) I have a STACK of papers I have printed out! I have called my mother numerous times. I have told a friend by e-mail and my husband what I have found. The obituaries on GenealogyBank.com have already helped me place someone in my tree that before I could not for the life of me figure out where he fit!

    Seriously, thank you for posting this. It gave me the push I needed. Like you, I had considered it many times and just never committed. Boy, I’m glad I finally did!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - January 16, 2011 - 1:49 pm

      So glad that you took the plunge too! I have had so many great finds so far and I’m hoping that they just keep adding more!ReplyCancel

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I can be such a ditz sometimes.  I was going through a box of souvenirs from this past summer and came across this picture, which I’m sure my mom must have given me.  How on earth did I forget?  It was in between a stack of postcards and my kids’ junior ranger badges.

Well, it was a pleasant surprise. Maybe I should clean more often! Who knows what I would find.:)

This is the Sanchez family. The older two on the left are Patricia (Melhus) Sanchez and her husband Theodore.  The rest are their children(from L to R): Luella (Lou), Donald (my grandfather), Leonarda (Nonnie), Charlotte, and Peg.

I’m so excited to have this photograph.  It is going to help me in identifying his sisters in the other stack of pictures I have.

  • Wendy B. - January 12, 2011 - 12:25 pm

    What a wonderful picture, Jen! I love finds like that. Lately, my most exciting finds have been a couple dollars here and there found in my coat pocket… =pReplyCancel

  • Jessa - January 13, 2011 - 12:35 am

    Recognized the term ‘wordless wednesday’ so I had to pop over and see. This is a wonderful photo! Old family photos are so amazing. A treasure all their own.ReplyCancel

  • Jo Graham - January 13, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    I’m in the same boat with ID’ing people in old photos – oh how I wished Granny had made it OBVIOUS who was who! Now I need to go through them all and try to see the resemblance over the years :-) JoReplyCancel

  • Free Genealogy Guide - January 13, 2011 - 11:38 pm

    The biggest problem I’ve had is trying to identify people in photos at vastly different ages. Sometimes the older them looks just like they did when they were young, but I keep running into the ones who don’t even resemble anyone in the family.ReplyCancel

  • Trevor Sanchez - March 29, 2011 - 3:43 pm

    Grampa Theodore taught me how to tie my shoes when I was four. He told a tale of a rabbit searching for its hole while describing how the shoelaces tuck around and under then come tight. I wish I could remember those exact words. We lived in Lynwood at the time.ReplyCancel

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Adam Potter and his wife Nancy, are my 5th great-grandparents.  They are buried in McDonald, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The other three women on the gravestone are their daughters.

I am descended through their daughter Juliette Potter, who married John Cavit and moved away from Pennsylvania – first to Iowa and then to South Dakota, where they died.

  • Cherie Cayemberg - January 11, 2011 - 9:39 am

    You know, I’ve got to say, Jenn…your family got around in a time when “getting around” wasn’t as common as it is with us! You are so lucky to be able to find everyone you do. I keep on thinking about how difficult it could be for our descendants to find us with all the traveling the military had us doing! Still a great story to tell. I’m sure your mad genealogical skills have served you well over the years! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Jen - January 11, 2011 - 10:59 am

    My family definitely didn’t stay in one place! I sometimes think it might be easier if they had stayed in one town – or at least one area. It’s fun researching different places though. :)ReplyCancel

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My great-grandfather Alfred Leroy Edwards  and his brother Elias E., served in the 42nd Division (The Rainbow Division) during WWI.  I don’t have any pictures of him during this time period, or any of his military records, but I figured that at least I could find out what battles his unit took part in to get a better picture of what his experience must have been like.

My dad has a photograph of him shaving in France, but he can’t find it right now.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it shows up!

Looking onlilne, I found this list of the battles engaged in by the 42nd Division : (1) Luneville sector, Lorraine, February 21 to March 23, 1918; (2) Baccarat sector, Lorraine, March 31 to June 21, 1918; (3) Esperance-Souain sector, Champagne, July 4 to July 17, 1918; (4) Champagne-Marne defensive, July 15 to 17, 1918; (5) Aisne-Marne offensive, July 25 to August 3, 1918; (6) Aisne-Marne offensive July 25 to August 11, 1918; (7) St. Mihiel offensive, September 12 to 16, 1918; (8) Essey and Pannes sector, Woevre, September 17 to 30, 1918; (9) Meuse-Argonne offensive, October 12 to 31, 1918; (10) Meuse-Argonne, October 7 to November 1, 1918; (11) Meuse-Argonne offensive, November 5 to 10, 1918; (12) Meuse-Argonne offensive November 5 to 9, 1918.

I also found some papers (a diary and some books) of another Iowa Private who served in the same regiment, which are available at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA.  I would love to be able to read through his diary and get an idea of what life was like – since they may have had similar experiences.

I was also happy to find a picture of a roster from a different company(on an ebay site), but similar to the one above.  It is in great condition in a frame and has a uniform also.  It was neat to see what he would have worn.

Someone in the family HAS to have a picture of him in uniform, don’t you think?  I will have to do some searching….

  • Cherie Cayemberg - January 11, 2011 - 9:41 am

    Have you written away for his military records? There’s a chance they weren’t destroyed…they should have something though and if you’re very lucky they’ll have more than just a little! :)ReplyCancel

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