Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

One of the ways I've spent the past few years of my life.



© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, June 28, 2010

Madness Monday - Taking A Break

The Madness Monday posts on the William H. Ballinger family will be on hiatus for two or three weeks as things are a little "mad" around the Goodrum household with summer and family activities.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, June 27, 2010

When You Know Just Enough To Be Dangerous

It seems I've unwittingly caused myself a tinsy weensy problem. Back when I set up this blog, I also set up Google Analytics. Now I have found Analytics to be rather gratifying from the standpoint that the reports tell me that people are actually visiting and navigating around this blog.  I'm not just writing posts to myself!

The end of May, I decided to switch to a different template and patted myself on the back for successfully switching over.  The other day I took a look at Google Analytics for the first time in many weeks only to discover zero traffic! Where did everyone go?  After taking a couple of deep breaths I realized that people are still regularly commenting so they must be visiting the site and reading.

After much investigating I realized that I probably know just enough to be dangerous to myself.  Apparently there was some HTML code that I inserted in the original template way back when for Google Analytics. I don't exactly know what the code says. The instructions just said where to insert this block of code. So when the switch was made to the new template, the HTML code went away. The code has been replaced and now it looks like there is traffic once again to The Turning of Generations. I hate it when I do things like this! [Sigh]

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sorting Saturday-Time Capsule-A Bottle of ???

When we first opened the Time Capsule, we noticed a rather pleasant smell. Not what one would expect upon opening up a suitcase that's been closed for over four decades.  I have no idea what's in this little gem but, like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps on going and going and going.


The words are terribly faded but I can make out the word Paris Japan (thanks Kerry).


 

Here are links to the other posts in this series as well as a couple of related articles:

The Time Capsule
First Steps
The Time Capsule's Top Layer
Part 2
Teacher's Certificate
Teacher's Certificate #2
Baby Shoes
Sewing Anyone?
Help! Do You Know What This Is?
Frances' Necklace
A Bottle of???
Embroidery
More Stuff To Sort
Doilies
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Dress
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Preserving the Time Capsule
Sorting Saturday - The Time Capsule is Sorted. What I learned.
COG-Scrapbooking Your Family History! Frances Lowe
Treasure Chest Thursday-You Are My Treasures

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, June 25, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge 25 - Blog Commenting

This weeks challenge was to :
Write one good, solid comment on at least one genealogy blog every day for a week. Sometimes we get busy and the genealogy reading we should be doing just piles up. The same thing happens with blogs. This week, take some time to read genealogy blogs. Select at least one post a day and establish communication with the author. Offer a compliment, a question or genealogy information you may have. This challenge provides a little love to bloggers and some new perspectives for researchers. Authors of genealogy blogs can use this opportunity to comment on comments, so to speak.

I needed this assignment. With summer family activities in full force along with the day to day workings of life, I've fallen a bit behind on blog reading and we won't even talk about commenting. So this week I put forth the effort to get back into the habit of commenting on postings that were particuarly enjoyable or that I had something to contribute to.  After all that's really the other half of what blogging (life in general for that matter) is all about - interacting with one another.

Thanks to Amy over at We Tree for developing this series and this week's assignment in particular and to GeneaBloggers.


© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Madness Monday - William Ballenger Land Sale

This week I am looking at the deed of sale from William H. and Lucinda Ballinger to Jeremiah Ballinger.  You can read a transcription of the deed below but the particulars are this:

The sale is dated 7 March 1854.
It was for 160 acres in Mahaska County, Iowa.
The land was sold for $300.
Samuel Ballinger was the witness.

In my post Collateral Lines Anyone? I noted that Jeremiah and Samuel were young men and had been listed in various Iowa state censuses from the 1850s sometimes in the same house with an older John F. Ballinger.  I will definitely be taking a closer look at those 3 men.

From this document, I can plot where William's land was located and begin to fill in the other neighbor's from property maps and other land transactions.

This deed has left me with lots of questions (remember I am looking for relatives of William):
  1. Who are Jeremiah and Samuel and why are they transacting business with William?
  2. Why did William sell 160 acres?
  3. When did he buy this property?
At least this gives me an additional data point on William's timeline!


Transcription:
[left hand margin is written “34-76-15”]


Wm H Ballenger etux
To Deed
JJ Ballinger

Filed for Record April 20th 1854 at 1
O'Clock PM & Recorded April 22nd 1854

For the consideration Three hundred dollars we hereby convey
unto Jeremiah J Ballinger the following tract of land Situated
in the County of Mahaska in the State of Iowa. Viz: the South
East Quarter of section Thirty four in Township Seventy six No

[page] 557

of Range fifteen West containing one hundred and Sixty acres
And we warrant the title to the same to the said Jeremiah J Ballinger
against all Persons whomsoever. Executed this Seventh day of March
AD 1854 in presence of
Samuel Ballinger

W H. Ballinger
Lucinda Ballinger

State of Iowa, Mahaska County ss
Before me Samuel Kirby a Justice of the Peace in and
for said County personally appeared the above named William H.
Ballinger and Lucinda Ballinger personally known to me to be the
identical persons whose names appeared in the foregoing Deed as grantors
and acknowledged the above instrument to be their voluntary act
and deed for the purposes there in expressed. Given under my
hand this 1 day of April AD 1854
Samuel Kirby
Justice of the Peace

Henry Blackburn recorder Mahaska County Iowa.

[Citation:
Mahaska County, Iowa, Land Deeds, 1853-54, Volume E, 20 April 1854; Family History Library microfilm 972968.]

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sentimental Sunday-Garage Sale Anyone?

The point had been reached in cleaning out the family home where it was time for stuff to go away.  We borrowed and twisted the phrase, "The Prime Directive" (Star Trek) as a reminder to all of us to "make it go away."  If an item's not going to get used, remember The Prime Directive.

Easy to say until the young family from across the street came wandering over looking for a chair for their small children.  Another family member looked at me and said, "I know of a red rocking chair...remember The Prime Directive!"



The red rocking chair suddenly appeared to the oohs and ahs of two very cute little kids.  How can you say no to that?  So I took a deep breath and it was gone.  But not before they also found Dad's very old check protector. 


Believe it or not, this thing still works perfectly well.  Just insert check. Punch in the amount of the check, pull the lever and wala! out comes the check amount imprinted on the check.  When I showed the little boy across the street what this little gem can do, he was sold!

They also left with an old pair of Mom's silver sparkly pumps that the little girl kept referring to as the silver slippers. How can you not love it?

Unfortunately, my cradle did not sell.  I had steeled myself for this to go and it didn't happen! 



I am really hoping this item eventually finds a good home.  I imagine it as a place to display stuffed animals or blankets in someone's nursery.

I think these items will all go into the heirloom book so we can reminisce about the good ol' days.

Until the next sale day...

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, June 14, 2010

Madness Monday - William Ballenger -Census Mis-index

Last week I wrote about starting to look for other Ballenger families in Mahaska County, Iowa in the Iowa State Census Collection during the 1850’s. One of the names that had appeared on an 1854 special census was that of Willard Ballenger. You can see by looking at the image below that Willard is really William. I let Ancestry know and they say they have included the alternate (correct) spelling.

So, the count for this household is as follows:

line 7 William Ballenger 2 males, 2 females, 0 colored male, 0 colored female, 1 voter, 1 militia, 0 aliens, 4 Total

The William Ballenger household would have been composed of William, Lucinda (wife), John H (son), and Nancy (daughter).

This fills in another year on the family’s timeline! Of course it also raises some additional questions such as are there any voter or militia records available for the area? Who are the Samuel and JF Ballenger families? How are they associated with William? Where is their property located in relation to William’s?


 
Next week we’ll look at some more Mahaska County, Iowa records and see what we can glean from them. Stay tuned…

Note: I did check the preceding pages for additional Ballengers and there were none. What you see in the image is the last two pages for the Mahaska County listing.

Source:
1854 Iowa State Census, Mahaska County, Iowa, Adams Township, no page number, line 7. William Ballenger; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed April 2010), citing microfilm of Iowa State special censuses 1854 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest.
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sorting Saturday-Time Capsule-Baby Shoes

Today we move on to the next layer of my great grandmother Frances Lowe's suitecase that has been dubbed the "Time Capsule."  Here's a glimpse of what's coming.

Today we're taking a look at a pair of sweet baby shoes.

Since little baby feet tend to grow rapidly, I'm guessing the original occupant of these shoes didn't have a chance to wear them very many times.  They are in mint condition.  I don't know much of anything about these things but the lace/piping makes me wonder if they were for a little girl.

At any rate, Frances had 3 sons. So I'm wondering if these cute little shoes might have belonged to Frances herself.  At least that's what I'd like to think for now.

Here are links to the other posts in this series as well as a couple of related articles:

The Time Capsule
First Steps
The Time Capsule's Top Layer
Part 2
Teacher's Certificate
Teacher's Certificate #2
Baby Shoes
Sewing Anyone?
Help! Do You Know What This Is?
Frances' Necklace
A Bottle of???
Embroidery
More Stuff To Sort
Doilies
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Dress
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Preserving the Time Capsule
Sorting Saturday - The Time Capsule is Sorted. What I learned.
COG-Scrapbooking Your Family History! Frances Lowe
Treasure Chest Thursday-You Are My Treasures

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday-Time Capsule-Teacher's Certificate #2

Continuing from Saturday's post where I wrote about my great grandmother Frances Lowe's Teacher's Certificate from Boulder County, Colorado. Here is the second Teacher's Certificate that was found in the "Time Capsule."

Unfortunately, there is a small hole in the paper right where the last digit of the year Frances certificate was awarded to her! She and Milton were married 13 March 1895 in Boulder, Colorado[1] so the year would have to be 1895 or later. An account in the local history, They Gazed on The Beartooths, by Jim Annin, place the Lowe’s in Limestone, Montana by 1896[2]. However, Milton's Homestead Entry file states that he settled on his land on 20 April 1897[3].  So that at least gives me a pretty good idea of when the certificate was awarded to Frances.
If you read the small print it’s clear here that the “3rd grade” is referencing Frances’ certificate and not the grade of children she is certified to teach. That makes sense considering the community where they were living was very spread out and sparsely populated.

The only other thing I am wondering about is why it was issued for Carbon County, Montana. My understanding is that at the time, they were in Yellowstone County. The Lowe’s homestead was located in 3 different counties that I know of, during the 30 or so years the family lived on it. None of them was Carbon. Although Carbon County is adjacent to the various counties in which the Lowe's homestead was located.  So I need to double check the county histories and also consider the possibility that Carbon was the closest places for Frances to go to obtain a teaching certificate.

On Saturday we'll move away from paper and start looking at some of the other types of treasures in the Time Capsule.

Here are links to the other posts in this series as well as a couple of related articles:

The Time Capsule
First Steps
The Time Capsule's Top Layer
Part 2
Teacher's Certificate
Teacher's Certificate #2
Baby Shoes
Sewing Anyone?
Help! Do You Know What This Is?
Frances' Necklace
A Bottle of???
Embroidery
More Stuff To Sort
Doilies
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Dress
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Preserving the Time Capsule
Sorting Saturday - The Time Capsule is Sorted. What I learned.
COG-Scrapbooking Your Family History! Frances Lowe
Treasure Chest Thursday-You Are My Treasures


Citations:
[1] Boulder County, Colorado, marriage certificate (1895), Lowe-Robinson; privately held by Michelle Goodrum, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE].


[2] Jim Annin, They Gazed on the Beartooths, 3 vols.( Billings, Montana: Reporter Printing & Supply Company, 1964), 1:336.

[3] Application No. 7063, 8 May 1908, in Milton C. Lowe (Yellowstone County) homestead file bearing final certificate No. 136540, 13 June 1910, Bozeman, Montana, Land Office; Land Entry Papers, 1800-1908; Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bathing Beauty



Mom - Colleen in August 1951.


Submitted for the Carnival of Genealogy's Family Swimsuit Edition.



© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, June 7, 2010

Madness Monday - Collateral Lines Anyone?

One piece of advice often heard regarding brick wall ancestors is to research collateral lines.  In the case of my brick wall, William H. Ballenger, I haven't even been able to identify a collateral relative to research.  So in his case I thought I'd try identifying potential collateral lines.

William's last three known residences of Nye, Montana, Grand County, Colorado and Boulder, Colorado haven't turned up any potential Ballenger relatives.  However, when he was living in Mahaska County, Iowa, I noticed that surname so I decided to start looking there.

Initially I am focussing on the 1850-1859 time period, since I know that my William Ballenger was living in Mahaska County then.  In reviewing the Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1926 on Ancestry, the following Ballenger family groupings turned up:

John F. Ballinger
  • Two Johns-with one being much older than the other.
  • The younger John appears in the various years as Ballenger, Ballinger and Ballanger.
Landon Ballinger
Thomas Ballinger
Samuel & Jeremiah Ballenger (young men listed, at times, in the same house with the older John F. Ballinger).
William H. Ballinger (click here to read a little about William)
Willard Ballenger

The listing for Willard Ballenger was for 1854 and caught my eye right off the bat so we will be taking a look at him next week. Can you guess where this discussion is headed?


© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sorting Saturday-Time Capsule 3 - Teacher Certificate

Today we are continuing to examine the contents of the leather case found in my great grandmother, Frances Lowe’s suitcase that has been dubbed the Time Capsule. If you have missed any of the previous Time Capsule posts, check out the links at the end of this article.

I have heard comments from older members of the family that Frances was a teacher, or that she taught her boys (and maybe some of the other local kids) in her home; a sort of frontier homeschooling. It turns out there was something to those stories as two teacher certificates turned up in the leather case. I have to say that I got goose bumps when I first saw these. Those certificates must have been pretty important to Frances for her to have kept them close for so many years. Frances died in 1964[1] at the age of 93[2] so she kept track of these two certificates for a very long time. I am proud to be the caretaker of them for future generations.

Here's the first certificate:
So Frances was licensed to be a teacher in her home county of Boulder, Colorado about a year and a half before her marriage to Milton Clark Lowe. The following statement I am a little confused about:
…SCHOLARSHIP and PROFESSIONAL ABILITY as entitled her to a CERTIFICATE of the Second grade…
I am unclear as to whether she was entitled to teach children of the second grade (as we might think of second grade today) or if that is a grade, class or level of teacher relating to her teaching ability. At any rate, this piece of paper is nearly 107 years old and is amazingly good condition.

Preservation

Since I am now the caretaker for these two very precious documents, I have laid them out flat so they can relax a bit from being folded up all those years. They will each be placed in their own lightweight acid free, lignin free folder and stored in an archival safe box with the rest of the documents and photographs that are uncovered in the Time Capsule.

Thursday the other teacher's certificate will be up after I've had a chance to take a closer look at it.

Here are links to the other posts in this series as well as a couple of related articles:

The Time Capsule
First Steps
The Time Capsule's Top Layer
Part 2
Teacher's Certificate
Teacher's Certificate #2
Baby Shoes
Sewing Anyone?
Help! Do You Know What This Is?
Frances' Necklace
A Bottle of???
Embroidery
More Stuff To Sort
Doilies
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Dress
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Preserving the Time Capsule
Sorting Saturday - The Time Capsule is Sorted. What I learned.
COG-Scrapbooking Your Family History! Frances Lowe
Treasure Chest Thursday-You Are My Treasures

Citations:

[1] Washington Department of Health, death certificate no. 22770, Frances E. Lowe (1964); Olympia.
[2] Theodore Low Family Bible Records, 1831-1964. Holy Bible. Ziegler & McCurdy, 1872, “Births”; privately held by Russell Lowe, [address for private use,], 1997. Frances age could also be calculated from the birthdate on her death certificate cited in note 1.


© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Local Genealogy Society Meeting

This week I had the pleasure of attending the May meeting of the Family History Society of Arizona’a East Valley Chapter. I have been a member for more years than I can remember and used to regularly attend meetings. Due to “family activities” in recent years (spelled “softball” and “music lessons” among other things), I have been unable to attend meetings for a very long time. There were a couple of faces I remember but for the most part it was a new group for me. It was great to be back and meet some more people who share a common passion.


At the start of the meeting, I was asked to share something I had learned at the NGS conference so I did a quick presentation on Google Alerts.

One of several highlights of the evening was getting to meet, in person, fellow GeneaBlogger, Mary of Me and My Ancestors. She had contacted me about finding a society to become involved with since we live in the same area.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I go to a genealogy conference or meeting, I come home with this adrenaline rush that takes several hours to come down from. The other evening was no different. It must be the equivalent of a runner’s high.


© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - The Time Capsule - Part 2

Today I am examining the next layer of my great grandmother, Frances Lowe's "Time Capsule;" specifically some of the contents of the leather case. You can read previous posts about the "Time Capsule" here, here and here.

A partial inventory reveals items relating to the Order of the Eastern Star, including:

  • Rosters from Queen Esther Chapter No 5, Boulder Colorado for the years 1907, 1914, and 1938. Frances is listed as a member in the 1914 directory only with an address of Nye, Montana.

  • By-Laws for the same chapter.

  • Book titled, Ritual of the Order Eastern Star, published by Authority of the General Grand Chapter, Chicago, copyright 1890. The publish date is July, 1904.

  • 2 receipts dated 9 July 1914 and 25 March 1915 stating Frances Lowe had paid her dues.

  • The "certificate" dated 25 March 1915 and shown below which, if I read it correctly, is saying that Frances was received as a member 24 November 1910 and  is now released from membership.

 
Frances moved with her husband, Milton, from Boulder, Colorado to Limestone/Nye, Montana in the mid 1890's. I can't help but wonder why she joined the Order of the Eastern Star, in Boulder, so long after she had moved from there.  Frances was born and raised in the lovely town of Boulder and moved literally to frontier country in Montana.  I visited their homestead last summer and it is still in what I would consider back country (or very nearly); a beautiful land but remote and harsh in the winters. Talk about going through a lifestyle change.  I would not be surprised if she had hoped to move back to Colorado.

Interestingly, the Ritual of the Order Eastern Star, has a paragraph titled Membership.  It states:
Master Masons in good standing in a Masonic Lodge, and their wives, daughters, mothers, widows, and sisters, who have attained the age of eighteen years, are eligible to membership in this Order.
I have found no evidence, yet, that Frances' husband, Milton, belonged to the Masons (although his father did[1]).  Frances' father, Daniel Robinson, was a Mason in Boulder[2].  So that could have been how she gained her membership. Frances' mother, Nancy (Ballenger) Robinson, was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in Boulder (she is listed in the 1914 directory and her obituary[3] mentions it).

If you are interested in the Order of the Eastern Star, you can read more about it here and here.

So far all of the items in the Time Capsule (with the exception of the leather case) can easily be placed together in an archival safe box.  It is done.

Next up are by far my favorite finds to date in the Time Capsule.

Here are links to the other posts in this series as well as a couple of related articles:

The Time Capsule
First Steps
The Time Capsule's Top Layer
Part 2
Teacher's Certificate
Teacher's Certificate #2
Baby Shoes
Sewing Anyone?
Help! Do You Know What This Is?
Frances' Necklace
A Bottle of???
Embroidery
More Stuff To Sort
Doilies
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Dress
Pictures, Announcements, etc.
Preserving the Time Capsule
Sorting Saturday - The Time Capsule is Sorted. What I learned.
COG-Scrapbooking Your Family History! Frances Lowe
Treasure Chest Thursday-You Are My Treasures


Endnotes:
[1] The Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado), 3 June 1897, p. 4.
[2] The Boulder County Herald (Colorado), 7 Feb 1900, page 5.
[3] Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Washington), 9 September 1927, section H.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum