Friday, August 29, 2008

It's A Girl!

I was at work in 1984 when we got the news that Walter Mondale had named Geraldine Ferraro as his VP pick. I was so excited I quickly called home to tell to my eleven-year-old daughter the news. It didn’t make much of an impact on her, because she only vaguely remembers the event. But I can still recall the palpitating excitement that Mondale’s choice created.

It was the first time I carried a presidential bumper sticker, the first time I voted Democratic and the first time I watched every nuanced element of election night coverage. Of course, as Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC put it earlier today, the Mondale/Ferraro ticket lost in a stunning landslide.

Who would have thought it would take another 24 years before we had our first serious female presidential contender? Who would have thought it would be another 24 years before we had our next female VP candidate? And who, in their wildest dreams, thought it would be the Republicans doing the honors? As Gomer Pyle use to say, GOLLLLLEEEE!

I don’t know much about Sarah Palin. I don’t know if she has the chops to go along with the great cheekbones, when it comes to the VP slot. And I certainly don’t know if John McCain has just made the dumbest choice next to Bush senior’s selection of Dan Quayle. What I do know is that come Election Day, no matter which party wins, history will be made.

Oh, and today, it was my daughter calling me when the rumors started flying, wanting to know what I thought of the whole idea. We both agreed, no matter how we vote in November, it will be a thrill seeing a female name on the Presidential ballot. To Geraldine, Hillary and Sarah – thanks for doing the heavy lifting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oops, there goes another chunck of my heart

I decided that this summer, instead of having my favorite four-year old every Friday that I would switch off and on with his eight-year-old sister, Little Miss Freckles. LMF and I have a stormy history. Once, when she was about eighteen months old her Dad, my stepson, brought her over for a visit, and LMF was NOT amused.

She pulled her hat down over her face and refused all overtures to coax her out. Finally, exhausted from her very loud and persuasive protest, she fell asleep in the middle of the family room floor, her hat still pulled down over her eyes.

Now, I’m usually a hit with young children. I have no problem talking in funny voices, making funny faces, and in general acting the complete fool, all in an effort to raise a smile on a child’s face. Nine times out of ten it works, but not with my granddaughter.

I soon learned that if I met her on her turf, she would throw me a bone or two of acknowledgement. But get her in unfamiliar territory – read my house, the results were not stellar. So, over the years I have given her a wide berth. But she had been asking to spend some time with Grandma Terry, and I thought that this summer would be the perfect opportunity.

Of course, I was a little nervous, in the way you are nervous, when the flashing lights of a police card pull you over. Like a rolodex, your mind spins through all the possibilities, none of them good.

So I googled queries like “activities for eight year olds.” I asked others for advice, and finally panicked, I chose several items off (my go to place) and had them sent two day delivery, damn the expense!

Over the summer, we have played several games of Putt-Putt, tried out the cheap crochet set that I had bought (and found out why it was so cheap.) and played a few school inspired computer games. We’ve eaten lunch at a variety of eateries and once, fixing her lunch, I learned that while my hot chicken sandwiches were good, she readily assured me, the school’s were even better. Sigh.

She taught grandpa and me a new card game, she and I played hangmen (she’s quite good) and we sang some songs, and told a few stories. Only once, did I hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored,” which lasted all of two seconds until we started a game of hangman.

We discovered that the game, Guess Who, might be great to play, but it was way too much work for busy women like us. By far, her favorite activity was Klutz’s “The Fabulous Book of Paper Dolls,” by Julie Collings.

For those of you who have never heard of these paper dolls, let me tell you they are cute and imaginative. There are six different punch-out dolls, and you can make them male or female, simply by the hairstyle and clothing you choose. The clothes are two-sided and because you stick them on with two-sided reusable tape, you have a variety clothing options.

They also come with six different scenes that you can use as a backdrop to your play. Below is our birthday party/picnic scene that LMF and I created.

We decided that because we often LOVED both sides of the two-sided outfits, Grandma needed to order a second book. One Friday, LMF and I almost attacked the mailman as we waited impatiently for the second book to arrive. Thank goodness, it came that day. Note to postman, sorry if we were a little over zealous that day. (He’s probably requested hazard pay for having to deliver to my house.)

Below we used the same background to create our “Halloween Party.”

I learned many things by spending Fridays with my granddaughter. She LOOOVES chocolate milk and she, OH, MY GOSH, LOOOVES Hannah Montana. She never tired of explaining the complexities of the Hannah Montana plot line, which turned out to be a blessing since for some reason my 55-year-old brain could not keep the whole Miley/Hannah thing straight from week to week.

She has a thing for older men – don’t worry kiddo, I’m not mentioning names. She thinks the reason that Papa Al likes her so much is because she calls him, “Evil” and “Loser” (with the traditional “L” sign to the forehead.) She is thoughtful of her siblings, because when we went to the Cookie Lady, she insisted we get extra cookies to take home for them.

I knew that our relationship had taken a turn for the better when she told me one Friday, she wished it would storm really hard, so her parents wouldn’t be able to pick her up. Sometimes I wonder how I have any heart left. Too many people are walking off with big chunks of it, including a special eight-year old who spent Fridays with Grandma Terry this summer.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It has a good beat, and you can dance to it - What music defined you?

Tim Abbott from Walking the Berkshires wrote a post a few weeks back entitled, "The Soundtracks of My Salad Days.” Tim talked about the 10 most influential albums during his teenage years that defined the person he became. His last sentence read, “How about you?”

Though I’m a little late to the party, I’d like to nominate my own list, though a mere 10 albums won’t quite do it.

Back in those days, we listened to (horrors!) AM radio, and the one station that everybody was tuned in to was CKLW out of Detroit. I can still remember sun bathing in my backyard, with some Sun In spritzed into my hair, little black goggles on my eyes, baking to the tune of The Archies’s, “Sugar, Sugar.”

Sugar, Oh, Honey, Honey. You are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you.”

No, that wasn’t one of my defining songs, but as they use to say on American Bandstand, “It has a good beat and you can dance to it.”

I hesitate to cop to the following list, for fear it might be used to prove instability in a court of law someday. But what the heck, my children should know which artists and their albums are to blame for the mother’s odd behavior.

Peter, Paul and Mary - "In the Wind" 1963 (Technically this was released before my teenage years, but the song, "Blowin in The Wind" had a big impact on my views of war and I listened to the album, and that song throughout my teenage years.)

Beatles - “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” 1967

Iron Butterfly - “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” 1968

The Association – “Greatest Hits” 1969 (My then boyfriend, very romantically, requested the song "Cherish" be played on the radio as a surprise present for me.)

Blood Sweat and Tears – “Blood Sweat and Tears” 1969

Three Dog Night – “Suitable for Framing” 1969

The Carpenters – “Close to You” 1970 (Okay, I know I lose all credibility with this pick, but the album and falling in love for the first time, happened in the same year.)

James Taylor – “Sweet Baby James” 1970 (Note, Grandson has been indoctrinated with some of these songs.)

Beatles – “Let It Be” (1970) (My all time favorite.)

John Lennon – “Imagine” 1970

Cat Stevens – “Tea for the Tillerman” 1970 (This pick is my college roommate’s fault. She played it so often it became tattooed on my brain.)

Santana – “Abraxas” 1970

Simon and Garfunkel – “Bridge Over Troubled Water” 1970

Chicago – “Chicago II” 1970

James Taylor – “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon” 1971

Carole King – “Tapestry” 1971 (This one is tattooed on my roommate’s brain because I played IT constantly.)

Rod Stewart – “Every Picture Tells a Story” 1971 (Wake up Maggie, I think I got something to say you. It’s late September and I really should be back at school.)

Steely Dan – “Can’t Buy A Thrill” 1972

Helen Reddy – “I Am Woman” 1972

Jim Croce - “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” 1972

For the record, when I was a teenager and they would advertise songs written in the 1950’s and 1940’s on special, one of a kind albums, I thought it was the lamest thing I had ever heard. I couldn’t imagine the point of advertising OLD songs and expecting people to actually BUY THEM. Man, life certainly likes throwing all that youthful arrogance right back in your face.

So, how about you.? What youthful music listening habits shaped you into the person you are today?

Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging.

News to Know


The 54th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is posted over at Donna Pointkouski’s What’s Past is Prologue. This edition’s topic was “Family Language” with twenty-nine geneabloggers contributing. So get comfy, and settle in for some interesting reading. Thanks go to Donna, for doing a nice job of hosting this latest edition.

The topic for the next edition, is “Show and Tell.” The deadline for submission is September 1.


A big thumbs up to Dick Eastman who just posted “6800 Free Programs for Windows” on his blog. I’m taking his advice and bookmarking the link that he has included in his post. Thanks, Dick, for the useful information!.


Ever done a little research on the Internet and found out some truly interesting things about an ancestor, only to find that there are no facts to support these events? Then you can probably relate to Tim Agazio’s post “The Hunt for Daniel Cone (1626-1706) – Separating Facts From What you Want to be Facts.” Oh, boy, can I relate.


Ever in the mood to listen to some very talented genealogists tackle a variety of genealogical topics, but don’t know where to turn. Not a problem! Check out Randy Seaver’s post, “Are you listening,” over at Genea-Musings. Randy gives you the low down and the links to six different podcasts for you to enjoy.


The 10th edition of the CCEG has posted at Jessica’s Genejournal. Only five contributors for this edition, but each is a gem in their own right. You won’t be disappointed if you take a peek at this interesting edition of the CCEG. Nice job Jessica!

Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baseball at the Grove

Old Fashioned Baseball at Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

His Eyes were Gray

His eyes were gray. A man of small stature, he stood five feet six inches tall. The recruiter noted his dark hair, his dark complexion. He was 42 years old when he showed up at the recruiting station in Chillicothe, Ohio on that March day in 1865.

In an area of the state where most men were miners, he listed his occupation as farmer. He had come that day with other men from Vinton County, many of them kinfolk. He was given a uniform, a canteen, a knapsack and a haversack. All told, the value of these items was $30.13.

His papers listed his place of birth as Louisa County, Virginia, a fact often assumed and now confirmed. A large X where his signature should have been, signified that he could neither read nor write.

According to his papers, he had signed on for a year. Lee’s surrender the following month ensured that he would not see the full term of his enlistment. On October 24, while stationed in Washington DC, he mustered out of Company D, 194th Ohio Infantry and out of the Union Army. He resumed his life as a farmer in Wilkesville Township of Vinton County, Ohio.

His name was Nimrod Nicholas Thacker. He was my 4th great grandfather and his eyes were gray.

Note: Yesterday’s mail brought the compiled military file of Nimrod N. Thacker that I had ordered from NARA This was request number five from my “7 Days, 7 Requests” series. Request number three also came back and unfortunately, they could not find a record of a marriage between Thomas Jacobus and Catherine? in Essex County, New Jersey for the time, I had specified.

You win some. You lose some.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Gift from an Internet Cousin

I work out of my home office. The arrangement has it perks, one of which is having my own honest to goodness window. Having worked for fifteen years in a building that had no windows, this is a very big deal.

My view overlooks my front yard. From there I can see some of my trees, my flowerbed, and most importantly, I can see my mailbox. Last week, the mailbox and the glorious mailman who delivers my mail, were the focus of my attention.

My Internet cousin, Dee, whom I have written about previously, had told me she was sending me “some” photographs. I could hardly contain myself. Dee thought they would get here sometime midweek. I figured Friday. They arrived on Saturday.

When they finally arrived, I barely managed to make it indoors before I ripped open the package. Inside the envelope were fifty-two pictures. Pictures that Dee had taken to her local Walgreens, copied, and then had taken the time to label EACH ONE. I can’t imagine how long a process this was, but oh my, what a wonderful treasure Dee has sent me.

Among the pictures is one of my ggg grandfather Daniel Lynch’s brother, William Lynch. There is a picture of William’s son John, a mighty handsome man judging by his photograph which was taken sometime before his death in 1885. Though John lived his entire life in Illinois, he managed to marry a Seneca County, Ohio lass, Rebecca Feasel. Rebecca is also related to me through my Feasel line. (My relationship calculator tells me that Rebecca and I are first cousins four times removed which happens to be my relationship to her husband, John, though through a different line.)

Frank Armstrong, who was a double cousin of my great grandmother, Laura Jane Feasel Lynch was also among the pictures that Dee sent. A very stern picture of my great great grandmother, Catherine Good Lynch lay on top of the picture pile.

My favorite picture in the group is one of my two great grand aunts, Ormena Lynch Pendergraft and Laura Jane Lynch Wetsel taken in 1934. I’ve researched those two ladies for a very long time. I can’t tell you how rewarding it was to see their faces finally, and to see them standing together side by side – amazing!

I am very humble at Dee’s generosity. I don’t think I can ever repay her for this gift. I wanted to say publicly what I have already said privately – thank you, thank you, thank you.

Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who Knew

Me - sitting in our living room with my fingers laced, covering my eyes, tiny spaces between each finger open just wide enough so I can see parts of the screen as I am watching the movie “Untraceable.”

My husband shaking his head, “Why did you get this movie, if you knew you wouldn’t be able to watch it?”
I like Diane Lane,” I say behind the curtain of fingers.

Yeah, me too. I hear she told Josh Brolin she’d kick him to the curb, if he didn’t stop drinking.”
Fingers now dropped, I am staring at my spouse, as three rapid-fire thoughts fly through my brain.

This is the kind of conversation I miss having with female co-workers. And -

Who are you and what have you done with my husband. And –

Really, she said that to Josh Brolin?

All of which must have played across my face because then, the perfect man looked at me, shrugged and said simply, “AOL.”

Well, okay then.

After 19 years of marriage, my husband can still surprise me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Genea-bloggers Galore!

Wow! When Jasia’s Carnival of Genealogy came to town last week, there were a whopping 39 entries. A Carousel Edition, many of the entries were from newbies to the Carnival.

If that weren’t enough, when the footnoteMaven published this month’s Smile for the Camera Carnival, she had 40 participants who wrestled with the problem of picking their favorite photo. Again, there were first time Carnival participants.

Kudos to both ladies for giving a forum to genea-bloggers and family historians across the Internet! Thanks for all your hard work!

What's in a Name?

My friends call me Terry, but my real name is Teresa. The story goes that mom wanted to call me Terry, but Dad insisted that Terry wasn’t the proper name for a girl. So, I became Teresa

For financial, legal, medical, and employment purposes I am Teresa, for everything else I am Terry. (When I was 10 and decided I was going to be a singing star, I briefly went around signing my name as Tee Tee Brown – mostly on home chalkboards. Alas, my vocal chords did not live up to Tee Tee’s name.)

My little sister called me Tissy, her toddler contraction for Terry and Sissy. Since this is the sister whose eyes I tried to poke out, I guess I’m lucky she did not call me Evil Fingers.

When I was very young, my dad would often call me Trish Kalish. He’s the only person that has ever used this particular nickname He stopped using it about the time I went to kindergarten. But when he left me on the steps of Shepherd College's Gardner Hall at the beginning of my freshman year, his parting words to me were, “Bye, Trish Kalish.” I still get all teary -eyed thinking about it.

I have signed my emails and letters, “TS,” “Ohio Terry,” “Yo Momma” and to one of my stepsons, “Your Evil Stepmother.” (Just say YES?)

One of my favorite names is “Grandma Terry,” or even better, “Maw T-U, ” which is the name that my eldest grandson , now four, bestowed on me when he was beginning to talk I couldn’t have been prouder or happier with a name.

I’ve answered to Sloanie (derived from my maiden name Sloan), Terry Lynn, Babe and even, “Hey, You.” A hundred years from now, should anybody be interested, I wonder which of my names will survive? When they start poking around in the ashes of my life, will they uncover its secret? That it has been my good fortune to drink deeply from the jug of familial love and that my thirst was quenched

Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging!

Written for the 54th Edition of The

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - The Bridge on Lamereaux Road (Huron County, Ohio)

Update on USCIS Genealogy Program

Today is the first day for using the online fee for service program at the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Actually, online may be a little of a misnomer as you still must make your Genealogy Requests via mail.

An index search for an ancestor will cost you $20.00 and the form to make such a request will be Form G-1041 available on the website. The USCIS will look through a variety of indices and will list all that pertain to your ancestor. You can fill the form out online but you will need to print it, as you cannot save it to your computer.

If your ancestor’s birth date is less than 100 years prior to the date you make the request, you must attach proof of death. Payment must accompany each request.

If you already have a valid USCIS file number, you may skip the index search and make a record copy request. Again, payment must be sent in with your request. Note: There will be NO refunds, should you submit invalid or non-existent file number.

The fee is $20 when taken from a microfilm copy and $35.00 when taken from an existing hard copy. Below are the types of records available.

1. Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
2. Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
3. Visa Files from July1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
4. Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
5. Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951.

To make a genealogy request via mail you will use Form G-1041A.

Both Form G -1041 and Form G -1041A should be mailed to the address below for processing.

USCIS Genealogy Program
PO Box 805925
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

Go to the USCIS website for complete details on this new service. No word on how long you can expect the process to take.

No word either, on the status of my request. My hunch – it’s in limbo.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alltop - (Me on the fringes of Cool?)

Okay, so keeping up with all your favorite blogs is just too much work! And your eyes glaze over when someone mentions RSS feed and feed readers. Well, do I have a website for you!

It’s called “Alltop.” They take a wide range of topics. Then they group blogs and websites relating to the topics and put them all together in what Alltop calls a “digital magazine rack.”

My friend, footnoteMaven, was the first to wonder over and check out the brainchild of Guy Kawasaki, Will Mayall and Kathryn Henkens. I suspect fM was instrumental in getting the subject of genealogy added to the topic list. Check out Ms. fM’s post, “All the Cool Kids (And Me).”

Currently they have about 223 different topics listed alphabetically and the list keeps growing. In addition to genealogy, they have such diverse topics as headaches, baseball, teen news, twenty something, and motorcycles. The topic with the most feeds is “Moms.”

What’s Cool: They display the last five headlines of a blog or website, and when you hover over the headline with your cursor, you can read a portion of the story. If you decide, “Hey, that’s something I’d like to read,” you just click on the title and it takes you right to that post! See, way cool!

What’s Annoying: They have a banner that floats near the bottom of the page, and sorry Alltop gurus; it does get annoying after awhile. (But I forgive you, because the rest of the website rocks.)

So, GO RIGHT NOW, and make a shortcut to Alltop’s Subject Page, or better yet, a shortcut to Alltop’s Genealogy Page – some of my favorite genealogy folks are there. And oh yeah, I made Alltop’s cut – sort of near the bottom, but I made it. How great is that!

Note: It's not the Desktop Genealogist Unplugged that's cool, but my original blog Desktop Genealogist. Hey, Cool is Cool where ever you find it!

Sorry, My Moron Filter Slipped

Occasionally, the “moron” filter in my brain slips and I have a major dumb attack. (Oh yes, it happens. Ask my spouse, or my children, or my boss, or, well you get the idea.)

I’d tell you how my “fame” has made me all narcissistic and self-centered but wait, that approach was recently used. Ditto if I’d tell you that nobody is beating me up more than I am beating myself. (Gees, politicians are making all of us sound disingenuous,)

I have no real excuse or explanation for my little error, except to say some things tend to slip right past me. Okay, maybe a lot of things slip right past me.

Last week at the start of my 7 Days, 7 Requests efforts, I wrote about sending for the Alien Registration Form of my great grandparents. Well, and this has been out there on the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) website since at least June, starting tomorrow, August 13, the USCIS will offer a fee-for-service program in which family historians can request copies of a variety of immigration and naturalization records online including, wait for it, Alien Registration Forms.

Now the USCIS is not necessarily the easiest site to navigate, so I can possibly be forgiven for not catching this soon to be service notice, but Juliana Smith of Ancestry’s “24-7 Family History Circle” reported this on August 1, BEFORE, my brilliant brainstorm.

Juliana Smith’s blog is one that I have in my Google Reader, and I read it faithfully, except apparently I missed that one. My only excuse is that August 1 happens to be the day that I spent a mind numbing 7 hours playing Klutz paper dolls with my favorite 8 year old granddaughter (as opposed to my favorite 13 year old granddaughter who prefers shopping to paper doll playing). It took me several days to recover.

I still wouldn’t have caught it except that Juliana did another post on August 10 entitled, “Ten Places to Find Immigrant Origins,” which mentioned among other things, the new online program by USCIS. The post is filled with lots of good information that I think many of you can use. I know I sure could have used it.

I’m guessing that my own little request will end in one of three ways.

1. Nothing will happen. I mean literally nothing, and I will be all like “dum de dum,” waiting for information that never arrives. This is the worst-case scenario.

2. I will get my nifty little envelopes back with the federal speak version of “Idiot! Do this over and do it the correct way!”

3. I will get my information but it will take me a whole lot longer than any of you using the new online system, at which point, feel free to tell me how fast you received your information. Go ahead; twist the knife in my heart.

I will keep you posted as to which of the three scenarios turns out to be the winner.

Now, I’ll just go somewhere and hide my head in shame. Hey, maybe I can blame my error on a wide stance. What, that excuse has been used, too

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Final Request

My last request is very modest. For sometime, I’ve known about a Pomeranian newsletter that is written here in the states. “Die Pommerschen Leute” comes out four times a year and deals with a variety of Pommern topics. You may purchase old issues of the newsletter for $5.00 each.

I’ve printed out the form and finally made a decision on which two of the old issues I’d like to read. The Fall 2003 volume offers several articles on the region that interests me, the Stolp area of Pomerania. The Fall issue 2006 has another Kreis Stolp article, along with an article about Plattdeutsch (Low German). (I almost went with another volume that talked about Pomeranian potatoes – that one sounded yummy!)

Though this is my last request, you will notice that my scoreboard still needs one more request. I will be going to the post office on my lunch hour today and mail the paperwork to start the process of changing my great great grandfather’s civil war grave marker. When that is done, you will see the scoreboard updated. (If it won’t allow me to update on this post, and you never know what this platform will or will not let you do, then you will see it as a separate post on this blog.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Importance of U (A Part of the 7 Days, 7 Requests Series)

On my desk, I have a sticky note that has two words written on it. The words are “fried” and “friend.” Notice that the two words have much in common. In fact, except for one additional letter, an “n,” the two words are identical. But oh, what a difference that “n” makes. You would never mistakenly interchange the words in a sentence as in, “You are my best fried" or "I love friend chicken.” The addition or omission of the “n” is important. So when I went looking for the grave of my great great grandfather Edward L. Jacobus, and found instead the grave of Edward L. Jacobs, I believed it should be corrected. Jacobs was not Jacobus. The missing “u” mattered. Edward Jacobus enlisted for service August 2, 1862 in Henry County, Ohio. The harness maker reported to Camp Toledo on September 1. A member of Company B of the 100th Infantry Regiment Ohio, he was detached for duty to the Quartermasters department on September 21. By the November muster roll, he had rejoined his company stationed in Kentucky, where their job was to protect the city of Cincinnati. At the time of his enlistment, he and his wife, Mary Thorn Jacobus, had been married for not quite 5 years. They had three children, Frank, John and Clara, ages 4, 1 and 5 months respectively. His death, which would be reported in Edward’s pension files by his Captain, H.D. Taylor, would come almost 8 months to the day after his enlistment. “E. Jacobus was a private in my said company and that on or about the 20th day of February, 1863, at or near Lexington, Kentucky, while in the line of his duty, he was taken sick with Lung Fever and after a few days, was removed to the hospital at Lexington where he died of said disease on the 2nd day of April 1863. “ Taylor further went on to state: “I was present with my company during the time he was sick in hospital and visited him frequently, and I saw him the day before he died and my first Lt. G.D. Forsyth saw him after he was dead and reported the fact to me.” The body would not be shipped back to Henry County, but instead, be interred at what was to become Lexington National Cemetery. Edward was 27 years old. The error of the missing “u” was foreshadowed earlier, in the muster roll taken for September and October 1862. A hurried hand wrote, “Edward L. Jacobs.”

Certainly, Captain Taylor knew the correct last name as indicated in his statement in Edward’s pension file, but the clerk who filled out the casualty sheet, probably did not. The casualty sheet read Jacobs, and officially, when the markers were ordered for the graves at Lexington National Cemetery, my gg grandfather became for all intents, Edward L. Jacobs.

On the US Department of Veteran Affairs website, under the heading, “Replacement Headstones and Markers” I found the following information: Headstones and markers previously furnished by the Government may be replaced at Government expense if badly deteriorated, illegible, stolen or vandalized. We may also replace the headstone or marker if the inscription is incorrect, if it was damaged during shipping, or if the material or workmanship does not meet contract specifications. And For guidance on obtaining a replacement headstone or marker, you may call the Memorial Programs Service Applicant Assistance Unit between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, at the toll-free number below:1-800-697-6947 So that is what I did. I called them. From there I was told I had to contact the superintendent at the national cemetery where Edward was buried. The office girl at Lexington National Cemetery told me to send an email. A reply email referred me to Camp Nelson, which is the department that oversees Lexington National Cemetery. Lexington will change their online listing once Camp Nelson has approved and made the change, if I email Lexington and let them know. A call to Camp Nelson gave me the next hurdle to cross. I needed to bring in the documentation proving that Edward Jacobs was really Edward Jacobus. When I explained I was in Ohio, I was told to send the information along with a phone number. So as soon as I am done making this post, I will write the letter, include what I hope to be appropriate documentation, along with a printed copy of this blog post. I will keep you informed of any developments. When I have put the letter in the mailbox at the Clyde Post Office, I will post an updated scoreboard to my blog. Of all the requests made this week, this is the one that I hope succeeds. Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging!

Ordering GGGG Grandpa's Compiled Civil War File (A Part of 7 Days, 7 Requests Series)

Look! Me ordering!

Thank you for Your order!

Updated Scoreboard!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So I Went for a Little Car Ride (Part of the 7 Days, 7 Requests Series)

Yesterday, I made my first trip the Family History Center in Perrysburg. I’ve been spoiled by having the Hayes Presidential Center’s Library and its wonderful genealogical resources nearby But let’s face it, if you need records from another county, there’s no place like a Family History Center, no matter how far the drive.

The people at FHC were very nice and friendly, and I ordered three films – two related to Jackson County, Ohio and one dealing with Gallia County, Ohio. I’m hoping to find out what happened to the land that my fifth great grandfather, David Thacker, owned. I know that he did not make out a will, so what happened to the land?

The price to order film is $5.50 per roll and it will stay at the center for 30 days. The Perrysburg Center has a wide variety of films that are permanently housed at their facility. I was happy to note that films from the Budow Parish where my great grandparents were baptized are part of this collection.

If you are planning a trip to the Perrysburg office, you should know that the hours listed on the FamilySearch website are not accurate. Below are the hours they are currently open.

However, effective September 1, the Monday hours will be changing to 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

I can chalk up another request for the scoreboard!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

7 Days, 7 Requests - Hold That Thought!

Well, yesterday's request has required four phone calls (okay, I created an extra one by my own stupidity), one email, the scanning of several pages of material and you guessed it, I'm still not done. It looks like I will now need to scan and print some additional material to put into the mail. No wonder I had procrastinated on this one!

I would really like to tell you more about it, but if I want to get today's request accomplished, I have to leave RIGHT NOW for points north and west.

So remind me, who's brilliant idea was this 7 days, 7 requests? Gees, I really have to lay off the caffeine the first thing in the morning!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Envelope (Part of the 7 Days, 7 Requests series)

The envelope addressed to the New Jersey State Archives had sat propped against the small lamp on my office desk since the second week of January. At first, it sat there all bright-eyed and perky, reminding me that I needed to type a letter, write a check and mail it – nothing too difficult.

Then, as time went on, it began to snarl and stare accusingly at me as I continued to ignore its presence. Finally, as often happens to things that are continually ignored, it faded into the background, much as the canister of pencils and file holder that also sat on the desk.

Yesterday, I wrote the letter requesting information on the marriage of Thomas D. Jacobus and Catherine? who married in Essex County, New Jersey, sometime between 1827and 1832. Jacobus appears to be the early 19th century equivalent of Smith or Jones in New Jersey. I’m not sure if I have given enough information for the Archives to find the marriage record, but I am only going to be out $5 if they can’t fulfill my request.

So while my grandson was busy saying, “Eenie, meenie, minee, moe” to determine which of two identical spinners would be mine as we played “Dora Bingo,” the very nice mail carrier stopped at my rural mailbox, grabbed the envelope and sped it happily on its way.

Score another one on my request counter.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

7 Days, 7 Requests - Immigration Files

On September 12 of 1906, my great grandfather, Leo Schrader, signed a Declaration of Intention stating that he intended to become a citizen of the United States. Five months earlier, Leo, his wife, Emma and his two young sons, Willi and Max had disembarked from the SS Amerika at Ellis Island. The declaration was the first in a series of steps leading to US Citizenship.

Changes made on September 27, 1906 may have created impediments to Leo’s completing the naturalization process. As far as we know, this is where Leo’s path to citizenship ended.

In 1940, with the threat of global conflict, the Alien Registration Act of 1940 was enacted. It required registration and fingerprinting of all aliens 14 years old and older. Almost 5 million people were registered and fingerprinted at their local post office from August 27, 1940 to December 26, 1940.

As a direct result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt issued a proclamation requiring further registration of all aliens, fourteen and older, from enemy nations – Germany, Italy and Japan. Leo and Emma were among those required to register in the month of February 1942.

Information on the 1940 form included:

1. Name (maiden names for females as well as any other names the individual had used)
2. Current Address
3. Birth date and Birth place
4. Country of Claimed Citizenship
5. Marital Status, Sex and Race
6. Physical Characteristics
7. Information on the last port of arrival in the US
8. Length of time in the US
9. Occupation
10. Membership in clubs and organizations
11. Any Previous Military or Naval Service
12. Names of relatives living in the US
13. Any arrests
14. Any political affiliations in past 5 years

While Leo and Emma were required to register twice, it is important to know that if your ancestor was living in the US in 1940 and was not a US citizen, he or she would have been required to fill out an Alien Registration form regardless of their country of origin. If that is the case, there is a file out there waiting for you to view.

The request must be made in writing and to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Taken from the USCIS website, you will find the four steps needed to make the request:

1. On your written request, include a daytime phone number so that we may contact you. Fees in searching, copying and reviewing records may apply, see below.

2. Provide as much information as possible on the subject matter. This will help expedite the search process.

3. Verification of Identity, Guardianship, Accompanying Persons, and Amendment requests are requirements for making a request for records of a personal nature. Requests for disclosure of records on individuals other than yourself require consent or proof of death.

4. Mail requests for USCIS records to the National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office, P. O. Box 648010, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010.

The USCIS website goes on to state:

Requests are deemed to constitute an agreement to pay any applicable fees that may be chargeable up to $25.00 without notice. Most requests do not require any fees; however, if fees exceed $25.00, we will notify you beforehand. Do not submit fees with initial requests.

You can download and use a form G-639 to make the request.

Because my great grandparents are deceased, I had to furnish proof of death, which for Leo was an obituary and for Emma a copy of her death certificate. I requested their complete immigration file, including but not limited to their alien registration forms. The requests went out in yesterday’s mail.

Two letters, two requests – Boo Yah!

Monday, August 4, 2008

7 Days, 7 Requests

Inertia is defined as the resistance to motion, action, or change. We all suffer from it. Some of us are card-carrying members of the “Inertia – A Way of Life” club. I know I qualify. That’s why a recent blog post on “Copyblogger,” caught my attention. (That and the first line in Sean D’Souza’s post, “Let’s say you have to pee.” He had me at pee.)

Sean went on to say that in these economic times, you have to drive people to purchase by giving them a sense of urgency. Buy now, or else!

I wondered, how could I put this theory to work for me? How could I use the idea of urgency to overcome my resistance to writing for that marriage record for my ggg grandparents or the Alien Registration cards for my great grandparents?

So, I’ve created my own urgency, by publicly stating that I am going to write, fax, email, call or send smoke signals to request some of the information I have been putting off getting. In fact, I’m officially calling my plan, “7 Days, 7 Requests.” I have until next Monday at 3:00 PM to complete my personal challenge.

If anyone decides to do his or her own 7 Days, 7 Requests, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear all about your own personal challenge and the results.