Saturday, February 19, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Toys

When my kids asked me what my favorite toy was when I was a little girl, it took me awhile to figure it out.  We moved around a lot and my parents didn’t pack up all the old toys to take with us, so they didn’t really re-circulate much.  Toy retirement was quick in those days.   There are two, though, that stand out in my memories. One was the Big Wheel and the other would be the Fisher Price Little People and all their accoutrements. 

Living on ranches, my little brother and I got a lot of mileage out of our Big Wheels.  Ours weren’t shiny and the stickers were long since faded and partially ripped off.  We had seats with a compartment for Stuff.  Sometimes “Stuff” was a snack and sometimes “Stuff” was bugs and grass.  But “Stuff” was always in there.  Unless, of course the seat off so that the Big Wheel could be used as a scooter-like product.  We did this often for obstacle courses and ramps and raceways.  Our Big Wheels got much use.

Our Fisher Price Little People also got a lot of airtime in our childhoods.  We had the Fisher Price Garage, the Fisher Price Village (my favorite- I loved the little Post Office with the little envelopes), the Fisher Price Barn, the Fisher Price School and a few other pieces collected through time.  We had all the usual figures and I clearly remember playing with them into my tweens, pretending they were actual Little People (ala reading Gulliver’s Travels…).  I would make up little scenarios about the different figures and my brother and I even named each of them. 

But honestly, when I think back to the toys, they were all fun.  But the most fun of all?  My little brother was always there to play with them with me.  He was the best toy of all. 

When I told my kids this, though, they rolled their eyes and said, “Yeah, sure, Mom,” in their I-don’t-believe-you way.  And then they went back to making their Star Wars figures fight and dance and I smiled knowing that someday, they’d see that I was right.

I’ll keep telling them how important they are to one another and they’ll keep rolling their eyes right at me into adulthood.  But one day they’ll tell me how right I always was.  I just hope I live long enough to hear it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday- Swedish horse

I have an old Swedish carved wooden horse in front of me that was given to my dad by is grandmother when she came back from her visit to her hometown in Sweden.  It sits in front of me on my desk every day.  The paint is just about completely worn off and it has a large crack threatening its left front leg, but it looks at me every morning as I sit here writing away.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Emaline Markham Price

Emaline is my 3rd great grandmother.  She is the one sitting second from the left. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lulu Frustrations

I finished my book.  Got it all purdy and formatted and ready to go.  Followed all the instructions for making the fonts embedded, etc.  I decided I wanted a 9x6 book.  Their standard template is 6x9, but I read this on their site when I first started formatting: 

POD printers tend to print landscape pages sideways, so even if you are creating a wide format book (9 x 7), the uploaded source document page orientation must be set to Portrait, with page dimensions defined with the wider width than height.

Which lead me to believe that as long as I left it at Portrait, I could do a 9x6 book.  So that is how I designed my whole book.  When I got to the upload file part, it said I couldn't do 9x6.  A called, posted a note and sent an email.  Got a response saying that they don't do 9x6 and that I'd have to reformat my book.  So I spent 2 hours doing that.

Oh, I should also mention that after you do anything on lulu, it freezes and you have to go out and go back in.  I thought it was my computer, but I rebooted, cleared my cache and then googled and it's a common issue. 

So now my file is uploaded and I'm trying to create a cover with their "wizard".  They have a new Wizard and an old Wizard.  The new wizard is okay, but I'm not thrilled with the templates available.  And while they have links to the old wizard, I'm now on my second reboot of Lulu to try to get to it.  Hoping that it has better options.  Well, truthfully, I'm hoping I can even get there to figure out Old Wizard's options.

I really didn't think this would be the hard part.  I'm not computer-stupid and I don't have issues following directions.  I'm also not super picky about this book.  So I really didn't expect to get this frustrated.

I'd try Blurb for this, but you have to download a program and my project is already done in Word and PDF.  But I'm soooooo frustrated!

Thanks for asking about the book. It's really not much, but it was fun to do and will make some members of my family happy for a few minutes. If you watched the YouTube video thing that I did, it's basically a long, long version of that without music.

It's also a good test of what it entails, since it's only 24 pages long. I'd like to get a few of the family lines into a book format, so this is a nice test.  I wanted a print-on-demand (POD) project so that I could just buy a few copies as gifts and then have it there in case any one wanted to order themselves.  With these, you can make the price anything you want as long as it's at least the cost the POD company has to make it.  I'll make my prices their prices, as it's really a way for me to put it out there. 

Anyway, it likely won't be fun for many of those who weren't there, but when I do it, I'll also have a free PDF version so that you can take a peak at it.

Right now, I am going to type in the changes I made yesterday (I can only edit in pen and it must be red or blue- why is that??!? Most people could just do it on the screen, I'm sure). Anyway, I have to make those changes to my Word document and then format it to a PDF in a special way so that the fonts and pictures are "embedded". It looked like a lot of steps, but I'll keep you posted.  Then I upload the PDF.

Then I have to create the cover. 

One step at a time.  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Almost done...

I just have to type up the bibliography and create a cover and then my first book is DONE! And the second is a quarter of the way done. WOO HOO!

I also found some gems on my husband's side yesterday. They had this odd connection to Colorado that I couldn't figure out at all. So I did a random Google Book search with the name and "Colorado" and there it was. My husband's great grandfather's brother went there and their mother joined him after the death of her husband. I am now guessing that great great grandfather and his other brother (both of whom were married to this grandmother, so I'm not sure which is the father yet) came to be with John and their mother. The book gives a lot of details on John, so I have a lot of places to look next.

I also found this from the San Francisco Call, Saturday, July 8, 1899:

Ex-Constable Coschina Under Arrest at San Jose.
SAN JOSE, July 7.—Ex-Constable Mat
Coschina was arrested to-day for having
threatened to killAttorney W. M. Beggs.
He was subsequently released on $1000
ball. His preliminary examination will be
held to-morrow. The trouble grows out
of an attachment served by Coschina a
couple of years ago while Constable. In
the trial of the suit the attachment was
set aside and judgment was given against
Coschina and became a lien against the
latter's property, although indemnity had
been given to protect the officer. For
some time Coschina has been preparing
to go to Angels Camp, and he had arranged
to borrow $1200 on his property, but
could not do so until this lien was released.
• \u25a0
Beggs is attorney for J. O. Hickey. who
holds the lien. Yesterday Coschina went
to Beggs and told him. his wife was seriously
ill from worry over the affair and
if she died he would killBeggs. Hence the
Attorney Beggs. on the other hand, has
bought a revolver and declares he will
shoot Coschina should Coschina show his
head in his office. '

Matthew Coschina was my husband's great grandfather on his grandmother's side. He was a constable, officer and sheriff in Santa Clara County. The Hickey case was actually taken to the State Supreme Court and basically Coschina lost. In essence, he was to seize property of someone and that someone had given it all to his son-in-law, so Grampa Coschina took it from the son-in-law. Cigars. A whole bunch of expensive cigars.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I was jotting down some childhood memories yesterday and I instinctively tried to cite my source.

I went with the "Interview" template...

Monday, February 7, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History- Family Home

Inspired by this, I decided to do a video with music of pictures from one of the ranches I grew up on.

In case it doesn't show well on this page, you can link to it here:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When is it done?

I've been diligently working on a book about the Mariani family.  I even was done enough with part of it to change it to a two book set so that I could be done with one book.  I decided to do a book on the Ranch and then later a book on the family.  I was nearly DONE! 

T     H     I     S close. 

I scanned pictures, had the words all layed out in the right format, proofread it, editied it and all that was left was inserting a few more pictures that I scanned at Mom's last night.

But then I went to the seminar today and learned about land records and court records.  And came home and did some more research, got some more clues on the history of the ranch before the Marianis and now I want that in the book.  How can I not give the history of the land if I don't give the full history of the land?

So I'm not done. More research to do.  And I was so very close to hitting publish on Lulu...

So very close...

As a fun teaser, though, here is a picture I scanned.  I used to play on this in the field of the 370 acre ranch I grew up on.  I'm not sure you can see it, but the seat says, "S. Mariani" and the side says, "S. Mariani & Sons Hardware."  This was the delivery wagon for their hardware stores in San Francisco.  I think this is going to be the cover of the book about the ranch, as it ties the two things together perfectly.

Today's Genealogy Fun

Today I went to the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogicial Society 2011 seminar.  This seminar was all day and free.  Yep.  Free.  Cost zero dollars and zero cents.  The kids and I spent the night at my mom's in Sunnyvale so that I would be closer to the venue in the morning.  It was well-orchestrated and really nicely put together.  I was extremely impressed.

I also did the silent auction and won a special 2-year membership to the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group, along with a ton of other cool things that I haven't even looked through yet. 

The classes were great: Land records, Court records, Interviewing, and Spreadsheets.  Something for everyone.

I'm a very happy genealogy camper right now.

Plus my Flip-Pal is here and I scanned a bunch of Mom's pictures...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Family Recipe Friday - Swedish Pancakes

This recipe was given to me by Alvina Felt Baer (we called her Skeet).  Skeet was first cousin to my dad and she started doing genealogy a number of years ago.  She contacted me, knowing I'd done a lot already, and we began a nice friendship/family-ship over email.  She was a recipe collector like me and sent me a whole book she compiled of recipes. A number of them were old family recipes.  I treasure the recipes, but not as much as I did Skeet.  Skeet passed away in 2007.

Here is a recipe she gave me from my great grandmother- her grandmother.  Inga Christina Larsdotter Aslund.  Inga was born in Langsele, Sweden in 1887.

Swedish Pancakes
Note: best with a cast iron pan.

2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 cups milk

Combine eggs, milk and butter.  Beat well.  Add flour, salt, and sugar gradually, beating constantly while adding.  Pour soup ladle full in hot frying pan and cook until top is bubbly and edges look cooked.  Flip over and cook other side.  These will be the size of the pan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Locust Creek Covered Bridge

I'm sure that great, great grandpa Shelton drove over this bridge, since it was in his neighborhood.  No water any more as the creek was redirected, but the bridge still stands in Linn County, MO.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Orders Orders Orders

I'm waiting for my Flip-Pal and then I'll post the history I've been writing.  It's boring without pictures and I'm too lazy to disassemble my photo albums to scan, so I ordered the Flip-Pal.  Talk about lazy...

I do hope it gets here by Saturday so that I can also scan Mom's photo albums.  Crossing fingers.  I also just registered to go to this on Saturday:

Two genealogy weekends in a row, as last weekend I attended the California Genealogical Society's class on Getting Started in German Genealogy.

Tombstone Tuesday: James Howard Conner

This was my great grandfather's brother, James Howard Conner.  He is buried with his parents in the Russell, Lucas County, Iowa cemetery. 

Obituary is from the 9 Oct 1930 Chariton Patriot and reads:

Young Man Killed in Auto Accident
James Connor, Son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Connor of Russell, Met Instant Death
James Connor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Connor, of Russell, was killed in an auto accident at Nowlin, South Dakota, on Tuesday, September 30, 1930.  The front wheel on the car in which he was riding broke, and he was thrown some distance from the machine and met almost instant death.

The body was brought to Russell and funeral services were held at that place on Saturday afternoon, followed by Internment in the Russell cemetery.

Mr. Connor was 31 years of age and is survived by his parents adn by five brothers, Albert of Huron, South Dakota; Orval of Capa, South Dakota; Lawrence of Sacramento, California; Ansel of Omaha, Nebraska, and Miles of Ottomwa, South Dakota.  All were present at the last sad rites except Orval, of Capa, and Lawrence of California.