Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Box

This post has nothing to do with what research I have been doing lately or my family history really, but instead, its about inspiration..and a box.

A few minutes ago I sent Thomas MacEntee an email, one of several that we have exchanged the past few days but this one had a .pdf as an attachment. Not unusual of course to attach that kind of file to an email but the creation of this one had pushed me out of my box, as I told Thomas. I knew about digital signatures, but had the thought to learn about that stored safely in the ‘someday I will’ box.

The original file I received from Thomas, a contract for him to provide a virtual presentation to our genealogical society. “…slap your signature graphic on it” he said. Yeah, right Thomas! Of course I could have printed it out, used a pen to sign it, a stamp and envelope and a trip to the post office as he also suggested but that phrase: “slap your signature graphic on it” rang out like a huge challenge. Besides, I have been working very hard to eliminate paper waste whenever possible, oh yeah and I hate spending money on printer ink too. Hmmm, could those ideas also have been planted by Thomas?

Anyway, I tackled the task, or rather Googled it, and finally managed to create that digital signature to ‘slap on it”, but not without some trial and error, mind you.

About the time I hit the ‘send’ button it dawned on me. Yeah, he pushed me out of that box but bigger than that he inspired me. He INSPIRES me. This isn’t the first time. I’ve been ‘following’ Thomas for a pretty long time although I can’t put my digital signature on exactly when I started. I remember reading something about him…who knows where…then we became friends on Facebook and one day he wrote about blogging. “What the heck is blogging?” I thought. So I had to get out of my box and find out. Then-what-does-he-do?! HE makes a new WORD! ‘Geneablogger’. Dang it, Thomas, don’t you know I have laundry to do and a museum to run and..and…and… So, I figured out the Geneablogger thing and then he comes up with Google Docs, and Dropbox and Cloud Computing and Weebly….and….and…and….all these other things that I have to stop life for and figure out.

Thanks Thomas. Seriously. What’s next?

Monday, June 6, 2011

This is the Face of Genealogy

The Edwin Plummer Longwell Family.
Plummer, Ida Edana (Conrad), Trever, and Floy about 1899. Tower Hill, Illinois

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yum Yum Salad

My mother made this salad on holidays beginning in the 1960's or maybe earlier. I don't know where she got it, probably from a square dance club friend as they were always printing club cookbooks. This has become a family favorite, so much so that I am not allowed to get by without making it at Thanksgiving and Christmas or I hear very loud protests. Our family has grown so large in the past few years that this year I had to make two cake pans full rather than one!

Yum Yum Salad

9"x13"x2" cake pan or other baking dish

2 small packages lemon jello
2 c. grated American cheese
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (walnuts are our favorite)
1 small container whipped topping

In the cake pan or baking dish: dissolve jello in 1 c. boiling water (stir well) and then add 4 ice cubes to cool the mixture (stir until the ice cubes are melted). Add grated cheese, pineapple and nuts. Place in the freezer or refrigerator until 'tacky' (20-30 min.). If you forget or let it set too long, break it up into smaller pieces. Fold in the whipped topping, mix well, smooth out the top and return to the refrigerator until solid (about 1 1/2 hours).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

No words to describe this other than the couple on the back row left are my grandparents Harry and Floy Brandes. This is 1920's.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Everybody Has at Least One Black Sheep Ancestor

Years of research never produced any black sheep ancestors until one day about 8 years ago I discovered the Shelby County (Illinois) Circuit Court Case Files online. I can’t say I ever wished for black sheep but when they showed up I learned that what they say about the past is true. We are doomed to repeat it.

Between 1855 and 1870 the Lamb family members that lived in northern Shelby and southern Macon County Illinois created 14 Circuit Court case files in Shelby County alone. The list of indictments included "tippling house", "gaming house", "trespass", "burglary", "debt", "riot", "resisting an officer", and "assault with intent to murder", and best of all, "fornication" in 1868.

With visions of my ancestors and their neighbors dancing in the streets drunk, gambling away the family funds, and causing great havoc in the towns and country as well as participating in other sordid acts, flashing through my head, I ordered copies of the files. Although the visions didn't go away I did feel a bit better when I received the first copies and found that Sarah Lamb and Frank Ousley were actually accused of "Living in Open State of Fornication" which simply meant they were living together but not married to each other. At least they weren’t doing that in the streets. In this one case I hadn’t repeated the past.

However, they didn’t do all of that alone. Various others related and not related to the Lambs were also named in the indictments. But that’s another story.

The following are transcriptions of two of the six documents contained in the file labeled The People vs John P Lamb & others; Grand Jury, Illinois State Regional Archives Depository, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL. Box 40, Folder 141.

The People vs John P. Lamb and others

Grand Jury

State of Illinois

Shelby County

To any Citizen of said County, Greetings

Whereas oath has been made before William H. Snell Esquire a Justice of the Peace in and for said county by William Portwood that one William O D Lamb and John P Lamb did on the twenty fourth day of November A D 1863 at Moawequa in said County in and __ the said William Portwood unlawfully willfully feloniously and against the Peace of the People make an assault and did assault with a deadly weapon to wit a knife and also a stick commonly called a club to wit a hickory cane with intent him the said William Portwood feloniously willfully and of malice aforethought to kill and murder and that he has reason to believe that Elias Denton Henry Biram Henry Armstrong William Dobson John Saush Levi Carey are Material Witnesses to prove by whom the said assault with intent to kill was committed. These are therefore in the Name of the People of the State of Illinois to require you to cause the said Elias Denton Henry Biram Henry Armstrong William Dobson Levi Carey James Baker forthwith to come before the said Justice to give such information and evidence as they or either of them know concerning this.

State of Illinois Shelby County Nov 25th 1863

Justices Court

The People of the State of Illinois


William O D Lamb

John P. Lamb

Justices cost 100

Court cost 200

William H Snell J P

Warrant issued Returned Nov 25th 1863

Serviced the within by arresting the within named defendants and they are now in custody Nov 25 1863

W _ Clark const

Defendants foresant

John P Lamb upon conplesion of the charges set fourth in the complaint were bound ove to the next term of the circuit court in abont of two hundred dollars

Wm O D Lamb aquited

William H Snell J P

John P. Lamb appeared on the 4th day of February 1864 and paid two hundred dollars recognizance and promised to appear at the next term of the circuit court to answer the indictment for assault. There are no papers in the file that say whether or not he appeared and what the result was.

John P. Lamb was the oldest son of William O. D. Lamb. William O. D. Lamb died at the age of 52, the father of 19 children with two wives. My July 29, 2009 posting Wordless Wednesday includes a scan of the tintype of W.O.D. Lamb. He holds in his hand…a cane. Maybe a hickory cane?

(also see This is Lydia and She Is Dead July 29, 2009. Lydia is W.O.D. Lamb’s mother).

©Sue Tolbert 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun-My Genealogy Threes

It is Saturday night and Randy Sever has posted his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as follows:

Over on Facebook, some people have been posting their "3s of Me" with information about themselves providing three responses in different categories like "Three names I go by," "Three jobs I've had," "Three favorite drinks," etc. You get the idea.

So here is your assignment, if you decide to accept it (this is not Mission Impossible, of course):

Tell us your three responses to the questions:

* Three genealogical libraries I frequent
* Three places I've visited on genealogy trips
* Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to)
* Three websites that help my research
* Three ancestral graves that I've visited
* Three ancestral places I want to visit
* Three brickwall ancestors I want to research more

* Three genealogical libraries I frequent

Muskogee Public Library, Tulsa Genealogy Center, Oklahoma History Center Research Library

* Three places I've visited on genealogy trips

Southern Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, Southern Arkansas

* Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to)

Muskogee County Genealogical Society, Shelby County Genealogical & Historical Society, National Genealogical Society.

* Three websites that help my research county sites,,

* Three ancestral graves that I've visited

Elisha Reynolds Sain, Nashville, AR; John C. Moore, Neodesha, KS; W.O.D. Lamb, Shelbyville, IL

* Three ancestral places I want to visit

Hagerstown, Washington Co. MD; (Conrad & Young families) Berlin, Somerset Co. PA (Conrad); Harrodsburg, Mercer Co. KY (Moore)

* Three brickwall ancestors I want to research more

James A. Longwell, Thomas Snelson, Eustasius Jung