Monday, January 31, 2011

Ancestry Approved Award for Our Family Quilt

A few days ago I was awarded the "Ancestry Approved" award by another genealogy/family history blogger. I am excited and honored to be recognized and given this award. Leslie Ann Ballou of "Ancestors Live Here" is credited with creating this award. The award is given for blogs that are "full of tips and tricks as well as funny and heartwarming stories...." One of the requirements of the award is to list ten things that "surprised, humbled or enlightened them about their ancestors." So, here is my list in no particular order.

My paternal grandparents Manly O. Dunn and Priscilla Jane Trezise homesteaded in Northeastern Colorado and did so living in a tent during brutal winter blizzards.

My maternal grandparents Andrew Jackson Loy and Clara Jones also homesteaded outside of Otis Colorado with 3 small children. They came from Columbus Indiana because my grandfather wanted to be a "Cowboy."

My paternal 4th great grandfather Russell Shaw 1781-1864 was the founder of Russellville Ohio.

Russellville Ohio was a route on the Underground Railroad.

Russell and his brother's built paddle boats on the Ohio river and once transported the young Abe Lincoln down the Ohio.

We have ancestors from the "Hatfield and McCoy" families.


A visiting dignatary was so impresed with my Grandmother Pricilla's work in the Methodist church in Sterling Colorado that he gave her a calf-skin robe that is now hanging in the Overland Trail Museum in Colorado.

My second great grand uncle Amberson Shaw, toured Europe with Buffalo Bill Cody's show.

Amberson and his wife Matola Bear Woman had a son who went on to become a minister on the Rosebud reservation.

Jacob Prickett, my fifth great grandfather knew George Washington and Prickett's Fort in Virginia was built around his home.

I hope this list inspires you to think about your own ancestor's stories.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

First Home Memories - Week 4

The Merino "Chicken Pickers"
According to my parents, they lived in several little places in the Merino Colorado area when I was first born. They referred to them as "beet shacks" since I was born in '54 and went through the '60's, I thought that they were talking about "Beat Shacks" and those of you that remember that time period would probably think the same thing.....a place where Beat-nick's hung around. When I got older, they set me straight. In Northeastern Colorado one of the major crops were sugar beets. So during harvest, the area would fill up with people coming to work in the fields and any shack, shed or small building that could be rented was put into use. They usually had little or no heat and very rural plumbing. I know my brothers suffered through a lot of winter ailments growing up. When I came along, my mom said I was always sick and they took me into town to stay where it was warmer.

I think the old grocery store that they rented was a pretty big place compared to some of the previous locations.
It looks pretty scary in the picture but it didn't look that bad back then. There were 2 big plate glass windows in the front and two windows in the attic. My "room" was behind the window on the left. Under the window was a hand made cedar chest that my oldest brother Doug made for me in high school shop class. I still have it and it is one of my most treasured possessions. On top of the chest sat my prized stuffed animals. Most of these my brother Willard won for me at the fair's and carnivals. My favorite was a big yellow elephant.

We had a dog named "bootsie" she was a bull terrier mix and was pretty old by the time I came along. I loved to dress her up in my petty coats, scarfs and sunglasses and try and get her to dance with me. She was always very patient with me and sat still, but I think she secretly longed for the old days when she would run the fields and down to the river with my brothers. On one of the dress up days, someone snapped a color picture of us posing in front of the old Phillips console radio. Doug carried the picture in his wallet all through his time in the service and long after. By the time I saw it, it was so creased it was hard to see it.

Over the years we have driven through Merino on many occasions and taken photos of the changes. I will post some in my upcoming posts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 2 - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy - Winter Memories

I grew up in Colorado on the plains and later in the foothills. Winter was gray, snowy and cold. My earliest memories were of the first house I remember we lived in, it was an old grocery store in Merino. The only heat was a pot belly stove in the corner of the big space we used as living room. The space was originally the main part of the grocery store so it seemed huge! It was cold everywhere except in the corner where the stove was. This was in the late 50's so we were a little behind times. When it was time for a bath, my mom put an old wash tub in front of the stove and poured kettles of hot water into for warm bathwater. I think the rest of the family used a shower in the basement and there was no heat at all for them. My brother's had it much worse. They lived in the attic, no heat and lots of wind blowing through. We were always bundled up in layers of clothes and wrapped in old wool blankets some of them the same as the bright colored blankets with stripes that were traded to early Native Americans.

When I was a little older, I remember we lived in a house with a front yard that sloped to the curb. My brother Doug had a pizza kitchen so he brought home a large pizza pan for me to use as a sled to slide down the hill.

My favorite part of winter in Colorado were the Canadian Geese. They flew so low over the houses I used to think that if I climbed the roof of the house with a big fish net, I could catch them on the fly. They seemed so close that you could see the beautiful detail of the goose down on their bellies.

Finally of course, there is nothing more awe inspiring to see the beautiful Rocky Mountains covered in snow as you looked out your windows. It was magic.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Week 1 - New Year's Memories

Happy New Year everyone. May it be filled with many blessings!

Throughout the years the only tradition I remember about the new year was to gather together on New Year's day for family dinner. It was not usually elaborate, but it was enough for relaxing and watching the games on TV. Some of us would have resolutions we had made and we would talk about them, but it was mostly a time to regroup and get ready for the year to come.

14 years ago when my husband and I celebrated our first new year together, it was with his family in California. There was a wonderful meal prepared by his mother and a big gathering. The guys all went outside to toss the football and after dinner, family pictures were taken.

My husband always ponders the upcoming year carefully and makes a prediction of how he feels the year will turn out. Then he asks me what my thoughts are, at first I wasn't prepared for this but over the years I guess I grew into it. Now when he asks me, I add my feelings as well. I think it is a positive way to frame our attitude for the upcoming year. Of course, it is not always a positive outlook each year but at the end of our reflections, we always thank our Lord for our blessings and acknowledge that through his love we will "get through" whatever the new year brings as long as we stick together and support one another.

From our family to yours, we hope the coming year brings all you hope for.