Thursday, November 27, 2008

Family Recipe

As my daughter Elizabeth and I were preparing the food for our family's Thanksgiving feast I ran across a wonderful "recipe" in a family cookbook that needs to be passed on especially today. I do not know who wrote it, but it certainly is worth sharing....

Family Recipe
2 cups Genuine Interest
4 spoons of Understanding
1 cup of Recognition
1 cup of Appreciation
2 spoons of Tenderness
1 cup of simple Courtesies
3 glasses of Kindness
4 spoons of Faith
1 cup of Friendship
1 jug of Laughter (my favorite)
1 jug of Smiles
2 mugs of Consideration for Others
Take Genuine Interest and make an effort to Understand. Mix thoroughly with Recognition and Appreciation. Blend with Simple Courtesies, Kindness and Tenderness. Add Faith, Friendship and an abundance of Laughter.
Top freely with Smile and Consideration for Others. Bake with bright openness. Garnish with Love. Serve daily with generous helpings!
I certainly hope that you-all of my blogging friends had a most blessed Thanksgiving that was celebrated with family and friends! Happy Gobble, Gobble!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday, Chiricahua's

Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
Picture owned by P. Taylor (address private)
Circa: 1982

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blogging=Family Connections

Yesterday was a terrific day! I met with a new cousin-Marian, who had posted a comment on my blog a little while ago. Marian found my blog by searching the internet. I had mentioned in a post that my ggg grandmother Elizabeth's hometown was Neckargemund, Germany. That little post on my blog connected me to new found family! Both of us have been looking for Sommer relatives for sometime now, although I freely admit that Marian has been working on the Sommer line longer than I and looking for relatives much longer than I. We share a great grandmother-Elizabeth Rusch Sommer, actually Elizabeth is my GGG grandmother and Marian's GG grandmother.
We both brought our Sommer binders filled with family trees, vital records, obituaries, and more. It was so exciting to find someone who shares my obsession with my family history. Plus, we each confirmed the other's information! We gabbed and gabbed for 2 1/2 hours in the warmth and comfort of the local Panera restaurant, talking about our relatives, stories past down to us, and new discoveries that we have made. It was the perfect way to start off a, we plan on meeting together again in about one time I'll remember the photographs!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Smile for the camera...Once upon a time...

Norbert Wozniak and
Christmas, 1956
Picture owned by P. Taylor
One of the very few pictures I have of my father and myself.
I started my love of books and reading at a very early age!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Almost done...
My parents first house,
South suburb of Chicago, circa 1955
Photo owned by P. Taylor (address private)
Owning a home is a privilege, especially these days. I have often wondered what my ancestors homes looked like. Wood frame? Bungalow? Brick? Apartment? Having an address and knowing what type of home was on the property are two entirely different things. Using land records can help you answer those and many other questions.
Last evening I had the opportunity to attend a workshop "Uncovering your past through land records," at the Tinley Park Library. This exciting workshop was presented by Grace DuMelle, author of "Finding Your Chicago Ancestors," one of my absolute must have books for people with ancestors here in the Chicago area.
I learned an awful lot about grantor-grantee, tract records, recorder of deeds, cadastral maps, land ownership maps, and fire insurance maps. The information that you can find from these records is astounding! I immediately thought about Katharine Ball, my gg grandmother. She was listed on a number of city directories between 1892 and 1917 and most of the time she was at a different location. According to Ms. DuMelle, Katharine may have actually lived in the same house/apartment building because street names and numbers may have changed. There were many street name and number changes between 1909 and 1911 in Chicago. Did she live in a house or an apartment? I have no idea, but I do have addresses, which makes my research a little easier. I just have to start "digging" in some land records.
I know for a fact that I will be visiting the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office in Chicago very soon and with any luck will have answers to some of my questions!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (almost wordless)

Arlene Marie Guinee
Holy Communion picture
Taken about 1940
Photo owned by P. Taylor (address private)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good things come to those who search and search and search...

I cannot believe my luck this week! As I mentioned in my post a week ago, I finally discovered the names of my ggg grandparents Galief Sommer and Elizabeth Rusch Sommer. Thanks to my blog and message boards (you always need to post a query on a message board!) a new friend contacted me regarding Elizabeth Rusch Sommer. Elizabeth is her gg grandmother! WHAT A DISCOVERY! After we corresponded a couple of times she verified most of the information I have collected regarding my Sommer relatives. She has been searching for Sommer relatives for 20+ years. She even sent me a picture of Elizabeth Rusch first picture of a ggg grandparent...I feel like I've won the genealogy lottery!
It seems that although on Julia Sommer's death certificate her father's name is listed as Galief, it is actually Johann Gottlieb Sommer. My "newly found cousin" actually gave me Johann's parents names too. All this information in one's almost too good to be true! This was meant to be!
The best part of all--my "newly found cousin" lives less than fifteen miles from me...that's what I mean about good things happen to those who search and search and search.
We are setting up a day to meet, greet, and share....and best of all CONNECT!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!