Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Farewell To 2013 - It's Been Nice To Know You

I end my "blog year" in November each year.  I usually get a discount from Blog2Print in November that acts as a reminder to get it closed up for the year.  Also, this way I have the book printed and in my hands in December.  It is fun to open it up and sit and review the year as soon as I receive it.  I have Blog Books starting in 2007.  They are nicely done and someday some of my descendants may enjoy reading them.  They are a bit too expensive to make one for each person though.

So with that intro, I say farewell to 2013.  Yes, I would like to slow down time, but alas, it is not possible.  So the next best thing is to think back on the year and relive some of the events.

I had a busy year of public speaking engagements.  Not many genealogy societies, but various groups and of course, the Inservice Lessons at my Church. These are done quarterly for the staff members at the Family History Center in Fort Collins.  This year started out with a new online way to record family genealogy, Family Tree, and to reserve Temple Ordinances.  I had to learn it to help a patron in the Family History Center, and slowly became a big fan.  So the second lesson of 2013 was how to use it.  Within a week of my lesson --- it was changed!  So I had to write an update and send it out to the staff.  Little did I know this was to be a trend for the year.  Later, I planned to do a lesson on PERSI at the request of the staff members.  Would you believe it?  The VERY next day it was announced that PERSI was bought by an English genealogy company and would be completely revamped!  That plan was scrapped because why take the time to do a lesson in something that is changing?  This trend continued as I designed other lessons and classes about features on FamilySearch and those were changing before my eyes as I prepared the lessons.  But, I will say it taught me to expect change, and that is a good tool to have as we age.  Change doesn't come with a welcome mat for most older people, however, I believe we have to stay flexible to survive.  I spoke at a Women's Association, Civil War Roundtable, Larimer County Genealogical Society, several Church groups, Pioneer Women's group. Of course this meant creating and updating Power Point presentations, and that is something I love to do. This made 2013 a really fun year for me.

Probably the most momentous event was the birth of my first great granddaughter. She is Stella Evelyn Lewis and she was born August 5, 2013.  She was welcomed by a large family of adults, an older brother, Oliver, and two older cousins, Jack and Grant.  It is hard to describe the feeling that your progeny will continue on and on into the future.  Long after I am no longer in this world, Stella will be out there living, learning and growing and accomplishing all sorts of things.  I made a "Foremothers Chart" for her. Five generations of her female ancestresses.  I can imagine her, as a young girl and a young woman, looking at those names and wondering about them.  If only my great grandmother had been able to do that for me, what a gift that would have been.

I made a "Foremothers Chart" for my granddaughter, Logan.  It seems only yesterday that she was the new baby girl in the family and she is age twenty eight now.  I am so proud of Logan, she takes care of herself, is independent, is lovable, and is beautiful.  She lives on her own, in Hawaii, and is a wonderful sweet young woman.  

I didn't do any traveling this year -- but I DID buy a car.  My old Chevy S-10 may have made it another few years but it was acting tired, so I traded up one year and now have a Toyota Corolla.  I am not so sure this Toyota Corolla is related to my old Toyota Corolla, Orange Bird.  I haven't even named it yet. So that tells you our relationship is not close -- not yet anyway. IT reminds me of Herbie, the VW Bug that had a mind of its own.  To say I am a savvy car dealer is far from the truth, so we will see what happens to IT.  Maybe that is the new car's name "IT".

My friend, Kitty Girl, has gone downhill significantly this year.  So I am facing some hard to do things in the near future.  I will survive her passing, but it will be sad.  She is a sweet and gentle spirit and she is my constant companion.

I sort of got hooked on Bingo this year.  My friend, Sharon, and I have been going to the Knights of Columbus Family Bingo once a month.  It is fun, but it IS gambling, so I have to watch not to get addicted to it.  An addiction to genealogy is about all I can handle.

Laurie visited me twice this year.  Both as she was coming and going to and from Hawaii.  I love to have her come and I am sad to see her leave.  It is such an empty feeling to see her off.  It takes me a few days to get over the feeling of being alone. Then I get used to it again.  It makes me think about how our immigrant ancestors must have felt as they left all that they knew and loved to try something new.

Cindy came to see me on Mother's day and on my birthday.  Another goodbye when they left.  I am getting more and more "anti goodbye" as I get older.

One of the most memorable things for me was when I finally learned about the parents of my 2nd great grandfather, Dennis Meech.  For years I thought I would never find Katherine, I didn’t even know her first name. Her two sons were evidently not that interested in family history and left no records that I had ever found about their mother.  It seemed impossible.  And yet I have always known that when a person in the next world wants to be found – you will be led to them.   To make a long story short, I discovered that Katherine’s maiden name was Huffman and she married second to Henry Huffman, so she died with the same last name she was born with. Once I figured that out I found her first marriage to John Meech in Ohio in 1825.  This was through posting Ohio Marriages on their website, and now there was a loud rumble in heaven, as I am sure there was some rejoicing going on. Katherine was born in 1810 and died in 1857. She was the mother of two Meech sons and five Huffman children.  She died at age 47.  Hers was a relatively short life, but a very important life.  She survived trials, tragedies, and enjoyed the joys of her mortal life and was so pivotal to the many descendants that are living now.  I am so happy I finally got to meet her. Oh yes, I am now on the hunt for the parents of my 4th great grandmother, Caroline French.  I love to solve the female mysteries in my family. And of course it meant writing another book. This one is entitled Katherine's Children, The Meech and Huffman Familes of Franklin County Ohio.

It was fun to write this book, and as I did that I connected with the people I was writing about.  In searching for  Katherine, I studied all of her children hoping to find a clue to her full identity.  I needed to share the vast amount of information I had gathered on these collateral lines. 
It is hard to list all of the people that I met this year. I am so blessed to live in a good community, with good and friendly people.  I am blessed to have reasonably good health, and a curious mind.  So I say farewell to 2013.  It has been a very good year and I am thankful for it.  Stay tuned for 2014!   Patj

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