Adobe Spark

I watched a great tutorial video from Amy Johnson Crow about Adobe Spark. I was inspired to make a video about my grandmother’s ancestors to share with my family. I also attended a Google Hangout with DearMYRTLE’s distant cousin, Sweet Sadie, which was another great walk-through of creating a video. It was a fun, quick process… well besides hearing myself talk. That’s always strange!

There is also the option to create what they call “pages” and “posts”. I didn’t try the pages section yet, but had a little fun with the post section.

Adobe Spark

Wow, that’s a big, crisp image! I just took a free stock image of Scotland (my dream destination) and used all the different font and shape settings Adobe Spark had pre-built. My blog template will shrink it down to fit a certain size but the original dimensions of the image is 2052 pixels by 2052 pixels. I have to say I love this and will definitely be playing more with it!

Decoration Day, 1923

In 2011, I posted one picture from my great-grandmother’s collection. It was of a Decoration Day parade in Caldwell, New Jersey. Here is another few pictures from that same day. I happen to also know thanks to Llewellyn’s diary, that her and her mother used to volunteer with her church to decorate the graves of veterans also. She sure was one great lady. I am thinking of all our fallen soldiers today.

Decoration Day, 1923

Decoration Day, 1923

Decoration Day, 1923

Definitely a Small World

Like all genealogists, I am always searching things for familiar names. It could be newspapers and obituaries or even my families Facebook pages. When I finally got my Grandpa Moore to clear out his closet in Columbus, I was absolutely ecstatic. I was even happier when he let me confiscate what was in it. Police Chief’s granddaughter humor there. There were boxes of things in that closet. More than I thought I would ever be able to go through. I even thought I would have to weed some of it out. I had heard stories of grandparents saving things that weren’t exactly important. I haven’t thrown anything out though, because apparently my great-grandparents were amateur genealogists. They saved all the right things at all the right times. I have so many amazing records, I could just cry thinking about it. It makes me wish I had known them. Technically I knew Grandma Llewellyn, but I don’t remember her since I was so young when she died. I know I would have loved her though because through these objects she kept, I know that I would have spent a lot of time talking about the past with her. I am just so grateful that my Aunt Lori loves talking about it so much, because it is the next best thing.

Imagine my surprise when I’m going through all these things that have sat in a closet for over 30 years, and I find the most amazing thing. Not even something for my father’s side of the family, but my mothers.


You see, my great-grandpa William was an accountant for AT&T in New York City for over 30 years. This man loved to keep records of everything, from bibles to various kinds of account booklets. I can even tell you what my parents telephone number was in 1977 because Great-Grandpa had everyone’s addresses and phone numbers in a book. The pictured book is basically a calendar book with these testimonials on the other page. What you see above is Mrs. R. T. Webb talking about her ailments. My Great-Grandpa didn’t know Mrs. R. T. Webb but I sure do. She’s my 3x Great Aunt on my mother’s side of the tree. She is the sister-in-law of my 3x Great-Grandfather George Washington Webb.

smallworld02It really is a small world folks.

George Washington Webb and White Burley Tobacco

I’ve talked about the family tree my Grandma showed me when I was in the eighth grade. It was what started this genealogy obsession with me. There was always this little blurb in the beginning of it. It was the only little insight we had to George Washington Webb, his siblings, and his parents. I was always so fascinated with that little blurb. Maybe it was the problem solver in me, I just love to solve mysteries! Whether it be movies, books, or TV shows, I love a good mystery.

It told me that George and his brothers were orphaned at a young age and were three of five children. I found out that wasn’t quite right. There were at least 10 children born to his parents [1. Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana.  2 volumes.  Chicago, Illinois:  Lewis Publishing Company, 1899.]and his father, Reuben, was alive until he was at least 86 years old [2. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Highland County, Ohio. White Oak township, p. 322-A, dwelling 427, family 427, James Webb; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 22 Sep 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 694.
].  From what I can tell so far, the surviving children were all married by the time Reuben died. I can only guess that happened between the 1850 and 1860 census. I am still searching out those records!

The other part of the blurb that always stood out for me was that George was credited with discovering white burley tobacco. If you google it, you can find a little blurb about it and it does mention George but I was never quite sure what to go on. Well, before I went on a recent trip to Ohio with my mother, I decided I would look and see if there was anywhere I could go that would give me any idea about this. It turns out there is a Tobacco Museum right in between my two aunts houses.


The museum was closed when we went by, but there was this cool plaque sitting right outside! It’s technically been there since 1964, so it makes me wonder if my Grandma knew about it. She sure didn’t like to give me hints at all. Now I have to make sure I go back when the museum is open to see if there is anything at all about George Webb in there.


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.