Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Tune - U2's Joshua Tree

A Joshua Tree. Image by Joho345 - @U2 at Wikimedia Commons
Today is a bit of a cheat because I chose an entire album rather than just one song. I have to thank my friend Natalie and her mom, Leslie, for introducing me to U2. I vividly remember sitting the in backseat of their car (a Honda Accord with a manual) sometime in our middle/high school years and having the bass beat from "With or Without You" shake the car. I loved it. I became a fan, the type of fan that even liked "Lemon."

Joshua Tree is arguably one of U2's best known albums and is one of the few albums I can listen to all the way through without skipping a song. Released on March 9, 1987, Joshua Tree was the band's fifth studio album, and was inspired by their American experiences. The album shot U2 into super-stardom and earned them a Grammy for Album of The Year in 1988. It is also one of the best selling albums of all time with more than 25 million copies sold.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Old Settlers of Chicago

My cousin Jeff recently found another link between our ancestor William Moulton Butler and Chicago on the great site, Internet Archive. He found reference to William in a book commemorating the Thirteenth Annual Reception for the Old Settlers of Chicago, as held by The Calumet Club. The booklet lists the events for the evening of the reception and the Old Settlers of Chicago.
William's mention in the program for the Thirteenth Annual Old Settlers reception in 1891.
It is not clear whether William attended the event, or whether he was just acknowledged as an Old Settler of Chicago. I had never heard of this reception so I did a little digging. I found that The Calumet Club was a private social club in Chicago located at Michigan Avenue and Twentieth Street.
A view of the Calumet Club, Chicago, from the Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views at the New York Public Library.
The Calumet Club was started in 1878 and many of its programs focused on the history of Chicago. It was therefore a natural choice for the club members to recognize the first settlers of the city. The first reception was held May 27, 1879, and the criteria for recognition as an Old Settler was to be a resident of Chicago and "of age" prior to 1840. William is not mentioned at the first reception but I do find reference to him in 1890 and 1891. I was not able to find any other mentions of the receptions online.

In fact, I could not find many mentions of the Calumet Club or the Old Settlers reception online. I do not know if there are more records of this club, or even how William became noticed, as by the time the receptions started he lived in Hobart, Indiana.

This new information rekindled my interest in William's time in Chicago. In a search for Chicago history I came across The History of Chicago, From the Earliest Period to the Present Time by A.T. Andreas, which contains three volumes of Chicago history from it's earliest days through 1885. All three volumes are available on Internet Archive:

The History of Chicago, From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, I
The History of Chicago, From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, II
The History of Chicago, From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, III

Volume II has a reference to William, again, as an Old Settler.

The first clipping mentions the Old Settlers Society, founded in 1871. The men listed signed the constitution of the society in 1871. You'll note William M. Butler listed as having arrived in Chicago in 1836. I found references to a similar club for African-American Chicago settlers, but nothing more about the Old Settlers Society.

I would be interested to know if any records of the Calumet Club or the Old Settlers Society survived the great fire of 1871. Feedback welcome!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Wedding gift inventory...in a newspaper

While researching the children of Philip and Bertha (Cutler) Kuhn, I came across a wedding announcement for the marriage of Benson Vernon and Zillah Kuhn. My first respose was to giggle for finding a relative named Benson (I think back to the great show of the 80s). This was printed in the March 18, 1887 edition of the Centralia Journal, the newspaper for Centralia, Kansas. It is the first wedding announcement I have seen that includes a complete inventory of the wedding gifts.

As was mentioned last week, Mr. Benson Vernon and Miss Zillah Kuhn were united in marriage a week ago yesterday at the residence of the bride's parents. A company of about thirty guests arrived promptly. Only relatives and  most  intimate  friends  were present. The young  couple were ushered into the parlor by the  parents of the bride and groom. The  bride was dressed in pure white, the   groom in black. Ceremony performed by Rev Murray a  former   Methodist  preacher at this place. Shortly after, dinner was served, and if it were not that common dinners are called excellent, we might give you an idea of this. (The English language is defective in adjectives.)  A reception was held next day at  Mr. J. W. Vernon's, father of the groom. They will begin house­keeping in a few days on the farm north of Corning. Following is the list of presents received.

1, Wordsworth's Poems, Mrs. Mur­ray, Alma, Kansas.
2,     Tablecloth and lamp, C. H. Bonjour.
3,     Pair Towels, Mr. and Mrs. I. Stickel.
4, Pair Towels, Mr. and Mrs. M.  B. Young, Shelby, Ohio.
5, Table Cloth, Mrs. J. W. Vernon.
6,  Water pitcher and pair towels; Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Magill. Corning, Kan.
7,      Glass bread plate. Chas. and Emma Kuhn.
8,      Pincushion, Ona Kuhn.
9,      Water pitcher and pair pillow shams, Mr. and Mrs. N. W. Vernon.
10,  Zephys bed scarf. Ada Kuhn.
11, Embroidery tidy, Jennie Atkinson, Pawnee City, Nebraska.
12, Hand painted table scarf, Nettie Kuhn.
13, Water pitcher and pair towels, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Vernon
14, Sugar bowl, Rosa Vernon
15, Set Goblets, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Stickney
16, Covered comforter, Mr. and Mrs. S.T. Barrett.
17, Wash bowl and pitcher, Hervey and Frank Vernon.
18, Pair painted palettes, Angie Stickney
19, Washing machine, Father and Mother Kuhn
20, Cane bottomed chair, Father and Mother Vernon  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Military Monday - Philip Kuhn and the Grand Army of the Republic

Fraternity ~ Charity ~ Loyalty

The Grand Army of the Republic, or GAR, was founded April 6, 1866 as veteran's organization for Union Civil War soldiers. The organization's constitution sets forth the following aims:

1st. The preservation of those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together, with the strong cords of love and affection, the comrades in arms of many battles, sieges and marches.
2nd. To make these ties available in works and results of kindness, of favor and material aid to those in need of assistance.
3rd. To make provision, where it is not already done, for the support, care and education of soldiers' orphans, and for the maintenance of the widows of deceased soldiers.
4th. For the protection and assistance of disabled soldiers, whether disabled by wounds, sickness, old age or misfortune.
5th. For the establishment and defense of the late soldiery of the United States, morally, socially and politically, with a view to inculcate a proper appreciation of their services to the the country, and o a recognition of such services and claims by the American people.

   - "Constitution of the Grand Army of the Republic." History of the Grand Army of the Republic. Beath, Robert Burns. Bryan, Taylor, & co., 1889. Pgs. 44-45.

The GAR grew to have more than 7,000 posts and at its height in 1890 it had more than 400,000 members. It became a strong advocate for veteran pensions and also had a strong hand in winning the elections of republican candidates. The GAR is also credited with founding Memorial Day. It began as a request from General John A. Logan, then commander-in-chief of the GAR, to all post members to place flowers on the graves of fallen comrades on May 30, 1868. It was called Decoration Day and soon caught on around the country. A female auxiliary, the National Women's Relief Corps, officially began in 1883. The GAR was formally dissolved in 1956 upon the death of it's last member. The legacy of the GAR then passed to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

My ancestor, Philip Kuhn, served in "The Recent Unpleasantness" as a musician in the 120th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted on September 2, 1862 and remained in service for the entire war, discharged on July 8, 1865. His service included a period in the prisoner of war camp just outside of Tyler, Texas: Camp Ford.

Philip was a founding member of the Grand Army of the Republic, George Graham Post No. 92 on July 4, 1882 in Seneca, Kansas. He was also an active member of Centralia Post No. 188 in Centralia, Kansas.

Philip served as adjutant and chaplain as well as providing music for various events; he was a musician after all. He also shared the story of his time as a prisoner of war. The following is the newspaper story about a GAR Post No. 188 fundraiser held in 1887 as printed in The Centralia Journal, Centralia, Kansas (I have added some formatting to make reading easier):

The G.A.R. Gastronomic and Literary Feast

     The Grand Army Dinner and entertainment last Friday evening, was a grand success, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather. The dinner was superb and abundant. The solicitors scoured town and country and everybody seemed glad to encourage the boys who wore the blue. By time the clock struck twelve, tables for 100 guests were bountifully spread and literally groaned under the accumulated eatables, consisting of vast quantities of cake, pies, meats, huge paps of port and beans --"The army bean white and clean." The onslaught of this formidable array continues until after 2 o'clock, some of the guests eating as though they were hollow to the bottom of their boots. But after all had done their best there was enough left to feed half a regiment. This surplus made many needy families of the town happy.

     The evening entertainment was opened with "America," by a choir of about 20 singers, under the leadership of Prof. Bowman. This was followed by a recitation of a poem by Comrade Wheeler, entitled "Tender-foot and Grey back," written by Chaplin Lozier. "The Army Bean" was then forcibly rendered by the choir, followed by the recitation "Kentucky Bell," by Winifred Spaulding, which held the audience spell-bound. "They've grafted him into the army," was given as a solo and chorus. Mrs. Jennie Stickel, the soloist was in costume and exhibited "The very same pants that Jimmie used to wear," Mrs. Stickel impersonated an old lady singer to perfection. Miss May Preston then recited an original poem, "The Army of the Republic," and lost none of her prestige, either as author or speaker by this effort. "Blue coat and Miss Dixy," was successfully given by Ruben Mather and Miss Spaulding. "Babyton is falling," was rendered as a solo by Will Hostlander. This was followed by the recitation, "The prisoner for debt," by G.W. Pampel.

     While a camp scene was being prepared, Commander I. Stickel narrated some personal incidents of the war, on the Vicksburg Campaign; with 20 cavalry he charged a force of 80 mounted rebs, wounded and captured 30 of them without losing a man. This statement was taken from an official report made at the time, which is now in his possession. He also related a ludicrous incident of a lieutenant who was ordered out on a scout while he was having his only shirt washed. "Tenting on the old camp grounds," was then rendered very effectively. The stage presented an old time camp scene, with tent, campfires, muskets and soldiers scattered around playing cards, making coffee, etc.

     Miss Minnie Carr, of Goffs, then recited "Sheridan's ride," displaying no ordinary powers of elocution. Comrade Wheeler then recited an original poem, "The boys in Blue.Bro's, assisted by Rev. Bush, Joe Kincaid and John Tohm, then sang "Kingdom Coming," in good style, which was followed by Mr. Oberedorf reading some very interesting abstracts from his diary kept while in the Confederate service, his "dream" being very remarkable, and we trust it may never be realized, if he is to be the victim to "mark time." Comrade Root sandwiched some of his foraging stories between this and Mr. Kincaid's speech. Kincaid wore the Grey in Tenn, and was captured at Chattanooga, and gave many incidents of the war as seen from the other side. One of the Ex-confederate speakers, David Jessie, was unable to be present. Will Holtslander gave "Old Shady," as a solo. Comrade I.A. Stickel gave some accounts of the capture at Holly Spring, Miss., by the rebs; while making a charge he was surrounded and pounded over the head and shoulders with empty shot guns, but with his noble horse and making good use of his spurs and saber, got away.
  
     Comrade Birchfield related a goose story, and the Exercises closed with "Marching through Georgia." The singers and others marched around the stage waving flags and hats, while singing the chorus. Miss Nettie Kuhn sang the solo. This was one of the best things on the program. The large audience separated feeling that they had been highly entertained. They netted between $45 and $50, and would have been much larger had it not been for the snow storm that raged during the day and night.
The Grand Army Badge, presented to all members upon their induction in to the society.

To read more about the Grand Army of the Republic visit the following links:

The History of the Grand Army of the Republic, a free Google ebook.
The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
The Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies, Library of Congress reading room
Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sorting Saturday - Artifact and Heirloom Inventory

Many years ago I had to pack up everything in my parents house and move it. At the time, I lived in Germany and I wasn't able to move the things overseas. So off to a storage space they went (yes, it was climate-controlled!). When we moved back to the States, the storage space moved to our current location. But I have just now gotten up the nerve to begin going through the items. It's hard to look at all of those memories and to be the manager of the sum total of my parents physical property. Earlier this week I dove in and brought four boxes home from the storage space to go through. As I opened one I found many of my parents school yearbooks and other random ephemera. All of it precious to me, but all of it something that can not be kept in my house at this point. My goal is to carefully catalog the items and return them safely packed to the storage space. Ultimately, I hope to have the storage space carefully cataloged and organized so when the time comes to move again we can move only what is necessary.

I knew I wanted to take a careful inventory of the items I found (many of which will make for many sweet blog posts, I might add.) But a Google search did not turn up any registers or inventory sheets that seemed to fit what I wanted. In my typical fashion, I opted to create my own.
Click to enlarge
I included the following categories: Item number, Name or type of item, physical description, condition, family member it pertains to, provenance, history and significance and storage location.

After entering many items it works well. Now I'm going to step away from it from a bit and then return to see if it still fits my needs. Am I answering all the questions I will want to know years from now...or what my children or fellow researchers will want to know? Now that I have the document information in one place I can easily ask my parents for more information on each item. Questions like...who was that cute boy writing you love letters in the 8th grade, Mom?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Follow Friday - America's Lost Treasures

There is a new television show in production that is right up a genealogist's alley: America's Lost Treasures. Airing on the National Geographic Channel beginning in April, the show has a format similar to PBS' Antiques Roadshow, but adds a reality TV show spin. Guests will bring in items from their families personal collections and the show will trace the story of selected items. Judges will determine the most interesting item/story and the winner will receive $10,000 as well as having their object included in a touring exhibit.

The show will tape in 10 cities and just wrapped taping in Kansas City. To read more about the program check out these links:

KC's lost treasures in national spotlight, The Kansas City Star
America's Lost Treasures

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Kuhn family church photos

Dad and Mom
Bro and Sis
Photos taken for the Englewood Baptist Church directory. Yep, that is a sweet Strawberry Shortcake dress.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Tune - "Moonlight Serenade," Glenn Miller Band

As I have mentioned before I am an old soul. For some reason, I have always leaned toward older things. This manifests itself musically through my love of big band music. I love the sound of the horns, the popular singers of the times and the idea that to me, this music stands for a period of life I often wish I had been alive during: the 1940s.

My favorite band of the time is the Glenn Miller Band. My father has told me that when he was little his mother would move the furniture, turn the radio up and make him dance with her to the Glenn Miller Band around their living room. My grandmother died many years before I was born so this is an image burned into my mind for a person I never met. Perhaps that is why the music is so important to me.
Glenn Miller, as a Major in the Army Air Force.
"Moonlight Serenade" was written by Glenn Miller and recorded on April 4, 1939. It was actually the "B" side of the album for the song "Sunrise Serenade." It became an instant hit and was listed as the number 5 record according to sales on the 1939 Billboard chart.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Surname Saturday - Tosh


I am related to the Tosh line through my mother's grandfather. This is one of my more difficult lines to trace as my relationship is through a female. This is also one of my lines that I am focusing on for 2012. I have found a lot of information online that "could" be linked to my Tosh line, but nothing concrete. Here is what I currently have:

Hugh Cleveland White, my 2nd Great Grandfather, died in 1948. His death certificate lists his parents as Marcellus White and Mary J. Tosh, both of Virginia. Mary J. Tosh married Marcellus White some time just prior to 1860.
Hugh C. White's parents as listed on his death certificate from July 25, 1948.
I also have a copy of Mary J. (Tosh) White's death certificate. Mary's birthplace is listed as Virginia and her parents as Thomas Tosh of Virginia and "don't know."
Mary J. (Tosh) White's death certificate from February 26, 1915.
So I've got a connection to a Thomas Tosh in Virginia. Mary J. (Tosh) White and her husband Marcellus lived in Ray County, Missouri from at least 1870 until their deaths. I was curious if any of the Tosh family members followed them and I found an image from the 1870 census listing a Thomas Tosh (of the appropriate age to be Mary's father) and some children: Cora, William, Ella, Henry and Norma. Both Mary and this Tosh family lived in Richmond Township, Ray County, Missouri.
1870 census
When I trace this Tosh "perhaps" ancestor back another ten years I find them in 1860 living in Roanoke County, Virginia. Thomas lives with his wife, Lucy, and the same children. This time Mary, age 25, is listed: Mary, Cora, William, Ella and Henry. There is also a mystery "Pennie."
1860 census
In a search on Mary J. Tosh on Ancestry I came across an 1850 census that lists Mary J. Tosh living in District 57, Roanoke, Virginia, with her father Thomas Tosh. Her future husband, Marcellus White, lives nearby in the same district.
1850 census
I am willing to wager that this is indeed "my" Mary. With that assumption in hand the trail runs cold. If I have the correct Thomas Tosh and he lived in 1870 in Ray County, Missouri, that is the last record of him. I can find no burial records and no further census records. When I conduct a search for Thomas Tosh in Roanoke County there is quite a bit of information. Apparently, Thomas Tosh was one of the first settlers of Roanoke. Unfortunately, he is not the correct generation to be the same person. I have found information stating that Thomas Tosh's son was Jonathan and that he is possibly the father of my Thomas Tosh, but to date there is no documentary proof of that relationship.

Tosh To-Do list:
1. Look for land records in Missouri for Thomas Tosh.
2. Review Ray County, Missouri newspapers for Thomas Tosh obituary.
3. Locate probate record for Jonathan Tosh and determine if it links him to Thomas Tosh.
4. Research Roanoke County, Virginia land records for Thomas Tosh.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Follow Friday - The Virginia Wall Story

During my visit home over the holidays my grandma loaned me a book. This was pretty amazing, as we had never shared books before. But my grandma knew that I would like this book because it had a genealogical flare and, most importantly, that flare included our family.

I'm referencing The Virginia Wall Story, a book by Bonnie Mitchell about Virginia Wall, a lifetime Missouri educator. Mitchell traces Virginia's life through the aid of her memories and diaries that she kept her entire life. The book traces a little bit of Miss Wall's family history and then follows her life as a high school educator.

Miss Wall was born in Morton a small hamlet in Ray County, Missouri, which is the small town that my grandma was born in. We are distantly related to Miss Wall...our joint ancestor is my 5th great-grandfather. But her stories from the 1920s through to today of life and educating in a small town are insights into my family and how they would have lived in the same town. Miss Wall was a high school English teacher at Chillicothe High School in Chillicothe, Missouri for 45 years. And while my mother went to a different small town high school, I can't help but think that the lifestyle would have been very similar to what Virginia writes about and now I have insight to my mother's school days that I didn't have before.

The best part for me about this book were the references to my own family. In 1951 Virginia was busy doing her usual singing for life's important events: "During Christmas break Virginia sang for a wedding at Morton Church and the next day she sang there again for the funeral of the bride's grandfather." This was my grandmother's wedding on December 31, 1951 and the funeral following was her grandfather, Claude Oran McGuire.

Virginia's family were farmers, like most of their neighbors. In the book she makes mention of my great grandparents, Clifton and Hazel White, as friends that rented a portion of the Wall family land. In August 1962 she mentions: "The next day Virginia and her mother made a trip to Richmond to visit friends and learned that Mr. Clifton White's mother had passed away. Mr. White was farming the Wall ground for Mary [Virginia's mother] and Virginia. On Sunday Virginia sang for the first service at church and then she and Mary went on to Hardin for dinner at the Rhodes home. That afternoon Virginia sang for Mrs. White's funeral at Morton Church."

In 1974 Virginia mentions the Whites again: "Late in February, Virginia received a letter from Clifton White in Morton. He had decided to build a new home on the property he had purchased from Mary and Virginia and learned he needed the original abstract. Virginia made a trip to Hardin to retrieve it from the lock box there. She was delighted that these friends would enjoy the lovely view she and her family had loved for so long when the Wall family lived there."

I know where that land is and I have been in the house built on it, one in which my great-uncle and great-aunt still live. But now I know who had that land before. Each mention is small, but altogether they mean genealogical gold. I've learned little details about my family that no amount of documentary research would find. It is mentioned in the book that Miss Virginia Wall was hesitant to write a book about herself...after all, who would read it? My answer to Miss Wall is anyone interested in the minute details of a person's or town's life...that is just about every genealogist I know.

Author's Note: Miss Wall was persuaded to write her life story because all proceeds from the sale of the book go to the not-for-profit foundation The Virginia Wall Scholarship Fund. For more information on the book or the scholarship fund write: Virginia Wall Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 463, Chillicothe, MO 64601.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Bruna McGuire

Bruna McGuire, date unknown, taken in Ray County, Missouri

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Surname Saturday - Bodine

The first Bodine in my tree is Eliza Bodine (1815-1855). It is not clear where Eliza was born, some records state New Jersey and another source states Niles, New York. At some point, Eliza and her family migrated to Ohio as she married James Cutler October 16, 1840 in Plymouth, Richland County, Ohio. The couple had four children: Bertha (b. December 28, 1841), Robert Ervin (b. March 3, 1846), Mary Eliza (b. April 23, 1853), and Martin Reed (b. March 22, 1855). The large gaps between children lead me to believe that there were others that did not survive to adulthood. My line descends through Bertha.
Eliza Bodine Cutler's headstone, located in Pioneer Rest Cemetery, Richland County, Ohio.

Eliza Bodine Cutler died October 24, 1855. She is the first Bodine in my line and for all intensive purposes, the last. As part of my genealogy goals for 2012 I chose the Bodine line as one to research further. Many months ago I received a copy of the Genealogy and History of the Branch of the Bodine Family Founded by John Bodine, A Soldier of the Revolutionary War and a pioneer of the State of New Jersey, written by Maude Cutler Scholfield, a very distant cousin. This manuscript traces the Bodine line from my 3rd Great-grandmother's generation (Bertha) back to a Jean le Baudain, living in France during the 14th century. There is a nice bibliography to the manuscript and I have no doubt that Mrs. Scholfield did meticulous research, but I must always carve my own path. Utilizing her information as a starting point I will be looking to find proof of Eliza's birthplace, her parents and then more branches from there.

Ms. Scholfield's book states that Eliza was born in Niles, New York and that her parents were Peter Bodine and Susan Ervin. (Note that one of Eliza's children bears the middle name of "Ervin"). I found that Niles, New York is in Cayuga County. In a Google search I found the Cayuga County Historian's Office website which lists a "Family File" for the surname Bodine. I have already sent a request for a copy of the file. We'll see if I can track anything more down on the Bodines. Take that, genealogy goal.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Follow Friday - The State Historical Society of Missouri

Completely side-stepping my genealogy goals, I randomly came across The State Historical Society of Missouri in the course of my research yesterday. Nancy, who blogs at My Ancestors and Me, has been posting about the Civil War pension file she recently received. I have been really enjoying these posts because I have been comparing what Nancy received in her pension file to one I recently received myself. Her joy in going through the pension file also reminded me of the fun of receiving my own. Hence, I decided to see what other pension files I could order. (See how randomly my mind works?)

I came across Thomas J. Burnett, my third great-grandfather. Another Union Soldier that applied for and received a pension. I know very little about Thomas and in reviewing my information on him I found several Civil War service files that could be his. Before spending the money on a pension file, I decided to dig a little deeper on Thomas and see if I actually needed to order the file. I determined to find his obituary and see if it mentioned a Civil War unit. But I couldn't find it anywhere online and the newspapers for Kingsville, Johnson County, Missouri have not been digitized. Cue the State Historical Society of Missouri. As part of my research list I always check state historical societies to see what newspapers they have on microfilm. The Missouri society had many of the Johnson County newspapers on microfilm so I was in business. I won't be in Columbia, Missouri any time soon to do research so I looked in to their research options. They have a great Newspaper research option and the form is incredibly easy to use.

They also have many collections online to include historic Missouri photos and digitized newspapers. The site is definitely worth a look-see for those with Missouri ancestors. I'm glad sometimes that my mind works the way it does.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - McGuire family

Virginia, Margaret, Florence (Coffman), Claude, Hazel and young Margaret McGuire, taken around 1930.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'll jump on the Goal Wagon

Many of my fellow genealogy bloggers have been posting their goals for 2012 over the past week. At first I thought, "how silly...now everyone will know what you procrastinate on." But then I realized it is more about holding your own feet to the fire. As stated before, I have a serious case of genealogy ADD. There is something wonderful about just looking at my tree, picking a random branch and exploring. But there is also something uber unproductive about it. So I'll remember that it's a hobby, it's okay if I don't accomplish these (no one will take away my birthday), and it will provide me one of the things I need more than anything else: focus. So, here we go...
1. My grandmother's 80th birthday is in July and I would like to create some type of "life to this date" memento for her and her guests.

2. Finally order the two Sicilian films from the LDS that I have very much procrastinated on.

3. Research first hand accounts of migration from Virginia to Kentucky to Missouri. Many of my family lines made this trek, and while I have no way of knowing what precipitated their moves specifically, perhaps I can find some explanations in the accounts of other migrants.
4. Determine the origins of my Tosh, Bodine, Creed and Reece family lines.

5. Begin a study of occupations of my ancestors.
6. Actually write some posts for my Civil War Remembered series (and yes, this may mean "backdating." It's my blog and I can backdate if I want to.)

7. Change my blog layout. I'm bored.

8. Attempt to track down living relatives in order to locate photographs, stories, journals or just to share what I have.
Here we go. Not too many goals, let's be honest, I can't take that much structure. But I have 12 months to make some kind of dent in this. We'll see how it goes. I have also declared this the Year of Craft in my house. I constantly feel a need to create something, but very rarely act upon it. It's time to put a stop to that and crank out some quilts, embroidery, kids art projects, the list goes on and on and on. Here's to a productive year!