Friday, March 19, 2021

British Ancestors? Check Out the National Archives' Currency Converter


When researching your British forebears sometimes you come across records that mention a sum of money but have no idea what that sum was worth. For instance Peter Worden (my maternal 11th great grandfather) was born in Lancashire around 1569; opened a hat shop in nearby Preston; became a member of the city government; and lent eight shillings to the Borough of Preston in 1629. Eight shillings? It doesn't sound like much, but the currency converter tells me that it was equivalent to five days labor for skilled tradesman. 

Another example comes from the probate record for a friend's great grandfather:


When I plug in the value of his Effects, here's the result:


Of course all these calculations come with a disclaimer:





© 2021 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

New to Me: IKEA Museum's Catalog Collection

I think I remember the 1995 catalog.  It's a classic IKEA image
(IKEA Museum. 2020. Svenska IKEA Kataloger | IKEA Museum. [online] Available at: <https://ikeamuseum.com/sv/ikea-kataloger/> [Accessed 4 October 2020].)

I was looking for the 2021 IKEA catalog today, and came across a treasure trove that the Swedish company has provided - back issues from 1950 - 2020!

IKEA first came on my radar in the mid-1990s when my mom and her friend Nick drove me up to Orange County to shop at the nearest IKEA.  I thought at the time that it was weird to drive so far for a furniture store.  But they did have cool home furnishings for a very decent price.  And then I quickly learned that IKEA was a destination as much as a store.

I've gone there many times since.  My mom and I used to frequent our IKEA's cafeteria before this stupid Covid-19 (doesn't that seem like a lifetime ago?).  My son Marc and I went to IKEA many times when he was growing up.  I'd usually meet my friend Maria, who was also homeschooling her two children, at the babysitting place at the entrance of the San Diego IKEA.  We'd get the kids set up for an hour, take the lighted timers, and head up to the cafeteria for a much-needed coffee break.  And then we'd get the kids, go back to the cafeteria, eat, and then stroll around for a few hours.

I have a lot of happy memories that involve IKEA.  With only a few exceptions I've been house-bound since March(?), since I have so many pre-existing conditions, and my desire to go somewhere beside my home is growing ever stronger.  IKEA is one of the places I will likely go once I have to the okay from my doctors to stop sheltering in place.




© 2020 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Courthouse Fire: Hancock County, Georgia (August 14, 2014)

My Warren ancestors moved to Hancock County in the late 18th century and my direct lineage remained there until about 1830. I've been indebted to Family Search for their digitizing of Courthouse records microfilmed in the 1960s.

["Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G935-VWJT?cc=1999178&wc=9SBM-YWG%3A267654601%2C267808601 : 20 May 2014), Hancock > Wills and administration records 1837-1850 vol P-Q > image 3 of 662; citing Houston County Probate Court Judge, Georgia.]

Of course I've alway known that this represents only a part of all the records held in the 1881 Hancock County Courthouse (locally known as "Her Majesty") but I had always hoped to visit there one day and see what more I could learn about my family.

Alas! A fire started in the Courthouse* on August 14, 2014 and burned for three weeks because there was a store of coal in the basement. Enough of the brick structure survived** that the building has been rebuilt*** but it's not clear to me how much, is any, of the historical court records remain.

[31 Aug 2014, ZJ2 - The Atlanta Constitution at Newspapers.com]




*Only a year before, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation had placed the building on its “Places in Peril” list.
**More information here from a report by The Heritage Emergency Response Alliance (HERA) published twelve days after the fire started.
***This blogpost by Maria Saporta includes photos during and after the fire.


© 2020 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memento Mori: Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, honors the memory of all the people who have died while serving in the United States military.

This day of remembrance officially began on 30 May 1868 when the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It became a federal holiday in 1971.


Parks, Gordon, photographer. Gloucester, Massachusetts. Memorial Day, . A Legionaire sounding taps for the War dead during services. May. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017855725/>.

The title of the Memorial Day image above (from the Library of Congress) informs us that this bugler was sounding Taps, which dates to 1862.



Harold Delbert "Hal" Currey, Jr. (the only son of the parents who raised me) and my uncle John William "Jack" Slater, both Second Lieutenants in the Army Air Corps, died in action during World War II. You can see their pictures and read more about them here.



© 2020 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Quick Workaround: When You Can't See Ancestry.com Records from the Profile View

My 3rd cousin 3x removed Bixler cousin, Lewis Edward Bixler, who was a glass blower in Muncie, Indiana.  I want to add hashtags to his profile in my Legacy 9.0 database. Most of the hashtags I create come from information in the records I've attached to each profile at Ancestry.com.



But when I clicked on his 1900 Census to View the image I got this error message.


For whatever reason, Ancestry.com sometimes gets in its own way.  As an example, it has been impossible today to look at attached records by simply clicking the View button.

Fortunately there is a quick workaround.



Click on the Search link and...[edited to add: you can also click directly on the small image of the census and that will take you to directly to the image and not the indexed data]

The links to the census records are available to click, and this time they actually work.


And now I can see the indexed data Ancestry.com provided, and then View the image (unless there is a snag in the imaging function).



© 2020 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 3, 2020

My Living DNA Has Been Updated!

Yesterday I received an email from Living DNA announcing that a free update was available for my 2017 ancestry results.* So I followed the link, requested my update and was told that it was in process and would be complete in less than 48 hours. The confirming email arrived early this morning.

And here it is:**


[Living DNA Recent Ancestry]

According to their data, my recent DNA heritage is 100% European--5.7% from my 2X great grandmother Delilah Grove (1845-1925) and the remaining 94.3% Great Britain and Ireland from everyone else.

[Living DNA Recent Ancestry]

Of the more exotic traces claimed by my previous results only Orkney remains (with the addition of the Shetland Islands). My alleged connections to the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, and the Kurds and Pashtuns have disappeared.



*See my previous results here.
**Sadly the company has chosen to show everything in a low contrast format so you may find it hard to read.. And I've emailed them about that.


© 2020 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

I Finally Found My 2nd Grand Uncle Herbert W. "Dutch" Porter's Obituary

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 03 February 2020), memorial page for Herbert W Porter (1899–1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 173492189, citing Mount Harmony Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Bulldog Fan (contributor 48178484).


I have been struggling for years to find the death record or obituary for my 2nd grand uncle, Herbert W. "Dutch" Porter, my great grandmother Letta Estella Porter's brother.  Because he spent many decades in Chicago I kept looking there for his death record, but none of the Herbert Porters who died there matched his information.  I also had reason to believe he had lived until at least 1974.

Now, thanks to the constant updating of Ancestry's databases, I effortlessly stumbled on his obituary yesterday, but it was in 1971 in Cobb County, Georgia!  I would never have thought to look for him there.

Porter -- Funeral services for Mr. Herbert W. Porter, age 72, 4213 Springdale Circle, Powder Springs will be conducted Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the McEachern Methodist Church with remains placed in state at 2 p.m. Rev. William G. Edwards, officiating. Interment, Mt. Harmony Memorial Gardens. Survivors include wife, Mrs. Helen Porter; sisters, Mrs. Estella Turnball, Dallas; Mrs. Annie Sue Graham, Venice, Calif.; brothers, Mr. Calvin Porter, Dallas; Mr. Orville Porter, Los Angeles, Calif.  Turk's Memory Chapel, Powder Springs, 943-3547.
"Porter," obituary, The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, GA), Wednesday, 29 Dec 1971, page 25, col 6; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://newspapers.com), accessed 2 Feb 2020.




© 2020 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.