Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Five Question Challenge - Your Favorites

Today is the end of Family History Month in the United States, and Juliana Smith at 24/7 Family History Circle challenged everyone to answer five questions each week on a specific topic. I posted on the first week's challenge Five Question Challenge – School Memories but haven't done any of the others. Perhaps I'll go back later and do them. Doubtful. The topic for this last week was Five Questions about Your Favorites.

1. What is your favorite book and why?
Can there really be just one? Historical Fiction, especially James A. Michener. Science Fiction. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Biographies. Philosophy. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. Travel-Adventure. Western Romance. Mom bought the complete set of Zane Grey novels many years ago. I've read them all and they are now boxed up in my garage along with most of my other books. No place to put them, but can't get rid of them. It has been a few years since I've read a book but I finally managed to pick up my library card at the local library the other day.

2. What is your favorite movie and why?
My all-time favorite is Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Richard Dreyfus. Just imagine the possibilities. Also really liked him in Mr. Holland's Opus.

3. Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
This is a hard one for me to explain. Right now, as cryptic as it may sound, wherever I am is my favorite place to be. I've had several seasons or phases in my life but the year spent in Iceland, the two years in Japan, and the two years in California would be hard to top. Lots of other places I want to see and experience but I also like just being at home, wherever that is.

4. What is your favorite time of day? Are you a morning person, an afternoon person, or a night owl?
Definitely am NOT a morning person. Never have been, probably never will be.

5. What is your favorite holiday?
Independence Day. Primarily for its significance, but also because it is in the summertime. The family getting together, the fireworks, the parades, the fun, the food. Not quite as commercialized as many of the other major holidays.

Additional Bonus Question: Favorite actor/comedian?
Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal. Just because.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1931)

[page 1]
Aug 30 - 1931

The 22 second anual Reunion of The Phend - Fisher familys was held at Elkhart Ind at McNaughton Park Aug 30 - 1931

The meeting was called to order by Pres. Henry A Phend with an opening Prayer by John Ernest after which several talks were given.

The buisness of the day was then taken up with election of officers as follows.
Mr. Claude Pool President
Mr. Ruben Pletcher Vict Pres.
Cecil Phend Sec & Treas.

- - Entertainment Committe - -
Fred Ernest Chairman
Mr. Cecil Phend
Mrs. Cecil Phend
Mr. Russel Phend
Mr. Barton Thornton

It was then voted to have next Reunion at John Ernest Home close to Sugar Grove Church for next meeting Place. to be held Last Sunday in Aug

It was the moved & Seconded that Mrs Barton Thornton

[page 2]
should act as Birth & Death reporter again.

The minuits of the 1930 Reunion were read and approved correct by acting secretary Ruben Pletcher.

The financial report was as follows
Cash $4.05
Payed out 2.42
Balance $1.63
Collection 2.72
Turned over to Secrt Treas. $4.35

Deaths & Births as Reported by Mrs. Barton Thornton

To Mr & Mrs Lee & Bernice Phend Holderman a daughter Barbara Holderman
To Mr & Mrs Russell Phend a daughter Nancy Ann Phend
To Mr & Mrs Ruben & Surelda Phend Pletcher, a son Harrol Delbert Pletcher

[page 3]
Deaths as reported by Mrs Barton Thornton - Reporter

In family of Mr & Mrs Harry Shaw. Their Daughter Miss Shirley Darline Shaw died Nov 3. 1930 age [34 years crossed out] infant.

In Family of Mr & Mrs Henry A Phend. Their daughter Mrs Gladyce Irene Phend Pressler united in marriage to Mr Ralph Pressler died July 4 - 1931 - age 34 years. No children were born to this marriage

In family of Mr & Mrs Painter daughter Miss Maud Painter Married to Charley McGown
[Their daughter crossed out] Mrs Maude McGown died Aug 1931 age 48 leaveing two children. Donabelle & Dorris

Cecil S Phend Sec & Treas



= = = = = = Notes = = = = = =

Gladys Irene Phend was born August 8, 1896 in Nappanee, Indiana and was the daughter of Henry and Susie Yarian Phend. Gladys was married to Ralph Bryan Pressler on September 1, 1922 in Whitley County, Indiana. She died on July 4, 1931 of complications following surgery for appendicitis. Gladys was a sister of Cecil Phend (the secretary-treasurer for 1931).

Maud Painter was the daughter of William and Amelia (Herrold) Painter. She was born May 28, 1883 and died August 16, 1931 at her home in Niles, Michigan. Her marriage to Charles Thomas McGowan took place on July 1, 1905 in Elkhart County, Indiana. Maud and Charles had three daughters, Laura (Mrs. James Huff), Doris (Mrs. Arthur Dickey), and Donnabelle McGowan (still living at home in 1931).

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. The Phend Family Reunions were resumed in 1952 and have been held annualy since then. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

With fear and trepidation...

Friday afternoon I finally (after putting it off for nearly a year) went and bought a new laptop! I had promised to give my old laptop, which is nearly three years old, to my niece for her and her son to use. He just turned 13 years old last week and really needs a computer for his school work. Anyway, that and an upcoming research trip provided the impetus for me to finally get it done. I also wanted to be able to use a portable scanner with the laptop. Back in June I had purchased a Canon LiDE 70 scanner but the old laptop only has USB 1.0 and the scanner didn't work well with it. So, I took the scanner back.

It took a couple hours Friday evening to get the new laptop setup and running. It's an HP with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 250 GB hard drive, 2 GB of memory, and Windows Vista Home Premium. Also has a built in WebCam, LightScribe DVD Reader/Writer, and other stuff. No manual, so I don't even know what some of the buttons on the laptop are for or what some of the software does.

Getting a new computer can certainly be frustrating. Making sure the computer works, loading a program then making sure it works before loading the next one, etc. Trying to figure out what all needs to be loaded, wondering if the old software will work with the new operating system. Oh, the joys of technology!

First thing after making sure the laptop worked was to download the anti-virus software. Getting connected to the Internet was a cinch; I just plugged in the DSL cable and Vista recognized the network immediately. Cool. It also told me there were two wireless networks available for use but I wasn't brave enough to try either of them. It didn't take long to download and install the program. After rebooting I let it scan the hard drive to ensure that no virus had gotten on it while it was unprotected.

The laptop came with a 60-day free trial of an Anti-Virus and Internet Security program that I didn't want to use because I like the one I've been using for the past 2 years, that happens to be free. The pre-installed anti-virus was annoying because it would automatically start up when the laptop was booted up and then it would display a warning message when I went to close it - caution you won't be protected if you don't complete the install, etc. I finally figured out how to disable it from automatically starting and then removed the program completely.

Next thing to get loaded on was Legacy, the genealogy software that I use. No problem there either. And it opened my databases just fine. What a relief that was!

Two years ago I had purchased an iPod but after getting only a couple of CDs imported into it I had to disconnect the USB2 port that I had added to my desktop computer. Long story, but apparently there was a conflict with drivers and the USB2 port didn't want to play nice with the other drivers. Loaded the iPod software off the CD okay. As soon as the iPod was connected it immediately told me that the software was out of date, so that had to be downloaded and installed, which took quite a while. But now, after several hours of loading CDs, I have more tunes on the iPod, and, as Martha Stewart says, that is a good thing. I don't have all that many CDs (have lots of cassette tapes though) and it is a rather odd collection, I suppose. Some pre-Beatles classic 60s songs, Garth Brooks, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Mannheim Steamroller, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Marty Robbins, Roger Whitaker, Roy Orbison, Chicago, and Blood Sweat and Tears. There are a lot of other singers/groups that I like, I just haven't bought any of their CDs.

I have Office 2000 on the desktop 'puter but thought I'd give Open Office a try on the new laptop. Not sure how that will work with sharing files between the two. I haven't tried opening any of my Word files in Open Office yet. It will take some getting used to. As will figuring out Windows Vista!

The only hardware I've added besides the iPod is the new Canon LiDE 70 scanner. It is working great, no streaks like with the old laptop when scanning larger images. I've done several tests and they came out nicely. Yeah!

So far, knock on wood, Windows Vista hasn't caused me any problems. But I don't have “everything” loaded on to the laptop yet. Still have to get email setup too. And I'd heard all kinds of horror stories regarding Vista. Perhaps I'll get lucky with this laptop though. I can dream, right?

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1930)

The 21st Annual Reunion of the Phend Fisher families was held at Raymond Phends home north of Elkhart Sunday Aug 31st 1930

Dinner at noon followed by business session. The meeting was called to order by Harold Phend President. Sec. report was read and approved and bills allowed. It was voted upon to have a place committee to decide the place to meet next year 1931, Place committee was elected as follows.
Raymond Phend
Will Phend
Reuben Pletcher
Place committee to have power to chang[e] time from last Sunday of Aug; But suggested to keep time as near as possible to present time of reunion

Memorial report
J J Phend Oct 10th 1929 age 70
Chris Phend Sep 3rd 1929 [age] 78
Molly Phend April 8th 1930 [age] 77
James Phend [age] 10 mo.
Geraldine Lusher May 9th 1930 [age] 17
John Slear Jan 18th 1930 [age] 87



[page 2]
Births.
Robert Eugene son of Paul Phend [still living, date omitted for posting although it is in the image]
William Henry son of Victor Phend [still living, date omitted for posting although it is in the image]

Election of officers
Pres. Henry Phend.
Vice. Pres. Will Phend.
Sec. & Treas. Reuben Pletcher.

Entertaining Committee, Barton Thornton chairman to appoint his own help.
Memorial and Birth reporter, Surelda Thornton

Treasury report.
Bal. On hand 6.31
Bills Presented 4.90 [balance] 1.41
Offering 2.64 [balance] 4.05

Program
Instrumental Solo - Mrs. Hartman
Reading - Mrs. Barton Thornton
Song - Paul and Harry Pletcher, Richard Thornton
Solo - Barton Thornton
Piano Solo - Richard Thornton

There were 65 members pres. Meeting was closed by President. After which a social time with games and contests were enjoyed.

Reuben Pletcher Sec.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1929)

The 20th Annual Reunion of the Phend Fisher families was held at McNaughton Park Sun Aug 30th 1929.

Dinner at noon followed by business session. The meeting was called to order by Harold Phend vice President in the absense of Claud Poole, President, who was unable to be present.

Secretary's report was read and approved and bills allowed. After a great deal of discussion it was decided to have the date of next meeting the last Sunday in August as heretofore and committees were chosen.

Entertainment
Barton Thornton Chr.
Goldie Gerrard
Ruth Phend.
Arrangement
Mrs. Ed. Phend Chr.
Acquainted
Mrs. John Ernest.

Because of general dissatisfaction with

[page 2]

McNaughton Park as a place of meeting it was voted to have the next reunion at the home of R. H. Phend and all were urged to come and bring their families. The attendance was the smallest in years, being 61.

Flowers were sent to Christian Phend of Nappanee and to Jacob Phend of near Granger both of whom were seriously ill. Fred Ernest was asked to bring the Family Tree up to date and present it again next year.

Officers Elected
President Harold Phend
Vice President Reuben Pletcher
Treasurer John Ernest
Secretary Raymond Phend

Meeting was closed by President and general visiting and games began.

R. H. Phend, Sec.

Roundup of the News - Recommended Reading

It's been a bit mind-boggling trying to keep up with all of the announcements of new databases, new partnerships, and new collaborations that have been released this month.

At the
Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe Randy Seaver posted a very good roundup of the announcements in Research News for October 2007 so I'm not going to waste my time in trying to duplicate it here.

Kimberly Powell has the latest on
What's Next for Ancestry.com? with some interesting information on their acquisition by Spectrum, future investments, the Internet Biographical Collection, Family Tree Maker 2008, Genealogy.com and RootsWeb.com, plans for Ancestry Member Trees and other Family Trees, and plans for the future.

You might also want to go on over to Creative Gene, Year Two to see what Jasia has to say about blogging for two years! Congratulations, Jasia!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are You Prepared? I'm Not.

The fires in California and the tornado that swept through Nappanee, Indiana last Thursday night (October 18th) have set me to thinking again about my preparations for a disaster. Nappanee is only 30 miles or so due west of where I live, and the area where some of my ancestors lived between 1860-1910. Luckily there were no deaths reported with the tornado in Nappanee, but there was extensive damage with at least 100 homes and businesses completely destroyed. That really doesn't compare with the extensive property loss in California, but to anyone who has had their home destroyed, it is devastating. Imagine losing everything you own, in a matter of minutes. It was heart-breaking watching the television during and after hurricane Katrina and it is the same now with the fires and tornados and floods.

Living in northern Indiana and knowing the area is prone to tornados, and having had several friends lose their homes to fire, you would think that I would already be prepared. I should be, but I'm not. You always think "It won't happen to me" but as we all know, natural and man-made disasters happen all too frequently. The thing is, if you live as though disaster is waiting around the corner, you won't have time to enjoy life, you'll be too busy worrying about what might happen next. You have to find balance. Think about what is truly valuable to you, what can not be replaced. Make plans to save those things, then follow through with the plan! Easier said than done.

With a forest fire, a hurricane, possibly even a flood, you might have advance warning of the pending or potential disaster. But with a tornado, as with the one in Nappanee last Thursday, there is no advance warning. For those people who had their homes demolished, very little is left. So, what can you do? Not much, in that situation, but with those disasters where some time is available for evacuation you can be prepared.

Put together a
Family Disaster Kit. Written in 2005, this webpage is a goldmine of information for creating a plan and building a disaster kit as well as providing guidelines for the important documents and other necessary things. You don't have to do everything it suggests, and you don't have to do it all at once (the cost would be prohibitive, I think) but if nothing else, it will give you something to think about.

Prepare a
Home Inventory. The Insurance Information Institute has software for recording your stuff. The software is easy to use. I downloaded it yesterday and have started adding some items. It allows you to attach pictures and scanned images. Best of all, it is free.

Create a Bug Out Box. The box should be small and light enough to be carried by one person. The contents should include copies of important papers, household inventory, prescriptions and other documents needed to reestablish who you are and what you had. Important phone numbers such as doctors and relatives, emergency contacts, credit card and other business numbers should also be added.

Important Papers includes suggestions on the critical documents necessary to rebuild your life.

There are a few things that I am already doing to prepare for a disaster, but I definitely plan on creating a disaster kit. If I had to rely on my pantry for survival, it wouldn't last more than a few days - I just don't keep much food on hand.

Bug Out Box.
I sort of have one but I'm sure it doesn't include all the important papers that would be needed, so I'm going to go through the box and add the things that are missing. I created a document listing critical addresses and accounts and printed a copy for my brother for safekeeping, primarily in case anything happened to me but also as a backup. I'll be getting a safe-deposit box to store some of the more important items. I'll also make copies and scan them before putting them away. It's important to have paper copies available immediately because if power is out, computer files won't be readily accessible.

Data Backup.
I have several external hard drives for backing up all my computer data. One of the drives is stored at my mother's apartment, 30 miles away. The drives are rotated weekly. I backup my data nearly every night on one of the two drives I keep at home. So at most, I'd only lose one day's worth of work.

Scanning documents and photographs.
This is an on-going and seemingly never-ending project. Also very time-consuming. But, to me, it is critical. I just started scanning stuff this summer and haven't gotten much done. I really need to get back to it. Not just family photographs but important documents also.

First Aid Kit.
A very basic first aid kit is kept in the car, along with a few blankets, but after reading the above articles I think more needs to be included.

That's a lot to think about. Not much fun either. But what would you do if your home was destroyed in the blink of an eye?


Follow-up post (11/14/2007): My Plan to Prepare for Disaster

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Indiana Sunset

These were taken less than an hour ago (at about 7:10 p.m.) just a few feet outside my back door. . .

Looking west - The two "hills" in the center are piles of dirt left behind after land was cleared for the foundations of a building.

Looking northeast - It has a rather painterly, soft-focus look to it as there really wasn't enough light for the camera to focus on anything specific.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1928)

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1928)

The 19th Family Reunion of the Phend - Fisher Families was held on Sunday Aug. 26th at McNaughton Park.

The time before dinner was spent in getting acquainted and greeting old friends. At noon all gathered around the table and after grace, pronounced by Rev. Oberholser, all began eating and talking.

After dinner a meeting was called by the President Claude Poole, and following officers elected.
President Claude Poole
Vice President Harold Phend
Sec. R. H. Phend
Treasurer John Ernest.
Memorial Committee Surelda Thornton
Arrangement Com.
J. J. Phend
Fred Ernest
Iva Wherley

[page 2]
Entertainment Committee
Fred Ernest, Chairman to elect two others to serve with him.

It was voted to hold the next meeting the last Sunday in August the place to be decided later by the Arrangement Committee.

We were then favored with two duets by Rev. & Mrs. Oberholser and a duet by Mrs. John Ernest and Mrs. Shaw. Fred Ernest then presented the Family Tree in a very interesting manner and the meeting was then closed with a prayer.

R. H. Phend, Sec.

The Attendence was 75.

[in a different handwriting] Births
Virginia Rose Phend Daughter of Victor Phend.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm a H.O.G.S. Blogger!

My friends keep telling me that I need to get out more often… I guess that applies to blog reading as well. Since setting up Bloglines to use as my preferred method of reading blogs, actual visits to other blogs are few and far between - unless I want to leave a comment or if the blog only sends out partial posts. I find Bloglines to be handy and very convenient but you lose some of the interaction of reading the actual blog. You don't see the layout of the blog, the comments, or the other stuff in their sidebar. As a result, you sometimes miss out on some neat things.

For instance, a little while ago I visited Terry Thornton's blog
Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi to review one of his earlier posts. While there I discovered that he had added Kinexxions to his list of H.O.G.S. Blogs! Terry came up with that moniker and a logo earlier this month to describe his style of blogging.


According to Terry, a H.O.G.S. Blog is one that includes a little History, some Observations, a little Genealogy, as well as some Stories. I'm not sure that Kinexxions includes all of those things in full measure, but I'm honored that Terry thinks so. Thus, I will proudly display the H.O.G.S. Blog logo in my sidebar. Thanks Terry!

And, now, if you'd care to learn more than you ever really wanted to know about the history of hogs in Indiana, check out "
Hoosier Hogs" (pdf file) published by The Indiana Historian in August 1994. . . Pigs in Time, Driving Hogs to the River, Porkopolis, and Pig Potpourri. It truly is amazing what you can discover out there on the 'net!

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1927)

The Phend - Fisher family reunion was held at McNaughton Park Aug 26-1927.

The time before dinner was spent socially. At 12:30 all gathered around the table and prayer was offered by Rev. Oberholser after which every one got busy eating and talking.

After dinner the President called us to order for a short business session. The Sec'y report was read after which we were favored with two solo's by Mary Poole. Duet by Rev. and Mrs. Oberholser and a reading by Rev. Oberholser.

The officers elected for the ensuing year were.
President, Claud Poole
Vice Pres. Will Phend
Sec'y. Raymond Phend
Treas. John Ernest.

Programe Com.
Iva Wherley & Katherine Pletcher.
Memorial Com.
Surelda Thornton

[page 2]
Publicity & Family Tree
Fred Ernest.

Com. On Arrangement.
Grace Vassmere, Goldie Lynch.

There were 91 present.
Ed Phend
Sec'y.

P.S. It was voted to hold the next annual reunion at McNaughton Park, Elkhart, Ind. on the last Sunday in August.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wiseman, Willman, Wisensam!!

This is a bit of an understatement, but there are times when I get frustrated with using the online census indexes. I know the people I'm looking for are in a specific location but they don't appear in the index searches. It's even worse when you don't know where the people are for sure.

I've done some work in original records and some indexing of marriages as well as other local records, so I know that indexing and transcribing are not easy tasks. But I just wanted to show these two examples.

The families of Henry and Samuel Wiseman are enumerated on the same page in the 1930 Federal Census (Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana; E.D. 43-20, sheet 6B dwelling/family 176/178 and 177/179, respectively.) I had found the census on microfilm at the library several years ago but decided that I wanted a digital copy. A quick search for Wiseman, with and without using soundex, didn't turn up anything. But since I had the page number already, I just forwarded to the page, found them and downloaded the image file.

But then, curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to find out how they were indexed.



I searched in Kosciusko county, Indiana. First, for Samuel, born 1855. No luck. Then for Amanda, born 1860. The 11th name that was listed was Amanda Willman with spouse Samdred in Tippecanoe Township. That is the right family.

This is how the family was listed in the index: Samdred Willman, Amanda Willman, Sachie w Willman, Jessie d Willman, Eream l Willman, Emese c Willman, Jack w Willman

In actuality, their surname is Wiseman and their given names are: Samuel, Amanda, Leslie W., Jessie D., Fern L., Emery C., and Jack W.

Henry's family was found by searching in Kosciusko county, Indiana for Henry, born 1859. He was found as Henry Wisensam, with two family members in the household: Loura Wisensam and Howard Wisensam.

I would never have come up with Willman or Wisensam as alternatives for Wiseman. Guess I'll have to add them to my growing list of alternate spellings!

This is something that I need to keep in mind, and oftentimes forget: creativity goes a long way when searching in indexes. If you can't find them with their surname, use first names along with some other identifier, such as year of birth. It gets harder if you don't know for sure where someone is or if they aren't where you thought they should be. Sometimes, though, they simply aren't there!

Aunt Leah and Tatting

Dave Tabler's post this morning at Appalachian History on Reviving the ancient art of tatting reminded me of my aunt Eva Leah Wiseman Shock (my Dad's sister). Beside Aunt Leah's chair at her home in Goshen, Indiana was a bag full of thread. As she sat there visiting with my parents she'd pull out some weird looking thing and start to work. We weren't allowed to touch anything at her house, especially that bag. And, at the time, we didn't even know what she was doing. Years later my mom would tell us about Aunt Leah and her tatting.

Aunt Leah was born on February 4, 1908 in Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana and was the second child born to Elsie Shuder and Charles Wiseman. The day before Leah's 18th birthday her mother died in a fire that destroyed the small house the family was living in, and from what I've been told, devastated the family as well. There were seven other children in the household with Perry being the oldest at 19 years of age, and my Dad being the youngest, just a little over 2 years old.

In the 1930 Federal Census (Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana, E.D. 43-20, sheet 6B) the five youngest children are enumerated in the household of their grandparents, Samuel and Amanda Wiseman. I haven't yet found Grandpa Charlie or Perry and Leah in the 1930 census yet so I don't know where they were living. It's possible that Grandpa Charlie was in jail. Newspaper clippings show that he was arrested numerous times between 1909 and well into the 1930's for fishing with a net, bootlegging, and other minor infractions of the law. It's no wonder that Aunt Leah ended up in a mental institution for a while. She would somehow eventually be rescued from that place by her future husband, Ervin Shock (we always called him Shocky). They were married on April 13, 1941 in Elkhart County and made their home at 321 ½ First Street in Goshen. First Street was the first street to the east of the Elkhart River, hence it's name. When we were older, the first place we'd head for when visiting Aunt Leah was the river and the park on the other side.

The photograph of Ervin and Eva Leah Shock, with her nephew Bill Conrad, was probably taken in 1941.





Mom says that Leah learned tatting from her grandmother, Amanda Minerva Alexander Wiseman. The skill was not passed down to the younger generation and there are not many examples of Aunt Leah's work left that I am aware of, except for several items that my cousin Caroline was given. Those are shown above. Aunt Leah passed away on January 9, 1967 at her home in Goshen and is buried next to her parents in the North Webster cemetery.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Carnival is Haunted...

Jasia has posted the October 18th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - the topic is Halloween and the Supernatural!

As usual, some good articles. Some new contributors too!

The next edition of the COG will be hosted by Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist. Here's the question he's putting out to you... Do you have a family mystery that might be solved by DNA? Blaine will analyze your post for possible answers to questions or mysteries based on genetic genealogy and then he'll try to help us all understand if and how genetic genealogy might be used to solve our mysteries and questions.

Use the carnival submission form to submit your article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy The deadline for submissions will be November 1st. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1926)

17th Reunion of.
The Phend - Fisher family reunion was held Sunday Aug 29 - 1926 at McNaughton Park Elkhart, Ind.

The time before dinner was spent socially. After all had gathered around the table, prayer was offered by John Phend.

A short business meeting was held in the afternoon, meeting being called to order by the President, Sam Ringenberger.

The following officers were elected. Sam Ringenberg, President
Wm. Phend Vice President
Ed. Phend, Sec'y.
John Ernest, treasure

The following committee were appointed
Memorial Com.
Bertha Poole
Sophia Ernest

Program Com.
Iva Wherley
Katharine Pletcher

[page 2]
Arrangements.
Grace Vassmer.

Publicity Com.
Fred Ernest.

A short talk was given by Della Senff of Ladysmith, Wisconsin.
Duet was sung by Mrs. John Ernest and Mrs. Shaw.

A collection was taken amounting to $4.80.
$1.95 was paid to sec'y for cards, postage and telephone calls.
34¢ to John Ernest for paper.

91 was reported present, the largest number for some time. It was noted to hold the reunions each year the first Sunday after the 25 of Aug. at McNaughton Park, Elkhart.

Secy was instructed to write a letter of sympathy to Mr. C. D. Phend who was sick and could not be present.

Secy.Ed Phend


Splendor in the Leaves

Incredible colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway as seen in some awesome photographs posted by Marie Freeman. Her post title has it right, for sure... Go get your sunglasses because the autumn leaves are blinding....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1924-1925)

The fifteenth annual reunion of the Phend-Fisher families was held at East Side Park, Nappanee, Ind. Sep. 5 - 1924

64 members being present. After dinner was over, those who cared to attended the ball game. Same officers were retained for another year.

Ed. Phend
Sec'y


The 16th annual reunion of the Phend - Fisher family was held at the home of John Rhodes, Nappanee, Aug. 28 - 1925.

65 being present.
The time before dinner was spent in a social way. After dinner a short programme was given by the McGowan sisters of Niles, Mich. A short business session was held. The following officers being elected
President, Sam Ringinberg
Secy. Ed. Phend
Treas John Ernest.

A collection of $2.55 was take[n]
1.50 paid to sec'y. cards & printing.

Place for next reunion was left for officers to decide.

Ed. Phend
Sec'y.

A Hint of Autumn

Monday afternoon. The first "bright" color I've seen in the area. There's still hope for a colorful fall after all.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Night Not Soon Forgot

"Just as the sun was sinking in the west they took up their habitation in a deserted log cabin with puncheon floor. It was the 31st day of October, and as their Halloween diversion they heard the howls of wolves, screams of catamounts, hoots of owls and sounds of other inhabitants of the wild. As a further pleasure to them within three and four hundred yards, were located two Indian villages. Their first night under such circumstances is one that would not soon be forgot."

So the story goes that we have oft' been told,
Of a Halloween night of old.
Through the wilderness of Ohio they did travel,
'Twas back in eighteen hundred and forty-five.

Following the meandering trail,
Midst the forests and the vale,
Was a mother with five young children.
Jones was their name - Elizabeth, Maxia,
Catherine, Curtis, Dewitt and Mary.

Household goods and personal possessions,
Loaded in an ox cart, were carried to a new land.
Many untold hardships they would endure,
And their fears would be overcome.

Though friends and family were left behind,
New friends in their new home they would find.
Marriage, and children would in time arrive.
Trite though it may sound, but true it is,

If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be alive.

=+==+==+==+==+==+=

The first paragraph comes from a newspaper clipping published November 2, 1910 in the Columbia City Post wherein Curtis W. Jones tell a little bit about his family coming to Whitley County, Indiana from Muskingum County, Ohio. I've always thought that it could be elaborated upon and had intended to do so for the upcoming edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, but time got away from me. Lame, I know, but that's how it goes. I wrote about Grandma Jones this past February.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Waymarking - A new Research Tool, perhaps?

Periodically I check out the new blogs at Chris Dunham's Genealogy Blog Finder. The person behind a blog called FamilyTrees is a genealogist in central Ohio whose newest hobby/obsession is one called waymarking.

This was something new to me so I checked out
www.waymarking.com mentioned in the FamilyTrees post. Waymarking is apparently an offshoot of geocaching, which I had heard about. Both make use of GPS technology. Geocaching is somewhat like a scavenger hunt where items are hidden, usually out in the countryside. The GPS coordinates are recorded, and then other people attempt to find the hidden items. Waymarking, on the other hand, does not involve hiding anything, but you are still searching for something, whether it be an object or a location.

What's neat about waymarking is that an online directory has been created of these places that people have found. So far over 67,000 locations have been waymarked in 617 categories that range from AM/FM Radio Broadcasting Stations all the way through the alphabet (except X) to Zoos.

Interested in
Ghost Towns, Hot Air Balloon Festivals, Indiana Historical Markers, Renaissance Fairs, or Outhouses, perhaps? Hmm, guess I'll have to get myself a GPS so I can post the location of the Historic Foust Outhouse!

The database at the
Waymarking website can be searched by category, by proximity to an address, by zip code, or by using the site's Google Maps platform. Once you've found a location of interest, one click will bring up more information along with photos and written directions as well as a map and the GPS coordinates.

I can see using this to find sites of interest in an area to be visited: museums, libraries, memorials, theaters, restaurants, cemeteries, etc. And if the places you visit aren't listed, you could take pictures, get the GPS coordinates, and add them to the database. Registration on the website is required to be able to post new locations or add photographs to an existing location, but there is no charge.
Additional features are available for a fee of $3 per month or $30 per year. You can use the site to find stuff without registering or paying a membership fee.

Of course, you could just use the site to play some games using your GPS. . . one of the games that interested me was the Ansel Adams Photo Hunt.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What is your Genealogy Worth?

Over at Creative Gene, Jasia has recently posted several articles asking What is your Genealogy Worth to You? Her articles have covered the costs associated with: DNA testing, doing it yourself versus hiring some one to do your research, recording your genealogy, and sharing with others (the link above will take you to a category displaying all of those posts).

In response, Randy Seaver asks
Can You Put a Price on Your Family History? and John Newmark at Transylvania Dutch also has a post on the Cost of Genealogy. Both Randy and Jasia have been researching for 10 years or more while John is a relative newbie. They all provide food for thought.

I'd certainly hate to have to put a price tag on my genealogy and family history research! I've been at it for a little more than 20 years, some years more than others, some years not at all. But still, a lot of time and energy has been expended as well as a considerable amount of money for seminars, books, conferences, documents, copies, supplies, travel, publishing, etc., etc.

As a hobby or pastime (i.e., something done to pass the time), I'd have to venture a guess that genealogy research probably isn't really any more expensive than many other hobbies. It all depends upon how much you want to put into it. In junior-high and high school I was into stamp collecting and for a number of years, later in life, I was into doll making (clothespin dolls, soft sculpture, Raggedy Ann and Andy) and going to craft shows. Time consuming, expensive, enjoyable.

In my opinion, the COST of genealogy research, or any other pastime/hobby, does not determine its value or worth. The WORTH of any endeavor can only be determined by the person involved. There are intrinsic benefits derived from nearly every hobby or pastime, otherwise why would we do it?

With stamp collecting it was the joy of spending some time by myself, of learning about the countries where the stamps came from, of organizing them and putting them into their proper place in an album. With doll making, it was seeing the joy on the face of a child (or an adult) playing with the dolls on display. The feeling of having created something that someone else could enjoy and would enjoy for many years. With genealogy it is the feeling of accomplishment when a new ancestor is found, finding another piece of the never-ending puzzle, making a connection with a new cousin, opportunities to meet new friends, to be able to share failures as well as successes, and ultimately to discover more about myself and perhaps figure out why I am the way I am.

I guess, after all that babbling, what I'm really trying to say is that, for me, the worth of genealogy research really has nothing to do with its cost. In a word, it's priceless.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1923)

[page 1]
The fourteenth annual reunion of the Phend - Fisher family was held at the home of Jacob Phend north-west of Elkhart on Sunday Sep 2, 1923.

There were 61 members and 5 friends present. The forenoon was spent in a social way. Rev. J. H. Held gave thanks before serving dinner. Prayer and interesting talk by Rev. Held preceding business session after dinner.

Officers elected.
Wm. Phend, Pres.
Ralph Ernest, V. Pres.
Reuben Pletcher, treas.
Ed Phend, Sec'y.

A committee was appointed by the president to secure date and place for the next reunion, consisting of
Fredrik Wherley
Will Phend
Fred Ernest

Music by Mrs. Ed Phend and La Mar. It was moved and seconded that Mr. and Mrs. John Waddels of

[page 2]
Tippecanoe, Ind. should be recognized as members of the reunion. The[y] were unanimously elected as members.

Ice Cream was served before leaving for home. A collection was taken to defray expenses.
Fred ErnestSec'y.




The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Elkhart County, Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. Usually held at Nappanee, the events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1922)

[page 1]
The thirteenth Annual reunion of the Phend and Fisher families was held at the home of Henry Phend at Columbia City Ind., on the first Sunday in September 1922.

There were 40 members and 7 friends present. The forenoon was spent in a social way. Songs were sung and games were played.

Blessing was offered by Jacob Phend after which a basket dinner was served. After dinner a short business session was held, Will Phend acting as president in Henry Phend's place. The secretary's report was read and approved and the following officers were elected for the following year.
Will Phend - President.
Ralph Ernest - V. President
Christ Phend - Treasurer
Fred Ernest - Secretary.

After the election of officers several short talks were given in which special emphasis was laid upon

[page 2]
the true Christain [sic] spirit which has always predominated in the Phend - Fisher reunions. Younger members of the reunion were urged to take a special interest and help to perpetuate the feeling of good - will and fellowship.

It was decided by vote that the next annual reunion would be held at the home of Jacob Phend, north-west of Elkhart on the first Sunday in September 1923.

Ice cream was served after the business session. Every body reported a good time and expressed their intention to be present at the next annual reunion.

Fred ErnestSec'y.



The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Elkhart County, Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. Usually held at Nappanee, the events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Gathering Information

The search continues for the descendants of the children of Michael and Christenia Fisher who remained in northern Indiana: Caroline Fisher and Christian Ringgenberg, Katherine Fisher and George M. Walter, Sophia Fisher and William Foltz, and Sophia Fisher and George M. Walter.

Today, I went to Goshen (about a 45 minute drive from where I live) to get the information from the marriage records for their children and some of their grandchildren. I had previously gotten some of the dates from the WPA Index which covered the years 1850-1920. I just wanted to verify the information so did not get copies made. Elkhart county is one of the Indiana counties where you can't get copies made from the bound volumes of marriage records. They will make copies from the microfilmed copies at their archives office and mail them to you. The cost is reasonable, only 15¢ per copy and they are sent within a couple of days, but I have too much paper as it is and decided not to get copies since these are just relatives and not my ancestors. Eventually, possibly within the next year or two, Indiana marriages will be available as digital images from FamilySearch so if I really want copies I can get them at that time.

After about two hours spent verifying that information and transcribing some additional records I was off to Elkhart to get some obituaries. The Elkhart Public Library has an online database to the
Obituaries in the Elkhart Truth. The database currently indexes obituaries that appeared in that newspaper from 1921 through 1944, and 1967 to the present. It is an ongoing project with new entries being added weekly. As a service, they will provide copies by mail but since I had so many and was going to Goshen, I decided to go on up to Elkhart and get them myself.

By spending some time this past week doing searches in the online index, finding the obituaries in the microfilm was a piece of cake. After 2 ½ hours, I had printouts of the 33 obituaries on my list! A look through those gave me the dates of death for three other relatives and I was able to get those obituaries as well.

So, now I need to go through all of this new information, evaluate it, and get it entered into my genealogy database! Hopefully I'll get a few clues on where to find some living descendants and will be able to make contact with some "new" cousins!


It had been a while since I was in Goshen or Elkhart and I was amazed by how much growth there was in the area. Lots of new houses and commercial development. I took the "back roads" coming home and noticed signs of fall coming on. Soy beans being harvested. The corn has mostly changed from bright green to a dusty tan. Some leaves are changing color, some are just turning brown and falling off the trees. It's been dry and rather warm here in northern Indiana this fall. It was in the high 80's this past weekend. I hope we still get some of the bright colors as autumn leaves us, though I'm not really looking forward to the winter that will follow.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger - 1921

The 12th Annual reunion of the Phend - Fisher families was held at the home of John Ernest at Elkhart. The morning was spent in a social way and at noon a basket dinner was served, after which a short business session was held and the following officers elected for the ensuing year.

Henry Phend. Pres.
Jacob Phend. Vice Pres.
Christ Phend. Treas.
Fred Ernest. Sec.

It was decided by vote that the next annual reunion would be held at the home of Henry Phend. Columbia City, Ind on the 1st Sunday in September.

Fred Ernest,Sec.


The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Elkhart County, Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. Usually held at Nappanee, the events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Roadblock - Ruth Dyer and Jonas Joslin

There are several of my female ancestors that are problematic. We don't know where they were born or the names of their parents. In fact, we know nothing of them prior to their marriage. I wouldn't necessarily call them "Brick Walls" since I consider "Brick Walls" to be people that you can't find even though you've investigated all available records. So, since it has been a while since I've done any searching for them (local history books as well as the obvious places online have been checked), I'm going to call them "Roadblocks" for now.

One of these women that we have found nothing on beyond her marriage and death is my 5th great-grandmother, Ruth Dyer Joslin. She was born about 1771 and would have been about 23 years old when she married Jonas Joslin on February 6, 1794 in Franklin County, Vermont (copy of index card of Vermont marriage records microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah). There are 10 Dyer families in Vermont in the 1790 census but it is not really any help since it doesn't provide names of those in the household or even give a breakdown of ages. We don't even know for sure if Dyer is Ruth's maiden name. She was about 23 years old when she married Jonas, which is a little old for a first marriage for that time, perhaps she was married previously?

Jonas was the son of Joseph and Sarah Tarbell Joslin and was born March 1, 1769 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. For whatever reason, Jonas left his home in Massachusetts and went to Canada. On page 72 in his book, Nathaniel & Sarah Joslin And their Descendants in America, Donald A. Joslin describes a record of Jonas living in Canada - - An original manuscript of the Book of Aliens, 1794-1795, Mo. 43, Ottawa, Canada, includes the following in Jonas' own handwriting: "I Jonas Joslin, do hereby declare that I am a native of the United States of America from the state of MA in the town of Leominster. My age is twenty-four years. My trade or occupation is that of a farmer, that for this six months last past, I have resided in the Seignory of St. Armand in Mississkuoi Bay, and came into this Province of Lower Canada, by land, on the East Side of Lake Champlain on the 18th day of March 1793, and now reside on the aforesaid Seignory of St. Armand as witness my hand at Mississquoi Bay this 9th day of January 1795. Signed: Jonas Joslin".

Missisquoi Bay is located at the northern tip of Lake Champlain and is just north of the American Canadian border not far from Franklin County, Vermont. An online record of Early St. Armand Deeds found in 2001, lists Jonas Joslin on July 3, 1793 with 105 acres in half of lot 19.

All kinds of questions arise at this point. Why did Jonas go to Canada? How and where did he meet Ruth Dyer? Did she move to Vermont with her parents or was she born there? Could she and Jonas have known each other before he left Massachusetts? Did they actually live in Canada for a while?

Some online records for their oldest known child, James, show that he was born in Cambridge, Lamoille County, Vermont which borders Franklin County on the south, but Lamoille county was not formed until 1835. (His birthplace in the 1850 Census for Whitley County, Indiana, page 472, has previously been interpreted as "S. C." but if you look closely at some of the names that begin with "L", such as Lorin Loomis, it could easily be interpreted as "L. C." instead, which makes sense if it is an abbreviation of Lower Canada.)

Ruth and Jonas had at least four children. It is likely that there were other children born to them. Those known are James, mentioned above; Elizabeth born about 1803 in "Canada West" (according to the 1870 census); Jonas Jr. born 1807 born in Canada, Ohio, or Vermont depending upon which census you look at, though Canada is listed as his birthplace in 1850 and 1880; and Fanny born about 1810 in Canada according to the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records.

The family lived in Vermont for a while, at least they were there when the census was taken in 1800 and 1810. Jonas Joslin was listed as head of household in the 1800 federal census in Cambridge, Franklin County, Vermont (page 70) and in 1810 he was listed as Jonas Joshlyn in Hinesburg, Chittenden County, Vermont (page 220). Whether they lived in Vermont continuously during those years is not known. It's possible they went back and forth across the border and lived wherever it was convenient.

Sometime between 1810 and 1820, Ruth and Jonas Joslin moved their family to Delaware County, Ohio.

In the late 1700's and early 1800's, Vermont towns had a policy of "Warning Out" those persons who might seem to have no visible means of support and were judged to be a burden to the town. They were given notice to leave. Some left at the warning, while others remained. The rules and enforcement of warnings varied by town. Two volumes of these warnings were published in "Vermont Warnings Out" by Alden M. Rollins (Picton Press, 1995). In Volume 2, an entry for the Town Records for Charlotte (Crittenden County, VT) includes the name of Jonas Joslin on March 1, 1814. Did they leave at that time or did they suffer through 1816, which was known as the year that had no summer. According to some accounts in Vermont, every month in that year had a frost, and nearly every month had a snow-fall; in June snow was 10" deep and July saw freezing rain and ice; consequently most of the crops were ruined. Had Ruth and Jonas already moved their family south to Ohio? Or were they still in Vermont?

The first record of Jonas Joslin in Ohio is his purchase of 100 acres of land on April 1, 1819 in Liberty Township, Delaware County. The 1820 census for Liberty Township (page 94a) shows the Jonas Joslin family living there. The 1826 Tax List for Liberty Township shows that Jonas owned 105 acres of land valued at $308, including the house. His personal property consisted of one horse valued at $40 and six head of cattle with a value of $48.

Ruth died on August 27, 1830 in Liberty Township, Delaware County, Ohio. A record of her death was found in "Delaware County, Ohio Genealogical Abstracts", compiled by Carol Willsey Bell, 1980, p51: "September 16, 1830. Died in Liberty Tp. on 27th ult, Mrs. Ruth Joslin, w/o Jonas, age 59 years." [ult refers to the previous month, so she would have died on August 27th.]

According to one family researcher, Ruth's tombstone reportedly resides within the confines of the Delaware County Historical Museum. The inscription was transcribed by a cousin as "Ruth wife of Jonas Joslin died Aug 27, 1830 aged 59 Years."

Jonas is in the 1850 census where he is listed in Liberty Township (page 208) as Jonas Gloslin, age 81. Residing with him was his daughter Fanny, his son Jonas Jr. along with Jonas' wife Lucy and their eight children. It is presumed that Jonas Sr. died prior to 1860 since he is not listed in the census records for that year.


Frank Dyer has a website called Dyer Families of New England with the objective of tracking down all of the Dyer families in New England and placing them into their proper trees. Frank has identified five primary Dyer families in New England in the 17th century. With 38,000+ people in his databases you'd think there would be a connection, but no such luck.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1920)

[page 1 - no date]
The 11th Annual Reunion of the Phend - Fisher families was held at the home of John Phend at Tippecanoe Ind. with fifty three members and eleven friends present among whom was Rev. Harper and family of Tippecanoe. Many more would have been there had it not been such a rainy day.

After singing "Blest be the Tie that binds," Rev. Harper offered Thanks and then each one proceeded to help himself or herself to the basket dinner.

In the after-noon a quartet composed of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wherley and Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Phend sang several selections after which the secretary's report was read and approved and several short talks were given.

The following officers were elected.
Jacob Phend Pres.
Will Phend Vice Pres.
Fred Ernest Sec.
Christ Phend Tres.


[page 2]
Iva Wherley was chosen as chairman of the entertainment committee. A collection of $4.20 was taken to pay for several minor expenditures. It was decided by vote to hold the next reunion at the home of John Ernest at Elkhart.

Fred ErnestSec.
The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Elkhart County, Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. Usually held at Nappanee, the events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Weddings at the Carnival

Jasia has posted Carnival of Genealogy, 33rd Edition at Creative Gene and the topic for the October 4th, 2007 edition is: Weddings! There were not a lot of submissions for this edition of the COG but there is a wide range of interesting articles about family weddings and wedding customs. Check it out!

The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: Halloween and the Supernatural! Lots of latitude with this edition... stories of haunted houses, ghosts, any superstitions, voodoo, stories of Halloween parties or traditions, trick or treating, good luck charms, curses, ... Was there a witch in the family? How about a black cat? Anyone have bats in the house? Is there a legend about a spooky place in your neighborhood? What was your favorite Halloween costume? Any funny scarecrow stories? Did grandma have a magic potion? Any stories of ancestors rising up from the dead to haunt people? What about bizarre happenings on the night of a full moon? Bring on your hauntings and horror stories, humorous and happy ones as well...

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. The deadline for submissions is October 15th, 2007. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1917-1918-1919)

There were no records kept of the reunions held in the years of 1917 & 1918.



The 10th annual reunion of the Phend-Fisher families was held on Sept 28, 1919 at the home of Christ. Phend at Nappanee. The morning was spent in a social way and, at noon a basket dinner was served after which a short business meeting was held and the following officers elected for the ensuing year.

Jacob Phend. Pres.
Fred Ernest. Sec.
Christ Phend. Tres.

It was decided by vote that the 11th annual reunion be held at the home of Harry Phend at Milford Ind. on the last Saturday of Sept. 1920

The meeting was then adjourned and an enjoyable time was reported by all.
Fred Ernest, Sec.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Five Question Challenge – School Memories

Today is the beginning of Family History Month in the United States, and Juliana Smith at 24/7 Family History Circle has proffered a challenge - to answer five questions each week on a specific topic. You can read all about it at Five Question Challenge–School Memories and although I'm not sure if I will respond to each weekly challenge I thought I'd take on this first one. . .

What was your favorite subject in school?
Literature. I enjoyed "getting lost" in someone else's travels and adventures. Still do, though I would like to travel more myself and see the world firsthand. I liked biographies as well as the travel and adventure tales too.

In what extra-curricular activities did you participate? Sports? Drama? Music? Academics?
G.A.A. - Girls Athletic Association. This was at a time before girls were allowed to participate in school sports so it was an intramural, after school activity. Basketball was played with six members from each team on the court at one time, with two "rovers" per team that could run the full court. The other four team members could only play in their half of the court. We could play volleyball and softball, but not baseball. At the time I went to school, football wasn't even being played by the high schools in our area. That didn't come about until the small local schools in the area were consolidated into one large school in the late 1960's.

Even though I was very shy and had extreme stage fright while competing in speech club tournaments, I loved our class plays. I didn't have a problem with taking on the persona of someone else and becoming that person, after all, it wasn't me up there on that stage it was the person I was portraying. In our Junior class play I was given the part of "Happy Stella Kowalski" who was the female leader of an all male band in the play "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". It was a hoot. I don't remember the name of our Senior class play, my role was a small one but I was an Indian maiden and had to dye my hair black. It wasn't near as much fun as the Junior class play.

During high school I worked in a restaurant most evenings and weekends but was still able to participate in some other school activities including Science Club as a Freshman, Spanish Club in my Junior year (after having gone on a two week school sponsored trip to Mexico in the summer between my Sophomore and Junior year), Speech Club as a Senior, G.A.A. and Pep Club all four years, School newspaper staff the first three years and Annual Staff in my Senior year. I was a part-time receptionist in the school office during my junior year. And then there was F. H. A. (Future Homemakers Club) in the first two years.

Did you go on field trips, and if so, what was your most memorable field trip?
In third grade we went to the Shrine Circus at the Coliseum in Fort Wayne. This was something that all of the schools in northeast Indiana did. It was always in the spring. The buses would be chaperoned by State Police cars and would meet up at the main highway (U. S. 30) and form a long caravan. A box lunch would be provided. It was all very exciting. I'm pretty sure this is a tradition that is carried on yet today. I remember that a few years ago I happened to be in Fort Wayne at the time of the Shrine Circus and being stopped at a signal light for what seemed like a long time while bus after bus went through the intersection into the Coliseum parking lot.

Up until our senior year, all of the senior classes at North Webster High School had taken a week-long senior trip to Washington D. C. I don't recall the reason we were not allowed to go, I think it had something to do with the fact that the schools were being consolidated but we were extremely disappointed. Instead of a week-long trip we were allowed to take a one-day excursion to Chicago. The Museum of Science and Industry, Historical Museum, Navy Pier, downtown, etc. It was fun but it wasn't a real trip.

What teacher influenced you the most?
In elementary school, it would be Mrs. Gunter in fourth grade - for whatever reason, I became her "pet" project that year. She looked after me and gave me encouragement when I was struggling. For the first time in my life I felt like I was somebody. I wasn't Doug's sister, or Ginny's daughter, I was just me and it was the beginning of discovering who I am. Of course, that is still an ongoing process, even 50 years later.

In High School, Mrs. Harvout, the English and Speech teacher, encouraged my writing and my ambition to be a school teacher. It was through her literature classes that new worlds were opened and provided a mechanism for escaping to other realities. Even though I never became a school teacher, I think she would be proud of what I have accomplished, especially the fact that I can stand up in front of an audience and speak without trembling. In fact, I think she would be amazed. I know I am, especially when I think back to what I was like in high school.

Did you buy a lunch at school, or bring one from home? What kind of lunchbox? What was your favorite lunch?
While in elementary school, school lunches were less expensive and less trouble if bought at school. Of course, this was when lunches were actually cooked on site in the cafeteria so they were hot and filling and nearly as good as home-cooked meals. Once in high school, more options opened up. We were actually allowed to go off the school grounds at lunch time. I'd usually eat in the cafeteria but about once a week would splurge and go downtown. Keep in mind that this was, and still is, a small town. It was about a mile from one end of town to the other, but downtown was only about four blocks long!

The best and closest eatery within walking distance was the drug store just three blocks from school. They had a long bar with about 20-25 stools and several booths that would seat six people easily. Most of the time it was standing room only though. The hot dogs were delicious and the sodas and shakes were the best. Even better than those at the restaurant where I worked on the south edge of town. If you were lucky enough to have a car you could also go to the north end of town to Penguin Point. That was the hangout for all of the upperclassmen. And was the "in" spot for meeting people during the summer.

Why did he do this?

In a previous post, I briefly mentioned the disappearance of my 4th Great Grandfather, James Joslin, sometime between 1850 and 1860. That is a mystery that will likely go unsolved; it is not known whether he died or took off for parts unknown. However, there is yet another enigma concerning James. . .

In July 1841 he sold 40 acres of the original 80 acres he had purchased from the government on August 25, 1838 in Whitley County, Indiana. In itself, that is in no way unusual. However, he sold it for $50 to his 16 year old son Lysander! Then, three years later, on August 1, 1844 James sold the remaining 40 acres - 20 acres to each of his other two sons, Edward and Joseph. Edward, whose name was actually Edwin, was only 14 years old at the time and Joseph was 12. That seems more than a little unusual to me. Was there no minimum age requirement for purchasing land? It just makes you wonder what was really going on. There must have been a reason that James sold the land to his young sons, but again, that's something we'll probably never find out. The land record does not provide any clues, it simply gives the basic facts involved with the sale.

In the 1850 census, Lysander is the head of his own household since he is married and living with his wife and the first four of their 15 children. James too is listed as head of his own household. He does not own any real estate. Listed in James' household are Edwin, age 20 who owns real estate valued at $200 and Joseph who owns real estate valued at $160. I haven't found the records of the transactions yet, but by 1860, Lysander was sole owner of the original 80 acre tract that was purchased by James in 1838.