Sunday, September 24, 2017
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Antietam, fought on Wednesday, September 17, 1862, is considered the bloodiest single day in the Civil War, with a combined total, from both sides, of 22,717 dead, wounded or missing. “Battle of Antietam. Army of the Potomac: Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, comm., Sept. 17′ 1862. – 1′ 2′ 4′ 6′ 9′ 12′ Corps & Pleasanton’s cav. div. engaged.” Color lithograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is called, alternately, Antietam, for the creek near where it was fought, as the North named most of its battles after nearby natural spots, with the... (Read More ...)

My granddaughter is already writing her wish list for Halloween, starting with a skull piñata. McCollum memo Page4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I never had to think too much about costumes for Halloween because my great-aunt, Helen Zander, a missionary who taught English in Japan all her adult life, gave me a kimono when I was in elementary school. Aunt Helen had been recruited to be a missionary while at Hope College, in Michigan, a college associated with the Reformed Church, of which her family were members, the school she would eventually gift with her book collection after her death. She was... (Read More ...)

The island of Ireland, showing international border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia) With My Aunt in It. My father’s people were German and English. My mother’s people were English and Scottish and Irish. My uncle, my mother’s younger brother, who never knew his father, took on a life-long hobby of researching the family’s genealogy and history. We are all in his debt. But, the story of Ireland was mixed. It seems our ancestor, Robert Notley, born in Manchester, England around 1720, was in the business of manufacturing linen. His work took him to... (Read More ...)

The original version of General Electric’s circular logo and trademark. The trademark application was filed on July 24, 1899, and registered on September 18, 1900 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Have You Ever Visited the Old Family Homestead? On a recent trip to Schenectady, New York, where my father was born, I showed my brothers an historic plaque that honored our great-grandfather, Julius Zander, our grandmother’s father. He was an immigrant from Germany. The plaque reads: On this corner site stood first Bellevue Blacksmith shop, from 1885 to 1925. Started by Julius Zander, followed by Julius... (Read More ...)

Do You Have Anything of Your Grandfather’s? I told my family at a recent family reunion, where I’d brought family trees, genealogical records, family stories and photo albums from both my mother’s mother and my father’s father, that I was looking for two things buried among all the records. I was looking for the story about how my great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Frederick, had come to be named. And, I was looking for a poster from my mother’s father, a customs agent in Nogales, Arizona, where my mother was born. “Pancho” Villa, a Mexican Revolutionary general. (Photo credit:... (Read More ...)

My Great-Grandfather’s Name Was Abraham. Both my uncle on my mother’s side and my grandfather on my father’s side gathered extensive family genealogical records. This year, to celebrate my 65th birthday, my Texas-based brothers decided to gather their families with mine near Boston, where one of my sons lives. During the week, we drove to Guilderland Center, near where my father was born in Schenectady, New York. Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is an historic house, the Mynderse-Frederick House, there that used to belong to a... (Read More ...)

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots Where Does the Name Covin Come From? My husband’s last name, Covin, is an Anglicized version of the original French name, Couvain. Apparently, a sailor, Jean-Pierre, from Marseilles, sailed with General Lafayette to serve in the American Revolutionary War. After the war, he asked permission to return from France and settle here. It is a very unusual name, except in South Carolina, where he first settled, Georgia, where my husband’s family has lived for five generations, and Texas, where one brother moved several generations after the first settlers.. Periodically,... (Read More ...)

Abraham Lincoln My mother chose my first name, Carol, so there would be no derivatives. Perhaps, it was because her name, Elizabeth, had so many derivatives – Liz, Liza, Beth, Ellie, Bett, Betsy, and the one she settled on, Betty. She took a lie detector test once and the technician, to get a baseline reading, asked her, “Is your name Betty.” “No.” He turned off the machine. She explained, “My name is Elizabeth. People call me Betty. So, for me no cute or teasing playground names. No annoying rhyming names. I was not born near Christmas, so it was not related... (Read More ...)

General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York My uncle, who, for reasons I did not understand until I was in my 40s, never met his father, was fascinated by genealogy. Because of his interest and diligent research, including several trips to Ireland, I learned chilling and historically fascinating stories about our ancestors. My cousin has consolidated his father’s papers and taken up the research. In just one example, my mother’s ancestors, Scottish textile merchants, were approached by the British to resettle in Ireland, which they did. Some years later, textile exports... (Read More ...)

I know my first cousins. Second Cousin. Once Removed. Genealogy at the Family Christmas Party. We saw them about every five years when I was growing up. Each time, it was as though we lived across the street. Beyond that, however, my parents did not go. When I got to college, a boy called me and asked if I wanted to meet my Michigan cousins. “I don’t have any Michigan cousins.” As it turned out, he was right and I was wrong.  My grandfather had sisters who lived in Ohio and Michigan. My college roommate eventually introduced me to one of my great-aunts when she discovered the family connection... (Read More ...)