Thursday, December 31, 2009

Make Three Wishes For The New Year

Hope, they say, deserts us at no period of our existence.
From first to last, and in the face of smarting disillusions, we continue to expect
good fortune, better health, and better conduct; and that so confidently,
that we judge it needless to deserve them.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

Three Wishes For The New Year

- - - - Rule No. 1 - - - -

You must make three wishes intended for the New Year. One For You. One For Another. And One For All.

- - - - Rule No. 2 - - - -

Only wishes made by those who are pure of motive and sincere will come true.

- - - - Rule No. 3 - - - -

Wishes must not be made in haste.

- - - - Rule No. 4 - - - -

Only wishes for the future will be honored.

- - - - Rule No. 5 - - - -

The wisher may not wish for material things.

- - - - Rule No.6 - - - -

Wishes must be posted in the comments below.

Happy New Year
& Welcome 2010!

Adapted From:

The Wishing Machine a story by Mark Freid/Think Creative
Visit The Wishing Machine at

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Putting On The Pearls

It is said that the days between Christmas and New Year are there as a period of contemplation. Contemplation requires mood, so I have donned my gray long sleeved sweater and my Jackie Kennedy pearls. Now I am ready to contemplate 2009 as it relates to my aspirations for 2010. Yes, I have a specific outfit for each mood. I think the photographs of Jackie Kennedy always looked contemplative, so for me, she represents that mood. Oh, and I must be blonde to write.

I want to thank Jasia for expanding the Resolution COG to include goals, aims, declarations, intentions, aspirations, objectives, plans, targets, schemes, wishes, or whatever you want to call them! It's still not working for me.

This is my third resolution COG. In the first, I was "Resolute On Resolutions." That year I refused to engage in what has always been for me, the resolution farce. You know; clean, organize, lose weight. It always ends in bitter disappointment, defeat, and weight gain. I chose instead a single word for the year. That word was "permission." I wrote:

". . .does the word "permission" give me "permission" to ignore the word "permission" guilt free, thereby putting me in the win column for the year?"

That was a total cop out. As totally ineffectual and transparent as making a resolution.

The second year "I Solemnly Resolved" to make "Year Long Aspirations of Good Intentions." Even mere aspirations have resulted in disappointment a year later. While I didn't resolve, only aspired, the heat should have been off, but it wasn't. A resolution by any other name. . .

Perhaps my attitude toward selection has been rather cavalier. Perhaps the aspirations were written for the reader and not the author. Perhaps I'm on to something.

You know, as I sit here and contemplate, it becomes more and more evident. I am really quite happy. Just as I never wanted to know the sex of my unborn children, I don't want to plan or research the twists and turns of life. I want to experience them. Embrace them. Revel in them.

So as I stand on the precipice of 2010, I will neither resolve nor aspire. I will not treat my life as a business and set goals or objectives. I won't aim, it's more fun to hit something not intended.

So 2010, surprise me. Connect a family, connect my family, drop some wonderful photographs on me. Let me continue to enjoy what I do, what my family does, what my friends do. Amaze me with new contacts, new directions, new technology. Sneak in some time, patience, and perseverance.

I want to wake every morning excited about what the day holds for me. The bitter. The sweet. It's my life and I'm really looking forward to it. No plan, no map, just serendipity. And you know I'm going to tell you all about it, right here.

So I give you pearls. Mine, while wearing Jackie's.

Resolution COG, 1 January 2009.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Got Run Over By A Piggy! Piggy Flu That Is!

All our family Christmases are tagged. Makes it easy for a memory search. Here's what I mean.

"Remember the Christmas the children got the mumps;" or "Remember the Christmas we lost power on Christmas Eve and didn't get it restored for ten days?"

This Christmas' tag will be "Remember the Christmas. . ." wait, you must read the story.

The Tuesday before Christmas I got a call from my youngest daughter saying her husband was very ill and on the way to the doctor. He had been ill for several days and was not getting well. He had not had a swine flu shot and was in the high risk category. Our area was very slow to get vaccine, I had just gotten my shot and was not yet protected.

The doctor tested him for H1N1 and the test was positive. He was sent home on complete bed rest. Now, this daughter was hosting Christmas Dinner and she had to cancel. She was so upset, Christmas is her favorite holiday. It was decided that we would host Christmas at our house for the fluless in Seattle.

On Wednesday my son called from Montana saying he and his wife were both ill and could not make the eight hour drive to Washington for Christmas. He thought they might have swine flu. I told them not to endanger their health, stay there. He hasn't been home for several years and both his sisters were very disappointed that he wouldn't be home for Christmas. Another strike against a Merry Christmas.

Try buying everything needed for Christmas dinner two days before Christmas. The stores were empty. Making a Merry Christmas was becoming more and more challenging.

Then on Christmas Eve morning my youngest daughter made the Grinch call. "Christmas is my favorite holiday. I was looking forward to having the family together. Now I'm sick. We're both so sick we ordered pizza to be delivered for Christmas dinner. My Christmas is ruined!"

Mr. Maven refused to let any child of his Grinch Out. He drove to town on Christmas Eve and bought everything needed for a second Christmas dinner. No small feat and not completely traditional. He came home and we cooked Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. We boxed the food and loaded it in the car. We took all the presents and started out on a one hour drive (one way) to surprise the Grinch, her ill husband, and our grandsons.

Ten minutes before we arrived I called my daughter and asked how they were feeling, what they were doing, just a little conversation. Keeping her occupied. We pulled up in front of the house with our lights out. Mr. Maven silently carried everything to the door and rang the bell.

Wyman, our youngest Grandchild, peeked out the window next to the door. He is not allowed to answer the door. Mr. Maven said you could hear his feet run down the hall and in a later conversation my daughter told me Wyman had said, "Mom, I think Grandpa's at the door."

"He can't be," she told him. "I just talked to Grandma on the phone. They're at home."

She got out of bed and answered the door to find that yes, Wyman was correct; there stood her father delivering Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, wine and dessert. We couldn't hug her, but we gave her our love and more importantly we gave her back her favorite holiday, Christmas. We then got in the car and drove home, so tickled with ourselves that we had gotten one over on our unsuspecting daughter and her family. We actually laughed most of the way home.

Later that night I found my daughter was posting on Facebook from her sick bed. What she wrote made our Christmas:

I have the most amazing parents. Since John has H1N1 we had to cancel Christmas dinner and I was a little depressed. Tonight there was a knock at the door and standing there was my Dad with a full Christmas dinner already made. They drove over an hour just to drop off dinner, Amazing! Thanks Mom and Dad.

So now, this will be "Remember the Christmas Mom and Dad Delivered!" As Wyman later told me, "It was the best Christmas ever." Oh yes, Wyman, it was. The very best.


87th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:

New Year's Resolutions!

- ¤ -

This year is almost over and a new decade is knocking on the door.

- ¤ -

This is the perfect time to make your New Year resolutions, goals, aims,
declarations, intentions, aspirations, objectives, plans, targets, schemes,
wishes, or whatever you want to call them!

- ¤ -

Figure out how you're going to approach your family history research next year,
write it up, and share it with us in the COG.

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
January 1, 2010

- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

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 86th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before GeneaChristmas and from coast to coast,
every GeneaBlogger had penned their last post.

Had told Christmas stories both merry and bright
while blog caroling old favorites on iTunes all night.

There’d been snowball fights, tree trimming and song.
We’d shared Christmas memories, all played along.

Nothing’s left for us now but to track Old St. Nick;
New Jersey, Missouri, Seattle, he’s quick.

Before this night’s over his reindeer’ll alight
on the roof tops of GeneaBloggers to right

The wrongs of the census, transcription, and fire;
to give each of us our one true heart’s desire.

Please, one missing ancestor, one smashed brick wall,
then dash away, dash away, dash away all.

I’ve not been naughty, I've been awarded for nice.
Collecting old photos my one proven vice.

Reward me dear Santa I’ll promise you this;
the year 2010 will be one not to miss!

And I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight.

Merry Christmas To All and To All A Good Night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


When I began to write this article, I really thought that as a family we had no traditions; so I called my daughter for her opinion - as a child of mine she always has one. Opinion that is.

Food, she tells me, is one of our traditions. Christmas and Thanksgiving meals are the same today as they were thirty-seven years ago. My daughter carries on that tradition in her home with a few additions from her husband's family. My rice and creamed peas have always been a success, my cornbread stuffing was never a favorite with the children so they have eliminated it from the menu. I make a batch just for my husband and me. And there is the food of summer; deviled eggs for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tradition!

When I was a small child my mother put a bottle of olives or maraschino cherries in our Christmas stockings. Olives for me, cherries for my sister and brothers. I carried on the tradition with my children, one olive two cherries. My daughter starts that tradition with her children this year. I have no idea why my mother did this, but I did it because it reminded me of Christmas at home. Tradition!

Christmas as a child meant my Father's peanut butter fudge. The best fudge I have ever eaten. And it was a production. Dad at the stove and the four of us standing on chairs around him. The drop of fudge in the class of cold water; Dad knowing when it looked just right. He always had four spoons for us to lick. As an adult if I was away from home at Christmas Dad would mail a box of fudge to me. I make fudge every Christmas, not as good as Dad's, but Tradition!

When the children were young I went all out with decorating. If it stood still too long I decorated it and many a sleeping cat and dog awoke to find bells on their collars. No room was missed. My daughter, the mother, says her house looks like Christmas threw up all over it. Tradition!

No present could be opened on Christmas morning until my husband and I were seated on the living room floor coffee and tea in hand. The children had to wait on the stairs until the O.K. was given. Then it was a free for all. This was also one of my Mother's Traditions!

My children always wrote to Santa. One year their grade school decided the younger students, K-3 would write to Santa and the sixth graders would answer their letters. My oldest daughter, the sixth grader, muscled her way into getting her brother's and younger sister's letters. She knew many secrets about the two of them and she used those secrets to convince them Santa really did know when you were naughty or nice.

The day they received their letters from Santa they blew in the front door and ran straight for their rooms. I found both of them cleaning under their beds. It seems Santa knew that when their mother asked them to clean they lifted the bed skirts and shoved everything under the bed. Very clever that Santa, he even named a few of the under bed items.

I knew something was up when my oldest daughter was found on her bed with a pillow over her head so no one would hear her laughing. My grandchildren write Santa, and my daughter often answers. She the victim of what was under the bed. Ah, Tradition!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blog Caroling

Thank you to all who participated in Blog Caroling. I received the last submission yesterday and hope to post our song book on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!
You all sound amazing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Wexford Carol

The Wexford Carol
("Good People All, This Christmastime")
(Enniscorthy Carol)

carol. French carole. Originally a song to accompany dancing,
but later, by common usage, it came to refer to old,
Christmas-season religious songs.

To Blog Carol this year I have selected probably the best known of Irish Christmas songs, "The Wexford Carol." The Wexford Carol has roots reaching back to twelfth century Ireland, traceable to the proximity of the County and town of Wexford. The Wexford Carol was included in The Oxford Book of Carols and tells the story of the birth of Christ.

It is interesting to note that Christmas carols were rare in Ireland, but County Wexford has a 300 year tradition of handing down carols from generation to generation. Families in the area were each entrusted with a carol and with sharing that particular carol with the generations. During Christmas the carols were sung in the homes of these families and in the church by the choir. The choir consisted of six men who sang the carols unaccompanied.

Caroling, also known as wassailing, actually began in medieval times as a pagan ritual. The wassail, a hot beverage usually made with hot ale or mulled cider, was a ritual honoring the apple and fruit orchards in the dead of winter. Farmers went from farm to farm pouring wassail on the roots of trees while making a lot of noise to scare off the bad spirits responsible for making the days shorter and colder. Eventually the custom of going door to door singing and drinking became a Christmas tradition. (This is one of the many versions of the story of caroling, but all agree it is rooted in pagan ritual.)

Please sing along to YoYo Ma and Allison Krauss performing The Wexford Carol.

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His belovèd Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day;
In Bethlehem upon the morn
There was a blest Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide
The noble virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass:
From every door repelled, alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble oxen stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom God’s angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
“Prepare and go”, the angels said,
“To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there you’ll find, this happy morn,
A princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.”

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as God’s angel has foretold,
They did our Savior Christ behold.
Within a manger He was laid,
And by His side the virgin maid
Attending to the Lord of Life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

Merry Christmas

Thank you! If you are blog caroling please
leave a link to your post in the comments!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not All Merry and Bright!

It happened last night. It started with the sound of carolers. I feel as if I can't breathe and the sound brings to mind a Christmas past. Not all family history is the way we would have written it if we were given a choice. We all know that from experience. This remembrance is of a Christmas tragedy, there is no happy ending; if you would like to stop reading here, I will understand completely.

It was December 21. I left my office at lunch to pick up those last minute odds and ends. Small things for the children's stockings and some food favorites for Christmas dinner. The world at that time didn't walk around with a bluetooth in its ear, a cell phone in its purse or pocket, or in my case even an answering machine.

When I returned to my office a Sheriff's Deputy was waiting for me. I knew something was desperately wrong, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't speak. "You need to call your Mother," he said. "I'm very sorry." I heard a loud and painful moan, and then realized it was coming from me.

The night before, my Father ("There'll Be No Hell For Dogs") had gone out in his front yard to listen to the neighborhood carolers and suffered a heart attack. The paramedics arrived, revived him and transported him to the hospital. My youngest Brother and my Mother went there with him. He was sitting up in bed and talking. He told my Brother he was fine, that he loved him, and that he should go home. My Brother left, my Mother stayed. My Mother was a cardiac intensive care nurse in the very unit my father was a patient, she would not leave him. Mom and Dad talked and decided to call the rest of us in the morning when Dad would be discharged.

Several hours later, during the early morning hours of December 21, my Father suffered a massive heart attack in the hospital and died.

My other Brother and I both lived in California. After speaking with my Mother we made arrangements and traveled to Florida. Going in the house was so difficult, Dad was everywhere. He had spent hours putting up the Christmas decorations, there were presents under the tree with his name on them, and his tools were sitting on his workbench in the garage, just where he had left them when he went out to listen to carolers.

Most of this time is a blur. I think the mind does that to make the memory of the pain less knife sharp. If only the family tragedy ended here, but it doesn't.

My Father's brothers arrived from Missouri for the funeral. They looked so much like Dad. It was a comfort and yet so visual a reminder that he was missing. During the funeral one of my Uncles stood next to me and held my hand, none of us knowing that at that very moment his pain was about to become immeasurable.

At that very moment, in Missouri, in my Uncle's backyard, his daughter, my cousin, was taking her own life. She left no note. The family has speculated for years on her reasons and her timing. My Uncle always believed she was murdered. The police reports were thorough and final, it was a suicide. She was obviously in pain, but this act of suicide was so selfish. Selfish and cruel.

As adults we know that not every Christmas is "Merry and Bright." Christmas memories are what you make of them. I have made some wonderful memories for my children and their children, I did it for them, for me, and for Dad. How he loved Christmas!

I work very hard for good memories, but every year at this time some memories of Christmas past slip into my conscious thoughts and they are still painful.

The original story was told December 2007.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The footnoteMaven's Tradition of Blog Caroling!

Yes, Geneabloggers have traditions. From the comfort of my blog, with Hot Toddy in hand, my flannel jammies and furry slippers on, I will blog my favorite Christmas Carol on Wednesday, December 16. (I sing so much better online than in person!)

So my fellow GeneaBloggers, I challenge each of you to blog your favorite Christmas Carol - Blog Caroling. We'll all sing along!

Blog Carol on Wednesday 16 December, post a note in the comments of my carol directing me to your Blog Caroling Post and I will create an article listing all our favorites.

You can view the first year's A Choir Of GeneAngels and last year's Do You Hear What I Hear.


Friday, December 11, 2009

My Genea-Wishes

Select Christmas Card For
Fullscreen Version

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Edition of The COG Part 1 & 2 Ho! Ho! Ho!

86th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:

The Other Holiday Happenings! Part 1
Genea-Santa Wish List! Part 2

- ¤ -

Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get
over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays.

- ¤ -

So we're going to shine a spotlight on those family members
and ancestors this time around.

- ¤ -

Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays
and/or anniversaries on your family tree.

- ¤ -

Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals
and write a toast to the anniversary couples. Share it in the COG!

- ¤ -

And this edition will have a Part 2 as well (separate blog post)!

- ¤ -

We can't go into the Christmas holiday without our genealogy
wish lists for Genea-Santa!!!

- ¤ -

So write up a list of what you'd like Genea-Santa to bring you
and share it in the COG

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
December 15, 2009

- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

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 86th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Orphanage

The 85th Carnival of Genealogy asks that we discuss the two types of orphans associated with our family history research.

In my family history research there are three separate and distinct types of orphans. The first type of orphan refers to those ancestors or relatives who lost their parents when they were young. The second type of orphan would be those siblings or cousins of our ancestors whom we think of as “reverse orphans.” They are the relatives who, for whatever reason, died at a young age, never having married or had children, or having children who did not survive to provide descendants.

I have added a third type of orphan; those beautiful photographs we've inherited that remain unidentified yet gnawingly connected to our family and their research. No name indicated on the image; just those imploring faces, staring, challenging. They want to be identified, to be reclaimed for their sake and for the sake of our shared family history.

Last Christmas my sister, Biblio, sent me a box of orphan photographs, enough orphans to establish an orphanage. These are photographs that had been saved by my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and now by me. Saved, cherished, but darn it, not identified.

Each of these is a miniature mystery and you know how much I love a mystery. I developed a research strategy for individuals and areas/locations during my nine month course with the University of Washington. I am now applying those principles to a research strategy for identifying orphan photographs. I will share the process when it is complete.

A few of the orphans in the family orphanage.
Don't they look as if they are taunting me?

Come on fM, who am I?

(There are so many more!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Last year Tamura Jones of Modern Software Experience created the GeneaBlog Awards.

This year, footnoteMaven is honored to have won the award for Citation Queen.

This description accompanied the award:

A blog with personality - and footnotes. footnoteMaven writes what she wants to write about, which is mostly genealogy, history and local events but includes anything else that strikes her fancy. Many a blog post has footnotes that mention sources - and that includes the posts about source citations.

Thank you Tamura, for this honor! You have been very very good to the footnoteMaven this year; an early Christmas present. And thank you for all those times you recognized my humor when many didn't (and I'm talking about Twitter as well).

Disclaimer -
I really appreciate the Queen status, but I know that if the Citation Goddess, Elizabeth Shown Mills had a blog I'd be out of business.

Congratulations To All The GeneaBlog Award Category Winners:

Most Successful Genealogy Blog: The Graveyard Rabbit

Best Genealogy Vendor Blog: Generation Maps' The Chart Chick

Citation Queen: footnoteMaven

Geekiest Genealogy Blog: Me and My Database :: Geek Genealogy

Honourable mention: The Gramps Project Blog

Most Personal YouTube Genealogy Channel: Elyse Doerflinger

Honourable mention: Climb Your Tree by Lucy.

Most Challenging Blog: Forensic Genealogy

Best Looking Magazine: Shades of the Departed Magazine