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dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 08:45 am
I say our ancestors, because I've always loved old stuff, and some of this did not come from my ancestors.

I don't have a microwave. I don't have a dishwasher, or a clothes dryer.

It's just me and the small "petting zoo" (that's what my son calls it) of companion animals here at the cottage, and I don't mind doing things the old-fashioned way.

My kitchen has stuff in it that my immediate ancestors would have used (and in many cases, someone's did) 50, 75, and 100 years ago.

Photobucket



For DW readers, more photos behind the cut... )
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dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, March 24th, 2012 09:57 am
Something in Jenny Lanctot's March 22 Ancestor Spotlight post caught my eye.

Aside from the fact that the post was interesting and well-written. Jenny sets the bar pretty high in that regard.

No, it was what she said before she ever started telling the story of Charles Crowe.

For now, I will try to spotlight at least one ancestor per month, (hopefully) alternating branches of my family. I think they get a little touchy when I spend too much time on the "other" side, which is why I think I have such a hard time finding information. (My emphasis added.)
No one really talks - or blogs - about that.

You know, those "moments" when something unexplainable happens while you are plowing - or plodding - along on your research...

Like the time I was trying to figure out where the family of my maternal great-great grandmother, Catherine C Mueller was in between 5 Sep 1832, when they stepped off the boat in New York, and sixteen years later, when Catherine married Jacob Williams in Franklin Co., KY.

I was using Ancestry to search historic records for each member of the family listed on the passenger list for the ship Elisabeth, which had sailed from Bremen, Germany.

And I looked up from the keyboard and saw that all the search fields were written in another language. I knew it had to be German, even though I don't speak, read or write German.

But Catherine did.

Instinctively, I knew I was entering the correct data in those fields. ~ tab, type, tab ~

As I stared at the computer monitor, I got that prickly, tingly feeling in the crown of my head that I nearly always get when something otherworldly occurs.

And I knew the moment was about to end if I looked away.

It did as soon as I did. Back to English.

I could only recall three fields. I scribbled them down on my handy-dandy scratch pad, and went to Google Translate.

Geburtsdatum - date of birth
Geburtsort - place of birth
Todesdatum - date of death


I've kept that piece of scrap paper in my hard copy Mueller family research file. For years.

I've never been able to re-create the anomaly.
Then, there are the dreams.

Especially the dreams that occur just before or after unexplainable events.

I have a Black and Decker programmable coffee-maker. Over the years, I've had several of them. What can I say? It's my brand, and I like having my coffee ready when I rise in the morning.

I stayed up way too late one night shakin' the family tree, looking for some Wingfields. When I realized how late it was, I got my butt in gear and shut down the cottage for the night.

Including setting up the coffee-maker.

I had a dream. Three of my ancestors showed up to confront me.

Including the woman on the left in this photo, looking much as she does in the photo.

Photobucket


She was my paternal great-great grandmother, Mary C Dunn Callaway Williams.

I don't know who the other two were, but Grandmother Mary wasn't pleased.

She told me not to forget her (she's one of my toughest brick walls). She also said I was spending too much time on "those people." I protested meekly. She was having none of it, and repeated herself.

When I awoke the next morning, the coffee-maker had not. I got the prickly, tingly scalp feeling, but told myself it was late when I went to bed and I probably had forgotten to program the appliance.

That night, I made sure I hit the program button, and wrote it on a post-it note that I stuck to the kitchen counter in front of the pot.

No coffee the next morning either.

Since that time, I've plugged that pot - and two other identical ones - into outlets in three locations in my kitchen.

When I don't get my morning coffee automatically, I know I need to pay some attention to the Callaways...the pot works fine after that.
Sometime, I'll tell ya about my haunted printer.

I have a witness to its hijinks.
The journey is good.

The ancestors will guide us if we let them.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 02:52 pm
Tracking the ancestors of some of the family in-laws...

Have just discovered, unbeknownst to him, that my brother-in-law named his blue and gold macaw after his 5th great-grandfather...

Not just a whole lot of Ichabods running around these days...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, May 21st, 2011 09:37 am
I love this photo.

It's my dad with his grand Uncle Jeff and grand Aunt Margaret.



Photobucket
William Jefferson "Jeff" Burris, my dad, Margaret Jane Burris Moore



I figure that photo was taken when Dad was about 4, so it was probably very shortly before Uncle Jeff died in January 1941.

Margaret lived until 1944.

George and Louise Burris must have made a trip from Arkadelphia back to Russellville with my aunts and my dad.

Like my grandparents, we had generational Burris photos in our scrapbooks for many years, too. Photos of me and my sisters at our grand Aunt Emma's house when our family camped not far from the original James Littleton and Adeline Burris homestead in Pope County.

A lot of those photos were lost in a 100 year flood in December 1982, when a freak tornado ripped through Arkansas and dumped a deluge of water across my ancestral homeplace.


We camped on the homestead over 100 years after James and Adeline must have camped on the homestead while they were building their home.

As a kid, I couldn't appreciate that full circle of family history. I enjoyed fishing off the spillway for perch that Dad used to bait his yo-yos and trotlines, and I loved digging for worms beside Aunt Emma's chicken coop. Dad took me through fields that our ancestors had cleared long ago for planting and I was enthralled by the low stacked stone walls they built as they removed the rocks and loosened the soil for planting.


A new cousin found me this week. We aren't sure yet exactly how close our kinship is, but as we compare notes and sources from our family trees, she is prompting memories.

Thank you, Shirley. I need to remember, and pass it on.


The journey is good.

This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 08:15 pm
The last couple of weeks have been trying.

At work I am working on a very sad case involving abuse and neglect of children with developmental disabilities in a psychiatric hospital.

And then coming home to consecutive nights of sitting in the cottage, listening to the wail of tornado sirens, one of which is only several hundred yards from my front door.

Morning drives the horror home.

Such devastation. You simply cannot appreciate the totality of the devastation from the media photographs.

In order to fully grasp it, you have to stop the car. Get out, and smell the pungent pine scent combined with gasoline fumes coming from the chain saws that assails you as you pick your way around toppled trees so huge that you and your best friend couldn't wrap your arms around no matter how hard you tried.

You have to stand at the bottom of the ladder and hand one tarp after another up so the next door neighbor can help nail them down over the gaping holes in the roof.

The ones with a roof - even part of one - are the lucky ones.

You have to rock silently as a young woman you just met at Backyard Burger sobs on your shoulder because she doesn't know how long it will be before she can get back to see what's left of her home. If there's anything left at all.

Some of them want to talk. Some of them can't yet.

You need to put some money in the jar at the corner store to help pay for the baby's funeral.


So I've been preoccupied and not paying attention to the ancestors lately.

And they are letting me know they want some attention.

I haven't seen anyone else blog about that. Maybe you have, and I just haven't read *that* entry.

Don't panic. I only see dead people in my dreams.

But there are things that happen here at the cottage that I have come to accept as normal, and they always have to do with researching my ancestral lines and finding answers.

I have a haunted computer printer, coffee maker and bathroom light switch. All three operate independently of me.

Not all the time. Only when I have been working very hard on an ancestral line, or need to.

I'm a very linear thinker, so when these things started happening, I naturally looked for rational answers.

I taped the bathroom light switch in the off position. I'm on the third coffee maker, plugged into a different outlet.

My cousin heard the printer start working all by itself when she was visiting, and left shortly afterward. (I had told her about it, and although she was very polite when I did, I knew she was skeptical. But seeing and hearing is believing.)

And today, all three of them did their stuff.

So I guess I should get back to work, huh?

Wonder who I'll see in a dream tonight...

The journey is good.