Saturday, February 26, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Can't you smell that smell?

Sounds - Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood.  These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

I tend to be a pretty music oriented person, so I'm going to go with a song (or a couple).  As I was deciding what to write about, I got to thinking about my childhood.  I am the youngest of 4 children.  My closest sibling, Scott, is 7 years older.  Then, my sister, Donna Rae, is 13 years older and my other brother, no, not Darrell, Raynor, is 14 years older.  I grew up in a couple hundred year old farmhouse in Trevose, PA and my siblings all took their turn living on the third floor (the converted attic).  While, I, AKA Pretty Pretty Princess, lived in the one real bedroom, other than my parents.  When it was my turn to get the attic room, Pretty Pretty Princess got an air conditioner installed!

Anywho, what popped into my mind was the sound of my brother Raynor's stereo coming down the 3rd floor stairs...specifically, Lynyrd Skynyrd!  I have a love of classic rock, that stems from hearing all 3 of my siblings' music.  But, I can clearly hear That Smell, in my mind, playing!  I was under the age of 12.  He then married, so I know it was before then. 

This then made me recall another fond memory of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, Gimme Three Steps.  I am pretty sure that is my brother, Scott's favorite song.  This memory is from when I was a bit older, but still, everytime I hear that song I think of him singing it karaoke or even dancing when we were both out at the bars together. 

I thank all three of them for leaving their vinyl home when they left.  I added it to my collection, part of which is decorating our music room and bar!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow Friday: Have You Seen My Roots?

Have You Seen My Roots? is my favorite blog!  (Besides my own, of course!)  The author, Cherie, and I attended College together at Millersville University and knew each other through a mutual friend.  I always enjoyed her company.  That was quite a few years ago, I won't mention how many.  Cherie and I have reconnected, thanks to fabulous Facebook.  She is the reason that I started my blog recently.

I had seen her great posts, like this one, Wordless Wednesday - Hellooooooooooo Nurse!, and they are always great!  So, I would chat with her about her posts and she encouraged me to start my blog when she saw some of my family discoveries that I had posted on Facebook.  So, thank you to Cherie!

Now go read her blog!  It's fun and informative!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Piotr and Antonina Smyczynski

Piotr Smyczynski 1872 - 1948 (AKA Peter Smith)
Antonina Smyczynski 1878 - 1965 (nee Nowak, AKA Anna, Antoinette)

This is the grave for my Great Grandparents, Peter and Anna.  They were both from Poland.  They were my Mom's Paternal Grandparents.  I first saw this tombstone last year.  My Dad, Emma and I went on a little tour of all the graves that he and my Mom would hit on their Christmas and Easter rounds.  He wanted to make sure that one of us knew where everyone was to continue the tradition.  It was very important to my Mother that each grave be visitied and have a grave blanket for Christmas and some flowers for Easter and Mother's Day.

This was our first stop.  This is Holy Redeemer Cemetery in the Bridesburg section of Philly.  It's a very cool cemetery, if you are into that sort of thing.  It has a big fancy entrance and it spans several city blocks, but the streeets continue through it.  So to get to this grave, we drove into the entrance off of Richmond Street, then through a portion on the cemetery and then crossed a street, drove through another section of cemetery and then crossed a street.  I think it's pretty neat.  We went there first because it is right near the Betsy Ross Bridge, quickest for me to get to!  My Dad had to remember how he could tell where the grave was and told me that years ago my Mom couldn't remember where it was.  Her parents took her when she was young, but she couldn't place the plot.  She found out that she had a cousin that worked for an affiliated cemetery and she looked it up for her.  Peter and Anna have been on the rounds ever since.  Peter died in 1948, my Mom sort of remembered him.  Anna passed away in 1965, so she knew my 2 eldest siblings.  I've seen her in pictures, she looked like a happy gal!

Speaking of Happy Gals, here's a pic of Emma enjoying a ride down the boulevard on our tour:
I now have all of the usual stops saved in my GPS, I think I had better write down the coordinates in case said GPS dies on me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Rueblinger Letter

My husband and his family had told me about this letter that they had received years back, but I had forgotten about it until recently.  Well, Chris was able to dig it up today when I asked him and here it is.  It's a shame no one replied to him, however, I plan to respond and see if we can work some connection out.
Now, just because it might be hard to read, I transcribed it(note that I transcribed it as-is, no grammar corrections):
Dear Mr. Rueblinger,
My name is Rueblinger too, and this also the reason why I am writing.  I obtained your address from an American name register.  Altogether there are 15 to 18 American families carrying this name.  In Germany there are 18 holders of this name, mainly resident in Rhineland – Palatinate.
After World War II, I found, after thorough research, the name Rueblinger twice in Southern Germany:  There is a town called Rublingen in Baden – Wurttemberg (ca. 5,000 to 6,000 inhabitants), and near Heidenheim – Gerstetten there is a Rublinger Farm, consisting of two farms that run the Rueblingen area.
Our name Rueblinger originates traceably as a proper name from an Allamanic (West-Germanic) group of people.  This group established itself, during the European Migration of Nations, mainly in Southern Germany by breaking through the Roman fortification mound Limes and settling south of this line down to the Alpes area.
The name Rueblinger consists of two parts:  First of the Allamanic proper name Ribol or Riebell, and, second, of the clan marking –inga =Ribolinga, in the spoken language Rueblinger.  The above mentioned names of towns are pronounced Rueblinger/Rueblinga.
I know from family deliveries that members of my family emigrated during the time after the plague and also after the Thirty Years’ War (around 1648), because a lot of misery had been caused by these influences, plundering and seizures of estates.  However, I have not been able to find closer details through deeds or written documents, because church books had been lost through the disorders of war, fires, or wrong storage.
I would be interested in what you know about your family from family deliveries.  Maybe we could find out early common family history.  Everything will, of course, be treated confidentially.
I would be very pleased to hear from you and I am also willing to provide further information.
Hermann Rueblinger
I assume by family deliveries he means births, but I could be wrong.  I am unsure when Chris received this letter, but I would say more than 10 years ago, since it was before we met!  Hopefully, I can find Hermann's current address.  We'll see how I make out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo Correction Skills

So, today I am working on my photo correction skills.  I have so many old photos, I can't continue to ask my friend to correct them all for me!  So here it goes.  I just downloaded a free photo editing program, called gimp.  It's produced by a company called GNU.  In my previous life as a software engineer, my workplace used several products from this company. 

My Dad (Raynor E Robinson)
at my Mom's Bridal Shower in 1958 (isn't he cute?)

First, I must select a photo.  This one just needs a little bit of help.  There's a little bit of a crease on the trim of the doorway behind him.  I also see a mark of some sort near his left eye.  It also looks a bit washed out, but I'm not sure if I will be able to fix that, I've never been terribly good at that!  I guess we shall see!

Dad's Picture, corrected.

Well, here it is.  I think it looks better.  A very subtle change, but it's a start.  At least I didn't mangle it!  When I zoomed in really closely, I saw a, for lack of a better word, bubble in his hair that I removed.  I think I'm happy with this, I have some really old ones that need much more help! (Baby Steps)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Great Genealogy Day

I made a great find today!  I have been hoping to discover my father's great grandmother's maiden name for a while now.  Matilda Tillie UNKNOWN Dingler Murphy.  I wrote about her a few weeks back.  I found her in another family tree today on  I had not looked clearly at the 1880 census record that I had for her and John Dingler and their daughter Lettie.  Tillie's parents lived with them in Kensington!  James and Martha Ferguson (or Furgeson, I've seen it spelled both ways now).  I can' believe I hadn't seen it sooner that another family lived with them.  I am guessing that it was actually James' home, but for whatever reason The Dingler's are listed first.

1880 Census
 This has lead me to locate her with her family in previous censuses.  Martha and James are both from Ireland.  I am not sure how I will make out finding them there, but time will tell!  For now I am happy with Matilda Tillie FERGUSON Dingler Murphy!

Lettie Mae Black and Samuel Raynor Robinson Wedding Photo

This is a wedding picture from My Grandmom and Grandpop Robinson's Wedding Day.  They were married on September 12th of 1923 in Philadelphia.  I have a version of this photo, hanging in my dining room, without the Maid of Honor and Best Man in it.  I am not too sure who they are.  My Dad and I think that the maid may be my Grandmom's Best friend, Margaret Esmond, but in the pictures that we have of her, she is older, so it's hard to tell.  I have no clue about him, I'll have to ask my Aunt.  The happy couple are Lettie Mae Black and Samuel Raynor Robinson.  The flower girl is Lettie's niece, Grace Mae Miller (Hughes).  She is the daughter of Lettie's sister, Eurella Black Miller.  She and her husband, Albert lived behind my childhood home in Trevose.  I am told that he built that house and the house around the corner that their son Albert and his family still live in, along with another house nearby for another of their children (that I don't know).  I had a picture taken on my wedding day with this and a picture of my Mom's parents in the background.  I love both pictures!