December 18, 2014

Genealogy Comes Naturally To Heirloom Gardeners

Flowering Almond 2007

The Story Behind The Plant In This Photo

(continued from Pentimento blog post How To Propagate A Flowering Almond Shrub)

The flowering almond above is a ‘child’ of a plant that was already well-established in our yard way back in the 1950’s.  That was in Tumwater, Washington and the house was an old farmhouse with many old trees, shrubs and flower bulbs planted everywhere.  My brother and I, along with our parents lived in that house from about 1952 to 1982 when my parents moved to live with my grandpa in Olympia.  In that year my sister-in-law Kathy got a start from the Dennis Street flowering almond as did my mom get one to plant at my grandpa’s place.  I chose not to get a start off the plant at that time, even though I was living in Washington too, and as it turned out we moved to Florida for four years and came back in 1992.

It was just a few years ago that I decided I finally had a place to plant a start of the family flowering almond.  It makes me smile to think about the original one from my childhood that always heralded spring with its pretty pink blossoms all along the stems and how it’s not just people who “migrate” but they also take their plants with them!

Did any of your ancestors bring plants with them when they migrated?


Discover

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge #29 – Handwriting

An open notebook with an uncapped pen

Handwriting Traits In Your Ancestor’s Penmanship

After eighteen months of training, I became a Certified Handwriting Analyst through the International Graphoanalysis Society in 1987.  I had always been fascinated by the quirks I could see in other people’s handwriting, and as always, I wanted to know what it all meant.  Loops, curls, dots and cross bars.  Why did my handwriting look different than everyone else’s.

It was my mother’s penmanship I was exposed to early on and in great quantity. She signed the report cards, wrote letters to everyone in the family, and always in a beautiful script probably drilled into her in her formative years in grade school and high school.  I believe her form of handwriting might have been called the Palmer method which was developed as a uniform way of writing for business.  

The thing to remember about handwriting is that it is actually brain writing.   Your hand doesn’t do the thinking of course, it’s your mind that controls the way your hand (or any cursive writing method) transfers the information to the paper.

Crossing those T’s and dotting those I’s

Look at how you cross your T’s (lower case or capitals) to see where you put the crossbar.  Is it low, in the middle, high on the stem of the letter, or way above the stem, just kind of ‘floating’ up there?  To a graphoanalyst,  all of those locations mean something: goals.  As you can imagine, the low crossbar denotes low goals; in the middle denotes reasonable ones, high shows the person sets high goals. The one’s floating above…perhaps those are very high and not so reasonable or attainable.

You may not usually pay much attention to how you dot your lower case i, or j, but there are several traits we look for.  A “tick” or almost a check mark look could mean that the person could be quick to anger. The harder the person writes on the paper shows the depth and length of time the person might hold that anger. It could be a small irritation they will get over quickly, or along with several other traits we evaluate, it could mean you need to watch out for someone who could fly off the handle. Do you make a little circle above your dotted letters?  That could mean you have an idiosyncrasy of some sort. Big circles = big idiosyncrasies, with the converse being the opposite trait.  

Writing that looks flowing and with lots of extra loops and curls could mean the person had grown up in an era when life was more flowery (like the Victorian era) and “gilded” where it was all part of the person‘s personae to show good breeding with even their handwriting.

What We Don’t Know or Can’t Tell

The really intriguing thing about handwriting is what you can’t determine from just looking at it. You cannot determine the writer’s gender.  You may be able to tell what their health is like if it’s somewhat ‘squiggly’ if the writers handwriting was once more firm and controlled.  Additionally, you are not able to determine someone’s  age by looking at their writing. Of course, there’s exceptions to that rule, for instance if what you see is just scribbling it could be a very small child, but at the same time it could also be someone who has limited mental capacity.

One of the most scary handwriting is by persons who are serial murderers or other individuals who have committed violent crimes.  Their writing looks very “muddy”, and possibly very heavy or dark, depending on their writing instrument. Many times, an analyst will ask that an exemplar be done using a pencil or a ballpoint pen to get the most clear writing to examine.  Using other types of writing tools like roller ball or felt pen will not give a clear stroke to analyze.

Every single stroke of the pen tells the analyst a story they can picture in their mind and use to compose a personality report for business or even marital compatibility.  

Carol is not currently taking new clients at this time.  
© Carol Yates Wilkerson, 2010. Use of this article is not permitted without permission from the author.

Preserving Past Family Home Locations With Google Street View

1105 Spring Street

Sentimental Sunday

If you read the title of this article, it might be a bit misleading in that I was able to get the photo below with just Google. I did use SnagIt (which I LOVE!) too to capture the image.  I am not real adept at using Google with SnagIt,  so that’s why you see that silly magnifying glass thing in the picture.  Google presents the opportunity by supplying the street view; SnagIt makes it easy to capture.  No doubt there are other ways.

My Grandpa Elvin “Al” and Grandma Lillian “Eppy” (Epstein)  Moline lived on the second floor in this building probably from the 1950’s to the late ’60’s.  The address is 1105 Spring Street, Seattle, WA.  I think it’s called the Decatur Condos now.  They had the apartment at the bottom of the photo, which included the small balcony.  Grandma was a sun worshiper, so no doubt she was delighted to have a way to get outside.  Their apartment was a corner one, so the three windows from left to right shows the size of their one bedroom abode.

The far left window was their bedroom whose window was really a cool patio door that opened to the balcony. In the middle was the living room, and I think one side of those windows might have opened to the balcony also.  The kitchen windows are last to the right of the three.  My brother has the drop leaf table that used to sit in front of  the kitchen window.

This apartment had an effect on me I can’t quite explain.  We lived in an old farmhouse in Tumwater.  This apartment was the opposite side of the coin and seemed very posh to me.  A couch on one wall in the living room, and two club chairs with a beautiful wooden secretary faced it from the opposite wall.  There were nice paintings on the walls and tasteful knick knacks scattered here and their, but not overdone.  Grandpa Molines’s father was a furniture maker, so I suppose an appreciation for fine furniture rubbed off on him.  Grandma (she was my mom’s step mother) was a bridge player and a registered nurse, so she was very social and was used to being with people all the time, from all walks of life.  Some of the jokes she told would make you blush.

Last, but not least, was one more attraction for Dave and I when we visited the grandparents in this building.  We were always pumped to get in the elevator and ride to…the second floor.  That was pretty anticlimatic, so we would beg Mom to let us go “exploring”.   We made a beeline right for the elevator and rode it up and down lots of times before we saw the same people more than once.  They gave us the “eye” and we knew we had to give up our fun before someone reported us to the office.  We never once did anything destructive or even thought to do that.  We were just kids out of our element. Good times! Good memories!

 

Our Educated Ancestors

My ancestor’s educational records ran the gamut from none to the unknown.  Most of my father’s generation had high school educations, but many of them weren’t able to go onto college because they lacked the money and in their circles there were no family members to foot the bill for anything like it.  The alternative would have been to find private student loan lenders willing instead, to provide the funds.

I imagine that currently some high school graduates might be considering this kind of financing if one of their family members will co-sign with them, providing the co-signer has an excellent credit rating of their own.  Most likely, the better credit score the co-signer has the lower the interest rate the student would have to pay.  Private student loan rates can vary based on the LIBOR or Prime Rate at the time.

Private student loan rates are not restricted to just the full cost of your tuition, but also for any education related expenses such as books, transportation  or housing expenses.  There is no time limit when applying for a private student loan, it can be done at any time of the year.

How did your ancestors pay for their extended education?

 

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