Category Archives: My Favorite Things


You might have noticed that my new trend of posting on Fridays broke last week. That was because I had a tiny secret… I was on vacation! Well, not exactly yet but first thing last Saturday morning my mother, my sister and I all loaded up and headed to Ohio for some “family fun time”. Seriously that was our official term that my cousin Patty came up with.

It was technically a girls weekend and it was so much fun. We rented a cabin around Hocking Hills State Park. There was no internet, no cell phone service and it was heaven!

Old Mans Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio
Old Mans Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio

So there aren’t any blog posts this week again, but I have made progress and I’m still on target!

3 Years Tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be 3 years since I first hit that publish button on an entry about the Thorward Meat Market. So much has happened in my life since then. It makes me both excited and scared about what’s to come in my life.

Three years ago, I wrote about the meat market, and a town that I felt a strong connection to. The crazy thing is I had only been there once, briefly. Since that first entry three years ago, I cared for my Grandpa Moore for a year before he passed away. I’ve learned to quilt. I’ve learned so much history of the world. I can’t even count the people I’ve met and learned from. I find myself incredibly grateful for how far I’ve come.

When I was growing up, it was basically us here in Southern Maryland. My Mom’s family was in Ohio and my Dad’s in New York and New Jersey. We couldn’t afford to travel often and with three small children, my mother didn’t particularly enjoy it. I don’t blame her! So to spend that year with a Grandfather I never knew was so important and exciting for me. I went into it with a certain expectation. That was my only mistake where he was concerned. As a genealogist, and lonely granddaughter, I had all these hopes and dreams of hearing family stories all day, every day. I thought we would have a regular grandchild/grandparent relationship. A daily one. Something I’d never had before!

That’s not at all what I got, what I got was better. Instead of what I was hoping for, I got a real person, with real feelings and flaws. I learned with Grandpa that people are who they are and that’s okay. You shouldn’t try to change people. You can help them, try to guide them if they need it, but it’s not up to you to change people. That’s not okay.

My Grandfather didn’t call me by my name in the whole year I cared for him. I brought him 2 meals a day, we watched TV together and we ate dinner at the kitchen table together every night. We were with each other almost every waking minute of the day and never once did he really acknowledge the fact that we were family. That’s not his fault. By the time he got here, he was very sick, he had been separated from the family for over 25 years, and quite frankly he wasn’t all there anymore. I suspect the aneurysms were already reeking havoc on his memories and motor functions.

It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but it was the most rewarding. I cried sometimes. I’ll even admit to being down right hateful in my thoughts on the bad days when he would say non-polite things. I’m only human. I never let him know it though, because it wasn’t his fault that I was disappointed. It was my fault. By the time I was on my way into D.C. to the hospital to say goodbye, I had already felt so close to him. Closer then I probably ever even thought I was going to in the beginning. Not because we have all these funny memories together. Not because we did anything super special.

For the first time in my life, I stopped caring about myself or my wants and needs that year. I devoted everyday from the time I got up in the morning until I went to bed at night to someone else’s health and well being. It felt good. It felt rewarding. I might not have gotten family stories from him, but I was able to tell him more about his family. I was able to show him pictures and remind him of people who he didn’t recall.

I was even able to get him excited about genealogy and DNA testing through this website and Who Do You Think You Are? Imagine my surprise one day when he handed my father my website printed out. “Here, give this to the one who does genealogy. It’s got a lot of information on the Thorwards.”

That’s my favorite memory. I guess you can definitely say that this website took a backseat the last few years. It’s been almost a year since we lost Grandpa and I still miss him. I miss his company. I miss hearing The Price Is Right echo through the house because he had it on in two rooms. I miss a lot of things. Things that make me realize that I probably had a pretty normal grandparent/grandchild relationship after all. It’s still hard for me to find a definitive routine in my life since I didn’t have time to think about those things for a year.

I didn’t intend for this to be an entry all about my Grandpa Moore but I’m glad it did. I like thinking about the things he taught me about who I am as a person and where I came from. He didn’t know that’s what he was doing, but he was teaching me everyday.  I hope that someday I am able to answer all the questions that our family has about our roots, but even if I don’t, I’ll know I tried my best. I know that someday, I’ll be able to tell a younger generation of our family that yes, this man shaped our family, and he had flaws, but that didn’t make him a bad person. It made him human. He was a Police Chief, and he was good at what he did. He was able to think about things without emotion clouding his judgment and he never held a grudge. Things I hope to someday be able to do myself. He liked gadgets, he liked technology and boy did he like to spend money. Now we know where we get that flaw from Moores! 😉


Struggling for Blog Topics

I’m sure we’ve all had that feeling. The feeling where you just can’t seem to focus on one topic enough to form coherent sentences about said topic. I’ve been jumping around a lot this week, so I haven’t been able to think of a specific blog topic this week. I’m trying to keep myself reasonably active here. I’m doing that not only because of course I’d love for people to read what I write, but because I also use this blog as a research log of sorts. I don’t go into the specifics, I do that elsewhere. However, I do use this blog to really think out topics sometimes, in addition to cousin bait of course.

So here’s what I’ve been jumping around with this week:

Bartholomew Taylor's family
Bartholomew Taylor’s family

1. I’ve finally finished the Joseph Taylor section of my cleanup and I’m moving on to Solomon Taylor.  Joseph and William were the major lines that I had researched already, so now I’m getting into the leaner lines. I should start moving a bit quicker on the adding in and sourcing now. Only, I’m just realizing now I didn’t “prefer” the birthdate of William’s with a state in it. Oops! I always forget to do that. It’s always when I’m looking at a screenshot as I write blogs that I realize my errors. Sheesh.

Kentucky Birth Index source citations
Kentucky Birth Index source citations

2. All 278 of my Kentucky Birth Index citations are uniform. Before this week, these citations were in 3 different forms. Now they all have the same format.

Yes, still working on the redesign
Yes, still working on the redesign

3. Very sporadically, I’ll get in the mood to work on this design. I get quite a bit of motivation that this May 39th will be 10 years since I started this domain! I only started blogging 3 years ago, but the website has been around for 10! I can’t even believe it! I’ve come a long way and I’ve learned so much. I can only hope I can get this redesign finished once and for all. I’m not going to stress about it though. It’ll get done when it gets done.

My Block of the Month quilt
My Block of the Month quilt

4. Quilting. Oh how I love quilting. My cousin in Ohio pointed me in the direction of Craftsy’s Block of the Month online classes. Every single block you see, I learned for the first time while making it! While I had already had experience with half square triangles, I hadn’t made those particular designs yet. Now I’m 5 blocks from finishing the 2012 quilt (behind I know!). Then I plan on doing the 2013 one too! Like genealogy, quilting allows me to challenge myself and keep learning at the same time.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their week so far. I know I sure am getting a bunch accomplished!

A little fun with Gmail

I’ve been working on a couple posts over the last few days and I’ll be posting one of them a little later today. Until then, I have to share my new Gmail background. I do have a email setup but for some reason it is a little finicky. When I finally fix that, I’ll probably change my gmail background to something more colorful. In the meantime, I like this little genealogy reminder I get when I check my email.

My new Gmail background
My new Gmail background

I’m Home Again

Whew, that was quite a trip I took. We started out in Avoca, New York. The site of our annual family reunion. Only, this year the 4th of July was on a Wednesday and it was very confusing to the planning of the festivities. So, it ended up being just us visiting with the New York branch (with a little South Carolina thrown in!). ha. We stayed overnight. On our way to visit my Aunt Barb in PA, we visited Aunt Diane and Grandma Moore in the cemetery. This was my first time up to New York since Diane’s funeral, so it was an emotional visit.

Valley View Cemetery; Avoca, NY
Valley View Cemetery; Avoca, NY

We spent the evening with Barb, and headed into New Jersey to find a hotel. We had some time the next morning before my Aunt Lori got off work. I was actually very grateful because this was the first time I had been in Caldwell without any time constraints. We could tool around as quick or slow as we liked. We started off needing breakfast, so we ate at the Caldwell Diner. It just so happens the Caldwell Diner is right next to the site of the old Thorward Meat Market. So while I had the Caldwell Special, I had a perfect view of the meat market building!

Bloomfield Avenue; Caldwell, NJ (2012)
Old Meat Market; Caldwell, NJ (2012)
Bloomfield Avenue; Caldwell, NJ (?)
Thorward & Van Duyne Market; Caldwell, NJ (?)

I only wish I knew the exact years that the meat market was in business. While Grandpa Moore was alive, he told me a couple stories about it. He wasn’t very good with dates though, so I’m left to try and reason that out myself. I do have a newspaper clipping about the market, the only problem being it doesn’t have a date. (I previously wrote about the Market as my very first entry on the blog!)

Market Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Thorward and Van Duyne’s Market, Caldwell, is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this week.

The market, the first in Caldwell, was established in 1856 by Frank Dobbins, who later sold the business to George H. Vanderhoof. After a few years the market was operated under the name of Vanderhoof and Wilton until twenty-five years ago when Thorward and Van Duyne took it over.

Lewis Thorward, a partner in the business, has been in the store for forty-two years. The market has Caldwell’s No. 1 telephone.

After eating at Caldwell Diner, we went by a lot of the old homesteads. I got pictures of a few, but because traffic was so heavy, it was hard to get pictures most of the time. I will admit, the heat kept me in an air conditioned car. We’ll still be going back to visit more thoroughly, I stopped briefly at the West Caldwell Library but that was all the “research” I got in. I did find an awesome book with pictures of Historic Caldwell. I liked the book so much I ordered my own copy off Amazon!

Thorward's Diner
Thorward’s Diner
Remembering the Caldwells by John J Collins
Remembering the Caldwells by John J Collins

Next time I’m in Caldwell, I hope to visit the Methodist Church that Llewellyn is always mentioning in her diary and maybe a few more libraries to see what they have.

New Goals for 2012

After the very emotional 2 weeks I’ve had, I’m sitting down now to re-assess my situation. It’s been very hard adjusting to my “new normal”. So much of my day is just empty now. That means I’ve got to find other ways to fill it. So here’s some additional goals for myself in addition to my 2012 Genealogy Goals.

  1. Blog Re-Design. Boy did I drop the ball on this one so far. It’s such a cop out to say, “I’ve been busy.” It’s what I have though. Now that Grandpa isn’t here for me to care for, I have to dedicate myself back to my website. It’s part of my genealogy passion and now I need to re-discover it. There are a couple of questions I’ve gotten in the last few weeks about this, so I’ll try and address those as soon as I can formulate educated, accurate responses. Remember I’m not a coder by trade, just by self learning! So I don’t want to lead you wrong. Part of my re-design is also to overhaul my tags and categories on the blog. I’ve racked up quite a bit of content here, so I just want to be able to access it better. Hopefully a new organization method and the new design can work together to do this.
  2. Quilting is something I discovered the year before Grandpa moved here and just like my website, I found it hard to find time to do it. So while I still have a lot of household responsibilities that take up my time, I’m hoping to work out a way to make some quilts for sale (a new venture for me!) and get my website time in. Grandpa had even given me a tremendous idea the day before he passed away and I really want to make that happen.
  3. Exercising. This one is the toughest. I’ve been averaging about 3 days a week since the end of January on the treadmill. I want to get it to 5 days a week until my weight comes down. I gained a little bit back the last two weeks, so I have to make up for that by being extra diligent. I’m hoping to get this done first thing in the morning before everything else steamrolls on me, so that I won’t have any excuses to back out!
  4. Organizing. I’m actually planning a re-organization of my whole life if you get down to it. Everything from how I spend my time and money to my work area. I’ve planned a renovation for my work space to hopefully make it more efficient. I even have my Dad custom building the desk/bookcases. So plenty of room for my genealogy and coding books! Finally!
  5. COMMUNICATION. This is the biggest improvement I hope to make. To be quite honest, I had been pulling away from the computer the last few months. I don’t know if I subconsciously had a feeling that I didn’t have much time left with Grandpa, or I didn’t notice how his condition was getting worse because I was so close to it. Whatever the reason or purpose, it happened. I got behind on e-mails and commenting back. I sincerely apologize for that. Part of my new methods will be to keep a calendar (in my Genealogy Binder maybe), of my month so that I have days set aside just for taking care of correspondence. It’s such a huge part of genealogy and I miss it! There are tons of family connections I want to make in the coming months! So expect me to try and be on the website more and on Twitter. I’m still not sure about maintaining a FaceBook. I cut a lot of drama out of my life when I de-activated that, so I’m still trying to decide what’s best there.

I know these are not all related to genealogy but since I plan to spend so much time on here in the future, I want to get my goals down where they’ll be easy for me to find and re-visit. Not to mention the sign I plan to make myself and hang above my new desk (when it’s made that is).

Now I’m going to share some Instagram pictures I post to my Twitter this week when I was feeling pretty emotional about Grandpa. These picture were taken with my phone, so that is why they look a bit tilted.

Genealogy Binder: Update

Back in March, I posted about my new Genealogy Binder. It’s been a lot of fun deciding what to put in the binder and what needed a form to keep track of the information. I’m still going to get some dividers to separate sections of the binder into what I feel I need: Website Lists, Research Tools, Records Information, and Printed Reports. I haven’t fully decided the sections yet, but those are the four I’m thinking about currently.

Contacts List

I receive a lot of emails because of this website. Most of the time I put together a response, but I always let people know that I’ll keep in contact if anything comes up. I’m not as good about this as I should be because once something gets sorted in the “Genealogy” section of my email, I forget it until something makes me remember it. It’s not the most flattering thing for me to say, but it is the truth. I also have to admit that I’m weeks behind in sending out responses to emails currently. Yikes. This list will help though. It has three sections: Name, Common Ancestor, Email. I handwrite all the information and when I get a full page, I type up the information and print out the page. I wait until I have a full page because I’m pretty snobby about having things look non uniform. It’s one of those weird things I’m afflicted with. It must all match! Now when I find something new within a certain section of my family tree, I can email everyone who is listed under the “common ancestor”.

Repository List

The Repository List is a BIG help. I hate having to track down websites and then hunt within websites to find an address to send a records request. So I’m gathering the ones I know I will use and I put them in the Repository List. This one gets typed up because of the length of the addresses. Even with my favorite fine line pen, I have problems fitting some of those addresses into a reasonable amount of space.

Supplies List

The supplies list I keep in the genealogy binder because it is always on top of my desk. That means it’s handy for me when I find out I need something. I’m currently only needing tabbed dividers (for the genealogy binder), 3 ring binders (I’m making a kitchen binder and a household binder for Mom), and a color ink cartridge (reason should be obvious, ha!).

Records to be Ordered List

I’ve learned over the last few years that I easily get behind in records I want to send away for. So I’ve started making a list of the ones I’m hankering to get. I added a price section so that when I get some extra money, I can see right away whether I have any cheaper or more expensive records on my to do list. I haven’t added prices to my New Jersey records yet, because I’m still determining where the records I need are being held.

Records Ordered List

Another thing I’ve learned in the last few years, is that sometimes records can take a long time to come. So you either forget about them or it seems like it takes longer then it actually does. Well, I wonder no more because this list tells me exactly what was ordered and when. So I know I received my Grandmother’s birth certificate (and in record time) and I’m still waiting for William H Moore‘s death certificate (if they find it this time).

Cemetery Lists

This is the most recent addition to my binder. I’ve started to make cemetery lists. We’re hoping to make a genealogy trip this summer (last summers got postponed), so I want to have this information handy if we make it to these places. The last time I wasn’t at all prepared and I’m certainly not dragging my laptop with me. I can just print reports straight from Family Tree Maker, but I like this because I can keep families grouped together. I know from the last time I went to Kentucky that most of the cemetery lots are family lots. For that reason, I want to keep my lists organized by families as opposed to alphabetical.

Blog Ideas

Lastly, I have an updated blog ideas list. Most times my ideas need to be written so that I can remember exactly what I wanted when the idea came to me. For example: “A Tale of Many Sisters: Finding Emma Carter’s Mother”. I know exactly what that post is going to be. On the other hand, I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote: “I’m a handwriting snob”. Except for the fact that I’ve always been obsessed with good penmanship. So that idea will probably be scrapped.


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