Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your "Other" Life

For this week's mission, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has challenged us to: 

1)  Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.  Be mindful of your family's privacy, though!

2) Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post.

I do have another life outside of genealogy, even though I could spend 8-10 hours per day doing genealogy research and writing. I do have other kinds of fun as well.

a. Birding. I’m a birder and try to go out at least once a week, even if only in my yard and neighborhood. I do try to get to Moorhen and McNabney Marshes, Heather Farm Park, or the Martinez Shoreline to watch for birds.

b. Gardening. I have a small native plant garden that is in full bloom right now. I also care for many varieties of geraniums in pots.

c. Reading. I love mysteries and historical fiction and if I can combine the two I’m in seventh heaven. My favorite authors are: Victoria Thompson, Tony Hillerman, Alexander McCall Smith, W.E.B. Griffin, Elizabeth George, Margaret Truman, and Susan Elia MacNeal to name a few.

d. Sports. My favorite game is baseball and my team is the San Francisco Giants. I try to get to a few games per year with my girlfriend or I watch or listen to the games daily. I also like to watch women’s soccer and tennis tournaments when I have time.

e. Volunteering. I volunteer with several organizations. I’m a member of the board at the Contra Costa County Historical Society and volunteer at their archives weekly. I am a member of Friends of Alhambra Creek and one of our projects is working with students from the New Leaf Academy where we’ve planted native plant gardens around town. I also work with the John Muir National Park as a phenology observer once a week. We record observations about 16 plants weekly for the National Phenology Project, whose data help track information about weather change.

f. Exercising. I try to attend yoga classes twice a week, walk, and ride my bike. This I need to do more of!
Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Saturday (Sunday Afternoon) Night Genealogy Fun - Lifespans



Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  We each have 16 great-great grandparents.  How did their birth and death years vary?  How long were their lifespans?

2)  For this week, please list your 16 great-great grandparents, their birth year, their death year, and their lifespan in years.  You can do it in plain text, in a table or spreadsheet, or in a graph of some sort.

3)  Share your information about your 16 great-great grandparents with us in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.  If you write your own blog post, please leave a link as a comment to this post.

I didn't get to this until Sunday afternoon, but here are my 16 great-grandparents with their lifespans. The blue are my paternal great-grandparents and the green are for my maternal.

Joseph Heinrich Horoch
1804
1857
53
years
Maria Catharine Trösster
1813
1874
61
years
Vincent Sievert
1823
1890
67
years
Susana Raduntz
1832
1911
79
years
Jeremiah Sullivan
1811
1888
77
years
Mary Sheehan
1822
1892
70
years
John Gleeson
1833
1915
82
years
Margaret Tierney
1835
1920
85
years
Reuben Mack Johnston
1841
1924
83
years
Olivia Jane Jones
1859
1914
55
years
Peter Hayden Hutson
1853
1930
77
years
Sarah Helena Selman
1858
1916
58
years
William Carl Lancaster
1873
1946
73
years
Martha Jane "Doll" Coor
1873
1942
69
years
A. Ebenezer Loveless
1851
1929
78
years
Eliza A. Rodgers
1854
1907
53
years


More than half of my ancestors (9 out of 16) lived past 70 years, which is pretty good. The average lifespan was 70 years. 

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zilpha “Mama Zip” Johnston

I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016), where we write 26 blog posts featuring each letter of the alphabet.

Z is for Zilpha “Mama Zip” Johnston

Zilpha was the second wife of my great grandfather, Thomas N. Johnston. They married 12 December 1931 in Stephenville, Texas. This was the second marriage for both of them; he was a widower and she was divorced.  She had previously married Walter Burford and in 1920, they lived in Fort Worth, Texas. He worked for the railroad as a receiving clerk and she was a telephone operator for a hardware company.

I found her in the 1930 census and she worked as a PBX operator for a lumber company. She was divorced sometime between 1920 and 1930. I bet she worked at the same lumber company as Thomas N. Johnston!

She was the only grandmother my mother knew. She called her “Mama Zip.” A cousin of my mother wrote:
She “was a grandmother to die for. She was very neat about everything. Dressed really well—worked at a department store selling really nice clothing.”

West End Cemetery, Stephenville, Texas; photo by author


Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.