Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

My great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Roberts Love
12 Jun 1861, Overton Co., TN - 30 Apr 1923, Jackson, Madison Co., TN

Friday, May 25, 2012

By Jove, I Think I've Got It!

You, dear Reader, may remember my sad and pathetic post a while back entitled "Techie?"  If you do, then you know that for a number of months, my blog looked as though a middle schooler had created it.  No, no...I take that back.  A middle schooler would have done a much better job!  It was, after all, a middle schooler who showed me how to download my photos from my cell phone to Facebook and how to send them by email to others. I do them an injustice.  I apologize.  My blog looked like a non-technically savvy senior citizen had created it.  Umm...I think that's what really happened.

However, I think at one point in that post I implied that I'm a fairly smart senior citizen, and that I was determined to learn how to improve my blog's look, add certain things that I wanted to appear on it, and actually learn how to create a link.  Well, by Jove, I think I've done it!

Now all of this may seem to be a minor little thing to most of you veteran bloggers and truly 'techie' nerds - I mean people.  But to me, it's a major breakthrough.  And I did it all on my own.  No classes or workshops or anything else.  I went back to good ol' Google and found the blogger help - again.  This time I worked my way through everything as I had before.  But maybe my mind was in better shape today because this time I did manage to figure out most of what I needed to know.  I'm pretty proud of myself, and I hope you are, too.  Feel free to leave compliments and words of praise - tons of them would be nice.

Yes, indeed, I'm feeling good about myself today.  Heck, I feel like a middle schooler! 

Well, that might be a stretch.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Those Pesky Little Hints!

When I finally broke down and joined a few years ago, I used to get so excited when a green leaf would pop up on one of the names I had entered on my tree. I knew it might be something new that I could use to ‘flesh out’ who that person really was, what he or she did, where they lived, what people were in their households, etc. Sometimes, as in the case of the World War I registration cards, I would actually be able to ‘visualize’ that person because of the description that was given as to height, weight, color of hair and color of eyes.  Their real signature was on the card, too. Maybe I’m just easily pleased, but I was thrilled with each new find.
I even used to find delight in trying to make sure that the hint was actually about my ancestor or relative, and I could hardly wait to enter another ‘source’ when I was sure of that fact.  Having solid, accurate sources is something that I’ve always tried to make sure was on each person’s page.  Of course, that hasn’t always happened.  Sadly, I’m not perfect - a fact with which I’m finally coming to terms.  But I really do try to be accurate and always encourage others to correct me if they see something that's not true.
I had put off joining Ancestry for many years.  At first it was because I could find so much on my own in libraries and then later on the numerous free online sites.  The USGenWeb was one of my first favorite places to explore. I still try to go back there from time to time.  But I finally realized one day that many things that I wanted and needed were already indexed on Ancestry.  Why re-invent the wheel?  So, I happily joined.  Okay, maybe not ‘happily.’  I certainly wasn’t happy with the price. But join I did. That was back in December of 2003.  (Hmmm...I guess it’s been a tad more than a 'few' years ago.)
For most of the years that I’ve been a member of Ancestry, I’ve faithfully made sure that I kept up with the ‘hints’ that were posted on my site. Although I’ve been a member for so many years, I don’t have one of those sites that have thousands and thousands of names on it.  I only have close to 4,000. That may sound like a big number, but it really isn’t when you realize that I started the tree nine years ago. I think that my tree is not any larger because I find myself obsessing sometimes trying to find out as much as I can about each person whose name I put on the tree. I don’t want to be just a ‘collector of names.’ I want to actually ‘know’ each person, and I try to guarantee that those who are looking at my tree can know them, too.
I guess it’s because Ancestry is growing and adding new information, but somehow I find that I can no longer keep up with those darn leaves!  I open the site wanting to do more research on new people, and I find myself entrenched in trying to go through even more leaves every day. I know that I shouldn’t complain.  Ancestry is doing its job.  But I’m finding more and more often that the ‘hint’ doesn’t really relate to my family member.  This bothers me for one main reason: there are a whole bunch of people on Ancestry who will just attach anything that comes up without even checking.  And that, of course, spreads false ‘facts.’
I’m so behind on attaching my hints now that I’ve quit trying to keep up.  I just do a few every day or so and then try to move my mind along in order to accomplish the new research that I want to do. But that’s really hard for me to do because I think I mentioned that I get obsessive about it, didn’t I? 
Okay, I’ll admit it.  Those pesky little hints are driving me crazy!

My Grandfather's WWI Registration card -
giving a description of a man whom I really didn't know very well.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Derby Day

Today is Kentucky Derby Day and a very significant day for all horse lovers and probably also for anybody who has raced through the archives of Kentucky trying to find their ancestors.  I fall into both categories.
I have a number of ancestors who made Kentucky their home at one time or another.  Some of those surnames include: Shrewsbury, Akers, Anderson, and Norman. Even one branch of Loves lived there.  We know that those Loves are related to us because of DNA analysis, but so far we haven’t made the exact connection.  Hopefully, one day soon we will.
I think, however, that what I love the most about Derby Day are the horses themselves. I’ve always loved horses.  Even though I’m a ‘city girl,’ I used to dream that I would own a horse someday (I guess I never contemplated where I would put it!) and would sit for hours sketching horse after horse, each one turning out a little better than the last. Oh, how I wish I still had those drawings!  That love of horses appears to run in the family, as many of my Love family ancestors have been described as horse breeders, importers, horsemen, and turfmen.  Even my Father’s application for the Marine Corps in 1936 included ‘horseshoer’ as one of his skills.
Back in 1774, my 5th great grandfather, Samuel Love (1720 – 1787) purchased land near the Broad Run in Prince William County, Virginia.  He also bought the mill that was in the area and then built “Buckland Plantation” on his newly-purchased land.  He and his four sons, Samuel, John, Charles, and Augustine, proceeded to develop the entire area surrounding Buckland into one of the finest mercantile centers in the area at that time.  It would later become a town and is still there today.
When Samuel died in 1787, he deeded his main plantation, “Salisbury,” which was located in Loudon Co., Virginia, to my 4th great grandfather, Samuel Love.  “Buckland” was left to John.  Between the two of them, they began to import thoroughbred Arabian and European horses.  Two of those horses, “Mahomet” and “Spread Eagle,” are said to be “listed among the origins of the modern thoroughbred.”( Source: “The Buckland Preservation Society)
George Washington bought horses from the Love family for his own use.  The Loves were also friends with Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and James Madison, all of whom purchased supplies and horses from the successful commercial center located at Buckland.
I’m very proud to be descended from people who were in the forefront of bringing thoroughbreds to America.  My own love of horses, as well as my love of the Kentucky Derby itself probably stems from those origins. (Hmmm…could it be that ‘genetic memory’ thing again?)
Today is the 138th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.  I’m gettin’ my Mint Julep ready and am looking forward to seeing those horses run.
And then, of course, there are the hats.  That just might be the best – and most ‘fascinating’ part of all!

Source: The Historical Marker Database (