Tag Archives: summer

Photographing History

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Photographing history is not all old buildings in Europe.  I spent a day in lovely Bamberg , Germany recently.  My family lived a number of years in the area so I have visited often.  Continue reading

About Linus

Linus is my English Springer straight from Heaven. He has been my constant companion for almost 14 years. Recently at a visit to his veterinarian, the doctor mentioned that she only sees one or two English Springers like Linus a year. Perhaps it is because they are a hunting dog and folks are just not interested in this breed. For myself, he has been a godsend.

Recently I took down a fence in the backyard and Linus was so funny to go past where the old fence used to be. I guess it is true you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Actually maybe you can. Check out my photos of Linus finally adventuring out into new territory in my garden that has been off-limits from him.

Autism Calmed By Nature

Many of you have met Luke through my writing on this blog. Luke has been diagnosed with Autism. Today camping brought solace to his mind. He enjoyed a day of outdoors, sitting by the river, and relaxing. Here are words to describe what I believe he was experiencing as we all do by nature in my opinion and a few photos of the area he was camping in the Cascade Mountains specifically Mt. Index in the Central area of the Cascades:

Rushing waters flow to me
Showing yourself so gently
Making my life seem tenderly calm
Sitting near you to feel your majesty

I am always thankful to see Luke resting in God’s creation. It is times like these that help me realize how close we as humans are to nature itself.
For additional info. on Mt. Index: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Index

Where Are You? What Are You Doing?

Gardening is a therapeutic experience for me.

Gardening is a therapeutic experience for me.

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You ever wish you could see into the internet and peek at your internet Word press friends in real life? I was just really thinking about you guys today. This summer has been going fast in some ways and slower in others. Since my spring vacation to Hawaii, we have not been anywhere. However, living in Seattle does make for many fun days in the summer time. Our weather has been phenomenal this year. In fact no rain for 40 days for you disbelievers out there that think it rains all the time in Seattle!

This summer has been spent in quiet contemplation at times, driving with one of my sons who wants to get his license (hence quiet contemplation keeps my nerves in check), gardening, and many other small projects that add up to more than 24 hours in a day. Heck, I am not complaining. It is my belief we were put on this earth to stay busy and productive. So I guess that is what I am doing. Yeah. The yeah is for my 16-year-old who says that about thirty million times a day.

For you gardener friends, my yard has brought me much joy this year. I actually am not really a green thumb, but I did take some time and worked very hard to get my yard in better shape. I wish I had a before photo to show you because you would not have believed the mess. These photos I am sharing show off some of my hard work, but there is so much more to do. How are all of you all doing and better yet what have some of you been up to?

Famous Figures in my genealogy lines! Say What!

In my last blog installment, I mentioned I would divulge our famous ancestors.  The time has come for me to “spit” it out.   I must explain for those that may be reading this for the first time,  my husband conducted a research test on his DNA by offering a spit sacrifice to www.23andme.com  .  This organization is on the cutting edge of discovery for research that possibly will lead to new  cures for some of the most debilitating diseases in our lifetime including  Parkinsons and Diabetes.

Now to our famous ancestors.  The study’s results were surprising and remarkable that included  four famous people.  But before I spill the beans, I wanted to give you more information on my husband’s other haplogroup.  In my last installment, I mentioned his maternal haplogroup H13a1a1a.  The paternal (father’s side) haplogroup is R1b1b2a1.  Again for further clarification, a haplogroup is defined in general terms as being that part of the family tree of life one arises from.  I also discovered that my husband’s lines are 100% European. Also it must be noted  the haplogroup R is a widespread branch of  human life origins of the Y chromosome.  Y of course for those non- scientifically minded is the male side.  The R’s of the world seemed to appeared first in Southwest Asia and moved across  Eurasia.  I must admit this does not say much as Eurasia (Europe and Asia combined-how cute a  name by some doctor of geography) holds 73% of the population.  However the R1 group in this catagory can be traced back to farmers 10,000 years ago that shaped Europe.  It also belongs to those subgroups such as the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. In specific terms, R1b1b2a1 can be found in our current areas of Germany, Netherlands, and parts of the North Sea area close to England.

It is amazing to discover one’s roots as I hope you can see in this information.  It is also important to note how we all rose to prominance one way or another.  There are four folks that rose with my husband’s line to famous stature that may amaze you…..The names given to us are Napoleon, Prince Philip, Luke the Evangelist, and possibly my favorite Susan Sarandon..Now that woman can act!

Stay tuned for my next installment.  Peace to all and may you enjoy alittle of life’s pleasures through my diverse photography from places I have been:

Cascades Mountains WA state

Long Beach, Long Island, NY

Mt. Rushmore

Primary Source

Today’s installment will begin with an update.  If you have been following along , you know that my stepdad Roy requested me to find his family.  It was a huge success.  I am now committed as a faciltator in bringing them together after an an amazing 78 year lapse. I have communicated personally with Roy’s half brother and sister and also cousins that are now interested in a reunion. They have never met each other.  All of this was made possible by my research from the 1940 census and www.findagrave.com .  As you can imagine they are very interested in meeting yet there are jitters in regards to finally coming face to face with  relatives you have never met.  Communication is much different for their  generation than ours.  As my 90 year old step dad Roy would say, “We are not used to things so fast like the current generation.”  So for now as of this writing a first meeting is set up for October.  What’s a couple of months? Right?  I will just say I am chomping at the bit!

Below is a picture of their  grandfather Will Fulmer from Alabama who died in 1901:

Will Fulmer. He was married three times and managed to outlive them all and still died a young man in his 40’s.

Here also is a link to Roy and his siblings’  father who died in 1967 with additional pictures that I posted on his memorial–http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=93761880.

My second update is on my Dunbar line from Kentucky.  This particular family line is from my father’s maternal side.  My cousin Sandra who lives in Kentucky and myself have been conducting a thorough study of our Dunbar ancestors.  We have run into road blocks along the way, but recently discovered a  primary source document from our cousin Linda. Primary source documents are papers that were created at the time of the event.  Linda volunteers her time in studying her ancestors as well as helping others.  In some loose papers that originated in what we believe to be the Caldwell county courthouse in Princeton, Ky where my ancestors were from some of their naturalization paperwork was found.  We are still working to corroborate the information but it indeed looks like citizenship paperwork for our great great great grandfather and his father.  I know the Dunbars came from Ireland, but this is the first time we have been made aware of their port of entry. It appears that the Dunbars actually came through Buffalo, New York in 1830!  In researching this incredible find,  its possible the actual ship that they were on may have come through a  port in Canada.  They would have then had to walk to America by way of  Niagara Falls across a bridge.  In the 1830’s there were no “borders” where you would have your passport checked.  YOU just walked until you got where you wanted to go.

As you read the following document be aware that Ireland was under Great Britian’s rule and my ancestors had to renounce any obligations to the monarchy at that time who just so happened to be Queen Victoria:

This document appears to be written by someone in the court system in Kentucky and then signed by my ancestor.

As I read through this important document many more questions popped into my head.  I have a ways to go to fully understand my Dunbar line and some of these thoughts came up and I believe if you are a family researcher yourself you might find  this to be helpful:

1.  After obtaining such documents as above-make notes and evaluate the results of this new information.

2.  Ask yourself does this new information answer original questions for you or does it conflict with what you may all ready have or know?

3.  If new information conflicts with existing information, you will have to decide which, if either, piece of information is more likely to be accurate. Is one from a primary source and the other from a secondary source? Is one from a more authoritative or believable source? The more time you spend doing genealogical research, the more skillful you will become in deciding these difficult questions.

A third update comes all the way from Belguim.  My husband’s family members have all shown interest in the studys I have conducted on their ancestors in particular two cousins of my husbands. They emailed me that they were going on a business trip to Europe and indicated to me that they may look for their grandpa’s home.  Their gramp DeSomer emigrated at the age of four with his family from Belgium to Ellis Island in 1913.  We found primary source emigration documents that revealed an address in Antwerp, Belguim that could lead to a 100 year mystery of where my husband’s grandfather’s family lived.  It was all a long shot for sure.  Here are the documents that our cousins had in their possession:

You will see on line 27 our grandpa Alexander DeSomer who was four years old and if you look straight across above to line 20  where Alex’s dad’s name is which is Alfred, you will see his fatherinlaw’s address written.  It was quite a surprise to me that this was on the document, but there it was to my delight.  In followup with my husband’s cousins they were able to make it to Belguim but ran out of time to really conduct a thorough research of this area.  In my mind though it is just such a success that they made it to Belguim to see the countryside that they originated from…What enjoyment and deep satisfaction there is in walking on the soil of where some of your ancestors came from.  I appreciate the fact they contacted me and had a heart to make the attempt to follow through.  I do want to make a shout out to them on here: Adam and Bob you made my day in just contacting me on your expressed desires to find your ancestors.  Bob is the editor of Arizona Highways if anyone of you readers enjoy great photos and stories follow along with him at http://www.arizonahighways.com/  .

Here are a few pictures of the ship that gramp DeSomer came on called the U. S. S. Finland:

USS Finland in all its glory.

Here is a second shot of the U. S. S. Finland after it was utilized in WWI and damaged:

As I love the storys of emigration and the great ships that our families came on I also would like to share with you a great family adventure you could have if you live near an area that does this.  The Navy is known for showing off its ships in different areas of the country..Here is a link to check this out and if you live in Seattle or Milwaukee you definitely want to look at the dates for this:  http://www.ourflagwasstillthere.org/

As I close out today’s blog entry I want again to thank you for following along and reading.  I hope you have also enjoyed the actual documents and pictures I have shared with you . Until next time here are a few more ships our ancestors came on:

The first ship is the Rhatia that great great Opa Voy travelled on from Germany and the second ship is the sailing ship the Dorette that our great great grandpa Kreklow travelled before he moved to Fort Atkinson, WI. Grandpa Voy also live in WI as well as Chicago, ILL.

I want to thank my resources that are my genealogical buddies throughout the country,my family, and the armed forces, and you my readers who follow along with me on my journey.  Until next time..

I took this picture in April 2012 after my recent New York trip. This is in the cemetery of St. Paul’s Church-one of the oldest churches in Manhattan.

Remembrances

Its July 5th! In Seattle, WA where I have made my home for the last 20 years, its significant. Many of us consider this the first day of summer. Today the sky is blue and its a wonderful temperature of 60 degrees this am with promises of reaching 72! Oh this is heaven. Yesterday, I watched the fireworks up on Queen Anne Hill with my friend Pam. Its a good way to remember what the United States stands for and those that have died before us.

Today is my 6th installment of my blog and I hope it finds all of you doing well and enjoying yourselves this summer. This past month has been filled with exciting discoveries in the genealogy world for me. After spending several months on a journey of looking for my father in law’s oldest german ancestor we finally came across him. It was an adventure I will never forget. Emanual Weiss is buried in a cemtery in Indiana. He emigrated to America during a time when many Germans were leaving their home country for opportunity in the 1800’s. In his case, he was joining his sons after his wife had passed away. He lived his last years with our direct line- Henry Weiss. With the detective help of a volunteer, we discovered his stone. The interesting thing was it could not be read so we did a little trick called tin foiling to make sure it was him. I knew he had lived to be 71 years old but the volunteer thought he lived only to be 21. Below you will see the evidence that finally she uncovered after tinfoiling on her second trip to the cemetery:

After my new buddy Deb tin foiled the grave stone she sent me this email:

Alesia, I just couldn’t stand the suspense any longer, I told my secretary I was going to the bank and I did, by way of the cemetery, (which is at least 18 miles out of the way) AND YOU WERE ABSOLUTELY 100% CORRECT it is Emanuel age 71 years not 21 as we originally thought. That makes date of birth Feb. 1, 1800 Deb

Needless to say we both were full of excitement for the discovery. In many ways it makes me so happy I have something tangible to grasp onto for the sake of memory. There are many that have not found their loved ones. However there are those also that will be surprised as I was about the fact that in some places these stones and memories could be lost in a matter of a few seconds. Recently while discussing these findings with my mother who also was born in Germany, I found out about the unusual cemetery customs in her own home country. She stated that there are many stones taken away from cemeteries and that the bones or ashes are also removed because the living family did not pay the rent of the space that they were buried in. This came as a huge shock to me. How could anyone take away one’s loved ones? I had to go and discover if this was true so I did a little research.

Here below is of a German singer named Gertrud Bindernagel who will never be found again because she was RECYCLED. Yes you heard me right. She was recycled. She died young because she was murdered and then after World War II the lease on her grave at Berlin’s Waldfriedhof Heerstrasse was allowed to expire, and the site was recycled according to German custom.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=280974&GRid=8957776&

It stands to reason that some may find this “environmentally” a good thing to do. It does not to me. Lets call it for what it really is. Its a way for the cemetery owners to make money. This is the bottom line. The relentless logic of contradiction moved into Germany’s thinking many years ago by putting an unending price tag on your burial. If we are not careful in America, we may move more and more into not being a market economy but a market society. This cause should unite us here in America to watch our missteps and utilize all creative and constructive ways in our community, church, and government to be very careful to not misstep in our free market lives upon our free family values. We are beginning to have some of these problems unearthed (no pun intended) by Cooper Anderson recently on a 60 minutes episode:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7409166n

You may ask why I write of this? I think because knowledge is paramount and it is what helps us understand the world better. I share my opinion with you on the need to keep cemeteries sacred and for the most part I believe most cemeteries in America are well taken care of. But we must be careful to learn of other countries’ lack in this area… You might be OK with recycling. I am usually with trash, but people aren’t trash. It is good to remember our loved ones and any effort ( a burial place) to do this is paramount in my mind. I wish to remember and as we do this very thing we are still tinged with the sense of irretrievable loss of our loved one’s death. It is what it is isn’t it? We miss our loved ones and for goodness sake-I for one at least am glad I can go see my father’s gravestone and know it is not going anywhere.