Saturday, August 29, 2009

How many ancestors have you met?

Thanks to Randy Seaver for this Saturday night's blog idea.
How many ancestors have I met? Well, let's see...

1) Arlene Guinee Wozniak Turnbull, my beloved mother whom I have written about many times on this blog, lived most of her life here in the Chicago land area until she retired. She then traveled the country and spent her winters as a "snowbird" in Arizona!
2) Norbert Wozniak, father, lived in the Chicago land area until he retired then he moved to Shelbyville, IL. He died shortly after he retired.
3) Lucille Hanaway Guinee, my grandmother, born in Indiana, lived in the Chicago land area after her marriage to Bert Guinee, and later lived in Arkansas until her death in 1998.
4) Bert Guinee, grandfather. Unfortunately, I only knew who my grandfather was, I did not have any kind of relationship with him. I have heard many wonderful stories from my cousins!
5) Stephen Wozniak, grandfather. Lived in the Chicago land area. Died in 1959 in Oak Lawn, IL. I have one precious picture of my grandfather that I cherish!
6) Cecelia Sawicki Wozniak, grandmother. Lived in the Chicago land area for many years.
7) John Guinee, great grandfather, died in 1972 when I was a teenager.
8) Alma Ball Guinee, great grandmother, died in 1963 when I was only eight years old.

My mother had one sister and two brothers, one of whom is still very much alive. I have a lot of first cousins and many of us still live close to each other and still get together. My other cousins and I still keep in touch.
I have been lucky to know all of my grandmother Lucy Guinee's siblings, and there were eight of them! My great Aunt Berniece is still alive and wonderful! I have tons of cousins from the Hanaway family tree!
I also knew my father's sister and brother. My aunt is still alive. I still occasionally hear from her and her family which is terrific!

So, I consider myself pretty lucky to have known these ancestors. Sure wish I had known more of my great grandparents but times were very hard in the mid 20th century. I have a couple of pictures and hope to discover more!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Please Forward:

My sister Carole and her husband just celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary. Whee, that was a really quick twenty years! They have moved at least nine times during their marriage, not because one of them is in the military or they changed jobs, they just move from house to house. My brother-in-law is extremely handy and can do almost anything around the house. I know because he has helped me many times with projects around my house. When they move they usually don't move far. They are only about 48 miles from my home, so we get together very often. They have lived in their current house not quite three years. This house is beautiful and continues to get better and better. I have kidded the both of them many times about moving and when are they moving next? Both say this is it, they are staying put. I have heard that before!

That got me thinking about how many times I have moved in my lifetime. I started from the time of my birth. It couldn't really be that many times. In my childhood we moved from our home in Chicago Ridge to California. In California we stayed with relatives for a short time and then we moved to San Jose. (Yes, I really do know that way to San Jose!). Living in California didn't work out very well so we came back home to the south side of Chicago. We lived with my grandmother for about one year until we could move back into our house (my mother rented our house instead of selling it---good thinking!) Anyway, I stayed put with Mom until college and then decided to work full time which of course meant moving out of Mom's house and getting my own "place." In a span of ten years, 1975-1985, I moved eight times. WOW! Since 1985 I have moved only three times and in fact have lived in my current home for almost sixteen years. Since my birth I have moved eighteen times! When I asked a friend to figure out how many times she has moved, she came up with thirteen times. Our generation really moves around a lot!

With the help of the federal census records it is pretty easy for me to track my Great grandparents Bert and Eva Hanaway. They pretty much stayed in the same area of Indiana and on the same farm most of their married life. One hundred years ago, you could have simply addressed a letter to them with the Route number and DeMotte, Indiana and they would have gotten it. Pretty simple really. That certainly wouldn't be the case today!

My mother moved twice from the time she was born until she married in 1954. In 1975 she married my stepfather Jim and they traveled a lot. She eventually sold the family home in Illinois and moved to Arizona where she spent the winters. Apache Junction, AZ was really her home base. In the summers she traveled all over the United States and worked in National Parks. If you wrote to her, the letters usually stayed in her mailbox in Arizona until she got back there in the late fall! Once in a while she would leave a forwarding address if her she had long term plans to stay put in one spot for a few months. She will not be easy to find on any census record from 1980 forward that is for sure!

My Great Great grandmother Katharine Sommer Ball moved frequently from the time of her marriage in 1885 until her death in 1923. With the help of Chicago city directories, I found her living at sixteen different addresses in those thirty eight years. She usually only lived at one address one or two years and then moved. Many years she was not listed in the city directory. So, in actuality she had more than those 16 different addresses. Plus, I have yet to find Katharine or my Great Great grandfather Charles Ball on any census record.

So, I ask "How many times have you moved?" How easy do you think our ancestors will be able to find us on a census record? Well, I'm going to give mine a little help and document all the places I've lived. I might be able to save them a little time looking for me!

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!