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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Decoration Day

Facsimile of US Flag
In the Rush family, I have observed that Decoration Day is practiced religiously. I don't know how it came to be such an important tradition in the life of this family, but it has been practiced every year by both David's grandparents and continuing the custom, his parents. 

 Right after I met David, I was invited to come down to meet his grandparents and to their Decoration Day commemoration picnic at the Rush Chapel Cemetery. I was unfamiliar with this ritual of eating together at a cemetery, because my immediate family did not observe it nor did any in my circle of friends. Most of our family members were scattered across Kansas and Oklahoma and we only saw them twice a year -- during Christmas and mid-summer holidays from school. Only after I had become a member of the Rush family, did I learn there had been a pioneer Methodist church on the spot where their picnic was held that had been torn down sometime in the 1960s. Family came from near and far to decorate the graves of their loved ones with flowers and it was almost a family reunion of sorts. Since the cemetery is located in hilly terrain between Mary's Home and Tuscumbia, Mo., when driving between all the parked cars on the downhill slope of the gravel road became somewhat of a problem, someone suggested moving the family reunion to Eldon where it has been held every year since then at the Air Park, however, decorating the graves is still practiced. 

Recently I learned about how Decoration Day came to be. It seems that on May 5, 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Commander-in-Chief, John A. Logan, Jr. of Illinois, by General Order No. 11, had assigned May 30, 1868, as a memorial day which was to be devoted to the strewing of flowers on the graves of deceased comrades who had died in the defense of the country during the Civil War. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a national organization begun in Decatur, Illinois on April 6, 1866 for former Civil War Union soldiers and sailors who served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. It was organized to preserve brotherly feelings between veterans and to provide for those in need of assistance -- orphans, widows, and disabled servicemen.

Ironically, John A. Logan, Jr. was the son of Dr. John Logan, Sr. whom Logan county, Illinois was honorably named for as suggested by his friend, Abraham Lincoln. My third-great Grandfather, Elder Martin White, was the first elected representative of Logan and (Dane) Christian Counties in the Illinois State House of Representatives (1840-42) after they were divided from Sangamon County, IL. 
Decoration or Memorial Day has come to be a national holiday, not only for decorating soldier's graves but also for decorating the graves of family members who have passed on. To David's knowledge, there were no GAR members in the Rush or allied families, however there were several who fought on the Union side, namely Jacob Bittle, Granville Carrinder, Wm. S. Golden, Levi Morgan, Rufus B. Roberts, James M. Rush, John Wm. Rush, and Alexander Sullens. 

 More to Read:
How Rush Chapel Came to Be
2) The Photographic History of the Civil War: Armies & Leaders. Edited by Robert S. Lanier. Fairfax Press, New York, 1983.
Elder Martin White biography

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ancestor Trading Cards

I just found the coolest thing on Pinterest -- Ancestor Trading Cards. This website will tell you how it's done:

Update (4/20/2016) : These cards are similar to the Kansas State Historical Society's Trading Cards: click here for details about them.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Paper Trail: Postcards

What’s the official name for postcard collecting? Deltiology. Postcards are the third-largest collectible, behind coins and stamps according to the Flea Market Style magazine. Postcards reflect history and cultural customs with pictures that depict buildings, travel destinations, advertising, and photographs of people like your ancestors.

To date old postcards, therefore getting the approximate date your ancestral photograph might have been taken, this list gives the general times as to when these type of cards became available or were popular.

US Post Cards -- to 1898

Private Mailing Cards (1898-1901)

Undivided Back (1901-1907)

Divided Back (1907-1915)

White Border (1915-1930)

Linen (1930-1945)

Chrome (1939-Present)

Real Photo Postcards (1900-Present)
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I compiled a "Paper Postcard Unit Study" for our son when he was homeschooled. Click here if you would like to review it.
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Update: There will be a Postcard Show coming to Lenexa, Kansas on June 24-25, 2016. My hubby and I went to one in Lenexa several years ago and I could not believe the variety of postcards that were being sold. In addition to the historic genre, they had artsy postcards and papers as well. Check out this website for other shows being held near you. You might just find a missing relative's photo, a photo of their business, the church they attended, or an event they participated in just like the postcard we found on vacation below. This mountain in Colorado was named for one of my hubby's distant Stout cousins, Zebulon Montgomery Pike. To read a short biography of his life, click here.

D. Noble. Cooper Post Card Co., Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Missouri Cemetery Law

Here is the current Missouri Law concerning protection of cemeteries and the consequences of defacing or destroying any part therein:

From the Missouri Revised Statutes -- Chapter 214, Cemeteries, Section 214.131 (passed into law in 1987).

Tombstones, fences, destroying or mutilating in abandoned family or private cemetery, penalty--abandoned or private burying ground, is defined as

214. 131. Every person who shall knowingly destroy, mutilate, disfigure, deface, injure or remove any tomb, monument or gravestone, or other structure placed in any abandoned family cemetery or private burying ground, or any fence, railing, or other work for the protection or ornamentation of any such cemetery or place of burial of any human being, or tomb, monument, or gravestone, memento, or memorial, or other structure aforesaid, or of any lot within such cemetery is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section and subsection I of section 214.132, an "abandoned family cemetery" or "private burying ground" shall include those cemeteries or burying grounds which have not been deeded to the public as provided in chapter 214, and in which no body has been interred for at least twenty-five years.

Source: "History Spotlight: MoSGA Fights to Protect Abandoned Cemeteries." By Martha Henderson, MoSGA Historical Director. Show Me State Genealogical News, Columbia, MO, Spring 2014. Vol. 35, No. 1.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Heritage Rubber Stamps

Brand: Craft Smart #409173
Found this tombstone rubber stamp in the bargain bin at our local Michaels Craft Store this afternoon (1/3/2016). Must be a leftover from last Halloween, but it works just perfect as a decorative element for heritage photo scrapbook albums. 
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ancestral Sayings

  1. A birth certificate shows that you were born, a death certificate shows that you died, but a scrapbook shows that you lived.
  2. All in the Family
  3. A man is born with his relations; he picks out his friends for himself.
  4. Ancestors Activist
  5. Ancestors run in my family
  6. Ancestors R US
  7. Ask me about my ancestors!
  8. Beware! Genealogy Fever is Contagious!
  9. Blessed is the man who hears the gentle voices call him grandfather.
  10. Born to be an Ancestor!
  11. Clan Chronicler
  12. Days gone by.
  13. Every family is a history in itself and even a poem to those who know how to search its pages.
  14. Families are tied together with heart strings.
  15. Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at the people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. 
  16. Family History: A Neverending Story!
  17. Family Skeleton
  18. Finding my roots bit by bit
  19. Folk Finder
  20. Forebears & Heirs Genealogy’s Law = The one document you need to prove your ancestor’s line is lost due to fire, flood, or war!
  21. Genealogy: A Celebration of Heritage
  22. Genealogy: A Key to the Past.
  23. Genealogists are ancestrally challenged!
  24. Genealogists are into Relative Riches
  25. Genealogists are pioneers into the past!
  26. Genealogists are Time Travelers
  27. Genealogists are Tree Tracers.
  28. Genealogy is my cup of tea!
  29. Genealogy Detective
  30. Genealogy Fever: It's Inherited!
  31. Genealogy: Life in the Past Lane!
  32. Genealogists Haunt Cemeteries
  33. Genealogy is a Past-time.
  34. Genealogy -- Piecing together the Past
  35. Genealogists Invest in Family Bonds!
  36. Genealogists look for lost leaves.
  37. Gone Ficheing!
  38. Grandma's are antique little girls.
  39. Hangin’ with the Family.
  40. Have Roots, Will Travel
  41. Heritage Hunter
  42. =HEIR+MAIL=
  43. He who has the most surnames in the end "WINS!"
  44. How blessed I am, how fortunate I've been that you are my Daughter-in-law and also my friend!
  45. I'm the crazy aunt everyone warned you about
  46. In Loving Memory.
  47. It’s all in the Genes!
  48. Leaves of Time
  49. Love and laughter makes a happy family.
  50. My family tree is full of nuts.
  51. My life in a nutshell.
  52. My Roots.
  53. One Big Happy Family.
  54. Our family is like fudge sweet with a few nuts in it.
  55. Our family is a patchwork of memories and love.
  56. So Many Ancestors, So Little Time!
  57. Success is relative. The more success, the more relatives!
  58. The best antiques are grandparents.
  59. There are many treasures in Grandma’s attic, but the old button box is my favorite.
  60. This is our branch of the family tree.
  61. This is what an awesome dad (brother, uncle, granddad) looks like!
  62. Treasured Times
  63. When A Child Is Born, So Is a Grandmother
  64. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
  65. Years Gone By
  66. You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives.
  67. You won’t make a place in the sun by sitting in the shade of the family tree.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Descendant Sayings

  1. A Daughter (son) is a gift of Love
  2. Civil War Descendant
  3. Descendant of the American Revolution
  4. Granddaughters are forever . . . I'm so glad you're mine.
  5. Granddaughter, You are very dear to me. Please always journey life safely!
  6. How blessed I am, how fortunate I've been that you are my Daughter-in-law and also my friend!
  7. I'm the big brother.
  8. I smile because you're my sister. I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it
  9. Just Brothers -- You mess with him, you'll mess with me!
  10. Mom likes me best!
  11. My life in a nutshell.
  12. My sister has the best sister in the world!
  13. The kind of ancestors we have had – is not as important as the kind of descendents our ancestors have.
  14. Veteran Descendant