July 24, 2014

Was Martha Guilty or Innocent? What's Your Verdict?

Guilty or Innocent? What's Your Verdict?
Warning: Spoiler Alert!

Last night was the Season Premiere of Who Do You Think You Are? last night at 9/8c on TLC and with Ancestry.com as a sponsor. For those who watched, what do you think? Was Martha an abused wife and saw no other way out but to wield that axe? Or did she lie? In other words, what's your verdict - guilty or innocent?

Second question - any thoughts on who was the father of her baby born in prison? I was struck by how cruel this "Mrs. B" was towards her and the baby and of course that got my mind thinking about Mr. B....... Could he be the father and that be the reason Mrs. B. seemed almost determined to let the baby die and not offer Martha any comforts, not even clothes for the newborn? 

It was a very powerful episode and I liked how genuine Cynthia Nixon was throughout. It should get a lot of newcomers interested in finding out about their ancestors. 

Remembering WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb

Remembering WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb
Private Douglas McNabb's framed WW1 photograph hangs on our wall. We don't know Douglas and we are not related. But he is one of several CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) soldiers who we honour. 

His framed photo was probably taken before he left to go overseas. This was a common thing for young soldiers to do before departing. Eaton's Department Store and other places offered a lovely military background for these soldiers' photos. Sometimes framed photos were not ordered until a soldier had been killed. A mother would take her boy's photo and order the backdrop and frame to memorialize him.

Douglas' framed inscription reads

Pte. Douglas McNabb

177th Battalion CEF
Enlisted at Victoria Harbour Ontario Feb. 13, 1916
Simcoe Foresters

Research on Ancestry.com found more details about Douglas and his service. His Attestation Papers reveal that he was born 14 Apr 1896 in Victoria Harbour (which co-incidentally is about 5 minutes from my home), his mother was Agnes and his full name was Douglas Burns McNabb. One of the witnesses to his papers was a Wallace Burns - possibly a relative.

20 year Douglas was listed as having a ruddy complexion, brown hair and brown eyes and tall - 5' 10" in height. He was assigned to the 177th Battalion. 

Birth records on Ancestry.com reveal  his father as Alexander McNabb and his mother was Agnes Burns.  I was happy to see that young Douglas survived the war and is found on the 1921 census for Victoria Harbour with his parents and a younger brother John. Douglas' occupation is given as fireman. I also found him in the 1945 Voter's Lists for Victoria Harbour, still working as a fireman. There is no wife listed with him so perhaps he was a life-long bachelor. In any case he will be remembered in our home for his service.

July 23, 2014

A Sneak Peek at Tonight's Episode of WDYTYA!

A Sneak Peek at Tonight's Episode of WDYTYA!
WDYTYA image published with permission of TLC
Are you as excited as I am for tonight's  launch of Who Do You Think You Are? The new season premiere launches at 9/8c on TLC and with Ancestry.com as a sponsor. 

In her episode, Cynthia Nixon searches for answers about her paternal ancestors, and discovers a dark secret involving deceit and murder, in relation to her great-great-great-grandmother. 

In tonight's episode she visits a prison to learn more about her ancestor, Martha, who was the only woman incarcerated there among dozens of men.

For those who can't wait here's a sneak peek of tonight's show featuring Cynthia Nixon

July 22, 2014

Looking for Descendants of Immigrants from Drenthe Netherlands

Looking for Descendants of Immigrants from Drenthe Netherlands
Immigrants Boarding a Ship for America
If your ancestor immigrated from the Drenthe Province of the Netherlands between 1847 and 1880 you may want to check out this project. Three young Dutch students currently in Holland Michigan are looking for descendants of approximately 67,000 Dutch immigrants to the U.S.A. in this time period.

A previously published book lists the names of all the individuals who emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States but it does not provide details on where the immigrants were heading.
Read more about the project called MyPlacebook at Dutch exchange students work on project linking Dutch descendants with the Netherlands

July 21, 2014

Remembering WW1 Soldier George Lynn

George Lynn's WW1 Helmet
George Lynn was born in August 1891 in Stayner Ontario Canada. His parents were William and Margaret (Hoar) Lynn. He enlisted in the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) in June 1915. 

My husband and I own the helmet he wore while fighting overseas. It has the logo of the Machine Gun Corps he was in. Unfortunately it is very faint now and difficult to see.

George Lynn Attestation
Are you wondering why we have George's helmet? We also own a top-hat he wore for special occassions. Both were purchased many years ago from one of George's sons, who we know.

We didn't know George but we knew his wife Millicent. She was a War Bride who met and married George in England in December 1918, then came to Canada with other War Brides in February 1919 on the ship Metagama. 

George had returned home earlier in December 1918 on the hospital ship Araguaya.

The couple settled in Penetanguishene Ontario and raised 3 sons. Millicent was a lovely lady who always wore white gloves and reminded me of Helen Hayes. She was born Millicent May Reddish in Lancashire England to parents William and Emily (Moreland) Reddish. 

Having George's helmet helps us remember him and his service to our country.

July 20, 2014

Sharing Memories Week 29: Chores- What Kid Loves 'Em?

Sharing Memories Week 29: Chores- What Kid Loves 'Em?
"Housework" by AKARAKINGDOMS
Join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey We focus on memories of our parents, grandparents and others. We write for our children and grandchildren, that the memories are not lost over time. I hope you are keeping a journal, whether it is private or public, and joining us as we write our memoirs.

The prompt for this week (Week 29) is Chores- What Kid Loves 'Em? 

Did your parents make you do chores as a kid? What jobs were yours? Did you get an allowance for doing jobs around the house? Did your Mom and Dad run the house in a traditional fashion with boys doing "boys' chores" and girls doing "girls' chores"? Mine did.

I had an older sister and two older brothers. We did chores based on traditional gender roles - my brothers took out garbage and mowed the lawn, while my sister and I set the table, did dishes, and so on. My sister had to do a lot more than I did - she was responsible from the age of 10 for looking after me in the mornings (I'm 5 years younger) and getting me ready for school. She also had to make sure my brothers and I got breakfast during the week. Mom made a huge pot of oatmeal on the weekend and it got reheated every morning on school days.

My sister also had to iron my dad's white work shirts, start supper before my parents got home from work, and help Mom with other jobs. Both my parents worked during an era when most moms were at home taking care of the kids and the household. 

We didn't get any money for these jobs, it was just expected of us. I don't remember having to do much more than set the table for supper, clear the table and dry dishes while my sister washed them. We fought constantly (but quietly) while doing chores together. 

When I was a bit older I helped with the laundry, mainly because I loved putting the wet clothes through the wringer! But I don't remember being told I had to do it. I don't think the work division was equitable in our home. It seems to me my sister was expected to take over the traditional housewife role as much as possible.

Mom wasn't big on housework and she did as little as possible, and didn't make us clean our rooms or make our beds. It wasn't like she did it for us, it just didn't get done. She didn't care if our rooms were messy and our beds unmade. It was great as a kid but as an adult both my sister and I quickly learned that we didn't really know how to clean a house! Sure we knew how to dust and run a quick vacuum but that was it. We had never learned the finer points of household cleanliness. But don't worry - if you come to visit me, I know now how to do a thorough cleaning! 

July 19, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are is Back!

Family history is back on TV! The new season of Who Do You Think You Are? is launching on July 23rd at 9/8c with an outstanding cast on TLC. 

Ancestry.com is the main sponsor. If you aren't familiar with the show, it features stars uncovering secrets and learning their histories as they travel the world in search of their family histories. They often discover how history has shaped their lives, and how personality traits have been passed down.

The lineup for this season will feature celebrities Cynthia Nixon, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rachel McAdams, Valerie Bertinelli, Kelsey Grammer and Lauren Graham

July 18, 2014

Help Return WW2 Soldier Edwin Manktelow Dog Tag - Case #22

Steve is asking for help finding a WW2 soldier or his family. Here's his email to Olive Tree Genealogy:
While out with my metal detector here in England yesterday I found my first American dog tag, although it is in 3 pieces it very clearly reads
32585923   T43
I would love to be able to return this little piece of history to Mr Manktelow (if he is still alive) or to his family but I really have no idea how to go about this, then I found you via the internet and see that you have had some great results, so any help would be very much appreciated
Lorine's notes: I'll start the ball rolling on this search with a WW2 Enlistment Record for Edwin W. Manktelow

Name: Edwin W Manktelow 
Birth Year: 1922 
Race: White, citizen (White) 
Nativity State or Country: New York 
State of Residence: New York 
County or City: Steuben 
Enlistment Date: 17 Dec 1942
Enlistment State: New York 
Enlistment City: Rochester 

The Social Security Death Index is also helpful with this entry

Name: Edwin W. Manktelow
SSN: 103-16-0110
Last Residence: 14810  Bath, Steuben, New York, USA
BORN: 14 Oct 1922
Died: 1 Apr 2003

Can my wonderful readers help find Edwin's family? Please leave information as a comment on this blog post or via email to me at olivetreegenealogy AT gmail DOT com 

July 17, 2014

Family Fun Days - Have You Had Yours?

Family Fun Days - Have You Had Yours?
Some of my blog readers might recall that every year I host a Family Fun Day (aka Family Reunion). Hubs and I create different games each year - some have a genealogy twist, some are Scavenger Hunts, others are races. If you're looking for game ideas and f you want to read about some of my former Family Fun Day ideas and activities, just click on Family Fun Day and Family Reunion

This year I decided to keep it simple. We built an in-ground pool last year for my physiotherapy water sessions, and it seemed obvious that most of our family and friends would enjoy just relaxing by the poolside. But just in case I set up 4 fun events, all based on old-fashioned games.

We had an Egg on a Spoon Race, Corn in Your Shoe Race, Froggy Hula Hoop Event and a good old-fashioned sack race. Of course there were prizes for the winning team.

I always draw quick sketches of each event showing the rules and how to play. 

I like folks to mix it up and get to know other family members (each year I invite someone new that other family don't know) That means husbands and wives can't be partners during the games.

So this year I gave out Leis to everyone and the idea was that each person was to find whoever was wearing the matching lei and that would be their partner for the events.

The photos you see here were taken after the posters for each event sat out in the rain so forgive the worn appearance!

The key to a successful Family Fun Day is organization. So if you have not held one yet, be sure you plan it carefully. If you're like me you will need to make notes on what needs to be done. I covered my White Board in my kitchen with daily "to-do" lists starting on the Thursday before the big day.

Of course I also put out the Shutterfly books I created for our McGinnis family for everyone to look through.

I also have a plan for the day itself. Flexibility is built into it but it's important to think about timings - when will you eat, how far ahead will you set up buffet tables, when will you hold the games, when to serve coffee or tea, and so on.

Because I put family members to work I also create a timeline which I post on my white board or the fridge. It lists what needs doing throughout the day. That way if it gets hectic (as it always does!) I can simply ask people to help with a specific task and point them to the white board where they find details on what needs doing.

A quick diagram of where I want the events set up in our yards helps with organization when I ask my husband or son to get that set up with flags, ropes, traffic cones and whatever equipment is needed for each event. I just hand them my sketch, point to the tubs of equipment and they manage the rest without any input from me. You can see from my sketch that it isn't elaborate - it takes about 5 minutes or less to create.

So remember - organization and flexibility are the keys to a fun and successful Family Fun Day. Have you had yours this year?