Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013


While my husband was at work yesterday (Sunday, May 26th) a fellow coworker says to him, "What is Memorial Day?"  The coworker did not ask my husband because he didn't know what it was, nor did the coworker think my husband was that stupid.  But of course my husband answers him with the answer of to honor those who have fought for our freedoms.  The coworker says "then why do some many people NOT know that, why do they think it’s just a long weekend, a time to BBQ or the first day of summer."  Heart breaking isn't it?  It seems the younger the person the less they know about this country as a whole.

I am from New York State.  Not the city but grew up 90 minutes north in the valley of the mountains.  In elementary school we learned all about the Erie Canal.  We learned songs about it and the importance of the canal to the state.  I took a college course a couple of semesters ago about the history of New York State.  I was very sad to see that more than half the class knew nothing about the Erie Canal (or anything about the state).  I now live literally 5 minutes walking distance from a part of the canal and my fellow classmates all lived (and most were born) in this area.  An area that is extremely rich in state history.

Another thing that is disturbing to me is to see so many news reports of people messing up the Star Spangled Banner.  REALLY!?!?! Well besides the fact the a good singer would take the time to learn ANY song before singing it in front of a crowd people, but its the national anthem.  When I was in middle school the music teacher drilled it into our heads.  We had to learn it.  It is not an easy song to sing when it comes to the notes, but really we can't take the time to learn the words. 

I went to a couple of my local cemeteries today to say Thank you, to appreciate all that they did for me and generations to come.  I was pleased to see so many others there today to.  I took my daughters with me (9 & 5), we discussed why they do not have school today.  What the day is about.  We look at each soldiers stone talked about the branches they fought with and where the fought (if it was on the stone).  We talked about great grandfathers and their roles in the wars they fought in.  We talked, we respected, we were thankful.  Now I know the 5 year old probably forgot the conversation less than 5 minutes after it was over.  My 9 year old will forget by next Memorial Day but we will be out there again next year giving our thanks.

So thank you to all the men, women and children who have fought for the freedoms of this country.  Without all that they have sacrificed who knows how we would be today.  Thank you to the current men and women who still put their lives on the line for this country.





 




Friday, April 12, 2013

Is it Spring?!?!

Is it Spring yet?  If it is, you would never know it if you live in Central New York where on and off the past couple of days we have had freezing rain, snow and high winds.  Oh it has not been fun.  Which is kind of really bumming me out because I can not wait to go exploring some cemeteries.

I did venture out to one of the small rural cemeteries in Volney the other day on my way home from running an errand.  While it was over cast, cold and wet, I was more upset by how run down the cemetery is.  This is an old cemetery and the newest stone that I could see was from 1971.  The rest are much much older, 1700 & 1800. 

I was looking for a certain stone that is a request on the Findagrave.com website.  But I unfortunately could not find that stone.  I unfortunately could not read many of the stones.  I am think about starting a club or organization to help restore cemeteries.  Some of which just need someone to clean them up.  Some need a little more work than that, while others are going to need a great deal of work.

Here are some examples of what I found.   


This here is a broken headstone.
 

Not only is this one broken but it has been lying there so long that it is starting to get buried by grass and dirt.
  
 

As you can also see many of these stones have been there so long that you either can't read them at all or they are barely readable.
 
I know that this is not the only cemetery in the area like this.  I know there are others in much worse shape.  It makes me sad because there are people here trying to rest.  They are our loved ones, other human beings who did their part to creat this country.  This is not how they should be treated.  I am sad because information is lost.  I am sad because what will happen to my stone a couple hundred years after I am gone.  Are we really a nation of not caring??
 
I think it time to find a group of volunteers who would be willing to go out and start cleaning up these places, fix the stones that can be fixed, save what we can.  Maybe we can find records of what stones that are unreadable and place plaques on them so others can see who lies here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I have begun the process of redoing my blog.  While I work on the finer details of my 365 days of genealogy project.  I am hoping my fans/followers of this blog will join me on my new blog.  I hope to see you there.

Thank you

Reyna

http://giantgenealogyproject.blogspot.com/ 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Find A Grave Website

I recently became a member of Findagrave.com.  Some of it was because I had pictures of my family families headstones and wanted to share.  I know how difficult it is for us when we are not near ancestors burial grounds.  Sometimes we would like to see where they are buried.  I signed up to take photos at my local cemeteries.  The requests have been pouring in.  The only problem is I signed up at the wrong time.  I live in Central New York and we get several FEET of snow every winter.  We have our first storm come through yesterday and received almost 2 feet.  Many of the cemeteries do not plow or make path ways through the snow for people to visit.  Also if they have a small ground stone or just a little thing it is more than likely buried.  I feel bad as many of these requests will have to wait until the snow melts. 



And this is why we have long metal flags on our fire hydrants.  LOL  I am nice enough to dig the one in my yard out so that it is accessible in case of an emergency.  Not everyone is so nice.  Oh well. 

As much as I appreciate the while Christmas I am always thankful when the it melts and spring arrives.  My children seem to love the snow more though.  Probably because its cold, there are no bugs and you can do more with snow. 

The new year is almost here.  I hope everyone had a great 2012 and will have an even better 2013. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Old Photos

I have always loved photography.  I love when I am able to get my hands on old family photographs.  I have manged to collect a few over the years.  It is always nice to put a face with an ancestor. 



For example this picture above.  This is my great grandfather, William Henry Thomas, and great grandmother, Ella May (Giddings) Thomas.  There are 4 children in the photo but they are not really in the photo.  If you take a close look at it you will see that the children were suppose to be in another picture.  Maybe even two separate pictures.  If you take a really close look at the child in the middle you will see a boys face through the girl.  You can see the girl on the left end is sitting on something that isn't there and the you can see right through the girl on the right.  Of course I do not have the negative for this photo but I would have to guess either something happened while taking the photos or it was not developed correctly.  But still a facinating photo.  It is labeled with names, including 3 of the 4 kids and it states where is was taken.  At a lake in Brewster NY in either 1918 or 1919.



 
 

This is another one of my favorite photos.  This is my husbands great grandfather Joseph Michael Schneider.  He is taking a ride on his horse drawn fire truck.  See people always watch where the fire truck is going.  This is taken in Sandusky, Ohio.
 
 
So I would love to hear from others.  What do you think of these photos??  Do you have old photos??  What are your favorites??

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Civil War Class

So my classes started this week.  I have 2 history classes.  The history of the Civil War and NY State History.  Yes I live in NY which why they offer this class, but apparently this is the first time they have offered this class.  Both classes meet 2 times a week for about an hour and half.  They are taught by the same teacher.  He is extremely passionate and awesome.  If you are interested in history, even a little, he will suck you right in.  I found that both classes are FULL.  This is my 2nd semester and I have not had a single class as full as these.  So that tells you a lot about his teaching.  Most of them he has had before.  The 2nd day of the Civil War class was not as full.  He did explain that if you don't want to work or don't want to learn then get out of the class because he is a Civil War geek. (his words).  He has every book written on the war and he does most of his research on the battle of Gettysburg.  After the 2nd class people were talking about leaving because they were getting grossed out by the discussion of blood, disease, and death.  Well it was a war.  

It is truly amazing experience and makes you wish that history classes were taught like that in high school.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

AGES-Online

                  AGES-Online
      Advanced Genealogical Exploration Service
      A family tree building internet site
      They currently have 2 packages and are working on a 3rd that says is coming soon.
      Their economy package is $39.95 and their standard package is $59.95. 
      They do offer a 30 day free trail.  You do not have to give a credit card for the free trial, which is a nice change.  I signed up for the free trial and this is what I have found so far.  You are able to upload GEDCOM files, print family group sheets, print outline decendant reports, print descendant genealogical resiter report, print marriage report, and print a parentage report. 
      They have a family statistics button.  When you click on it, it will give you
      Total number of individuals
      Total number of unquie surnames
      The average lifespan
      Youngest deceased
      Oldest deceased
      Earliest birth date
      Latest birth date
      Total number of marriages
      Earliest marriage date
      Latest marriage date
      You can add and edit family stories
      And you can share with family and friends.
      I am stil checking out the program.  Is there anyone there that already uses this and what are your opinions?