Sunday, March 31, 2024

Celebrations: Easter Sunday - 1951 (Again & Again)

Here's four-year old me with my Easter basket on my trusty tricycle in the backyard in Encanto; the blooming tree behind me is an avocado.

[Making its 3rd annual appearance, this photo is from my personal collection]

The Easter basket was a present from Jessie and Jimmy Neal.

I'm sharing this oldie but goodie for a third time.

© 2024 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry & Happy!

I don’t own any quilts that my ancestors may have made, but I thought I’d share this amazing one donated to the American Folk Art Museum by the family of its creator. 

American Folk Art Museum
This extraordinary quilt was gifted to AFAM by a descendant of the maker, and was discovered during the Museum's New York Quilt Project, an ambitious statewide quilt documentation effort initiated in 1985. Over a period of 21 months, more than 6,000 quilts were examined and recorded in counties around the state.⁠
Stars, in all their variety, were among the most prevalent patterns seen. In this example, a field of spinning compass stars is surrounded by a border of beautiful appliqu├ęd trees. The quiltmaker, Elsey Halstead, meticulously cross-stitched her name, the location, and the date on the quilt. ⁠
Elsey A. Halstead (1830–1850), "Rising Star Variation Quilt," Minisink (now Middletown), New York, United States, March 23 c. 1848. Cotton, 100 × 85". Gift of Kathryn Trotta Kane and family in memory of our beloved grandmother Margaret Halstead Minch. May an appreciation of the love, beauty, and hard work that went into this quilt continue to inspire future generations. We sincerely hope that others will experience the same joy the quilt has given our family over many years, 2012.16.1. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

© 2023 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kate Jarvik Birch (American, born 1977) Untitled [Cranberry Sauce], 2020
Gouache on paper, 6 x 6 inches. Private collection

Even though I haven't posted anything for quite a while, I often check for new comments that have been left here. Through them I've discovered new cousins, learned additional information and in several cases been able to answer questions or point someone to a useful source. Today something led me to take a look at the blog's stats and I was amazed!

Our 1,650 posts have garnered over 468,000 views, almost 1,000 so far today! 

Thank you everyone!

© 2023 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

I asked Bing's Copilot AI about Solomon Joseph Hartley (1774-1814)

I'm warming up to using AI for help with genealogy, so I asked Bing's Copilot about my 4th Great Grandfather Solomon Joseph Hartley:

"What can you tell me about Solomon Joseph Hartley, a rigger who died in 1814?"

More Balanced:
Solomon Joseph Hartley was a **rigger** in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was born in either **Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania** or **Poland/Germany** around **1774** ¹. A rigger is someone who works with ropes, cables, and pulleys to lift or move heavy objects. He married **Mary Gwinnup** around **1803** ². They had at least **four children**: John, Mary, Solomon, and William ³. He died in **August 1814** at the age of 40 and was buried in the **Second Baptist Church Burial Ground** in Philadelphia ¹.

Here is a short poem I wrote about Solomon Joseph Hartley:

He worked with ropes and cables
To lift the heavy loads
He lived in Philadelphia
A city of many roads

He married Mary Gwinnup
And raised a family
He died too young, but left a mark
On his posterity

Source: Conversation with Bing, 11/9/2023
(1) Solomon Joseph Hartley (1774-1814) - Find a Grave Memorial.
(2) Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940 • FamilySearch.
(3) Search Historical Records • FamilySearch.

More Precise:
Solomon Joseph Hartley was born in 1774 and died in August 1814 at the age of 39-40¹. He worked as a rigger in Philadelphia¹. There are some records suggesting that he was born in either "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania" or Poland/Germany¹. He married Mary Gwinnup around 1803¹. His burial took place at the Second Baptist Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania¹.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 11/9/2023
(1) Solomon Joseph Hartley (1774-1814) - Find a Grave Memorial.
(2) Search Historical Records • FamilySearch.
(3) United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors ....

More Creative
Solomon Joseph Hartley was a rigger who lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1774 and died in August 1814 at the age of 39-40. He married Mary Gwinnup around 1803 and had several children. He was buried at the Second Baptist Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia. You can find more information about him on [this website](^1^).

Source: Conversation with Bing, 11/9/2023
(1) Solomon Joseph Hartley (1774-1814) - Find a Grave Memorial.
(2) Hartley DNA - WikiTree.
(3) Thomas Bell 1775-1825 - Ancestry®. [Cmanczuk note: Who is Thomas Bell??]

I'm not sure why the More Balanced mode gave me the poem(!!).

© 2023 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

New User-Friendly Website for Alabama Department of Archives and History Resources

[Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons]

Earlier this month, the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) launched its new website which will make it easier for those of us with ancestors who lived in the state to access its extensive archive collections.

ADAH Director Steve Murray provides a brief introduction and tour.

I haven't had a chance yet to see if there are any records in the digital collections that relate to my Warren, Hardy, Chappell, and Freeman forebears. I'll let you know if/when I do.

© 2022 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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: <> [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.