Saturday, June 28, 2008

California Dreaming

As most everyone in the genealogy community is most likely aware, the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree got underway Friday at Burbank, California. And I'm wishing I was there!

In addition to the standard fare of hour-long sessions by a myriad of presenters, there will be a Genealogy Blogger Summit Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon. The panel will consist of Stephen Danko, Shelly Talalay Dardashti, Dick Eastman, George G. Morgan, Randy Seaver and Megan Smolenyak. It will be moderated by Leland Meitzler. I'm sure they all (except George) will be blogging about the Summit as well as the Jamboree itself. George no longer has a blog but he does guest posts on Dick Eastman's Online newsletter about once a week.

Several other genea-bloggers are also attending the Jamboree and have indicated that they will be posting periodically about their experiences. Those that I am aware of are:
Anyone else? Since I can't be there, I am looking forward to reading about their experiences.

Friday, June 27, 2008

From a different perspective

This afternoon I noticed a hummingbird flitting through the lilies. I grabbed my camera in the hopes of capturing it enjoying the nectar but by the time I got to the window it was gone. Perhaps it will come back tomorrow and I'll be a little quicker. Since I had the camera at the window, I played around a bit with the zoom capabilities and got these shots. I like how the out-of-focus grass enhances the color of the lilies. I'm still amazed by how many blooms are on each plant and am really enjoying them. When we lived at our previous home, the flowers were in beds on the side and at the back of the house and we had to actually go outside to look at them. It's much nicer with them right outside the front window, especially with the high temperatures and high humidity we've been having lately.

So what does this have to do with family history research? Not anything, really, but seen from a different perspective, these views of the lilies are quite different from those taken two days ago. Sometimes (quite often), when I'm stuck with a research problem, it helps if I look at the problem from a different angle. Reviewing the information already found could help in rediscovering information previously overlooked. Talking with someone else and getting their input can also be helpful. Since they aren't emotionally attached to the problem they can take a step back and possibly offer new insight or recommend other areas of research. Regardless whether the problem is resolved or not, it almost always helps to take another look, from a different perspective.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lovely Lilies - Another Joy of Summer

The skies brightened for a little while this morning after the rain. Long enough to grab a few shots of the lilies starting to bloom in my little garden just outside the front door. I've never seen so many blooms on these plants before. As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

Wordless Wednesday - One of the Joys of Summer!

August 1998. Digitized 2008.
Copyright © 1998/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Upcoming Phend Family Reunions

Two "Phend" family reunions are scheduled for this year. The first one will be held on Saturday, July 5th in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was actually considering attending that reunion this year but other family matters have postponed that journey. Contact me for further information.

Why a reunion in Colorado? Well, Samuel, the third child of Jacob and Louisa (Fisher) Phend, moved to Elbert County, Colorado in October 1907 along with his wife Mary Ann, their six living children, and several neighboring families. Their reunion is known as the "PALM" Reunion, which gets it's name from the families that married into the Phend family. Samuel PHEND married Mary Ann LAUDEMAN; their daughter Lillie Catherine married John Edward AKERS; and their daughter Dora Agnes married Frank John MANUWAL. When I was putting together the book "The Phend Family" a "few" years ago I made a trip west and met several of Sam and Mary's descendants and they were instrumental in providing photographs and information on that branch of the family.

The other Phend Family Reunion will be held on Saturday, August 2nd at the Family Life Center of the Troy Presbyterian Church a few miles north of Larwill, Indiana on old U.S. 30 (now Lincolnway). The carry-in potluck dinner will begin at noon. For additional information, please contact me!

This photo was probably taken about 1890: back row, left to right: John Ernest, Sophia (Phend) Ernest, Samuel Phend, his wife Mary (Laudeman) Phend, Jacob J Phend, his wife Louisa (Grimm) Phend.front row, left to right: John Phend, his wife Mary (Rarrick) Phend, Jacob Phend, his wife Louisa (Fisher) Phend, Christian Phend, his wife Mary (McConnell) Phend. Seated in front of his parents is Henry Phend.

Previous posts that may be of interest:

  • Information on Jacob and Louisa (Fisher) Phend and their family part One and part Two
  • A brief history of the Phend-Fisher Family Reunions can be found in The first Saturday in August
  • A record of events and of the people who attended the Phend-Fisher Family Reunions was kept in a ledger. Images and transcriptions of the ledger were presented in a series of posts covering the years 1897, and 1909 through 1943.
  • Links to additional posts on the Phend Family and the Fisher Family

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Today was Grandpa's Birthday

Today was Grandpa Vic's birthday. And yesterday was the anniversary of his death. Born 115 years ago, in 1893, grandpa died in 1991, the day before his 98th birthday. It's hard to believe that it has been 17 years. Taken in 1983, during his 90th birthday celebration, this is the only picture I've come across, so far, of just us.

In many (most) of the pictures of grandpa he has his arms crossed. He always wore a long-sleeved shirt, even in the summer. He seldom laughed out loud. He was a quiet man. At family gatherings he didn't say much, but he was there, watching, and enjoying himself. I think he liked the chaos that occurred when we all got together. And, even after 17 years, his presence is still missed.

You can read more about Grandpa (Rolland Victor "Vic" Phend) in his biography posted a year ago and about his candy making, which was posted last December.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Country Roads

Southern Indiana 1980. Infrared Photo digitized 2008.
Copyright © 1980/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Genea-Blogger featured...Congratulations, Miriam!

Miriam Robbins Midkiff of AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors is featured in a post at Inside Google Book Search! The post, which includes a two-minute video, tells how Miriam uses Google Book Search to "help illuminate her understanding of her own ancestors" highlighting, among other finds, Alice Teddy, the world-famous roller-skating bear.

The video is very nice. Well done, Miriam!

Too bad they didn't include a link to her blog. . . [image above is a print-screen from the video]

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buster, Rover, and Bootsie

Late summer 1949 - Becky, Dad, Shep, and Doug.

1988 - Buster and one of my nieces.

1988 - Rover and Bootsie

1988 - Bootsie on top of her doghouse.

August 1992 - Bootsie

Growing up, the only pets we ever had were dogs. For whatever reason, Mom didn't like cats, so dogs it was! We went through quite a few of them. They tended to disappear though. Some got run over by cars, others were shot by irate neighbors or hunters. So we learned to enjoy them while they were around but almost never got "attached" to them. Of course, we were saddened when they were gone but another dog was there to replace them almost immediately. The two that I remember most during my high school days are Lady and Missy. Lady was a dachshund and Missy was a mixed breed. After I left home and while in the Navy I didn't have any pets. It wasn't until much later in my life that dogs became family members.

About 1981, my sister got Buster. I think he was a mix of poodle and some kind of terrier. Not tiny, but he was a small dog. He was also a fierce protector of my nieces. When my sister moved to Florida in the fall of 1988 she left Buster with one of her neighbors. Due to unforeseen circumstances my nieces came to live with my mother and me. They immediately asked if they could get Buster back. We checked with the neighbor and she agreed to let us have Buster and that is how he came to live with us. By the time he passed away five years later, he was blind and could hardly walk. We came home one day and found him dead.

In the previous year, 1987, my mother and I had purchased a vacant, old, run-down farmhouse. It was a fixer-upper but the price was right and it came with two acres of land. Almost immediately, we got dogs. They were drifters, just passing through, or dropped off by motorists. They didn't stay long though. We decided to get our own dog hoping it would stay around for a while and keep the strays away. Thus, Rover, a German Shepherd was given to us by a co-worker. He was only a couple of months old and kind of a klutz. He never did grow out of the awkwardness. About this time we also took in my brother's dog, Bootsie. She was about two years old and was a mix of Springer Spaniel and black Labrador. Though older than Rover, Bootsie was still kind of a klutz too. She had spent much of her day-time life in a cage. So she really didn't like to be confined.

So now we had three dogs! And wonder of wonders, they all got along pretty well together. Buster stayed inside most of the time while Bootsie and Rover were outside dogs. We kept Bootsie and Rover on chains most of the time. We'd let one of them loose at a time so they could run but if they were both loose at the same time, they'd sometimes be gone for days. They loved to run. Rover was the plodder and Bootsie was the graceful dame. She loved to sit on top of her doghouse. She could jump on top of it with the greatest of ease. All Rover could do was get his front paws on top.

One summer Bootsie was diagnosed with heartworm and we had to keep her and Rover separated while she underwent the treatment. Bootsie was moved down to the barn and Rover was kept up by the house. It was just awful, like a couple of kids crying constantly. Night time was the worst though, they sounded like wolves howling. It was funny and sad all at once.

We decided to put in a fenced area so the dogs wouldn't have to be chained. Great idea, right? A five-foot high fence was installed around a large area, 30x60 feet and their dog houses moved inside. We should have known it wouldn't work. We kept seeing Bootsie outside the fence when no one had let her out. One day I happened to see how she did it. Amazing really. She'd get a running start and jump, getting her front paws just over the top of the fence, then using her back paws and the wire fence push and claw her way over the top to freedom. So we sometimes just let her go but when we needed to keep her in the dog run with Rover we'd chain her up inside. If she wanted to get away from him all she had to do was jump on top of the dog house!

Rover made it through about three years. He liked to chase vehicles and one day got too close to a tractor pulling a plow. He made his way back to the house where we found him, still breathing but not long for this world. I stayed by his side until he passed away. Bootsie came up a couple times, sniffed and walked away. It was like she knew. We buried him out back behind the barn, where a few years later Buster joined him.

After Rover died, Bootsie pretty much stayed around the property so we took down the fence and just let her run loose. She also started spending the nights in the house. Bootsie had done a great job of killing the ground hogs and other vermin and liked to bring "trophies" home to us. One time I saw her across the field dragging something along. It was almost as big as she was and she was having one heck of a time pulling it across the field. She finally gets it up to the back steps and just plops down, exhausted. Really gross. The head and part of the carcass of a calf. We contacted our farmer-neighbor not quite knowing what to think. He laughed when we told him what Bootsie had done and then told us not to worry. For whatever reason the calf had been killed and the carcass had been dumped on the field along with manure for fertilizer. The remains of the calf were buried after Bootsie finished wallowing in it. The smell was horrific. And Bootsie got a bath.

For a while we thought we were going to have to have Bootsie put to sleep. She was having trouble walking and climbing the stairs. She slept upstairs in my room at night. In a visit to the vet we found out she had hip problems. He thought he could fix her up without surgery, which was a relief. I don't remember how many shots she had but he gave her something that was normally only used on horses, but it fixed her up and she was better than ever after the treatments.

When we sold the farmhouse in the fall of 1997 and moved to a subdivision near Columbia City we took Bootsie with us. She was fine with the move but because we were living in a more settled area, dogs were not supposed to run loose. She had to be kept on a leash or chained up while outside. And, of course, she didn't like that. She also didn't like loud noises, like thunderstorms and fireworks. The week of the Fourth of July the following year about did her in. She'd climb up on my lap, mind you she was a fairly large dog, and just lay there and shake. There really wasn't anything I could do to help her. Mom suggested giving her a sleeping pill thinking it might relax her. I called the vet and he said half a pill wouldn't hurt her, so with half a sleeping pill every night that week she endured that Fourth of July.

Another year went by and it was getting harder and harder to get Bootsie to go outside. She'd go on the leash if we told her we were going for a walk but she barked constantly when chained up. During the day, while I was at work, she spent most of her time in the garage. She wasn't eating much either and she started snapping at passersby. So it was in June of 1999 that I took Bootsie to the vet one last time. I couldn't bear to see her put under so just left her with the vet. As she was walking away she stopped and turned and looked at me with those soulful eyes. She knew. I was fine until then. And then the tears came, as they are now, while writing this, nine years later. I was supposed to go in to work that day, but didn't. I just drove around, crying. All day long.

Every once in a while Mom and I would talk about getting another dog, but we never did. The house has been sold, and now, living in an apartment just isn't conducive to pet ownership. I was never into birds or cats or fish. Someday, maybe I'll have another dog...

This post was written for the 50th Carnival of Genealogy whose topic is "Family Pets!"

Flag Day! (and some other stuff)

Most likely this picture, from my grandmother's files, was taken on the Fourth of July rather than Flag Day, but I thought it was appropriate for today.

My mother is the little girl on the left and she looks to be about 2 years old, so I'm guessing it was taken about 1930. Patty and Phyllis are Mom's sisters. Gene and Mary are their cousins. Grandma Bill was their grandmother.

Scanning Update: In the last 10 days I've scanned another 710 images for a total of 1680 over the past two months. I don't scan every day but when I do, I usually spend 3-4 hours at a time scanning. And it has been averaging about 25 scans per hour. Of course, that's not including the time spent in sorting and organizing them prior to scanning. LOL. Slow going and no light at the end of the tunnel yet.

Full Feed vs. Partial Feed? This topic comes up periodically in the blogosphere, this time it was brought up by genea-blogger Tim Agazio. When I first started blogging I set my blog for full feeds. Then it came to my attention that my content was being scraped so I switched to partial feeds. I'm not blogging to make money. I want people to read what I write (and hopefully they find it interesting) but I'd also like for them to visit my blog (to leave comments and check out some of the links to other blogs and websites). The thing with feeds is that they don't retain any formatting in the post and sometimes pictures throw off the continuity or "flow" of the post but I guess that is what they are supposed to do - present the posts in a simplified text format for easier reading. So, with that said, I've switched back to full feeds, at least for now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bah Humbug!

Didn't get no scanning, no organizing, no genealogy done today. It was a day of running errands. Left the apartment at 9 a.m. and just got home 45 minutes ago. It wasn't what you'd call "fun" stuff either. And to add "insult to injury" the price of gasoline jumped 20 cents a gallon sometime between 1 and 2 p.m.

Depending on the station, it is now between $4.17 and $4.20 a gallon here in my area of northern Indiana. You're not going to convince me there isn't some kind of conspiracy or price fixing going on when EVERY station in town raises the price within an hours time! Wanta take bets it will be $5 a gallon by labor day, if not sooner? Ridiculous.

Wouldn't be so bad if it was just the cost of driving, but this affects the cost of everything else that we buy too. Apparently even things that aren't directly dependent upon gasoline - my health insurance premium went up $24 a month last month and apartment rent will go up $25 a month starting next month. Ah well, such is life. Much better than the alternative. Take a deep breath and relax…Actually, I consider myself to be very lucky. I'm not flooded out like the people in southern Indiana and haven't been struck by a tornado or been adversely affected by any other recent natural disaster. I have good health. I have family and friends to depend upon. And I have air conditioning to help me "chill" out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Icelandic Sunset

Near Keflavik, Iceland. Summer of 1973.
Copyright © 1973/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I just couldn't resist...

The last Iris bloom.

And a promise of things to come. Lovely Lillies.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Belles and Beaus, Oh My!

Big Sigh. To my knowledge, there are no wedding pictures of my parents or grandparents. If they exist, I surely don't know where they are! I went through the box of old family pictures that my dad had given me but found no pictures that "screamed out" the "belles & beaus" theme for the upcoming edition of fM's Smile for the Camera Carnival.

So what's a gal to do. I've never been married so I can't show you any pictures of my (non-existent) ceremony. You could use your imagination and think of what it might have been like. Something non-traditional and a bit unusual perhaps. I do have pictures of several fellows that I dated in past lives but I don't think it would be fair to them to show their mugs all over the internet.

Instead, here are a couple of pictures of my grandparents, Hazlette Brubaker and Victor Phend, together, in casual poses. These were from a box given to me by my uncle a few years ago. None of the photos are dated so I don't know where or when they were taken.

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say these pictures were taken between 1919 and 1921. They didn't meet each other until after the end of World War I and they were married on October 15, 1921 (the first time). Grandpa was 28 and grandma was 19 years old at the time of their marriage.

I wish I had seen the pictures when grandma and grandpa were still alive. What's going on in that first picture? Why are they walking in the railroad tracks, and where? Who took the pictures? Notice grandma's brother Bill in the background of the last picture, thumbing his nose at the camera, the little imp! [As always, right-click on the images for a larger version.]

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Release of Legacy 7

A couple days late, but "just in case" you haven't heard, Millennia officially released version 7 of Legacy on June 4th. Like many other users I've been patiently waiting for this release, especially the new sourcing feature. I would really, really like to get the new version right now, however, I am in the midst of a major scanning project, so upgrading Legacy is going to have to wait for a while, until I have some time to devote to it. Probably just as well since Millennia has been overwhelmed with orders. I'd say that's a good problem for a software company to have!

Details of the new and updated features can be found at but the five features I'm looking forward to exploring are:

  1. Mapping – Use Microsoft Virtual Earth to automatically pinpoint and plot important locations in ancestors’ lives from within Legacy. See 3-D, satellite and bird’s eye images of where your ancestors lived. Now it is easy to track your ancestor’s migration.
  2. SourceWriter – Cite your sources easily and correctly with the new SourceWriter. SourceWriter makes it simple for you to select the correct input screen so that you enter all the pieces needed to correctly cite any source of information in the thousands of formats that exist for them. The information you enter is correctly and precisely formatted to match the genealogy industry standards for source citations when printing footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies. Multiple citations for an event can be combined into one paragraph, thus avoiding a long string of superscripted numbers within the report body.
  3. New Relationship Calculator - See how any two people are connected, not only through direct blood relationships but also by marriage. A person might be the "great-grandfather of the wife of your 2nd great-grandnephew. You can also specify how many of these non-blood relationships you want to see.
  4. More Powerful Searching – Searching your Legacy data is easier than ever before. You can now search for individuals that are missing parts of names, birth or death information, marriage information and much more. You can also search for missing source citations as you document your family files.
  5. Edit Records from the "Used By" Lists - All of the master lists in Legacy have an option to view the individuals who use the items in the list. You can now edit those individuals right from the list instead of having to exit the list and edit them separately.
As always, no matter how much testing is done, there can be issues (program bugs, user hardware conflicts, etc.) with a release that has a lot of changes. I used to subscribe to the Legacy User List but got overwhelmed by the number of emails and quite simply didn't have the time to keep up with it all. The bickering and complaining was a bit of a drag too. The Legacy User Group Archives are a good place to see what kind of issues users are having.

Ordering and pricing information can be found at Legacy Family Tree. The "standard" version is free for downloading. It is the same program as the "deluxe" version with some features disabled. Want to see how Legacy stacks up to the competition? Check out their feature comparison page. Disclaimer: I am not associated or affiliated with Millennia is any way, except as a long-time, satisfied customer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fun in the Summertime!

Another picture of my grandmother (on the right) and her sister Jane. This time they are sharing a piece of watermelon. I don't recognize the background scenery so don't know where it was taken, but it was probably the summer of 1954.

And speaking of summertime fun, Jasia has published the Carnival of Genealogy, 49th Edition which "kicks-off" the 3rd year of the COG as well as summertime itself. Congratulations, Jasia, for starting the COG and keeping it going! I sure enjoyed seeing the variety of swimming attire displayed for all to see. What fun!

Jasia also announced the topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Family Pets! "Bring out those old photos of Snoopy, Garfield, Rex and Bob! Tell us the funny, charming, and cute stories about the pets you remember or remember hearing about. Introduce us to the furry, feathered, and scaly members who have a place on your family tree! The deadline for the next edition is June 15, 2008 and it will be hosted by none other than the flutaphone master himself, Bill West!"
Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.
The pooch pictured above is Buster who was a loveable, loyal, fierce protector of the family for many years. Photo taken about 1985.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Just One More Iris Photograph

I promise, this will be the last Iris picture posted this year! It's such an unusual color, least one I've never seen before. These are hybrids that we bought a couple of years ago that I brought with me when the house was sold. They didn't bloom last year but according to my mother that's normal as they don't usually bloom the year they are planted. This is the only one that is this color, all the others are the light blue/pale purple color.

SST Update!

Sorting, scanning and trashing are coming along nicely ;-)

Last night I "finished" the three "shoeboxes" of pictures mentioned in my post of May 22nd, having scanned an additional 620 images, which took a little more than 26 hours over the past ten days, for a total of 970 images scanned. That covers my family pictures for the time period of 1979-2000. I bought my first digital camera in October 2000 so the pictures taken from then on are already digitized. Family pictures taken before 1979 are in half a dozen albums and still need to be scanned. Those pictures will have to be removed from the "magnetic" pages, scanned, and then put into archival quality albums. So they will take a little longer. Also those three shoeboxes have been reduced to two - there were a lot of duplicates and more than a few were blurry and out of focus.

A friend said she had a slide viewer so I borrowed it. However, it doesn't work! So I still need to figure out a way to view my slides to select those to send out for scanning. . . and, of course, I still need to caption and add identifying information to all of the recently scanned images.

That's me. Six years old. Summer of 1954 at Goose Lake.