Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ancestors' Geneameme

Jill from the Geniaus blog has created a new meme:  The Ancestors' Geneameme.  Here are my results.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?
  1. Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
  2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors (I can name 108 at last count)
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents  (I have six, but have seen a portrait of the last two, but do not have a copy of it)
  4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times (I wrote about Medina Sherer here)
  5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
  6. Met all four of my grandparents (only three, my grandpa Lee died before I was born)
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents (I saw my Hiby great-grandparents several times before they passed away)
  8. Named a child after an ancestor (my children's middle names only)
  9. Bear an ancestor's given name/s
  10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland (my most recent would be Fanny Arnold Harmon, my 2nd great-grandmother)
  11. Have an ancestor from Asia
  12. Have an ancestor from Continental Europe (yep, lots)
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa
  14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer (I think nearly all my ancestors were involved in agriculture)
  15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings (not sure how large is large, but many had 160+ acres)
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man - minister, priest, rabbi (Rev. Isaac Grindstaff, a Baptist preacher)
  17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18. Have an ancestor who was an author
  19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones (sigh, yes, at least two different unrelated Jones lines)
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z (Zerlinda, daughter of Medina mentioned in #4 above)
  23. Have an ancestor born on 25th December (nope but a set of great-great-grandparents got married on Christmas)
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day (4 relatives, but not a direct ancestor)
  25. Have blue blood in your family lines
  26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth (my most recent ancestor of foreign birth is Fanny Arnold born in Warwickshire, England in 1856)
  28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X (While I'm sure I do, I'd be happy to just have a copy of a marriage certificate!)
  32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university (I was the first college graduate in my family, followed by my sister three years later)
  33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence (I've heard rumors of a bastardy bond filed against a couple of ancestors - sure would like to see the evidence of it.)
  34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35. Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine (several times here on my blog)
  36. Have published a family history online or in print (Details please)
  37. Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries
  38. Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39. Have a family bible from the 19th Century (I do have copies of pages from an early 20th century bible that lists some 19th births/marriages.)
  40. Have a pre-19th century family bible
I have more on my list than I thought I would.  It makes me feel like I've accomplished something in the last dozen years or so.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Porter J. Harmon and Rebecca Armstrong

Porter J. Harmon and Rebecca Armstrong are my third great-grandparents, through their son Walter Harmon

Porter J. Harmon was born 14 May 1819 in New Marlborough, Berkshire, Massachusetts, to Walter Harmon and Azubah Hyde.  He was the oldest of five known children of this couple.  Very little is known of Porter's early years, but recent research has led me to his first marriage to Jane S. Hubbard on 25 November 1840 in Monterey, Berkshire, Massachusetts.  To this union was born one known child, a daughter Emma Jane Harmon born about 1842.

By 1845, Porter, his daughter Emma Jane, his parents Walter and Azubah, his sister Mary and her husband Ira Heath, and another brother, had arrived in Whiteside Co, Illinois.  Porter and his father Walter homesteaded property in what would later become Hopkins Township in Whiteside Co.  More specifically they lived near a small community called Round Grove.

In 1849, Porter married Rebecca Armstrong, also of Round Grove.  Rebecca was born in Pennsylvania in about 1825. While little else is known of Rebecca, I strongly believe that she is the daughter of the Barbara Armstrong living nearby in the 1850 census in Whiteside Co, Illinois.  I have an unsourced date of death for Rebecca Armstrong Harmon as 31 March 1876. It may be likely she was buried in the nearby Round Grove Cemetery.  Porter and Rebecca had the following children:
  1. Adaline born Sept 1853, married Almon Zimmer on 3 July 1871 in Whiteside Co, Illinois and died 24 Jan 1922 in Clark Co, South Dakota.
  2. Evaline born in 1855, married Lemuel Moffat on 20 Aug 1878 in Whiteside Co, Illinois and died in 1904 in Clarkesville, Butler, Iowa as a victim of a fire.
  3. Walter J. Harmon, my great-great-grandfather, born Feb 1857 and died 6 June 1921 in Clark Co, South Dakota.  He married Fannie Arnold on 16 Feb 1882 in Whiteside Co, Illinois.
  4. Mary born May 1862, married Samuel F. Etter on 29 Dec 1881 in Whiteside Co, Illinois.  By 1900 the couple was living in Adams Co, Washington.
  5. Barbara born 1867 in Whiteside Co, Illinois
  6. Milo born 1869 in Whiteside Co, Illinois.  It is presumed he died before 1880 as he is not found in that census with the rest of the family.
Porter married for a third time on 24 Jun 1880 to Margaret Houston in Whiteside Co, Illinois.  I do not know what became of Margaret after this time.

In about 1883, Porter, his son Walter and family, his daughter Adaline and family travelled to Clark Co, South Dakota where they homesteaded near the town of Clark.  Porter died in Clark on 25 November 1897 after having gone out to do the chores.  According to his obituary, Porter was living with his son Walter.  Porter is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery north of Clark.  His children Walter and Adaline and their spouses are buried nearby.

Please contact me if you are researching this family.  I would be thrilled to share information.  Sources available upon request.

©2011, copyright tracysroots

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Memory Lane: What a Difference an Apple Makes

I was a tween in 1986 when I first worked on an Apple computer.  It sat in the back corner of my school classroom and we were given assigned times to work on it.  I recall it had a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive and a flashing green cursor, but have no recollection of what I did on the computer. 

Two years later, I was in junior high at a different school district taking a required computer class.  I again worked on an Apple computer until I had "paid my dues", so to speak, and was able to move up to one of the limited numbers of Macintoshes in the room.  I was in love!  This computer stuff was easy.  I remember thinking once I learned to type (which came the next year - backwards, I know) working on computers was going to be great.

Fast forward to high school where I took a variety of business and computer classes as some of my elective choices.  One of the offerings was desktop publishing on a Mac.  I remember loving that class, the teacher, and marveling at how simple the Mac interface was.  As a senior, my business teacher recommended that I take another class that focused on learning the PC interface as preparation for college.  My god, it was like taking a step backwards trying to learn WordPerfect 5.1 on a DOS-based system.  It got worse when as a college freshman I was required to take another computer basics class where we learned more DOS programs.  I missed my Mac, but I was suddenly immersed in a PC world.

That was about the time I met my husband who was a landscape architecture student.  Because of all the draft courses in his major, he used a Mac.  I used his computer a few times to write papers, rather than fighting for a computer in the labs spread across campus.  As my husband and I entered the workforce, our focused shifted to PCs and we drifted away from our beloved Apple products.

And then came the iPod.  It was musical magic.  I stopped buying cds and started converting our existing cds to play on the iPod.  Then my husband upgraded to an iPhone, which really helped with his work.  I was green with envy and couldn't wait until I was due for a phone upgrade.  On Mother's Day 2011, my husband gave me a white iPhone.  He was like a kid in a candy store as he helped me set up my new toy phone.  The first app I downloaded was the app so I could have my trees handy!  While I never really cared about the kind of cell phone I had before, this iPhone has changed my life, just as I expect Steve Jobs thought it would.

Just last week while checking Facebook on my iPhone, I learned of Steve Jobs passing.  It's hard to describe how his innovations have changed the last 25 years for me.  Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs.  There will never be another like you.

Note:  I am not affiliated with Apple, Inc. or any of their products mentioned.  I am just a satisfied paying customer.
©2011, copyright tracysroots