Wednesday, December 4, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 49: Craft – The Crafty People in Our Family

This is my second year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

My mother was a very creative person. When I was young, she had a painting studio in the backyard of our home on East 9th Street in Pittsburg. Her favorite subjects were still lifes. I wrote about my mother on the anniversary of her 85th birthday.

She also loved to do crafts and make things out of discarded or used items. She made bowls from old 78 rpm records that she melted over coffee cans in the oven and then sprayed them with gold paint. She made Christmas trees from cardboard egg cartons, painting them gold, green, or silver, and gluing in small items such as bells, angels, etc.  Here is a photo of one I made recently to show my niece.


Every year, she decorated a large apple box for Valentine's Day that our classroom used as a mailbox for Valentine cards from each of our classmates. I wish I had photos of some of these items.

She probably got the creative gene from both her parents. Her father, Tom J Johnston, was a carpenter and made lots of different kinds of furniture that can be seen in 1940s and 50s photos in the inside of their home.

Her mother, Pansy Lancaster Johnston, was a talented seamstress, who made her own clothes and did alterations for both men and women as an occupation. Later in life she crocheted blankets and was still embroidering T-shirts well into her 90s.

My sisters are creative, too, employing painting, crafting, and graphic design. I love photography. One daughter is active in costume design in a theater group she is in. The other paints and does graphic design for others. I have a niece who designs architectural toys, as she’s only 10.

I guess we’re a pretty crafty family!

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Monday Genea-pourri, Weeks of Nov 25-Dec 1, 2019

Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 48—Thief. I could not think of  post to write using this theme, so didn’t write one. This is the only one I have missed in two years.

Webinars/Study Groups Attended:   
I attended no webinars or study groups this week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Client Work:
No Work this week.

Volunteer Work:
I did work at the History Center this week, still opening up the center and working on special collections that need to be processed or put away. I managed to file away some items into the subject/town files in the library.

Own Work:
I worked on the Gleeson family this past week, mostly working on land records from Carleton County, Ontario, Canada. My 3x-great grandfather, Martin Gleeson, and his sons, Michael and John, all purchased land in Goulbourne and Marlborough townships. Martin purchased a piece of land in 1835 and kept it until he sold it to John in 1859. John then mortgaged and paid off the mortgage several times before he sold it completely in 1874. I need to figure out what was going on, that he needed to do that. He did have a large family, and perhaps he had to pay for seed, but maybe there was some economic problem that researching might discover. I also have to figure out where he went in 1874 after selling the farm. They don’t appear in the U.S. until 1879. They might have rented, but he doesn’t appear in directories of the area. I also learned a little more about Michael and need to transcribe his deeds. He left for Iowa around 1860 (after US census and before Canadian census, as he is in neither).

Other:
Thanksgiving was celebrated at our daughter, Elizabeth’s house, where we cooked a very small turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and squash, steamed kale, and pumpkin pie. We had a nice walk where I spotted a varied thrush and a Townsend’s warbler.

The rest of the weekend was running trains at the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society’s Fall show. We were open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The crowds were not super great but those who came enjoyed the show.

Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday Genea-pourri, Weeks of Nov 18-24, 2019

Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 47—Soldier. I wrote about Amos Gorrell, who was a Civil War soldier and had a diary that I excerpted from.
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Thanksgiving-Genealogy Edition. We wrote about genealogy things we were thankful for.

Webinars/Study Groups Attended:   
  • “Shipping on the Great Lakes” by Cari Taplin. It was a very interesting webinar about ships used on the Great Lakes. Her photos and maps were wonderful.
  • I attended the Thursday evening group but not the Friday study group meeting this week.

Client Work:
No Work this week.

Volunteer Work:
At the History Center this week, I opened up and continued working on special collections that need to be processed. We also had a board of director’s meeting on Thursday evening. I worked my shift at the FamilySearch Library in Oakland this week, too.

Own Work:
Monday, we finished up adding my collection of Nilsen family papers into Aunt Bernice’s collection, for future donation to the California State Archives. It dawned on me that I have a lot of digital files I never printed out, but perhaps it’s best to have only those personal papers among this collection. Digital images can be obtained by most anyone.

I met up with Jacqueline at the Walnut Creek Library for our “genealogy retreat” and spent most of the time trying to write up the blog post for Amos Gorrell. We tried a Chinese restaurant for lunch and had a fantastic eggplant dish.

I scanned papers from the Rev. Albert M. Hork file so I would have digital copies of letters and other items I had collected in my beginning genealogy research days.

I looked up some locked films at the FamilySearch Library for Eliza Gleeson family in Clinton and Plymouth Counties, Iowa. I also got the first papers for Albert M. Hork in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin records. I’m trying to record what I do and write as I go. I’m also opening up a new word doc file for each person and start writing their story as I research. This is a Thomas W. Jones trick that I would like to try.

Other:
My outdoor volunteer work involved doing Phenology at the Strentzel Meadow with Shirley, where we had a treat of seeing a Red-headed Sapsucker and a dozen Acorn Woodpeckers.  On Friday, I helped a group of people shore up the bank on the Alhambra Creek at D Street, using bio-engineering methods. We pounded stakes of willow and laid willow branches along the bank for future “rooting.” Hopefully this will keep the erosion down.


All of my weekend, from Friday through Sunday, was spent at the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society, where we had an open house show. I spent Friday and Saturday running trains from the cabs and Sunday, I worked with Ted in set-up as a track walker, troubleshooting problems on the layout. It was fun!




Copyright © 2019 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.