Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fool's Day??? Wordless Wednesday

Flowers "trying" to "Spring" up through the snow!

This is no April Fool's joke. Yippee!!! Finally!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday, Homer Hanaway

Gravestone of Homer Amos Hanaway
B. 1903 D. 1979
My Granduncle

DeMotte Cemetery,
DeMotte, Indiana

Ar's Cafe...

Birthday cake made by my Mom for my 1st birthday!
August, 1956
Photograph digitized by P. Taylor
Photo owned by P. Taylor
Food was a very important part of my upbringing...we celebrated at home EVERYTHING from birthdays to baby showers, wedding showers, graduations, and of course every holiday under the sun! My mother was a great cook but an even better baker! We never had a store bought birthday cake, and I do mean NEVER! She made sure the cake or cookies were not just great tasting they were cute too. Mom would decorate the cakes and cookies so well, you paused before you ate them, thinking they were too cute to eat! Of course, it didn't stop any of us, for who could resist dessert? Not me! Mom made the greatest bunny cakes for Easter while my grandmother Lucy made the best lamb cakes. Halloween included an assortment of decorated cupcakes and many other goodies. Fourth of July always had some dessert in red, white and blue foods. Thanksgiving and Christmas...wow, the best pumpkin pies! But, at Christmas my mother, sisters and I made a ton of Christmas cookies. We spent days in the kitchen making cookies to give out as gifts and of course for our family to enjoy as well. My mom loved to make coffee cakes, her favorite being Walnut Walk-A-Ways, because, you guessed it, they simply "walked" off the platter and disappeared!
As Mom got older (and wiser) and more health conscious, she experimented with low fat, no cholesterol cooking. She just loved her veggies! She made some wonderfully tasty chicken and vegetable dishes, which was great because she loved to have company and she loved to feed her company.
Wow, I'm getting hungry for one of her recipes. I have her recipe boxes filled with her recipes and her first cook book...hmmmm, I think I'll go see what I can cook up! Thanks Mom for teaching ME to cook too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Just a little "kiss"

Greece, ca. 1970

Lucy Guinee getting a "smooch" from a camel!

Her daughter Shirley is sitting on the camel.

Digital photo by P. Taylor 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Madness, "My Brickwall Ancestor--Charles J. Ball"

First of all I would like to thank Amy at Untangled Family Roots for creating this new Monday meme and Miriam at Ancestories for the brickwall template!

I have been searching and coming up with almost nothing on my Great Great Grandfather Charles J. Ball for over four years now. Here I go with describing my brickwall and may I add ANY SUGGESTIONS for discovering any information about him are welcomed!

This is what I would love to find out: I would love to know when and where Charles J. Ball died and where he is buried.

Here is the known information:

Charles was born about 1857 in Baden, Germany. (Information from Alma's birth record)

Charles J. Ball married Katherine J. Sommer on April 21, 1885 at Central Christian Church in Chicago, Illinois.

Daughter of Charles and Katherine Ball; Alma Ball was born on October 13,1886 at home. Their address at that time was 270 Sangamon, Chicago, Illinois.

Charles worked as a nurse.

Charles was listed on the 1892 Chicago City Directory, living at 4524 Cottage Grove Avenue.

He was also listed on the 1893 Chicago City Directory, living at 479 W. Lake.

On the 1899 Chicago City Directory he is listed as living at 631 Larrabee.

Then he disappears.

On the 1907 Chicago City Directory, Katherine lists herself as a widow of Charles.

Positive and Negative Searches include:

I have a copy of the marriage license of Charles and Katherine and also a copy of the birth certificate of Alma. The birth certificate indicates that both Charles and Katherine were born in Baden, Germany and that both worked as nurses.

Obviously, the Chicago City Directories are another positive search and I was more than thrilled when I found those!

I have in my possession a copy of a picture (most likely a Cartes de Visite) of a young Charles J. Ball taken by R. Holyland photographer. Mr. Holyland was a photographer in Baltimore for a number of years. Perhaps Charles (Chas) had his picture taken when he arrived here in the United States to prove to his family back in Germany that he made it safe and sound to America?

I have been unable to find my Charles (Chas) on any Federal Census record or Katherine for that matter. I thought I hit the jack pot on the 1900 Federal Census with a Charles Ball in Hennepin, Minnesota who immigrated from Germany and his year of birth is close to my Charles Ball. The 1900 Census also states that this Charles Ball was married for about 16 years. No wife/child was listed though and so far I have been unable to connect him to my family. (Coincidentally, Charles and Katherine's daughter Alma married Philip Hirschberg in St. James, Minnesota in May of 1906).

I've searched the surnames of Ball, Bell, Bill, Boll, and Bull with no luck.

I have paid for a death record search for 1889 through 1907 from Cook County, Illinois with no luck.

I have search the burial records for Cook County, Illinois with no luck.

Charles is NOT buried next to Katherine in Oakwoods Cemetery in Chicago, nor do they have a Charles Ball buried in that cemetery.

I cannot locate Charles coming over from Germany on any ship documents I've been able to research.

Possible resources:
I have contacted IRAD and asked that they search for any probate records and naturalization records for Charles J. Ball.
I keep going back to the Charles Ball in Minnesota and although I don't believe he is related I have a feeling there may be some connection????

Wow, that's all I have. Not much I know, but any suggestions or directions I should move in would be appreciated.

Thanks friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Bert Guinee & children; Arlene, Shirley and Marvin
ca. 1938
Digitized photo owned by P. Taylor

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Happy St. Paddy's day to all! Although I am Polish, French, and German there is a tale that my family is also Irish and with a surname like "Hanaway" I am inclined to believe it!
Will you and your family be celebrating today with Shamrock shakes from McDonald's, a corn beef and cabbage dinner and Irish soda bread? If so, enjoy and may the luck of the Irish be with everyone today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to be a Mean Mom!

How many times when you were a kid did you say "When I have kids, I"m going to ......blah, blah, blah"? I can still hear myself saying (perhaps yelling) those words to my mother when I was a kid. Kids know it all. Yeah, right.

When I became a Mom for the first time, it was to two little boys. I was so excited-finally I was going to be a MOM! (I became a foster mom in 1986) Eric was four and his younger brother Scot (Scooter) was about sixteen months old. My Mom was coming in from Arizona to help me care for the boys because I worked full time in retail management. Friday night arrived and I was busy putting a crib together and when that job was finished, the boys arrived-hungry and nervous. Just like me.

Who knew that making dinner, washing dishes, giving the boys a bath (and myself in the process), reading bedtime stories and getting the boys to fall asleep could take so much energy? Surely, not me. The next morning was crazy, what with making breakfast, washing dishes, getting beds made, getting the boys dressed, taking them to the park (get rid of some of that energy), snack time, play time, yicks- is it bed time yet? No?? Oh my gosh, it was lunch time....okay make a good lunch-no crumby sandwiches, wash the dishes, entertain the boys, oh my God, I was exhausted and overwhelmed!

The door bells rings and it was my Mom, oh thank God! I needed a HUG!!! I was almost in tears, this was simply too much work, I was not cut out to be a mom, no way...and these were boys-not babies!!! What was my mother's response? Did I get that hug I really needed? Well, she listened to me and then looked at me real stern like, (yeah she gave me the MOM look!) took a step backwards, and then told me (in kind of a real hard voice, not quite yelling, but you know- the MOM voice) that I would be a good mother, I was a good person with a kind heart, and that I needed to get my ACT together - she didn't raise me to be a whiner! Hmmmm....where was my hug??? She then told me to go upstairs and take a nap, she'd watch the boys and then I was to come downstairs prepared to be a MOM.

Yes Mame!

Well, that was over twenty-three years ago. She watched me foster many, many children, supported me when I adopted my children and came to my home to help out when she could. My oldest daughter is going to be twenty nine years old this year, I can't believe it either. Where has the time gone? What kind of mother am I? Well, truth be told, I'm a lot like my Mom was. Sure, some things I do differently, but overall I think I'm a lot like her.

When my oldest daughter had been with me about six months I bought a wall plague that has a terrific saying on it, that reminded me of my own wonderful Mother. It has become my own Mother Motto, something I live by. I thought I would share it with you...

How to Be a Mean Mother author unknown

A mean mother never allows candy or sweets to take the place of a well-balanced meal. A mean mother insists on knowing where her children are at all time, who their friends are and what they do. A mean mother breaks the Child Labor Law by making her children work~~~washing dishes, making beds, learning to cook and doing other cruel and unpleasant chores. A mean mother produces teenagers who are wiser and more sensible. A mean mother can smile with secret delight and pride when she hears her own grandchildren call their parents "mean." What the world needs now are more Mean Mothers ~~~~ and Mean Fathers!

Thanks Mom for being a great teacher!

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!