Saturday, December 31, 2011

Loving Hands

As the old year comes to a close and a new one starts, I stop to think of how we have spent previous New Year's Eves.  From the time we were first married, we have not been "party" people but have preferred to stay at home.  When our children were growing up we always had our own party at home with punch for the kids, crackers, cheese, and all the other good snacks.  I always prepared the traditional pork and sauerkraut meal to eat at midnight.  We had the party hats and balloons and noisemakers.  Even the dog got a party hat.  One of our daughters continues that tradition with her family.  But now, her children are becoming teenagers and they want to do other things on this special night of the year.

This past holiday season, I made a special effort to take pictures of the hands of my family.  I have seen this done and thought it was such a touching gesture.  I'm not sure yet what I will be doing with these prints, but I am thinking of making large photos for each family to hang on their wall.  Since we did not have our traditional full family gathering this year, I had to take the pictures in segments.  I am hoping for a full gathering by the end of January.

This picture represents 3 generations:  myself, my daughter, and her daughters.

This is my son's family
This is our youngest daughter's family
This is our oldest daughter's family

 This is my sister's family with 5 generations.  This includes my father, my brother, my sister, her son, her son's daughters and granddaughters.

What have these hands done over the years?  My father's hands will be 98 years old in two more days.  His hands were the hands of a farmer, a machinist, a balloon maker, a musician, a son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather.  His hands were those of a craftsman who liked to build things.

Our hands are important parts of the rest of us.  I too was a musician and  a person who likes to craft and make things.  I like to type and record events.    My sister also follows those traits in her own way by taking care of other family's children.  My brother has been in construction and also is interested in music.  

Our own children were musical and crafty.  One daughter uses her hands to feed the animals on her farm and take care of them.  Our son uses his hands to paint houses.  The other daughter uses her hands to keep baseball scores.  

What DO we use our hands for?  We use them to communicate with each other; we use them to touch and show love to one another; we use them to eat and nourish ourselves.  

Be thankful for the loving hands that have touched you in your lifetime for whatever reason.  

Happy New Year 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis the Season...

So far, it has been a busy month here as I am sure it has been at your place.  With the hustle and bustle of the holidays also came health issues for two family members.  They are both doing better, thank you, but their issues will continue into the new year.

With 10 grandchildren - all growing up and changing - their list of "wants" grows even longer and more expensive.  It's so hard to keep up with all of them.

There have been some changes for me as well.  First, I want to let you all know that my husband's applications to Settlers and Builders of Ohio, and to the Society of Civil War Families of Ohio were both accepted.  I am happy and he's ok with it.  You have to remember, he is not the genealogist in the family by any means.  Although, I do have to give him credit - he is learning his ancestors a little better these days!

I was approached this last week to "help" a person put together their application for SCWFO.  When they came, they basically had the application form filled out but still had to dig through their list of documents to make sure they would be in order.  He was following his maternal lines and was putting the female ancestor as the first ancestor in each "they were the child of" section.  Please remember, that the male should always go first, even if you are following maternal lines.  And yes, you do need your father or mother's birth/death information even if you are following only one line.  Remember, you are documenting your relationship to your ancestors.

Another big change has occurred this month as well.  After the 2012 Ohio Genealogical Society's conference in April, I will assume the duties of the head judge of First Families of Ohio.  The current chair/judge has held the position for the last  years and will be retiring after the conference.  I have found a very worthy successor to judge Century Families of Ohio and she is enthusiastic about taking this challenge on.

A very joyous holiday season to each and every one of you.  It truly is a special time of year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This past week I worked tirelessly and furiously to finish up the lineage applications for my husband.  I wanted his family in Settlers and Builders of Ohio and in the Society for Civil War Families of Ohio.  As I mentioned earlier, the relationship documentation for SCWFO is tentative at best.  However, it has been submitted  in the best manner I could present the application.  It will now be up to the judge of that society to approve or disapprove the application. 

For SBO, I only submitted my husband's paternal lines for this initial application.  Since I can add supplemental ancestors in the future at no additional charge, I chose this method so that he would have certificates for his maternal and paternal lines.  Next year I will try to submit his mother's line.  That particular line will take more researching and finding more documentation to get back as far as I'd like to go with that line.

Eventually, I will submit his ancestors that qualify for FFO (First Families of Ohio). 

Most people would start with the hardest application first.  That is what I did for my own lines.  However if you are uncertain of how to begin the process, start with the easiest application you can do first.  In the case of the Ohio Genealogical Society, that would be with Century Families of Ohio as you are proving ancestors that resided in Ohio between 1861 and 100 years prior to the current year.  The proof documents are much easier to find, as a rule, for this time frame.

You still have time to submit your lineage applications for 2011.  They must be postmarked by December 31 to be eligible for induction at the 2012 conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

Your ancestor may not have been rich or famous, but they certainly contributed in some way to the growth and prosperity for the state of Ohio.

I hope to see your application soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Collateral Relatives

The question was recently asked:  How do you prove a collateral relative for a lineage society?

In very rare circumstances are collateral relatives accepted in to a lineage society.  However, the Society of Civil War Families of Ohio does allow collateral relatives:  brothers, uncles, etc.  The collateral relative must be from your direct line.

I have no direct ancestors that served in the Civil War.  The closest that I can get is the first husband of my great-grandmother and he is not my direct ancestor line.  I descend from my great-grandmother's second marriage.  Therefore, I have no claim to a Civil War soldier.

On the other hand, my husband - who has no true interest in genealogy - has ancestors that have fought in every war this country has fought!  Is life fair?  This year I am working on an application for one of my husband's collateral relatives for the Society of Civil War Families of Ohio (SCWFO).  The individual I am working on was the brother of my husband's great-grandmother.  Now, how do I document that.

What information do I have?  I have the 1850 census showing the parents and children in the home.
This shows Henry H. Blanchett, age 45, born in England; Elizabeth Blanchett, age 46, born in England (we say this is his wife);  Elizabeth A. Blanchett, age 19, born in England (my husband's great-grandmother); Emma J. Blanchett, age 17, born in England; Henry W. Blanchett, age 14, born in Ohio; Charles E. Blanchett, age 9, born in Ohio (the Civil War Soldier) and Charles J. Blanchett, age 42, born in England.

We know that the 1850 census does not give us relationships.  It gives us members of the household.  In looking up the instructions for the enumerators we find the following:

3. Under heading 3, entitled, "The name of every person whose usual place of abode on the 1st day of June, 1850, was in this family," insert the name of every free person in each family, of every age, including the names of those temporarily absent, as well as those that were at home on that day. The names of every member of a family who may have died since the 1st day of June is to be entered and described as if living, but the name of any person born since the 1st day of June is to be omitted. The names are to be written beginning with the father and mother; or if either, or both, be dead, begin with some other ostensible head of the family; to be followed, as far as practicable, with the name of the oldest child residing at home, then the next oldest, and so on to the youngest, then the other inmates, lodgers and borders, laborers, domestics, and servants.

Based on the above paragraph, we could then assume that Henry H. Blanchett is the father and head of the household; Elizabeth is the wife and mother; Elizabeth A.and Emma are daughters; Henry and Charles E are sons.  Charles J. Blanchett would be another relative and in fact is a brother to Henry H. Blanchett.

Do we take this as proof of relationship?  Will the judge of the lineage society accept it as proof of relationship?  Probably not, in answer to both questions.  So, what's our next step.

I have a letter written by a 3rd party to Henry H. Blanchett telling him that his son is in a hospital in Washington, D.C. extremely ill with typhoid malaria.  The letter does use the words "your son".  This would be considered a proof of relationship.

Unfortunately, Charles E. Blanchett dies a few short days later of his illness.  He is buried in Arlington Cemetery. 

I know the unit that Charles was assigned to and we have the names of his commanding officers.  There is no doubt that Charles was in the Civil War.

Was Charles the brother to Elizabeth A. Blanchett? 

We can go to the 1860 Census, which still shows Elizabeth A and Charles in the home of Henry and Elizabeth "Blanchard":

Unfortunately, there is no other known documentation to prove the relationship of brother and sister.  Elizabeth A. died in Michigan in 1867 after giving birth to her second set of twins.  Her death record does not list her parents.  There has been no obituary found for Henry or Elizabeth Blanchett who died in 1892 and 1891 respectively.  I have found no biographical history of this family.  The family bible we inherited has no family information within its pages.  The 1862 marriage record of Elizabeth to her husband, Reuben Cheney, only provides the names of the bride and the groom.

I will provide an Applicant's Statement presenting my case for the relationship of Charles and Elizabeth. 

I have not taken the steps to get the Civil War records of Charles E. Blanchett.  Perhaps that would give more information.  Perhaps it won't.

When specific documentation can not be found and you have supporting evidence to the facts or the occasion, you present what you have to the judges.  If you feel that more explanation is necessary, you can make an Applicant's Statement as to why you believe what you are presenting is factual.  It is then up to to the judge to approve or reject the application.