Monday, December 6, 2010

Blogging Heaven - Carnivals, Calendars and Awards, Oh my!

This day has completely escaped me. It's a blogger heaven day. Or maybe I'm just in Iowa...

Jasia's 100th Carnival of Genealogy has been released. I'll need an oxygen tank because I'm not coming up until I'm done, elf duties be damned. Terrific reading.

I am so enjoying the Advent Calendar posts. Thank you Thomas - and again Jasia - for this delightful treat. There are dozens of outstanding posts here, but if you missed Amy Coffin's Holiday of Horrors! or Greta's I KNEW it! I KNEW Santa was real! stop reading this and read those. Far better than anything I'll ever write.

Assuming you're still with me, however, there are some other wonderful blogs out in the world. 

Yesterday I was greeted with emails from TWO bloggers that they had given me the Ancestor Approved award. Thank you to both Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree and Debbie at Mascot Manor Genealogy. Their lists alone show why I so enjoy reading their blogs.

Leslie Ann at Ancestors Live Here started this award last spring with this request - "As a recipient of this award I ask that you list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass it along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud."

My list - in no particular order

1. We're more closely linked to the past than we think. My grandfather's father was a boy during the Civil War. His grandfather was born in 1795 (or thereabouts). I sat on the lap of a man who's own grandfather was born in 1795. That takes my breath away. 

2. I'm part-German (a little less than 1/16th) which was a shocker. Sally Killian, my gg-grandmother was predominantly German. 

3. My Union soldier gg-grandfather Samuel McAdams came from a slave-owning family. 

4. Going back to Sally, I was thrilled to find she was a midwife and surprised that she was married before she married my gg-grandfather Archie Sawyer(s). Archie was married earlier, too. (The information on Sally came from her daughter's Civil War Widow's Pension file generously shared by a newfound cousin.)

5. Family secrets keep coming to light. I can't share them (secrets, remember), but they do amaze me. 

6. My husband is a genealogist's dream (at least this one's!). His family is full of educated, literate men and women who wrote and saved letters, bibles, family heirlooms and treasures yet to be discovered. 

7. I can decipher a baptismal record written in Cyrillic letters thanks to my grandfather and aunt keeping and handing down family documents. I bless you both.

8. Not all family stories are true. My great-grandfather was not Jewish, did not change his name, did not run off to marry a Christian girl. The jury's still out on HIS grandfather, though.

9. Life was hard in the 19th century. It didn't matter if you owned a plantation or homesteaded in Nebraska. Children, mothers, fathers all died and died young. Our 1950s nuclear family didn't exist then.  Those who survived to old age often had multiple spouses, children, step children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces in their households. (I love probate records!)

10. The Civil War had as much impact on individual families as it did on the nation - especially in Missouri and Tennessee. My husband's gg-grandmother, Cansada Jones Stokes Sisco Caulk Sweely, was widowed during the War. Her third husband was a Union veteran who suffered the remainder of his life from a war injury. Her gallantry, her hard work to care for her family amaze me. 

As to passing it on... The bloggers I first think of are those that have been unfailingly supportive and generous to me during these first months of blogging. They write great blogs, are exceptional researchers and active members of the genealogy blogging community. To no one's surprise they've all been Ancestor Approved before. Still a huge thank you to 

Greta Koehl at Greta's Genealogy Blog
Barbara Poole at Life from the Roots

With all admiration I award the Ancestor Approved badge to 

Brandt Gibson at Brandt's Rants
D. Kay Strickland at d kay s days
Linda McCauley at Documenting the Details
Kristin Williams for both of her blogs, Finding Eliza and My Cleages and Reeds
Cynthia Shenette at Heritage Zen
Elizabeth O'Neal for Little Bytes of Life
CeCe Moore at My Tangled Vine
Nick Gombash at Nick Gombash's Genealogy Blog

Finally, a huge WHOOPS and belated thank you to Barbara for the Genea-Angel she gave me last September. I know. September! I hang my head in shame. Susan Petersen at Long Lost started this last August to recognize those who'd helped in one's research or provided guidance or inspiration. I've struggled with this because those who've helped with my research efforts don't blog and wouldn't necessarily appreciate being named publicly. As for inspiration - see all of the above. But today, as I pore over one after another of the outstanding posts for the 100th Carnival of Genealogy, it's become clear to me that my Genea-Angel must be passed onto Jasia. Long may she reign!


  1. I love the ten things you learned and thank you so much for making me one of the 10 you gave the award to.

  2. First, this is ONE FABULOUS POST!

    NOOO, not cause you gave me a shout out, but because it names fabulous post, bloggers, excitement, fame, fortune, oh, you know, all the really good stuff! LOL

    I am not sure how I am gonna find time to read all the COG entries either, oh, whine whine, whahhoooo!!!

    I love your list of 10 surprises, etc. Great stuff there.

    Blog on!!

  3. Thank you for the Ancestor Approved award. Now I am trying to figure out what I am supposed to do? Am I to tell 10 things I have learned about my family?????? Sorry, I'm in my own little corner of the internet - or at least I was.

    Loved your post - the links should keep me busy reading for quite a while. The problem is that I keep finding great blogs to add to my Google Reader.

  4. Susan,

    Congratulations on receiving the Ancestor Approved award, and thank you so much for passing the award on to me. I appreciate it. This is a wonderful post, and I hope my award acceptance post does yours and my ancestors justice!

  5. What a knack you have of tying several bits of blog news into one nice interesting blog. Jasia’s Carnival of Genealogy posts, the Advent Calendar posts and the Ancestor Approved Awards presented to some bloggers I’m not familiar with, yet. You were kind to mention me in the same breath with Greta and Carol, both of whom I admire, learn from and just as important, like. You fit in that category as well. Congratulations on receiving two Ancestor Approved Awards, you deserve them.

  6. Congrats to you! I knew my judgment was sound, and the dual award just proves it.

    I love your list. Love it.

    Back to Sally...don't know if you have already read it, but if you are interested in a bird's eye view of midwifery in the "olden days," allow me to recommend Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's book, "A midwife's tale : the life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812." (Yes, I know it's a mouthful, but it is an outstanding book.)

    And while I am recommending reading material - I mean after all, you have nothing but time on your hands, no?

    These are both compilations of women's diaries in the mid 19th century in the US...

    "Pioneer Women - Voices from the Kansas Frontier," by Joanna L Stratton


    "Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey," by Lilliam Schlissel.

  7. Thank you for your kind words, Susan. And you truly deserved the double award, because Nolichucky Roots is a great blog, and I "ain't just whistlin' Dixie." Your list of things that surprised/humbled you expresses so well why family research can be a life-changing (or worldview-changing) experience - something I have a hard time explaining to people who are not "into" family research or genealogy. And you are so right about this COG. I've read a number of the posts, and whatever I can't read in the next couple of weeks I'm saving for my days off around Christmas. What a great time of year this is in genealogy blogging! Well-deserved congratulations to you!

  8. Susan!

    CONGRATULATIONS on your THREE awards! Thank you for sharing yours with me. It's my first.

    You always offer support, especially when I blog about 'difficult' topics.

    Thank you!

  9. It's so great to hear you found real treasure! And thank you for reminding me to check out the COG (I've been away for a week).

  10. Susan,
    If you'd like the minty snowmen recipe drop me an email at cindysoffice at and I'll scan & email it to you. The kids found these in a magazine or book years ago and they have a lot of fun making them.

    Congrats on your awards!

  11. Thank you so much for the Ancestor Approved Award! It is an inspiration--to read more, write more and participate more in this great community!


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