Archive for Hazel’s Family Stories

How and when to find a common ancestor

Photo of Henry Clay by Mathew Benjamin Brady, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

I finally did it!

Did what?

I figured out my relationship to Henry Clay, the 19th century American statesman.

How?

By finding our common ancestor.

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Gifts I Got from Mom

From Mom’s album: “Stopped in Albuq. 7-1959” There’s more to this story in my new book!

I grew up in a family of six, with my parents, three younger brothers, and few relatives. Certainly none who lived nearby.

My parents did not share family stories or photos. Not really. We enjoyed slide shows of our own family vacations, but nothing historical. I guess they were too busy working and raising us up.

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Luminarias at the Cemetery

I would love to know who took this photo of the luminarias at Mt. Calvary, the cemetery next door to Sunset Memorial.

(This story originally appeared in a Facebook Note on December 24, 2012.)

Luminarias are a New Mexican Christmas Eve tradition with religious origins. (Scroll down to learn more.)

They are also one of my favorite family holiday traditions.

But… in the cemetery? Let me explain.

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Mom’s Boxes Part 9: Mom’s Good Silverware

Grandma's good silverware

UPDATE: Mystery solved! (scroll down)

What do you think happened when I offered my mom’s good silverware to my niece, Vinca, as a wedding present?

One never knows what will happen when you pass a family keepsake on to the next generation. Will they love it? Or, not so much? There’s only one way to find out….if your kids are adults now, ask them!

 

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What’s a photo without the story?

UPDATE: Mystery solved! (scroll down)

Who is this saucy young woman? Don’t know? Don’t care?

She looks like fun, though, doesn’t she?

What if you found this photo in a bin at Goodwill? For sale on eBay?

Would you buy it? Would you feel vaguely sad that somebody got rid of it, and move on?

What if you found her in your parents’ stuff and didn’t know who she was?

Would you keep, or toss? Would you try to find the story behind the photo?

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Black Lives Matter in Genealogy Too

Lydia Mangum, age 70, living with 4 young granddaughters and domestic Carey Cole in 1860 North Carolina.

 

I recently saw this example of white privilege:

Ugh! That one really hit home.

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Our Ancestors and the 1918 Spanish Flu

spanish flu victim

Ethel Lee Robbins Lawrence (1887–1918)

 

So… we’re all locked down, to various degrees, in a worldwide effort to help stop the spread of the novel COVID-19 Coronavirus. And everyone knows that this 2020 pandemic is the worst thing since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

From Wikipedia: The Spanish flu was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic. Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million (estimated) people—about a quarter of the world’s population at the time…resulting in 50 million (estimated) deaths.

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The End of an Era: RIP George

George

Curious George looking to see where I went. (I had gone outside to talk with my neighbor, Lonna.)

George was my constant companion for 17-1/2 years.

Social media friends got to see a lot of him.

He had his own Pinterest board.

And a Facebook photo album.

He died in December from multiple health conditions (OK, I had him euthanized, ugh!), and I miss him terribly. I know many pet owners who can relate, and I so appreciate those of you who expressed your condolences on Facebook, and those of you who sent cards to my home…!

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Thornton Farmstead: Home of the Iowa State Fair

I’ve never attended the Iowa State Fair. I gain weight just reading the 2019 Food On A Stick menu! But I did visit the fairgrounds a number of years ago on a genealogy research trip with my dad. Why? Because the land formerly belonged to my 2nd great-grandfather, Calvin Thornton. Prior to that, it belonged to his pioneer father-in-law, John Harris, who left it to his daughter, Araminta. (So, it was really hers…and, well, who knows who it “belonged” to before they came to settle in the area, right? But I digress…)

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Playing Detective: Grandma’s Birth Certificate

AHA! I was RIGHT!

Right about what, you ask?

Right about where my Grandma Hankins was born (Villa Mae Lawrence Hankins 1904-1986).

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