Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where Did the Time Go

I was on a great role in March of updating through out the month. Being women's history month really gave me a trail to follow. It also helped that I was doing the prompts from Facebook. But then I got side tracked and the next thing I knew it was almost the end of May.

It's so funny that I would be updating now as I am on vacation but I started talking to my Uncle's about his family and low and behold I found not just his grandparents on a census but their marriage license. The marriage license was a big deal for me as I never seem to be able to find those on Ancestry but this time it just popped up and I about fell out of my seat.

I also think I found his paternal grandfather as well. That one is a little harder since the name for the mom isn't the same as what he says it should be but everything else lines up. I will have to do some more research with it when I get back as they were living in Missouri. What are the odds that I would be stalled with my immediate family but be able to find some extended family through marriage. It's crazy how this genealogy thing works.

My father is also on his way to Mississippi to do some more research and I meant to give him some information to look up for me but I didn't get a chance to write it out before I left. I am hoping that I can give him a call while he's working on it so that I can give him the information that I would like to find.

Either way I really want to get back into the swing of my research but right now I am having a hard time seeing when that could happen. I just have so much set up for the next month that it might be until July realistically before I can get deep into it. Either way I will keep trying to update here and letting you know what I find.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action

If a famous director wanted to make a movie about one of your female ancestors who would it be? What actress would you cast in the role and why?

This is required some serious thought seeing as I am a completely movie hound and I think most of my family would be fabulous on the big screen. I even have some relatives now that if I thought they would do it then I would sign them up for a reality show because just listening to them speak daily is hilarious. However, I think that if I had to pick someone it would have to be my maternal great grandmother, Henrietta Ellis.

Let me tell you this would be a story to watch. From farmers daughter to an independent multiple married woman that could put fear into you with just a look. She was a very strong woman that did things her own way and didn't make any apologies for it. Plus if we did a movie about her then I would be able to really see her as a young woman which sadly I missed not being born and all. Cause I always imagine that she was something to behold in her day!

With that in mind I think the only person that I could see doing her justice would be Whoopi Goldberg. Just the way that she was toward the end of "Color Purple" and "The Long Walk Home" would be awesome to see. I simply think she has the strength of character and personality to carry her story. I even have the opening lines spoken in a voice over.

"I never was what you would call beautiful. Not that anyone had to tell me but I always knew. Mine was a more acquired look. Not like my sisters that always jumped whenever daddy picked up that picture making machine. They were the pretty ones. The first asked to the dance, the ones the boys always chased, the girls that they wanted to kiss. Me, I was the one in the fields. The one that worked hard. See had something they didn't. I had strength and it was that strength that let me live life on my terms."
This has given me ideas and as a writer that could be a dangerous thing! ;)

Who Do You Think You Are? - So Far

With Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are on it's way back this Friday I thought I would take
a look back at all the good, the bad and the discoveries that were made in the first five episodes of this season.

The season started off with a real bang with Vanessa Williams. While Vanessa started off at her family plot in New York she ended up in the hallowed alls of Tennessee. She learned that politics had been a huge part of her family as well as education. She found amazing photographs of so many of her family members as well as the Civil War enrollment of a distant relative. This was an amazing episode and gave us the hope of some really great stories to come.

The second episode of the season was Tim McGraw. As the son of baseball legend "Tug" McGraw he wanted to learn about his fathers side of the family considering that he didn't meet him until he was eighteen. While Tim had some great moments and wonderful finds the researchers seemed to focus on who they found in relation not just to him but to famous people in American history. Yes it is exciting to know that George Washington stayed with your family at one point in time but personally I would have rather they spend more time finding additional relatives.

Rosie O'Donnell is famous for being loud, brash, and sometimes completely out of control. Yet in this episode she displayed a great calmness as she researched one of the hardest times in Irish history. Having always known that she was Irish for her it was just a matter of figuring out exactly where in Ireland they were from and when her family came to America. As always it was fun to see when celebrities find new relatives and Rosie did not disappoint. She not just found one relative but a whole side of the family she didn't know. For me it was great to see an emotional side of her as she toured a workhouse that would be something like the one her family had stayed in. It also showed a resiliency of spirit that her family could go through all that they did and succeed in a new country. One of the only things that really disappointed me was that we didn't get to see her brothers reaction to all that she learned. That is one of my favorite parts of each episode.

The Kim Cattrall episode had apparently aired before as part of the British version of the show. I have it on good authority that it was better the first time but I haven't been able to find it online to see so I have to go from what I know. That being said I think this might have been my least favorite episode of the season. Yes, it was interesting to watch her do most of the research in England but where most of the celebs that come on look into a family line she was only looking for one person. He was a case all into himself but still I would have liked to see her do more research into other members of her family.

Lionel Richie was the last episode that aired before the break and it was a good one to end on. He had lots of information that he was able to find using of all things mostly newspapers. This is something that I think a lot of researchers don't utilize to the best of their ability; including myself. Therefore, it was great to watch as he went back into the mid-1800. Another great part of this episode was the use of fraternal organizations as a means to find family. Again this is another resource hardly used by the layman genealogist. This actually might have been my second favorite episode of the season.

This Friday their back with Steve Buscemi and after that either Ashley Judd or Gwyneth Paltrow. I am looking forward to seeing what the next three episodes have to offer.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Courage of Faith

Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my mother died when I was younger. She had been sick most, really all, of her life. I remember her telling me once that when she was born the doctors told her mother that she wouldn't make it to 5. I don't have children but I can't imagine what that would be like to hold her new daughter and have some give you time limit on how long you had to keep her.

Still my mother made it 5 and then 6 and her teens and though college. She got married and when she was pregnant they told her that she would never live to see me but she just shrugged and carried on. She lived to see me; lived to raise me and when I asked her about it once she just said it was all about faith.

She had faith that God was going to heal her or at least let her see me grow up. She held on to that faith through every doctor's visit and hospital stay. When her marriage ended and her heal got worse. She tried her best to make sure that her heal didn't hold me back from doing anything that I wanted and she was there for every school play, choir performance, band recital, talent show and pageant that I was in.

She got up every morning and went to work for as long as she could and when she couldn't anymore she got up and went to church. She helped her friend start and build his church, she contributed to the prison ministry, she taught others how to play piano so that they could also give back. She encouraged others through visits and prayerful phone calls. Each day she tried to do something that honored her faith.

When she died I was angry for the longest time. Her faith had been so strong that she had made all of us believe. She had been sick since forever and yet everyone took her death as a surprise. We all stood in that faith with her. It took a long time for me to see that her faith had been rewarded.

She had made it further than any doctor had ever thought she would and she had seen me grow up. Maybe not as grown up as she or I would have wanted but still far more than what was predicted. She had had a chance to teach me and share with me and help me to become the woman that I am still working toward becoming.

There are still days that I wish more than anything that she was still here to guide me or give me her opinion but when I'm not sure what to do I don't have to wonder what my mother would say or would have done. I just have to pray and have faith and I know that whatever courage I need will be there. Thanks mom.