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Family History 4 All

 Learn how to trace YOUR family tree.

Newsletter No. 31 - July 2009.

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1. Our welcome message.

2. Featured Article – Forgotten Entrepreneurs By: Dhyan Atkinson

3. Latest news from: Family search

4. Next Months Featured Article: All About Resolving Conflicting Genealogy Records By Malc Moore

1. Our welcome message.

Hello again,

Nice to see you. I just got back from France. We took our grandson to see Mickey Mouse and friends and had a wonderful weekend. The weather was beautiful. Then as the train came out of the tunnel at Folkestone, the windscreen wipers were immediately brought back into service...And it hasn't stopped raining since! St Swithen has a lot to answer to!!

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I found this recently and I'm offering it to you as a thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. If you don't know how to build your own website then this software is just for you.

Here is a link to a FREE website builder software download. Just for my subscribers.

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When you have your website up and running, let me know and I will put a link on this site to your new site.

2. Featured Article

Forgotten Entrepreneurs by Dhyan Atkinson

If they were living today, many of our female ancestors would be considered successful entrepreneurs and small business owners with a home-based business. A few generations back it was more commonly thought that women were just “bringing in a little extra money to help the family out.” The men in the family were considered the bread-winners. This was not always strictly true. Many of our female ancestors made significant financial contributions to their families, although often this contribution was not considered valuable enough that recognition of our grandmother’s business accomplishments passed down in family history. In my own family, I nearly missed knowing about the business savvy and technical expertise of my maternal grandmother. Having started my own business in the past few years, it made a tremendous difference to me discovering that my grandmother had done the same.

My grandmother, Emma Groeger, had a treadle sewing machine that sat in the corner of her kitchen facing a west window. The kitchen was the heart of my grandmother’s house. Not only did we all spend a lot of time in her kitchen when we visited but when we were gone she spent her days in that sunny west-facing corner sewing for her neighbours.

I had a deep nostalgia for that sewing machine. As children my sister and I were allowed to sit in the chair and work the pedals. We watched the sharp little needle flashing up and down. We got to go through the drawers looking at the spools of coloured thread, the tiny embroidery scissors, worn thimbles, cards of rick-rack and ribbon, and other sewing paraphernalia. Best of all, the middle drawer on the left was full of rescued buttons, cut from clothing before it went into the rag box. Big buttons, baby buttons, cloth covered buttons, pearl buttons, special buttons, plain buttons… every shape, colour and size filled the drawer. My sister and I would pour them all out and take turns picking until we had divided the pile. Grandma then gave us each a needle threaded with a long thread and a button at the end and we made ourselves button necklaces.

When my grandmother died very suddenly her sewing machine came to live at my parent’s house. It got tucked away down in the basement in a corner. It could be seen, but no one could work the pedals any more and that special middle drawer on the left was blocked by one end of the sofa.

One afternoon, 20 years after my grandmother died, my mother and I were reminiscing about her and I suddenly said “Do you suppose the buttons are still there in the sewing machine drawer?” My mother said she didn’t see why they wouldn’t be; nothing had been touched or moved since Grandma last used the machine. In a flash, we were down in the basement pulling the old sewing machine out into the middle of the room where we could look at it.

It was different sitting at Grandma’s sewing machine now that I was an adult. It was amazing to sit where she had sat so many hours of her life and know that her machine was just exactly as she had left it the day that she died. Yes, the buttons were all there! And, as we opened the rest of the drawers, I smelled once again a faint scent of my grandmother’s perfume and house and clear evidence of her life right down to the pencil stubs she sharpened by razor blade, and the little spiral notebooks she used to keep track of her sewing jobs.

Most importantly, we found something that day that completely changed my view of my Grandmother. We found, tucked into the most current of her little spiral notebooks, the final, cancelled check she used to pay for her house from all her little 10 cent, 50 cent, and one dollar sewing jobs. The check was dated 1945 and my Grandmother died in the late 1960s. Clearly she had transferred that cancelled check from job book to job book over the years to remind herself of what she had accomplished with her work.

I had never thought of my grandmother as a business woman. My family referred to Grandma as a “housewife who took in a little sewing on the side.” However finding this cancelled check prompted my mother to tell me the real story. My grandfather was sick, hospitalized, and unable to work for many years during the Great Depression. At times the family was so poor they lived on tomatoes and bread for weeks. My grandmother gardened and made all the family clothes but still times were so tough my mother had to quit taking her beloved piano lessons because the family couldn’t afford the 50 cents per week they cost.

Eventually my grandmother was hired to run a youth centre in her town for the WPA and later, when the centre closed, she boarded students from farm families during the school week, often getting paid in chickens, eggs and vegetables which kept her family fed. She began ”taking in sewing” (which should really read “Began her own custom sewing business”) during a time when other job opportunities were not open to women and at a time when small town families could not afford “store-boughten” clothes. (Read that “She found a great niche for her services which was in high demand in her community!”) She was so talented that she had only to look at a picture of a dress cut from the newspaper and she could make it herself. All during the Depression she not only kept clothes on her family’s back and food on the table but she managed to set a little money aside each week until she had enough to purchase a lovely two story house, the very house she had dreamed of owning for years. It cost her $6,000 in the 1940s but she paid for it with the pennies, nickels and dimes she earned with her sewing.

Had I not sat at my Grandmother’s sewing machine I might never have known she was an extraordinarily talented seamstress, entrepreneur and business woman or that she was so proud of herself that she kept a reminder of her success inside the sewing machine she used until the day she died.

Dhyan Atkinson is a Consultant, Business Skills Trainer, and the Family Historian for her family. Although she works with all kinds of small business owners, she specializes in helping people start their own personal history business. Over the past 5 years, she has helped over 200 personal historians learn the skills they need to find clients. Dhyan can be reached at Dhyan@SatisfactionByDesign.com  or on her website at www.SatisfactionByDesign.com 

Article Source: http://www.familyhistoryarticles.com

3. Latest news from: Family search.
    FamilySearch Expands Canadian Census Collection
10 June 2009

Four pre-1900 censuses available for free online

TORONTO—FamilySearch, in partnership with Ancestry.ca and the Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC), announced today the addition of the 1851, 1861, and 1871 Canada Census indexes to its online collection. The new indexes can be searched for free at FamilySearch.org (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot). FamilySearch published the 1881 Canada Census previously online and plans to add the 1891 Canada Census shortly.

Over a fourth of all Canadians struggle to trace their roots past 100 years. Having the indexes to all of the pre-1900 Canadian censuses online will make it much easier for Canadians to extend their understanding of their family’s history.

These censuses are part of the FamilySearch records access program reported in May 2008 to provide public access to more records more quickly. In this project, Ancestry.ca provided the indexes to the 1851 and 1891 Canada Censuses, and FamilySearch created the indexes for the 1861, 1871, and 1881 Canada Censuses. It is a win-win for the public, who will have free access to all five of the pre-1900 census indexes online at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch used its growing community of online volunteers to index the 1861 and 1871 Census records. For the past year, volunteers have logged online to FamilySearch’s indexing application from all over the world, working seven days a week, 24 hours a day—literally—to accomplish the feat. Thousands of volunteer hours later, coupled with the added indexes from Ancestry.ca, the public now has free, easily searchable databases of millions of Canadian citizens from 1851 to 1891.

“The publication of free indexes to these major censuses gives a great boost to Canadian family history research. For the first time, genealogy enthusiasts and historians may search online databases containing some 17 million records of individuals who lived in Canada in the latter half of the 19th century. Indexers keyed many personal details—names, ages, birthplaces, religions, and residences—for individuals listed in these early Canadian censuses,” said FamilySearch chief genealogical officer, David Rencher.

Researchers will discover heads of households, their family members, and any lodgers residing with a family at the time. They can also see the street address where ancestors were living at the time the census was taken, along with their age, occupation, and perhaps their ethnicity.

Free access to the indexes for the 19th century collection of Canada Censuses is the first phase. Free access to the record images will also be available to qualified FamilySearch members as soon as an authentication process is implemented.

The 1881 Canada Census was published on FamilySearch.org in 2002. The 1916 Canada Census was also made available for free to the public earlier this year through FamilySearch’s 4,600 family history centers worldwide.

# # #

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager

4. Next Months Featured Article

All About Resolving Conflicting Genealogy Records By Malc Moore

Probably the best way to lessen the danger of conflicting genealogy records and erroneous mistakes is to have at least 2 documents supporting one another. Or is there a time discrepancy between the actual event and the time where the conflicting genealogy records was created?...More next issue.

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