Category Archives: Genealogy

Is it Catherine or Katherine or Kathryn?????
























I have been spending a few days, so I can stay in out of the heat, working on my family tree.  There have been times when I thought I was going to give up when it came to trying to figure out which George or which Catherine was the child of which George and which Catherine.  I have decided that people in the 1700s and 1800s had no imagination when it came to names.  Everyone has the same name as someone else in their family or should I say a “bunch of someones”?  There has to be a hundred of George, Sarah, Joseph, William, Elizabeth, Mary, Charles, Martha, Richard, and Samuel. I even have one Samuel who is a “IV”!

Then there are the “unknowns” that pop up every now and again.  That’s neat, no one knows who so and so’s mother or father is.  Or there is just a first name of a spouse so you have no idea what her maiden name is, lovely…  I have a few who have first names that you would expect to be a last name,  or vice versa, i.e., Wilson, Dennis, Clark, Myers, Presley, etc. Then you can get into a mess if someone leaves off part of someones name by looking at  Mary, Mary Agnes, Mary Gladys, Mary Jane, Mary Kate, Mary Ann, Mary Elizabeth, Mary Catherine, Mary Kathleen.

Now we have weird names such as Marmaduke, Barnet, Welborn, Ewing, Uuren, Vane.  These are my family names and I’m sure I would have loved all of these people, but gosh they could have been a little more original.  Then you can giggle a little when you see the names that were definitely popular during the time period they were born.  For instance, Ethel, Willie, Jacob, Ada, Jane, Mable, Martha.

I paid a fortune for a years worth of Ancestry so I can do some world searching. You can find someone who you think, this has to be the person you’re looking for. Of course this person has 11 children so you spend three hours adding 10 of them and then find out this is the wrong parent anyway. The number of children can also drive you crazy. Seems they had enormous numbers of children, some lived and some didn’t. There are some who make Octomom a novice. One of my relatives had 20 children. Gives me a headache just thinking about it.

It is really sad when you come across the names that are just “Twins” or “baby” and I had one just called “Boy”. There were several big epidemics that killed so many people especially babies and small children. We are definitely lucky to have the miracle medicines and vaccines that we have today.

My uncle had started all this with a roll of architecture paper and he drew an hour glass form of tree and filled in all the names by hand. Then there was the cousin who had hers done on those family tree forms, and the relative that found bunches of papers in an old shoe box. I know one thing for sure and that is you MUST have a back up when you are doing this kind of computer work. Holy Cow what a mess if you lost a limb or two from your family tree.

I Need Another 50 Years

I was watching a commercial about frozen fish and got to thinking about when I was a child, my dad would go fishing and if he kept them, would come home and clean them. What a mess. Scales all over the sink, a fishy smell and it seems there would always be a bone or two that were left in the cooked fish.

My mom killed and cleaned a chicken if they had one. Can you imagine most of the football watching, over zealous businessmen or men with working out on their mind, standing in the kitchen today cleaning fish? I know in places like Alaska and a few other places that they probably do that on a daily basis but not the majority. I was also thinking about how we did not have instant news, telling us what is going on all over the world. Sometimes it was days before word got around about happenings across the ocean. I feel like we are very spoiled but very, very lucky living in a world like we do. There are some bad things in todays world, like you can’t let your kids go trick or treating alone, there are kid snatchers who should be locked away forever, and on, and on. My granddaughters would just lay down and throw a fit if they had to walk to school and back home! I look at my laptop and wish I could live another 50 years so I could see and use all the great things that will be invented. It is definitely more interesting today as far as electronics go. Life is more hurried than the 40s that’s for sure but you know air conditioning sure is nice in the summer and I love colored TV.

When I was a kid and we got our first TV (black and white of course) we also got this piece of plastic that was tinted blue on the top, a yellowish in the middle and green at the bottom. You taped it over the standard size screen and it helped you imagine it was colored TV, at least until you were viewing an living room scene behind the green part…LOL what a hoot.

The Great 5 and Dime

Have you ever heard of a store called F. W. Woolworths or Kress?  Well let me tell you it was a 5 & dime store where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. They had rows and rows of counters with sections full of the neatest things from makeup to toys, home and school supplies. You could buy change purses and jigsaw puzzles, craft patterns and coloring books, crayons, bobby pins, combs, a tea kettle, or a strainer. The merchandise they carried was of standard quality. They specialized in supplies for housewares, sewing, cooking, light hardware, toys, etc. They were the direct predecessors to K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. They seemed, to a kid, to have one of everything in the world.  Then the peace de resistance, a soda fountain.

A long, long counter with stools that revolved and they would make you a sandwich, and a coke or a piece of pie.  The sandwiches were almost always of an egg type, i.e., egg salad, ham salad, etc.  They made banana splits and ice cream sundaes of all sorts.  We loved to take a break from shopping and have a fountain coke in a glass of ice.

The dime stores with a soda fountain had glassware with special shapes that you could never forget.

Most of these type of stores had hard wood floors and after years and years of foot traffic, they had ruts where the traffic was heaviest.

Woolworths, building with white awning and red sign across front

As you can see from the pictures, these were very large stores which meant tons of items. About 170,000 different items were sold in these stores. Life was simple but full of excitement when we went downtown.

Kress store

If you remember these stores, do you remember buying one of these items:

The old frog clicker

Kid pilot wings

“Ollie, ollie, oxenfree”

My grandkids asked what games we played in the 40s.  I had to take a minute and think about that one.  When you are making up your own games with your own rules and very little objects to play with, you have to think.  We sure had no computers, cell phones, or ipods.  Do you remember how we used to pick which game we were going to play?  Decisions were made by going ‘eeny-meeny-miney-moe’.

-There was the “Clothes Pins in the Bottle” game:

Place a milk bottle (or other jar with a small opening) on the ground or floor. Let each kid try dropping ten clothespins into the bottle. See who can make the best score. Note: Yes, you can still buy clothespins in the supply section of most grocery stores.  This was fun and played a lot at parties, along with spin the bottle when we were a little older.  If you don’t know what spin the bottle is, you don’t need to hear it from me.

-Hide and Seek  and when the game was to be over we yelled “ollie, ollie oxenfree”.  Remember that?

Jacks played on someones cement front porch kept us occupied for hours.  My friend, who lived around the block had the best, smooth front porch.

-Hopscotch was great fun when we could find some chalk.

-My Dad had a huge collection of Lionel Trains with buildings and bridges, little trees, etc that was spread out on the upstairs floor.  My brother and I would run that train and had more fun pretending.  My dad had a car that dumped barrels off, one that had a door that opened and shut, and a bunch that did other things.  What fun!!

Monopoly was a great board game when we got big enough to count money and read cards.  We also played Clue.  I loved that game because I loved murder mysteries.

-Of course all kids had a pair of Skates and usually a scraped knee or two if you were a beginner.

-Rode Bicycles  – Do you remember how playing cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?

-Sand Box – I loved my sand box.  Dad had put a roof on it so the sand stayed just right.

Swing from a tree limb was a must.

-I have already mentioned listening to the radio in the evenings.  Daytime was outside time.  No one stayed in side unless you were sick or the weather was bad.

-card games


-Jump rope

-We went to the movies every Saturday morning

-And when we got old enough to get a library card, we went to the county library and read books or checked them out.

-We read comic books a lot and my favorite was Archie.

Boy do I wish I had saved a trunk load of those comics.  Have you seen what they go for these days?

40s Grandparents, farms and fleas

This is a picture of my dad, me, my grandma Winnie and my grandpa Sam (Dad’s mom and dad). My grandparents lived on a farm but I was amazed at my grandmother. She put her hat on for a picture and this was probably her very best dress and look she even has her best shoes on. I always remember my grandpa buttoning his shirt at the top. Another thing you might notice is that back in the olden days people never really smiled in photos. Check out some of the photos of your grandparents and I bet you find similar looks on their faces.
One of my favorite times with him was when he would tell me about his visit with the Indian Chief Geronimo when Geronimo was in prison at Ft Sill. I don’t remember why or when but he was very serious. When he was younger, my grandpa, was a very wealthy man in West Texas. That is a story for another time, maybe. I do remember a time we were visiting them and I went out in the barn and played with their collie dog. On the way home my parents noticed I was scratching something awful and needless to say I had more than half of the dogs fleas on me. When we got home my folks put me in a bathtub of cold ice water and I guess the fleas all died or jumped out because that was the last I heard about it.

40’s Fiction & Non-Fiction = Timeless reading

Have you ever wanted a really good book but can’t seem to find one that sounds like one you’d like to read? From the 40s, authors penned some really great books, both in fiction and non-fiction. Here are some of the Best of the 40s and ones that are a good read any year.

-How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn
-Kitty Foyle, Christopher Morley

Mrs Miniver, Jan Struther. 
A British family struggles to survive the first days of World War II.In early summer 1939, middle-class English housewife Kay Miniver happily returns from a London shopping trip to Belham, the Thames Valley village in which she lives, and is flattered that station master Ballard has named his newly propagated rose after her. That night, Kay feels slightly guilty over buying an expensive hat, while her architect-husband Clem feels the same way about his new sportscar. When they eventually confess their respective purchases, they laugh, happy in the knowledge that they can now afford some of life’s little luxuries. The next day, Kay and Clem welcome home their eldest child Vin, who has returned home for the summer holiday and is a bit pompous after his year at Oxford. Vin embarrasses his parents when he insults Carol Beldon, granddaughter of local aristocrat Lady Beldon, when Carol comes to ask Kay to influence Ballard to withdraw his rose from competing against Lady Beldon’s in the annual flower show. At a dance that night, Carol receives a secret message………

-For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
-The Nazarene, Sholem Asch
-The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
-The Robe, Lloyd C. Douglas
-Keys of the Kingdom, A. J. Cronin
-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
-Mrs. Parkington, Louis Bromfield
-The Apostle, Sholem Asch
-Forever Amber, Kathleen
-The Egyptian, Mika Waltari
-Point of No Return, John P. Marquand
-Father of the Bride, Edward Streeter

-How to Win at Canasta, Oswald Jacoby
Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
A pioneering efficiency expert tests his theories on his large family.
Ann Gilbreth, the oldest of the twelve children of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, begins to relate some episodes from her family’s history. In 1921, when Ann is sixteen, the family lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where her father, an industrial engineer, is also an efficiency expert utilizing time and motion studies. Frank informs the family that they are moving to Montclair, New Jersey. Once the family is established there, Frank chairs one of his regular family council meetings to assign the children various chores that will assist Lillian and the two servants, Mrs. Monahan and Jim Bracken. When Frank goes to enroll five of the children in school, he tells the principal that he would like to meet the teachers, explaining that he wants the children placed in higher grades as their mental ages exceed their physical ages thanks to the complete home training program he has devised for them.

-The Greatest Story Ever Told, Fulton Oursler
-How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie
-Crusade in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower
-The Egg and I, Betty MacDonald
Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough.
OUR HEARTS WERE YOUNG AND GAY is a travel essay that appeared
in 1942. Within, co-authors and best pals Cornelia Otis Skinner from Bryn Mawr, PA and Emily Kimbrough from Indiana share the experiences of an independent trip to Europe made in 1920 when young, footloose and relatively free of parental oversight. Skinner’s parents were traveling on a parallel but more or less separate itinerary. The charm of this delightful narrative lies in the fact that it’s a recollection of girlish innocence, naivete, and silliness told from the perspective of a more mature adulthood that achieves an engaging, self-deprecating wit. Had the two travelers been teenage boys, I doubt that such a retrospective tale would’ve been conceived and told by their grown-up counterparts; it’s just not a Guy Thing.

-The Last Time I Saw Paris, Elliot Paul
-Washington Is Like That, W. M. Kiplinger
-Blood, Sweat and Tears, Winston S. Churchill
-You Can’t Do Business with Hitler, Douglas Miller

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