Monday, September 27, 2010

What? An Award???

Yes, I did quit after writing my RIP statement.
Big mistake.
Look what resulted! ------------------------------------>

So, let me continue by fulfilling the requirements of the award, namely, to tell of ten things I have learned in my genealogical research about any of my ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened me and to pass the award along to ten other bloggers whom I feel are doing their ancestors proud.

Here are 10 things I have learned from the search for my ancestors:

1) Moving is good for you. Each generation moved either a bit or a lot farther west until there was no more farther west to move. I have continued that tradition by moving souther and souther over the years, from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco to Los Angeles. I suppose the next logical move would be to San Diego, or perhaps Baja.

2) Changing religion is a heavy, heavy move. It may do wonders for the convert, but it can blow a family apart.

Both of my grandfathers became Christian Scientists in the 1910s. Both ultimately became Christian Science practitioners, one a Wartime Minister during World War II.

On my father's side, the result was a geographical family split. The majority of the formerly Methodist family became Roman Catholics and moved to Florida. The two C.S. sons moved to Seattle. (At least they continued to correspond.)

On my mother's side the result was a change of name by one brother to distance himself from those "pseudo-scientists" in his family.

By the way, I became Jewish (Conservative) by choice in my late 50s, after the previous generation had gone to their own reward. (Yes, I'm a coward.)

3) My mother had an uncle who taught paleontology at UCLA. He is known to history as Roy Moodie, but to the family he's that crazy uncle who left the family (see #2 above).

4) My father wrote a master's thesis. So did my mother. The difference is that I knew about hers. Neither degree was awarded, that I know of.

On second thought, his was written as part of a paper company program in paper making and did not entail a sheepskin. Hers was for the University of Washington. Hers did entailed a sheepskin. He was very traditional about a woman's place being in the home. I was born in 1946. If you recall those years, you can figure it out.

5) Those who did not die early of disease survived a lot longer than we generally assume.

What? Well, the 1880s generation didn't last much beyond 60, but the previous generations lived well into their 80s. This might explain why my father, at age 87, complained daily "Why am I still here?" instead of accepting what he considered to be great age.

6) Things don't always go the way you expect: My mother predeceased my father. I gained a step-mother after I was 45 and my father was 80. And I loved her dearly.

7) A paternal grandmother paid a famous genealogist to trace her line back to the Mayflower so that she could join the DAR. He did. And she did. But he was a fake. The line doesn't connect, and the connecting person never existed.

8) There is a printed book with part of my family line, the Tirrills. Well, whatever. There are multiple pronunciations for T*R*L and even more spellings. The first immigrant was William Therrell shortly after that Mayflower adventure. At least he's documented.

There are several organizations dedicated to the name, such as Terrell Trails.

Mary Hannah Tirrill, the grandmother from #7 would have appreciated that.

9) Lots of families had lots of kids. And some of them survived. Sometimes only one. Did people back then love their newborns less? What do you think?

My father's father was the third child and third son born to his parents. The previous two went to the grave before their first birthday. What effect did this fact have on him?

10) I'd always known that we had artifacts from our family tree. My mother had a book of tin types, for example. None of that interested me. But after my grandfather's demise, I found a tiny Bible with a name in it that did not appear on any of my lists. Finding that long lost uncle who had played a major part in my grandfather's emotional life got me interested in genealogy.

For that tale, you'll need to wait until next week.

Thank you, Rootdigger, for the award.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

RIP Genea-Rooter: You Made a Good Start

My Genealogy Blog's Obituary

This is a post for the Carnival of Genealogy, to wit:
"If your blog ended or waslost/deleted today, how would you
write it's obituary? What were the highlights of your blog? What is its history?
This theme was suggested by Schelly Talalay Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe who
will be hosting this next edition of the COG. "

The blog lasted less than a year. Ran some pictures. Made some points about dealing with official forms such as birth certificates as compared with death dertificates. What can we tell the author?

Well, you kept up your side, altho you could have done better. Had you
devoted yourself instead of patting yourself on the back, you might have put up
more stuff, more interesting stuff, and generally made a bit of a splash. But
buck up, old girl, you made your Wordless Wednesdays, you added some wisdom to
the search. Better luck next time.

Having not been in the game even a year, there's not much to say. Rest In Peace.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Mystery Man

I asked my Dad's cousin for a copy of Dad's grandmother's picture.
She tucked in a copy of this gentleman, whom she cannot identify.

I suspect he is one of her grandma's four brothers. (See below.)

Unidentified Mr. Tirrill about 1900.

Henry, Jr b 10 Oct 1861, m 6 May 1899 to Leonora Cribbs
Jacob Porter, b 22 Oct 1862, d 1929 Clayton, MO
John Klinefelter, b 3 July 1866
Willard Oakes, b 16 Aug 1874, res Nashville, TN, m 24 Apr 1900 to Aphra Eve
All born in Bunker Hill, Macoupin, Illinois, to Henry Tirrill and Louisa Klinefelter.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: School Days

Patriotic Program, about 1875.
Bunker Hill, Macoupin County, Illinois, USA
Little Robert Dickie (born 1865) is last on the right, hiding behind his standard.
From a reprinting of his picture in the local paper sixty years later.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who Do You Remember?

Randy Seaver at GeneaMusings posts a regular Saturday Night Fun challenge. (Highly recommended.)

So Here Goes:
  1. Write down which of your ancestors that you have met in person (yes, even if you were too young to remember them).
  2. Tell us their names, where they lived, and their relationship to you in a blog post, or in comments to this post, or in comments on Facebook.
Father: Porter Tirrill Dickie, known as Pete, loved chemistry and sailing. Living between 1912 (St. Louis, MO) and 1999 (Seattle, WA), he found it necessary to choose between them to make a living, going back and forth between the paper industry and the U.S. Navy until family made the decision for him. To the world he was Mr. Nice Guy. To his family he had troubles that only they saw. The middle child between a bad boy and a girl genius, he was the only one to have kids, the only one to get torpedoed at sea, the only one to travel on foreign soil, and the only one to make it within a hairs breadth of the 21st century. When he and his gay son each lost the love of their lives during the same year, they finally came together in love and understanding.

Mother: Donnabelle Moodie Dickie, known as Donnabelle (thank you), insisted on pronouncing my first name as spelled (Tirrill), not as pronounced by those who had born it for twelve generations before me (Turrell) . She also refused to be a military wife or to live on the East Coast. When her son came out of the closet, she refused to acknowledge him. Yet she taught me how to hug like a bear, to say "I love you" a million times a day, to love plants and animals, to pay attention to historical events happening daily. Born in 1916 (Bellingham, WA), she saw a lot of change during her lifetime. At the time of her death in 1994 near Portland, Oregon, she was learning how to use the computer.

Paternal Grandfather: John Tirrill Dickie, known at Turrel, took a sales job at a paper company and moved from Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri to be near the girl he loved. He sold wholesale paper most of his life and hated it. World War II was his blessing in disguise as the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston set up a War Ministers program with Uncle Sam. He served that higher cause the rest of his life. I remember him as having the patience of Job under a surface of "hail fellow well met." He passed when I was eight years old.

Paternal Grandmother: Isabella McCully Dickie, known as Isabel, was the youngest of her troupe of McCully kids. She told her own kids of peeking between the banister rails at her parents' 25th anniversary party in 1892. She looked like a Gibson Girl when Turrell fell in love with her at a Presbyterian cotillion. She had a great sense of humor and perfect pitch. She lived only five months following my birth in 1946, so I don't remember her personally. I have the china she painted and the cutlery she chose for her wedding. She had exquisite taste.

Maternal Grandmother: Cora Anna Smith Moodie, known as Coral, raised her kids next door to the Dickies on Mercer Island in Seattle. Both husbands were intent on becoming Christian Science practitioners but worked other jobs to keep those kids in oatmeal. (Mr. Moodie taught high school biology.) She was born a Methodist in Sioux Falls, Iowa in 1885 and moved to the Idaho panhandle to teach school, where she met Mr. Moodie. I recall her as staunch in all things, including reading the riot act to my mother for hiring a person of African descent to babysit her granddaughter. (My dear mother didn't let me know that detail until after I was over thirty for fear of tainting my memory of her.) She was a great cuddler. She passed when I was going on five, my introduction to death.

The apple truly does not fall far from the tree, yet we are sometimes surprised by the direction of that fall. Seeing what joys and sorrows my forebears experienced, whether doled out by circumstance or brought on by themselves, I see a lot of my life repeated in theirs. I became a teacher, traveled, struggled in my spiritual and economic lives, and found a great love. I also never had children, lived on the East Coast, and became a Jew. I could see them all spinning in their graves had they not all been cremated!

Turrel Dickie (left) Accompanies McCully Ladies to Church (Isabel in white)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Through the Years 2

John Tirrill Dickie and Isabella McCully, 1910

John Tirrill and Isabel Dickie, 1942

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Through the Years 1

Sarah Smyth and William McCully, 1867

Sarah Smyth McCully and William McCully abt 1906