About Me

Saturday, December 3, 2011

postheadericon Finding Lost Great-Grandparents

I never knew any of my great-grandparents but I felt closer to Anna and Greeley Scarlett than the others.  The Scarlett line of first-born sons came down to Greeley since the early 1700s.  However, he and Anna had two girls.  Minnie was 8 years old when her little sister, Katie, my grandmother, came along.  Minnie married first, of course, and had one child, a son, Clair.  When Katie married, she had one child, a son, my father, Clifford.  Clair never married but Cliff did and had two children, my brother, Charles and me.

Anna and Greeley moved from Alvordton to Hicksville (both in Ohio) next door to their older daughter.

I loose track of them there.  Minnie and her husband died.  In the early 60s, Clair died and I went to his military funeral.  I was sure the cemetery wasn't far from the house.

My friend, Theresa, mentioned in a geneology - scrapbooking chat one night that she lived quite close to Hicksville, Ohio and would check the cemetery there for me.

She sent me photos of the headstones.

Anna Scarlett 1859 - 1931

Horace G. Scarlett  1852 - 1933

The Garver Scarlett Plot
The three close stones are the Garvers, Minnie, Will and their son Clair.  The two further ones are the Scarlett stones.
Monday, September 26, 2011

postheadericon The Mysterious Rachel

This week I received notice from that someone had sent me a message.  What a surprise.

At this point it looks like my great-great-grandmother, Rachel Marker, had a baby out of wedlock while living in Sumerset County, Pennsylvania where she was born in 1834. 

There are some discrepancies.

Born  03 Aug 1834 Somerset, Pennsylvania
Emigrated to Noble County, Indiana in 1843 with parents and brothers age 9 (lied in obituary?)
Birth of Henry Swarner in 1848 in Somerset, Pennsylvania (She would be just 14.  Did she return to Sumerset from Noble County or was the story in the obit a cover-up?)
Marriage to Horace Greeley Scarlett 19 Jan 1852
Birth of Almon Scarlett 16 Nov 1853
Horace G Scarlett died  25 Mar 1856
Almon renamed Horace Greeley after his father
Marriage to Jacob Winebrenner (next door neighbor) 15 Jan 1857
Births of 6 Winebrenner children 1857 to 1869
Rachel's death 14 Sept 1906 (age 72)

Jacob Winebrenner and Rachel Jane Marker Scarlett Winebrenner

Rachel's obituary.  Part lost.
Saturday, September 17, 2011

postheadericon Oh oh! Moving from Rank Amateur to a Little More Serious

A couple of days ago I read a message in a forum; a forum of scrapbooking friends...not even about genealogy.  This friend was complaining about how she had spent countless hours and a lot of money researching her family's genealogy.  A cousin, then published HER tree, and it was full of errors, undocumented links lifted from other trees, and no proofs.

My friend hit a nerve.  I go to several sites that archive trees of the members and allow sharing, notifying you when there are matches.  It is so easy to just grab those new branches on the trees, and if there is no proofs, oh, well.

Now I have started searching for discrepancies in my lines and found some "impossible" links.  My favorite multiple mistakes are women linked as mothers to children born after their death date.  In one case a man was over 100 years older than his child.

I am unsure whether to try and clean up my tree, or just start over.  Maybe I will do both...a carefully documented tree from scratch, but keep the old tree for reference.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

postheadericon Where I'm From


I am from WWII, from Ration Stamps, and Oleo.
I am from the smell of lake water and wood boats.
I am from the bed of zinnias and marigolds, the pungent scent and sticky, fuzzy leaves.
I am from Family Sunday dinners and tolerance of peculiarities, from Grandma and Grandpa and Scarlett pride.
I am from the orderliness and tradition-keeping.
From old-time Indiana songs and colorful expressions.
I am from Episcopal and Baptist traditions,  The Bible and wine communion.
I'm from Germany, Sweden and England. Garlic and sauerkraut.
From the Indiana farm and large families, the Uncle who fought in WWI, and the  Uncle who was left behind.
I am from boxes of photos, notebooks of census papers, Lifebooks and heritage scrapbooks; Online family trees and newly found relatives.

(This was a challenge from Gene-Musings)

Friday, July 8, 2011

postheadericon Restoring damaged, old photos

My friend, Fran, wrote this tutorial about her awesome restorations of photos that are aged, damaged and discolored.  She used Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 5, but it will work with other versions.

Here is the original and restored photo;


So here is my hot tip. Whenever I am working on something that I know is going to have a gazillion layers, every time I get about 100 layers I save my work as Restore 1. Then I merge all my layers, duplicate the background layer, and name the project Restore 2. When restore 2 gets to 100 layers I save --> merge --> duplicate the background layer and name it Restore just as important as the tutorial. When you are trying to restore a damaged photo the work becomes very intricate and it is SO much easier if you allow yourself to drown in layers.

When trying to restore a photo the very first thing you have to deal with is the tone, color, and noise. Once you deal with those three things much of the detail that you could see in the original photo will disappear. (Which is quite frustrating). In Essee's photo, decreasing the noise in the photo made the hair on the sides of both ladies heads disappear. It also made the right eyebrows of all three people disappear. I used the smudge tool to recreate those areas.
My next step is to work on the faces. If I cannot make the faces look descent, there is no point in wasting my time on the clothes.


I paint the faces (use a very soft brush at a very low setting and layer your color) of the people to get rid of the noise that is left behind after the noise filter(every time you use a new color, make a new layer)-->

then I stamp the image (shift+control+alt+E)-->

I put the original on top, but the stamped layer is active -->

I use the lasso tool and, while looking at the original, I work on the stamped layer. On my active layer I select the areas of skin on the face where there are obvious shadows on the original -->

I use a feather of 7-10 to feather the edges and then I copy and paste the selected areas onto a new layer -->

I do a curves adjustment on the extracted areas so that my painted/stamped layer has the shadows and highlights of the original.

Sometimes I have to do this step several times before I am satisfied with the look.

I stamp again, then duplicate --->

I run the duplicated layer through all the blending modes to see if it will improve the detail ---> I find that soft light is usually the blending mode that works the best --> then I mask that layer and paint on the mask until I get a look that I like.

[I use the Imagnomic noise filter. I love it].

In Essee's photo the clothes were very black, so I had to lift the shadows (image --> adjustments-->shadows and highlights) to bring out the detail in the clothes. Lifting shadows always creates horrific problems with noise. Noise is a scary monster that hides in the shadows of our photos. I handled this by hand painting over the noisy areas just like I did the faces. Then, in order to bring out even more detail to the lines of the clothes, I extracted them and added a small drop shadow to things like lapels, and on the outside edge I add a small black outer glow and changed the blend mode to multiply.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

postheadericon Organizing data

These are notes to support the June 29 chat in Ancestorville on Facebook.

I found these great planning pages at Levenger.  I believe they no longer produce this exact paper.  I bought it at a discount, in 5 colors and white and loose.  They now have similar in pads (link above).  I didn't know what I wanted the paper for when I bought it but this seems to be the perfect use.

As much as possible I am matching old photos with the decade.  I hope to add some historic events in red.
 I also use this paper for planning a lifebook.  Each section is labeled with the lifebook theme of that week.  Instead of photos, I sketch in the design I want for the page and info on the lined portion.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

postheadericon A new chat

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1, I will be hanging out in the Ancestorville chat room on Facebook hoping there are some other Ancesterville residents interested in heritage scrapping.  If you are on Facebook, contact me and I will direct you to one of the two chats at 3:00 EST and 8:00 EST.

I was in the chat room at Ancestorville one evening on another topic when I mentioned scrapping heritage, genealogy, ancestors, etc.  There were a couple who didn't know what "scrapping" was, let alone heritage scrapping, digital or otherwise.  There were a couple more who knew about scrapping but hadn't linked it to the stories of the ancestors.  I know at least one who has already jumped into it and keeps me informed.  I don't know all the answers, even if the "Mayor" of Ancestorville called me an "expert" but I have links...lots of links.

My suggestion for getting your feet wet is to choose one photo, piece of ephemera, or copy of an important record, scan it, place it loosely on a blank page and tell the story...every detail you know.  I usually type mine on a computer but handwritten is even better.  THEN go looking for backgrounds and decorations.
Sunday, May 29, 2011

postheadericon Some More New Heritage Scrapbook Pages

My partner and his sister
Then and Now pages are fun to do if you have the photos.  Sometimes it is a bit of serendipity to find a pair of photos like these, and sometimes you have to set up the "Now" photo.  There is always Photoshop if you need to do some fancy cutting and pasting.  I was lucky to find this "now" shot but it was a group shot so other people had to be removed by the magic of Photoshop.

My mother with her older brother, my oldest uncle.
Special occasions are great for that little push you might need to tell a particular story.  My mother often talked about her big brother and the anxious times her family had during WWI when he was away fighting.  I am so glad she told me so many stories. 

It amazes me how little my own children absorb of things I tell them so getting the stories and photos together on these pages might help the old stories live on.  It makes up for not having enough time to talk to my children with their busy lives. 
Monday, May 23, 2011

postheadericon More Frustration

It never ends, but if it did what would we have to do?  I was unable to sleep the other night and decided to find out a bit about my late-ex-husband's grandmother.  I had met her in Savannah in a nursing home while we were on our honeymoon.  She thought her grandson was her son but on genealogy she was quite clear.  She was Mary Mozelle Bourquin.  Family Tree Maker and to the rescue.  FTM is alsolinked to and I have a membership so I didn't think a thing of it when her name came up in a Genealogy page in a book The Bourquin Family.  I copied it all down by hand, at least what was important at the moment.  Her birth date, (she was still alive when this book was done in 1936), dates of all of her children, their spouses, and their dates, and number of children as of 1936.  I also had her parents' names and dates.

It was really late by then and I was tired.  I skipped to the first page of the book and copied down the first entry, Jean Baptiste Bourquin, his birth date, that he was a physician, and immigration from Switzerland to South Carolina in 1738. 

Then I went to bed.  Now I cannot get back to that book any way.  I may have to call the Gen Center in Salt Lake City.  I cannot figure out why it doesn't show up any more. 
Friday, February 4, 2011

postheadericon New Gen Scrapbook Pages

postheadericon A Break-through

Second Cousin Once Removed:
My second-cousin-once-removed, Jennifer and me.
 Through matching tree entries in, Jennifer and I discovered "missing" branches of our families.  Her great-grandmother and my grandfather were siblings.  The children of the two families were so close they even had their photos taken together.
My Uncle Sid at the top, Uncle Lyman on the right.  Their Cousins Hilmar and Naomi are at the left. About 1904 before my aunt and mother were born and younger cousin Doris.. 
My mother remembered the 7 children being together often...then when Mother was about 7 or 8 they didn't seem to spend any more time together.  Why?  I had not been able to locate information on the internet and that branch of the family tree was just gone.

The story was this:  My grandfather's sister, (Jen's great-grandmother), died in her early 40s leaving her minister husband with 3 young children.  Eventually he remarried but the link between the two families was gone and never was restored...until now!!!

Jen had a photo of the old family home where her great-grandmother and my grandfather were raised.  How precious THAT was! 

I passed on the originals of about 8 photos of her ancestors that belong rightfully to her and her sister.  We exchanged information about our respective branches and our current families.

A lovely afternoon!!!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

postheadericon Paired Scrapbook Pages

Since our break-throughs often change the nature of a whole part of our genealogy, they also often make some heritage scrapbook pages in error, or irrelevant.  Rather than destroy those pages, I have made some of them a first part to a two-part double page.
The Meyer Family
JOURNALING - Original Heritage Page: In spite of many hours searching Ancestry web sites, we can find no trace of my grandfather’s sister, Tracy, husband Monty, or children, Hilmar, Doris, and Naomi (not pictured).  At the time of these photos they lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan and exchanged many formal photos with my mother’s family.  They were dear and close cousins.  Where are they?

The Meyer Family-revisited
JOURNALING: Follow-up page created over a year later:  One day, while searching on Ancestry.Com, I noticed a “shaking leaf” by mother’s Cousin Monty’s name.  When I found the matching information, on someone else’s tree I sent her a message.  Monty was her great-grandfather.  She was able to fill in family information.  Monty’s mother, Tracy, my grandfather’s sister, died young and Monty remarried.. That seemed to separate the two families.  I will be meeting this relative in a few weeks and giving her the collection of photos of Monty's family I have saved.

Several sites where you enter your family tree information will alert you when there are matches between your tree and another one on file.  If the site allows messages between tree owners you MIGHT find a long lost cousin, pieces of important information,or location information.

In another case, I am still searching for some information.  I created a pair of pages and will be submitting them here and there hoping to find someone who recognizes the place or people.
This farm tintype from Grandma Anderson's collection
 JOURNALING: This tintype was with my grandmother’s things when she died.  It is very large for a tintype and must have been important.  It could be either a Scarlett farm or an Anderson farm.  Scarlett farms were in Indiana, most in Noble County.  The one Anderson farm was in Ohio.  The number of people could include in-laws and hired hands.  There are 8 children, the husband and wife in the center, an older man and woman (in-laws?), and two older girls who could be servants or relatives.  Since there are no possible cousins, second, or third, this beautiful homestead remains a mysterious link to my ancestry.  We roughly dated it to  the 1890s.
The main people in the photo
These appear to be the parents in the photo of the Family Farm.  They do not match any other people in photos or tintypes that I have.  There are some children, one young lady and, what appears to be, 2 housemaids and an older man:  hired hands or some in-laws.  I will keep looking to see if any of them match a known ancestor.

More than anything, I would like to know if this beautiful farmhouse still exists and how it fits into my genealogy.