DNA Kit

I am so excited! My birthday present this year was the DNA Kit from Ancestry. This is something that I have wanted to do for some time. I already know that I have ancestors from Germany, Belgium, Ireland and England.  However, I believe I have ancestors from more countries and  can’t wait to see if there is any Native American heritage in my background.

I did the test and mailed the kit back, Friday, August 22 and can’t wait to see the results! I am praying that my DNA will give me more connections and help solve a couple of brick walls that I have. The test is super easy, doesn’t take that long and uses a small amount of saliva. Right now is a great time to order a kit because it’s on sale for $79. You save $20.00 but the sale price is good only until August 27th. (I think). Just go to Ancestry DNA.

 

 

GenForum, Genealogy.com, Family Tree Maker Homepages-Closing?

Well, what a surprise and sad to say, not a good one. I went to the GenForum site to update my email address and found this notice:

“Starting Sept. 30, 2014, Genealogy.com will be making a big change. GenForum message boards, Family Tree Maker homepages, and the most popular articles will be preserved in a read-only format, while several other features will no longer be available, including member subscriptions and the Shop.”

It appears Genealogy.com, who is a sister company of Ancestry, is closing several of their operations. How sad!

I am really sorry to see GenForum go by the wayside. The site has always been one of my favorites for posting queries. I search capabilities were more varied and easier to use than Ancestry.s community.

Very disappointed in this news!

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Genealogy Records and Books on eBay

Ancestral Paths:

This is a fantastic article by Dick Eastman on using eBay to search for genealogy books and CD-ROM disks. This is a great idea and worth pursuing!

Originally posted on Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:

I purchased two genealogy books this morning. The books are both about my family name, although not about my direct ancestors. I have seen both books previously in libraries and am quite familiar with the contents. Today, I purchased my own copies on CD-ROM disks to keep on my computer as well as in my own private area “in the cloud.” Both books provide background information which interests me as well as may provide answers when other people contact me about their Eastman ancestry. Since I will copy both disks to my own password-protected area in the cloud, I will have them with me at all times. I can access them from home, from a laptop at the gate at an airport, from the iPad from most anyplace, and even from my “smartphone” when at the grocery store. Admittedly, reading books on a tiny cell phone screen does offer a…

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Do Our Family Treasures Have a Secret Life?

Ancestral Paths:

I ran across this great post from Charles Moore on the Moore Genealogy Blog. His post is about a fantastic way to memorialize our family treasures. Please check out his blog and other posts!

I am so glad I found this post and plan to share my family treasures soon!

Originally posted on Moore Genealogy:

Objects

We all have them. Those items we gather as we move through our life. They may have been handed down to you by your parents, grandparents or passed down from many generations. It could even be a silly souvenir that you purchased on that great family vacation a few years ago. If you still do not know what I mean, these are the things you would grab as you leave because of a fire. You know the things that have no monetary value, but are priceless because selling them would be like selling a part of yourself. Do the people in your family know their story? Do they have a secret life so that their story is not known? Their story is your story, your family’s story and needs to be told.

I have just finished reading “The Secret Life of Objects” written by Dawn Raffel. The author would choose…

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Fred J. Lewis Journal

What follows is a copy of a seven page letter. This letter was written by my grandfather, Fred James Lewis, aka, James Lee Showalter  on January 24, 1970 and explains his life. The original letter is hard to read but my transcription follows below the link.There are a few words I just couldn’t figure out.

This is the original letter:  james showalter journal-pdf

Here is the translation:

January 24, 1970

To Whom It May Concern:
I, Fred J. Lewis in name only which is James Lee Showalter was born in a log cabin at Allegheny Furnace, near Altoona, Pa to Solomon and Margaret Showalter on November 1, 1898. Mother’s maiden name was Kelly daughter of Charles and Candis Kelley. There was 2 sisters-Pearl and Bessie which I am told died at birth and a 3rd sister, Grace, who died in Florida in 1965-Mrs. Kline who is buried in Altoona. My mom and dad are buried in Colier’s Cemetery at Mill Run, as are my grandparents the Kelleys. My Showalter grandparents I do not know. May I say my child life was not too good. Mom died when I was 3 and dad when I was 7. I do remember dad and I was sent to an orphan’s home in Williamsport for a year, with my expenses paid by Uncle Jim whom was the top banana to settle dad’s estate.
To his liking he did so. Grace and I did not get1 red cent. To top it off, I James Lee Showalter was adopted to a farmer in PA who I think was named Lewis, hence the name, but the adoption was not legal and grandpa Kelley (God Bless Him) came and took me to his home in Altoona where my sister Grace was since my mom died. The time my mom died till dad’s death was as follows, Granma Showalter and Aunt Sis kept a home in Altoona. Well as I said, Grandma Kelly was old and she did not like me, as I guess a bad boy at least my sister said so. I went to school in Altoona till Granma Keley died and then the fireworks started. Aunt Nettie Snavely took Grace and I went with Grandpa Kelley to the coal mines where grandpa was a foreman and part owner known as Kelley & Flanagan of Altoona. This was in 1912. This coal mine was at Doughterty’s known as such. Things happened and grandpa got a housekeeper and bang I went again. Left home went to Sandusky with Uncle Bill Kelley, which was not much better as he had a second hand store and I had lots to do. Which I think I must have been lazy, so I went back to Altoona and the mines. Got hell. So I went to work skinning mules in the mines. That was something looking a mule in the ass and hollering HA WHO. So I left and went to Akron and worked in the rubber works. Got sick and went back home to Altoona and the mines. Come spring I was on the loose again, going to Coal Port to see some friends and then to Punsseytona, I joined a circus? (Welsh Bros. Lessie) Had a good job, not much pay, but I liked it, no mules to look in the ass and free. So I worked all summer long and never got out of PA. This was not seeing the U.S.A. So I went back to the mules and grandpa who said this is it, when you leave again don’t come back. Which I didn’t. He didn’t mean it. I know with all our faults I love him still and may his soul rest in peace. I never went back but may I say I am sorry as I changed my name to Lewis and went to Ohio to Toledo where I have been since. That I think was in 1915 or 14 was a news buck on a train and that was no good. So I went to work in a Hustter Wagon for a Jewish family known as Max Zimmerman. Where I stayed and ate. May I say I slept in the barn with the horse, but it was not bad as I was used to such things. When the war was declared against Germany. Enlisted the second day telling them that I was 21 (what a liar) as I was not 18, but they said ok and I was a Private Fred J. Lewis 1539550 Co. C 112 Calvary & Signal Corp 37 Div. USA of which I am very proud to have been a member. As I said I am in the army and the books which I am enclosing will tell all.

April 1919
Back home in Toledo after all the things happened. Went to work. Met the one who was meant for me Eunice Misson which I had met before the war a nurse for the Zimmermans. But the feeling was mutual, when we met again we wer for each other and were married on November 21, 1919. May I say that was the most 42 years of my life on this earth, as I loved her very much as that was all. May her soul rest in peace.

May I say on this 24th day of January 1970 that I love all of you, Robert, Bernice, Jean and Jim and to all grandchildren and great grandchildren, Mary, Ginnie, Norm and Clem.
Love to All
F.J.L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listed on GeneaBloggers

I am so thrilled to announce that my blog is now listed among the over 3,000 genealogy and family history blogs at  Geneabloggers.com.!

My blog will be highlighted in their weekly New Genealogy Blogs post this Saturday at 9:00 am, central time. So excited!

 

 

Does A Site Have A Problem?

This afternoon I was working online at Ancestry and all of a sudden everything was gone. In addition, every other site related to genealogy that I tried to go into was also down. That got me wondering what was going on. I found a great web site for checking the status of a web sit to see if it was experiencing a problem.  To check the status of any site, just go to Is It Down Right Now. Great tool and it is free!

I checked Ancestry, Find A Grave, Genealogy, Archives, Fold3 and Rootsweb. These sites are all owned by Ancestry.  How amazing a company who controls so much of the genealogy world,  would have one server for all of their sites. If one goes down, they all go down. Remind you of the old string of Christmas lights!

Hopefully it’s not for a long time.