Sunday, January 30, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 4: Home

"Home is where one starts from." ~ T.S. Eliot

My home is and always has been in Marion, NY.  My first childhood home is actually the home I lived in when I first got married.  It is a double house that was owned by grandfather.  My parents lived here when they first got married and is the home where I started my childhood.  We lived in half of the house.  It had an eat in kitchen with a booth builtt in.  We had a dining room, a large living room with 2 big bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs.  My brother and I had to share a room.  One of my favorite parts of this house was and still is the side enclosed porch.  It is a great place to relax and read a book.  The house had an awesome backyard where my dad put in a swing and also built me a play house.  There was also a large patch of ferns that we used to play in.  We got yelled at for tromping them down but it was fun to play hide and seek in them.  One of the other great things about this house  was that I lived close to my cousin.  She lived in the other half of the house.  I remember she once packed her suitcase and ran away to my house.  My family owned three houses right in a row.  My grandpa great (Fred) lived right next door and then my grandma and grandpa Haskins lived in the house next to him.  I have lots of great  memories of living so close to them.

When I was in second grade we moved to a house on East Williamson Road, still in Marion.  This is where I spent the majority of my childhood.  That also was a great house.  I had an awesome bedroom; this time all to myself.  When we first moved in my room had red and blue wall paper.  Eventually we painted my room pink and I had pink shaggy carpet (it had like 2-3 tones of pink).  My room had a huge walk in closet, I think you could have put a single bed in it.  It was a cape cod so due to the dormers I had a nook in my bedroom where I kept all my dolls.  It made a great play space.  Our backyard was huge and we lived right near a creek which meant we spent a lot of time getting wet.  Our playroom was in the basement.  This is also where my piano was kept.  At one of the fireman auctions we got a gold colored couch that was kept down there.  My youngest brother used to take the pillows from the couch as use them as hockey goalie pads, some where I think there is a picture of this.  The house had 3 bedrooms, 2 upstairs and one small bedroom downstairs. Actually, it might have been considered a four bedroom because we had another small room downstairs that we stored stuff in.  It had one bathroom, also downstairs. It had one living room and a side sun porch. It didn't have a dining room but did have an eat in kitchen.  It had a fruit cellar, which was a small part of the basement with a dirt floor that was for storing vegetables and other produce.  We lived in this house until I was a senior in high school.

My final childhood home was back on the family compound near my first one.  My dad spent many years fixing up my grandpa great's (Fred) house.  This is where my parent's still live and the house I think of as my main childhood home however it is not the one where most of my childhood memories come from.

Church Record Sunday - Smithfield Church Record; Amenia NY

I was lucky enough to have the caretaker of the Smithfield Burying Grounds in Amenia, NY assist me in looking through the records of the Smithfield Presbyterian Church.  He sent a correspondence with a transcription of members of the Haskins family that were referenced in that resource.  This information helped me find my great, great grandfather George Henry Haskins.  Below is the record as it was sent to me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 3 - Cars

So, this week's personal genealogy and history topic is cars.  I didn't get my first car until I was a in college.  It was a blue 4 door Ford Tempo.  I have no idea the year.  My dad got it used.  It was nice - it was the only used car I've ever driven, all  my other cars have been new.  An interesting story about our Ford Tempo was it was stolen right out of our driveway one night (it had the keys in it).  It was later found and returned.  We found out that one of the people that stole the car was someone we grew up living next to when we were younger.  Needless to say she was mortified when she realized whose car they had taken.  I was just happy to have it returned unharmed.

The first car that I purchased was a 1995 SL2 Saturn Sedan.  It was a wine red color with four doors, a moon roof and had a spoiler on the back.  It was a fun first car.  After that I purchased a green Honda Civic, then it was a Honda Accord, moved to a Mitsubishi Endeavor and now I drive a Honda Odyssey (the ultimate mom vehicle).  I remember when I said I would NEVER own a mini-van, oh how things change.

When I was little I remember my parents owning really big cars.  At the time I was learning how to drive we owned a Ford LTD.  It was huge, green and I hated driving it. I wouldn't even drive it to take my drivers test.  I borrowed my Aunt Wendy's car which was much smaller and easier to parallel park.

My favorite cars are black first generation 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird convertibles. I always like to go to the antique car show with my dad.  I have been doing it for years.  We go every August to the show at the town park in our town. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Sarah Haskins

As I mentioned in an earlier posting I am planning to write a book this year on my family history.  I am currently reading You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack.  She outlines 19 steps to help you to write a book about your family.  In step 3 she suggests a way for you to organize your research to determine if you have enough to begin the writing process or if need to dig a little more to tie up those loose ends to ensure you can succeed in writing a quality product.  This is what brings me to my post.

I was beginning to compile my Haskins family group sheets and realized I had very little documented factual information about my great-great grandmother; Sarah Drake Haskins.  I was surprised because I feel I know so much about her.  People have told me lots of information over the years but I don't have docments supportiing many of those details.  So...................back to my file box I go, where I have many pictures, obituaries and other papers on members of the family.  (At some point I want to scan them all in to my computer, but that is a different project for a different day.)  In my search I found Sarah's Obiturary.  I don't have her death certificate, which has been added to my things to do list but I was pleasantly surprised to find this treasure.

Sarah lived with her son Fred at the time of her death, which was on Union Street in Marion, NY.  My parents currently live in this house.  My mother swears she will occasionally hear her clanking around from time to time.  (If you say so mom...)

Friday, January 14, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 2: Winter

This week's personal genealogy & history challenge is to write about your winter memories from your childhood.  My winters as a child are very similar to the winters I still experience as an adult.  I live in the same town and neighborhood as I did back then.  I live in western New York near Lake Ontario so we get snow!!!  I hate snow, but as a child it wasn't as bad as I perceive it today.  My childhood winter memories make me think of snowmen and sledding.  We had and still have a great sledding hill.  The hill is part of my family's property and many generations of my family have spent quality hours and trips going up and down the hill. A day spent on the hill always means hot cocoa when you are finished.  Gotta love the cocoa!

Probably the thing that I like best about winter is making snowmen.  It is my favorite thing to do with my boys on a snowy but sunny winter day.  I used to make them with my mom when I was little.   We also spent lots of time making snow forts and playing tag games in the snowy yard.  I remember wearing snow mobile boots and having to put my feet in bread bags before putting them on so that they would stay dry.  As I got a little older I had a really cool pair of white and blue moon boots.
Winter Then 

Winter Now

Friday, January 7, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 1: New Year's

So I am going to be attempting to participate in the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy &  History events sponsored by Genea-Bloggers (one of the ways I will be trying to blog more)  The first week's topic is New Year's.

In my family we didn't really have any so called "traditions" around New Year's.  For most New Year's we were just at home hanging out as a family.  We always watched the Rose Bowl Parade which is something I still like to do but my boys could care less about.  We also would watch the bowl games that were on TV. 

My husband's family had the tradition of having to eat sauerkraut and pork for dinner.  I have been told that it is Polish tradition and you need to eat it on New Year's Day to bring you good luck and fortune in the new year.  We still have to do this - nobody wants the sauerkraut but it gets made and we are subjected to having to eat at least one bite.

Most of these childhood traditions are the same things that we do with our own kids.  I try to reflect on the new year.  I go through our pictures and pick out my favorites to generate a year in review to share with friends and family.  We also seem to begin the cleaning out process and reorganization of the house.  We clean closets, cupboards and get rid of junk.  It is nice to simplify and purge as we start the new year.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

Well today marks the start of a new year and ends another year that was full of wonderful memories and good times!  As a family, we have had a lot of fun being together and in terms of family research I was very successful.  In 2010 I found George Henry!!!  I'm not sure how many people really appreciate what that discovery meant to me but it was epic.  I have been looking for him for over 8 years and finally with the help Mr. Webb in Amenia, NY and a trip to Connecticut I was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together to locate him.   He is buried in Deep Run Connecticut with his sister Julia and her family.  I am in the process of acquiring death certificates and other information to see what details I can learn.

As far as 2011 goes...........I plan to write a book.  I have already warned my family; their response was "you're crazy."  Oh well.  I am excited to take my family research one step farther.  Not sure exactly the details of my book but that is my project for the year.  I also plan to blog on a more regular basis (regular basis yet to be defined).

Yesterday I asked my family what their favorite memories from 2010 were, some of the responses included:
  • Our hike to Grimes Glen in Naples, NY.
  • Going to the Pirate Maze for fall fun and shooting the canon.
  • Our vacations to Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach, especially going in the ocean.
  • Going to see Jake and Addi.
They certainly didn't say having their picture taken 100 million different times, but I appreciate how they humor me and hope they realize it is only going to be worse this year now that I have my new camera.