Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! 

A new year means new opportunities to learn more about our families. I have a big project in mind to preserve the past for the future. I plan to:

o   Go through my house and photograph family treasures
o   Label those items with dates & stories
o   Burn the information on CDs for my children
o   Print a paper copy of the photos & details
o   Post the photos on Treasure Chest Thursdays

Here are some examples of the miscellany I want to document:

o   The painting of the Irish countryside purchased about 1895 by my great grandfather, Michael Coyle, for his wife to remind her of their home
o   My great aunts’ china sets purchased c 1930
o   Family jewelry including a tiny bracelet purchased by my great grandmother for my mother when she was born
o   A Bible owned by my great great great grandmother
o   A pair of cedar bookends my husband & I bought on our honeymoon in Bermuda

As I photograph each item I plan to label it with a description, a date [if possible] and any story related to the item.

If I don’t do this there will come a time when my children will own these items and may not remember their significance. Like a photograph without the people labeled, the items will be of limited value.

Time to charge my camera & get started!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Forget Me Not: Jeremiah & Pernesa Smith, MS

Husband & Wife Obits
Louisiana Archives, Baton Rouge

"Jeremiah Smith died at his residence May 13th, 1894, in Pike Co., Miss. He was born April 30th, 1821, aged 73 years. He joined Silver Creek church on Sept. 17th, 1837, and was dismissed by letter Feb. 22nd, 1873, and assisted in the constitution of Bogue Chitto Church on Mar. 29th, 1873. He was married to Pernesa Smith on July 15th, 1841. He leaves 3 children, 20 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. While passing through time, he had 2 sons to die in the late Civil War. His last illness was severe, but of short duration. His funeral service was ably conducted by Rev. Will J. Fortenberry. He was buried in the family cemetery."

"Pernesa Smith was born Sept. 26, 1820; was married to Jeremiah Smith July 15, 1841; died April 4, 1887; aged 66 years, 6 mo. And 109 days. She joined the Silver Creek Church Aug. 23, 1852; drew her letter and placed it in Bogue Chitto Church in 1873 where she remained a consistent member of the same until her death. She leaves 14 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, a husband and 3 children. She was, while living made to mourn the death of several of her children. Two of her sons died while in the Army. Her funeral services were conducted by Elder E. M. Shilling."

Obituaries from: Williams, E. Russ. Abstracts of Obituaries from the Minutes of the Magee's Creek Baptist Association (Mississippi and Louisiana), 1882 - 1924. Monroe, Louisiana: Privately printed, 1978, page 1. From the Louisiana Archives, Baton Rouge, LA.

1 Jeremiah Smith b: 30 Apr 1821 Pike, MS, d: 31 May 1894 MS
... + Pernecia Smith b: 26 Sep 1820, m: 15 Jul 1841, d: 4 Apr 1887
......2 William George Smith b: 04 Dec 1842, d: 10 Jun 1862
......2 Ancil Green Smith b: 14 Mar 1845, d: 18 Jun 1862
......2 Clara J. Smith b: Abt. 1855 MS
......2 Janet Smith b: Abt. 1857 MS
......2 Jarratt Cylmon Smith d: 22 Dec 1894
...... + Eliza Jane Brock b: Jul 1858 Pike, MS, m: 3 Oct 1878, d: 21 Jun 1899 MS
.........3 Jeptha O. Smith d: 28 Sep 1885
......2 Samantha A. Smith b: Abt. 1859 MS

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

May this Christmas season
fill your home with joy,
your heart with love
and your life with laughter.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Forget Me Not: Calvin Smith 1812 - 1881

Calvin Smith of MS & LA

"Calvin Smith born in Pike County, Mississippi, Sept. 22, 1812, and died at the residence of his son, J. W. Smith, in Washington Parish, La., on the 23rd day of June, A. D. 1881, aged 69 years. He had three companions, all of whom had preceded him to the better land. He leaves fourteen children to mourn him … He joined the Baptist Church at Silver Creek Church, Pike County, Mississippi, some thirty-five or forty years ago … He was a hard laboring man. He never turned one empty from the door, nor looked unpityingly upon the forms of suffering and sorrow around him; his heart yearned for the desolate, wept for the unfortunate, and his means were the property of the needy. His life resembled the life of William S. Holmes, whose obituary was published about three years preceding in the Minutes of the Bogue Chitto Association. Smith’s funeral was conducted and preached as he requested by Elders W. J. Fortenberry, Wm. H. Shilling and E. M. Shilling."

Source: Williams, E. Russ. Abstracts of Obituaries from the Minutes of the Magee's Creek Baptist Association (Mississippi and Louisiana), 1882 - 1924. Monroe, Louisiana: Privately printed, 1978, page 1. From the Louisiana Archives, Baton Rouge, LA.

1 Calvin Smith b: 22 Sep 1812 Pike, MS, d: 22 Jan 1843 Pike, MS
... + Sarah Brumfield b: 9 Apr 1824 Washington, LA, m: 1843, d: Unknown
......2 Wyatt Rankin Smith
...... + Irene Bankston b: 17 Mar 1859, m: 21 Dec 1871, d: 12 Apr 1914
.........3 Fannie Rebecca Smith b: 1881, d: 21 Jan 1923
......... + Isaac Omer Cutrer b: 1871 Pike, MS, m: 02 Feb 1898, d: 31 Jan 1941
............4 George Washington Cutrer b: 24 Oct 1899, d: Nov 1977
............ + Josephine Fanara
............4 Fleet Rankin Cutrer b: 8 May 1902, d: Jan 1978
............ + Mildred Maeola Bauds m: 24 Mar 1929
............4 Ollie Lee Cutrer b: 11 Oct 1903, d: Oct 1996
............ + Laura Lee m: 25 Nov 1930
............4 Onice Odwell Cutrer b: 10 Aug 1911 in Osyka, Pike, MS
............ + Malinda McBrayer b: Cullman, AL, m: 06 Jun 1931, d: 14 Nov 1967 FL
............ + Fernanda Osma Gregg
............4 Isaac Omer Cutrer b: 15 Nov 1913, d: 21 Mar 1995 in Foley, Baldwin, AL
............ + Dorothy m: 27 Dec 1933
............4 Nellie Louise Cutrer b: 1917, d: 06 Mar 1989
............ + J. D. Miller m: 4 Jul 1936, d: 1973 in Mt. Hermon, LA

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Magic

Christmas = Magic!

1996 WDW Christmas Parade

The magic of Christmas & the magic of Disney fit together perfectly. In 1996 we took our children to Walt Disney World just before Christmas and in 2010 we were there just after Christmas. Fortunately, we have been there many times; with our first visit in 1986 and our next coming up in February 2014.

We love Disney World. They know how to entertain people & do it very well. At Christmas there is an extra sparkle everywhere you look. There are candy canes, poinsettias, marching bands and toys in every corner. Christmas trees in every Disney theme abound. There are many places to pose for photos, as my children know. I'm afraid I posed them everywhere!

1996 Walt Disney World; our children

Best of all was Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 1996. It was held at the Magic Kingdom & a pass was needed to attend. We treated ourselves to this special event. Laughing on the rides, sipping hot chocolate and watching the parade I truly felt like a child again. When Tinker Bell flew over to the castle, touched her wand to the Christmas tree and millions of little lights glittered I felt the wonder. All that magic of Christmas past was warming my heart. 

2010 January WDW; our son, myself & my husband

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Cookies

Christmas = Cookies!

As with many Christmas traditions they change over the years, the generations. My brothers and I have happy memories of helping our mother stir, bake and decorate cookies for Christmas. Our children helped me with cookies too. I tied an apron around their middles, they climbed on a stool to reach the counter top and they stirred up a storm. Now one of our daughters has a Vegan diet. The following recipe is a new favorite cookie.

Irish Creme Kisses

Recipe By: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Cookie Dough Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup Soymilk
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. Flax seeds
- 1/4 cup Irish whiskey
- 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
- 4 tsp. Espresso powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. Almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. Cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. Salt

Frosting Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp. Earth balance, softened
- 1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp. Soymilk
- 2-3 tsp. Irish whiskey
- 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350oF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together soy milk, sugar, brown sugar, and flax seeds until smooth. Mix in the whiskey, oil, espresso powder and extracts. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist and somewhat sticky dough.

3. Drop generously rounded TBSPs of dough 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

4. Frosting: In a large bowl combine earth balance with powdered sugar. Stir in the nondairy milk, 2 tsp of the whiskey and vanilla and stir to form a creamy, smooth frosting. If the mixture is too dry, add another tsp or more whiskey. If too runny, add more powdered sugar.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Christmas at School

When I was in elementary school in Germantown, NY, we made many Christmas crafts. We cut out paper stockings and ‘sewed’ them together with yarn. We made cotton ball snowmen and paper reindeer. Each classroom decorated a tree. I remember making miles of paper chains in red and green. Glitter & glue were sprinkled on everything. Our classrooms, the hallway, the whole school was decorated for Christmas. Our small rural school hummed with happiness.

One year we learned Christmas poems. We copied & illustrated them with crayons. Each day we recited them. The following poem has stuck with me for many years. I did an unsuccessful search for it on the internet. I don’t know the poet’s name or if there is more that I don’t remember. Here’s a bit of a Christmas memory.

A package is a special thing
It always keeps you wondering.
For whether it is thin or wide
You never know just what’s inside.
Especially in Christmas week
Temptation is so great to peek.
Now wouldn't it be much more fun
If shoppers carried things undone?

Has anyone ever heard this poem? Do you know the poet?

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Traditions - Games!

 Christmas = Games

We like to play board games on Christmas. Sounds like fun? Well, beware because games can be taken quite seriously, especially if the game is RISK. My husband has loved this game since he was a boy. He and his cousin played it when they got together. Sometimes the game lasted all weekend. They added tanks, planes & army men from other games. Each of them wanted to rule the world. Sometimes my mother in law had to take the board game away from Don & Phil to restore peace in the house and the friendship to the cousins.

RISK has infected the next generation. Our children, their cousins, and spouses play with my husband now. Wiping out the armies of the other player and gaining control of the world is very serious. There have been tears, disputes & allegations of secret deals. Strategies have become more complex as they got older. Mostly, however, there’s lots of laughter and many happy memories.

We play other games as well… Ticket to Ride, Clue, Life, Kismet,…  Of course, those are just for fun. Sometimes a game of Laser Tag or a trip to an ice rink but if you ever join us on Christmas and the RISK board comes out, just turn away and get a glass of eggnog. 

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Quilts

Christmas = Quilts!

Besides being a genealogy lover; I am also a lover of quilts. I have been sewing since I was a little girl and my mother & her mother taught me the basics. They were both very talented and could make anything with a needle and thread. As I grew I learned more and more about sewing by hand & by machine. When we were first married we lived in the Buffalo, NY area and I was introduced to quilts. As soon as I saw the beautiful colors & textures I wanted to try sewing them myself. I took lessons and the more I learned about quilting, the more I wanted to quilt.

Since then I have given many quilted gifts to friends & family, especially at Christmas time. This year I am making a quilt for my husband & myself. It won’t be done in time for December 25th but there is no hurry in making a quilt. The time that goes into the creation of a quilt is a part of its value. 

Before Quilting

After Quilting

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alphabetical Ancestors Y & Z

This is the final post relating to my Alphabetical Ancestors. All year I have been posting surnames, both from the major trees in my family and from the minor branches. This has helped me to identify branches that need more light & fertilizer to grow.
Information on these final surnames is very limited but I don’t want to leave anyone out.

Y & Z is for these Surnames…

Thomas Yates married Ida Ritter, daughter of Israel Ritter [b 1851] and Lydia Steckel. Thomas & Ida had four children: Ethel, Ruth, Russell & Samuel. Unfortunately, I have no location for this family.

William Yerger married Marylyn Bowman, daughter of Roy Bowman & Hazel Boreman [b c 1915 OH]. William & Marylyn had two children: William & Tammie.

Florence Young married Emile Ottho Smith [b 1886 MS], son of Adolphus Scott Smith & Julia Jane Simmons. Emile Ottho Smith grew up in Mississippi.

Hannah Youngblood [b c 1807 GA] married Jesse Kelly Brumfield [1807 SC – 1884]. Jesse was the son of John Brumfield & Margaret Kelly. Hannah & Jesse had 11 children: Andrew Jackson, George Washington, Benjamin, Henry, Mary, Jesse, Joseph, James Monroe, Susan, John & Leah. In 1850 & 1860 Hannah & Jesse were in Pike Co, MS where Jesse was a farmer. In 1870 & 1880 they were in Amite Co., MS.

Anges Yozza [b c 1883 Italy] married Sam Pascale/Pasquale [1884 Italy – c 1950 USA]. Sam was the son of Augustino Pascale/Pasquale & Maria Grazia Servello. Agnes & Sam had 8 children: grace, Antionette, Alvera, Augustine, Salvadore, Victor, Fred & Joseph. They are related to my husband’s family.

Herman Otto Zemrock [b 1922 OH] married Eva Grace Jolliff [1929 OH – 1982]. Eva was the daughter of Glenn Raymon Jolliff & Elma Grace Pletcher. Herman & Eva had five children.

Urban Robert Zengler [1886 OH – 1975 OH] married Mildred Mae Wolf [1892 OH – 1972 OH]. Mildred was the daughter of Joseph Wolf & Anna Eliza Kohr. Urban & Mildred had three children: Dorothy, Donald & William.

Other ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ surnames in my tree: Yeager, Yoder, Younker, Zerkel & Zerrer

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Recipes

Christmas = Food!

My family enjoys this applesauce which is sweet enough to be a dessert. I've made it for various holidays. Usually I make big batches in the fall when the apples are fresh off the trees. There are many apple orchards all along the Hudson River Valley, NY, where we live. Our house smells wonderful as this slowly cooks away in my crock pot.

You may use any kind of apple that you like. I like to use Macintosh apples. I have a large crock pot so I double this recipe. After it cools I freeze the applesauce in containers of various sizes and warm it up when we want to enjoy some. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top & you are ready for a treat!


From: The Unwatched Pot by  Paula Franklin; Dorison House Publishers, NY,1975

6 – 8 apples, quartered, pared, cored and chopped
2/3 – 1 cup sugar [I use less sugar]
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract [I use vanilla]
¼ teaspoon nutmeg [My husband likes more nutmeg]
1 cup water

Combine all the ingredients in the cooker. Cook on low for 5 – 6 hours.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Music

Today’s prompt from Geneabloggers is Christmas music. I love Christmas carols but never listen before Thanksgiving. Waiting for the start of the music makes it more special.

My mother’s favorite Christmas carol was the Little Drummer Boy. 

My parents, Alberta Joy Gardner & Delbert K Brown, Christmas c 1950s
The Little Drummer Boy
Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see
Pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the kIng
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
On my drum

Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Cards

Christmas = Cousins!

Holidays were never complete without our cousins!  This photo came from a Christmas card c 1960. It shows our cousins, Roy, Aileen & Everett. Our fathers were brothers, Delbert K. & Leo D. Brown, and we spent Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas & many days in between together.

I remember the fireplace in the photo. It was made of heavy cardboard with red bricks printed on it but I thought it was wonderful and wished we had one at our house.

On Christmas we alternated houses with one family hosting and one family traveling. Both our moms helped with the cooking and baking. They spent most of the day in the kitchen. Our dads sat and nibbled on snacks and talked. We children shared our new toys, played games, bickered with each other and generally got under everyone’s feet. We were just too excited and happy to sit still.

We are all adults now with families of our own but we still see our cousins for weddings, BBQs, and holidays. Now we have Christmas dinner with our own families and gather for dessert. We cousins are still happy to see & spend time with each other and I think we always will.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Tree

Our Christmas Tree

I love the smell of the forest, rising from each branch and needle,
It is the scent of a tiptoeing fawn, a knobby pinecone, a red cardinal and a crystal blue sky.
I watch the way our son holds the top of the tree with his strong gloved hand
And my husband lies on the crunchy snow as he slowly cuts it down with the old saw.
I admire the way they work together, passing the rope across the roof and over the tree.

I love the tree standing proudly in our house
With its best side facing our sofa and chair and piano.
I laugh at our cats sniffing this bit of the wild forest and pouncing like little cougars,
Attacking the strings of golden lights as we test the bulbs
And jumping in every box of green and red and gold.

I love opening the tissue paper and unveiling the memories:
The faded paper reindeer and crooked pompom Santa made by our daughters,
The wooden skier for my husband, the little dog for our son all those years ago,
The miniature schoolhouse from my days as a teacher,
A green felt mitten lovingly stitched by my mother.

And when it is quiet,

Very best of all I love to turn off all the lights except the tree
And I watch the tree begin to glow

With the love of Christmas past
And the magic of Christmas future.

Colleen G. Pasquale

Read more Christmas Memories at

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Alphabetical Ancestors W

W is for these Surnames…

Dale W Watchtel was born 1939 OH. He married Carol Ann Jolliff, daughter of Glenn R & Helen V Jolliff. They had one son.

C Prentice Waldo [b 1853 OH] married Emma Wolf [1863 OH – 1933 OH], daughter of John Franklin & Carol Orwig Wolf. Prentice & Emma had four children: Lydia, Winfred, Wayland & Blake. In 1900 Prentice was a butcher in Medina County, OH. In 1920 he was a farmer in the same location.

Golda Mae Warner [1902 OH – 1982 OH] married Eslie Guy Mark [1890 OH – 1972 OH]. They were married in 1922. Eslie Guy served in World War I. They had three sons: Guy, Glenn & Dana. Son, Guy, was killed in World War II. In 1920 Eslie Guy was a trapper. In 1930 he was a laborer at odd jobs.

Morris & Rose Weissberg came from Austria with their son, Frank Samuel Weissberg [1878 Austria – 1940 NY]. Frank married Florence Gartner in 1907 NY City. Soon after they moved to Buffalo, NY where Frank was a tailor & furrier. He & Florence had two sons: Milton and Francis. Milton was a lawyer. Florence was my grand aunt.

Thomas Clarence Wilson [1888 MS – 1974] married Euna Clarabelle Fortenberry [b 1894]. They had 11 children: Thelma, Alton, Clarence, Edna, Arnell, Evelyn, Thomas, Walter, Juanita, Everett & Elvera. In 1920 they lived in LA where Thomas worked at an oil refinery.

My paternal grandmother’s family reaches back to the Wolf family in Germany. The family moved to Pennsylvania and later to Ohio. Johannes Peter & Susanna Wolf were my 7th great grandparents. Their son, Johan Jacob Wolf was b 1694 in Germany. He married Anna Barbara Orth. They had eleven children. Their son, Johann Jonas Wolf [1739 PA – 1787 PA] married Appollonia Dick c 1761. They had ten children. The Wolf family quickly expanded in the USA. They were farmers & soldiers in our wars.

Other ‘W’ surnames in my tree: Waddell, Wadford, Wagener, Wager, Waggner, Wagner, Whitaker, Wieland, Wireman, Wise, Wood, Woods, Wortman, Wright & Wynn.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Thanks to Fellow Bloggers

I am thankful for the year round support & 
inspiration from my fellow bloggers.  

Here are a few of my ‘favorite pages’. Do you have favorites you’d like to thank? Thank them on your blog & leave a link in the comments here. I love to discover new blogs!

I have even more favorites [not all would fit here]. Check my Blog List for more extra special blogs!

F      (Carolina) Family Roots, Charles Purvis. Charlie & I are distant cousins who met through our blogs & then met during a trip I took to North Carolina. I am always impressed with the long list of sources he lists with his findings. Charlie has given me many tips for NC research.
A      A Light that Shines Again by Lisa, a delightful blog about Irish heritage; reading this blog is like taking a trip across the Atlantic to those beautiful green shores.
V      Virginia based Wendy who writes Jollett, Etc., the friendliest blog anywhere. I have not yet met Wendy [maybe on a future trip to visit my daughter in VA] but feel that she is a pal.
O      ‘On a flesh and bone foundation’: An Irish History, Jennifer. Just starting to trace Irish roots or looking for a new avenue for research? This is the place to go. There are many links here you will enjoy.
R      Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings gives up tips, techniques & genealogy news. An active blog with lots to share. Want to keep in touch with the latest genealogy happenings? Visit this blog.
I        Irish Genealogy: Help! The Faery Folk Hid my Ancestors! by Deborah Large Fox, who has some great Irish tips & the latest in Irish genealogy news.
T      The Family Curator, Denise Levenick, aids us in preserving & sharing our family treasures. We all have bits from the past that we’d like to preserve for the future.
E      Explorations in Connecticut Genealogy, Bryna O’Sullivan. I have roots in CT and Bryna has taken the time to give me many great research tips. She knows the best places to search!

P      Prince William County Genealogy, Carolyn writes about this Virginia County, its history & genealogy insights. If you have links to this area as I do you or you plan to visit the area should stop by this blog.
A      Ancestors Live Here by Leslie Ann. This is a lovely blog documenting Leslie’s research into her family’s past.
G      Geneabloggers, Thomas MacEntee, who links us all together to help and inspire each other! A huge Thanks to Thomas!
E      Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio. A blog I have recently discovered & plan to read often to expand my OH roots information.
S       Sepia Saturday, Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen, who provide a place to share unique photos. A blog that makes history friendly & fun.

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