Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Liven Up Your Writing With Dead People

by guest Anita Mae Draper

Seekers, thank you for inviting me here today. Excuse me a moment while I cross a goal off my bucket list…Guest blog on Seekerville. . I hope I don’t scare off any of your readers with the title, which was created by Seeker friend and historical suspense writer, Debra E Marvin. 

Since my topic is about using genealogy to enhance your writing, the title works, don’t you think?

Genealogy is the study or history of a family tree. It’s looking through your family photos and asking who everyone is and how they are related to you. It’s searching the internet for birth, death and census records for details on your ancestors. And it’s being a graver and graving, which simply means walking through physical or virtual cemeteries looking for - and taking photographs of - family headstones to glean the inscribed information.

I believe my passion for genealogy is why I’m finally a published writer. Research into the lives of our ancestors propelled me into the Edwardian period, often called the Titanic era. Until then, I’d concentrated my research in the west, but my husband’s family were some of the original settlers in the land of York County, Ontario – north of what is now Toronto – so that’s where my focus switched. Especially since I discovered that a tome entitled, The Drapers in America gives credence to the mystery of six Draper siblings who made their way to Upper Canada (Ontario) around 1800-1805 and yet none of them ever released details about their parents. Nelson’s 3x great grandfather was one of those siblings and that’s exciting from both a family and writing point of view. 

Between the census records, online grave sites, history books, and newspapers, I know so much about Nelson’s side of the family I sometimes forget it’s his life story and not my own. Speaking of newspapers, Google has recently brought online hundreds of historical newspapers at http://news.google.com/newspapers and they’re available for free viewing. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, search for alternate names and spellings.

My main use for period newspapers is confirming information mentioned in the 1911 Courtship Letters which I post weekly on my Author Memories blog at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/author-memories.html. Written during the months preceding the wedding of Nelson’s paternal grandparents, Noah Draper’s and Ethel Nelson’s letters have provided an insight into the lives of common Canadians during a time when telephones where appearing on kitchen walls and automobiles were racing down the narrow dirt roads at 35 miles an hour. 
Post Office, Belhaven, York County, Ontario (where Ethel lived)

I know that some of my blog readers are relatives, but other readers are interested in the historical aspect, which is why I research every person, place, and topic mentioned in the letters. Anything of particular interest is detailed at the bottom of the post under Genealogical Notes, and that’s where the local newspapers come in because I clip snippets confirming the topics mentioned in the letter for that week. I’ve covered relatives and politicians, weather and diseases, transportation and tourism, and even words, clichés and literature.

Each of these topics show how events of the day affected average citizens like Noah and Ethel in small farming communities, and sometimes city residents as well. Like the heat wave that swept through eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. during the summer of 1911 which killed hundreds of people and horses.

 Living in 1911 was dangerous. If a writer needs to kill off a character, they only need to read the local newspaper to find an array of mishaps that kill, maim, or disfigure:

- Bolts of lightning weren’t picky where they struck
- Alcohol and kerosene stoves exploded in tiny apartments
- Children drowned in cisterns, wells, and wash tubs
- Female skirts of all ages caught fire
- Livestock kicked their handlers
- Frightened runaways (horses) ditched their burdens
- Trains and streetcars severed limbs
- Automobiles drove whichever side they wanted

And I haven’t even mentioned weapon accidents.

I was surprised to find that the following words were in common use during 1911: kids, trike, bike, kiddo, okay, phone, photos, and fac-simile.

As well as showing early usage of colorful phrases like, “he screwed up his courage”, and the word, “pretty” as an adverb as in, “pretty sick,” the newspapers showed new phrases such as, “ring off” which came about because of the need to turn the crank at the end of a telephone call so the operator would know you were done. For writing purposes, I file a copy of each snippet where a word and phrase catches my attention just in case I use it and it’s questioned by an editor later.

When I was offered the opportunity to write a short story for A Cup of Christmas Cheer, I sent in two synopses. One was for a contemporary which I created specifically for this opportunity. But for the second story, I immersed myself in Ethel’s dangerous world of 1911 York County, Ontario. One photograph on the Family Tree kept drawing my attention.

1944, Alice, 15 yrs old

Although the photo was out by 30 yrs, I was captivated by the young girl’s pleasure in her bike. Without much thought, a story idea caught hold…A young girl’s Christmas wish… A father’s protective nature… The mother who wants to give her daughter freedom while honoring her husband's wish to keep the beloved girl close to home.

Since I wanted realistic character names, I searched the 1911 Canada census as well as the local newspaper. For the mother, the name of Eliza was in common use for a woman in her forties and we had several in the family tree.  We also had several men named Thomas in our tree. God-fearing farmers who took care of their own and helped their neighbors when needed. And although the name Thomas is most-often thought of as someone who doubts, it worked well with my story because after losing two children, Thomas is flagging in the faith department. Naming the teenager, Sadie, was a given because in the actual 1911 Courtship Letters, Sadie is Ethel’s 16-yr-old sister which gave me lots of material to base my character on. The setting would be Keswick which was close to where Ethel lived, but afforded better shopping and busier roads. With the characters, setting and storyline in place, I wrote the synopsis for Riding on a Christmas Wish and submitted it to Guideposts.

Within a couple weeks, I received THE CALL from my agent. The editor had chosen Riding on a Christmas Wish as one of sixteen short stories for A Cup of Christmas Cheer. During my conversation with the editor later, he said my story was rich in historical detail.

After years of writing imaginative westerns without results, I am now a published author because I immersed myself in my genealogy research and wrote a story based on what I actually knew. 

Have you looked into your family tree?

Riding on a Christmas Wish appears in A Cup of Christmas Cheer Volume 1: Tales of Faith and Family, October 2013, available as a 2-book set online only from ShopGuideposts. 

Anita Mae Draper lives on the Canadian prairies where she has finaled in several contests for her stories about Canadian Mounties and the American West. Through genealogy, she’s re-discovering her birth province of Ontario with its rich idea-laden history.

Anita can be found online at:




Inkwell Inspirations


Today Anita Mae is generously giving away one set of A Cup of Christmas Cheer which is a 2-book set (Volume 1 and 2) to a commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition!


  1. So happy for you Anita. And I always thought genealogy sounded dull, so did reading history books......since I now have a whole bookcase of history books I want to read, maybe one day I'll play with the genealogy, though some of my paternal side of the family is already really into it and my maternal side can't be traced before WWII because they came in illegally and changed their names and none of those are still alive nor left any clue, some of my aunts have tried....so then again, maybe not.

  2. I wish I had more stories of our ancestors...we have a few. My great-grandfather x? And his brother were the only two siblings to make it to the new world, and the brother lost his life crossing the river. On Moms side, her maiden name Enns comes from two boys found by the river Enns after a wagon train had passed. Only one of these boys lived to adulthood. I only became interested in history and genealogy after I turned 40. Have heard the same comment from others. I still think we'd have learnt a lot more in school if they would have used the historical fiction novels available bow!

  3. Anita, congrats on publication! What gorgeous books, oh my stars!!!!

    I'd love to have time to research but that's not the case right now. I do know some basics on the Logan side... and some on the Herne side. The Blodgett side has been researched by lots of Blodgetts and that one is documented to two brothers who came over in 1635... and all Blodgetts are descendents of them. So that's cool, right??? Not as cool as ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, oh baby, that's a story of survival and culture right there!

    And the Eichas side came over in 1911 and Grandma was alive until fifteen years ago so recording her history was EASY comparatively.

    What an eye-opener this is, Anita! I love how a grain of information blossoms into a story. Good for you!

    Hey, COFFEE IS ON!!!!!!

    My clock and my body are in STAUNCH DISAGREEMENT so my body was pretty sure 3:00 AM was 4:00 AM.... (stretch.... yawn... drink coffee) Writing time for me, yes, yes, yes!!!!


  4. Marianne, I am stealing that story of the boys' name and using it.

    I'm not sure how, but whoa. Isn't that a story just waiting to be told??????

  5. Congratulations Anita! The book covers are beautiful BTW.

    I love the thought of using family history to create stories. My aunt is really into genealogy and has traced my mother's side of the family back into the 1700s. I wish I had the time to do the research. We have a large beautiful genealogy library right in our small little town here in Indiana. I've only been in it once but I was totally amazed.

    All through school, history was my least favorite subject but now that I am MUCH older, I love history. After all, it is the foundation on which we live.

    I would love to be entered to win A CUP OF CHRISTMAS CHEER. I LOVE Christmas themed stories.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  6. I love this! Great job!!

    And I be those western WILL come in handy some day. This is your first sale, but many more will follow.

    I truly admire those who write historicals all the time. The amount of research is incredibly time consuming.

  7. Hi Anita,

    My parents are really into genealogy. They plan most of their vacations around genealogy research.

    You wouldn't believe how much of my family fought in the American Revolution.

    The one place my dad really wants to go is Germany.

    Thanks for sharing with us today!

  8. Those are great covers- so warm and inviting.

    Would your husband be related to the Virginia Drapers? I grew up on the story of Mary Draper Ingles and her astounding journey to return home after being taken by a band of Shawnees.

    Congrats on publication.

  9. YAY ANITA!!! I love the care with which you do your writing research and its so apparent in the amazing way you are sharing the courtship letters and photography! What a blessing to your family and those of us who get to enjoy them as well.

    Such a shame that so many things such as old photos and bundles of letters have likely been long gone to the dump. And you know someone in the family would have treasured them as you and Nelson have.

    thanks for the shout out on the blog title. I calls em as I sees em, eh?

    love you A M

  10. Hey Melissa, thank you so much for being the first person to greet me here. :)

    The thing about genealogy in the internet age is that modern technology works just as well to find someone as it does to hide them. Sites like Ancestry work behind the scenes gathering and matching input. We now have over 3,000 people in our tree and we've discovered many of those because ancestry has sent us hints that someone has added info to one of those people who may be on the fringe of their tree. But it opens a door to that side of the family.

    Granted, it may be impossible in circumstances like yours, but if you really want to know, start your tree, add what you know, and have patience. If it's in God's will, you'll know some day.

  11. Hi Marianne, you have a point about school - generally, the more interesting it can be, the more the kids will be engaged.

    Although your personal history is frustrating while working on a family tree, it's fascinating to a novelist. By using my writing research skills and as well as my active imagination though, I've solved several little family tree mysteries.

    In your case, I would say intensive research into pioneer diaries and the wagon train industry itself would be required. If you know when the boys were left/found, then check into local and national history to figure out which wagon trains were in the area at that time. It would involve lots of local history both at the site where they were found as well as wherever the wagon train originated. But at least when you're researching, you're not sitting on your thumbs wondering, 'what if?'.

    Thank you for sharing, today. If you do pursue this, I'd love to be kept informed. And I'll let you know if I ever stumble across a story where 2 boys were lost in a case like yours.

  12. Enjoyed your post, Anita. I love your book covers, they make me want to be in that rocking chair sittin' by the fire watin' for Santa Clause.

    I'm always surprised when I find a 'modern' word used in the Bible, and I mean the King James version, not a new fangled version. The word pavement is used in the old testament—and don't ask me where—I didn't mark the word when I ran across it and I can't find it now. I will someday and then I'll post it.

  13. And oh for sure, I'd love to win a copy of your books!

    Thanks again. :-)

  14. Hey, Ruthie, thanks for the invite and the congrats. :)

    Wow, 1635, eh? Yes, that's major cool. It's also cool when the family history has been written so you're not wasting time doing it again.

    And for anyone here who wants to start their family tree, I'd say when you're ready to go beyond your own family knowledge, do a goggle search using your surname along with the word, 'Wikitree' or 'descendants'. If your people arrived in America before 1900, there's a good chance a book has been written about your surname.

  15. Welcome GUEST BLOGGER, Anita Mae!! Don't you just love crossing items off your bucket list?? We're so happy to have you on this side of the fence : )

    Fascinating post! I love how you were able to dig up info dating back so far in history. Details and authentic-ness makes the story.

    The year my daughter was teaching out in eastern Colorado, she began researching our genealogy. She dug into my husband's history, but sadly, didn't make much progress with mine. Silly ancestors changed the spelling of their names!!!

    Congrats on your publication, Anita. You've been waiting and working so long on this!!!

    YAYAYAY!! I love when dreams come true : )

  16. Thank you, Cindy W on both counts. :)

    And thank you for mentioning local genealogy societies. They are a wonderful and thorough source of information and contain all kinds of records people would never think to research. But then, sometimes it only takes one innocuous clue to open the door to more info.

  17. Hey Anita, how fun to see you on the blogging side of Seekerville! Congratulations on your sale! Genaology has always fascinated me. My father is into it, and he traced his/our roots back to the Revolutionary War. According to him, we have some colorful characters in our family tree.

    It was fun to hear a bit about your history too. :)

  18. Congratulations on your sale! And what a wonderful and rich family tree. You are so lucky to have all that information from your husband's family. What a legacy :)

  19. Cindy and Marianne, you've both mentioned not being interested in genealogy until you're older, and that's true for most people. Unless you've been involved in genealogy from a young age, you don't want to think about the past while you're young - you're too busy planning the future.

    Most people start thinking about it when they have kids and that's when they realize the next generation should know where they came from. It's like passing down a legacy of knowledge. And if you don't pass it down, who will?

  20. That's a good item to have on your bucket list and be able to cross off. Congratulations on publishing!
    I haven't looked into my family history. I just know a few things from what my dad has told me. It's pretty interesting though.

  21. Hey there, Virginia. Thank you!

    And you're right about those westerns. They were my first love and my work-in-progress is one because those are the type of stories I love to read.

    Yes, like genealogy, the research is time consuming, but so very rewarding when you find a treasure.

    Thanks again. :)


    Those pictures just evoke stories, don't they?

    Did you ever go to an antique store and just look at the stacks of old photos and start making up stories.

    That's a fun day, let me tell you.

  23. Debra Marvin sees dead people.

    Good call!

  24. Anita, wonderful to have you in Seekerville post side! Mega congrats on The Call and being part of what looks like wonderful, uplifting Christmas stories.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading how your husband's ancestors brought you to publication! What a blessing letters are to writers who are fascinated with history. Must stop by your blog.


  25. Anita Mae I found every single word of this blog RIVETING!


    I love that picture.

    I have ideas sparking as I read.

    You know just last night my mom said to me that when she was young she wanted a bicycle so badly (Mom is 85) and her parents said they'd get her one...she's the youngest of five children and her GRANDMOTHER (she was very elderly and living with them the last two years of her life) said, "Oh, can't you find something less dangerous for Dorothy to do?"

    So the bicycle idea was nixed due to DANGER.

    And they lived way out in the country, this was about 1935. Grandpa still farmed with horses. Not exactly a four lane highway with cars whizzing past.

    That picture could have been my mom.

  26. AND (see? With the ideas sparking) I have a packet of letters that my grand grandfather wrote to my great grandmother the year before they married. They are honestly very BLAND. But still there is so much in there. Just the details of daily life.

    I've never considered posting them, like on a blog for all the world to see.
    I love that idea.

  27. And I was a little scared of your title.

    But Halloween is just over. I was prepared to face your ghoulish topic....how ever SIXTH SENSE it turned out to be, because I just love you THAT MUCH, Anita Mae!

  28. My family history is very well researched. I have a sister who is a geneology nut (I mean that fondly, she's done a lot of work!)

    And my HUSBAND's family history, well, I don't even get the Connealy's. They are just OBSESSED with themselves. There is so much Connealy research it's like GET OVER YOURSELVES! And there's a lot with other branches of the family, too.

    Me? I just listen, and sometimes read. And buy their books when they try to sell them. It's pretty fun but I've never caught the bug to do it myself.

    One of my ancestors came to America in 1638, that's 18 years after Jamestown.

    One of my Mother in Law's side of the family has all the paperwork to belong to the Daughters of the American Revolution.

    The Connealys are firmly Irish Potato Famine Immigrants and can trace their roots from Ireland straight to Nebraska.

    We are just your standard Heinz 57 Americans all mixed together.

  29. I have, in recent years, started creating what I think of as a REVERSE BUCKET LIST

    That is, all the things I used to want to do, and now look back on and am so relieved I never did them. I cross them off and think PHEW! GLAD I CAME TO ME SENSES IN TIME TO AVOID THAT.

    Example, I used to want to sky dive. I wised up before I did that.

    I used to want to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

    Common sense saved me from certain death there.

    You know, stuff like that.

    A reverse bucket list.

  30. I'm so thrilled for you, Anita! Loved your post, and would love to read your story (and the others, of course!) I know you'll find success placing other manuscripts, too, as I'm sure they have details as well researched and interesting as this.

  31. Hey Jackie, good for your parents! I wanted to do that same thing this past summer when I went back to Ontario for a family reunion, but time wasn't my own and it ended up being a rushed trip with 4,000 km/2,500 miles in 8 days. But I'm planning for next year. :D

    Actually, I probably would believe it about many members in your family fighting in the American Revolution because people fighting for freedom usually do it for their family's sake. And when the family is threatened, the family works as a unit to ward off the enemy.

    What I am amazed at is that you know that your family was involved. Can I assume your family is registered with the Sons/Daughters of the American Revolution organization(s)? Granted, much of what I know about it has been from watching one episode of Ancestry's TV series, Who Do You Think You Are but it seems a venerable institution.

    Thank you for sharing. Hope you get to Germany some day. :)

  32. When you're looking for ancestors, don't ignore your local historical museum. I'm a volunteer at our county museum. My project for the last two years has been to scan, and index all of our naturalization records. We have records back to when the county was established in the 1850s. It's amazing the stuff we have in our files.

  33. Ruthy go for it...the only thing is....I want the book when you are done!

    Anita, the story of the actual event is on the internet! If I remember right the locals wondered if it was a gypsy train. But can you imagine? Oh yes, as an author you could!

  34. Great post, Anita. My day job is working for the heritage research arm of the public library and we deal a lot with genealogy research because of our resources. Most of the folk that come in admit they're obsessed, right down to multiple DNA testing to track ancestry!! It is so fascinating. Best of luck with your publishing career, your story sounds like a gorgeous read.

  35. I saw on FB where Debra shared this and when I saw "genealogy", I most definitely had to come check it out! Anyone here who is friends with me on FB knows that I absolutely LOVE to do genealogy research, whether it be for hubby's and my families or for anyone else. I've been doing it for nearly 15 years now and have increased the pace instead of slowing down. Would love to do it to earn money, too.

    My dad's paternal grandfather was murdered in 1907--by his first wife's second husband. So my step-great grandfather shot and killed my great grandfather. Have articles to prove it.

    I have an idea for a series of books based on family members descended from a man who lived in the 1800s, although the books themselves would be contemporaries. I might work the above murder into one of them, too. We'll see if I ever get around to them...

    Anita Mae, loved your post! Thank you for sharing. :) And I'd love to have my name tossed into the hat/dish/ring to win your books--thank you!


  36. Congratulations, Anita Mae!!!!!!

    I'm so pumped to see you here! Isn't guesting on Seekerville a dream come true?

    You and I are writers cut out of the same cloth. I've spent SO much time researching my genealogy, but it pays off when I start developing stories.

    The fun part is that the research can tell you what happened, but often your imagination has to fill in the "why".

    Your Courtship Letters are so much fun, though. People reveal so much of their personalities through letters, don't they?

    Another fun detail: my grandmother's first name was Ethel, and her middle name was Sadie. She was born in 1903, so the same era as your Ethel and Sadie :)

    And I LOVE that you're published! Woo hoo!!!!

  37. Anita, I also have a passion for genealogy! I think we would have a great time at lunch with each other! Congrats on your publication. I imagine you are beyond thrilled!

  38. Anita Mae,

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your journey, and that of your forebears in the lovely country of Canada.

    Beautiful all around!

    Isn't that fascinating about your strategy on synopsis? Brilliant really, but of course!

    We have several aunties who are big into this. My Dad is a first generation American so his side is rich with material, coming from Europe through Galveston and New Orleans... NOT New York. (Sorry Ruthy!)

    Mom's a 4th generation Texan.

    It's amazing how young of a country we are, really.

    Thank you again for sharing this. And May the K9 Spy sends special sniffs and greetings to you, a fellow "Mae"!!! :)

  39. Well hello, CaraG. Good question!

    I don't think our Draper's are connected to that brave woman. However, since we don't know anything about the 6 Draper siblings' history, I don't want to give you an outright, NO, because they could be distant relations.

    The only Draper fact I know for sure is that all Drapers hail from the same place, hence the introduction in the book, The Drapers in America begins with, "THE DRAPERS, way back in the dim recesses of the past, were natives of York-shire, England, and of or near Heptonstall, and undoubtedly all of that name are descended from William, John and Henry le Drapour."

    By the way, one good place to start a surname search is through http://resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/surnames/ which I believe is a free site - or at least it was before we joined ancestry.

  40. ANITA MAE!!! Sooooo fun to see you here, my friend, and what a FUN and VALUABLE topic, especially for us historical writers, but really for everyone too!

    SUPER CONGRATS on being one of only a select few stories in A Cup of Christmas Cheer -- that is AWESOME!!


  41. I am about to enter the geneology Zone... luckily my daughter is willing to do some of the digging and we are going past the trial membership for Ancestry.com.

    I chose a setting for a story and later found out it was very near the place my great grandparents left from when they moved to the U.S. That was a lovely surprise.

    A shout out to Melanie Pike-- she's definitely the geneologist extraordinaire!

    Apparently, I'm not spelling that right. hmmmm.

    anyway - I hope you all discover Anita's Courtship 1911 Letters on her blog. Super stuff
    (for another chance to win the books come and visit our posts this week over at the Inkwell.

    Yes, I see Dead People. It really livens things up.

  42. Congrats on selling your book. Mark me down for loving the cover. Matches the title perfectly.

    I've never done much research on the internet, but more from talking to older people.

    My great granddad was murdered in his buggy on his way home from after selling his wheat crop. This would've been around 1910. He was one of 16 kids, several of who moved to Texas from Alabama in the late 1800's. The brothers helped start the local bank which is still in business today.

    My brother-in-law's grandmother was killed when she was trying to make a birthday cake for her husband. Something blew up in the stove catching her on fire.

    And last, I had another great-granddad that left his wife and kids (5?) and didn't come back. Never divorced, just gone! Years after his death learned he went to Califoria, married another woman and had more kids. I don't think this was uncommon.

    Enjoyed your post!!!

  43. Wait, that should be MY KINGDOM for a hot link. (Note to self: stop misquoting Richard III)

  44. Awh, Deb, thanks for being there when I needed craft help, crit help, title help, you name it, you've been there. :)

    When you said, "Such a shame..." that reminded me of something I need to say...

    Sometimes when a family breaks up, the new spouse is jealous of the family's history and destroys all remnants of their old life. They think all will be forgotten because we all know that "out of sight out of mind", right? But actions like this are not done with love and cannot be condoned as such. It's selfishness pure and simple. And it's a travesty to the children who are struggling to find their identity because they KNOW what they had and now feel 'lost'.

    (Anita climbs off her soapbox, picks it up, and throws it over the hedge. Wiping her hands together as if cleaning them, she walks briskly away.)

  45. HI Anita,
    I really enjoyed reading your post and look forward to reading your story in A Cup of Christmas Cheer. Thanks for sharing your inspiration. You reminded me that my brother researched our family tree several years ago and gave each of us the resulting books of information. Perhaps it's time I dig them out and use them as ideas for my books. I spend so much time researching other people's history - why didn't I think of using my own?

  46. Congratulations, Anita Mae! (Waving hello to everyone.) This collection is sure to be a keeper on many readers' shelves.

    Anita and I share an interest in genealogy. It certainly is a useful tool to learn about particulars of the past, as well as your family. And the story ideas! Yowza! Huguenots, Jamestown settlers, family who fought on opposite sides of the Civil War, a blind guy who could win a hatchet throwing contest...amazing that these are people who share some of your DNA.

    Thanks for hosting Anita Mae, Seekerville!

  47. Hello Mary Hicks, thank you so much. About the book covers - I know, eh. They're just so inviting. I'm honored Guideposts chose Riding on a Christmas Wish as one of their 16 stories for these wonderful books.

    I wanted my first release to be a fat trade length western that would be an escape from modern life for hours and hours. But God had other plans. His will for me was a 24 page short story in a small book shared with 15 other writers. And I'm humbled by the experience and by every person who feels warm by looking at the covers. So thank you very much for saying so.

    Now about the pavement in the King James Version... I looked it up on my goto Bible ref site at http://www.biblegateway.com and yes, it's mentioned once in the OT, and then it's mentioned 5 more times in the OT and once in the NT.

    So I looked it up on my word use goto place at http://www.etymonline.com/ which I believe is what Melissa J blogged about here at Seekervile last week, and which states:

    Pavement (noun) mid-13c., from Old French pavement "roadway, pathway; paving stone" (12c.) and directly from Latin pavimentum "hard floor, level surface beaten firm," from pavire (see pave).

    So, that's a good pick up because you are exactly right.
    This is one area where writers need to use care because wasn't the KJV written during the 12c-13c? So what we see in the KJV is the word use of scholars at the time they wrote it and not what they thought was actually in use at the time the event happened.

    And to the Readers out there today... if you find what you believe is an error, please, please, please, inform the author of the story and not use it in a review? Research is laborious and it's very easy to make an error no matter how hard we look for something. Research also takes away from the time we could be writing the actual story and if other readers think we don't do our research, we won't be doing anything very long. (Anita wishes she had one of those badges that say, Support a Writer, Today.)

    Again, I say good pick up, Mary H. It's certainly something for writers to think about. :)

  48. You're very welcome, Mary H. I've longed for the day I could give away a book with something of my own inside.

    And thank you for allowing me to use your pavement comment as a teaching aid. I was hoping to sneak those 2 url's somewhere in my comments today. :D

  49. Hey there, Audra, love the mountains over on this side. As for the Bucket List, that black mark looks good!

    Two things about your post I want to comment on - I'm sorry my comments are so long, but well...

    1. Historic newspapers are a treasure trove of ads - including images - for fashion, footwear, and frivolities of the day. Also hardware supplies, baking lists, furniture, what-have-you. Oh, and don't forget the fabric contents, washing aids, and recipes for food and health. Those are the kind of details that enrich a story as much as the characters.

    2. Our ancestors changed their names, too:
    - Cruttendon to Crittenden
    - Holowaczuk to Hollowachuk
    - Ziniuk to Zenuk
    - Kakkonen to Hendrickson, Henreckson, and other variants

    Name changes take longer to research, but you're not alone. In genealogy, someone somewhere has already researched your past. The key is finding out who has the info and then referring to them as a source.

    Thank you for the years of support, Audra. :)

  50. Thank you, Jeanne T. I appreciate you saying that.

    Sounds like you have a natural Treasure Box of your own in that father of yours. This is the time to take advantage of him and his knowledge. (Yes I said that purposely - ply him with cookies if that's what it takes.) Sit across the kitchen table with him and record him as he tells you what he knows. It will be a living legacy you'll treasure more than dusty books. And it will be a treasure for others in the family who may be too young to know him. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a live recording is priceless.

    And then write about those colorful characters! :D

  51. Those books look terrific, Anita. Short stories are so wonderful for Christmastime when time is of the essence.

  52. Thank you, Sherri. :)

    Yes, we're truly blessed with everything we found in Ethel's Treasure Box. However, not all treasures come like that, as the rest of our family tree attests.

    However, another source of treasure is old negatives. Many of the images on Nelson's Ukrainian side was distributed to family members, but his mother kept the negatives.
    We've since bought a refurbished negative reader and have been able to digitally copy every negative his mother saved. Now that's another treasure from an unexpected source - as well as a delight to his mom who 'forgot' some of those images. I love watching her re-discover those photographs.

  53. Thank you for this important reminder today, Anita Mae. It was the achievement of my mother's retirement years that she was able to trace her branch of the family back before the cloudy mists of the 1870 census. When she was "finished", she picked up other people's family trees to research. She loved genealogical research very much. I am the proud inheritor of her 11 notebooks and everything on her computer and I will use that material.

    And ever since I was dating DH, I asked questions about his family. He wasn't the least bit interested but I was for the potential children we might have. Turns out that his family and my mother's paternal tree lived about 20 miles apart in Alabama. No we aren't related, but there were some questions there for a few weeks until my mother got it straightened out!! You just never know....


  54. Hello Courtney, and thank you. :)

    Very good for paying attention to your father's stories. I think one of the hardest things is to sit there and listen to another tale about the "good ol' days when I had to walk 7 miles to school barefoot..." etc.

    But if you listen to those old stories, you hear what they don't say. The hardships they went through to survive before all the modern technology came about. The stuff they don't want to burden you with. The stuff they say in a joking manner because they don't think anyone will believe it if they spoke the truth.

    Kudos to you for listening. Now go write them down... run ... quick like a bunny... :)

  55. Tina, thank you for inviting me. I knew I'd forgotten to send you something when I saw the pic you used of me at the bottom of my post. LOL. Or maybe you would have used that one anyway. :D

    Great idea about going to an antique store and looking at piles of old photographs. No, I haven't done that yet.

    However, I've been to an auction where I've seen old photograph albums being sold. Although I wanted to bid on them, I couldn't. Maybe it's because I've been to too many auctions that were forced farm sales, but I kept thinking that there was probably a family member there who wanted them. I even heard, "Imagine, someone not wanting these." Perhaps if I'd known the particulars of the people who were having the auction it would have been different.

    But in an antique store? Now that's a new adventure - especially since Noah's family settled close to the city here.

    Thanks, Teenster!

  56. Anita, I love your advice about Wikitree. You rock the biggest kahuna ever!!!

    I have a numb mouth. Had a cavity filled this morning. Not a big one. Should have refused the novocaine because I'm THIS annoyed at still being numb and possibly drooling. Although several of my little ones drool, so they don't notice!!! :)

  57. Anita, thanks for the informative comments. I will never write a historical just because of the research. I'd never get any writing done for getting side tracked with the fun of it.

    And did I gather that at one time the KJV was also considered new fangled? :-D

    Good luck with your books!

  58. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY ANITA! Congrats on the Call and being pubbed. For you Seekerville folks, Anita is the person who introduced me to Seekerville, so I am very indebted to her.

    I believe God brought her into my world via the internet to be an inspiration - because she has been from day one. I am so super happy to see her dream to get published come to fruition. And that love letter blog she keeps is really, really cool. I'm not good at digging for historical stuff, so I'm ever in awe of her research skills.

    I am very sad about some of my family history - on my Dad's side. My Uncle had all of my Grandmother's family pictures and family history stuff, but when he died, his wife (of questionable immigrant legal status) threw out everything he owned and sold off everything before my dad was able to go to the house to salvage anything. Apparently the wife just wanted my uncle's money and sold what she could and trashed anything she didn't think was valuable. My heart breaks over how much family history was destroyed by a selfish, selfish woman. *sigh*

    I actually have several family trees to explore because I found my birth parents when I was thirty. I often quip that I don't have a family tree, but rather a family forest. Funny thing is, most of my ancestors were either Polish or German (both birth family and adopted family). All immigrants AFTER the Civil War. Almost all coming over to take advantage of free land being offered in the plains of the U.S.

    Well, that's my bit. HOOOOOOORAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY for ANITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (can you tell I'm her biggest fan? and she never even asked me *heh*)

  59. p.s.
    there are so many cool stories lurking in the comments today. Ruthy, that one about the two boys by the river caught my imagination too. Great minds think alike??

  60. Thank you, Janet, on all counts. :)

    I'm always amazed when non-relatives stop by my 1911 Courtship Letters blog, but I shouldn't be, I guess, because I include so much additional history.

    And if I may use this response for a plug to some historical facebook pages... if you're looking for old photographs of a location you're interested in writing about, do a facebook search for that location with the word, Vintage, in front of it.

    The photo I've used in this post came from the Vintage Lake Simcoe site, so I'm sending out a big thank you their way. When I first discovered the Vintage location series, I wasn't going to 'lift' their images, but then I found one of the sites had 'lifted' one of the original photographs I used on my Author Memories blog. My first thought was, 'how could they!' but when I realized what a honor it was because they credited my blog and gave me great exposure. So I emailed the page owner and asked if I could use some of their photograhs on the pages because he'd already used mine and he laughed and said, of course.

    That exposure has led to my blog being featured in the Tourism newsletter for that area of York County which happens to be where my story is set!

    But back to my topic... on the fly I searched for Vintage Detroit and Vintage San Francisco and both of them have a wonderful pages full of images.

    Thanks for letting me get that info in, Janet. I've appreciated your support over the years. :)

  61. Really, Mary C? Oh, now that's very humbling as well. Thank you!

    I hope you mean the photo of Alice and her bike because although I can't tell you who Alice is, when I told Nelson's mom that I was using it, she said, "That old thing?" :D

    Oh goodness, your comment about your mom is giving me shivers. So, if your mom reads Riding on a Christmas Wish can you tell me what she thought? I'd love to hear from someone who really knows, you know?

  62. In recounting family history, my Granny tells me stories of her childhood, sharecropping in the Delta.

    She also told me the story of two Italian boys who grew up together. One wanted to leave Italy for America and the other wanted to stay. The one who left was one we're related to by marriage, the one who stayed became the Pope.

    Thanks for such an inspiring post, Anita!

  63. Welcome Anita.
    I have to say I like seeing real people in historicals. One reason I love Gilbert Morris's books is cos they have real people in there.
    My cousin did part of our family try she did mums side.
    I dont know alot about dads side except his father was raised by grandparents because his mother died at birth and the father an English merchant marine couldn't handle it and left him with his wifes parents and they never saw him again.

  64. Congratulations on having your family story in this Christmas collection. It was fascinating to read. I'm so happy for you, Anita. The covers are beautiful.
    I started looking into my paternal family history about 25 yrs. ago. Not as much was available on the Net then. I did use an ancestery research site. Later I travelled to UK and visited the birthplaces of my ancestors. It was exciting going to records offices and pouring through micofiche of the parish records there. I especially enjoyed sitting in the magnificent cathedral where some of them were christened and married. It wouldn't have been possible without my British hubby and his driving me all around the country to get the documentation needed. My family tell me I've gone back to my roots because of him.

  65. Hi Anita Mae.Great to see you.Love the photos and all the historical treasures. Glad you are here with us today.

  66. Mary C, again. :)

    Those courtship letters of yours may be bland, but you're right when you say, "there is so much in there. Just the details of daily life."

    From a social as well as a historical point of view, those letters are worth posting. Today's kids don't know how innocent it was back then because it's unfathomable to them. They only know what we tell/show them which is usually opposite what they see on TV.

    When Noah signs his letter, From your western lover he means that he loves her in a pure and respectful way - not that he's had intimate relations with her. But today, no one knows that. Well, they would if they'd read Ethel's earlier letter where she says she wishes she hadn't turned away his request for a couple extra smooches before he left, because that's as far as their physical loving went. And by reading the letters, you see their love grow stronger with every letter as they share their fears and dreams across the miles.

    Yes, please post them, if not for history's sake, at least for your girls so they can have a digital copy in case something happens to the originals.

  67. Oh yes I do got to mention that I can hardly wait to read your books.

  68. Mary C - yep, again. :D

    That title... Deb Marvin's idea and soundly applauded by Inky mystery writers, Barb Early and DeAnna Dodson. And Teenster, too.

    Mary, with all that fabulous family history, you will never want for writing material. Wait - I just realized who I was talking to... yeah right. LOL

    A reverse bucket list? Too funny. On second thought, more people should use one.

  69. Val! Thanks for stopping by. And I have to admit... I used some of the research I'd done for the novella series we were working on together.

    You know, when you told me to write in 1910 and I said, "Yay, as Steampunk story!"

    And you said, "No, not Steampunk. Sheesh."


  70. ebookauthor, I'm so glad you stopped in for a visit because I've been wanting to bring attention to all the volunteers who spend hours and hours transcribing old records.

    Thank you for the time and dedication you put into this project. Genealogy has advanced at a rapid pace because of your efforts and I'm on my feet applauding you.

    In the ancestry world we trade information and help each other out and 2 of the bits of info that people use most from my tree are the 2 naturalization records I found that prove that 2 of the original Draper siblings were in fact siblings and their naturalization records appear on the same page at the Library and Archives Canada site. I would never have found them if not for volunteers like you.

    I may be a writer, but I haven't the words to adequately express my appreciation to you and others who do what you do behind the scenes. Thank you.

  71. I enjoyed reading your post Anita. Congrats on your publication. I started tracing our family history after I got married. Then the babies came and I put it to the side. I should pick it back up now that they're grown. Would love to win a copy of your book!

  72. Really, Marianne? Now that's very interesting. So if you wanted to pursue it, you won't be starting from scratch - much.

    And you're right - I can imagine how some people treat kids. And then again, I don't need to imagine. sigh.

    Have you ever seen the Cdn TV series Murdoch Mysteries? It's set around the early 1900's in Toronto and I use it to study Edwardian fashion. But in one episode, the gypsies were blamed for something because they were in the area and everyone knew gypsies were thieves and worse. It was a good show to watch for social injustice although I can't remember who actually committed the crime. My mind blocks the endings so I can watch it again and be surprised. Ha!

    But for your boys, I wonder how much was truth, and how much was supposition due to the gypsies' reputation.

    Fascinating. Thanks for coming back and sharing.

  73. Thank you, Joanne. Someone else who I need to thank for services rendered. :)

    We have the Prairie History Room here at the main branch of the Regina Public and I never knew what it held until I started in the genealogy. I suppose the statement should be, I never knew what they didn't hold because wow, are they chock-full of photographs and records and everything to do with Saskatchewan history.

    I always wanted to be a librarian when I grew up - when I needed to support my writing that is - but now I will add your job to my list. But then, my head would probably be so full of ideas that I would want to spend all my time writing them down.

    Thank you for sharing your job with us, Joanne. Exciting. :D

  74. Anita Mae is one of the few people in the entire world who gets away with calling me Teenster in public.

    Just some trivia to go with the dead people.

  75. Welcome to Seekerville, Melanie P. Your history is as sorrowful and exciting as it comes. There is a similar case in the Ontario Draper annals where 2 young girls witnessed their father strangle their mother in the kitchen. Made all the news and I have the digital clippings. I may write a story based on the idea some day, but I would have to be very careful because those 2 girls might still be alive and I wouldn't want to hurt them needlessly.

    But it does make for interesting plot lines, doesn't it?

    As for making money with genealogy... I know the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society teaches classes on becoming a professional genealogist.

    Perhaps there are similar classes near you? It's never too late to make your dreams come true if you really want them to.

    God bless, and thanks for sharing. Check back at Seekerville this weekend and see if you won because that's when all the winners over the week are announced. :)

  76. Jan, you're precious to include me in the same fabric as yourself. Yes!

    That 'filling in the why' part that you mentioned isn't just for stories, either, because I've used the 'what if game' that we use in writing to figure out some doozy genealogy puzzles. I believe that's why the writing and the genealogy work so well together.

    I'm so glad you're here today. Btw - our blowing snow is under the bushes and the sun is shining with temps around the freezing mark. :)

  77. Sidenote: I'm behind in the comments because I'm enjoying them so much, but I have to leave for a few hours as we're going into the city to pick up the car we bought yesterday.

    So keep the comments coming and I'll get right back to in when I get home. Thank you, Anita.

  78. Congratulations on being published!

    I write contemporaries so I don't have to dig into history much. I do like to have great character names, so if I have a heroine whose mother is 60 I'm not going to name her Britney (though I'm in my early 60's and I went to high school with a girl named Tiffany -- probably named after the store). I'm writing a story set in Ireland now and am researching authentic names and terminology. It helps I visited Ireland 2 months ago. :-)

    Now that I think about it, digging into my family history is how I came about my pseudonym. I wanted to use my own first name but my last name is hard to pronounce and spell. So off I went to search surnames on both sides of the family. My maternal great-grandmother's maiden name was Baxter, and that's what I picked.

    Enjoy your new car!

  79. Gosh, that's quite the list of disasters! And I kind of love that a period in time is called The Titanic era. I'm not sure what that says about me but oh well. I'm happy to live the writing of historicals to others. I'll do my part and read them. Neither have I researched much family history. Fortunately, I have relatives all too happy to do that. I just reap the benefits of all their hours of research.

    Congrats, my friend, on getting The Call.

  80. Anita Mae, congratulations on being published ... what lovely, warm and inviting covers. Having a short story published is nice on several levels, including the fact you get to learn about line edits, etc., on a smaller scale. Now you're ready to experience all of that with the publication of one of your westerns, right?

    And old newspapers ... oh my ... what an amazing (and amusing) resource. In researching roller skating in the 1880s, I came across some delightful reports about people in Wyoming who were convinced that men and women roller skating together would be the downfall of society. Looking into the past sort of helps me keep the present in perspective :-)

    Thanks for a fun post and all the info you've shared in the comments.

    Nancy C

  81. Anita Mae,
    What a lovely post detailing your family research. I'm amazed at the wealth of information you've been able to uncover. Makes me want to look back in time to my family roots.

    Thanks for including the great link to newspapers of the past.

    Congrats on your story and the beautiful anthology! So proud of you in so many ways. Love you too!!!


  82. Welcome to Seekerville, Karyn Good. Any friend of Anita Mae's is a friend of mine. But I claim first dibs on a ride in her new car.

    BTW Karyn Good. Fabulous author name. Almost as good as Karyn Love.

  83. Great post! I love doing genealogy, although most of it was already done by a distant cousin. It's fun looking through it and finding famous relatives.

  84. Hi Valri, nice to meet you here. Yes, beyond thrilled is a good way to put it. :)

    I keep a list of my appearances on my website at www.anitamaedraper.com. You never know when we'll get a chance to meet.

    Thank you. :)

  85. Hey there May with a Y and KC... I laughed when I read your comment about America being a young country because it is when compared to Europe and the Middle East, but it's about 100 yrs older than Canada since we only became a country in 1867.

    I remember staring at a Bi-centennial nickel and realizing how much of a history start the US had on us. Very enlightening. :)

  86. Thank you, Julie. And thanks for your support over the years. Hugs coming right back atcha. :D

  87. Hey Deb, that's great about joining ancestry.com. It's cheaper for you than me, too, since I need to subscribe to ancestry.ca as well as .com which is double what you pay. But only because we have so many relatives that either came from the US or moved down there. And that's including a whole whack of them who retired in California.

  88. Gracious, Connie, that's a lot of sad endings. But from what I now know, they weren't unusual. Life was hard. There were no safety belts. No life guards. No safety courses of any kind. No protection for a wife because what a man did in his own home was nobody else's business. And those stoves... so many stories of women and even young children trying to 'hurry' a fire along with kerosene and having the flames travel right up to their hand and then explode the can contents. Horrible, horrible things. :(

  89. Whoops, Connie... I got so busy in my misery I forgot to say thank you.

    Thank you for the congrats. :)

  90. Tina, thanks for the link to Inkwell Inspirations. Today they posted my first ever review. Phew. Got that one over with. :D

  91. LOL, Marilyn. I hope you are as blessed finding stories in your history as I've been.

    And a big congrats to you for your story in a Cup of Christmas Cheer. I haven't read yours yet, but I'm sure looking forward to it. :)

  92. Meghan, that's a wonderful way to say it. Thank you. :)

  93. Anita, and Ruthy, and all other authors/writers. I am SO NOT a writer, so help yourself. I'm not sure if they ever figured out whether the boys were left intentionally, but I do think they were preschool, maybe even toddler age or younger. Hard to find their parents

  94. Anita Mae you have inspired me. I spent the evening scanning old pictures into my computer.
    And I dragged out my packet of old letters and scanned the first one in.
    There are probably thirty of them.
    It's surprisingly TEDIOUS.
    I did letter #1.
    Four pages.
    I put it up on my blog.
    No, it's not riveting. Do NOT rush over there.
    But it's from Great Grandpa Snider to soon-to-be Great Grandma Snider from Dodge City, Kansas. He is enroute to Hastings, Ne where he will find a place for them to live, then they will be married.
    Probably thirty letters. Four pages each (I guess...I haven't looked at all of them) That's a hundred pages of scanning.

    I'm going to PACE MYSELF!

  95. I also found about six old pictures.
    four I recognized. Two I didn't.
    On the back of one is a couple, adult but young, sitting together on a little tricycle.

    So funny and playful, especially for such an old picture. They seemed to be circa 1947.

    And on the back is written only, "Ask Dorothy Moore."

    That's my mom.

    As in, whoever wrote that could only hope maybe my mom, the oldest member of the family still living, might know who those people are.

    For some reason that gives me chills.

    That playful young couple.
    Ask Dorothy Moore.
    My mom's name. Sixty years.

    I'm a dork, huh? :)

    Nope, just a writer! LOL

  96. Anita, I'm late to the party. I'm sorry! I was finishing a mss to send to my cp. Now I'm done and taking a breather.

    What a great post! So interesting and really cool how your love of genealogy helped sell your story. I'm thrilled for you!!! It's a gorgeous set of books!! :)

  97. Okay, it's 10:20 pm and I'm finally back home. You know, when hubby said on Friday that he wanted to look at cars, I said, "Sure, let's go."

    And yesterday when he was still on day's off and said we should take a look around and see what's comparable to the Ford Flex we looked at on Friday, I said, "Sure thing, let's go."

    And yesterday when we bought the Ford Flex and the guy asked if we could "pick it up tomorrow" hubby said, "Sure thing, we have to bring our son in for Dental" I agreed because ... well, what could I say? Nelson wouldn't have days off again for another 10 days.

    So we got to the city and picked up our shiny new-to-us blue Flex, ate at Burger King for the first time in 4 yrs. And it dawned on me that time was getting away, so I answered some comments while waiting. And then Nelson said, "Well, I have to get up early 'cause I work in the morning, so I'm heading home."

    Well, I knew that he gets up by 5 am so really, what could I say? Nothing. So off he went and I waited until JJ was done - a full 2 hrs! And then we drove the 1.5 hrs home in our new Flex with JJ checking out the cockpit style instrumentation panel where I can answer the phone from my steering wheel.

    So I'm apologizing profusely for skipping out on you. Yes, the Flex drove like a dream - a bit low for our gravel roads, but it was high enough and the comfort level inside is incredible.

    And now, I'll get back to comments and please, once again forgive me.

  98. Susie, so glad you're here today.

    There are so many people being tested for DNA today because they want to know where they came from and then if you do it with Ancestry, they'll match you up with distant cousins.

    I don't know... I don't even want to use Ancestry's 'See who's famous in your family tree' button because I think it would spoil the surprise of coming across it yourself. Sort of like knowing if you'll have a girl or boy baby.

    Thank you for everything you've done for me, Susie. I really appreciate it. :)

  99. Good for you, Piper. Those precious notebooks should not go wasted.

    Too funny about being born 20 miles apart and not knowing each other. And you're right... you never know. Kinda makes you think twice about the pros and cons of sealed adoptions, doesn't it.

    Thank you for being here today and sharing with us. :)

  100. Awh Ruthy, I hope you're feeling better by this time.

    JJ's dental appt was so long that the freezing had come out while they were still working on him. Even though I sometimes let them work on small cavities on me without any freezing, he wasn't expecting that and he said he was 'quite stressed out' by the experience. :(

  101. And thank you, Ruthy! Sorry about my manners again.

    "the biggest kahuna ever" eh? Cool. :D

  102. Hey Mary, glad you're back. :)

    Don't be so sure about never writing a historical. I know 3 people who said they'd never write historicals because of the research and then got roped into doing a novella and now they like the genre. What's that saying... Never say never.

    About the KJV - I don't think they would have used "new fangled" back in the 12th century - LOL - teasing you... but I know there was opposition to it being printed because it claimed to be the Word of God and to some that was blasphemy.

    I appreciate the well wishes for my writing. Thank you. :)

  103. DebH, I was reading the comments to Nelson as we were heading into the city and you made me cry when I read yours. Good tears. :)

    Your story has always made me sad and angry. I wish I could make it all right for you, but I can't. However, we know that God can, and you even said you have several family trees to explore.

    My prayer for you is that God blesses you beyond measure by having someone come forward with a family treasure that will put to shame the one the selfish woman destroyed.

    And this is a good time to point out if anyone has seen the brand I use on my business cards, and on the home page of my website, it's because of DebH's ability to take my scratchings and turn them into something special.

    You are special, DebH. Thank you for being a valuable member of my team.

  104. Natalie! That's spectacular! What a great story that would make! I can imagine people's eyes popping when they look at your family tree and see the photo of you-know-who. Great stuff.

    Thank you for sharing that, Natalie, and you're very welcome. :)

  105. Hi Jenny, that's a fair bit of ocean between us so I'm especially glad you took the time to visit here today.

    It's very difficult to find info on people who were born in the last 50-100 yrs because of privacy laws. And each country is different. The US released its 1940 census last year, yet here in Canada, the 1921 census was only released this summer. And 100 yrs need to pass before birth records are released up here.

    But there are other ways. Ancestry.ca has voting lists for every Canadian allowed to vote in every federal election from 1930 to 1974. This is where I find out where our relatives were living in those years. It's hard because women were only listed as Mrs. so-and-so and not their given name, but usually I can tell by the husband's name and location which I'll confirm over several voting lists. Perhaps you have something similar in Australia?

    Otherwise, you may have to skip a generation and concentrate on the grandparents and their history. Sort of like going in the back door.

    Yes, there are many stories of men and women who couldn't take the pressure and just left. It's awful, but it happens. :(

    I don't know if I helped you or not, Jenny, but I appreciate you sharing with us today.

  106. I guess the issue with dads side is all his brothers and sisters have passed away (he was born 1919) and his mothers mother married at least 3 times. I dont really know any of my cousins on that side so we lost most of the connection. Where as Mums side my cousin did it.
    well I have up til about 1992ish.
    I think we have similar laws to Canada. I have been able to get army info from the war sites.

  107. Pat, you have been on an inspiring story of discovery. Yes, it would have been exciting to travel to the places where your ancestors walked. And you needn't look far for a treasure because it sounds like your hubby is one. Awh, it's so romantic.

    Thank you. :)

  108. Thank you, Sandra. I'm really, really happy to be here. Really. :D

  109. Thank you, Pat W. And for the record, you and me, both. I started our family tree just after we married, too. We even went to Ottawa and checked out the microfiche although at the time, we didn't really know what we were looking for.

    And then the baby came and between her and the military, time got away from us. And then more babies. And lots of goats. Does this sound familiar? Well, except for the goats and military? Heh.

    But we're both retired from the CAF and things are slowing down and when we found how easy it was to find people on Ancestry, we picked it up again.

    Believe me, it's a lot faster than the old days and so much more gratifying because of all the available material.

    I say go for it. Then let me know how you're doing, okay?

  110. (Anita reads Tina's Teenster comment with the dead people crack and gulps. Okaaaaaay. Noted.)


  111. See, Marilyn B... you were using your genealogy without even realizing it. Good stuff.

    It sounds like you're doing a lot of research even if you don't think of it that way. That's good.

    And yes, I will enjoy our new-to-us car. It sure beats the old one. Ha! Thank you. :)

  112. Hey Karyn, you made it here. Wahoo. :D

    You may leave the writing of historicals and family trees to others, but I believe your contemporaries take research too, just a different kind than I do.

    Thank you for being here today. Hopefully I'll have the books on hand when next we meet for coffee. :)

  113. Hey Nancy C, thank you for the kind words.

    About those old newspapers - I know, eh. Every time I come across something like those rollerskaters, I clip a snippet into my newspaper file. All the weird, wonderful, and crazy things that people say and do go into my file. And yes, some of them are doozies. Ha!

    About the publishing process for this book set... it was a work-for-hire project - something new to me - but then at this stage, it's all new to me. But here's how it went:
    - I sent in my short story
    - the editor sent it back with suggestions for change (not a line edit)
    - I made the appropriate changes and returned it to him
    - a week later, he said, thank you, the book will be out in October.

    That was it. However, if he hadn't liked my changes, he could have rejected my story and given me a kill fee for a portion of the total fee. It was even written in the contract that way.

  114. Awh Debby, you are very precious to me. Thank you for always making me feel special. You have a gift of making people feel you're giving them your full attention because they deserve it. That's truly God's hand on you.

    I'm beaming from your words because I know they're said with love. Such warmth. Thank you. :)

  115. Tina, I'm planning on driving my newish Ford Flex to the next ACFW conference in Denver. When is that again? Hmmm... I don't see it on the schedule. Wellllll, it may be awhile before I get there. :(

  116. Hey Cara, thank you.

    About your distant cousin having done the tree... one thing I wanted to say was that I've found many Draper trees which look good, but when I got down close enough, I noticed errors. You have to be careful because, with today's ease of getting records, some people accept information from people with similar trees but never check the facts.

    Like in our family tree, there is a Joel Draper Sr who begat a Joel Draper Jr and his brother, David Draper among other siblings. Joel Draper Jr married Sarah Sophia Deverell and then begat a David Draper who is Nelson's great-grandfather.

    But several other amateur genealogists in our tree have taken Sarah and put her as the wife of the David Draper who is brother to Joel Jr.

    Or they've put the dates of the older David in place of the younger one.

    But if they'd really checked the dates, they would have seen that something was wrong. But some of them don't check the dates and stuff, they take the info from another tree and assume it's correct.

    So Cara, unless your cousin is a professional genealogist, I would go over the tree and confirm that all is as it should be. Just my opinion.

  117. Thank you for coming back, Marianne. Yes, I agree, it would be very hard to find the boys' parents.

    BTW - I named my very first western heroine Maryanne after a schoolmate because I loved her attitude toward life. :D

  118. Mary C, that's wonderful!

    Yes, that's what I have - 4 pages each. I started in August 2012 and I post one letter a week. Noah and Ethel started their courtship in Feb 1911 and I just posted the Sep 10th letter on Monday. And I still have a couple months to go before they marry in Jan 1912.

    I say again that I only do 1 a week. But you can do 1 a month if that's all the time you have. The purpose is to make them available and really, after all this time, it's not like you're on a deadline with them.

    Yes, scanning is tedious, but it depends on your equipment. We use the printer we received free with our computer. I believe it was worth $29.99. It takes less than a minute to scan a page and I'm checking email or surfing Facebook while I'm waiting for it. Of course, to someone who runs after cows, watching a printer scan a document can be slow. :D

    One other thing I've done... I save my letters as .jpg so I can post them, but I also save them as .pdf because they take up less room and they're easier to email. Eventually I'll put all the .pdf's together into an ebook.

    One thing you can also do is ask someone in your family if it's something they'd like to do for you. It couldn't hurt to ask.

    I'll check your letter tomorrow as it's 1:27 am and I'm getting very tired.

  119. Mary, considering those pics are in your house, I was going to say, Guess who!

    But you said 60 yrs old, so of course, that rules you out.

    This is too funny. If you ever find out who they are, let me know, okay?

    Great find, by the way. That's a neat story right there. :D

  120. Thank you, Missy, and you're not late at all.

    Thank you so much. It means a lot that you stopped in to visit tonight. Hugs. :)

  121. Well, Jenny, I pray that God's hand is on your journey and that you find what you seek as He is willing to show you.

    You've been through a lot and you're still going strong. Kudos to you, my friend.

  122. My daughter & I went through the family documents not that long ago. I have a very interesting family tree - the death certificates alone. So many strange deaths - stupid is probably a better word.

  123. Mary, death certificates can show a lot of information, even if the cause shows a lack of good judgement. However, I feel the need to state that sometimes what seems stupid to us in our modern world, was a daily danger in theirs.

    This past summer we were honored to borrow some albums from Nelson's cousins - also grandchildren of Noah and Ethel - and one of the discoveries was a burial invoice for a baby girl whom Nelson hadn't known anything about. His cousins said she'd been stillborn and they later buried their mother with the baby. However, the only place the baby appears is on that burial invoice. You can bet that sad little piece of paper will be kept in their album. And now it's on our digital album as well in case anything happens to the original.

    Thank you for stopping by, Mary. Scan those DC's and save them. It's proof of their existence.

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  125. Anita, I very much enjoyed your post and your responses to the comments. I learned some things. Yes, hubby is a treasure.
    When in Wales I went to the grave site of my gr-gr-grandfather where he and 4 of the children are buried. All the children died within months of each other from a diptheria epidemic. So sad. Fortunately, one of the sons survived it and lived to be 99 yrs. old. All the best with your new car.

  126. I loved and enjoyed your post on genealogy. My Mother has been researching our ancestors and found that her grandmother (father's mother) was a full-blood Choctaw Indian. It has been so interesting and fun. Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway and please enter my name.
    Barbara Thompson

  127. Thank you, Pat. Some of my Genealogy notes at the bottom of each week's Courtship letters have talked about different diseases and the devastation they brought to families. In fact, the information moved me so much that I've included it in my story as one of Thomas and Eliza's deceased children.

  128. You're very welcome, Barbara.

    Up here, the First Nations are responsible for their own census statistics and are only included in the general population census records if they are living off the reservations. This means that it's difficult to research their heritage because it's not open to the public. However, I recently saw something come through on Ancestry for those researching Native Heritage, so that will help for sure. Hopefully, your comment and my response will help others looking for their roots. :)

  129. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing your genealogy. When my father died I got the genealogy research my great-aunt had completed on my dad's mother's side of the family. She had traced it all the way back to a baron! She was a member of the Magna Carta society, DAR, and a member of the Huguenot Society (not sure what that is, haven't done enough research)We had relatives that came over with William Penn.

    I then decided I wanted to trace my father's side of the family. Schreiner is a very uncommon name; at least, it was when I was growing up in Virginia and not PA! I had heard rumors that we were related to Olive Schreiner, a writer from Africa in the 19th century whose father was a missionary from Germany in the same town my family was from. I have traced back to the father's name that came from Germany, but I can't prove who he was in Germany. He came to PA in 1855 with his wife and son. Two of his other children's names are the names of the parents I am trying to prove are his and Olive's father's. I can't find this ancestor's death certificate b/c I don't know when he died, or exactly where, and I have to find the right courthouse in PA to find it.

    I had thought about writing a romance involving this family deciding to leave and immigrating to America. After this post, I just might have to do it! Thanks for the inspiration! Would love to be entered in the drawing!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  130. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing your genealogy. When my father died I got the genealogy research my great-aunt had completed on my dad's mother's side of the family. She had traced it all the way back to a baron! She was a member of the Magna Carta society, DAR, and a member of the Huguenot Society (not sure what that is, haven't done enough research)We had relatives that came over with William Penn.

    I then decided I wanted to trace my father's side of the family. Schreiner is a very uncommon name; at least, it was when I was growing up in Virginia and not PA! I had heard rumors that we were related to Olive Schreiner, a writer from Africa in the 19th century whose father was a missionary from Germany in the same town my family was from. I have traced back to the father's name that came from Germany, but I can't prove who he was in Germany. He came to PA in 1855 with his wife and son. Two of his other children's names are the names of the parents I am trying to prove are his and Olive's father's. I can't find this ancestor's death certificate b/c I don't know when he died, or exactly where, and I have to find the right courthouse in PA to find it.

    I had thought about writing a romance involving this family deciding to leave and immigrating to America. After this post, I just might have to do it! Thanks for the inspiration! Would love to be entered in the drawing!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  131. Wow, Sally, that's quite a pedigree. Good thing you know it's real.

    It's so easy for one person to take a wrong turn and then have everyone else follow along like lemmings without checking the facts. In Nelson's tree, the ancestor who emigrated from England in 1639 to be part of the initial settlement of Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, has such a controversial past because someone decided his father married the daughter of Sir Thomas Roberts. Yes, they all lived in the same location, but there was no proof of that marriage and even the history books have a different story of the baron's descendants. Yet so many people have claimed the baron as their ancestor, posting his crest on their trees, etc.

    On Nelson's tree, I have ignored all mention of the baron's family and joined a small group of descendants who have chosen to use proof of a commoner's marriage and ancestry which can be traced back to 1530 in the same location. I tell you, it would be nice to know the truth but it takes a lot of time and money to figure it out professionally due to the cost of travelling to the origin - like you're doing on your father's side.

    On your father's side, that's one thing I have noticed between ancestry.ca and .com. Up here, it's quite easy to locate birth, death, and marriage certificates online while I can never find any of them when I'm searched US records. You've just given me the reason... they're probably sitting in courthouse basements and haven't been transcribed yet. But it all evens out because like I said earlier, the 1940 US census records are online now but we're only up to the 1921 one up here.

    Yes, it's a problem finding people when they have the same names as their parents. But it's also very frustrating when you find a family where the parents names match the ones you are looking for, as does 6 of 9-12 children, and both families are from the same town and state. And that's what happened in our tree. Ugh. I showed Nelson photos and everything of his 'relatives' except that one detail kept niggling me... I finally dug deep enough to realize there were 2 families and the one with photographs was not his. Double Ugh.

    If you've wanted to write a romance using your family tree, I say go for it! :D

  132. Hello Laies of Seekerville. Been a long time sine I've visited. And Congrats to Anita for the release of her story in this Guideposts Christmas book. I would love to be winner of this book. I have so enjoyed listening to your post. Very interesting. I so enjoy hearing all of this about your research. And, happy for all of you who have stuff from your past family. I have nothing. Just a few pictures of my family on Dad's family sent to me by an aunt one tear. Wish I were more tech savvy and not so slow. For I would so love to have info about both sides of my family. And also my in-law families. i don't have enough info tho to get the ball rolling. My daught-in-law is trying to do it on my mother's family/ So far she does have more than I imagined. She showed me pictures of my great grandparents, and info on my grandmother, who died when mother was only 5. But no picture of my grandmother. I was the 7th child in my family, and never heard any stories about my ancestory. And, by the time I had starting to wonder, the ones I should have questioned were gone. So love the conversations on here, but takes me hours to read it all. Now will say goodnight and GOD bless you all. Maxie Anderson mac262(at)me(dot)com

  133. Hello Maxie, it's nice to see you back at Seekerville.

    Thank you for the congrats. Unfortunately, you missed the draw for the book set here at Seekerville, but I'll be giving away another book set in December only for those who've 'Liked' my Facebook Author page and you did that today, so you'll be entered in that automatically. :)

    Maxie, I can't stress enough that you are not alone as far as genealogy goes. Most people working with their family trees don't contact their immediate family or their 1st cousins. Usually, it's the 2nd and 3rd cousins and those 1x removed etc who you find and make contact with. And some of those could have a family photo.

    That's why I say the best thing you can do is to join a genealogy site and put whatever info you have on a family tree. My favorites are myHeritage and Ancestry but there are several others. What I like about ancestry is that once you have your info on your tree, the ancestry computers start giving you hints at possible relatives. They may not be yours, or they may be. But it's worth a search if you really want info and photos of those who've passed on.

    Thanks again. :)

  134. Hello all!
    My family is totally researched. I mean like, there is NO MORE info to eke out. But, hey, lucky me. My cousins are the James brothers. As in Frank and Jesse. Sorry, I'll stop making you jealous now.
    Oh and did I mention that my ancestors were neighbors to Bonnie and Clyde?
    Honestly I'll stop now...
    Even if I could go back on FOREVER.....