A Search For My Family History

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Location: "The Mother Lode" region, California

I retired in 2002, and I'm still loving it!

Monday, May 30, 2005

First Coed - Ohio University

Maggie Boyd 1846 - 1905 Posted by Hello
Although I find no relationship to Maggie, I have inherited photographs of her, as well as her parents. Once again I believe my Campbell family had collected and saved these photos of their friends and neighbors in Athens County Ohio.
Margaret Boyd was the youngest of nine children born to Daniel and Jane (Elliott) Boyd in Carthage Township.
Maggie's parents placed great value on education. Five of their children became teachers. One child became a lawyer, one a physician and another became both a minister and a teacher.
Maggie graduated from the University in 1873, as the first woman graduate.
I've been lucky most of the old photographs I inherited were labeled with both name and town or county. I have done research on all these photos in an attempt to discover whether they're ancestors, or not.
I happened to Google Daniel (Maggie's father) and stumbled across the Boyd Collection at Ohio U. They were kind enough to photocopy and send me some items of interest. I was able to provide them with scanned photos of the three Boyds. The picture above was of a younger Maggie, which they didn't have.
As yet, my children have little interest in my family search. I'm sure the antique photographs of non-related people will be of even less interest. This is why I'm adding notes to my living trust with regard to where these pictures might be donated. There is one post-it note already affixed, regarding the Boyd family... "Please donate to Ohio University."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My Great (and I do mean Great) Aunt Peg

Margaret Ann Larue Murray, about 1920- Posted by Hello
Great-Aunt Peg, my maternal grandmother's sister, was born about 1913 in Carroll County, Maryland. She was the youngest of three sisters who were left motherless during the influenza pandemic, on March 11, 1917.
Their father John Edward Murray kept the family intact, although his wife's Shipley family offered to take in the girls. As a teacher (and a farmer), he made sure they received a good education. Aunt Peg frequently mentioned his lessons on the importance of being thrifty, something she held dear to her heart.
My mother corresponded frequently with her Aunt. Soon after my mother's death in 1992, I received a letter (from Aunt Peg) written on the backs of those AdServer coupons we all receive in the mail... a full 10 pages of closely written script in which she'd finished the leftover ink of three different pens! It was entitled "My History Of The Family" and included her memories, as well as stories passed down through the family. Note: Last year I transcribed this letter, and forwarded it to The Shipleys Of Maryland for their archives.
Among the information found on the document was the fact that Aunt Peg had obtained her Masters Degree in Education, something of which I was unaware. She taught for forty-two years in Carroll County schools before retiring.
There are a lot of stories in those pages which I choose to retell at a later date... ahhh, blog fodder!
Although engaged once, she never married, and passed away in January of 1996. In typical Aunt Peg style, she always considered herself "an unclaimed blessing."
She may have been unclaimed, but she truly was a blessing.

Further note: My stats show that several people have Googled "great aunt peg" and come to this posting. If they were indeed looking for "the great aunt peg" who is a porn star, well what can I say except I'm sorry!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Cousin Abe?

At the Lincoln Memorial- Posted by Hello
I've learned a few things in the short time that I've been researching my ancestry. One of the most important is that one needs to locate specific records. This would include census documents, newspaper articles, and birth, death and marriage records.
I've perused the various ancestry message boards looking for clues of my own ancestry, and sometimes found valuable information. Before adding any of this newfound information, I like to double-check the data. I've seen hundreds of family tree errors, due to people outright copying unchecked information from others.
My mother used to tell us we were descended from William the Conqueror through our Shipley family, and I've seen that indicated on several sites. As I've not yet found the true father of Adam Shipley (supposedly the first of our family to arrive in America,) I cannot claim this as true.
Then there is the enigma of Abraham Lincoln's heritage.
I did some extra research yesterday, and found the two common beliefs about his family were about equally divided.
The side I'd like to believe states that Abraham was the son of Nancy Hanks, who was the daughter of Lucy Shipley. Lucy was the daughter of Robert Shipley Jr., who was the son of Robert Shipley. Robert Sr. was one of Adam Shipley's six children.
I'm descended from Robert Sr. as well, and also from Robert's brother Peter, so of course this story appeals to me.
The other side believes Abraham was the illegitimate son of Nancy Hanks, and that her mother may have been named Lucy, but not Shipley.
Apparently Abraham Lincoln's body is now encased within tons of concrete, and not available for DNA testing, so we may never know the truth about his birth.
I guess there are some things only a mother knows for sure.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who Should I Poke Fun At Today?

Me & Some Of The Family, about 1992- Posted by Hello
Anyone who has read this blog before knows I always poke fun at my dead relatives. I do attempt to do so with a semblence of humor.
Today's photo allows me several options, although I don't believe anyone in this picture has passed away (yet.)
Now there's my sister, the leggy blonde on the left. Her only fault, other than being leggy and blonde is her extreme tardiness! She actually will be late for her own funeral. Nuff said.
I can't pick on the children, shown in the front. Both my nephew, and my youngest daughter, are still young enough to be innocent of any wrong. So far...
My brother, shown with the bubble over his head deserves a bashing! He was the person who suggested I blog. Thanks dude! Just what I needed, yet another vice.
My son, sitting on the wall next to my brother is old enough to make fun of, but has no faults I can think of at this moment. He did, however, fall asleep on the grave of one of our Shipley ancestors on this trip!
My husband, wearing a plaid shirt, and just in front of my son, isn't feeling well so I'll have to leave him alone (today.)
Then there's my 2nd cousins husband Jack, standing next to my hubby. He and his wife were kind enough to give us the tour of Washington D.C. I hadn't lived there since the age of 5, so truly appreciated the offer. No problem there, except for the one little misdirection which sent us the wrong way down a one-way street!
This leaves me, the one posed in the middle with sunglasses. I'm not without fault, but this is my blog, so I'll list just one of my imperfections: I poke fun at dead people. But you already knew that...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Myself Revealed!

Me, about 1956, topless! Posted by Hello
I was tagged by Cheesecakey to reveal three things about myself, a multiple question quiz, which I posted on my Sierra Vistas site.
As I wasn't able to figure out how to post that information onto this blogsite, please bear with my stupidity!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Spittin' Image

Earl Francis Nicht, born 1901 Posted by Hello
My grandfather, Earl Francis Nicht was born in Rochester, New York, in May of 1901.
By the age of 18, he was shown as a "printer" working for the "Daily Paper."
I remember him working as a lithographer at the Rochester Democrat Newspaper. In his home was a photograph of himself at work, with his usual round eyeglasses, a visor, and the huge cigar clamped in one side of his mouth. He appeared more like a bookie than a lithographer.
For some strange reason, whenever I'd see a movie with Edward G. Robinson I'd think of him. Perhaps in my mind I held my grandfather in this earlier time period, where men were gents, women were dames, and organized crime figures were somewhat idolized. Sure, they were gunning for the G-Men, but they were also burning mortgages and paying a pretty penny to those who would harbor and feed the mobsters along the way.
The photograph above shows my grandfather long before his resemblence to Edward G. became apparent.
What frightens me is the fact that this picture looks exactly like my grandson! It's pretty obvious the grandson will be quite a bit taller than his great-great grandfather. I wonder if his grandchildren will see a resemblence to some actor who specialized in criminal roles, like James Gandolfini.
Of course it may just be those cigars.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mothers Day

Mom, about 1952- Posted by Hello
* I'm posting this early, as I may not be writing this week due to expected company *
My mother Dorothy Murray Warren Nicht was born in Maryland, in October 1932.
As a child, she lived on her Grandfather Murray's farm. Her memories of childhood spent on that farm consisted of running, quite fast, down a slope and breaking an arm. There was also the dreadful chicken incident where she learned just why it wasn't a good idea to name any of the resident chickens, which is also the day she refused to eat that particular Sunday dinner.
Mom attended nursing school, and almost graduated. She realized this wasn't a good career choice while attending a thumb amputation surgery. Fainting didn't bode well for a future nurse.
She was later a student at Towson, working toward a teaching degree; but as was common in those days, she fell in love, married, and quit school.
My mother gave birth to four children, and was lucky enough to stay home and care for us.
This woman never ever cussed... except once. Mom was driving, with us children, when another driver cut her off. She slammed on the brakes, and out of her mouth came the word shithead! We were totally shocked, but began giggling after recovering from the horror that our mother had said a bad word!
She went back to college to pick up the three units she was short, when we were older. An interest in Hospice care ensued, and she dived into more classes.
My father passed away, at the age of 59, in 1992. She followed several months later, also at the age of 59. We all feel she died of a broken heart.
Of course my mother is much missed. Her unfailing love and sense of humor most of all.
I can see (in my mind's eye) my mother watching from afar. And you know what she's saying whenever one of her children suffers the slings and arrows thrown by others... "shithead!"
Shithead Indeed!