girl looking into mirror

Who Do You Really think You Are — Really?? Our Genetic Secrets!!

What is the Genetic Traits Connection to Our Families? We are all created with very special and unique traits but there are definitely some family resemblances and similarities.  These are Genetic Traits and are very interesting to see where they […]

Norman 2

All About Our Cousins

Cousins — Most people can understand their relationship to their parents and their grandparents as well as their sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles.  However when it comes to cousins, this can be a little bit more confusing!  You might understand […]

reunion

Family and School Reunions

Family Reunions during the Summertime are a wonderful happening!!  They are a time when the extended family domes together:  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Young and Old — all with a commonality — they are all Kin!!  It’s a great time of […]

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The Advent of Wedding Rings

When and where did all these Wedding Customs start anyway, you might ask? The Pharaohs of Egypt  many years ago possible about the time of Moses in the Bible used a circle as having no beginning and no end as a […]

Hankie_HLI-001

Treasured Wedding Traditions Over the Years

What Traditions Does Almost Every Bride Carry Out???  Do you rememberer the Old English Rhyme that goes:  ” Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”.  There was one part of this old rhyme that was later cast off […]

 

Who Do You Really think You Are — Really?? Our Genetic Secrets!!

girl looking into mirror

What is the Genetic Traits Connection to Our Families?

We are all created with very special and unique traits but there are definitely some family resemblances and similarities.  These are Genetic Traits and are very interesting to see where they come from.  They make up the unique  person who you really are.  They also connect us to our families.  Many people don’t know their true background.  Do You?

It is easy to find out who the people in your family are or who they were but it may take some digging.  The facts are there.  Just need to have a little help getting started??  Or some hints how to begin??  First thing you need is a Passionate Desire to find out!!

Some older people might say. “Oh how you remind me of your Great Aunt”!!  First question is what about you makes that person think that — is it your smile or the way you organize your work??  Second question is who was your Great Aunt??  Where did she live?  What did she do?  When did she live (Time Frame)?

An Example of a Determined & Persistent Genetic Trait

When one of my Grand-daughters was only a year old and just learning to walk, I was going out the front door with her and I was offering her my hand of assistance over the stairs near the front door.  She suddenly exclaimed “NO, ME DO IT”!!!!  I had to chuckle to myself when I saw her reaching for her own resource — a hedge near the steps which she grabbed onto and made it successfully down the steps without Grandma’s help!!  It reminded me of my maternal Grandfather’s stubbornness and determination when he drove up on his horse in the late 1800’s to a large piece of burnt land and he purchased it for a very inexpensive price because the trees on it were all burnt.  It took him about 40 years of determination and hard work but he dynamited out all the burst tweet stumps after cutting down all the lumber.  He made a beautiful  farm land out of it — taking its ruins and turning it into a successful functioning farm still in existence today.  That trait is still in my Granddaughter today.  I also see it in myself  — bound and determined as well as persistent to do what my heart is set out to accomplish, not letting anything get in my way!!  It is a Can Do Determined Genetic Trait.

It is interesting to note where we come from, the relatives and the environment what they and we are all a part of.  Some were survivors coming from another country while others were saddled with difficult ailments and limitations.  Who you really are is part of who you are in connection with your family of the past as well as your Birth Order in your current family of origin.  There is also a connection to where you are in the birth line.  The oldest, the youngest or the middle kid (more on that topic another time).  it is like a Big Melting Pot and the True YOU just might be emerging!!

All About Our Cousins

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Cousins — Most people can understand their relationship to their parents and their grandparents as well as their sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles.  However when it comes to cousins, this can be a little bit more confusing!  You might understand how your first cousin is related to you but then beyond that — say first cousin once removed then a lot of people get lost!!  Let me explain:  First cousins have the same Grandparents and Second Cousins have the same Great Grandparents.  Your mother’s  sister for example or your father’s sister is your Aunt.  Well you and your Aunt’s child your relationship to that child is a First Cousin.  You both have the same Grandparents.  Now Second Cousins — For example Your father’s brother – his Grandparents are the same as your father’s  Grandparents which make your Dad’s Grandparent your Great Grandparent.  Your father’s children also have that same Great Grandparent relationship which makes you and your uncle’s children your Second Cousins.  This continues on to Third Cousins and Fourth Cousins etc.  I once met a lady who was also studying Genealogy and we discovered that we are 10th Cousins our Great x10 connected us back into the 1600’s.  She was descended from William and I was descended from his sister Anne.

Once or Twice Removed —   This is where it gets a little more tricky & a bit more confusing but if you can remember it only means removed by a generation then this does help figuring it all out..  Going back to our example of First Cousins — if you Aunt (say Betty) has a child (say Elizabeth) and that child has an offspring (say Tom) — then Betty is your Aunt Betty, Her child Elizabeth is your First Cousin.  Tom is your First Cousin Once Removed.  You then have a child say Fred which makes Tom and Fred 2nd Cousins.  If Tom has a child say Luke then Luke and Your Child Fred’s child say Alex then, they Luke and Alex are 3rd Cousins.  Luke would be your Cousin twice removed.  Just rememberer straight across the generational line it is an even cousin whether 2nd or 3rd cousin going back however many generations but once it involves  an in between generational relationship, it then becomes once or twice removed.  It is easier to see if you map it out on paper.  Try it and have some fun with it!!  ENJOY!!

 

Family and School Reunions

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Family Reunions during the Summertime are a wonderful happening!!  They are a time when the extended family domes together:  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Young and Old — all with a commonality — they are all Kin!!  It’s a great time of catching up with each other and also meeting new additions to the family.  Maybe because of distance or schedules one hasn’t met a new baby or a set of twins has arrived in the family!! It is a time of looking over old pictures, reminiscing days gone by or sharing of new pictures of a trip someone has taken since the last get together.  Reunions can be held anywhere — the old family estate (if still owned by someone in the family) or at a park or for larger reunions at a hotel.  It doesn’t matter where you meet, just that you all get together.  These reunions are usually held during the summer when school is out and the weather is warmer and good for vacation traveling if your family is not living close by which today is the case in many families.  Often jobs have taken us geographically away from our family of origin’s homestead.  School Reunions are great fun also!!  At my 40th Nursing School Reunion, I remember hearing a former classmate’s voice and I remembered who she was by her voice, not by her physical appearance but by her voice which had not changed from our Nursing School days together.  Her physical appearance and changed and she was 40 years older as was I.   However, her voice didn’t change at all.

What To Do at Reunions??

The ideas of what to do are endless!!!!  First of all they ae usually centered around Food.  Many times a huge Barbecue is served if it is outside and if inside a hotel the food gathering is around a Big Buffet.  Sharing old family recipes are a special part of a Family Reunion.  Also you might wear the same colored Tee Shirt and have a Family Logo on it.  Class Reunions might have music going on reminiscing the era when your class graduated.  Family Reunions might have dancing.  It all varies on what you can do but the main theme is to have a wonderful memorable time!  Games for the kids are essential in family reunions and help the little ones meet up with their cousins who they may not have seen for a while.  These kids activities can be everything from relay races to hayrides!  Just ask one of the kiddos and they will help you come up with some great suggestions!!  A Slide Show of a Picture Presentation for the elderly is always a thrilling moment for them.  It brings back memories for the older generation and also teaches the younger adults what life back then when growing up was like.  Also are memories of “Kin” who have passed to the other side.  Scrap-booking is a great winter project in anticipation of an upcoming summertime reunion.  Life is short!!  Have fun and enjoy each other!!  That is the main focus of summertime reunions whether near home or a vacation trip away — whether family reunions or class reunions!!  Enjoy them all.

The Advent of Wedding Rings

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When and where did all these Wedding Customs start anyway, you might ask?

The Pharaohs of Egypt  many years ago possible about the time of Moses in the Bible used a circle as having no beginning and no end as a symbol of eternity.

The Diamond itself first started in India from the Diamond Fields there and it comes from the Greek word “Adamas” which means invincible strength — a fitting gem for the marriage covenant that is not to be broken.

The Egyptians believed that the 4th finger of the left hand had a vein in it which was not in any of the other digits in either hand.  It is believed to go from the tip of that finger and was called the “Vena Amoris” The Vein of Love.  No other finger has this attribute of a direct connection to the heart.  Thus, it was fitting that this be the wedding finger and has been carried on for many, many years!!

The very first recorded recorded Engagement ring  was given by The Archduke Maximillian of Austria in 1477 when he presented a Diamond Ring to his beloved Mary of Burgundy.

What is a Dual Ring Wedding Celebration?

The Dual Ring Ceremony in which the Bride and the Groom both exchange wedding bands interestingly was started by the Greek Orthodox Church in the 1300’s but didn’t really catch on in popularity in America until the Word War II years in the 1940’s.  At that point, soldiers were getting married and then had to go off to war, the wedding ring on their finger reminded them of their mate back home who they were fighting for and was to keep them faithful to their promises not to betray her in nights of loneliness.  At the height of the war there were 85% of brides and grooms who had a Dual Ring Ceremony during their wedding in exchanging their vows of Matrimony,

Treasured Wedding Traditions Over the Years

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What Traditions Does Almost Every Bride Carry Out???  Do you rememberer the Old English Rhyme that goes:  ” Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”.  There was one part of this old rhyme that was later cast off and left out because it didn’t rhyme so was discontinued from the old custom.  Do you know what that was?  Well I will get to that in a moment, but first I will explain the rhyme that did stick and is still used today in our modern culture by many brides of the 21st Century.

Something Old: This symbolized Continuity.  It was represented in an old lace handkerchief which the bride carried; or an heirloom of the bride’s grandmother’s such as the bride’s deceased grandmother’s wedding band, or a string of pearls of her mother’s.

Something New:  This symbolized Optimism for the future.  Usually this was the Bride’s New Wedding Dress!!

Something Borrowed: This symbolized Happiness which is borrowed from an already married bride whom our new bride might know.  Happiness tends to rub off on others around a happy person.  It was represented  by a borrowed item such as a wedding headpiece or a wedding veil borrowed from a happily married friend or a piece of jewelry of the bride’s mom’s if she had been happily married.

Something Blue:  This symbolized Fidelity. Purity & Love in the new bride and groom’s relationship and new life together.  It was often represented in the Bride’s Garter which she wore on her leg or could have been some blue undergarment.  Some modern day brides have even painted their toe nails with blue toe nail polish.

Do You Know What was Left Out – Now Almost Forgotten!!  The one remaining part of this rhyme that was left out was:  A Silver Sixpence in your Shoe (or a Penny in your Shoe):  This symbolized  a lifetime of good fortune for the newly wedded couple.  However, since it didn’t really rhyme with the rest of the “jingle” at some point, it was left out of the customs & traditions and wasn’t carried forth.

Your Wedding Dress — Black or White??

Michael Grasser with bride Wilhelmina Rades Pic #9

 

Pioneer Days — Black was the Custom

Back in pioneer days the Bride would were a very nice dress — probably the only fancy dress that she would ever own.  It would be a dress that she could wear again at another big festival.  My Grandmother wore a beautiful black dress with white lace.  The reason for the black was that it did not show any dirt and the mud was less obvious and less noticed.  These were pioneer women and they had a rough life!!  It was their very best dress but they were very practical and after hiking to the church or riding on horseback to church you can imagine why they would not think of wearing a white dress!!  Thus, black became the common custom of the day.  Pictured here is my maternal grandparents, Michael & Wilhelmina (Rades) Grasser in their wedding attire February 20th, 1898 in northern Wisconsin.  Although 50 years after the tradition changed in England, the Pioneer Women America continued the Black Wedding Dress custom up until the change into the 20th Century.  Invention of the automobile and other modernizations affected the dress and the customs of the Pioneer women as they moved into a different social setting with the changing times of their days.

 

When and Why Did the Custom change from Black to White?

Queen Victoria of England who married Prince Albert of Germany on February 10, 1840 broke this tradition and wore White for her Royal Wedding.  This was two years after she became Queen of England.  Incidentally, Albert & Victoria were first cousins.  They were Great Great Grand-Parents of Queen Elizabeth II who reigns today as England’s Queen.

Question for all of you:  What did your Mother and your Grandmother’s wedding dress look like??

Transportation History – Stagecoaches

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The first Stagecoach (drawn by horses) was built in 1827 and was the means of transporting people from one place to another  before the age of the automobile and airplanes.  The Stagecoach cost was between $1,200-$1,500.  This was a lot of money back then, just 15 years after the War of 1812.  One of the first Stagecoaches built in this country was in Concord, NH.   This New England company grew and it employed about 300 men to build the stagecoaches and then they hired one woman.  She was Marie F. Putnam who worked there for 30 years (1865-1895).  She did all the hand stitching of all the leather seats and all the trim for every single stagecoach that rolled out of there.  Each stagecoach held 9 passengers inside and it could handle 12 more passengers on the roof.  Imagine a Rainy or Snowy day while traveling!!! The average speed was 8 MPH!!

The cost of the fare to ride this vechile was broken down into three different classes:  First Class:  $7.00 One could ride the entire journey.  Second Class: (Lower Price) One had to walk at bad places in the road.  Third Class: (Still Lower price) If you were in this class you had to also get out at bad places in the road and walk beside the stagecoach but this class in addition had to PUSH the Stagecoach up hills on the path!!

The Mail system also used the Stagecoaches to deliver mail long distances. If you think that the postage rate of today is high @45 cents, listen up!!  The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company (COCPP) charged $5.00 for a 0.5 oz. letter and it took 10 days for the letter to get there from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco.  With the invention of the Trains and the Railroad System and later still the Motor Bus this caused the final chapter of these Stagecoaches with the horse drawn vehicles to become a sight of yester-year’s days gone by days!!

In order to continue to learn about things of the past please visit my WEB Site http://www.hunt4bygonedays.com

 

 

 

A Watershed Moment

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What is a Watershed Moment?

You might ask “What is a a Watershed Moment”? Webster’s Dictionary describes it as a Divide — a region or area bounded peripherally by a divide and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water; a crucial dividing point line, a turning point.

Recently I saw an eagle on the body of water near my home a Lake.  Looking closely there was a dividing line between the ice that was still her from Winter but was receding daily as Springtime was entering.  The Line of diminishing ice was like a Watershed Moment.

In 2011 the Wedding of the young couple Prince William and Princess Katherine of Great Britain, I believe was a Watershed Moment!  They were married with great Fanfare and now have two precious little children.  They are Royalty but they have a mentality of “The People” and they are modern in their thinking and their actions.  Prince William fought in the Afghanistan War and Princess Kate was a commoner and is very down to earth in her thinking and her role as a mother now to a future King and/or Queen of England.  Together William & Kate will lead England in a new direction far different from the Kings and Queens of yesteryear.

My Personal Watershed Moment

For me, my personal Watershed Moment was my recent Retirement.  My former adult years involved my roles of Wife and Mother as well as Full time Nursing job as an RN, Leadership role in my church, community involvement as a Girl Scout Leader.  Now on the other side of the Divide (My Retirement), i am finding I am now a Grandmother and a Great Grandmother and Mentoring other women younger than myself in a Movie Ministry.  I am also exploring a world of being an Entrepreneur in the field of Internet Marketing using my new WEB Site about to be launched http://www.hunt4bygonedays.com

 

 

 

Family History Researchers – Organized Procedure to Trace the Roots

Family Tree

Family history researchers are people who either research about their own family line as a hobby or work as a professional in order to help others for their research. Apart from just tracing the ancestral line, they also research about the contact details of the descendants and analyze DNA. An established and experienced genealogy researcher also provides counseling, translating of foreign languages, computerizing the documents and abstracting the records found.

There are many genealogy researchers available but the process of their research is very similar.

* The professionals first define the problem from all the available information through the client. This will let the genealogists to establish what needs to be accomplished at the end of the project.
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The Beauty of our Hyphen Days

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The Lost Art of Letter Writing 

In these days of Social Media (Facebook and Twitter) and Texting we may be losing the act and art of letter writing.  Remember the old letters or notes of Grandma’s that you may have stored up in the attic or in an old trunk?  It is a lot of fun on a rainy afternoon to gather these up once again and re-read them.

The Treasures in Our Attics

I did this a few weeks ago and found them intriguing — much detail of note.  Things back then were  a much slower pace and folks back then had a much less cluttered mind.  In the notes and letters they remarked about the weather on a particular day of an event like the day of a particular wedding  or what it was like  on the day a family member was born or another huge event  like the day in someone’s family who had died.  They even wrote about their feelings in these letters.  “I was so sad today when I learned today that Lucy died.  She was such a special friend”.  The details of the writings are impressive.  Descriptions such as “It was so hot that summer day when our little Tommy was born”.  These personal remarks add to the special stories of by-gone days.

It is nice to take a few introspective moments and journal what is going on around us – the color of the sky on a particular  day of the taste of  a special dinner that your daughter or grand-daughter served for the very first time!!   So even though texting and tweeting  are important and definitely have their place in our modern society, let us also take the time to detail the “Hyphen Days” the hyphen being the little line between birth and death that is often found on a gravestone.  This little line represents all the days in between the date of our arriving on this planet and the day we leave earth as our spiritual journey moves onward.  Let us note the beauty of the details of our days.  These can be the treasures in our attics or trunks for future generations.  Our today will be our yesterday of tomorrow.