Sunday, December 20, 2009

Presents and Parties

This is my fourth for the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Once again you will find entries from myself, my Mom, and maternal Grandmother (in first person perspective) below.

Presents and Parties

Me: We never did holiday parties, but would celebrate with each of my parents' families at some point around the holiday. I loved visiting my mom's family at the holiday's. All of our cousins would draw names and do a gift exchange. The best part, besides family, was BINGO, which we played every year. Each family would contribute wrapped gifts that none of us kids knew about. When you won a game you got to pick a gift and open it. The gifts ranged from gift cards to candy to toilet paper wrapped with rocks so you couldn't guess what it was. We would always laugh when we opened those gifts, and after a couple years it became the highlight of our gathering. As far as gifts at home, I honestly can't recall one gift I received. I feel bad because my parents always worked hard to save up to buy us gifts. For me it was never about the gifts, but always about the family and traditions.

Mum: I remember my mom's mother and my mom's sister and her husband and son and my mom's brothers coming on Christmas Eve; we would open gifts; my favorite Gift from my Grandma Lindley was a watch that came with a Disney porcelain figurine/doll that was about 6-8 inches tall - maybe it was Snow White. I have no idea what happened to the watch or figurine but would I love to have that now! One year my Aunt gave us all pencils with our names imprinted on them - we thought that was pretty cool. My Grandma Miller always made us clothes for Christmas, often flannel pjs that always smelled just like her home (wood stove smell), what a comfort that scent was. I remember one Christmas my brother, one of my sisters and I woke up long before anyone else; we sat on the couch which was opposite the tree and used a flashlight to shine a light on to the gifts that were under the tree - even though no one else was up we dared not go look or touch anything. How well behaved were we?? We didn't get many gifts per child but because there were so many of us it seemed like hundreds of presents under that tree. We always seemed to get new board games and would spend a lot of time playing them.

G-Ma: My parents would do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve because all of the shops in town had sales. We were too poor to buy things at full price, but we always got something. One year I got a set of paper dolls, of the Five Girls from Canada. I had them for years. We also did a gift exchange at school and every student received a small gift from teacher. The Kissling family would come over some years on Christmas morning. We would always have a big breakfast the years they came. I remember one of their boys got a bb gun and promptly put his thumb over the end and ended up with a big cut.

Santa and Stockings

This is my third entry for the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Once again you will find entries from myself, my Mom, and maternal Grandmother (in first person perspective) below.

Santa and Stockings

Santa was always a big part of our holiday festivities. Santa would visit us on Christmas Eve night and we would open our gifts on Christmas morning. My mother worked nights as a nurse and we would have to wait until she returned home before we could even see the presents under the tree. To make sure we didn't sneak a peak, my dad would put a series of strips of tape across the hallway, and he could tell if we moved them. We never once dared to sneak past for fear of losing our Santa presents. Santa would also stuff our stockings with small toys, bath soaps, card games, etc. and leave one big gift for each of us under the tree.

Mum: Santa came during the night to our house, but our neighbors always had their Santa Claus gifts on Christmas Eve. I could never quite figure that one out. The year I was really starting to doubt Santa's existence there was BREAKING NEWS ALERT on TV - something was spotted flying through the sky - I clearly recall thinking he must be real then if it was on the news. Later that night I was trying to get to sleep and I heard my mom come up the stairs and open the attic door - I called her name and asked what she was doing. She mumbled something and then said "well you don't believe in Santa anymore, do you" and proceeded to get the presents out of the attic. Nope, not anymore I don't!!

G-Ma: We believed in Santa, oh God, yes we did. We looked forward to his visit all year. Our stockings would be filled with oranges, apples, and nuts most years. If there was extra money we would sometimes get a small toy in them, but that rarely happened.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Cookies and Holiday Food

My second entry for the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, is titled Christmas Cookies and Holiday Food.  Once again you will find entries from myself, my Mom, and maternal Grandmother (in first person perspective) below.

Christmas Cookies and Holiday Food 

Me: Our house smelled of cookies from Thanksgiving to Christmas. My mom is an amazing baker and she always was making something. She would freeze them by putting them in metal tins and setting them on our screened in porch (I grew up in Wisconsin). I remember sneaking out to 'sample' the goods on a daily basis! Every Christmas Eve we would have a big dinner: chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies, rolls, cheese cake, etc. Before we could eat we would say grace and most years we would each say what we were thankful for. We would eat dinner by candle light on Mom's good china. I loved these "fancy" dinners, but hated hand washing Mom's china for fear of breaking it! Before we could open presents on Christmas morning we would have a big breakfast that my G-Ma would send over a few days prior. It was a feast: pancakes, waffles, eggs, sausage, hash browns, bacon, etc. Let's just say we never went hungry!

Mum: On Christmas Eve we would have oyster soup - I hated the oysters, but loved the broth. We would always have divinity, homemade peanut brittle and other candies. We were quite poor so the fresh fruit (apples and oranges) were always a treat.

G-Ma: On Christmas day we would have either have goose or a mince meat pie. My mom raised and sold geese so it would depend if she had any left, most of the neighbors bought them. If they were gone, we would have a mince meat pie - always from our own pork. There would also be potatoes, veggies, and pumpkin pie.

Christmas Trees and Ornaments

I've taken some liberty with the how I've decided to participate in the Geneablogger's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. I've decided to combine a few of the questions so that the stories would flow better.  I have asked my Mom and maternal Grandmother to answer the same prompts in an effort to have a generational view.  As usual, they accepted my request and you will find our memories written from the first person perspective below.

Christmas Trees and Ornaments

Me: We always had a real tree. My dad managed the local Christmas Tree Farm when I was a kid. Some years he would have a few trees picked out and other years we would just wander until we found one we loved, but we always cut it down and drug it to the truck together. We would decorate it together, with us kids hanging most of the ornaments. Each of us kids had a box of ornaments that were given to us over the years and we were the only ones who could hang those. Every year my Maternal G-Ma, who's thoughts are below, would give us an ornament. I have an amazing collection of Barbie ones from Hallmark. Even though I am 27, I still feel like a little kid when I proudly hang them on my tree. I hope I have a daughter someday who will appreciate them.

Mum: Odd, but I don't have any recollection if our tree was real or not; nor do I remember decorating it.

G-Ma: We always had a real tree. Dad and the boys [her 3 brothers] would go out into the woods and cut one down. First, us kids would always string popcorn and cranberries and hang it on the tree. Mom liked tinsel and would put it on the tree after us kids had finished placing the few family ornaments we had. We were poor and didn't have anything fancy, but my Mom really liked the sparkle of the tinsel. After Christmas we would put the tree outside and the birds would eat the popcorn and cranberries.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award - Thank you!

After a few weeks of being behind, I'm finally catching up on reading genealogy blogs. I was humbled and honored to find that several of you have nominated my fairly new blog for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Hence, I owe a big THANK YOU to Family StoriesOur TwigsHerstoryanConversations With My AncestorsAncestor Soup, and Desperately Seeking Surnames for the nominations!

Here are the rules for this award:

-List seven things about yourself that others do not know
-Copy the award to your site
-Link to the person from whom you received the award
-Nominate 7 other bloggers.
-Link to those sites on your blog.

    In keeping with the "rules" of this award I must share with you seven things about myself. So here goes:
    • I always forget to start the dishwasher. I put in the dirty dishes, drop in the cleaning tab, close the door and then walk away. My husband finds great humor and frustration in this. 
    • I've been to 49 of the 50 States. I only have Alaska left. I am very antsy to cross it off my list, oh, and to see the glaciers and Denali National Park. 
    • If I could be anywhere on earth right now I would be having a pint at John Benny's Pub in Dingle, Ireland. 
    • I'm on a quest to read 25 books this year. I started in mid-October and am on book number four. 
    • Like any good Wisconsin girl, I love cheese. Sliced, diced, on pie, dipped in Western Dressing, any way you can eat it. 
    • My husband and I adopted a shih tzu mix named Rackers a little over a year ago. He is named after the Arizona Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers (I let my husband name the dog and I'll name our kids). He is my "furbaby" and I love him, but he follows me everywhere. I am ashamed to admit, but I sometimes try to distract him with treats so that he doesn't follow me. It rarely works. 
    • National Parks are my sanctuary. I've been to 24 National Parks (also tons of monuments, recreation areas, etc) so far and would love to visit the rest. My top 5 favorites are as follows: Glacier, Mt. Ranier, Acadia, Zion, and Great Smokey Mountains. 
    The seven blogs I would like to nominate for the Kreativ Blogger Award are:
    Thank you to those who nominated me and I if you are unfamiliar with my nominations, please stop by and pay them a visit.

    "When you search for ancestors, you find great friends!"

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Giving My Thanks

    Today is Thanksgiving and I wanted to take a few minutes to give my thanks to those who have helped me in my genealogy journey. Without these people, my search would be more difficult and many of my questions, unanswered. Thank you!

    My Mum: I have spent countless hours pestering you with random genealogy questions and yet, you still answer the phone when I call.  Thank you.  I know I wouldn't be as far in my research if it weren't for your help.  Also, thank you for your multiple visits to random cemeteries to find our relatives.  I appreciate your willingness to drag your mother and aunt on these adventures, as it means a lot to them too.

    My Maternal Grandmother: I enjoy our Friday afternoon chats.  I love how they start with the weather and end with stories of your family memories.  I will never tire of your stories and appreciate your late-in-life desire to discover your family history.  It makes my efforts worthwhile.  You are my inspiration.

    The Museum Curator: You spent months emailing me transcripts of Sylvia's Diary, answering my questions, and forwarding me vital information on Sylvia and the people in her diary.  That alone is more than any genealogy can dream of.  When I thought I had died and gone to genealogy heaven, you invited me to the museum to see Sylvia's Diary.  I was moved beyond words when I saw those little 200 year old handmade books.  Then, you let me touch one of the diaries.  I cried.  I cried of my happiness and Sylvia's struggles.  I will never be able to thank you enough.

    The Twitter Genealogy Crew: All of you are amazing people.  You took me under your wings and helped me bring my research online.  Now, you support my research, assist when you can, and provide the motivation I need to keep hammering away at my brickwalls.  THANK YOU!

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Variety is the Spice of Life

    1815 Diary Cover

    After visiting the diary of my 5th Great-Grandmother, Sylvia Lewis Tyler (6 Jun 1785 - 18 Dec 1851), in a museum I fell in love with the covers of her diaries. Most of them were plain, but a few of them are covered with colorful wallpapers. My favorite, pictured above, is the cover of Sylvia Lewis Tyler's 1815 diary. She used the front page of a local newspaper, the Spectator, as the cover. Click on any of the pictures to view a larger version.

    The majority of the diaries are covered with a simple sheet of paper, like the two examples above.


    The most interesting, however, are the three pictured above that are covered with wallpaper. The curator believes that they may be the remnants of the wallpaper that Abel and Sylvia Lewis Tyler used to line the inside of the trunks they made. These trunks were made for sale and it is likely that Sylvia used these scraps, when available, to spice up the covers of her diaries.

    A few of the covers have been altered by well meaning descendants who have written dates in ink and taped edges. I am happy that they are now in the museum where they have the appropriate staff and means to care for them.

    Saturday, October 3, 2009

    A Visit 200 Years in the Making

    Sylvia Lewis Tyler's First Diary
    Inside Cover: Sylvia Lewis of Bristol her journal beginning the first of March 1801 in the 16th year of her age to continue


    Five months ago, I was living in Las Vegas and didn't know anything beyond a couple generations on my Tyler family line. In an amazing twist of fate I would find out that my 5th Great-Grandmother, Sylvia Lewis Tyler, had written a diary 200 years ago and that it was in the archives at a national museum in Washington D.C., my new residence.

    On a brisk early September day, my husband and I left our DC area apartment and boarded the Metro to downtown. After weeks of moving, scheduling and rescheduling we were finally going to see the diary of my 5th Great-Grandmother, Sylvia Lewis Tyler.

    As we arrived outside the museum and my anticipation was killing me. We walked into the administrative entrance of the museum and put on our visitor stickers. The bellman rang the curator and I paced nervously as we waited for her to arrive. The two minutes felt like an eternity! The curator arrived and we hugged. We had been emailing and exchanging documents for the past five months. We had even determined that we were very distantly related, and today, we finally got to meet!

    As we got in the elevator to go to the archives, a sense of calm overcame me. We walked into the cold archival room and my eyes immediately focused on two non-descript gray boxes sitting in the middle of a table on the far end of the room. They were the boxes that held Sylvia's Diary. We sat down at the table and the curator opened the first box. She pulled out folder after folder, each containing a single year of the hand-made diary.

    When the curator opened the first one, my breath caught. My Sylvia, my dear Sylvia, had sat next to the fire writing in that diary over 200 years ago. It has survived all these years and Sylvia didn't have a clue. I was giddy, and yet, on the verge of tears.

    The curator pulled one of her favorite years and began to read to us. I reached for my husband's hand and allowed myself to be transported back to frontier Ohio. Her words were those of a hard working woman. She detailed daily frontier life, the bartering, the chores, the hardships. Sylvia talked about sewing frocks and making her own fur tippets. On and on she read, filling in the diary with the background knowledge she knew. I had read the diary transcripts, but seeing Sylvia's quill strokes and hand-mixed ink brought me to a whole new level of admiration. Towards the end of our time together I asked if I could touch the diaries, thinking it was a long shot, but wanting this amazing opportunity. The curator smiled and said "of course".

    I opened one of the folders and stared at the diary laying inside. I honestly wasn't this nervous on my wedding day. I ever-so-lightly brushed two fingers across the cover that simple stated "1808". I felt as if my dear Sylvia was standing over my shoulder telling me to turn the page. I did and a flood of tears poured down my face. With each page I turned they continued to pour. My husband and the curator each placed a gentle hand on my back and said nothing. They knew how much Sylvia meant to me and let me have my time with her.

    The emotions I felt were nothing I can truly explain in words. It was as if after all that reading I could feel her joy, suffer her pains. I felt like was there, struggling in frontier Ohio with her. I felt even more connected to her. As if, those fragile diaries survived the last 200 years so that I could touch them for those 30 seconds. So, I could know her story.

    Note: For background information on Sylvia Lewis Tyler you can click here (I am related through her son Abel Royce Tyler). If you missed the post on how I found about about the diary's existence you can  read more by clicking here. You can also read about my visit to her grave in Trumbull County, Ohio by clicking here.

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Visiting Sylvia's Grave

    For those of you who have yet to read about how I made my connection to Sylvia's Diary click here. You may also find the background information here helpful.

    Sylvia Lewis Tyler 
    (6 Jun 1785 - 18 Dec 1851)

    My husband and I moved from Las Vegas to Washington DC over the summer. We drove most of the trip ourselves, but we were blessed to have my parents and younger sister join us for the section of the drive from Wisconsin to DC. Our schedule was tight and at the last minute it looked like we would have time to try to find Sylvia Lewis Tyler's grave in Ohio.

    I wasn't able to find the correct paperwork on the exact location of her resting place. In a last minute effort I called the nice lady from the newsletter. She not only dropped her plans for the day, but she met us at the cemetery and locate Sylvia's partially covered grave (it had fallen down and had been run over by a lawnmower). The nice lady from the newsletter was even so kind as to point out other family graves and gave me copies of all the vital records we had talked about on the phone! (I swear, genealogists are the nicest people on the planet!)

    It was a moving experience and I am so glad that I was able to experience it with my mother.

    Finding Sylvia's Diary

    My maternal grandmother, G-Ma as she is known to her grandchildren, asked me to see what I could find on her Tyler line. I set out with a few names, a "I think there is a doctor in that line", and a dream.

    I worked my way through the tree until I hit a brickwall with what I could find on I was stuck on a A.R. Tyler (1823-1879) and Emma A Dean (1836-?), who are the parents of Charles Tyler (1859-1944). With this little bit of information, I searched messaged boards and posted my own inquires. I eventually found a posting with an Abel R. Tyler listed as the son of an Abel and Sylvia (Lewis) Tyler.

    I searched and searched for a connection to this Abel and Sylvia. Abel isn't that common of a name and according to this posting, their birth locations matched up with those listed on A.R. Tyler's Census records, but I wasn't finding anything new. My frustration grew and I ended up typing Abel and Sylvia's names into a search engine and found them in a newsletter from a local genealogy-based group in Trumbull, Ohio. This newsletter indicated that Sylvia not only had written a lengthy diary, but that it was in the possession of a national museum!

    I thought I had died and gone to some kind of genealogy heaven! The newsletter article indicated that anyone with information on the Tyler or Lewis families should contact one of their local chapter members. I picked up my phone, dialed the number given, and opened the door to my greatest genealogical find.

    The lady was most helpful and gave me the majority of the vital records I was missing to prove the connection. She had spent some time with the museum curator over the summer and they had explored the records and dissected Sylvia's life. We talked for a good hour about Sylvia and when I hung up the phone, I had the email of the museum curator.

    The curator and I began to converse regularly about our dear Sylvia. Sylvia's diary was in the possession of the museum and they all had a special place for her in their hearts. I filled the curator in on A.R Tyler's descendants and she filled me in on his ancestors. She even shared with me transcripts from the diary.

    I emailed the transcripts to my family and we all enjoyed reading Sylvia's words. Together we learned about life in frontier Ohio, we laughed because Sylvia only called her husband "Mr. Tyler", and we cried when she lost her baby. 200 years later and Sylvia had still touched our hearts.

    Thinking that I had already been given my fair share of genealogical blessings, I told the curator that my husband and I would be moving to the Washington DC area at the end of the summer and that I would love to meet her. She in turn, invited me to see the diary in their archives!

    Ancestral Trading Cards

    My maternal grandfather's family has an annual family reunion in Wisconsin. I have not been able to attend in the past few years, but have very fond memories of them from my youth.

    At this past reunion, someone had the bright idea to print up the newly found photo of our common ancestor John Miller. The best part was they they worked their Photoshop magic and added some vital dates, locations, and names. They then distributed them at the family reunion. Thanks for picking up a copy for me Mom!

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ahnentafel Roulette

    Randy over at Genea-Musings has his Saturday night challenge up.  Here are the instructions:
    1. How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
    2. Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?
    3. Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."
    4. Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.
    5. If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!
    My Ahnentafel Roulette: My father was born in 1957, making him 52 years old. I broke out my trusty calculator and determined that my Ahnentafel Roulette number for tonight is 13. Person No. 13 on my Ahnentafel charts is my great grandma, Ruby M Dyer Miller. She is my paternal grandfather's mother.

    Ruby M. Dyer (1895-1990)

    1. Ruby is the daughter of John Franklin "Johnny F" Dyer and Estella Haskins.
    2. She married my great grandfather in 1915 in McGregor, Iowa. I have a photo from their wedding day. (see above)
    3. I was lucky enough to meet her as a child. She died in 1990 and I helped clean out her house. As we were cleaning I expressed my love of her "hair pin" dish. It was packed up with the rest of her belongings and that was that. Jump forward to July 2008 when I got married. Shortly after our wedding I received a package from a cousin in Texas that I hadn't talked to since that day in 1990. I opened the unexpected package to find that she had given me Grandma Ruby's hair pin dish as a wedding gift! (see above)

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Getting to Know Sylvia Lewis Tyler

    200 years ago, a 15 year old girl named Sylvia Lewis, daughter of Royce Lewis and Ruth Parmalee, started a diary in Connecticut. Her and her friends, like many young women today, decided that they would record the details of their lives. Little did Sylvia know, she would continue her diary for 20+ years. She would record her family's move from Connecticut to Ohio, her first years of marriage, the births and deaths of her children, and the daily happenings of women in frontier Ohio.

    Sylvia Lewis (6 Jun 1785 - 18 Dec 1851) would eventually become Sylvia Tyler, after marrying Abel Tyler (1785 - 2 Jan 1853) in Trumbull County, Ohio. Sylvia gave birth to 7 children. All but one, Susan who died at the age of 2 days, lived into adulthood. In addition, Sylvia and Able fostered a young girl named Hannah Goodwin for a period of 4 years and adopted a young girl named Sarah Thompson in infancy. The children are listed in age order below:

    • Hannah Goodwin (fostered): 
      • b. 6 Apr 1804 in New Hartford, CT 
      • d. 1876 in Grant, WI
    • Lewis Alderman Tyler
      • b. 26 Sep 1810 in New Hartford, CT 
    • Ruth Parmalee Tyler Humason
      • b. 2 Mar 1813 in CT 
      • d. 20 Mar 1910 in Mantorville, Dodge, MN
    • Sally Thompson Tyler Squires (adopted): 
      • b. 1 Feb 1818 in PA 
    • Susan Tyler
      • b. 2 Jun 1818 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH 
      • d. 4 Jun 1818 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH
    • Norman Woodruff Tyler
      • b. 21 Jan 1822 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH
    • Abel Royce Tyler
      • b. 6 Jul 1823 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH 
      • d. 24 Aug 1879 in WI
    • Sylvia Amanda Tyler Bushnell
      • b. 1826 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH 
    • Nathan Bailey Derrow Tyler
      • b. 14 Jul 1828 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH 
    Sylvia died in 1851 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH. Her husband, Abel Tyler, married a woman named Sarah M. Truesdell on 2 Jan 1853. As far as I am aware, Abel and Sarah did not have any children. Sarah died within a few years of their marriage. After Sarah's passing, Abel and a few of his children from his marriage to Sylvia moved to the Grant County area of Wisconsin. To this day, the descendants of Sylvia and Able can be found living in this area.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    "The Perfect Place to Spend Eternity"

    I was long ago told that I had Norwegian ancestors, however, no one had any proof of their existence. In my quest to add only sourced ancestors to my new tree I had to search long and hard to find my great-great-great-grandparents, Hans and Antonette Hanson.

    Luckily for me, I was eventually able to locate Hans and Antonette in text-based cemetery index that had been typed up by a local genealogist in Richland County, Wisconsin. I am blessed to have most of my family living near Richland Co., WI and within a week my Mom had located the remote cemetery and taken pictures!

    The cemetery is down a blink-and-you-will-miss-it grass lane off County Highway X in Richland County. The white sign simply states: 1857 Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery: "The Mother Church" of Five Points Lutheran. (It looks as if there is a foundation of a small building, maybe the mother church itself.)

    In the photo on the left, you can see the main family stone that is etched with "Hanson". To the left is the father, Hans J. Hanson (1852-1919), and to the right the mother, Antonette Hoff/Hoss (1849-1932). In the background are the graves of their son Magnus Hanson (Nov 1883-Dec 1883)and daughter Hilda Hanson Wolfe (1884-1959).

    My ancestors chose their final resting place to be in the back of the cemetery along the tree line, overlooking a small meadow. My maternal Grandmother, upon visiting this serene place said "This is the perfect place to spend eternity".

    Always, Sara Beth

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    "I wish I knew what happened to..."

    I can't count the number of times that I have heard my maternal Grandmother say "I wish I knew what happened to...". By the time I was in high school I had heard her say this what seemed like a million times. This simple sentence was usually preceded by a story about an eccentric family member or a story from her youth. I had always been intrigued by her stories, but hearing this question over and over again finally prompted me into action.

    My trip into the world of genealogy was an interesting one. I began by reading what little information my Mom had written down about our family. From there, I typed the names of my ancestors into search engines and prayed for results. Often I found nothing, but on rare occasions I found unsourced trees. Eventually, I learned about different genealogy websites and gain more information on my family tree. I saved this into a PAF and proclaimed that I had "researched" my family history.

    In the last couple years, I realized that I needed to figure out the details. I was going to do this "for real" this time. So, I purchased a subscription to and started a new family tree. I entered myself, my parents, and my grandparents into this tree. Then, I made a promise to myself to only add people to my tree if I had a source to indicate that they belonged. This has been a blessing and a curse, but it was the right way to go.

    This blog will follow my research and will be used as a place for me to record my thoughts and finds. If you found this blog because you are researching a mutual family member please comment so that we can collaborate!

    Sara Beth

    Lesson Learned: When someone repeatedly asks a question, find an answer.

    Friday, July 31, 2009

    Sylvia's Diary

    200 years ago, a 15 year old girl named Sylvia Lewis, daughter of Royce Lewis and Ruth Parmalee, started a diary in Connecticut. Her and her friends, like many young women today, decided that they would record the details of their lives. Little did Sylvia know, she would continue her diary for 20+ years. She would record her family's move from Connecticut to Ohio, her first years of marriage, the births and deaths of her children, and the daily happenings of women in frontier Ohio.

    Sylvia Lewis (6 Jun 1785 - 18 Dec 1851) would eventually become Sylvia Tyler, after marrying Abel Tyler (1785 - 2 Jan 1853) in Trumbull County, Ohio. Sylvia gave birth to 7 children. All but one, Susan who died at the age of 2 days, lived into adulthood. Sylvia died in 1851 in Vienna, Trumbull, OH. Sylvia is my maternal 5th great-grandmother and her diaries have opened by eyes to a world of struggles, migration, and joy. You can follow all the tales of Sylvia and my efforts to understand her better through this link of my posts on her:

    Sara Beth
    © Sara B. Davis - 2010

    Friday, July 3, 2009

    Surnames & Locations

    • Bickerstaff - Pennsylvania > Iowa
    • Briggs - Wisconsin
    • Davis - Oregon
    • Dyer - Wisconsin
    • Edge - England > Wisconsin
    • Gard - England > Wisconsin
    • Gray - Wisconsin
    • Hanson - Norway > Wisconsin
    • Haskins - Wisconsin
    • Heisz - Germany > Wisconsin
    • Hinton - Wisconsin
    • Hoff - Norway > Wisconsin
    • Jerrett - Wisconsin
    • Keene - Wisconsin
    • King - Wisconsin
    • Lindley - Pennsylvania > Iowa > Wisconsin
    • Lomas - England > Wisconsin
    • Miller - Ohio > Wisconsin
    • Stills - Wisconsin
    • Tyler - Connecticut > Ohio > Minnesota > Wisconsin
    • Wilkinson - Wisconsin
    • Wood - Wisconsin
    • Crawford County, Wisconsin, USA
    • Grant County, Wisconsin, USA
    • Jones County, Iowa, USA
    • Richland County, Wisconsin, USA
    • Trumbull County, Ohio, USA
    • Washington County, Pennsylvania, USA

    © Sara B. Davis - 2010