Category Archives: Fun

Funday Friday ~ #2 ~ Initials

friday_funday_bannerUsually, on Friday’s I post a blog called “Freaky Fridays”. I have published one each week for the last 29 weeks. I have had a lot of fun with it, however, I did notice that lately, they have been getting more negative in the content. So, I decided to try something new. As a change of pace, at least for a while, I will try to make Friday’s Fun.
This week I thought we could try something a little different. While thinking of what might be both fun and informational I thought about using our initials. This week we will find three ancestors whose first name starts with the first initial of your first, middle, and last name. My initials are VJM, so I will write a short paragraph about 3 ancestors, each one’s name will start with one of these initials. I look forward to reading about your three ancestors.

 

 
Vivian Gould 1930V– Vivian Elizabeth Gould is my 3rd cousin. She was born on November 5, 1912, in Oregon. She is the daughter of Cora Ida Simcosky and Edwin Reuben Gould Sr. Her family moved to Parsons, Kansas in 1920. She married William Howard Breckenridge on June 13, 1937, in Louisburg, Kansas. Vivian had 3 sisters and 1 brother and they were a close family. I have over 50 photographs of Vivian, her parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, her husband, and her children. Many of the photos are large group ones. Vivian died in 1965, in Louisburg at the age of 53.

 

J– Jane Ann Hardin is my 3rd Great Grandmother. She was born in Jane HardinKnox Creek, Tryon County, North Carolina in 1764. She is the fifth of fifteen children born to Colonel Joseph Hardin (1734-1801) and Jane Gibson (1742-1817). She married Alexander Goodin (1762-1844) in 1784 in Knoxville, Hardin County, Tennessee. They had 10 children, 4 sons, and 6 daughters. In 1817, she moved with her husband and family to Saline County, Missouri. Jane died in 1832, in Saline County at the age of 68.

 

Harriett Ellen Hughes 1905H- Henrietta Ellen Hughes is my Great Aunt. She was born on April 1. 1872, in Cole Camp. Benton County, Missouri. She is the last of 11 children born to James Monroe Hughes (1829-1876) and Martha Ann Ogan (1828-1913). At the age of 16, in 1888, she married William Lincoln Chism (1863-1909) and they had one daughter, William died in 1909 and Henrietta married Wesley Clark (1863-?) on December 25, 1911, in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri. They never had any children. It is said that she married 2 more times but no marriage certificates have been found to verify this. She died on January 14, 1962, in Clinton at the age of 89.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Funday Friday #1 ~ How About You?

friday_funday_bannerUsually, on Fridays, I post a blog called “Freaky Fridays”. I have published one each week for the last 29 weeks. I have had a lot of fun with it, however, I did notice that lately, they have been getting more negative in the content. So, I decided to try something new. As a change of pace, at least for a while, I will try to make Friday’s Fun

I try to do Genealogy research on a daily basis. Some days feel like I am pounding my head against the table. Other days, I feel like I have hit the jackpot! However, most days it is business as usual. I want to ask you a question. What is your most favorite discovery or encounter you have had while doing research or writing a blog?

I have had a lot of fascinating discoveries over the years, too many toLeola & Orville pick just one. I have, however, only had one encounter that really surprised and blessed me! A little over 4 years ago I checked my email and I had received a message from a woman who had found me on WikiTree. She told me that she had been shopping in an antique mall in San Jose, California, and found a photo of two young children, a young girl, and her younger brother. She said she bought the photo because the two were just too cute! On the back of it was written “Charlie and Jennie Hughes’ children, Leola and Leonard” and the picture was taken circa 1914 in Pettis County, Missouri. She did a search for those names and up came my tree. She was able to not only contact me, but she sent me a copy of the photo. To say I was grateful, surprised, and amazed is an understatement. My Aunt Leola died at age 32 and there aren’t a lot of photos of her. She even mailed the original to me.

I look forward to reading about your discoveries!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Fun, Funday Friday, Genealogy, Hughes, Leola Hughes, Missouri, Photos, Uncategorized

Monday’s for Me ~ Stop Clowning Around!

File65After the death of my Dad in 1974, we decided to move back to Tucson AZ. We moved into a new mobile home on the far west side of town. In the park where a lot of families with young children. I quickly made friends with several of the young mothers and I would help them with their young children. One of these women kept insisting on paying me for my help but I kept refusing. One day I was helping her clean out her storage shed and we came upon a large box of old Halloween costumes. On the very top was a clown outfit she had made several years before, complete with a detachable neck ruffle and gloves. I guess my face lit up because she asked me if I would like it and I said “Yes!” I had always wanted to be a clown and I had even thrown together a rather ugly clown outfit about a month before and I drove to the local K-Mart and had my picture taken at their photo studio.

Within a month I had sewn large blue pockets on the suit. I practiced File108putting on makeup, which was the hardest part. I went to the library and checked out books on magic tricks. I learned several that were fairly easy but they me as clownwere hard for the observer to figure out. I loved dressing up and going to the malls and just entertaining the kids there. It wasn’t long before I was booking parties and events. My first one was a birthday party. It was so much fun that I felt guilty accepting the money for it. I continued to stay pretty busy being a clown.

File64In October of this year, I was asked to put on a performance for all of the children who lived in the park. It was to be held in the large clubhouse. I thought, “no big deal” since it was just a few kids. Well, I was in for a surprise. Not only did every kid in the park show up but also their parents and lots of the older residents came with their grandchildren! There were almost 200 hundred people there. I was so scared! I guess my performance was good because everyone seemed to love it and I got more bookings for parties.

File151Over the next few years, I entertained at school functions, birthday parties, and carnivals. I had a blast. After I got married in 1977 my husband hated it so I stopped. I really missed it. In 1986 my husband committed suicide. A few years after that I began doing parties again. However, I seemed to have lost my excitement for it. So over the next 13 years, I occasionally put on my suit. Once when I was working at a paper company they had a contest for Halloween. We were all supposed to dress up for work and the employee who got the most votes from the customers got a $100 prize. IFile26 wore my suit and performed card tricks for the customers and I won the prize. My last time I wore my clown suit was in 1999. Our church was putting on a large event and had me and 2 other girls dress up and entertain the children. Not long after that, I donated the entire suit to Goodwill.

On occasion I get the urge to try to “clown around” but it passes really quickly. I have had lots of fun doing my card tricks for the grandkids and watching their faces light up in excitement and amazement. To my dismay, none of them like clowns. They had watched all those scary clown movies and they are frightened of them. I guess I will have to just accept that I will be the only clown in the family!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Monday’s for Me ~ Grandpa Smiths Excellent Adventure

Grandpa SMithIn 1962 my mothers’ dad came from Missouri to Tucson AZ for a 2-week visit. John Pleasant Smith was born in 1882 and he had never been to Arizona before so my parents planned a fun-filled vacation for him. I was 7 years old and I was so excited because I had never met my Grandpa. Well OK, I did but I was a baby and I didn’t remember it. Some of the planned activities were to take him for a cookout in the Saguaro National Forest, make a trip up to the top of the 9000 ft Mount Lemon, watch the gunfights at Old Tucson Studios, see the wildlife at the Sonoran Desert Museum, and last but not least an exciting day in Nogales, Mexico.

saguaro national park

The day finally came and I got to finally meet my Grandpa. He wasn’t as tall as my dad but he still looked like a giant to me. He had piercing blue eyes and a smile that made him look like he was up to something. He brought my sister and me each a doll and a bag full of “Missouri Candy”. I loved the way he talked. He had an accent that rivaled Hee Haw! (you can google it LOL). Over the next week, we had so much fun. Each night we hit the bed exhausted but so happy.

nogales mx postcardIt was finally time to make the trip to Mexico. I had been there a couple of times because my dad bought medicine for his stomach there. We would make a quick trip down and back with very little sightseeing. This time we took our time. It was an hour’s drive south from Tucson and Grandpa wanted to stop at all the Missions and other points of interest so it took us much longer. When we got to the border we parked on the US side and walked through the checkpoint into Mexico. My dad told my Grandpa to not, under any circumstance, take his wallet out of his pocket while we were on the street. He forgot about my Grandpas’ big heart! It wasn’t long before a couple of poorly dressed kids approached us asking fordad and grandpa change. My Grandpas heart broke and he took out his wallet and pulled out two dollar bills and gave each kid one. This was a lot of money in those days. Immediately we were surrounded by kids all wanting money. A shop keeper came out and tried to chase the kids away but there were too many so he grabbed my Grandpa and pushed him in his shop. We followed. The shop keeper lectured Grandpa about not doing this and after the kids left we finished our shopping. Dad and Grandpa picked up some souvenirs and we headed home.

In the 1960s, in order to cross the border in either direction, all you had to do was declare where you were born. Easy and efficient. My Grandpa went first, then me, my sister, and my dad, Then it was my mother’s turn. She decided to try to be funny and when asked where she was born she responded: “I wasn’t born I was made in Japan!”. We all laughed but the border agents did not. They refused to let her leave Mexico. They made her go sit in a room with a female agent. My dad talked to the men but they told us it would be at least 2 hours before they could verify that my mother was born in Missouri. We were all hungry so Grandpa suggested we go get something to eat. We went to our favorite restaurant, ate a leisurely lunch then headed back to the border. By the time we got there, they were ready to release my mother. I can’t express how upset and angry she was. She cussed and ranted non-stop for about the first 20 minutes we were on the road. All of a sudden my Grandpa burst out laughing. I got a little nervous because there was one thing I knew, you never laugh at my mother. He told her the look on her face when they wouldn’t let her through was priceless and he hoped she learned a lesson. It was all her fault for being a smart a** and she was setting a bad example for us. She didn’t say another word all the way home.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Mondays for Me ~ No, I Wasn’t a Hippy

My-Story-This-is-my-storyThe purpose of this blog is to document the stories of my life. When I am gone my children, grandchildren and great-grandchild will have the memories of my life written by me. I am excited to begin this journey.

While growing up my three children used to always respond to their friends when asked where they got their names from with, “My mom was a hippy”. Later in life, they became even more convinced that I had been one when they saw some photos of me in my teens. I tried to explain about the photographs, but they were never convinced.

Evidence #1:  I named my children unusual names. My oldest son I named Pleasant. He is named for my Grandfather and Great Grandfather, but that didn’t convince him otherwise. My youngest son I named Starr Douglas. Douglas was after my dad, but I named him Starr because I wanted to keep the tradition of unusual names. My daughter, I named Jerusha. I heard the name when I was 12 years old in the movie Hawaii and I loved it.

 

Conclusion: No proof of being a hippy. The act of naming your children with unconventional names doesn’t mean you’re a “hippy”.

 

Evidence #2: Some photographs they saw of me in “hippy” attire. Because of my Indianupbringing of being almost totally ignored by my parents and sister, I had a habit of doing things to get attention. When we moved from Arizona to painted shortsIndependence Missouri in 1967, I didn’t fit in with the kids at school. I talked “with a weird accent”, my style of clothes was different, and I didn’t like the strange foods they served in the cafeteria. So, instead of fitting in I deliberately tried to stand out. I loved the TV show “The Monkees” (Davy Jones!!!). They dressed different so I adopted this style. My one friend and I would paint our facesme and darrell in multicolored shapes with brightly colored cream eye shadow and go to the town square and walk around. We definitely got attention! I also used paint to decorate my jean shorts in flowers and peace symbols. My cousin and I talked my Aunt into making us Nehru jackets. She was a professional seamstress and could make anything! I was once sent home from school in Junior High for wearing the cloth belt from my dress as a headband!

 

Conclusion: No proof that I ever adopted the hippy lifestyle, all of the above was done to get attention and to have fun.

 

Santa Monica BeachEvidence #3: In 1969 my family moved to Santa Monica California. We lived 7 blocks from the beach, and I spent every moment there I could. I wore a lime green bikini that had purple polka dots on it. I grew my hair long; it was past my waist. I wore big floppy hats and bell bottoms. Again, my old photos and my stories convinced my children of my being a “hippy”! My oldest son told me he had read all about the “Summer of Love” that took place in ‘69 and that was proof enough for him! I was guilty of liking “hippy” music, I danced like one, and I had the lingo down…. Groovy.

me long hair

Conclusion: No proof because almost all 14-19 year-olds liked the music of the late ‘60’s back then. The clothes were fun and comfortable, and bikinis were the norm at the beach. The long hair was the style of the day and it was a big improvement over the pixie cuts my mother had me wear growing up. No proof that this made me a hippy.

 

My children have now passed on the idea of “hippy” Grandma to the Grandkids. However, they all think it is “Cool Man”.

 

View the photos and decide for yourselves!!!

 

 

cropped-blog-pic1.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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One of My Favorite Saturday’s ~ Tucson, AZ ~ 1965

childhood-memories1One of my favorite memories of our time in Tucson was on a crisp clear Saturday morning in January. We often took drives out to the desert for picnics or to just hike around. I was about 10 years old and I loved walking in the desert!

On this particular day, we headed west out of town. Nothing but desert and a few houses20200208_122054 in that direction, so I was excited believing we were going to be hiking. When we got to Kinney Rd my dad turned right and immediately pulled off the road. There on the side was a very old man dressed like a miner from the 1880s. He had an old buggy with a canopy top and a mule, and he had an enormous long-horned bull tied to a hitching post. My mother was so upset. She couldn’t understand why my dad would drag us all the way out here to look 20200208_122114at these nasty animals. My dad had learned to ignore her “rants” and he asked if we wanted to get out and take a picture with one of the animals. I yelled “Yes” and jumped out of the car. My mother said “No, we need to leave” but my dad acted like he didn’t hear her. So, I got my picture taken on both of them. I couldn’t believe my dad let me even though my mother said no.

Old Tucson 1When we got back in the car, he said that’s the first surprise. Now let’s get on to the next. We rode in silence until we pulled into the parking lot of Old Tucson Studios! I let out a scream and jumped out of the car and my mother and sister absolutely refused to get out. My dad just said, “We will be back” and he took my hand and lead me to the box office. My dad was greeted by the ticket holder who called him by name and let us go on through. Once inside we rode the rides, watched the live gunfights, looked through the gift shops and got ice cream. Down at the end of the dirt road, there were red cones blocking the way. Do not enter signs were posted everywhere. I got a little nervous when he started walking in that direction. I was gripping is hand tight! We just walked on past the signs and cones and when we got to the other side of the tall wooden fence, I could see it was a movie studio lot.

My Dad worked construction the entire 11 years that we lived in Tucson. He workedOld Tucson 2 for MM Sundt Construction and this company had the contract to help expand “Old Tucson”. It had become a famous Movie Studio and with more and more westerns being filmed there was a need for more buildings.  I didn’t know it at the time, but we were at his workplace. He proudly showed me around the sets, and he introduced me to a lot of people. I got to see “behind the scenes”. It was great.

When we got back to the car, my mother and sister never said one word to us. As a matter of fact, my mother had moved to the back seat, so I quickly jumped in the front. All the way home he told me stories about the filming of some of the movies and TV shows. He had met John Wayne several times when he was there filming Rio Bravo and he had met most of the cast of Rawhide, Wagon Train and The High Chaparral.

It was one of the best days I could remember!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Does this sound confusing? Well, it was for me too.  However, I have been having fun with it all day. Let me explain.

I sat down at my computer to see what “gems” I might find. Logging into Ancestry I wentAncestry Goof. straight to the hints (or the shaky green leaf’s) and there was one for my 5 times Great Grandfather. Something looked a little strange at the top of the page and I spent a few minutes trying to figure it out. Well, right under the name and dates of birth and death was the strangest thing I have ever seen on this site. Listed in the relationship to you line at the bottom it said, “You are the Father of Colbert Blair”. I probably stared at it for a minute before that sunk in. Then I started to laugh.

 

Ancestry Goof 3Being curious I started looking at some other ancestors. All of them were messed up. I looked at my 10 times Great Grandfather Benjamin Singletary and it had him listed as the “6th great-grandfather of husband of 5th great-granddaughter “! This one was especially confusing. As I searched backwards through my tree, I found this had happened to all my ancestors in my Hughes/Hayes tree. I went to my other trees and they were fine.

 

Ancestry Goof 2

I am still waiting on Ancestry to figure out what is wrong, and I hope it gets fixed soon. It is a little disturbing to know that my Dad in “My 6th Great Grandson”! In the meantime I am having lots of fun trying to figure out my relationships, it’s complicated!!

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Just for Fun

The last two months have been difficult, to say the least. My oldest son has been diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous tumor. It is a rare cancer and it is growing at an alarming rate. He was moved into hospice yesterday.

medical

I have spent many hours in the hospital listening to the doctors and nurses use medical terms that most laypeople may not understand. To be honest, I had to look up definitions of some of the terms they used after they left the room.

So, I decided I need to do something to push back what is a dark time. Just for fun let’s look at some “definitions” of some commonly used medical terms.

Artery – The study of fine painting

Bacteria – The back door of the cafeteria

Benign – What you are after you be eight

Bowel – A letter like A, E, I, O or U

Cesarean Section – A neighborhood in Rome

Cat scan – Searching for kitty

Cauterize – Made eye contact with her

Dilate – To live long

Enema – Not a friend

GI Series – A Soldier ball game

Impotent – Distinguished, well known

Labor Pains – Getting hurt on the job

Medical Staff – A doctor’s cane

Morbid – A higher offer

Nitrate – Cheaper than day rates

Node – Was aware of

Organic – Church musician

Outpatient – Person who fainted

Post Operation – A letter carrier’s job

Recovery Room – A place to do upholstery

Secretion – Hiding anything

Seizure – Roman Emperor

Terminal Illness – Getting sick at the airport

Urine – Opposite of you’re out

 

Thank you for indulging me. Sometimes it is better to just laugh instead of cry.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available  on Amazon.com:   http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter

 

 

 

 

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