Monday, February 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday Dudley Kent Of Suffield, Connecticut

When I visited Suffield, Connecticut in 2011, I was very disappointed that my local ancestor's headstones no longer exist. I was told by a staff member at the Kent Memorial Library that the church had expanded and renovated over the years and built the additions to the church over the graves. Although I was very disappointed, I was happy to find this wonderful headstone for Dudley Kent. Dudley was born to John Kent (my ancestor) and his first wife Abigail Dudley (who is not my ancestor). Dudley was born in Suffield on 23 October 1695 and married Ruth Ruggles who bore him 10 children. Dudley lived to be 71 years old.The headstone is a typical style for the Hartford County area of this period. We are very fortunate his headstone exists in remarkable condition considering it is over 246 years old!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Funeral Card Friday - Mary Earle Huffman Rigsby

Mary Earle Huffman was the sister of my biological grandfather William Huffman. She was known by her middle name Earle. Earle was born on the 9th of May 1903 in Barren County, Kentucky. Her parents were (James) Marion and Mary Belle (Baldock) Huffman. Her siblings were:
  • Sherman Arthur Huffman
  • Otha Marion Huffman
  • Nannie Mae Huffman Rigsby
  • Mattie S. Huffman
  • Carl Thomas Huffman
  • Earl Huffman
  • William Marion Huffman
Earle married John Rigsby in Barren County and had 3 children. Earle lived to be 90 years old and was loved by all who knew her. Below is her funeral card.

Treasure Chest Thursday - My Grandmother's Quilt

My mother's mother was Myrtle (Schmitt) Dewey. She was quite the crafty woman and was accomplished at sewing, needlepoint and even made quite beautiful Christmas ornaments. She was the perfect grandmother in every way except one. She lived over a thousand miles away in San Diego, California.
Both my mother and my grandmother were quite gifted in the art of letter writing. My grandmother wrote me every week and I reciprocated until her death in 1973. When I was 10 years old my grandmother came to Chicago and stayed with us for a month to help care for my mother after her hysterectomy. She brought with her one of the quilts she had made from her husband's neckties. This quilt is a small piece of both my grandmother and grandfather. Knowing how proper was grandfather was, I was quite surprised at how whimsical some of his ties were and wondered if he actually wore them. Although the pictures do not do it justice, it is one of my prized possessions because it reminds me of my sweet grandma.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Motivation Monday - Life Happens

I realize I have not made many blog posts or updates to my websites this year. I have actually been uncharacteristically very quiet on my blog as well as all social media and my websites have not been updated. I have had good reasons for this though. 2012 was a huge year for me personally. In July I received my original birth certificate with revealed my original name at birth before I was adopted. I had no idea at that time the emotional journey that would transpire in the days and months to follow after meeting my biological family. I have learned more about myself and my own personal past in the past 6 months than I could ever imagine. I have also spent this time trying to get to know my new found family and have discovered so much about myself as a result. Because their world and mine are so different, I have had a unique view into what aspects of our personalities are influenced by genetics and what was a result of environment, learning and life experiences. My life has been dramatically changed forever. If you ask a genealogist why they do what they do, many may tell you it is a journey to discover where (and who) they come from. But for an adopted person it is all that and to discover themselves as well. To know who they look like and what personality traits they share with whom, family health history and so much more. I did not have that basic knowledge. The past 6 months have been an unexpected intense journey of discovery for me. I have been given answers to questions I never knew existed until I met my brother. We share so many personality traits it is hard to believe how different we were raised in every way but still have so much in common in our personalities. It has been an exciting and very happy time in my life. It has also been quite healing. However, I have also had another issue in my life that takes most of my time. I prefer to keep the circumstances private for now. It has been these things that have kept me silent on social networking, my blog and my websites. I simply have not had the time or energy.
Finding my biological family has been an amazing, happy journey of discovery. It has also been a time of confusion for me. From a genealogy point of view, I have become uncertain where I belong. I have begun many blog posts for various branches of both my biological lines as well as lines for the family that raised me. These posts have never been completed because I simply have not felt right posting them. I have been uncomfortable writing about any of my family lines. The term family became quite complicated for me. I imagine this was all part of my personal journey of processing everything in my mind. The fact is I should be writing about both my biological and adoptive families. My biological family is my bloodline, my DNA and part of why I am who I am. My adoptive family is also a huge part of why I am who I am and I love them all dearly. And I know them well. They are both my family. So I have decided to simply jump back in as time permits. Since I did not grow up knowing my biological family or hear family stories as I grew up, I will need more help from them to learn and more work will be necessary to write the Huffman-Smith stories. They have all been wonderful about that and I am learning. 2013 will be the year I begin writing about the Huffman and Smith families, however, I still have so much work to do to finish writing about the Napolitano families and Dewey families and have no intention of stopping my work on them. I have decided to redesign my website Early American Ancestors to add the Huffman and Smith families. Before I do that, I need to choose a new CSS based template for a totally new look and begin writing the Huffman and Smith family genealogy. This will be a lot of work and my plate is pretty full with my personal issue so I will be unable to create any time schedules for myself. I will have to do what I can, when I can. My huge list of priorities will have to wait and I must be patient. I hope everyone understands.