25 January 2011

Expert Conect, No More

I won't try to resay this. Thomas MacEntee says it best in his post. In this post he talks about possible reason why Ancestry.com will discontinue their Expert Connect and what possible directions they are going in return.

Here were my humble thoughts on the matter:

I completely agree with you. I found Expert Connect was another avenue to get my name out there. But the transactions with my costumers were so much more of a hassle then the ones I received using APG.

I have since stepped out of the research realm for a time. I needed to make my family my priority and genealogy was stealing my attention from them. But when I do return, and it is in the works, I will use APG to hang my shingle. Expert Connect was great in theory, but the clientele it brought me (in some, but not all cases) took more hand holding and wanted something for nothing. Though I appreciated the contacts I gained through them, I know it will be no big deal in the future to use APG to gain further clients, that is APG’s niche after all.

I’m sure Ancestry.com will focus their attention in a way that will better serve us all. They gave it a great try, but not everything is made to last forever. There have been times when many of us have been highly irritated with Ancestry.com, but I will give them this, every time that I know of they made an extra effort to right their wrongs and satisfy their customers the best they can (keep in mind you won’t make everyone happy all the time). I will look forward to what they bring us in the future.

I especially like Stephanie Hoover's "Wal Mart mentality" perspective. I truly agree with her. I encountered that as well.

24 January 2011

Home- 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy

I grew up in a very special home. My parents bought the home on 130 Glenn Ave in Modesto, CA from my Grandmother, Mary Ellen Roe. I was four years old. My Grandfather, Von Joseph "Rusty" Roe had recently passed away, and Grandma wanted to sale the home. She bought a smaller home one street behind us.

My Grandparents, Mary and Rusty Roe had bought the home when my mother and her twin were about five years old, so this would have been about 1960. My Woolsey Grandparents lived in the home behind us that faced the alley at 130 1/2 Glenn Ave. I was fortunate to live so near both sets of grandparents and be so surrounded by their love.

The home set on a lot and a half, probably 1/2 acre or so. When I was about 12 my parents stuccoed the home, it was blue and remained that way until they sold it. They had friends in the church as well as my uncle who were plasterers. I can still see all the people working on our home who helped to finish it in a very short time. My mom and all the women would set up big tables with food for everyone. All of us kids would entertain our selves with all kinds of games in the yard, as long as we stayed away from the scaffolding. Later my dad put a new roof on the home as well as Grandma Woolsey home behind us. I'll still never forget the mishaps he had on her home. He went straight through the roof into a back bedroom for one and then the back porch broke away and fell with him. I'd say Grandma's home was in desperate need of repair.

Our home had three bedrooms and one bath. We didn't have the luxury of two of three bathrooms for everyone. We had to learn to share. It had the beautiful detail of the inset ceiling design, rounded corners, plastered walls, and a huge kitchen. The kitchen was as big as the family room. With cabinets filling two walls, the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher taking up three other nooks in the kitchen. I remember wall papering the kitchen with my mother and painting the cabinets and stenciling little designs on them. When I was pretty young my parents converted the garage into a den with a cozy wood stove. I can still smell the firewood burning and the popcorn popping. We would come home after church on cold nights (well California cold anyway. Today I'd say that's nothing after living here in the snow of Idaho), start a fire in the wood stove, pop popcorn and make a batch of tea to drink with it. Set around a watch the fire as we visited. Remember all the years I grew up in that home until I was 16 I never had a TV to watch with my family, so we really did talk.

This is my mother in the middle, her twin to the right and my Dad's sister on the left. This shows the stencle work she did on the cabinets.

I had a huge yard to grow up in and my mother made the best use of it she possibly could. You would have thought that I lived on a five acre farm the way she used that 1/2 acre. The only animals we didn't have there was our horse, and then any time we raised a calf or pig to butcher. They were kept elsewhere. But we did raise, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, goats and even my FFA lamb on that 1/2 acre. We always had fruit trees; apple, pear, fig, cherry, lemon, pomegranate and more. We had vegetable gardens and even mom's beautiful rose and iris gardens, and I don't mean just little flower beds. They were huge gardens!

My dearest memory was a cool day in October 1993. James (my later to be husband) and I were sitting out by the fish pond. I believe my grandfather was the one who built that fish pond, but I'm not sure. It was made out of cement blocks and plaster. It was always green from the algae, but we would all get in there every now and then and clean it out together. At one end of it was a very tall palm tree and if you would look toward the street from there you would see another one straight ahead in the front yard. Anyway I was sitting between James' legs and he had his arms wrapped around me. We were just talking and sharing our dreams when he quietly and tentatively asked me if I would marry him. We had already been together for nine months and I already knew he was the one. We were still in high school, but I didn't hesitate. I said yes. I still finished high school before we got married a year later. Actually my parents didn't really accept it at first and he didn't have a ring for me until November of 1993, when we made the engagement official. But to me it was that cool October day when he proposed that stays in my mind. Probably because it was so unexpected and I know unplanned on his part, but truly from the heart.

I had many great memories growing up in that home, and I know my parents did as well. My parents first rented the home to my husband and I for a while when they moved up here to Idaho, and then to her twin sister and her family when my husband and I moved up here in 1997. When Grandma Woolsey passed away, my mom's twin was also ready to move out of the family home to be closer to her children, so my parents put both homes on the market. This was back when the market was booming in 2001. They made a killing on both homes. I will always miss that home, but I will no longer miss the neighborhood. When I was growing up there we were surrounded by the old families that had lived there for generations. Today almost none of them are left and the old part of town has gone to hell in a hand basket. It's not an ideal part of town to live in any more. It's also known as South Modesto.

15 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Cars

I couldn't resist this weeks topic by Amy Coffin of We Tree. To write in my blog about memories of cars. We are a car family. I married a car man for Pete's sake! I have so many good memories, and when I get back home I will see if I can find some photos to share as well.

I'm starting first with my childhood. It was an old blue Ford 1972 pickup my Dad drove. I can still hear the sound to this day. For many years the darn fan built would squeal. We always new when Dad was around the corner on his way home from work. You could hear that thing squeal from a mile away! It was a good old pickup. It also comes with a darker memory too. The day I was almost left with out a father. If not for the grace of God by his side he would have been shot to death by a police officer in Modesto, CA because of a mistake in identity. My Dad worked only about five blocks from home at Proctor & Gamble in Modesto, CA. I don't know what year this happened as I was very young, though I think I was about 8 or 9 years old which would have been around around 1983. The grocery store down the street on Crowslanding road in South Modesto had just been robbed as my father was leaving the house for work. The description given to the officers matched my father's blue Ford pickup. When he pulled out of Glenn (our street) onto Crowslanding Rd, the rooky cop spotted him and followed him into the Proctor and Gamble parking lot where he worked. The officer opened fire on him. My Dad took two shots, one in the hand and the other in the shoulder. There were about four or five shots fired. One barely missing his head. He recovered fully.

Then my first car......a piece of junk! Actually my first two cars were. My first was a $200 green 1970 something fast back Mustang. My cousins grandmother had it out in here field. At the time my husband and I were dating and he looked at it and believed he could fix it, so we bought it from her. James and Dad did get it running, but not for long. I drove it for a while until the darn engine overheated and it was done for good. I even remember the day I went to James house to give him back his ring and break off our engagement. I was driving that car, and I'll never forget how when I was getting back in I looked up to hear my now mother-in-law screaming "Shannon (that's what his family calls him) get back in here." I had told him it was over, left the rings and walked out. He obvously didn't want me to leave with out an explanation and since he had been in bed was still in his underwear, to his mother's dismay, running across the lawn to my car. I had to stop and go back in the house. I left there with a promise to give it another try. I guess the boy in the front lawn in his underwear was enough to disarm a determined girl who had taken her brother along to make the point. We laugh about that all the time. Of course for a newly engaged couple that car also had other great memories too. That was back before the drive-in movies were completely gone. There was still one in our town, though it was gone a few years later. It sure was an ugly pain in the butt car, but wonderful memories.

Then since those days I've had many other cars. The one I miss the most is our T-top lemon ice yellow '95 Trans Am with a V8 engine. Boy did that thing have power. I loved that car and still miss it. My husband had used the whole back trunk to put in a speaker system. I remember I use to think he was crazy. That was something young stupid kids did right? That was until the car became mine and I fell in love with hearing my country music in stereo! Shanian Twain and even George Straight sounded so much better in stereo. I was also an outside account rep for a printing company in Spokane. I remember that people took notice when you pulled up in an impressive vehicle like that. It was also nice to have such a beautiful car when you took clients out to lunch. I was pregnant with Jamie, my third child when I was driving that car. It did get more difficult to get in and out of that thing the bigger I got though, but otherwise it was a very comfortable and fun car. We sold it after Jamie was born because the back seat wasn't a bench but two buckets. It wouldn't hold three kids with two in car seats!

03 January 2011

Madness Monday - Edward H. Kaufman

Here I am again after more than a year. I have finally found a little time to pick up my old Kootenai County Paupers Cemetery file and do some more work. To my dismay, many of them I still can't seem to break through, at least not online. I have got to find time for the library and the FHC to do some deeper digging.

But I was, at least in part, able to put together another man's life from the Old Paupers Cemetery.

On my list is a man named Edward H. Kaufman. He died 25 May 1940 and is buried at the Old Paupers Cemetery. According to the county list of burials he was born 28 Sept 1879 in Saranac, Michigan. The first record I found on Ancestry was the Idaho Death Index 1911-51. In this index his county of death is Shoshone in the city of Osburn. This is interesting. Why would a man die in Shoshone County, ID and then be buried by Kootenai County in their Pauper's Cemetery. I'll need to look into this further. This record confirms the same death and birth dates I had.

I found a 1930 census, Lakeshore, Coeur d'Alene City, Kootenai County, Idaho, Enumeration district - 28-12, sheet 11A, written pg 8351, Enumerated 10 April 1930 by Mrs Mary Eastburn, living at 822 Mullen Ave, Dwelling - 286, Family 286. Edward Kaufman a 49 year old single male is a boarder at the home of Marshall Pearson. He was born in Michigan, father in Ireland and mother in Canada. He is a laborer at the lumber mill. Later we'll find out that Marshall Pearson is his brother-in-law.

Next I found an Edward Kaufman with an Irish father and Canadian mother born in Michigan in the 1880 census. I searched through many, even more in Michigan, but this was the only one that fit. Sanilac, Sanilac, Michigan, page no 39, Sup. dist. 3, Enum dist. 342, enumerated 30 June 1880 by John H Hopkins, Port Sanilac Vil., Dwelling - 354, Family- 357, Daniel Kaufman head of house age 40 born in Ireland, Emily his wife age 39 born in Michigan, but her parents in Canada. Julia - 13 born in Canada, Willie - 11, Louisa - 10, Fred - 7 and Eddie - 9 mo. The rest of the children were born in Michigan. I still wanted to dig deeper to see if this family was the right one. I had a head scratching moment when I looked at the census further. Daniels occupation is listed at Hustler. Wow, I bet there is a story behind that. I will look deeper in Sanilac County records when I can.

I did another search for Edward and found him and his mother in Saginaw Ward 6, Saginaw, Michigan, sheet 5B, Enumeration District 53, they are living at 109 Bristol St, Dwelling 94, Family 104. This time however, I have my doubts that I am on the right path. This Edward is listed as being born in June (not Sept) of 1880 (not 1879). This concerns me. But he was born in Michigan. Once again it states his mother is born in Canada and that she immigrated in 1860. That would be before Julia was born. If Julia was indeed born in Canada then they must have traveled back and forth for some time. Edward's occupation is an Iron Worker.

I still wanted to find more, but was unable to find any other records of an Edward Kaufman born around 1880 in Michigan to an Irish father and Canadian mother. So I began to search for his siblings. Again I was doing the happy dance.

1910 Census, Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho, page 17B, Enum. Dist. 166, image 130, again on Mullen Ave, dwelling - 330, family - 351, Head of house is Ed Kaufman (would be why I hadn't found him. I had not yet gone through name variations.), mother Emily Kaufman, brothers Fred and William. The boys are all born in Michigan and Emily in Canada. This time he is 37 years old, and his brother is listed at 39. Neither have the right age. I would say age wasn't important to this family. Then in the same year and even on the same street, but about 22 dwellings apart is his brother Fred again, this time in the home of their sister Julia Huyck. Fred must have been living back and forth between the two homes.

With no further luck on Fred and Edward I looked for Julia, now that I had a married name. I then found her in the 1920 census in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho, sheet 4B, sup dist. 8, enum dist. 206, enumerated 3 Jan by Mrs. Blanche K. McMartin, at 822 Mullan, dwelling 91, family 101. Head of house is Marshall Pearson her brother-in-law, husband of her sister Adaline. This sister is a couple years older than Julia. Until this point I had thought Julia was the oldest, but it's possible that Adaline was already married by the 1880 census, therefor not with the family. Also in the home is Edward Coffman (another variation of his name, which is why I had not found this census of him), as well as their mother Emily. Most of the information is close to what has been found to this point. This census again confirms that Emily, Julia and Adaline all immigrated in 1870, which fits the timeline established by the 1880 census better, since the next child after Julia was born in 1870 in Michigan.

Then I did some searching on Find-A-Grave to find his brother Fred Kaufman born 10 Sept 1870 in Michigan and died 6 Feb 1920 in Coeur'd Alene, ID. This means he died about a month after the 1920 census was taken. He is buried in the Forest Cemetery in Coeur d'Alene, ID. The quote in his memorial states "Single; son of Daniel Kaufman and Emily Brown; Lineman." Again confirming that he was the son of Daniel and Emily, but this is the first account of his mother's maiden name. I'll need to look further into this.

Also in the same cemetery is their sister Adeline Kaufman Pearson born 3 Jan 1864 in Wisconsin and died 3 April 1936 in Coeur d'Alene, ID. This leads back to the idea that the family was back and forth from the US a few times when their first children were born. Likely because Emily's family was in Canada. The quote on her memorial read "Wife of Marshal B Pearson; daughter of Daniel Kaufman and Emily Brown."

That is Edward Kaufman's life story as I currently know it. There are a lot of holes that I hope to fill, but will take some time for me to visit the library and the FHC in Hayden. Until I can do that I would certainly be interested in hearing from anyone that can share stories or photos of this family to help me build upon his life story. My goal still is that some day I will be able to recreate the life story of every person buried at the Kootenai County Cemetery, before it is gone forever.