Thursday, December 20, 2012

The View Outside My Christmas Past

Feeling rather nostalgic on this snowy winter morning. I recall my Mom having this set of stencils and using a spray on "snow." It was probably difficult to remove but we put them up every year.

Thanks Mom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Carrying The Sky On His Back

The bluebird carries the sky on his back ~ Henry David Thoreau

"Carrying The Sky On His Back." Digital Image. April 8, 2012. Original Photograph.
Privately Held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski (c) 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: John and Spike

"John and Spike." Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph privately held by
Cynthia Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Valentines Day Honey! Love, Phyl

"Happy Valentines Day Love Phyl." Digital Image. February 1951. Original photograph privately held
by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: One Is Related

A brief explanation: A number of years ago I saw this card in a cute shop outside the entrance to Windsor Castle in England. It tickled my fancy on so many levels: my fondness for all things royal but especially Queen Vickie who was fond of talking in the third person as well as being fond of Corgi's, with or without the tails. 

I could not part with the card, which sits on my dresser and never fails to bring one a smile. In honor of the 60th anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor - Queen Elizabeth II

I would like to give credit where credit is due. On the back of the card is the following: 

The Scruffy Mutts Collection

Inspired by the notion that most Americans on meeting a British person ask "do you know the Queen?"

I know whether or not in the dog world the same is presumed of Corgis?

"The little dog laughed"
Anna Danielle
AD(c) 2001

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sometimes It's Enough Just To Hang On

"Sometimes It's Enough Just to Hang On." Digital Image. December 2010.
Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Cousins

"Cousins." Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph privately held by
Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Phyllis and Daughter Cindy, Honolulu 1954

"Phyllis (Space Bergeron) and Daughter Cindy, Honolulu 1954." Digital Image. January 1954. Original photograph privately held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski 2012.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Do You Know Where Your Ancestors Are?

No, it's not a trick question. If you think the answer to this is as obvious as "who is buried in Grant's tomb," read on.

Do you know where your ancestor's are? 

My maternal grandfather would have the short answer, "In the marble orchard." (Grandpa speak for the cemetery.) And while locating the final resting place of our ancestors would be the ultimate, sometimes the road to the marble orchard is a long and winding and far too often a fruitless one.

How Do You Know What You Know?

You know how it is: you're in the zone, chasing down your great-grandfather, documenting the important life events. Birth certificates and a marriage record, tracking him through the census records and finally, his death.

So there it is ... a brick wall. You have exhausted all avenues of research and just can't finds the answer to (insert your research dilemma here). But ... have you looked at the big picture?

How Do You Know What You Know?

One of my favorite tips for proofreading copy is to read what you  have written backwards. This is a trick that book publishers use to break the emotional attachment that you have. But before you can proofread copy, you have to have something written in front of you.

Utilizing a time line is the best - and only way - to show you how you know what you know. It shows you where the gaps in your research are, similar to reading copy backwards. It breaks the emotional attachment that you have - the "script" that you recite of what you "think you know" about your research. What has worked for me is to create a word document that lists the year and a list of each life event and instance of the ancestor I'm researching. My timeline would look like this:

1870  Living in Redbank Township, Clarion County, PA w/parents: age 12
           Source: Federal Census Record (list identification information)

1879  April 17: marriage to Nancy Ann Stone: Brannan Township, Price County, WI. age 21
          Source: Marriage Record filed in Price County Court House

When looking at what I think I know based on what I've found, I am overlooking a gap of 9 years in the life of my great-grandfather. In those nine years he has gone from a 12-year living with his parents in Clarion County, Pennsylvania, to a 21-year old who is now beginning a life of his own in northern Wisconsin. How did he get there? As a fan of cluster genealogy, I will now go back and begin researching - including time lines - of his siblings and cousins. I'll look at the census records for Clarion County and see if any of the neighbors in Clarion County have immigrated to northern Wisconsin. Land records, local history of migration patterns and trends will also be taken into consideration and will all be added to my time line.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beginnings. The Best Place to Start

I find it rather ironic that the emphasis for making any type of change is set to begin on January 1st. I confess to spending many New Years days with a list of good intentions. I'm all for taking time out to take a mental inventory, setting goals, discover (or rediscovering) passions in and for life and I have nothing against January 1st. I just wonder why we choose that day out of the many other days that mark a "first."

Apparently the concept of starting over is something that is not new. Throughout history man (and woman) has felt the need to put the past, well, in the past and move forward. Consider the Winter Solstice when we observe the increasing time spent in daylight. I've covered the Winter Solstice in a previous blog post; another previous post celebrates another rededication or a jubilee.

While there is comfort in the knowledge that the need to take an inventory of my life and move forward is following in the footsteps of my ancestors, as the family historian, I cannot totally embrace the notion that one must totally leave the past behind. What appears to e a contradiction is, in fact, the sum of the parts that define who I am and my life's purpose.

As I contemplate the January theme for NaBloPoMo, I come to the realization a beginning is truly ageless. There is no expiration date nor is there a limit on how many beginnings we are allowed. No matter what the outcome of today's beginning may be, I can redeem another beginning tomorrow. 

It doesn't matter if we have a new beginnings date circled on the calendar or celebrate each day as a new beginning. All that is required is a desire to be open and follow the words of the King in Alice in Wonderland, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end ..."

Text Copyright (c) 2012 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski


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