Monday, March 31, 2008

Even Unto Death

If the term "hearty pioneer stock" were used to describe anyone, it would be my husband's grandfather Mearl. Mearl's first vehicle was a bike, a bike he rode from Michigan to North Dakota to work his sister's homestead. When his work was done in North Dakota he traveled to a homestead of his own at Shotgun Gulch, Bainville, Montana. A homestead much like those photographed by Evelyn Cameron. The homestead pictured was his, hardly more than a chicken coop.

Shortly after starting to homestead Mearl suffered a ruptured appendix forcing him to travel to Salem, Oregon, where he would recuperate with his parents. While in Salem he met Olive, a slight young girl. He spoke to her parents, he wanted to marry her and take her to homestead with him in Montana. He was a handsome man with property, but Olive had other ideas, so the family story goes. She was in love with another man. Her family forced the marriage and Mearl would pay for that all his life. She was a hardworking wife, a dutiful wife, but not a loving wife.

She came from a wealthy family, a family related to presidents and senators. I'm sure the sight of Merle's homestead was a very difficult reality for her. Not to mention the fact that her first baby turned out to be twins, twin boys, born on this bleak desolate homestead. The twins were followed soon after by another son. Olive was clearly out numbered by the men of her family.

Olive, Mearl, The Twins

Baby number four was the answer to Olive's prayers, a beautiful little girl named Elenor. Full of life, she was her mother's unabashed favorite.


Mearl and the boys clearly loved her as well. The boys played with her and minded her while their parents worked the farm. Play was not the product of store bought toys, but of imagination. There were horses and pigs to ride, and then the twins found the best entertainment yet.

In a field on the homestead was a rusting rotting corpse of a car, a wreck that had gone to the grass. It was the perfect vehicle for hours of entertainment for the children. The twins took a rope and fashioned a swing inside the car. They had to improvise, there were no trees on this homestead on the Great Plains.

It provided the four children with hours of enjoyment - until. Until Elenor, the baby, decided to venture out to the car alone. She must have thought she was a big girl, big enough to swing on her own without her brothers' help.

Her absence was soon noticed. The search began. They found Elenor hanging by her neck from the rope swing. Their precious little girl had accidentally hung herself.

In her grief Olive blamed the twins for Elenor's death. It was the twins who had fashioned the rope swing in the car and it was the twins who should have been minding the baby. The boys were only children and it had been an accident, but she blamed them. She was a hard hearted woman. How difficult it must have been for the boys to carry their Mother's blame and their own childhood guilt. To this day it has never been spoken of by my father-in-law.

Olive exacted her last measure of revenge in her will. She left her half of the family dairy farm to her third son, three real estate properties and a sum of money in excess of $300,000 to the youngest child (another daughter), and she left the only surviving twin (my father-in-law) the chair she sat in every day of her life. Every day since I had known her. A chair. To look at that chair was to see Olive. A constant reminder of her presence, of her unjustified blame, of her final slight, even unto death.

Note: In the family album Elenor's photograph is identified as "Elenor just before she was killed." Not died, was killed. I think this says it all.

This article is my contribution to the Carnival of Genealogy - Cars As Stars,
in this case the villain of the piece - or was it.


Homestead. Photograph. ca. 1916. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007

Olive and The Twins. Photograph. ca. 1918. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007

Mearl and The Twins. Photograph. ca. 1918. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007

Elenor. Photograph. ca. 1927. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007.


David Arthur AULT, Ph.D

One of the most difficult things I have ever had to do was to write your obituary. You were a Renaissance man - and like a diamond with many facets - you were a part of so many people's lives and memories.

Jean Roth - Seattle

Dave Ault was a local Seattle genealogist and so much more. He died unexpectedly Monday 24 March 2008. He was always very welcoming to me at every meeting and lecture I attended where he was present. We often shared conversations about our similar family dilemmas. He will be missed.

The following is the obituary written by Jean Roth. It is evident that it was written by a genealogist and harkens back to the obituaries of yesterday. Well done Jean, I'm sure Dave would have loved it.

An online Guest Book of remembrances can be found at Northwest Source.


David Arthur Ault was born August 6, 1940 in Wenatchee, Chelan County, Washington and passed away unexpectedly on Monday, March 24, 2008 in Seattle, King County, Washington at the age of 67. He was the son of George Foster Ault of Edmonds and Ruth Genevieve (Woodruff) Ault of Ritzville.

He graduated from Seattle's Roosevelt High School in 1958 where he was active in Sea Explorers, swimming, and basketball. He did his undergraduate and graduate work at Western Washing ton State College (now University), receiving his Master of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1966. In 1970, he was granted his doctorate in Computer Science at Pennsylvania State University and then went on to teach in the East. He taught at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia before moving to San Diego and then returning to the Pacific Northwest. He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and was Program Director of the Northwest Artificial Intelligence Group.

A longtime activist in the gender-rights movement, he participated in trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution. He was especially active as a men's rights advocate in Men's Rights, Inc. which promoted equal rights for both men and women. He was a member of the Men's Discussion Group at University Unitarian Church. A lover of blue grass music, he enjoyed attending festivals and was a member of the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society.

His primary love was for genealogy and he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Seattle Genealogical Society for his many contributions to both SGS and the genealogical community in the Northwest. He chaired the Society's Computer Interest Group, the oldest in the United States, and was a leader in the Canadian Interest Group. He also co-chaired the Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island State focus groups. Dave was a member and contributor to the Seattle TMG Users Group (The Master Genealogist is a computer program for managing genealogical records.)

His contributions to the genealogical community are too many to mention, but the Eastside Genealogical Society, of which he was also a member, the Fiske Genealogical Library, and the Sno-Isle Genealogical Society all will miss his willingness to help in any way he was needed. He was a popular lecturer throughout the Pacific Northwest. His computer skills endeared him to his friends and Dave was generous with his time and talents in helping the technologically-challenged. Many will miss their favorite "computer guru" who was known for his wit and wisdom. Dave never met a stranger; his welcoming ways warmed many meetings. He was always willing to lend his knowledge, expertise, and his computer equipment to whatever task was at hand; his kind spirit was always a addition to every meeting and event.

He was an avid researcher on his many New England families and was currently studying the history of his ancestor, Stephen Hopkins, who came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower in 1620. He was actively researching the Matteson family. He was also of Irish and Scottish heritage and was a member of the Clans MacLachlan and Gunn. For many years, he participated in the Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games. He was also descended from Revolutionary War patriots as well as Loyalists who fled to Canada. In the past few years, he enjoyed traveling on research trips back to the Midwest and East and attending national family reunions.

He is survived by his sister, Marion Ault of Portland, Oregon; his stepfather, John Perry Grove of Edmonds; numerous cousins, including Marilisa Ham mock Prevatt of Michigan; and many close friends including, Bill Pirkle, Steve Gilb, Jan Linden, and Jean Roth. Memorials are suggested to the David Ault Memorial Fund (c/o The Seattle Genealogical Society at P.O. Box 15329, Seattle, WA 98115-0329, Attn: Donald Kunz, Treasurer) which will support on going research resources in his areas of interest.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6, 2008 at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, 3014 NW 67th Street, Seattle, (206) 789- 5707. [Seattle Metro #17 from Downtown and #44 from the University District.] Interment will be in the family plot at the historic Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something Old ~ Something New


I have added a new feature on Shades Of The Departed called Twice Told Tuesday. Each Tuesday a photography related article will be reprinted from my collection of old photography books and magazines.

This week's Twice Told Tuesday is in honor of Women's History Month. I am reprinting an article told 92 years ago in The Amateur Photographer's Weekly, February 4, 1916. The Local Manipulation column does a tongue in cheek discussion of why women should take up photography. The cartoons have been added from The Amateur Photographer's Weekly of June 16, 1916.

Think of all the perfectly good space there is in many women's minds today that isn't filled by anything. If this space could be filled with photographic ideas, the other ideas wouldn't rattle around and bump into each other so much.

~ Quote From The Article ~


I've added a new section to my sidebar called commentsOn. I've found that the comments of those who read this blog are often far more interesting than my articles, so I've added a link to some of those sterling comments. It is based on the same html premise as the footnotes in my Time and Chance Family History Book.

Note: Let me know if you have any interest in how this is done, I'll be glad to share.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Suspicious Minds

"Sure, they might go blind. They might fall down and stick their fingers in their eyes, or they might shoot themselves in the eye. Oh, anything is likely to happen in this vale of tears."

~ Dr. J. W. Hymson To The Court ~
AKA The Red Ryder BB Gun Defense

On February 15, 1907, Dr. J.W. Hymson of 2033 Normandie St., Los Angeles, was arrested in that city on charges of frightening Mrs. Joseph Torrey and Mrs. Robert Crews into buying his eyeglasses by informing them they might go blind (the charge was actually false pretenses). The women claimed he hypnotized them into paying the exorbitant price of $110 for two pairs of spectacles. The Bloomingdale's advertisement seen below indicates that spectacles were selling for $1.50 to $3.00 in 1907, so it is evident the price was exorbitant.

Hymson was described as having a high forehead, piercing black eyes and black whiskers. It was the reporter's opinion that, "it requires no great stretch of the imagination of an impressionable person (read women) to conceive him a veritable Svengali."

"He hypnotized us, that's what he did,” said the excited and indignant Mrs. Torrey in Justice Brayton's Long Beach courtroom yesterday. "He came to our house and looked at my eyes and my daughter's eyes. The examination didn't take very long, and then he frightened us nearly to death by saying that within a few months both of us might go blind. He said he would examine our eyes free at home, but if we waited we would have to go to San Francisco in order to have him test our eyes."

It comes as no surprise that none of the cheaper glasses fit the women. After trying on all the glasses the women were convinced to order the expensive pair. Dr. Hymson demanded immediate payment. Mrs. Torrey gave him a purchase order on the Glen Holly Dairy and he required her to telephone an endorsement.

He left the Torrey farm and traveled to the ranch of Hubert Crews where much the same scenario took place. Obviously feeling remorse for the purchases, both women told their husbands of being hypnotized and their husbands told the police.

Dr. Hymson professed great astonishment at being arrested, telling the judge he had not violated any law and that he repeatedly told his patients if they were not satisfied with the glasses he sold them he would refund the money. Using the "Red Ryder BB Gun Defense (they might shoot their eye out)" the doctor told the court that some days I make $110, and some days $700, but I am not a millionaire."

When Hymson’s trial was called in Justice Brayton’s court his attorney, L.R. Wharton, asked what the penalty would be in case his client pleaded guilty. The justice replied that the code provided for
a maximum fine of $500, or six months in jail. Wharton said that he would not care for a jury trial. The case was then set for trial February 21, but Hymson later decided to settle with the women and accept their offer to refund all money in return for the suit being dropped.

A doctor engaging in such unethical practices peaked my curiosity. I have a suspicious mind, so I looked into Dr. J.W. Hymson's past. It revealed some very interesting facts about the good doctor. In 1900, "Jake" Hymson is found living in Louisville, Kentucky as a spectacle peddler. He and his wife Ida and daughter Rebecca immigrated from Russia in 1888. Born in Kentucky are his daughters Rebecca, Mammie, Emma, Estel, and a son Morris.

In 1902, just two short years later, Hymson is profiled in the Adair County News, Columbia, Kentucky. The headline reads, " Dr. J.W. Hymson, opthalmic optician, a successful scientist acknowledged by prominent people all over the United States." The above likeness of Dr. Hymson was included with this article.

The newspaper article is as follows:
His possession of his profession is merited by hard work, indisputable skill – and unvarying satisfaction to the thousands of patrons in all the prominent cities of the United States. He stands endorsed by leading medical optical and scientific men of his day, as well as the business men in all walks of life.

Difficult work evaded – and often abandoned by other Opticians have been conquered by his superior scientific ability. Sufferers have filled his office eager for advice and to obtain his valuable services. Many who had but one Fluttering Ray of light left in that sight have been saved from blindness, and led by the proper use of Glasses out of darkness and into the light of day again.

His exceptional ability, aided by experience and the assistance of all scientific instruments known to his profession make him one of the GREATEST OPTICIANS OF HIS DAY. Many well known people of this vicinity have heard of DR. HYMSON through their friends and welcome his arrival in this city as a long looked for opportunity to consult a man whose ability is seldom equaled, and never surpassed in any age or at any time. Dr. Hymson will be in Columbia this week, until Saturday night at MARCUM HOTEL.
How could such a well respected doctor have fallen so far in five years, having to resort to the trickery involved in his arrest in California? Further checking into the Adair County News finds that while the above looks for all intents and purposes as if it is a legitimate news article, it was in fact an advertisement purchased by Dr. J.W. Hymson and most probably written by him.

His conduct makes us wonder if Dr. Hymson may have worn out his welcome in Kentucky necessitating the move to California. On 29 May 1905, Dr. J.W. Hymson is listed as having a medical license in California; 18 July 1905, he has a medical license in Plumas County, California; and on 20 August 1907, he receives a medical license in Lake County, California.

In his application for a California license, Dr. Hymson lists no school conferring his credentials as an optician. In all fairness, none of the other opticians receiving a medical license in Lake County list a school of graduation. An optician may not have been required to have specific medical education in the early 1900s.

1910 finds Dr. Hymson living in San Francisco owning and operating a general optical clinic. With him are his wife Ida; daughters Rebecca, Marie, Emma, Stella, Rae, and sons Morris, Albert, Hyman. All the daughters except Rebecca and all the sons except Hyman were born in Kentucky, J.W., Ida, and Rebecca are all listed as having been born in Russia. So, it looks as if the Dr. J.W. Hymson living and working in California is in fact our "Jake" Hymson of Kentucky.

In 1920, we find Dr. Hymson living with his wife Ida, his daughters Marie, Stella,
Rae, Rebecca and her husband Victor Bernstein, and sons Maurice, Albert, and Hyman in San Francisco, California. He is listed as an optician who owns his own establishment. It's good to see that Dr. Hymson is not in jail, be we can only wonder if he is still using scare tactics to sell his spectacles.



1900 U.S. census, Jefferson County, Kentucky, population schedule, Louisville, p. 99, dwelling 15, family 289, Jake Hymson (Head); digital images. Heritage Quest ( : retrieved 20 March 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 530.

1910 U.S. census, San Francisco County, California, population schedule, San Francisco, p. 10, dwelling 173, family 221, Joseph W. Hymson (Head); digital images. Heritage Quest ( : retrieved 20 March 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 99.

1920 U.S. census, San Francisco County, California, population schedule, San Francisco, p. 218, dwelling 82, family 79, Dr. Joseph W. Hymson (Head); digital images. Heritage Quest ( : retrieved 20 March 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 141.


Unknown, "Can't Tell What Might Happen - Spectacle Vender(sic) Prophet of Evil," The Los Angeles Herald, 16 February 1907. Online archives. : 2008.

Special To The Herald, "Spectacle Vender Reimburses Victims," The Los Angeles Herald, 17 February 1907. Online archives. : 2008.

Dr. J. W. Hymson, "Dr. J.W. Hymson, opthalmic optician, a successful scientist acknowledged by prominent people all over the United States," The Adair County News, 9 April 1902. Online archives. : 2008.

Photographs and Illustrations:

Bloomingdale's Spectacle Advertisement. ca. 1907. Illustration. Digital image. The Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The evening world (New York, N.Y): May 3, 1907, Final Results Edition, p. 7 - Image 7, : Retrieved 20 March 2008.

Dr. J.W. Hymson. ca. 1902. Illustration. Digital image. The Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Adair County news (Columbia, Ky): April 2, 1902 - Image 3, : Retrieved 20 March 2008.

Unknown Woman Wearing Glasses. Photograph. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007


Lake County California Medical Certificates


Friday, March 21, 2008

Shades Of The Departed

Shades Of The Departed

I am authoring a new blog called Shades Of The Departed. The name comes from a statement made by Adam Bogardus in 1894, in a photographic magazine. He talked about a photographer who had become frustrated when people who sat for portraits and ordered prints, failed to return to pick them up and pay for them. In an effort to shame these same customers into returning, he hung their portraits in his shop window and labeled them "shades of the departed."

I collect photographs and have for twenty years. I am able to collect these photographs because they have gone unclaimed and so I have dubbed them "shades of the departed."

Each week I will post the photo of the week and include information regarding the photographer. This week's photograph was of a lovely lass from Belfast in honor of St. Patrick's day.

~ Young Girl ~

29 High Street


I am embarking on a very large project to catalog all of my photographs with the hope of writing a book on one sub-section of my collection. I will share with my readers the procedures that I find work best for me. From scanning, numbering, adding keywords, cataloging, databases, interpretation, dating, my finds, historic written sources, my bibliography and many other things associated with vintage photographs.

I have included the beginning of today's "Shades" post below and hope you will visit Shades Of The Departed for the conclusion.

Just What Is A Collection?

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less."

The purpose of this blog is to explore my collection of photographs. But what exactly constitutes a collection? I do know that when it comes to collecting, there is an old saying that goes - "you must stand for collecting something or you will fall for collecting anything." Alright, close enough!

Continue Reading This Post


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Return To Sender

I have a poignant letter written by my husband's great aunt to his grandmother that I would like to include in the family history. It discusses a tragic accident that altered his grandmother's and his father's life.

I have been looking for an interesting and unique way of displaying that letter in a family history book and I believe I have finally found a method I like.

I scanned the original letter, adjusted the levels and cleaned the unwanted spots, dust, etc. I then printed the letter on paper that was similar to the paper of the original letter. I cut the letter down to the same size as the original and folded it in the same manner.

I transcribed the original letter and printed it within the history, along with the information about the accident. On the page to the left (the opposite page) of the transcription, I attached an envelope with double sided tape and inserted the scanned letter. Now, the family can hold a facsimile of the original letter in their hands, in their ancestor's handwriting. I think this carries more impact than just a scanned image printed within the book.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ladies And Gentlemen - Start Your Engines

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is shiny and has that new car smell. It's Cars as the Stars of Our Lives and the Lives of our Ancestors. Just the topic you'd expect from the girl from "Motor City."

A "new set of wheels," next to purchasing a house, was the most significant investment for many families. So dish the road dirt, baby!

What car played a starring roll in your family history and what roll did it play?

Did your family build cars or tinker with them?

Did they take "Sunday drives"?

What was your first car?

Was there a hangout that you frequented in your car?

How far back can you document your family's automotive genealogy? Tell us your car stories... front seat or back! ;-)

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 45th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. The deadline for submissions is Vroom, Vroom! - April 1st, 2008. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.


Hidden Sources :: Alumni Records

I went to visit my favorite, out-of-the-way, dusty, creaky, quirky used bookstore in early January. I was looking for a book on the history of chairs to help me in dating old photographs.

I always hit the reference section of the store just in case a dictionary I don't own pops up. While looking through the reference books I came across a genealogical treasure trove. Four privately printed volumes containing information of the Harvard College Class of 1894. The volumes are: The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Report - 1919, the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary - 1929, the Fortieth Anniversary - 1935, and the Harvard Alumni Directory of 1926. Each volume cost $2.50, so I had to buy them all. (Now you see why I love this bookstore.)

This view of Harvard College, drawn by Joseph Chadwick -
engraved by Paul Revere. It shows the College in about 1767.
From left are Holden Chapel, Hollis Hall, Harvard Hall, Stoughton Hall,
and Massachusetts Hall.

Excellent records are available for Harvard, as Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, having been founded 16 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. (I have included some links to online historical information for Harvard at the end of this article.)

We are all connected to the past through our family relationships. But so often proof of that relationship or an understanding of the place and time in which our ancestors lived is difficult to find. These alumni reports are some of those hard to find records, as they were privately published and distributed to the members of the graduating class. I have often thought of yearbooks and the official records held by the schools and colleges, but I had no idea how much information was compiled by an alumni association.

These books contained photographs of every graduate, a biography written by the graduate himself (there are no women), lists of graduates and their degrees, works published, addresses and so much more. Some of the group photographs are absolutely priceless. They also have photographs of the first child and grandchild of the Class of 1894. As I said, a treasure trove.

The books I purchased were stamped; Alex Dickinson, Lowman Building, Seattle, Washington. Alex and his classmate Macy Millmore Skinner were the only members of the Class of 1894 to make their home in Seattle.

The Freshman Crew
ca. 1890

The Hasty Pudding Club
ca. 1894

A typical biographical entry in the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Report is the following entry for the book's original owner Alexander Dickinson including his senior portrait.


at Cambridge, Mass., March 29, 1871. Son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Taggart) Dickinson. PREPARED at Cambridge Latin School, Cambridge, Mass.
IN COLLEGE, 1890-94;
LAW SCHOOL, 1894-96. DEGREE: A.B. 1894.
to Juliet Agnes Wylie at Seabright, N.J., Sept. 3, 1910.
*(home) 911 Summit Ave., Seattle, Wash.; (business) 1211 Hoge Bldg., Seattle, Wash.
AFTER graduation, practised law in Boston nine years. For the past thirteen years I have resided in the Puget Sound country, most of the time at Seattle, where I am now practising law, specializing in liability insurance. Among my clients are the Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation, Royal Indemnity Company, London and Kancashire Indemnity Company, and Queen Insurance Company. Seattle, to me, is an ideal place in which to live. It is beautiful from a scenic standpoint, has wonderful commercial possibilities, and is possessed of a fine climate. It also contains within its borders an unusual number of congenial college men, who manage to extract considerable enjoyment of life. My chief recreation is golf, playable, by the way, all year round. My war work was confined mainly to the draft as associate member local legal advisory board, and assisting in the various Liberty Loan campaigns.
XXXCLUBS AND SOCIETIES: Harvard Varsity Club, Seattle Harvard Club, (Trustee) University Club of Seattle, Seattle Gold Club.

Dickinson attended the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary in 1929 at Harvard. He was photographed and distinguished for his mileage.

Sundry members of the Class honored the celebration by making substantial pilgrimages to attend, ALLIE DICKINSON, journeying from far Seattle, having the best mileage to his credit.

According to the report, Alex's home address had changed to 128 Harvard Ave. N., Seattle, Wash.

For the Fortieth Anniversary Report
- 1934, Alex is listed in the section for obituaries, having died in Seattle, May 5, 1933. The following was a more recent photograph and his obituary.

ALEXANDER DICKINSON was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 29, 1871, and died at Seattle, Washington, May 5, 1933. After graduating from college in 1894 he attended the Harvard Law School, and thereafter practiced law for a time with his brother, David Dickinson, in Boston.

Like many another enterprising New Englander, however, he finally determined to try his fortune in the newer and less congested regions of the Western United States.

Early in the present century he took up his abode and re-began the practice of his profession in Seattle. He liked his new residence from the start and never regretted the change. He joined the University Club at Seattle soon after settling there and built up a circle of congenial friends, among whom he soon found himself very much at home. His only entry into public life -- if such it may be called -- was during the year of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition there (1909) when he had charge of the Forestry Building, a splendid exhibit of one of the fundamental industries of the rapidly developing region.

Shorly after this he married Mrs. Juliet Wylie Leech, a young widow, daughter of the well-known physician, Dr. W. Gill Wylie of New York City, whom he had known since his college days. This proved to be another fortunate "experiment," and resulted in realizing that apparently not-too-frequent outcome referred to in the story-books of our early youth as "living happily ever after."

"Allie," as he was affectionately known to most of his early and later friends, was always a devoted follower of out-door sports, and his four successful years as first baseman on the Harvard nine will be happily, not to say enthusiastically, remembered by most members of '94. While he continued an addict of baseball for some years after moving to Seattle, he later abandoned it in favor of the less strenuous recreation of golf, of which, also, he became a skillful and ardent follower. He was naturally easy and graceful at such things and never seemed to be hurried or worried in the least, whatever the situation. Indeed, he has a far finer coordination between brain and body than the average man; of a quality akin to that of the sleight-of-hand- artist. He was always attracted by the exhibition of such skills in others, and frequently essayed imitating various tricks which he witnessed on the vaudeville stage or elsewhere, with considerable success. He also took part occasionally in amateur theatrical productions; especially in the Christmas plays put on yearly at the Seattle University Club, of which he wrote several himself.

Of a quiet, sociable disposition, however, he never cared greatly for the "spotlight." As he was also eminently a reasonable human being, and very appreciative of humor and good stories, of which he had a large fund himself, his undying popularity with those who knew him well is easily understood. He was one of those "good-fellows" who do not exceed the limits of temperance and good taste in the pursuit of the fun of living: nor did it ever occur to him to abandon his innately strong predilection for the standard decencies of human existence.

He died as the result of an embolism after a surgical operation for the removal of the gall bladder, at the moment when he was headed for a normal recovery. His widow, but no children, survives him.

Although his career had nothing of the spectacular in it, the members of '94, among whom he had a wide acquaintance, can feel nothing but an unfeigned and deep regret at his untimely departure. For he was a most likely, kindly spirit -- a mens sana in corpore sano -- with keen appreciation of the beauties of nature and a distinctive love of those minor charms of human existence which do so much to soften its asperities and ameliorate its sterner realities; a fundamental type of human wisdom that is all too rare in this over-practical, modern American life of ours.

So I propose as a last toast to one we loved:

Sapientem A. D. te mortuum salutamus!
R. S. K.

My Latin isn't good but the toast appears to be "Wise A.D. (Alex Dickinson) in death we salute you! This is very crude so if your Latin is good please feel free to correct me.

I would like to offer to scan and email photos, biographies or obituaries to any interested family historian with an ancestor in the Harvard College Class of 1894. Please email me with your request. I hope I can do a good turn for my fellow historians out there searching for information.

Links to Harvard Historical Information:

The Harvard Guide - History, Lore and More

The Harvard University Archives

Harvard University. Quinquennial Catalogue of the officers and graduates 1636-1930. Cambridge : The University, 1930.

Sources - Photographs, Illustrations, Text:

Committee Of The Harvard College Class of 1894,
Twentieth Anniversary Report 1894 - 1919 (Number VII). Norwood, Massachusetts: Plimpton Press, 1919.

Committee Of The Harvard College Class of 1894,
Thirty-fifth Anniversary Report 1894 - 1929 (Number X). Norwood, Massachusetts: Plimpton Press, 1928.

Committee Of The Harvard College Class of 1894,
Fortieth Anniversary Report 1894 - 1934 (Number XI). Norwood, Massachusetts: Plimpton Press, 1934.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Saol Fada Chugat

Long Life To You!
Happy St. Patrick's Day

Please select here or the image for the animated version!

Be sure to read Saol Fada Chugat in the upper left hand portion of the animated version
to learn more about the Irish language!



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Alas Regrets, I Knew Them Randy

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings poses a very interesting question :: What are your top three genealogical regrets (question based on an APG mailing list post by Mark Fearer)?

I'd like to turn this around by starting with the things I did correctly:

1. The first thing I did correctly was take the University of Washington Certificate Program in Genealogy and Family History, before I started my research. It was a nine month in-depth course that taught the following:

Placing genealogical research techniques within a family history context. Topics:

* Vital records, oral history and interviewing techniques
* Conservation and interpretation of photographs
* Genealogical software and internet resources
* U.S. immigration, migration and historical evidence
* Cemeteries, mortuaries and obituaries
* U.S. census and occupational mobility

Critiquing a family history case study and preparing an analysis of family history using terms discussed in lectures and readings.

Learning the techniques to locate and interpret specific types of historical records. Development of a family history research strategy for my own project. Development of independent research skills. Topics:

* Research in land, military, religious, naturalization and probate records
* An examination of social history concepts such as immigration, ethnicity, social structure and demographic changes, through a series of case studies.

Development and completion of my research project in family history. Presentations by participants on research findings, which have genealogical and historical implications and a completed family history project.

2. Because of my legal background, I properly cited my sources. I did that from the very beginning and today I can find anything.

3. I was a participant in the Nearby History Writers Workshop. This taught me writing style and how to incorporate history (social, cultural, etc.) into my family projects. Very similar to marrying the facts with the law.

4. I suffered from voracious ravenousitis with regard to information about historical and genealogical research. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding this type of research. When I finished I had a true understanding of what type of research was required. I found a fantastic online guide - Reading, Writing, and Researching for History, A Guide for College Students. I refer to it often.

What I regret? The usual suspects:

1. That I took so much for granted growing up in the middle of all that family information. Now why would you accept the fact that you had an Aunt named "Toad" and an Uncle named "Chick" and not ask what their real names were? Common sense kicked in too late for many of the things that were at my finger tips. So I regret not acquiring information before I lost all those primary sources.

2. That I have a real problem with focus. I am so easily distracted. I look at the enormity of my family history and choose to do nothing.

My husband often walks past my office and asks, "How do you eat an elephant?" And I always answer, "One bite at a time." But I don't always take that advice and I should.

One small step every day, if it is only one photograph scanned or one data entry made, is progress. The day is going to happen anyway, so why not accomplish one small step. At the end of the year this will be 365 scanned photos or 365 data entries, no longer such a small endeavor.

3. That I can't seem to decide on one method of organization. I seem to be drawn to the methods or researching the method, rather than getting organized. Probably just a subset of my lack of focus or love of research.


Dover, Dover. 120 Classic Posters from "Les Maitres De L'affiche" CD-Rom and Book. New York: Dover Publications, 2005.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Book'em Blogger

Recently I had a conversation about writing my family history with one of my Nearby History - Writer Friends. Like most novice family historians I started my family history in the month of August with the certain knowledge that I would finish it and send it to all my relatives for Christmas. That was three years ago and you all know the rest of this story.

Today, I remarked to my friend that I hoped I'd live long enough to finish this project. Not only that, but since I've embarked on this journey three of my oldest relatives have died. I've lost all their memories and they have lost the opportunity to experience the things I've discovered. This, I told her, makes me feel very guilty.

"Why don't you send out the information as you complete it and let your relatives put it together," she said. "That way they get the benefit of all your research all the time."

It was a great suggestion, well, it would be if I wasn't a controlling, anal, perfectionist. What if one of my relatives put something in the wrong place, or Good Heavens, never put it together. I would be unable to sleep.

I looked at the MediaWiki John (Transylvania Dutch) talked about in the Carnival of Genealogy. It's great for storing collaborative information, but I want something that looks more like a book. MediaWiki also requires server access, which costs, and I'm a Scot. (John, please correct me on this if I'm wrong.)

So I've been looking for a solution. I want something that reads like a book, can contain photos and documents, and is free. That sounds like a blog. So how do you configure a blog to be a book?

Blogger is way ahead of me. They already have a book publishing feature - how do I post a book. I took a look at it, set up my book and thus far I am pleased.

It is in the very beginning stages, but here is the start of my up-to-the-minute family history, Time and Chance -- Happen To Them All. The dedication, introduction, and the Campbell family section are active.

In the Campbells of Carrollton, Carroll County, Missouri a section of Chapter One is online to read. I am working on a method for footnotes that will allow you to jump to the footnote in a section you are reading and then directly back to the spot where you just were. Try it and see if it works.

The list of my Appendix is also online and I will begin to link documents. I haven't decided yet where I intend to upload those documents, Google Docs, or a blog post. I need to work out some of the small stuff.

I will also be working on colors, photographs and the things that will make it attractive to my relatives. Even my 84 year old Aunt Jean is online, so I think this solution just might work. Blogger also allows you to restrict access to your book to only those that are invited, keeping it all in the family.

If you've tried this and encountered any pitfalls, I'd love to hear from you so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. In the mean time, I'll keep testing.


You Can Quote Me - Annie Oakley

Words of Wisdom From Women
In Honor of Women's History Month

I can truthfullly say I know of no other recreation that will do so much toward keeping a woman in good health and perfect figure than a few hours spent occasionally at trap shooting.

~ Annie Oakley ~
(1860 - 1926)


Photograph Courtesy of The Library of Congress

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bricks As Well As Brick Walls

Do you recognize that "Can Do" women in the 44th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy poster? Well, if you do, Jasia (Queen of the Carnival) wants you to tell us about her. Was she a woman on your family tree, a friend, a neighbor, or a historical female figure who has done something to impact your life? Submit your tribute to the COG, we'd all love to hear her story.

March is National Women's History Month and International Women's Day is celebrated March 8th. Now is the perfect time to pay homage to those women ancestors who are bricks as well as brick walls.

You may write a tribute, share a photo biography, create a scrapbook page, or come up with your own unique tribute to that woman. For extra credit, sum up her life in a six-word biography ala Lisa Alzo.

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 44th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. The deadline for submissions is March 15th, 2008. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.



March Forth!

Today Is The First National Grammar Day

If you don't have a good handle on basic grammar, you can't always say what you mean. People might be able to guess your meaning, but not every time.

Martha Brockenbrough

The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and National Grammar Day are the brainchild of Seattleite Martha Brockenbrough (Elizabeth -- blogling, you'd love her, she's a geek and works for Bill). Brockenbrough is a columnist with Microsoft's Encarta and authors the very useful and entertaining SPOGG blog. (Read her National Grammar Day column in Encarta and find out which celebrity has the worst grammar. We in Seattle know her well.)

Seattleites are very serious about grammar. The good, the bad, and the ugly can all be found displayed at the SPOGG Blog. I am one of the 6,000 members of the Society, even though you'd never know it from the grammar usage in my blog posts -- I am not worthy. We in Seattle are so serious about our grammar we even correct our graffiti and have our own cocktail, the Grammartini.

One of my favorite sections of the SPOGG Blog is the Blogs We Love list. The best of the best Grammar and Language Blogs can be found in this extensive list. Grammar Girl, you've got to love her, has created a special grammar-related top 10 show to celebrate National Grammar Day. Number 8 makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up:

8. Irregardless is not a word. Wrong! Irregardless is a word in the same way ain't is a word. They're informal. They're nonstandard. You shouldn't use them if you want to be taken seriously, but they have gained wide enough use to qualify as words.
Thou shalt not say "irregardless" if you mean "regardless" or "irrespective."

For those of you who remember "Schoolhouse Rock," take a look at Punctuation Rap by Ms. Lindsay Rivas of the University Charter School in Modesto, California. She wrote this for her kindergarteners. How I wish we had more teachers like Ms. Rivas, who is featured on the SPOGG Blog.

When it comes to grammar, perhaps we in Seattle are wound just a little too tightly, or perhaps it's the frequent trips to Starbucks. To illustrate my point, the Sunday Seattle Times features a Rand & Rave column; this past Sunday it let out one large grammar rant that I will share with you today, National Grammar Day:

To the person who crossed out the word "can" every time it appeared in the King County Library book I'm reading and wrote in the word "may." In pen yet! It's dialogue; that's how people talk sometimes, you grammar Nazi! Not to mention you've defaced public property. By the way, I am a librarian.

National Grammar Day In The News -- our own King 5 News has done an article, "Me and Him Are Gonna Party on National Grammar Day."

Brockenbrough says she doesn't go around correcting everyone she comes in contact with. But, she says, when someone is making an error that could be embarrassing, on a resume or on a public sign, for example, it's only right to gently alert the person to the error.

"It's sort of like having your zipper down," she says. "Would you rather someone took you aside and said, 'Hey, the barn door is open,' or would you rather get home after a long day and discover the sad state of your fly?"

The SPOGG Web site features all things grammar, from grammar tips and a quiz, to "Grumpy Martha's Guide to Grammar and Usage."

There's also a place for grammarians to send in photos of "apostrophe catastrophes" and other language missteps.

"Sometimes when people screw up it's really stinking funny," said Brockenbrough.

Read The Rest Of The Article ">> Note: The King 5 site may require free registration.

So, let's party like we know where to place that comma,
colon, semicolon or apostrophe.
Celebrate National Grammar Day -- Break Out Those Red Pens!
Oh, and a Grammartini!


Inspiration and material borrowed heavily from Martha Brockenbrough. Nobody does it better!

Photograph Courtesy -- SPOGG


Monday, March 3, 2008

COG Posters :: A Retrospective

In response to my "No Longer A Blogling" post Jasia wrote, "Don't you think it would be a good time to have a showing of all your COG posters? "

In the beginning, I created generic posters for the Carnival of Genealogy. Later, I created a poster for each particular Carnival, minus the ones I missed because I was off to Palm Springs to drink margaritas around the pool.

I have really enjoyed the posters, almost as much as I have enjoyed writing for the COG.

I can deny Jasia nothing, so here it is: The COG Posters :: A Retrospective.
(In order as they appeared.)

A Tribute To Women

A Very Special Thank You To Jasia For Asking and For Always Being Willing To Share!