Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Calendar!

Happy New Calendar! Want to make a genealogy gift that your family gets excited about? How about making a genealogy gift that your cousins look at almost daily? Well, I began making calendars years ago and it has become a hit. All year long cousins send me photos for the calendar. And when Christmas gets close they start asking when the calendar will be ready. Their enthusiasm fills my heart & motivates me to start another for the next year!

These are things I include in the calendar each year:
  • Birthdays of living & deceased family members. The first birthday each year is Mary Spurlock Brown b 1 January 1800 in GA, my 3x great grandmother. Next on 5 January is my 1st cousin, once removed. Whenever I can I include a photo of the birthday person. 
  • Anniversaries of living & deceased family members. I include all I know & highlight special anniversaries, 10, 20 or 30 years. This year my younger brother and his wife get special notice for their 40th anniversary. I include photos of the special couple. 
  • Photos! Photos! Photos of weddings, anniversaries, travels, school events, scouts, babies,... Vintage photos & recent photos; formal and candid photos. I do ask for clear photos. Out of focus photos are difficult to work with and frustrating to see people's faces. 
  • Historical notes. I add brief family history. Who was our longest lived direct ancestor? Which couple was married the longest? Or a brief history of each family branch.
  • Family Chart, How are we related? This year one of our daughters made a chart that I put on the back of the calendar so people can understand how we are all connected.

As our family grows it can be harder to know who everyone is. This year I put a border around each person's photo. The color of the border lets people know which branch of the family that person is from. For example, photos of my parent's descendants have a white border around them. 

I have tried various programs to make these calendars. My favorite is Mixbook. Their program gives lots of flexibility. I can add as many photos and as much text as I want. The birthdays and anniversaries are saved so that I do not have to reenter those each year. They give me a discount because I order many copies & that is very helpful!

Here are photos of my family with this year's calendar.


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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Monday, December 19, 2022

Oh Family Tree/ Christmas Tree


Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree!
Thy leaves are so elusive
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Thy names are always changing
Not only in census reports,
But also in obituaries.
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Thy names are always changing!

Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Such puzzles do you bring me!
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
You confuse and bewilder me!
For every year this Family tree,
Brings to us such mystery.
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Such puzzles do you bring me!

Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
You'll be ever changing!
A story of our ancestors
You'll be ever changing
Each date and place
Each misspelled name
No one alive spreads tales so well
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
You'll be ever changing.

Colleen G Brown Pasquale

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Ohio Christmas Memory

 Here is a Christmas Memory from my grand aunt,

 Viola Cathern (Mark) Nothstein, 1913 OH – 2004 FL, 

daughter of Thomas K. & N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark.

 She talked about Christmas in Ohio when she was a girl, one of seven children.

Thomas Kenneth & Nancy Regina V. (Gruissy) Mark

Viola said her father, Thomas Kenneth Mark, 1879 - 1975, dressed up as Santa Claus for the program at church. He wore a red costume from the church. Viola said, “I remember one year when we were pretty small Owen got up in church and said, ‘That’s my Daddy!’ Another time Dad had a turkey for the church.  After the program Daddy come over to home and he had the red suit on and he’d said. ‘Now you guys better be in bed before I get back.’ He always done a lot around the church. If they wanted anything fixed they would always ask Dad.”

Friday, December 9, 2022

A Time to Write: 3. Edit, Edit, Edit!



I am working on writing, Our Brown Roots, the history of my paternal grandfather’s family & its many leaves & branches. I am trying to focus my time & efforts on finishing up that huge project but will give some time to posting about the procedure here.

Here is an update on my progress with my book. I am very happy to have my first cousin, Nancy Jo (Brown) Dilley, helping me by editing this massive project. We have poured over every word, name, comma and quotation mark in the pages of this book. One chapter at a time, Nancy has read, edited and commented on our family's story. Then we met so we could look closely at each page.  We'd focus on every place her bright orange marker left a smiley face, a question mark, or note for me to address. My well read librarian cousin has given me very useful insights and comments. 

After years of researching and writing about the 13 family branches in this book, I needed a second pair of eyes. I need someone who is not a genealogist. Most of my eventual readers will not be genealogists so I need that point of view. Have I explained land grants, relationships and historical settings so they are understandable? Are my charts and maps confusing or clear?

Nancy would had me one chapter at a time to edit and then we would move on to the next. We worked our way through the over 800 pages!

I saved my Word document on a thumb drive and drove over to my local Staples. They printed 2 copies and returned them to me in two heavy boxes. We emptied our 2 inch binders and refilled them with this draft. What will we do now?


Friday, December 2, 2022

A Time to Write: 2B The MOST Elusive People

I am working on writing, Our Brown Roots, the history of my paternal grandfather’s family & its many leaves & branches. I am trying to focus my time & efforts on finishing up that huge project but will give some time to posting about the procedure here.

When I last posted about my progress on my book in progress, OUR BROWN ROOTS, I explained that having researched 13 branches of my paternal grandfather’s family, I was finishing up with my closest family stories. I was writing about my paternal grandparents and their children. How hard can that be?


Well, it is more a more delicate procedure. In writing about difficult financial situations, marriages the have not endured or other painful situations I do not want to offend any cousins. In writing the true story of my family I do not need to include every bad decision (I’ve made plenty of those.) or every family dispute in order to paint a true picture of my grandparents, my aunts and uncle. 


In asking for stories about my aunts and uncles we sometimes found ourselves in tears. The more we loved them, the more the memories, the smiles and the tears. 


One branch at a time, I consulted cousins. (translation: I became a nuisance, asking for photos, military document, letters and photos.) I wrote their chapters and gave them the printed versions of their family’s story for approval before moving on to the next cousin to bother. Thanks to all those cousins! 

(If you are a first cousin who has something more to tell, tell me today!)


Two ladies who have been enormous help are the co – matriarchs of our family. Barbara & Bab, the widows of my father’s brothers, were a part of the stories and told me many things I never knew before. They added life to the book. I cannot thank them enough!


Fellow researchers, keep in mind this lesson that I have learned. It is not the oldest branches of the family that are the hardest to write about. 

It is the most recent who are the most elusive.

Thanks to my family!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Forget Me Not: George Washington Mark

According to genealogist, Larry Knox, George was a farmer who owned an orchard.  He lived south of Overton, OH. He married Elizabeth Shifferly on 20 November 1901 at Cedar Valley in Wayne Co., Ohio. In 1910 George rented a farm in Chester Township.  In 1920 George and Lizzie were still in Chester in Wayne County. He was a 42 year old farmer and Elizabeth was 39. George registered for the World War One Draft on 12 September 1918. He was described as having medium build and medium height with blue eyes and light brown hair. George and Elizabeth had no children.   



George Washington Mark

1 Apr 1878 OH - 16 Oct 1938 OH

Son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter

Husband of Elizabeth Shifferly


My 2x Great Uncle

Two Obituaries for George W. Mark


Set Mark Services. Wooster, Oct. 18. – George Mark, 60, died Sunday at his home in Chester township, from a heart attack. Survivors are his widow, five brothers and four sisters. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p. m. from the Bevington & McCullough funeral home, conducted by Rev. F. H. Zaugg. Burial will be in Wooster cemetery. 


Source: Set Mark Services. (Akron, OH: The Akron Beacon Journal, 18 Oct 1938) 6; digital image, accessed August 2022. 

George Mark, aged 60 years, died Sunday evening at 6 o'clock at his home in Chester Township.  Mr. Mark, who had suffered from a weak heart, was doing his chores when he was stricken, dying very suddenly.  Survivors are his wife and the following followers and sisters:  Thomas, Medina; Amos, Chester; Charles, Chester; Mrs. Mary Shaw, Medina; Mrs. Maggie Kauffman, Canton; Emma, Wooster; Mrs. Elva Boreman, Chester; and one half brother, Melvin, Wooster.  Funeral Services will be held Wednesday at 2 p. m. from the Bevington & McCullough Funeral Home, conducted by Rev. F. H. Zaugg.  Burial will be made in Wooster cemetery.  Friends may call at the Funeral Home Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Source: "George Mark Dies Sunday." Daily Record 17 October 1938: page 5. Copy from Wayne County Public Library, Wooster, Ohio.

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