Saturday, April 28, 2012

Commentary on Comments

One thing I enjoy about blogging is the concept of comments.  When I read other blogs, I leave comments when a post speaks to me.  I also am thankful for those who leave comments on my blog.  I have received amazing support and encouragement from family and the genealogy community through the comments on my blog.  

This week I have been grappling with what to do when you receive inappropriate comments on your blog.  A not so Anonymous person has used my blog to express her personal problems.  This is my blog so I have removed the content.  I respect Anonymous' 1st Amendment Rights to free speech so I am going to suggest she start her own blog to tell her story.
I have to admit there is a part of me that just wants to put this not so Anonymous person on blast.  When it comes down to it, I just really don't care to reciprocate the hate I have read this week.  I want to teach my children to be kind, truthful, and tolerant of others so I must lead by example.

I have the comments on my blog set up to make it as easy, inviting, and accessible as possible.  I do not want have a feeling of censorship on my blog but I feel that the best solution in this situation is to start moderating incoming comments.  I promise to stay on top of my blog and post your comments as soon as possible.  

Last night I realized that the inappropriate comments are also a genealogy lesson.  I need to be sure to find as many sources of information about my ancestors as possible . It is important to remember that a story may be biased in a positive or negative direction depending on who has told the story.  I continually strive to do my ancestors justice and portray them accurately.  I know that this involves telling all stories from the happy to the scandalous and everything in between.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Walter Radvany and Gwendolyn Fuller

My husband's maternal grandparents are Walter "Wally" Radvany and Gwendolyn "June" Fuller.  They married on June 4, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois.

June and Wally Radvany right after the ceremony.

Wally Radvany
June's best friend, June, and her stepfather, Al Fraser before the ceremony.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Travel Tuesday - A Must See County In Ohio

One of the great moments on this season of Who Do You Think You Are was in the Martin Sheen episode.  Martin Sheen found information that one of his great grandfathers tried to put one of his great grandmothers in jail.  In a twist of irony, the two sides of the family came together in marriage several generations later.

Today I found out that I might have my own "Martin Sheen" moment.  It is not as dramatic but still exciting for me.

I have documented my mother's paternal line (Lawbaugh) from Kansas back to Illinois then to Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  The family moved to Ohio in the early 1820's and stayed there until 1853 when my line moved to Illinois.  The Lawbaugh's lived in the Bucks and Sugarcreek areas of the county.

Today I received an email from a volunteer angel who did a look up for me in Tuscarawas County.  He confirmed that on my mother's maternal line (Flock) Mathias Flock married Margaret Fankboner in Tuscarawas County in 1835.  The 1840 Federal Census places the family in Oxford, Tuscarawas, Ohio.

The Lawbaugh family lived approximately 20-25 miles away from the Flock family in the same county.  Although I know this was a far distance for travel in the early 1800's, I have to wonder if there was ever a chance that these two families ever met?!  Did they know each other or of each other?

It would be wild if they knew each other because 4 generations later my grandmother would marry my grandfather in Kansas.

I need to do more research about the area and what records are available.  I also need to add this county to my "visit places my ancestors lived" genealogy goal for sure!  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Census Sunday - Ida Austin Household 1940

The biggest news in genealogy this week was the release of the 1940 Federal Census on Monday, April 2nd.  The week started off with a few bumps but has largely been a success for me.  One of the positives about living on the west coast is that when I woke up on Monday, news was already spreading about the insane number of people trying to access  I decided to wait until Tuesday to take a peek at my ancestors.  This plan was somehow communicated to and they loaded the states I needed first (Haha - they did a great job getting all 3.8 million images loaded).  I am extremely happy to say that I have found 7 out of 8 grandparents (I was looking for my husband's grandparents too.)  The only one missing is a grandparent that lived in Chicago at the time.  I do not have an address for her and Chicago is way to large to just scroll through the images.

I plan on using the Census Sunday theme to share my finds in the 1940 Federal Census.  I will start this week with the Ida Austin household in San Francisco, California.

Ida Austin is my husband's great-great-grandmother.  She lived at 25 Fair Oaks Street, San Francisco, California.  Also listed in the household (in order) is Alfred Pope, Althea Pope, Joyce Pope, John Pope, Louis Richards, and Sophia Richards.

I laughed out loud when I read that all of the people listed had a relationship as lodger.  All of the other families on the sheet have more conventional relationships listed such as wife, daughter, step-son.  Althea is Ida's daughter.  She is living with her husband and two children in her mother's home.  Sophia is Ida's sister and Louis is Sophia's husband.

I would love to peek into the past to see who answered the questions of the enumerator.  No one in the household is marked with the X in a circle.  It is possible that one of the neighbors answered the questions for this family.  Since everyone in the household is listed as living in the same house in 1935, they obviously have been living as an extended family for some time.

Ida Austin owned her home and it was valued at $8000.  She made $1470 the previous year and appears to be the only person in the household working.  This is pretty amazing since her age is listed as 65 in 1940.  Grandpa John tells me that his grandmother worked at Columbia Outfitting Company.  Alfred is listed as a laborer but he did not have any income.

The education column is also interesting to me.  Alfred Pope is listed as having only 4 years of education.  When I asked Grandpa John about that, he told me that his father took classes at UC Berkeley.  This might be another indication that a neighbor answered the questions about the family.

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Entire Year!

I did it!  Today is my one year anniversary for this blog.  To celebrate, I created some memories with my daughter while making a blog anniversary cake.  It is chocolate with cream cheese frosting, green sprinkles, and brown sugar.

As I cross one of my genealogy goals off the list (write a genealogy blog for one year), I embark on a new goal to continue this blog to my five year anniversary.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who reads my blog!  I never expected that I would have so much fun telling my genealogy stories.  I have been overwhelmed at the support and comments from the genealogy community and family.