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Monday, February 22, 2010

Top 40 :: Humbled and Honored




Congratulations to each and every blog nominated for the Family Tree Magazine list of 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. This blogger was extremely humbled and honored just to be nominated this past autumn (thank you, to you-know-who-you-are) . . . and never thought for a minute that benotforgot would be in the top 40! Thanks and {hugs} to each and every individual who took the time to vote, and helped benotforgot make its way into this illustrious company of geneabloggers.

As of just a few days ago, it has now been six (6) years since the word combination benotforgot popped into my head, and I immediately purchased the domain name, benotforgot.com . . . and it's almost two years since I made my very first post on this blog. Just about this time last year, in celebration of one year of blogging on this blog, I set up a 2nd blog . . . benotforgot-calendar.blogspot.com . . . where I post a daily listing of that day's events from the limbs and branches and leaves of my family tree (plus a few other trees in the surrounding forest). In January of this year, my 3rd blog went live . . . benotforgot-journal.blogspot.com . . . where I am making a daily entry from a 150-year-old civil-war-era journal that frequently mentions several of my ancestors. And the absolute highlight of all of this?

Making The List of  
http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/insider/2010/02/22/AnnouncingTheFamilyTreeMagazine40BestGenealogyBlogs.aspx




  • P.S. I tried to keep this Top 40 collage generic enough in case any of the honorees want to use it for something . . . you're welcome to it . . . enjoy . . . and congratulations! V.
  • P.P.S. And thanks to Family Tree Magazine and Diane Haddad and Maureen Taylor for organizing the nominating and voting for this list, and for compiling the information and the write-ups about each Top 40 blog. There are soooo many wonderful genealogy blogs out there, so I know that was an awful lot of work! 
  • P.P.P.S. Regarding benotforgot, they wrote that . . . "Vickie Everhart profiles relatives and relates her research in this beautifully designed blog. Memorial images accent each posting on a family member and each begins 'On this date in our family history …' We especially like the archive links organized by century, so you can read posts about family events during the specified time frame."



Saturday, February 20, 2010

PFF :: LTC Claudie Muston



MUSTON, Lt. Col. Claudie (Retired) of Georgetown. Age 63. Died 20th February 1981 (Friday). Services held (Sunday) in the Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown. Burial in Oakhill Cemetery in Lampasas. He was born 2nd June 1917 and retired from the U.S. Air Force. Survivors: Wife, Mrs. Ima Muston of Georgetown; foster son, James S. Choung of Houston; two daughters, Mrs. I.J. Wilkerson of Georgetown, Mrs. Gwenn Allen of Richardson; five brothers, F.O. Muston, L.D., I.G., F.A. and Ammon Muston, all of Rockdale; seven grandchildren.
 


The above collage was created by selecting a background image, plus the image of the back of the postcard, plus the image of the front of the postcard, and then using the collage feature in Picasa to create a single new image. The text was also added in Picasa.
 


The above postcard collage was originally posted for the 26th of June 2009 edition of Postcard Friendship Friday which was hosted weekly by Marie Reed.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Februaries of our Elizabeth


This is the Captured Moments column from the February 2010 issue of Shades the Magazine . . .



 

This Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith (1912-1932) is the maternal grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . . the text from the article is copied below . . .



CAPTURED MOMENTS
a few of elizabeth's februaries


What might have been
by Vickie Everhart

The Garden in Winter
I feel as if I had opened a book
and found roses of yesterday
sweet and fragrant between it's leaves.
~ L.M. Montgomery (1874-1942) ~


The Februaries of her life, there were not to be many of them. She arrived on this earth in the autumn of a Leap Year -- October of 1912. And she left this world less than 20 years later, near the beginning of yet another year in which February had 29 days.

The daughter who never knew her was blessed to inherit a photo collection documenting some of the days and events in Elizabeth's short life. At this time, it is believed that most of these treasured snapshots were captured by Elizabeth's older brother, Tom Smith (1904-1959).

Read along with me as we take a peak at what might have been a few of Elizabeth's Februaries. Most of these speculations are based on faded photos adhered to the black pages of an old photo album.

1913 HER 1ST VALENTINE'S DAY

In February of 1913, four-month-old Elizabeth is napping peacefully in her pram while her self-employed parents, Eva and T.W.A. Smith, busily prepare for the annual Valentine's Day rush.

Baby Elizabeth had been an unexpected surpise, arriving eight years following the birth of her only sibling,Tom, and 39-year-old Eva sometimes finds herself staring in awe at the little dark-haired sleeping angel.

Eva is known throughout York County, Maine for her "artistic and handsome floral designs," and T.W.A. "has an unexcelled reputation for the excellence of his work" as "an experienced and practical horticulturist and landscape gardener."

1920 DEATH OF HER FATHER

It is a cold winter's day in Maine, and Elizabeth is seven years old when her ailing 53-year-old father takes his own life in February of 1920. The lengthy write-up in the local Biddeford newspaper reveals a surprising number of details about events leading up to his death. His funeral is held at the family home on the day following Valentine's Day, with burial at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, Maine.

1927 CHILDHOOD FRIENDS

By February of 1927, 14-year-old Elizabeth is friends with Diantha, an "older" girl from the neighborhood who lost her mother in 1923. In later years, Diantha would recall about a young Elizabeth that, "She wore curls when we started to chum together. Her mother had to curl each one over her finger. I guess she had two layers of big fat thick bouncy curls."

Meanwhile, though their paths have not yet crossed, Elizabeth's future husband -- a 3rd-generation Texan -- has been a member of the U.S. Navy for less than a month, and is currently at the U.S. Naval Training Station at Hampton Roads, Virginia. One of his shipmates is Win Hooper from Maine who, unbeknownst to anyone involved, will be marrying Diantha in June of 1931.

1928 MEETING THEIR FUTURE HUSBANDS

Based on letters written by Diantha, it does appear that the Valentine's Day of 1928 came around very shortly before the young women met their future spouses. Diantha wrote that they first encountered Robert and Win when the shipmates were on spring leave in Maine visiting Win's sister. Robert's service record supports this timeline, as it indicates that he had a 12-day-leave beginning April 30, 1928.  

1929 ELIZABETH & ROBERT MARRY

Proof of Elizabeth's residence as of Valentine's Day in 1929 has not yet been located, but it is suspected that she was already living in Lynn, Massachusetts, while Robert was still assigned to the USS Sturtevant. His service record shows he has a 14-day leave beginning July 6, and on the 8th day of July 1929, 16-year-old Elizabeth marries 24-year-old Robert Henry in Lynn. Their marriage license indicates they have a residence in Lynn, which is shared with Elizabeth's single brother, Tom, as well as their widowed mother, Eva.

1930 A NEW BABY BOY

By Valentine's Day 1930, Elizabeth has been married seven months, and is pregnant with her first child, a son, who will be born in May of this year. Robert is still in the Navy, but is given a five-day-leave shortly following the birth of his son, and then another 13-day-leave in August.

1931 THEIR ONLY VALENTINE'S DAY TOGETHER
.
In February of 1931, 18-year-old Elizabeth enjoys the 1st and only Valentine's Day that she will share with her new baby boy and his Father. She makes note of this date on a page in Little Robert's baby book (a gift from Diantha).

Robert has been "home" (in Massachusetts) since the middle of January 1931, having been given an Honorable Discharge from the Navy after four years of service to his country. This was the 1st time the new little family had all actually lived together under one roof. Sadly, they will have only one short year of familial togetherness before the dark cloud of death settles over their home.

Winter, a lingering season,
is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey,
and enjoy every idle hour.
~ John Boswell ~


1932 A NEW BABY GIRL

Elizabeth's new baby girl is two weeks old when Valentine's Day 1932 arrives, and in a perfect world, Elizabeth would be there holding her baby close, and kissing her rosy cheeks, and joyfully writing in the new baby book. But this happy scenario was not to be -- Elizabeth died 11 days prior to what would have been her 19th Valentine's Day. Her funeral is held in Lynn, with burial near her father at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, Maine.

And for the season
it was winter . . .
~ William Bradford ~
Plymouth Plantation, 1640


And no one sees
A restless stranger through the morning stray
Across the sodden lawn, whose eyes
Are tired of weeping, in whose breast
A savage sun consumes its hidden day.
~ David Gascoyne (1916-2001) ~
Winter Garden


And in my mind
clematis climbs
and morning glories
do entwine.
Woodland phlox
and scarlet pinks
replace the frost
if I just blink.
My inner eye
sees past the snow
and in my mind
my garden grows.
~ Cheryl Magic-Lady ~
Winter Garden


Thomas Warren Alonzo Smith (1866-1920) and Eva May Brackett (1874-1936) are my great-grandparents. Their only daughter, Elizabeth Marilla Smith (1912-1932), married Robert E. Henry (1905-1976), and their baby girl is my Mom.


Friday, February 12, 2010

1920 :: T.W.A. Smith Hopelessly Ill Ends Life


On this date in our family history . . . the 12th day of February . . . in the year 1920 . . .
Thomas Warren Alonzo Smith, Sr. ends his own life at his home, 43 Prospect Street, in Biddeford Maine . . . this T.W.A. Smith is a great-grandpa of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .



Biddeford Daily Journal
Friday Evening, February 13, 1920
Page Eight.
T.W.A. SMITH HOPELESSLY ILL ENDS LIFE


Connected Tube to Gas Range
at Home on Prospect Street -
Was Dead When Found by Wife



Thomas Warren A. Smith, the landscape gardener and retired florist, during a short absence of his wife, asphyxiated himself with gas at his home, 43 Prospect street, Thursday afternoon, between 4 and 5 o'clock.


His lifeless body was found by his wife, sitting in a large easy chair, with gas escaping from a rubber tube, which was connected with the gas range in the kitchen and held close to his mouth. The end of the rubber tubing had been tied by Mr. Smith on his breast with the end about half an inch from his mouth. The end attached to the gas range had also been tied on, as Mr. Smith, who had made two other attempts to end his life, it is claimed, evidently wanted to make sure he would succeed this time.


Mrs. Smith left her husband in the home about 4 o'clock to come downtown and make purchases of food and articles for the family. When she returned she found all the doors leading to the house locked and her suspicions became aroused at once.


Hurrying to the home of ex-Councilman Daniel B. Finnell across the street, Mrs. Smith secured the loan of a shovel in order that she might remove some snow which prevented her getting a ladder which was under the barn. With the aid of the ladder Mrs. Smith was able to get into the house through a chamber room window on the second floor. When she went downstairs the odor of gas was very noticeable. Quickly opening her breath [sic], as the odor of gas was something terrible.


Quickly opening windows and shutting off the gas cock, Mrs. Smith went to her husband, who sat in a large easy chair in front of the range and one look satisfied her that he had been successful in taking his life.


Mrs. Finnell arrived at the house and she was followed by Carl Hall, also a neighbor, and Dr. J.F. Trull was called by telephone. The physician on his arrival found that Mr. Smith was beyond all aid. Medical Examiner Charles F. Trayneg was notified and after learning the facts of the case, concluded it was a case of suicide.

Mr. Smith had carefully planned taking his life, according to the way he arranged everything. He removed a shelf from the range and used papers to keep the rubber tubing from touching the stove. The end of the tubing was tied to the gas cock of the gas stove, while the other end was securely held with string on his breast so that the end would come close to his mouth and nose.


Incurable illness is given as the cause for the rash act. Mr. Smith suffered an attack of influenza 14 months ago and double pneumonia set in and his life was saved only by a hard battle, in which his kind and devoted wife took a prominent part. Heart trouble developed and his condition was such that it was plain to his many friends that he would not be able to do much more work. Only recently in talking with a friend he said he could walk but little and had to ride if he wanted to go any distance.


T.W.A. Smith was well known in the two cities and the news of his death was received with profound sorrow. He had made other unsuccessful attempts to end his life, by inhaling illuminating gas, while a revolver was taken from him only a few days ago.


Everybody has a good word for Mr. Smith. Friends knew that he was suffering physically and that everything was being done for him in the line of medical aid, but his condition could not be helped. 


He was prominent in Masonic and Odd Fellows circles and was a member of the First Baptist church. Mr. Smith was born in Lewiston 15th September 1866, and was the son of the late Atwood and J. Morilla Baker Smith. He received a public school education, and was employed in the Pepperell mills before entering the florist business.


He was located on Prospect street, next to his home, for many years. As a landscape gardener he was in great demand, especially at the Pool, and his work was always highly spoken of. He was affiliated with many organizations, among them Laconia lodge, I.O.O.F.; York Encampment, J. H. Dearborn canton, Mavoshen lodge, K. of P.; Dunlap Lodge of Masons, Squando Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, and Simon S. Andrews camp, Sons of Veterans.


Mr. Smith is survived by his widow, one son, Thomas W. A. Smith, Jr., and one daughter, Miss Elizabeth M. Smith. The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon with services at 2 o'clock at the late home, 43 Prospect street. Relatives and friends are invited without further notice.



Monday, February 08, 2010

Memory Monday :: 35 Years Ago


On this date in our family history . . . the 8th day of February . . . in the year 1975 . . . in a ceremony held at the First Christian Church in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas . . . the Keeper of this family history blog became the bride of Bennie Lee Everhart . . .


One of the songs performed during the ceremony was Sunrise, Sunset, from the movie, Fiddler on the Roof . . . there were not many dry eyes in the church by the time the wedding singer finished this one . . .







Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day

They look so natural together
Just like two newlyweds should be
Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears


The center photo in the collage was taken shortly after the wedding, when the newlyweds were attending a live performance of Fiddler on the Roof at the Country Dinner Playhouse in Austin, Travis County, Texas . . . the tickets were a gift from the law office where this newlywed was employed at the time . . .




So here's wishing
a Happy 35th Anniversary
to my Hubbie . . .
looking forward to the next 35 with you . . .
hugs & kisses . . .





P.S. There are many sources for free Valentine images. This collage was created from my files of free images that have been collected over the years, from a lot of different sources and collections.



P.P.S. . . . Update . . . here it is five years later . . . February 8th, 2015 . . . and in another two months it will be five years since I lost my Bennie . . . I am sitting here now watching "Fiddler on the Roof" . . . first time I saw it was with Mom . . . in Denver . . . in 1972 . . . I knew then that I would want "Sunrise, Sunset" sung at my wedding . . . sunrise, sunset . . . swiftly fly the years . . . one season following another . . . laden with happiness and tears . . . 

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sentimental Sunday :: Reunion




Left to right, these gentleman of the 1950s are --



Jim is a family friend . . . Fuzzy is my Dad . . . Weldon is a 1st cousin once removed (but always referred to as Uncle Weldon) . . . and Robert is Uncle Bob (Mom's brother) . . . Jim died this week, on the 3rd of February . . . as this photo from the 1950s demonstrates, he is a part of our childhood memories . . . but I did not realize until just this week that Jim is actually a 1st cousin once removed to some of my Dad's 1st cousins (i.e., the Quinneys) . . . his funeral is being held today, the 7th day of February, in Rockdale . . . Jim will be buried beside his 1st wife, Bettie Jane Robbins nee Bartlett (1933-1964), the mother of his only child . . . RIP, Jim . . . give Dad and Uncle Weldon and Uncle Bob a hug for me when you see them . . . see y'all next time . . .


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

February Calendar of Rememberings




This shall be written for the generation to come . . . Psalm 102:18 . . .

When it came time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy on January 30th, I am happy to say that I was delightfully busy making memories with family members at a birthday event held south of Houston -- so I am LATE for SNGF! But since this one is right up my alley, I just could not resist putting something together.

Since we are already into February, I went ahead and did my calendar for this month. I created the basic calendar using Family Tree Maker 16.

Maybe I need to spend some more quality time with FTM 2010, but I do not yet see a way to personalize calendars as Family Tree Maker has always allowed us to do -- they seem to have taken away the customization features that I like to play with.


Once I had the calendar the way I wanted it in FTM16, it was exported as a PDF. The PDF was opened for viewing, and the image was captured using the PRT SCR button. The image was then cropped to the desired size using Picasa.

Using a free scrapbook page found on the internet, a multiple exposure collage was created using Picasa. This multiple exposure was then used as part of a picture pile collage, along with a free background image and a free clipart image.

I actually wound up doing two calendars -- one for birthdays, and one for anniversaries -- because I could not get all of the information on one calendar page. The one you see here is now the desktop on my laptop computer. The one I did for February anniversaries is scaled for the monitor for my desktop computer, and is displayed there.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions if I don't make sense! 



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