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“Lest We Forget” March 5, 1913

"Got up at 6:30..."

“Got up at 6:30…”

March 5, 1913
“Lest We Forget”

Got up at 6:30 and got ready to work. Cullerne went to the office and didn’t get back till nine and told us that Arthur was coming out with us. We all had dinner out. Arthur was about all in. We got back about 6:31 Weather a little dark and cloudie

Jim’s [?] letter [ ] a letter from Agatha and a card from C B L A

Help! If anyone can make out the last 2 lines, I’d appreciate it!

By the way…it’s 11:25 AM and we’ve barely gotten a snowflake! The news is showing video from areas not too far from here with upp to a foot of the white stuff… I hope that’s the story for the rest of the day because I’m on my way out to a genealogy workshop to help some “beginners” find their families.

February 2, 1913—Do They “Celebrate” Groundhogs Day in Canada???

Here’s the last page that I’ve transcribed ahead of time. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be transcribing directly from Clem Dickson’s diary, “Lest We Forget”. It’s getting pretty fragile so I hope I can work with it without causing any additional wear and tear.

Sunday, February 2, 1913

We did not get up till 830 this morning. Our morning to sleep. We had breakfast in Jenkins. Then the day’s work starts.

By the way, Karen and I went to a fundraiser at First Church in Ludlow this morning called “Ice Cream for Breakfast.” This a “really?” moment: Ice cream for breakfast? REALLY?!?!? The place was MOBBED!!! I think this will catch on….go figure!

And yes, “First Church in Ludlow” was the first church in Ludlow, MA. It was established in 1774 and the first minister was a guy named Pelatiah Chapin. By an outrageous coincidence, Rev Pelatiah turns out to be an early cousin of mine, a few times removed, of course! More on that in another post…it gets sorta interesting!

Clem Dickson Diary “Lest We Forget” Wednesday, January 8, 1913

Keep in mind that when my grandfather, Clem Dickson, wrote this diary 100 years ago, he was working on the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad in northwest Canada, a bitterly cold and primal wilderness .  He worked with the team that was responsible for construction westward from Winnipeg, Manitoba toward the team that began in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and worked eastward toward Winnipeg a total distance of about 1,500 miles.

[NOTE: I make no attempt to interpret what he wrote.  What I’ll be posting every day this year is a simple transcription of each page of the diary as he wrote it.]

Here’s the entry:

Stayed in the 7 spot all day and kept on the fire all day.  Weather was about 24 below and a cold wind blowing the same as day before and snow blowing.  Wrote two letters in the afternoon one to J/A/ R. Bob Dickson Nan(?)

Introduction to Genealogy—Becoming a Genealogy Detective!

Anyone near Wilbraham, MA tonight is welcome to stop at the Wilbraham Public Library tonight.  It’s the 3rd in a 4 part series “Introduction to Genealogy”.  Each week there have been more and more participants so feel free to call the library at 413-596-6141 to make sure there’ll be room!  Based on the popularity, I can see that there just might be some future programs.  The last in this series will be held February 11th where we’ll work on individual pedigree charts and whatever other subjects may come up.

This series is “sponsored” by the Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society (WMGS) in an effort to help people who are interested in family research and encourage them to take part in courses such as these and introduce them to WMGS.  Annual membership is only $20 and includes 10 monthly meetings held locally.

Over the full 4 sessions, we cover the basics of research, web sites (free and low-cost), definitions (soundex, vital records, etc), specific resources, naturalization, immigration, Ellis Island, name changes, spelling variations and “myth busting”!

Hopefully, some of you can make it tonight!  See you there.

Old Bones on LCTV—Interviewing Relatives

Here’s the video of my interview with “Mrs Buttercup” for Ludlow Community Televisoion. I’m describing the value of contacting relatives for the purpose of learning about their childhood, where they grew up, what their family life was like, what games they played as children and dozens more questions. All of this in the interest of making the cold dry facts of genealogy research come to life by “putting some meat on the bones”, telling a real family story, give your family history some color and make it interesting.  Click this link and take a look: Old Bones on Interviewing Relatives for Family Research.  The sooner a good family researcher gets to their family members, the better the chance to capture the treasures of their memories.

Questions are tailored to trigger those memories.  Here are some examples: “Did you go to your grandmother’s for special dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc?”, “Do you have pleasant memories of the aromas in her kitchen?”, “Can you still “smell them at times?”, “Did your family eat dinner together at the table?”, “Did everyone have their own place to sit?”.  These questions should elicit more than a one word response; they should be the foundation of stories as the person you are interviewing begins to remember their childhood and how they interacted with their family.  Good or bad, you’re sure to get some great stories.  When I interviewed my Great Aunt Sarah, we got to talking about some of the mischief she was involved in.  She admitted to me (and I was the first to hear her “confession”!) that she was the one who painted the neighbor’s cat blue when she was about 7 years old.  She never really liked that cat!!

If you’re going to take on this as a project and get some interviews, I strongly recommend using a digital recorder.  Get permission to use it in the interview.  Some people can be very intimidated by a recording device and small digital recorders can just sit on the table without microphones and other recording technology.  Very soon into the interview, everyone will just forget that it’s there.  After you get permission, ask AGAIN after the recording starts.  You may be getting along just fine today, but you want to make sure that the person’s voice can be clearly heard agreeing to taping the interview .  Not that you’re going to publish the recording or put it in the public donain, but it’s a good idea to get approval!  Take your time…you’re probably not going to get this done in one session.

I’ll be hosting some classes in the interview process and possibly record a “lesson” to post on YouTube wich I’d link here.

Stay tuned!

Old Bones on YouTube!

Great news…I think!  I’ve finally figured out how to get my debut performance on Ludlow Community TV uploaded to YouTube.  Click here http://youtu.be/3GqKT2WEov4 to view. This one is about basics. But I just recorded the second session where we talked about interviewing relatives as a part of your family research.  I’ll be uploading that one later this week.  Comments are welcome!!  And don’t forget to visit www.oldbones.co where I try to keep up with all upcoming programs.

Introduction to Genealogy Sessions will continue at First Church in Ludlow

The fundraiser for the First Church in Ludlow that just completed was a very successful program. I believe that all the participants learned at least something and most picked up a lot of information regarding doing their own family research.  In some cases, the participants have asked me to help them along, which is, of course, my business!!

We covered a great many topics from simply getting started.  How?  Just write what you know.  The easiest tool to keep track of that data is a pedigree chart.  You start with yourself and build generations back as far as you know.  Names, dates, births, marriages, deaths, locations….whatever you can remember.

Then the verification process begins.  Did Uncle Fred come to the United States in 1893 or 1898?  Was great grandma married once, twice…or three times!!

In a nutshell, we filled 5 weeks with an enormous amount of information.  Everyone took notes and everyone left with more than they expected, I believe, because I tried my best to give everyone their own packets consisting of their own family’s census records, draft registration cards, birth, marriage and death records…whatever relevant documents I could find pertaining to each person.

So, now we begin again.  I’ve requested the opportunity to conduct another series of classes and the Church has given me the green light.

Who do you know that would be interested in spending about an hour and a half on Monday nights to learn about becoming a genealogical detective?

Contact me directly at dave@oldbones.co or check out the web site at www.oldbones.co.