Monday, July 28, 2014

IAJGS Conference - Bloggers dinner

First, a note of apology for the lack of posts. If you're family (or good at noticing details) you will note that my last blog post coincides with the birth of my new grandson, Jack. He's not really the entire reason for my temporary abandonment, but I figure everyone understands how all-consuming newborns are. (To be completely honest, I've only been with Jack 4 of the last 11 weeks, but he's "with me" 24/7 in spirit.)

But now I'm back. Hopefully. I've just come from an inspiring dinner meeting with a group of bloggers. The meeting was set up by Emily Garber of (going) The Extra Yad. There were maybe 10-12 people, of varying blogging experience. I'm not going to list them  now because I can't remember them all and I don't want to offend anyone by forgetting them!

Speaking of offending brings me to the most interesting discussion of the evening (at least to me.) I'm relatively new to the blogging experience and a new co-editor of the newsletter for JGSCT (Jewish Genealogy Society of Connecticut.) I have mortal fear of offending people. I can't bear it if I feel I have upset someone, or even worse, someone is upset with me. I don't like to do the wrong thing. (Actually, I'm okay doing the wrong thing - I just don't like to be called on it.) The discussion of copyright has set me spinning. Yikes, I may have used pictures on my blog without proper citation! Worse, I may have not used the proper procedure to credit images from other websites! It never occurred to me that someone may take a photo I have posted and use it for some other purpose. Imagine one day finding my Great-grandmother Sophie's face on a bag of flour or a box of cleanser!! As the short discussion continued, I began to panic a bit. I will need to be more mindful of how I credit and cite my sources. I may need to get prior permission to use a certain image. I will have to plan ahead. This is sounds like work.

That is why I am sitting on my hotel bed right now, writing this post. I fear if I don't get right back to posting, I will allow myself to become paralyzed. So, in the spirit of supporting a "newbie" blogger, I am asking my readers (all 13 of you) to point out any copyright transgressions I have made, or may make in the future.

I will also subscribe to the same philosophy that served me so well during my 38+ years as a special education teacher: Do what you want and apologize later.

I have been in Salt Lake City attending the 34th IAJGS Conference since yesterday. I hope to post more about my experience here in the coming days.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

52 Ancestors - #18 -The Winchester tradition continues

My three-week hiatus from posting is due to several things; one not-so-great, one sad, and one MARVELOUS!!


First, my husband Scott came down with the flu. Not the “I feel gross - I think I have the flu.” flu but “The doctor says people die from this.” kind of flu. Considering our daughter was due to deliver her first baby 1700 miles away from us within the next few weeks, this was a HUGE concern. Happily, after 15 days out of commission, he has recovered.

Second, just after we cancelled my husband’s plane tickets (for the flight to see the baby), his wonderful sister Peggy passed away. Peggy had been battling cancer for two and a half years. By this time my husband was feeling better so he decided to travel to his sister’s service. My next post will honor this fabulous woman. (Update: I have decided to wait before posting about Peggy. Scott lost his older brother, Bill on Memorial Day and it's just too much, too soon I feel.)

Third, and most wonderful, our first grandchild was born! Jack Winchester Hardy arrived three weeks early but healthy and happy! I quickly wrapped up things at work and flew west to meet him. 

Jack (or more accurately, his name) is the subject of today’s post.

Monday, April 28, 2014

52 Ancestors #17 - Benjamin Edward Ostermann


Benjamin Edward Ostermann was my great-grand uncle on my father’s side. He was born on April 28, 1880 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, both German immigrants, were Edouard Ostermann and the former Hanshon (Hannah) Goldschmidt. 

The 1880 US Census finds Bennie living with his parents at 389 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. He "just" made it into the census, listed as 1/12 years old.

1880 US Census

Monday, April 21, 2014

52 Ancestors - #16 - Memento Monday - Sophie's Shoes

My great-grandmother,
Sophie Weiss Spiegel
My great-grandmother's slippers


As I am a bit crunched for time this week, I thought I would post a "quickie" about the importance of mementos in our family history.

I am quite lucky to be from a family of quasi-hoarders. Thanks Mom!! Not everyone recognizes the importance of keeping their grandmother's slippers. Or the letters from their high school sweater. Or their father's urologist report from 1938. (Okay, I'm pretty sure my mother had no idea that was in her father's papers....)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #15 - Kathryn Winchester Holman

418 Oakdale Avenue Chicago, Illinois
(google maps)


Kathryn Winchester Holman was born on April17, 1902 at 418 Oakdale Avenue Chicago, Illinois. Kathryn was the eldest of three children born to John “Jack” Winchester Holman and Katherine Pearl Seeley. Her brother John was born in 1904 and her youngest brother, William, nicknamed “Bill”, was born in 1910. Bill would later become my husband’s father, making Kathryn his aunt.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

52 Ancestors- #14 - Brick Wall #1 Moshe Jacob Samuel

Moshe Jacob Samuel is my 5th great-grandfather on my father's side. I know I should be pleased that I have managed to trace the family back to 1795 England but I want to know more! Where did Moshe come from?  My search to prove (or disprove, which is more likely) that I have some Irish heritage is what propelled me into the world of genealogy. Was Moshe Irish? Probably not. He may have come to England from Germany.

Monday, March 31, 2014

52 Ancestors - #13 - Family Loss - Jessica Samuel Gray


Alan and Jessica Samuel
Probably 1935 or 1936

Today was a sad day. My Aunt Jessica was laid to rest after nearly 79 years on this earth. But this post is not really about her - it's about maintaining family connections. Jessica was my father's sister. After many years of being estranged, she and my father rekindled their relationship a year or so before he passed away in 2008.

At his mother's service today, my cousin Lowell reminded us of the importance of family. It seems the smaller our family becomes, the more we work to stay connected. Our respective parents would be happy to see that their re-connection has extended to my generation and hopefully beyond.