Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Historical Boundaries

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has presented us another challenge for the week!  

Hey Genea-philes, have you recovered from your tryptophan coma on Thursday?  Wake up - it's SATURDAY NIGHT!  Time for more GENEALOGY FUN!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go to the Historical U.S. County Maps page on Randy Majors website ( ) .Read the whole page for tips on how to use the tool by entering a current geographical place in the United States and a year (from the drop down list) at the top of the page.

2)  Pick one place of interest and enter the name of the place (a current town/city or county) and choose a year from the dropdown list.  Use the Back < and Forward > arrow links to move forward or backward in time.

3)  Note the Historical jurisdiction for the place you selected for each year.  Write down the list from 1790 to 1900.

4)  Post the place you selected and the historical jurisdictions for that place in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook Status or google Plus Stream post.

5) Think about  the jurisdictions that came up - have you looked in those jurisdictions for information about your ancestral families that were in that place?
 Here's mine:

I picked Sheffield, Lorain County, Ohio, a small town in northern Ohio near the lake, as I had ancestry there for a decent stretch of time in the 19th century, and there was probably some boundary changes over the time period suggested.  I assumed there would be changes, but it was definitely interesting to see exactly what they were, and why they happened in some cases.

1775: Apparently the area was not associated with any larger jurisdiction, or at least the utility was having a conniption fit trying to retrieve the information. 

1779: In very late 1778, the Commonwealth of Virginia incorporated the area including Sheffield into Illinois County, which has since become extinct.  

County name as of 1/1/1779: Illinois (Va., Ext)
Full place name: Sheffield, Illinois (Va., Ext), Ohio, USA
DETAILS: Effective Wednesday, December 09, 1778, ILLINOIS County (Va., extinct) created by Virginia to encompass all territory north and west of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River claimed by Virginia on the basis of its 1609 charter; ILLINOIS County included all of present Ohio. Hening, 9:552-555, 10:303-304; Robinson, 55

 1790: In 1786, this region was not part of the cession of lands by Connecticut, and was designated as the Western Reserve tract.  How did Connecticut get this area from Virginia?

County name as of 1/1/1790: Western Reserve
Full place name: Sheffield, Western Reserve, Ohio, USA
DETAILS: Effective Thursday, September 14, 1786, The U.S. accepted Connecticut's cession of lands north and west of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River, except for a tract (Western Reserve) lying north of 41 deg. N. Lat. (Conn. southern line) & extending 120 mi. west of Penn. (Terr. Papers U.S., 2:24 n. 62)

 1810: In early 1809, this area became part of Non-County Area 3.

County name as of 1/1/1810: Nca 3
Full place name: Sheffield, Nca 3, Ohio, USA
DETAILS: Effective Tuesday, February 07, 1809, Non-County Area 3 attached to GEAUGA lost some area to creation of HURON. (Ohio Laws 1808, 7th assy., ch. 48/p. 194; Chase, 3:ch. 377/pp. 2110-2111)

1820: Soon after, in 1812, Sheffield was placed in Cuyahoga County.

County name as of 1/1/1820: Cuyahoga
Full place name: Sheffield, Cuyahoga, Ohio, USA
DETAILS: Effective Tuesday, February 18, 1812, CUYAHOGA lost overlap area to HURON, ending dispute dating from 22 Jan 1811. (Ohio Laws 1811, 10th assy., ch. 46/p. 122; Chase, 3:ch. 391/pp. 2115-2116)

1830: In 1827, Sheffield finally became part of Lorain County, as some areas were swapped between Lorain and Cuyahoga counties.

County name as of 1/1/1830: Lorain
Full place name: Sheffield, Lorain, Ohio, USA
DETAILS: Effective Monday, January 29, 1827, LORAIN gained some area from MEDINA, lost some area to CUYAHOGA. LORAIN gained non-county area over the waters of Lake Erie as its limits were extended to the northern boundary of Ohio [not mapped]. (Ohio Laws 1826, 25th assy., gen., pp. 99, 111; Chase, 3:ch. 456/p. 2142; 3:ch. 458/p. 2143)

1850: (Yes, I skipped a bit, as nothing much happened...) In 1846, Ashland got some land from Lorain, but it didn't affect Sheffield, which is now in the north central part of Lorain County.  Also, this is as early as I have yet been able to place any ancestors.  James Day was counted in the 1850 US Census in Sheffield, Lorain County, Ohio.  He was born in 1807 in Massachusetts, and moved here to be a shipbuilder.  He and a partner made fine quality ships for use on the Great Lakes.

County name as of 1/1/1850: Lorain
Full place name: Sheffield, Lorain, Ohio, USA
DETAILS: Effective Tuesday, February 24, 1846, LORAIN lost some area to creation of ASHLAND. (Ohio Laws 1845, 44th assy., loc., secs. 1-2/pp. 172-173)

This is the last county boundary change affecting Sheffield, Lorain County, Ohio.  I have yet to search any earlier than about 1850, but should do so, as I need to find when James Day actually arrived in Sheffield.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Thanksgiving

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 48. Thanksgiving. What was on your family’s Thanksgiving table? Do you serve the same dishes now as your family served in the past?

With bot my parents and my in-laws being local to me, I usually end up with two Thanksgiving Day dinners, which might explain why my pants are a bit tight lately...

This year, we spent Thanksgiving at my in-laws, a large family that has a very traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner.  We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberries, dinner rolls, coleslaw and more, all served buffet style to accommodate the 40+ people who typically show up at these family dinners.  Another tradition in this family is having finger jello - jello that has extra gelatin so it's very firm, and can be picked up and held in the fingers of small children in squares or whatever shape someone chooses to cut.  I don't remember a major family meal without it!

This has been the Thanksgiving Dinner in that family as long as I have been around, currently 29 years.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fun With Search Terms

It's time for another round of Fun With Search Terms, or How Did I Get Here?

This week brings a longer list than usual, with some terms I've never seen with my blog before.

st cloud mn 1979 (3 searches)

Well, I've certainly mentioned St. Cloud, Minnesota on several occasions.  I'm not sure why the 1979 connection is there. Did you find what you were looking for, anonymous searcher?

vikings logo (3 searches)

Really?  I guess I might have mentioned the Minnesota Vikings at some point, but I don't recall discussing their logo.

geo spectrum (2 searches)

Who keeps searching for this ancient car? 

military cloud computing diagrams (2 searches)

Hm.  This is a bit more interesting.  I've discussed Cloud Computing, and I've mentioned both my and other family members' military service, but I've never put that all together like this.  I'm betting that whoever made this search didn't find what they were looking for on my blog.
"steve morse" 1940 census

Well, at least this one appears to be genealogy-related!  Unfortunately, the 1940 census is not yet available, and I have no idea who Steve Morse is, or was. 
1917 ration book
This one could also be genealogy-related, or maybe just historical interest.  I posted images of several ration books.  Mine were from World War II, not World War I, so whoever made this search didn't find what they were looking for on my site.      

busing routes in st. cloud mn
Seriously?  I get the St. Cloud connection, as I've said before, but what kind of poorly constructed search would bring this query to MY blog, or how many pages down the list of hits did you have to go to find this page?
database arlington national cemetery
Ah!  I did mention the teenager who is digitizing graves in Arlington, earlier this year.  Hopefully the searcher got at least something worthwhile from my post, if only a pointer to another source with more information.

Did you intend to run the words together?  Are the results significantly different than with the space between them?  Were you looking for specific examples, or were mine enough to show you what a funeral card is?
george bush genealogy

Well, there's the genealogy link, and I did just mention George Bush in a recent post, but I think that they must have been disappointed by where they landed on my blog.  I don't have anything connected to George Bush's genealogy.  Sorry!

That's it for this time, a longer list, but more frustrating as none of them even hint at a connection.  I'm beginning to despair of any cousins out there ever finding me...

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Veterans Day (Late!)

I know I'm over a week late with this, but I'm going to participate anyway!  Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings put out his usual fine quality Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge last week:
Is the bloom off of the Genea-Rose here?  There has been very poor participation in SNGF the last two weeks, likely because the tasks were too hard or too esoteric.  I'll try to fix that this week!
(No, Randy, at least on my part, the problem has been lack of time, more than anything else.  I'll admit on a couple of occasions the challenge just didn't fit or apply to me or my family, so I skipped those.  But mostly I've just been busy lately.  Keep 'em coming!

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  To celebrate Veterans Day, pick one of your ancestors or relatives with a military record and a gravestone.

2)  Tell us about your ancestor's military service.

3)  Tell us about your ancestor's gravestone - where is it, what is the inscription, when were you last there?  Show us a picture of it if you have one available. 

4)  Write your own blog post about this ancestor and his gravestone, or share it in a Comment to this blog post, in a status line on Facebook, or in a Google Plus Stream post. 

Here's mine:

My ancestor of choice is Estel E. Dillman, my paternal grandfather.  I've written about him several times before.  He's easily the best-documented of my ancestors when it comes to military service, and I recently made a trip out to his gravesite.

Estel was the product of a dysfunctional home, his father left home after his mother died in 1920, and Estel and brothers were taken in by the Sacksteder family in New Albany, Indiana.  Estel's sister Reva was taken in by someone else.  Estel's older brother Orville Wayne fudged his age on the papers and enlisted in the Navy early to escape the family situation.  Estel followed suit a few years later.  I've recently been piecing together more of that time period.  I have a copy of the paper Mrs. Sacksteder signed to vouch for Estel when he enlisted.  It includes their address at the time.  He enlisted for the same reason as Wayne, to get out of that family situation and make something of himself.  He enlisted in 1927, at age 19.

His service record papers include pages on which he states his intention of making the Navy a career, but we know that sometimes life events have a way of changing our plans.  While in the Navy, he met a man named Jack Cornett from Beadle County, South Dakota.  Jack liked to hear news from home, and so became a pen pal to Alta May Day, who would later become my grandmother.  At some later point, Jack introduced Estel to Alta, and the two became an item.  Estel got out of the Navy and moved to South Dakota to marry and make a life with Alta.  They were married in February 1931.

What with the Depression and all, things just didn't go that well for Estel and Alta, so he decided to go back into the Navy to help boost their nest egg.  He re-enlisted in 1937.  In late 1941 the United States entered World War II, and Estel remained on active duty.  He served until the end of the war, and would have stayed in had the Navy honored a pledge to let Estel serve stateside.  However, he got wind of their plans to station him in Japan, where his family could not live with him, and so he took advantage of the draw down in forces following the war to leave the Navy and head back to South Dakota.  Within a couple of days of his return to Huron, South Dakota, he had a firm job offer from the local power plant.

Estel and Alta's grave marker is in Restlawn Cemetery, a few miles south of Huron, South Dakota.  I visited the site about a week before Veterans Day and took this picture:
Estel E. and Alta M. Dillman grave marker in Restlawn Cemetery, Huron, Beadle County, South Dakota.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Saturday, November 19, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Fall

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 47. Fall. What was fall like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

Fall.  As this comes around, it's late fall here in Minnesota, and in fact I've been watching the first serious snowfall of the season all day.  So on a day that feels more like Winter, what can I say about Fall?

I've been Minnesotan virtually all of my life, so Fall as most people know it starts in early September with the days starting to get noticeably shorter, the leaves begin to change colors, and the temperatures get cooler.  One can start to smell wood smoke in the air as people use fireplaces in the evening.  The big yellow school buses start roaming the streets, and the kids who walk to and from school clog the sidewalks for brief periods in the morning and afternoon.

We don't usually get a hard frost until late September or early October.  That's about the time people bring in the last of the garden produce, and prep the flower beds for winter.  People begin raking leaves, as they are usually falling in earnest by this time.  One of the best things to do on a sunny fall weekend is to go somewhere and view the fall colors, which peak over several weeks in different parts of the state.  Usually late September to early October is peak color up north along the north shore of Lake Superior, with many miles of excellent hiking trails and state parks to visit.  By the end of October, the colors have all faded to browns and a few dull yellows, and most of the leaves have dropped off.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times.  My wife and I even met while working in a haunted house many years back!  Late October is a bit dicey with regards to weather in Minnesota, though.  It rains for Halloween fairly often, and in 1991 there was even a major blizzard that made national news.  I was in the Navy at that time, and missed it.  People get used to trying to make costumes fit over snowmobile suits or heavy coats if there's a sudden cold snap.

Fall usually brings in the holidays, family gatherings and the traditional meals of turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, and so on are anticipated by everyone.  Deer hunters go out hoping to fill the larder with venison of all sorts for the winter.  Duck, goose and pheasant are also prized.  

Fall this year has been rather extended.  It's mid-November and we're just getting our first serious snowfall, which usually comes earlier in the month, and sometimes in October, though it doesn't always stick around if it comes that early.  At this point, though, any snow we get is usually with us until spring.  Minnesota is noted for its winters, and people here know what to expect, so any extension we get to nice fall weather is appreciated by everyone except people who sell snow gear.  People use the extra time to do home maintenance projects, more yard work, or whatever they can that lets them enjoy the outdoors just a bit longer.  They know that soon enough, it'll be winter for months!

As I looked at what I've written, it occurred to me that the title of the blog is Indiana Dillmans, and I've only talked about my experience in Minnesota.  What was Fall like for my Indiana ancestors?  Indiana is further south, and situated on the other side of the Great Lakes which moderates their climate somewhat, so they don't get the massive snowfalls and extended deep freeze that Minnesota takes as a matter of course.  Still, it can get very cold, and their houses were not built the way our modern ones are, being far less-well insulated, and heated by wood stoves instead of oil or natural gas.  A big part of their annual work must have been cutting wood to prepare for the coming cold season, alongside the farming that most of my ancestors did.  Hard, heavy work.  Shorter days, meaning less hours of daylight in which to get the work done, let alone any hobbies or pleasurable activities.  How did they cope?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Monday, November 14, 2011

Desperately Seeking...

Okay, maybe not so desperately.   It's time once again to take a look at the search terms that lead people to this blog!

Four people tried death funeral cards

That's a good choice to find my blog, since I did a number of posts on funeral cards.  I've since received a couple more I need to post about.

Two people used geo spectrum for sale

Okay, this seems like a weak link.  I did talk about a 1986 Chevy Spectrum back in the 52 Weeks post about cars.  But that's been a long time ago, and for a car that has been off the market for well over a decade.

All of the following got one search each:

"thanks for a nice share you have given to us with such an

 Um, really?  

1991 chevy spectrum

Again with the Chevy Spectrum...

hurons kin

This one makes me curious!  Some of my relatives live in and around Huron, South Dakota, and more lived there in the past.  If you're looking for Dillmans or Days in Huron, contact me!

in thankful memory tombstone

I'm betting this one got hundreds of thousands of hits, just on the word tombstone.

You found me!  Who are you?  What were you looking for?  Are you related?  Can I help you?

what does a sailor's log book look like?

Oooh!  I posted about my paternal grandfather's Navy Log Book a while back, including some images from the cover and inside pages.  Did you find my post helpful?  I'm somewhat curious as to what other examples you found, and I'm considering doing my own search.  Did you have any questions?  I would be happy to answer them, and perhaps provide some more views?  Too bad they never contacted me.

I like seeing how people get to my blog, but I do wish more would take a minute to leave a comment, especially if they have questions.  I'm always interested in talking about my ancestors. 

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Sunday, November 13, 2011

99 Things

This meme comes courtesy of  Becky at the Kinexxions blog.  I found it via Marian's Roots & Rambles.

The rules are simple:

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

  1. Belong to a genealogical society. - I see some possible benefit to it, but not enough that I have any desire to jump into one..
  2. Researched records onsite at a court house.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave. - Best thing since sliced bread for genealogists!
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents). - Still working on more, but have much of the basics.
  6. Joined Facebook. - Long ago, and NOT for genealogy.  In fact, I do very little with genealogy on Facebook even now.
  7. Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery. - I've cleaned up the graves I was interested in at the time.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook. - I actually had to go check to be sure.  I'm much more genealogically connected on Google+.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
  12. Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery. - Found a wonderful old local man who had a conversation with me while sitting on his ATV with his dog, and then gave me better directions than I had.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet. - If counts, or WikiTree... Imported to online database(s).  Not as simply posting a GEDCOM file.
  22. Googled my name.
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness. - Nothing worth mentioning yet.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.- Missed a deadline on one I wanted to do!
  29. Responded to messages on a message board or forum.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.  This one and several others.
  32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  33. Performed a record lookup for someone else. - I haven't had the access to data that many others have.
  34. Went on a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby. - Mostly. 
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure. - Not much, and only because the drive died between one session of inputting data and the next, the computer was not even turned off!  I was visiting an aunt, and away from my backups.  Not a great deal lost.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos. - All the time!
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language. 
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  53. Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.Traced, yes. Documented? No.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents. I think I can.
  60. Found an ancestor’s Social Security application. (Found or requested?)
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  62. Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
  66. Visited the Library of Congress.
  67. Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War. - Both sides.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone. - Many!
  70. Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
  71. Can read a church record in Latin.
  72. Have an ancestor who changed their name.
  73. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  74. Created a family website. - Assuming that MyHeritage and other such sites don't count for this.
  75. Have more than one "genealogy" blog.
  76. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  77. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  78. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
  79. Borrowed a microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
  80. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
  81. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  82. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
  83. Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.- More than one.
  84. Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.
  85. Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
  86. Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
  87. Use maps in my genealogy research.- Frequently!
  88. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
  89. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors. - Possibly, haven't got firm documentation yet.
  90. Visited the National Archives in Kew.
  91. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
  92. Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
  93. Consistently cite my sources. - I'm working on it.
  94. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors.
  95. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes. Ha!
  96. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more). - Three, yes, several, but not four that I know.
  97. Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
  98. Organized a family reunion.
  99. Published a family history book (on one of my families).
  100. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
  101. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
  102. Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
  103. Offended a family member with my research.
  104. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts. - I've had myself reunited with precious family photos and artifacts, does that count?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Saturday, November 12, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Politics

 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
Week 46. Politics. What are your childhood memories of politics? Were your parents active in politics? What political events and elections do you remember from your youth?

This challenge runs from Saturday, November 12, 2011 through Friday, November 18, 2011.

Politics, eh?  They say to never discuss religion or politics if you want to keep a conversation friendly.  If this blog post is really short, you'll know I wrote a whole bunch and then decided against posting it for one reason or another.  I'm actually concerned that posting this could come back and bite me at some future time, depending on where our country and world go from here.

To the best of my knowledge, neither of my parents were politically active beyond voting every four years, and I'm not entirely positive they always did even that much.  People in my neighborhood didn't seem to talk about politics that much, at least not with us kids around.

I am young enough that I wasn't around when Kennedy was shot.  I don't really remember Lyndon B. Johnson.  I do, however, remember Richard M. Nixon saying he was not a crook, not a quitter, and then resigning before he could be impeached. I remember liking Gerald Ford despite the lampooned trips that would get laughs for many years afterward.  I thought he should have been elected in place of Jimmy Carter.  Not that I didn't like Jimmy Carter, I just didn't think he was the right man for President.  Looking back, I still think we'd have been better off with Gerald Ford.

I was still too young to vote in 1980, but I was pulling for Ronald Reagan to win.  Apparently I was quite a little conservative in my youth.  In 1984, I came of age and voted for his re-election.  Then I joined the Navy as he was building up to a 600-ship force.  George Bush the Elder continued that plan in 1988, and as I was on active duty, that meant more possibility for me to get advanced, and pretty much guaranteed pay raises even if not advanced. 

I was still on active duty in 1992 when Bill Clinton got elected.  Again, I thought he was the wrong man for the job, though in hindsight, the country did pretty well on the whole under his leadership.  I never did favor him while he was in office, and I still think he and Hillary got off easy with their scandals.  However, by the end of their terms, I was beginning to like where the country was at, and headed, and it looked like Al Gore might move further in that direction.  I especially liked the push toward renewable energy and lessening our dependence on foreign oil.  That has always struck me as a poor thing from a national security standpoint, and it still does. 

Unfortunately, Al Gore didn't fight for the presidency as hard as George Bush the Younger.  However you may feel about that election, I still believe the Republicans stole it from the people.  And that's the turning point when I realized the Republican Party no longer represented my interests.  Neither, though, did the Democratic Party, and to this day I have no allegiance to either.  In fact, I never officially joined any political party.  It has become apparent to me that all of them have greed and corruption of one sort or another, none of them represent anything but power grabs for their top players, and even more so for people behind the scenes like Karl Rove during George W. Bush's terms, and the Koch brothers in the current political situation

I tend to agree with whoever said that anybody who actually wants the job of President should be automatically disqualified from holding that job.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Treasurechest Thursday

My father and I recently traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to visit his sister. He hadn't seen her since their mother's death in 1992, and I hadn't seen her since their father's death in 1982.  She's getting older, and doesn't travel much.  We didn't travel much either.  Seeing as it's a 15-hour drive, it's understandable we don't get together often.

Her adopted son, my cousin, had a baby girl back in 2000 with his then partner.  Four years later, my cousin died, leaving that little girl to live with my aunt, her grandmother.  It was suggested, and I agreed, that I should bring my grandmother's photo albums along, to help her connect to family she has never met.  We spent hours looking through those old pictures, stretching back to the 1880's, hindered only by the attention span of an 11-year-old girl.  Many of the photos I've posted came from those albums.  I'd always regretted that the negatives for those had been lost, as I knew my grandmother had them for at least most of the photos.

I mentioned this to my aunt.  She said, "Wait a minute, I think I have those."  After a brief search of a closet, she produced a shoebox full of envelopes marked "Negatives 1916 - 1975".  Lo and behold, all these years I had thought them lost, they were sitting in a closet in Wyoming!  I have negatives in my possession dating back to 1910!  My aunt was happy to turn them over to me, as she had no idea what to do with them, and they were just taking up space in her closet.  Also, she wanted them to be passed along to someone who cared about them.

There were a few other goodies, but that will be the subject of a future installment...

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman

Monday, November 7, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - High School

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 45. High School. Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there?
 I attended St. Cloud Technical High School in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  It's called Technical because at one point, there were classes available in many vocational skills, including automotive, photography, printing, aeronautics, woodworking and so forth. My class was approximately 450 in size, and as much as 496 at one point.  I graduated in 1984 somewhere in the middle of the pack. This was mostly because I wasn't serious about grades until my senior year.  When I attended, I lived about seven blocks away, and walked to and from school daily.  Not many students drove at that time, and parking for students was in the park across the road from the school.

 The building itself was first constructed in 1917.  It has since been added on to, and remodeled and such, so that now it's two buildings connected by two overhead walkways and a long extension.  Each building is three stories, with the walkways at second floor level.  Needless to say, students here get plenty of exercise going from class to class across the walkways and up and down the stairs.  Each floor of each wing is mostly separated into subject matter, for the most part. 

As I've implied, the school is still in existence, and my kids are going there.  For that reason, I've had recent opportunity to revisit the building to see the changes.  Mostly it's the same as I remember it, with a few changes including the conversion of a space for the Alumni Association, a Snack Shack for students to purchase snacks and beverages.  Many students now drive to school, and it had become such a problem for the surrounding neighborhood dealing with an excess of student parking that special permits were created and sold to be able to park on the city streets nearby, so homeowners would have some chance at parking spots.  Reducing student parking on nearby streets also cut down on vandalism and other petty crimes students were committing.

As for Junior High, I attended South Jr. High.  It is also still in existence, and one of my kids attends there presently.  It really hasn't changed much either, except one room remodeled for a computer lab, and the Upper Media Center removed for office space.  As with the high school, I've had recent opportunity to visit this building again.   The school seems smaller than when I attended, no doubt because I have grown taller since I went there.  It's a fair-sized one story, with a second floor above parts of the building.  Science is all upstairs, and Social Studies and some Math classes.  At the other end of the building, the Band, Orchestra and Choir rooms are all on the upper floor.  In between is the Gymnasium, which is two stories plus high.  This building is a twin of North Junior High on the north side of town.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman