Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Genetic Genealogy Tests

Genealogy Friends,

I need your help. J and I finally have the funds to order a genealogical DNA test (or two) and I am not sure how to move forward. I know I want to start with my maternal line as my uncle, the oldest living male on this side, and my grandmother, the oldest living female relative on this side, have both agreed to take the test.

After researching several companies, I still am at a loss on what to do. Please comment with any answers/advice you can give!

In your opinion, which type of test should I order?  Is it better to have each (uncle & grandma) take a separate test or to have my uncle take the combined one?
  • Paternal Lineage (Y-Chromosome) - my uncle
  • Maternal Lineage (mtDNA) - my grandma
  • Paternal & Maternal Lineage - my uncle
Which company would you suggest I use? I have an account and it would be easy to just order through them, but we are spending a good chunk of change and want to get it 'right' the first time.

THANK YOU in advance!

Sara Beth (a.k.a. @InnerCompass)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Elizabeth (Keene) Miller

Born in Ohio on 14 June 1823
Married John Miller in Washington Co., Ohio on 21 Nov 1841
Buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Crawford County, Wisconsin on 7 Oct 1886

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John Miller

Born in Bethel Township, Monroe County, Ohio on 20 May 1820
Married Elizabeth Keene in Washington County, Ohio on 21 November 1841
Buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Crawford County, Wisconsin on 10 May 1884

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: More Than An Old Man Praying

I've decided to write this weeks' Sentimental Sunday post about the painting pictured above. For as long as I can remember this painting has been hanging over the dinning room table in my parents house. Recently, I was flipping through an old photo album and my eyes kept landing on this picture. The houses had changes and so had the wallpaper, but the painting always remained.

I had always found comfort in the painting of the old man with his head bent in prayer over a loaf of bread and bowl of soup, his bible nearby. I always felt that this painting was a nod to our Christian faith and a gentle reminder that we all need breaks from life when we can slow down and take time to pray.

As I began to write this post I started to wonder exactly how long that painting had been there? Where had my parents bought it? And what prompted them to move it from house to house and hang it, time and time again?

The answers I received were not what I had expected. In all honestly, I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe that they had purchased it at a garage sale, or that it came with one of their houses, something... lame. I certainly didn't expect to hear my father get so choked-up while telling the story, that he had to hand the telephone to my mother so she could finish the story for him.

The story begins with my father's Uncle Peck, the man who has never failed to bring a smile to my face. Uncle Peck and his wife Mary had a copy of this painting hanging in their house for several years. On one of his visits to their house, my father commented on how much he like the painting. It wasn't mentioned again and they all went on with their lives.

A few years later my parents were about to be married and were trying to make due with the struggles that they had been dealt.  My dad's Aunt Mary had purchased a blender for their wedding gift. Uncle Peck learned of this and told her that a blender wasn't a suitable gift for his favorite nephew. I'm sure Aunt Mary laughed at him when he said this, but she went out and found a copy of that painting that my father had always admired. My parents ended up receiving both the blender and painting as wedding gifts. The blender is long-gone, but that painting is still hanging there. It was even one of the few possessions my parents were able to salvage when our house burnt down all those years ago.

After listening to my parents share their memories today, I know this painting wasn't just any wedding gift. It was a gift from the two people who guided my father into the man he is today. They were the people who gladly labored in the tobacco field with my parents when other family members wouldn't. Peck was the man who taught my dad to hunt. And dear Mary, God rest her soul, was the woman who, I think, taught my father to love.

I now know that when my parents look at that painting, they see more than just the old man, they remember the joys that Peck and Mary brought into their lives. A reminder to them that Mary is watching over them in Heaven. And today I learned that this painting isn't just hanging there, it is a symbol of love and faith and my parents choose to display it for all to see.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spotlight on Ernest Lindley

I recently read this post by David Decker on his Family Tracing History blog. This post has inspired me to post spotlights on different family members of mine in hopes of making "cousin connections" and gathering additional details from my family on these individuals.

My first spotlight is going to be on Ernest Lindley, my great-grandfather. (Over the years there has been some speculation on the actual spelling of Ernest/Earnest and Lindley/Lindly.  I have written them as each record indicated.)

Ernest Lindley was born 19 Apr 1897 in Iowa. (He was most likely born in Jones County, Iowa as both the 1985 Iowa State Census and 1900 US Census have his father's residence as Rome Township, Jones County, Iowa.)

In 1900, 2 year old Ernie was living with his parents Ulysses and Amelia Lindly in Rome, Jones Co., Iowa. Ernie had an 8 month-old younger sister named Mary.

Earnest Lindley was located with his family in the 1905 Iowa State Census and his Post Office was listed as Morley. Two additional children, Frank and James, have joined Earnest and Mary.

Between the 1905 Iowa State Census and the 1910 US Census, Ernest's parents moved the family from Iowa to Richland Co., Wisconsin.  Twelve-year-old Ernest and his father Ulysses are both listed as working "odd jobs".

The 1915 Iowa State Census Earnest is living back in Olin, Iowa. His could read and write, was a protestant, and was making $300 a year as a common laborer.

On 5 Jun 1918 Earnest Lindley signed his WWI draft card. Ernie never ended up served in the military. (I mentioned earlier that there has been some confusion over the spelling of Earnest/Ernest over the years, most of the personal family items spell it Ernest, but looking at his signature it looks as if it was really spelled Earnest.)

Ernest  Lindley was 22 years-old by the 1920 US Census.  He was living with his father (what happened to his mother, Amelia, is one of my biggest brickwalls), 2 younger siblings and a hired hand in Willow, Richland Co., Wisconsin. Ernest, his father and younger brother James were all listed as being farm laborers who were "working out" on other farms.

There are very few photos of Ernie and his family.  I have been told the above photo is a picture of Ulysses Grant Lindley and his son Ernest Elmira Lindley. Date unknown.

Ernest married Esther Marie Tyler on 20 Nov 1924 in Richland Center, Richland Co., Wisconsin. Ernest and Marie (as she was called by family) are pictured here with their three sons: James, Allen, and Jesse. The exact date of this photo is unknown, but judging by Jessie's uniform it was right before he left to fight in the Korean War or shortly after his return.

By the 1930 US Census, Ernest and Marie were living in Ithaca Township, Ricland Co., Wisconsin and had two daughters and two sons. Also living with them were Ernest's father Ulysesses, Ernest's brother James and his wife Ethel, and Marie's sister Eldora.  All the adult men were listed with the occupation of laborers in the "general farm" industry.

Ernest died of a heart-attack on 6 Nov 1954 while reading a book to a couple of his granddaughters. His wife, Marie, had to run to the next farm to use their phone to call for a doctor. His funeral services were held at St. John's Lutheran Church on Novemeber 10th and he was laid to rest at the Boscobel Cemetery. He shares a stone with his wife Marie who died on 7 Mar 1974.

On the memorial card from Ernest's funeral it lists his middle initial as "C". My grandmother, his daughter, says that it was a misprint and that his middle name was Elmira and people used to make fun of him for it. His headstone, previously pictured, has the correct initial.

I've asked my Grandmother to tell me a few personal memories or stories about her father and he is what she said:
  • He only made it to the 8th grade in school.
  • He would sit in a semi-circle with his father and uncles and listen to boxing matches on the radio.
  • He once ran a saw mill with his father Ulysses. She remembered she could hear him blow the whistle every day at noon while she was at school.
  • He would roll his own cigarettes. She would stop and a buy his paper and tobacco on her way home from school. He always kept them in a tin can. 
  • He hated to drive. He would make excuses, like having to check the fence at the back of the pasture, when they needed to drive somewhere.
  • He always wore overalls and blue chambray work shirts.
  • He broke horses for work teams.
  • He once worked for the WPA in the winter and earned $1 a day for himself, his team of horses and a wagon.
This is all I have on Ernest Lindley. I have not had luck finding any vital records online and will try to locate and send out for them when I can.

If anyone in my family has memories to add or details to add, please leave a comment or email me! I would like to add an ancestral spotlight on more of our relatives as time allows. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Mt. Dew

A cooler full of Mt. Dew seems like an odd choice for a "Treasure Chest Thursday" post on a genealogy blog, but if you know my family, you would be laughing right along with me. We all love Mt. Dew and well, we consider it a treasure, we even put it in a chest from time to time.

Stay with me for a moment here. Tonight, I spent an hour this evening watching Faces of America on PBS.  When I was finished watching, I couldn't help but think about all those great documents Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and his helpers had found on the featured famous Americans. I have documents that could rival those.  Heck, my 5th great-grandmother's diary is in a national museum in DC. Still, I couldn't help but think about all the personal memories that were missing from those neatly produced scrapbooks.

Where were the stories like that of my grandmother sitting on the porch steps while her blind great-grandfather told her the stories of his youth from a creaky rocking chair? Where were the stories of the two-week-long family road-trips that were the highlight of my youth? Where are the real stories, not the ones that can be discovered through documents or stuffy photographs?

The reason I selected this picture to post as my "Treasure Chest Thursday" entry is that I don't want to only be remembered through documents and stuffy photographs. I want people to remember my love of National Parks, Mt. Dew, genealogy, apples, Ireland, and that above all, that family is the most important thing to me.

I wish I had the connection I have with Sylvia through her diaries. I want to know how my ancestors spent their evenings, I want to know what they ate during snow storms, and I want to know what they did for fun.  Unfortunately, these things are lost to the ages.  From here on out, I am going to make a more conscious effort to ask the personal questions that most of us don't include in our family history interviews.

If you could ask your ancestors one wacky question, what would it be and why?

Wordless Wednesday: Farm House

When I was born, my parents were living in this old farm house. It had been in the family for many years and burned down in an electrical fire when I was still an infant (none of us were home). I have no memories of this house, but the stories that are told about it make me wish I did.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John Franklin & Estella (Haskins) Dyer

I have previously written about Johnny F. and Estella (Haskins) Dyer.  For more information about their lives and to see their wedding photo click here.

John Franklin Dyer
birth: 27 Aug 1868, Wisconsin, USA
marriage: 17 Jul 1896, Wisconsin, USA
death: 6 Sep 1936, Wisconsin, USA
burial: 1936, Haskins Cemetery, Richland Co., Wisconsin, USA

Estella (Haskins) Dyer
birth: 18 Apr 1868, Iowa Co., Wisconsin, USA
marriage: 17 Jul 1896, Wisconsin, USA
death: 17 Apr 1951, Boscobel, Grant Co., Wisconsin, USA
burial: 19 APr 1951, Haskins Cemetery, Richland Co., Wisconsin, USA

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kind Words & A Swift Kick

Today, while catching up on my backlog of genealogy blog postings, I happened across this Follow Friday posting about, of all things, me. I am humbled to read the words Dean Richardson wrote about me and my blog, and am honored that he took the time to do so. Thank you Dean!

He is absolutely correct in identifying where I am and what resources I am looking to use in the future. For some reason, I am really nervous about expanding my research beyond my two monitors and hard drive.  I know I need to make this move in order to tighten down my sources (a girl can only use so many census records) and access the valuable information that can be found in vital records, but I'm still nervous.

To be completely honest, I am not even sure how to order any of these records.  I now live in the DC area and have search the various records around here.  I even found a book on my Lindley line at the Library of Congress and still have yet to go.  I need to get over these fears and just do it.  So, I am making it my goal to visit the LOC by the end of the month.

I would appreciate it if you left a comment sharing any words of wisdom or advice on ordering records and visiting archives. 

Sentimental Sunday: Bonfire

Growing up, I longed for the evenings when my father arrived home from work and was not yet ready to retire from the outdoors. These special evenings meant that we would soon be gathering around an old tractor tire rim in the backyard.  My father would fill it with wood and create a fire, while my mother would gather the fixings for s'mores. Us kids would gather benches and camping chairs, excited for the postponement of our bedtime.

Often, we would spend the next hour or two huddled around that tire rim, chatting about nothing of importance, and making tasty s'mores.  My favorite of these nights were the nights that we would just sit in silence, no one sensing the need for words.  We were nestled deep in our little valley of the Driftless Area and life seemed to stand still.  The sun would slowly sink below the Ocooch Mountains and we would watch in wonder as the stars began to shine. I was always in awe of how spectacular that blanket of stars twinkling above me shined.

To this day, these nights are some of my favorite childhood memories. We try to relive them when all of us kids are home, but the mystery is no longer there. There is always something to talk about and we are always checking our phones. Even the s'mores have been replaced by plain old marshmallows and beer. But even with all these changes, these nights still represented the most important thing my parents ever taught me: that we are to seek out and cherish... our time with family.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: A.R. Tyler and Daughters

Yesterday, I blogged about one of my brickwalls, Emma Dean Tyler, and the tragedy of the deaths of her three daughters dying within a few short years of each other. Sadly, her husband, Abel Royce Tyler, also passed on shortly thereafter. What a trying time it must have been for poor Emma. I'm sure her heartbreak couldn't be measured.

Abel Royce Tyler
Born on August 11, 1823
Died on August 24, 1879

Ruthie Tyler
Born on February 1873
Died on June 25, 1873

Nellie E. Tyler
Born on May 17, 1875
Died on February 5, 1877

Mary Ella Tyler
Born on September 17, 1868
Died on February 14, 1877