Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Christmas Card from Granny's Paper Collection:

I've spent the last week getting my Christmas cards ready to mail.  Not an easy task with my reduced visual field but it's one of the traditions I'll continue as long as my eyes let me.  Blogger  Chris Otto posted on his Papergreat blog, about a vintage Christmas card by Hawthorne-Sommerfield that he has.  I found one of their cards among my grandmother's papers.  It was a Christmas card she received from her brother, Will B. Jakes and his wife Georgia.  There wasn't an envelope with it so I have no idea what year it was made or received.

Inside of the card & the signature

The bottom portion of the back of the card and the only info on the card. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving 1918

The Ralston Project at FamilyTreeDNA

Today's blog post focuses on the Ralston Project at FamilyTreeDNA.  While I have no direct Ralston connection, I do have Ralston cousin connections thru my King and Manire lines.  One of those cousins happens to be one of the administrators of the Ralston Project.  

I asked him to tell me and my readers more about the project.  The following was his response:

As a Ralston, I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have been asked, “Are you kin to the Ralston in Ralston-Purina?” We’ve all heard of it: Checkerboard logo, Rice Chex cereal, Chex mix for parties, Purina Dog Chow, Animal chow for just about any animal you can name.

The fact is, there never was a person named "Ralston" associated with the Purina Feed company. It was a marketing ploy, to piggyback on the Ralstonism movement that was popular near the beginning of the twentieth century.

But the net effect has been that everyone in America knows how to spell and pronounce the surname “Ralston". Or to put it better, we North Americans have all been brainwashed to this mindset.

There are over a dozen legitimate ways to spell the surname. There are probably at least 6 distinct ways to pronounce the variations in spelling. But the marketing efforts of the Ralston-Purina Company, TV ads, and the rest, have homogenized the spelling and pronunciation of the Surname Ralston, in North America.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. It makes it easier for strangers to understand how to spell and pronounce the name.

But other spellings and pronunciations are accepted elsewhere in the English-speaking world. So, Americans and Canadians should be aware that "RAWL-ston" is not the only way to pronounce it. That is just the way it has been pronounced in advertising for the last century.

So, in this limited context, the word R-A-L-S-T-O-N is an acronym for the following: Regime, Activity, Light, Strength, Temperation, Oxygen, and Nature.

So, although there was no “Ralston” in Ralston-Purina, there are many Ralstons in the world, most just regular folks, but some notable or famous ones. Are they all kin – or are they of different lineages? These families may spell their names differently; for example, Roulston, Raulston, Rolston, etc. The Ralston Project at FamilyTreeDNA.com wants to find out how/if these Ralstons are connected and where they originated. If you are a male Ralston (or variant of the name) you can help us with this effort and help yourself learn more about your origins. We are specifically looking for Ralston men who are:

  • Irish Rollestons with clear English descent
  • English Rollestons
  • Scottish Ralstons with ancestors from Beith, Kilwinning, Glasgow and surrounds.
  • Irish Roulstons/Rolstons/Ralstons, etc., or descendants of such.
  • Any Ralston who wishes to learn more about the origin of their paternal lineage.

For more information visit  Ralston Project at FamilyTreeDNA.com or The Ralston Project.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Visualizing DNA tested Descendants of an Ancestor Couple

If you are actively working to identify what relationship you share with your DNA matches, you have likely heard of the What Are The Odds tool, commonly referred to as WATO.   It is part of DNAPainter.com and you can learn more about all of the tools by visiting the website. While I use the tool mainly when I'm helping adoptees, lately I've been using it to get a visual of the assessment of people who have tested from specific ancestor couples.

One of my larger AncestryDNA Circles is that of Jabel Putman my 3rd Great Grandfather.  There are 106 members but I want to know if these testers represent someone from all of his children or just ones thru several branches. He is believed to have had 12 children.  Using the WATO tool I chart each line from Jabel to the tester.  I also look at the shared matches within the circle members to see if I can identify others who are descendants of Jabel who weren't included due to not having him in their tree.  I have added some that I've found at other sites as well.  Below is a closer look at two of the children of Jabel.  I didn't show the right side of the chart as it contains the names of living and testers but it gives you some idea of how it looks.

The chart is a work in progress.  I will be adding more testers as I identify them.
Of Jabel's 12 known children, it looks like all but 2 have descendants that have tested. There is a representation of the following among the Jabel Putman descendants:

2 of William's children
4 of Lavina's children
2 of Parry's children
3 of Hiram's children
4 of Noah's children
5 of Sarah/Sally's children
4 of Elizabeth's children
3 of Susan's children
3 of Janette's children
2 of Simpson's children

Please note that there are varying amounts of testers from each of those children's children who have tested.  Below is a zoomed out shot of the chart(just a small portion of it) which continues out to the testers on the right for each line.  This can be used to see the coverage or to identify testing opportunities.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Monday, November 05, 2018

Just a small portion of a family's paper trail

I have been planning for what seems like forever to go thru papers that were salvaged from Granny Cooke's Scrapbooks. To tell you what all the scrapbooks have been thru would take up more time than I wish to spend on this post.  Let's just say it's a miracle any of the contents survived.  I've had manila folders full of the contents in a file box for a number of years.  This weekend I processed a good bit of them.  I took each of the papers and put them in sheet protectors.  After arranging the pages in chronological order in a 3 ring binder, I began the process of cataloging each page.  I've finished with this notebook for now but I think it's safe to say there will be more added once I am able to get to some of the other files. 

The papers cover the time period from 1943 to 1976.  The following is a list of some of the types of papers that were included.

  • Report Cards
  • Certificate of Life Insurance(National Service Life Insurance)
  • Employment History Draft of my Uncle
  • Certificate of Promotion(School)
  • Letter Home while in Army(my Dad)
  • Television Repair Receipt
  • Receipt for purchase of Portable Record Player
  • Bill of Sale detailing financing for 1960 Rambler
  • Bank Note(Third National Bank)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Itemized Insurance Statement for Hospital Stay
  • Correspondence from Veterans Administration
  • An Employment Application filled out by my Dad 
  • Proof of Auto Insurance from Allstate(1967-1968)
  • Letter acknowledging  transfer of Church Membership from Old Hickory 1st Baptist Church
  • Letter from Dupont about Pensioners' Day
  • Loan Papers from First American National Bank
These papers all had dates on them and most even had addresses.  This captures what was going on with the family at that given point in time.