Tuesday Trivia


Haven’t yet gotten around to crafting some Genealogy New Year’s Resolutions? Or, like Maxine, have you broken them all already?

A full year ago, my friend Thomas MacEntee wrote a blog post wherein he came up with a list of seven “Cs” for Genealogy New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. CLEAN: Take inventory, get organized, and clean out!
  2. COLLECT:  Create a solid system for keeping track of gene info.
  3. CURATE: Review source material… is it true or false?
  4. CONNECT: Don’t get stuck on one source….connect with libraries, archives and other genealogists.
  5. CREATE: Write up a concise proof for each fact and relationship.
  6. CONSERVE: Have multiple backup plans!
  7. CONTINUE: “Basically,” said Thomas, “this is the rinse-and-repeat cycle.”

Whatever YOU come up with for YOUR Genealogy New Year’s Resolutions, I hope you stick to them and by next December can be proud of your progress.


Tuesday Trivia

I already knew I was dumber
Than the fifth graders…
But now it’s the



Which Way is the bus below traveling?

To the left or to the right? 
Can’t make up your mind?
Look carefully at the picture

Still don’t know? 
Pre-schoolers all over the United States
Were shown this picture and asked

The same question.
92% of the pre-schooler’s gave
This answer.

“The bus is traveling to the left.” 
When asked, “Why do you think the bus is traveling to

The left?”
They answered: 
Because you can’t see the door to get

On the bus.” 
How do you feel

I know, me too.

Have a nice day

Tuesday Trivia

Most all genealogists used the FamilySearch website. We also use Ancestry, Find-My-Past, MyHeritage, and a host of other website containing user-submitted family trees.

How many of us look with a careful, critical eye to the information we find amidst the branches on those online family trees? Do we swallow every new name, date and places as if it were “good medicine?” Or do we stop, slow down and ask questions.

I was Internet-searching in the above named databases thinking to further the lineage of James Paschal. Here’s an entry I found on FamilySearch, copied faithfully as I spotted it:

James Paschal

1742 – Midd, NJ

1792 – North, Carolina, Puerto Rico, USA

What on earth was that dear soul submitter thinking??? That’s more than a simple “finger jerk” goof.

The point is here to yes, search those family-tree-user-submitted online databases but consider carefully what you find. At best you’ll find really goofy stuff and at best you’ll find great clues. Not final answers without further research. But you all knew that right?

Tuesday Trivia

Everybody enjoys granola in one form or another. …. cereal, bars, ice cream topping, etc. And most everybody knows the basics of ingredients: oats, nuts, honey, etc.

Seems a bakery in Massachusetts had listed, among the items in their ingredient list for their granola, the item “love.”  The “ingredient” was a nod to the passion bakers put into their product and wink to fans of the snack.” The company’s chief executive officer was quoted as saying: “People ask us what makes (our products) so good. It’s kind of nice that we can say there’s love in it and it puts a smile on people’s faces.”

But the Food & Drug Administration didn’t see it that way. “A human emotion, it said, cannot be an ingredient in baked goods.” They published a warning letter to the bakery, telling them to “stop claiming that its granola contains love.”

(The FDA) “expects the company to correct the serious violations found upon FDA inspection, as noted in the warning letter.”

How would you have responded to this situation??

(Bangor Daily News, Oct 6, 2017)

Tuesday Trivia

We all know that “the Pilgrim Fathers or Planters” were those who arrived in what-would-become American shores in 1620 aboard the ship Mayflower, right?  Wrong.

“We may define, roughly, the “Pilgrim” Planters as those who came to New Plymouth in the Mayflower in 1620, and in the Fortune in 1621, and  in the Anne and Little James in 1623, and the Mayflower (again) in 1629. There were a few, closely related to this group, who came over in the Handmaid, and other ships, in 1630 or soon thereafter.

So how would you define the difference between a Pilgrim and a Planter?

(History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters, by Leon Clark Hills, 1936, published in the Cape Cod series, Vol. 1 and 2.)

Tuesday Trivia

All us dog lovers will enjoy this story…..  In September, when daughter and I took our trip to Maine, we visited the Owls Head Lighthouse near Rockland. I did notice a small “tombstone” near the steps up to the light: For SPOT, the Lighthouse Dog. I knew there was a story so I looked….

Spot was a springer spaniel belonging to the lighthouse keeper. “The dog learned to pull the fog bell rope with his teeth when he saw an approaching vessel. Boats would answer with a whistle or bell and Spot would bark a reply. One stormy winter night in the 1890s, the mailboat was headed towards Owls Head. The fog bell rope was buried in the snow but Spot’s constant barking warned the captain in time to guide his vessel around the peninsula, clear the rocks and sound a whistle to acknowledge safe passage. The spaniel is buried on the hillside near the former location of the fog bell.”  (Discovering Marine’s Lighthouses & Harbors, Summer 2017)

What do you think of this story? Would you want a marker for your beloved dogger pet???

Tuesday Trivia

Knowing the origins of surnames is a most interesting study. I submit to you today that knowing the origin of YOUR first name is way-cool too. I often ask folks, “Do you know why your parents chose (    ) for your name?” Sometimes they know but often they do not. Transfer that thought to your ancestor’s first names.  I have, back in the late 1700s in Connecticut, a John and Sarah Gurney family. They had children Sarah (after mother), Elizabeth (after grandmother) and John (after father) and then Bezaleel. After nobody! Where on earth?

Well, knowing that the only “baby names book” those good Christian folks had was the Bible, I went looking. Sure enough, There are plenty of references to a Bezaleel…”the Lord called Bezaleel and filled him with knowledge of how to do the job of making the Ark of the Covenant.” (Exodus 35:30).  Exodus 37 and 38 describe how he did the job.

P.S. He did not pass down that name!

Tuesday Trivia

I have a whole stadium full of New England ancestors  and I’d bet that many of you do too. Reading a book titled, Sightseeking: Clues to the Landscape History of New England, by Christopher J. Lenney, 2003, I learned about  what he called The China Syndrome.

Between about 1787 and 1849, in New England, there were many  towns with exotic names such as China, Poland, Denmark, Palermo, Belgrade, Rome, Corinth, Alexandria and Brunswick (“to flatter the House of Hanover”). Lenney quotes Wilbur Zelinsky as stating that he believed that these exotic names for towns showed “the extroverted buoyancy and expansiveness of spirit that many observers identify today as American.”

Lenney states that “the general flowering of exotic names in the early republic” shows that “the United States was a new nation that had lately assumed its station among the powers of the earth; perhaps in token of this, the names of its towns began to scintillate with the brilliance of the firmament in which it was the newest star.”

Thinking about this, it wasn’t only a New England phenomena ….. think Frankfort, Cairo, London, etc. Interesting trivia, don’t you think?

Tuesday Trivia

For those of you who might have early Spokane connections, The Spokesman-Reivew has published a pictorial history of early Spokane…..as shown in the images of past issues of the newspaper.

While I have no Spokane connections, hubby’s family does. John Peter Oswald married Mary Ethel Leverich in 1911 at her home in Illinois and then came to Hillyard where he worked on the locomotives. When expecting their first child, John’s mother Esther, they bought land west of town and raised their five children there, born 1913-1925. So I’m ordering this book for his Christmas!


For ordering information, click to www.Spokane.PictorialBook.com. Cost before Dec 8th is $29.95 (plus tax/shipping) and will be $15 more later on.

Has the newspaper in your ancestral home towns published such a history? Have you checked????

Tuesday Trivia

Read a most interesting article in the November Smithsonian Magazine all about the so-called Spanish Flu of 1918. The author, John M. Barry, has spent years researching this topic and now believes this pandemic started in southwest Kansas, Haskell County to be exact, in January 1918. Several Haskell County men who’d been exposed went to Camp Funston in central Kansas and within two weeks, 1100 soldiers at this huge Army training camp were admitted to the hospital. Then, likely carrying the disease, infected men were shipped overseas…… to France and then Spain, where it spread among all soldiers like wildfire. In the end, this disease killed between 50 and 100 million people before running its course. Some 670,000 died in the U.S. (And to die from this influenza was a horrible death. If you dare, Google a picture of a lung from a deceased influenza victim.)
Think about your male ancestors, aged 17-45, in 1917. Were they in a place and situation that they might have become infected? (You’re here; they didn’t die, eh?) And what about your ancestor’s family? My grandfather had enlisted in Michigan in late 1917 and was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center (north of Chicago) and the war was over before he finished his training. How lucky he was, and I am, that he survived.