30 June 2009

City Directories + Google Maps = Happy Dance

funston_ollie_joe My Great-Aunt Ollie (Britt) Funston is unique when compared to the rest of the women in my family. Unlike her ancestors and contemporaries, Ollie left home. All other women in my tree married and settled down. A few followed their families to the next town or county, across the state or to the one next door. None left the south east. But Ollie traveled. She married a man from Pennsylvania named Joe Funston, who's family seems to have been a bit wealthy. Joe was in the army and he and Ollie criss-crossed the country together. They had no children to hold them back.

But all of this movement makes them hard to track. On top of that, Ollie and Joe died relatively young, leaving only a few clues behind - and those few clues make me even more curious about their lives! There are photos and postcards from the many places they visited, newspaper clippings from Joe's time in the army and golf tournaments he played in, and Ollie's Aircraft Assembly Certification Certificate. Along with these documents, as well as obituaries and the scant facts remembered by family, I know that the couple spent quite a lot of time in California, so I've been concentrating my searches there. Today, I had some success (and this is where the title of my post comes in).

I've searched city directories for this couple before, but today I had success. I found Joe and Ollie living in San Diego in the 1947-48 City Directory. Yay!

Armed with an address, I headed to Google Maps to see if the house was still there. Google Maps is a toss-up for finding good results. Sometimes you can locate a house and sometimes you can't. There are a number of factors: the building might no long exist, the address might have changed, etc. Even if these factors are still true, the location that Google gives is not always accurate. For example, if I were to search for my home, Google would put me two houses down the street.

Because of these challenges I have a strategy: go into street view and look for house numbers. Sometimes you luck out and the house you're looking for has a prominently displayed address, but often not. I've often "walked" half-way down a street to find a house number, but it was worth it. You'll confirm what side of the street is odd or even, and can find a numbering pattern. In my search today, however, I was lucky and the building I was looking for had a prominently displayed house number.

You can see at the bottom right of the building, just above a plant, a sign that reads "2463 In Rear." It's not often that I can find a sign pointing the way to an ancestor's home. Happy Dance!

Although it it likely that the couple lived here only a short time, it is still exciting to be able to see even such a small part of their lives. It also gives me hope that I will continue to find more.

Tombstone Tuesday - Funston

Joseph "Joe" Funston Jr. was my Great-Uncle and is buried in the Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Cobb, Georgia. He married my Great-Aunt Ollie Britt (1924-1966). Joe was born in Pennsylvania, but the couple traveled a lot, living in California for a time. Joe was in the army and served in World War II. He died on 3 Mar 1958 in Dodge County, GA

26 June 2009

Who was Ernie Lee Moore?

Who is Ernie Lee Moore?

The back of this photo is addressed to Ruby Waters (my maternal great-grandmother). It is from Ernie Lee Moore, sent from a CCC Camp in TN. So, who was Ernie Lee Moore?

25 June 2009

Happy Blogiversary to me!

My first entry to a blog style format was on 25 June 2007. I started a blog on a self-made page on my Reunion created website (here). The entries were mostly updates on my research efforts. When the page began to get too long, I moved my entries to a blog at Bravenet. A while after that, I became aware of the genealogy blogging community as a whole. I felt stifled by the option of my Bravenet blog and moved once again, this time to Blogger. This post will be my 226th.

To celebrate, cake for everyone.

Sarah & Valerie's first birthday

23 June 2009


I've decided to make biographical "This Is Your Live" scrapbooks for each of my parents. In order to do this I'm asking lots of questions about their childhood and early lives (which is just one more excuse - I'd do this anyway). One random tidbit I learned today about my dad:

squirrel in the vinesWhen he was 15 years old he bought his own rifle: a Marlin .22 (probably a Model 60). He used this gun to hunt squirrels in the undeveloped land around his home. He gave to squirrels to the neighbors to eat, having tried them once and not liking them. He calls them rodents with furry tails.

Today, I shoot squirrels with my Nikon D40x

22 June 2009

Choosing a Surname

One non-genealogy blog that I follow is The Baby Name Wizard blog, by Laura Wattenburg at BabyNameWizard.com. In a recent series of posts, she's discussed who gets to pick a baby's name. She feels that choosing a baby's name is a very important aspect of the baby's identity and doesn't agree with the argument of "the man gets the surname so the woman should get the first name."

She then goes into detail about how the surname isn't a given anyway. Parents have option on the surname as well. Check it out.

21 June 2009

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy. You've been a great dad and did what you could to spoil me, but to also raise me well.

Kenny & Children

19 June 2009

Available for Scrapbookers

Genealogy Scrapbooking at Archivers I was at Archivers today (a chain scrapbook and craft store) and was impressed by their improved selection of genealogy themed items. Previously, the selection has been smaller and distributed throughout the store. Now, the selection is larger and is in it's own area.

Genealogy Scrapbooking at ArchiversThe products are from many different companies are range from "modern" to "antique" styles. Companies include scrapbooking staples such as Making Memories and creative Imaginations, as well as products from Ancestry.com. These companies are producing great papers, buttons, stickers, alphabets, embellishments and even questionnaire cards.

If you were a genealogist interested in scrapbooking, Archivers has come a long way in making getting started easy.

Genealogy Scrapbooking at Archivers

Genealogy Scrapbooking at Archivers

18 June 2009

New Features at the big sites

Footnote.com has added a new search feature: search by state. With a link on the main page, now it's easier to search for records geographically. Just click on state you'd like to search on the USA map and you will see a list of all "collections" for that state. When you click on an individual collection you are taken to a search form, that already includes the state in it's search parameters. Very nice.

Ancestry.com also announced new, upcoming features, called "member connect". There are a number of functions that will be introduced. I think these new features look awesome! Ancestry is adding some features that are like the ones footnote.com has (which are some of my favorite things about footnote). I'm most excited about the new document viewer and that you will be able to see which other researchers are viewing the document. I'm always happy to be able to find other researchers I can connect with. It would be amazing if this feature has already been actively tracking views - otherwise researchers should probably go back and re-visit key documents in their research so that they are affiliated with the document.

I'm always glad to see that these big sites are continuing to add new features and function that better their sites.

16 June 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Patrick Cleburne Confederate Memorial Cemetery

I've never been to this particular cemetery, but I read about it in a Clayton County tourism brochure. The Patrick Cleburne Confederate Memorial Cemetery is located at the intersection of Johnson and McDonough Streets in Jonesboro, Clayton County, GA. The neat thing about this cemetery: It's shaped like the Confederate Flag. It's a little hard to see, but take a look:

(cemetery image from google maps)

15 June 2009

In the Kitchen - Chicken Fried Steak (Cube Steak)

In our house, my Dad was the cook. One of my favorite dinners was always Chicken Fried Steak. We called it Cube Steak, after the type of meat used. My sister, Sarah, never like Cube Steak though, so Dad made her a hamburger. You would not be wrong to call us spoiled where Daddy's cooking was concerned. Anyway, here's his recipe:

Cube Steak (Chicken Fried Steak)Ingredients:
Cube Steak
1 Egg
2 1/2 cups milk
1 Pound Flour
Salt & Pepper
Paper towls

In a large bowl, beat the egg and add the milk. Mix this together. Pour flour into a zip-lock bag and add salt & pepper. Dunk cube steak in eggs/milk and then put it into the flour bag. Shake! You are now very messy, 'cause you've done all of this with your hands. Clean up with paper towels. Heat a pan and add 1/2 inch deep oil. Test heat with water and check for sizzle. Place steak in pan. Cook 5 minutes, flip. Repeat twice and cover. Flip again, cook 5 minutes, uncovered. (20 or so minutes total). Eat and enjoy. Add biscuit gravy if desired.

Monday Memories - At the Beach

For the 74th edition of Carnival of Genealogy: Swim Suit Edition, my mom provided me with a story about a family vacation, in which she saw the ocean for the first time.

ruby & lloyd albea"Ok '64 - so I would have been how old? 10? I turned 10 in August. See, I had the Red swim suit and your Aunt June had the blue swim suit. I they had the little white anchor embroidered down at the hem line. I remember that. We got those right before the trip. Everybody got new swim suits. Lloyd and Larry had matching swim trunks and Roy and Charlie had different ones.

And, the pictures were taken - we were going to Merritt Island, FL to visit my Aunt Katherine and Uncle Milton. Cape Canaveral? Uncle Milton worked at the military base there - I think it was Cape Canaveral. So we were going down there to visit them and they lived on Merritt Island. And it was a long drive by car. So, what mama and daddy did was they fixed up the back seat with pillows and stuff to make it like a little bed back there. 'Cause it was a Ford Galaxy 500. And those were big cars back then, you had big roomy back seats. So what we did was, we left out late at night so that, hopefully, us kids would sleep through the whole trip.

june & charlie albeaWe didn't know about seat belts then. They were not required. There were six kids - there were not six seat belts. And I don't think there were even seat belts. But I think mama told me one time that daddy just pushed them down in the seat.

Now, I do know that we stopped at least one. 'Cause they woke me up to eat fried chicken. And did not like bein' woke up. And then, I think they woke us up at the state line - it might have been the next mornin'. I remember bein' confused 'cause it didn't look any different. And I do remember it was daylight when we finally got to Uncle Milton and Aunt Katherine's.

I don't know how long we stayed, but I do know it took a while - well, I know we kept having to be reminded to shut the door, 'cause she had air conditioning. And we'd never had air conditioning.

I remember when we drove to the beach, I couldn't understand why it took so long to get to the beach 'cause we were already in florida. And we were on an Island! But we had to go over these loooong bridges to get to the beach. And that larry & "little" roywe the first time I ever saw the island. And we had a wonderful time - except for [your] Grandmama. 'Cause she just kept saying "don't go out over your heads." There were six of us, and she was scared one of us was going to drown.

And I don't know if it was your Uncle Lloyd or your Uncle Larry, but one of them had no fear of the ocean whatsoever. 'Course, I was good and never went out over my head. The other thing I remember about the beach - I mean, about going to Florida was, in the afternoons, you couldn't go outside because the mosquito trucks came by. And that's mostly what I remember. I don't even remember comin' home, I just remember goin' down there and havin' fun."

04 June 2009

Another GA Death Certificate - with COD

I recently requested four death certificates from the GA Vital Records Department and received copies back in which the cause of death had been removed. It was suggested that this was a privacy issue, and that GA, like many states kept back the COD for deaths within the last 50 years. But, I had received back other certificates, from deaths within that time span, that did include the COD. And, the GA Vital Records Website does not state any such restrictions.

Now, I have received back a fourth recently requested death certificate - and this one did include the cause of death. The funny thing? I received two copies: one with the COD and one without. I only paid for one copy. Also, this ancestor died in 1953, the same year that one of the other ancestors died, and who's death certificate did not include COD.

I have to conclude that the GA Vital Records office doesn't know it's own policies! I've sent them an email, enquiring as to their policy on listing causes of death.

Here is the latest one I received, about my Great-Grandmother, Ruby Lee Waters Huyler. She died of "chronic and acute alcoholism." (click for a larger image)

death: huyler, ruby lee waters

02 June 2009

A Sign of the Times

Searching City Directories from Greenville, Greenville, SC, I found my Great-Aunt and Uncle, F. N. "Tootsie" (Albea) and Doyle L. Clary in a number of volumes. In the 1943-44 volume I saw that Uncle Doyle's occupation had changed. In previous years, he had been listed as a worker at Brandon Mill, but now his occupation was "USA" (though his wife did still work for Brandon).

I showed the listing to my mom, who immediately said that it must stand for United States Army! She then pointed out others on the page listed with "USN" (Navy). I checked my files and, sure enough, Uncle Doyle joined the Army on 6 Oct 1942 at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC.

I then noticed how very many men in the directory had USA, USN or USMC listed as their occupation. With WWII well under way at this point, it makes sense that so many men would be in the military - but it's another thing to look through a city directory and see the names of those men (and women). So many! It really shows how many folks were affected by the war and makes me wonder how life in this town was affected. I wonder how a person might feel to be looking through the directory and see their spouse's name listed with there own, while they were actually half-way around the world. It makes me sad to think of it.

In the abbreviations section, the different military abbreviations are listed, though I imagine no one would have needed to look up these particular abbreviations at the time!

Also, under "U" (United States Government), interested individuals could find out where to sign up for their military unit of choice and find the listing of the local Army Air Force Base.

And proof of World War II wasn't limited just to official government and civilian listing. Throughout the directory, there was proof of the war effort in advertisements. Patriotism was at an all time high, and you could "take a direct part in building the defenses of your country" by purchasing War Bonds, "needed so urgently for Victory."

Images and information from Hill’s Greenville (Greenville County, SC) City Directory 1943-1944, Hill Directory Co., Inc., Richmond, VA., Ancestry.com

Tombstone Tuesday - Quattlebaum

Milledge Evander Quattlebaum and Mary Jane "Mamie" Dorn are buried in Bethel Methodist Church in Callison, Greenwood, SC. They were my 3x Great-Grandparents and lived their lives in Greenwood and Edgwood Counties, SC.

Milledge remarried around 1910 and is pictured below with his second wife, Martha "Mattie" Reagan.

01 June 2009

Monday Memories - Touching Heads

Story from Mom about my sister and I as babies.

twins - heads together"When I was talkin' about y'all - y'all entertained each other. Y'all also, uh - they had - they had told me that I could put y'all in the same crib until y'all started movin' around. But, y'all were just like, almost immediately, you know, like within a - whenever I brought you home from the hospital I'd put y'all in the little bassinet downstairs. Well, it was - it was more like a portable crib. And y'all would scoot around until your heads would touch. So it's like, I could put y'all on opposite ends, but y'all would just scoot towards each other until y'all found each other.

So, y'all were really pretty uh - I guess from, um, all the pushing and shoving that y'all did before y'all were born, y'all were - y'all were used to being close together and that the way y'all liked to be. So, I've actually got a picture of you, whenever y'all hadn't been home.. yeah maybe, prob'ly the first day y'all were home. And y'all were downstairs and y'all had already scooted till - till your little heads would just touch. Like y'all would just be, you know. And then y'all would be fine. Then you'd just lay there and sleep and everything. But y'all always liked to be close to each other.

Ruby & childrenAnd at night, at night when y'all first came home - I was tryin' to breast feed you so I was the only one who could take care of you at night - And uh, y'all did real good 'cause one of you would, uh - you would wake up right after I got through feedin' the other one. Y'all didn't wake up at the same time. Y'all sorta did the shift thing really well. So, that was really nice. And y'all slept through the night early too. So... Probably 'cause I was so exhausted taking care of both of you, it was hard to wake me up. No, y'all - y'all did real good. Y'all enjoyed, um, bein' together, always."


Related Posts with Thumbnails