"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Old Medical Terms- A List!

So in response to my Sept 1st post about old medical terms, I decided to make a list of old medical terms that I have discovered through my research.  This is not an exhaustive list by any means. Just a few terms that I have seen through my research and what they really mean.  I will be coming back to this post and updating as I come across additional old medical terms.  Please feel free to share any in the comments below!

Apoplexy- Paralysis caused by a stroke.
Bright's Disease: Nephritis-inflammation of the kidney
Childbed fever- infection after childbirth; see Puerperal fever
Cholera infantum- diarrhea in young children common in poor or hand fed babies-meaning that they were fed with a flour and water mixture and resulted in vitamin deficiency.
Consumption- disease of wasting away of any part of the body eventually becoming tuberculosis
Dropsy- Heart Failure
Effluvia- Exhaustion.
Erysipelas- Strep infection of the skin; highly contagious.  Generally not fatal unless other diseases are present and cause a weakened state.  Also called St. Anthony's Fire, or St. Anthony's Rose, and Eel Thing.
Generalized Paralysis of the Insane: (GIP) fatal complication of Syphilis infection
Inanition- Starvation
Le Grippe- Influenza
Puerperal fever- Infection after childbirth, common in the 1800s caused by lack of sanitary conditions which caused sepsis in the mother.  It was also called Childbed fever.
Senile debility- Old age
Shell Shock- PTSD
Soldier's Heart- PTSD
Yellow Fever- Typhoid fever

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What happened to Baby Louise? The short life biography of Louise Valley

Louise Mary Valley was born on the 10th of January in 1912 in the village of Mapleton.  Mapleton is located in Grand Traverse County, Michigan on the peninsula between the two bays.  Louise was born to John Peter and Milicent May “Millie” (Evans) Valley.  Sadly, baby Louise learned tragedy in her short life and she learned it very early.  Millie died when Louise was only 7 days old from acute peritonitis and sepsis, a complication of childbirth.  It was a common complication for women in this time period.  Louise had no living siblings.  Millie gave birth to a daughter on 12th of May 1910, but she died hours after she was born from infant exhaustion.  Essentially the infant had the inability to take in nutrients, commonly seen with premature infants.  The baby girl didn’t have a name on her death certificate.  

Louise was raised by her father, John, after her mother’s death and likely the women in their family.  One can only imagine his sadness.  John worked as a farmer to support the family.  John was the son of Isadore and Mary Elizabeth (Deverney) Valley.  Tragedy struck Louise’s life again when she was 5 years old.  Her father was in an automobile accident and died from injuries from the accident, specifically a skull fracture.  John died on the 26th of October in 1917.  Louise went to then to live with her Aunt Mary (Valley) Lardie, Peter’s sister, and her family. From the stories of Mary Lardie, Louise had a happy life and was well taken care of.

Louise’s sad story continues.  At only the age of 8, Louise died on the 23rd of Dec 1920 from diphtheria at the home of her cousin, Lillian (Lardie) Wood, Aunt Mary’s daughter, and her family.  This must have been a truly sad time for this family indeed.  Mary’s grandson, Lillian’s son, baby John George Wood died of diphtheria on the 18th of December 1920 at only 7 months old.  Baby John was laid to rest on December 20th in the family plot at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Mapleton.  Louise was laid to rest on Christmas Day 1920 in the family plot at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery as well.  She was buried with her father, John, Grandparents, Isadore and Mary Valley, and baby cousin John Wood. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Women in History: Victoria Woodhull

I may not have talked about in the past that I took Women's History for one of my college electives. It was a great class!  And it was fun because we had one man in the class.  Plus our professor was a man.  We had some interesting conversations.  Those of you that know me personally may know that I do have a special interest in Women's History.  I often wonder what life would have been like for me if I had been born in another era or even another generation!  Plus I love Historical fashion!  (Probably why I have an independent fashion boutique as well).

With that being said, I thought I would start a series on Women in History.  Each post I will pick a woman from history, famous or infamous and talk about her and her life.  These women may or may not be in my genealogy, but they are all fun to learn about.  So for this post, I am going to talk about Victoria Woodhull.

Victoria Claflin Woodhull
 Victoria Woodhull was born Victoria Claflin on September 23, 1838, to Ruben Buckman and Roxanna Hummel Claflin in Homer, Licking County, Ohio.  Her mother was described as a religious zealot and illiterate and her father was described as a criminal.  She was one of 10 children.  She worked as a medium and traveled with her sister, Tennie C. Claflin, around the country.

She married Dr. Canning Woodhull when she was 15 on November 10, 1853, and had 2 children by him.  Her first husband is described as an alcohol and a philanderer.  Their son, born in 1854 was born mentally handicapped.  They divorced in 1864. 

Next, she married  Colonel James H. Blood.  Blood was said to have introduced Woodhull to multiple reform movements.  Blood was a Union Civil War Soldier and was elected city auditor for St. Louis Missouri.  Blood and Woodhull divorced in 1873.

In 1868 Woodhull and her sister had traveled to New York City where they met Cornelius Vanderbilt, wealthy and recently widowed.  Vanderbilt, in return for the psychological relief Woodhull provided, set up Woodhull and her sister in the first female-run stock broker company in New York City.  The Woodhull sisters, however; never received a seat on the stock exchange.

Woodhull's most notable achievement is that she was the first woman to run for United States President in 1872 under the equal rights act.  Scholars argue that she was removed from the ballot because she was not the required 35 years old at the time.  However, Woodhull was arrested for the crime of sending obscene material in the mail and spent election day in jail.  No one knows how many votes she actually got because her votes were never counted!

The indecent material were articles sent in the mail were articles about the affair between stockbroker Luther Challis and Rev. Beecher between Elizabeth Tilton, the wife of Beecher's friend, Theodore Tilton.  While the information was acknowledged to be true, the goal was to shut down Woodhull and her sister's weekly paper, Woodhull & Claflin'ss Weekly.  Woodhull was arrested eight times during this time and although she, her sister and her husband, James Blood, were all acquitted, the lawsuits bankrupted them, closing down their stock brokerage and their printing press was taken away.

She was a strong supporter of women's suffrage as well as women should be free to marry, divorce and have children as they control.  Other rights she advocated for were free love and birth control.  Despite her initial strong support from many of the other women's suffrage leaders of the time, they Woodhull eventually lost their support due to her love of being in the spotlight and her indecent behavior.

Cornelius Vanderbilt died in 1877.  In 1877 Woodhull and her sister moved to England.   Was this perhaps a change for the start of a new life?  Others argue that William Vanderbilt, the brother of Cornelius Vanderbilt,  paid for the sisters to leave the United States so they would not testify against the now deceased Cornelius Vanderbilt estate hearing for the distribution of his estate.

In England, where she spent much of her time writing.  She married her third husband, John Biddulph Martin on October 31, 1883.  Martin was a wealthy banker whose family did not approve of the marriage initially. 

Woodhull advocated against abortion, but she was a proponent of eugenics.  Some believe it is because of the handicap of her son.  She also advocated for better prenatal care for healthy children and preventing physical and mental diseases, sex education, and marrying well.  She returned to the United States occasionally, attempting to run for president.  In 1892 she attempted for the last time to run for president. 

Victoria Woodhull Martin died on June 27, 1927, at her home, Bredon's Norton in Worcestershire, England.  She was cremated and her ashes spread at sea.  A cenotaph memorializes Woodhull at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, England.  


Friday, September 14, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1 "Unusual Source"

I've joined a genealogy prompt challenge called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  Each week, I'm shooting for Fridays, I will be posting for the next 52 weeks!  I will continue to write about other topics in between the weeks.  For more info check out  AmyJohnsonCrow.com/52ancestors2018/.  While this is week 1 for me this is actually week 39 for the 2018 challenge. 

So this week's challenge topic is "Unusual source".  

Thinking about this topic I was reflecting on what is an unusual source for finding genealogical information.  It came to me.  A source that we probably don't even consider a source...yet.  It's probably something that many of us use every day, or even multiple times a day!  It's something that has changed the way the world communicates. 

Of course, I'm talking about social media!  This is not something I think any of us would think about using as a source, but think about it!  We post about marriages, births and even deaths on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat...(the list goes on!) This is a great way to find details on the current generation of the family, sometimes much more quickly and easily that it is writing or emailing family members to get the information.  Additionally, many families have created pages for their family.  I'm in several of these groups!  I love that my family shares stories of my great-grandparents.  Plus I've saved a lot of photos to my files.  For me, these photos and stories are what makes those people that I've been researching about into real people. 

This is a great way for me to update my database with my current generation of my family.  I'm terrible about keeping the current generation updated!  I spend so much more time researching historical generations.  Am I alone in this?

So, that being said.  Get out there and get all those vital statistics on your family!  Update those databases!!!!  Share those stories about how you plan to use social media to update your family files.

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What's in a name?

In the play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare writes, "What's in a name?"  That's a really good question.  AND that got me thinking while I was researching today. 

According to Dictionary.com (2002) the word name is a noun.  It means "a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of through it designated, called or known". 

I have attended classes and webinars on conducting genealogical research and I have given classes on research.  One point I remember from a conference I attending when I first became active in the local genealogical society was the point that old documents, especially the census, is affected first by the language and accent of the person giving the information, as well as other factors such as memory and how much information they have been told truthfully or even at all.  How many times have you seen a death certificate with "unknown" written in for the parent's names?  The second element to this is how the census take hears the information being given.  Whoa!  Imagine the language barriers then!

So today while I was recording information during my own research I started thinking, even my own culture influences how I am interpreting and recording my information. I always try to include conflicting information or additional spellings of names, but what I choose to display it as the primary data in my database is very much affected by my own influences. 

Confused?  Here are a couple examples:
Today I'm working on searching out burials for those in my database that don't have burial information.  (How I got this is another post).  I'm working specifically on a couple generations of the Loomis family line from the late 1400's to early 1500's.  The surname Loomis appears in multiple forms: Loomis, Lummyus, Lymmus, Lommance...  My preferred spelling: Loomis.  Why?  Likely because that is my maternal grandmother's maiden name and that is the way I grew up spelling it.  Do I have the other spellings included in my database?  Of course.  We all know that spellings can and do change over generations. 

Another example I can give is the first name, Thomas.  I came across the alternate spelling for Thomas Loomis as Thomis.  I also noted this alternate spelling in my database using the AKA (also known as) function, but display Thomas as my primary way to display this name.  Again, likely tied to my cultural influences growing up.  My paternal grandfather was Thomas. 

A somewhat humorous example I have is my daughter questioning the spelling of the word colour the other day.  I can't even remember where she was reading it, but it was in a book and she looked at me and told me I needed to email the publisher and tell them to check their spelling.  She is used to the word color.  Imagine her surprise when I told her that sometimes words are spelled differently in different countries! 

Share your interesting name examples in the comments! 

Happy Hunting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Remembering September 11th

This morning I woke up and the first thing that I did was lower my flag outside to half mast.  17 years ago today I, along with so many Americans and the world, watched in horror as terrorists attacked our country.  I watched a tribute for 9/11 done to the song "The Sound of Silence" performed by Disturbed.  I already love this song, done with this tribute I balled my eyes out.  I then posted on my facebook business page and my personal profile a thank you tribute of my own and texted a friend and thanked him for being a veteran. 

This thought strikes me.  My kids will read and learn about September 11th in their history books.  But they won't understand the impact of watching the two planes hit the towers or watching each tower collapse, even on live TV.  I remember watching in fear that my ex-husband would be mobilized in Marnie Corps Reserve unit that night.  We all know that catastrophic loss the occurred that day and the war that ensued.  Everyone knew someone who was "over there" every more so I think everyone knew someone who didn't come home.

I also relate this to many other events in history though.  Generations before us saw these events and watched in horror, maybe not on live tv, but had the same feelings of fear, anger, and determination to fight back.  These are things that we now read in our history and do not get the emotional connection, although I think now I do.  Events that our ancestors may have been involved in that we learn about as we go about our research in this crazy hobby of ours.

Hug your families and honor those who came before us and made the ultimate sacrifice.  Thank you to all our Firefighters, Emergency Medical Personel, and Police Officers who protect our homes, health, and lives.  Thank you to our Veterans that protect our country and our freedoms. 

Happy Hunting

Monday, September 3, 2018

Things I never research without! Top 10

                                                                                                                                                                    In the past, I've talked about my top 10 things I cannot research without and my favorite tools.  Today though I'm talking about the things that I absolutely will not without a doubt research without, whether at home or on the go.

1. family information

How I carry my family information depends mostly on location.  Generally, I carry my laptop with me or at least my smartphone.  Adding Evernote and Microsoft OneDrive to my repertoire has helped me with having access to information as long as I have access to a computer.  I also save all my files to OneDrive now so I almost always have access to my research information.  The key here is having access to the internet.  When I can't have my computer with me, using paper printouts or notes of the information is essential.

It's important to know what the restrictions are before traveling to a repository to research.  You don't want to be turned away because you have the wrong tools or aren't allowed to carry certain things into the area where the documents are.  Or can't research when you don't have the right information with you.

2. my note-taking forms

I have been using a specially made note taking form for some time now.  It's a simple form with the ancestor's name and birth and death dates on the top.  Okay, I admit, I have a couple different versions.  One version has room for identification #s and a small column on the left-hand side, which I use frequently for dating my notes. This form can be found at The Genealogy Shoppe online.  The second form I use is simpler but works just as well.  This version was created by Thomas R. Beatty and can be found on the Scott County, Kentucky Genealogy Society page.

For more specific note taking I have other forms such as census forms (I use ancestry's version, but there are many others available), obituary extraction forms from ShoeString Genealogy (he has many forms and they are in color!!!!  Just Google search "Shoe String Genealogy"), and several others....you get the idea.  I've even created a few of my own forms.

3. Family group sheet

Legacy gives me the option of  creating family group sheets from my data I entered.  When I create my family group sheets I use the option to leave the blanks in the data that I have not found yet.  These are handy for taking notes on in addition to my note taking sheets.  Legacy also gives me the option to print a blank family group sheet.

My favorite family group sheet to fill in by hand is from Ancestry.  I probably have 300 of these printed up!  I use these forms in multiple ways.  I use it to fill information in when I'm taking notes.  (Make sure to keep track of your sources). Many times I will use my colored pens and assigning a color for each source on the form.

4. Colorful ink pens

I used to get teased in nursing school for my selection of my colorful ink pens.  I use my pens when I'm taking research notes on paper for different sources.  I will write the source on the back of the page and makes notes on the front.  I use this technique with family group sheets as well as handwritten pages and other types of research pages. 

Normally I immediately transfer my information into my Legacy database.  One thing I cannot stress enough is to make sure to cite your sources. 

5. a pencil

There are times when researching at certain locations only a pencil is allowed.  One example I can think of is our local county clerk's office.  As researchers, we need to be very conscientious when we are working around fragile and precious documents. 

There are times I also use a pencil in my paper and pen note taking method above.  I can't tell you that I have a specific way of doing this.  I just do what works at the time.

6. calculator

Okay, I think that this one is rather obvious.  There are times when we just need a calculator.  When working with dates in cemeteries and headstones, using a calculator helps estimate birth dates and years. 

7. Highlighters

Okay another confession here, I like colored highlighters as much as I like my colored ink pens.  I use the highlighters in similar ways that I use my ink pens. 

If I plan to highlight on a photocopy, I usually make a second copy of whatever I'm working with or on so that my original stays intact.

8. Thumb drives

My local library has a microfilm scanner that one needs a thumb drive to save digital images of the scans on.  The key here is having a thumb drive with you to save the scans onto.  Again this goes back to knowing your repository and doing your homework ahead of time.  I have a little collection of thumb drives that I use for various things in my life.  One is for genealogy, one is for my school, one is for my professional organization involvement and so on.  Most of my files are on my OneDrive cloud now as well seems I can access that from any computer I'm on with internet access, but there are times that this isn't an option so the thumb drive is the solution.

9. Smartphone

One thing is for sure, technology advances daily.  There are so many apps for the smartphone on genealogy.  Not to mention the ability to access online information with data connections and access to your information just about anywhere.  Although it isn't just genealogy related apps that I use in my research.  I use the Adobe scan app for scanning pages and papers.  With my smartphone, I always have a camera with me as well.  Remember that calculator from above?  There's an app for that too!  For Legacy users, there's also an app for your phone that is compatible with your legacy file!  I would bet that other software programs have this available too. 

10.  Laptop computer

I've mentioned my computer several times in this post already.  It would be shameful not to include it in my top ten things I never research without.  I primarily use my laptop computer for all my computer needs.  I do own a desktop computer but that is saved for family use.  Why the laptop?  Portability.  I can take it just about anywhere with me.  I take it to work and use it on my lunch break, take it to my parent's house, even when I travel I have a laptop with me!  Where I live, in the months that allow me to, I frequently sit on my deck and work on my laptop as well. 

My laptop travels easily to the library or repository (when allowed) and I have my Legacy program on my laptop and access to my data right there.  I also don't have to worry about computing limits by using a computer lab computer if I bring my own. 

So what is on your top ten things you can't research without?  Any of these familiar?  Are there other things that you just can't research without??? Share below!

Happy Ancestor Hunting!