I can pick my relative out of a lineup

Today is a great day. My sister is happy in her new car and my Grandpa Moore might be released from the hospital for a few days before his surgery. I’m hoping I can get the pictures for this entry scanned without many problems. My printer/scanner has been acting a little funny and I haven’t had a chance to troubleshoot it yet.

I received a few comments on my older entries this week, one was from Dana who writes the Just Folks blog. I jokingly told her in a followup comment that I may not know their names but I can pick my relatives out of a lineup! At first I meant that jokingly, then I realized how real that analogy was.

When I first ran across these class pictures, I didn’t know who I was looking for. Eventually I was able to distinguish Llewellyn in most of them. (You can click the class pictures to make them larger.)

Her brother George was in others.

When I first stated this website and blog, I was only able to pick out Llewellyn in the pink and her mother in the purple with the white hat. Now after being in contact with a distant cousin, Rick, I know his Grandmother is Belle Love-Leonard and she sits straight across from Llewellyn. I knew she had to be important because I can pick her out of a lineup too! She’s in quite a few of the pictures I remember so now I’m slowly identifying more of my family that I thought I would never identify!

The lesson I’ve learned is don’t be afraid of those photos you can’t identify. Get familiar with them. You never know when something will pop out of the woodwork or cyberspace in my case and your pile full of unidentified people become relatives!

My next project:

Matching names with faces on Llewellyn’s 8th Grade class picture. I noticed some familiar names like Helen Steinhoff (from Llewellyn’s diary) and Loren Leonard. Two of Llewellyn’s Aunts married into the Leonard family, so it’s be fun to see if she had a cousin in her class! Also there was a Fred Personette in her class. The Personette family married into the Lindsley family, who married into the Thorward family. However, that was Kate Lindsley and Frank Thorward and word on the street is that no one talked with Frank for some strange reason. I’m actually in contact with Frank’s Great-Great Grandson Brent. Funny how the universe works, we both ended up in the same Maryland town and didn’t know each other existed until we met on the internet!

Why I Blog

This Monday, I posted my Mystery Monday post on Duncan Walker’s family. When I first started posting Mystery Mondays, it was with the hope that some day I used the right keywords for a Google search to send answers my way. Maybe I’d get lucky and someone would be able to discern a place or the time period of a photo to help me.

This week, more then I expected happened. At some point last week, I received some blog comments from Grace Leonard (Hi Grace!). I quickly shot off an email to her because she’s connected to me through the Love/Menzies line and I just loooove that line (pun intended). Plus it’s so rare that I get people actually researching the same lines as me, I couldn’t let her comments go unanswered!

It turns out Grace is a little more familiar with the Love line then I am! In fact, she could identify Duncan Walker and his family! Oh gosh, it felt like Christmas! According to Grace and the dearly missed Everett Leonard, Duncan Walker married William Wallace Love‘s sister Martha! Now all I have to do is find the documentation to back it up!

Grace also let me know that it isn’t easy to get Jane Menzies-Love‘s death certificate. It’s getting harder and harder to get information about this woman and the circumstances surrounding her death! I’m thinking ordering the 1890 Essex County, NJ deaths microfilm from the Family History Center might be the best bet.  I’m chomping at the bit to get going on my New Jersey research and I think I might overcome my shyness to finally go in and order my first microfilm!

Also, a few changes:

As of yesterday I turned off the captcha filter on the website. I didn’t realize how much people hated it! No one complained to me about it here but if this makes it easier for people to enjoy my blog, then it’s a change I’m more than happy to make! I also turned off the requirement for an email address. Emails are never published on the blog, but they are viewable to me in the administrative side. I was only utilizing that to get back to people who were seeking family information. So if you’re looking for information, be sure to leave your email or look in the sidebar for my email!

Hopefully this blog will be easier to navigate in the coming months when my site redesign is finished. If I have to pull some late nights I’m determined to finish this once and for all! It’s driving me bonkers! I’ve mainly been focusing on the content, but now that I’m into a rhythm, I think it’s time to finally make that design I’ve wanted from the beginning!

Unknown Cityscape

Yes I am still incapable of posting without the use of a picture. 🙂

Anatomy of a WWI Uniform

So yesterday, my father impressed me with his instant knowledge of the uniform Ralph Leonard was wearing. So impressed, that I asked him to help a girl out and tell us all how he knew exactly what was going on.

1. His first clue was the anchor on the color. That tells him Navy.

2. The second thing he saw was the Marine emblem on that (I was right about that!). He says that most likely Ralph was attached to a Marine unit while he was serving.

3. The third thing he saw was the gold braiding around Ralph’s wrists and hat. This designates officers.

4. Lastly he knew it was WWI era by his gut instinct or the style of the uniform. Is that a scientific or technical answer? Of course not, but he was right and in the end that counts.

Veterans Day: Ralph Leonard

Do you guys remember when I started this blog nine months (!) ago, and I said I was imposing a full disclosure policy. Here’s where it comes into play again. My original plan was to make a list of my military ancestors for Veterans Day. I hoped to have a list of people that served. I have a ton of Draft cards but a lot of those guys didn’t serve from what I can tell. So I was hoping to have a nice list of servicemen and women to eventually gather records for. That didn’t exactly happen.

Ralph H Leonard

I got distracted, like I often do. I opened PhotoShop to edit the above picture for this very blog post. I was going to use it to anchor the post. Make it pop. Then I got distracted, again. Yesterday I posted about my Marine family history so I had Marines on the brain. That’s when I noticed the emblem on Ralph’s hat. Could he be a Marine? How cool would that be?

So naturally I went to my first stop for all things military. I emailed my Dad. While I was waiting to see if he had any ideas, I had a thought. I was just at Prospect Hill Cemetery. Maybe he was one of the graves I photographed and I didn’t put two and two together. Since I was on my laptop, I just went to Find a Grave where I had uploaded all my graveyard photos anyway. Bingo! I was thinking that he was in the Marines because of the emblem but his gravestone clearly said WWI USNRF which translates to Navy Reserve Force. Right about the time I figured this out I got a response from my father:

It looks to me to be an early 1900’s naval officer probably ww1 time frame. By the insignia on his cap I would think he would have been attached a Marine outfit.

Oh dear, he’s going to be so proud of himself for this! Now you know why I go to him for all things military! So now I know that Ralph was in the Navy and served in WWI. The only problem is I don’t have a WWI Draft Card for Ralph. I have one for his older brother but not him. So I’m going to have to assume he was already in the service when WWI came around. I do know that Ralph was trained in Aviation by 1930, so maybe he got military aviation training? I don’t know.

This is the part of genealogy I love. Just when you think you’ve found out everything about someone, you find a little nugget that opens it all up again.

Ralph Leonard Links: