Saturday, May 30, 2015

Preserving the Ha(y)worth Family History for Future Generations, Part 1

In the summer of 1699, a young man from Gambleside, Lancashire, England, decided to leave his home and take the very long voyage across the ocean to America. Little did he know, when he made this fateful journey that his family, for many generations, would work diligently to preserve his story. I am so thankful that they did, because it has given me the opportunity to get to know this man, who is my 7th Great Grandfather, George "the Emigrant" Haworth.

George's home, Gambleside, was just a blip on a map back in the time he lived there and is now nothing but ruins.  It was located near Dunnockshaw, Lancashire, and there is now a reservoir right by the site where the home had been located.  He was born in 1676 to James and Isabelle (Isabella), whose last name has not been verified.  His baptismal records, dated 10 Sept 1676, were located in Haslingden, Lancashire, down the road a bit from Gambleside. 

The pink locator button is the approximate location of the
Haworth family home, in what used to be the town of Gambleside.
Haslingden is in lower left corner. (Click to make larger)

The church where George was baptized was St. James Church, in Haslingden.  The picture below is the church today.  The original church, from George's time, fell but was rebuilt with the same stones.  According to the church website, "
Disaster struck after a long period of burying within the church so that the building became unstable and eventually fell down. In fact in 1772 an entry in the register of burials reads:-
‘February 17th, Mary, daughter of Robert Ashworth of Sabden, who had her grave made near the pillar which occasioned the church to fall before she was buried.’"

St. James Parrish Church, Haslingden

George, as a young man, became a Quaker.  At this time in England, Quaker's were being persecuted for their religious beliefs.   Also, around this same time, William Penn had accepted a land grant in America, which was a debt owed to his father by King Charles II, and which would eventually become Pennsylvania.  He believed it could be a religious refuge for the Quakers, so began a quest to get many in England to move over to the New World. Side note:  George Fox, one of the founder's of the "Religious Society of Friends"  or "Quakers", wrote in his autobiography that he was imprisoned for a year in Derby Prison and when brought before an English magistrate by the name of  Gervase Bennett, told him he should "tremble at the word of the Lord."  The magistrate, after hearing this, called him a “quaker”.  (Tremble - quake.)  At first this was thought to be a derogatory name but the Quakers embraced it and today that is how most of them refer to themselves.  

So George, along with his sister Alice Kenworthy (Kencerly) and her husband John, took Penn up on his offer and headed for Pennsylvania, America in 1699.  You won't want to miss out on all the adventures that take place during this journey, so come back for the next blog and and find out the rest of the story.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  I have found a fun little website that is a great resource for those doing genealogy and family history.  It is called Genealogy Gophers and to see what it is all about, click here.  I have already found so much fun info on this site and will be returning to it often.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Thank You For Your Service - Memorial Day 2015

I am spending time with family this week, so the regular blog will return soon.  However, being a military brat and because I have several people in my immediate family who were military members, I wanted to recognize them on this Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Many thanks to these veterans, in my life, for their service to our country - my husband - John Politi, my dad - Jim Hatch, and Eileen Politi Carter's husband - Walter.

John Politi

Jim Hatch
Walter Carter

Sunday, May 17, 2015

High School Revisited, Part 2

I had a lot of fun in high school but I worked hard too. As soon as I was 16 years old, I asked my mom to take me to get my driver's license and from the day I got it, I started working. My first job was at the Ponderosa Steak House in Grandview's Truman Corners. The day I was hired, my boss told me that if I did a good job, in three months he would give me a raise. I got good reviews those three months and no raise. Three more months went by and still no raise, so I went looking for another job. I found one around the corner from Ponderosa, at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). They hired me for more money than I would have received with the raise that was promised me. So I went in to give my notice and my boss was shocked that I was leaving. He asked me why and I told him about his promise for the raise. He said, "I'll give it to you now." Too late! Off to KFC I went.

That turned out to be the best job for me in high school because they would work with me and my schedule of extra curricular activities: wrestling cheerleading, choir, plays, etc. They were always very good about that and in return I worked as many hours as I could when I didn't have those things going on. I came home very greasy after every shift but it really was a good job. The hardest day? Mother's Day! We went through so much food on that day. People would be lined up out the door.

I remember when I first started at KFC, we had a regular old cash register. With that register, we had to count people's change back to them. So, when we got the fancy register, that gave the change back automatically, we thought it was pretty cool. I also learned a life lesson or two, while working there.  One was that humans are not always honest.  I got short changed on one of my shifts by a guy who was so slick. I never figured out how he did it exactly but he walked out with $20 more than he came in with. I was very careful and very suspicious after that. It didn't happen again.

My first car was a 62 Chevy 2 and I loved it! It was white and had push button gears with four doors. Perfect for my first car. When my brother Kevin got his license a year later, we started driving a teal station wagon, which is in the picture above.

Riding in the Homecoming Parade.
My senior year went by so fast. I was very busy with lots of different things and loved every minute of it. Besides working, I was in the Gold Choir, which did performances and went to competitions, was the Vice President of the Senior Class, a baseball cheerleader and was a candidate for Homecoming Queen. It was a high honor for me to be nominated and although I didn’t win, it was an exciting time and I felt blessed to be a part of the event. I got to ride in a convertible in the Homecoming parade, I got a beautiful dress made of royal blue satin with a light blue silk top, and I went to the dance with a guy I had a crush on who was a star football player. It was a Cinderella type of night. I didn’t end up dating that guy but we had fun at the dance.

From the Ruskin yearbook. (1)
I was selected to give a speech at my graduation ceremony, which had me nervous as a cat. We graduated at the RLDS Auditorium in Independence, Missouri. It was a huge auditorium, where many schools held their graduations. The graduates would all march in and sit up in the front, in an area where a choir would be. It was a great facility to have that kind of ceremony.  My speech was on the Three P’s; Performance, Perseverance and Possibilities. People said that I sounded like I was going to cry throughout the whole speech, but I didn’t. However, when the Gold Choir got up and sang the traditional graduation song, I lost it. This was it…high school life was coming to an end. The real world was about to begin.

From the Ruskin yearbook. (2)
(1) Ruskin High School, The Mirage, 1976, Kansas City, Missouri, Page 119.  
(2) Ruskin High School, The Mirage, 1976, Kansas City, Missouri, Page 201.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Through My Father's Eyes

Yesterday was Mother's Day and would have been the 108th birthday of my Grandmother Hatch. Hard to believe that 33 years have gone by since she died. Seems like yesterday but I was pregnant with my daughter Stephanie when she died and Stephanie is already 32. That can't be possible either. 

My dad, Jim Hatch, was asked to speak at his church service yesterday morning, in honor of mothers, and he gave the most wonderful talk. I wanted to share it with you because it really tells a lot about his mom and my grandmother, Ola Mae Marley Hatch, from his perspective. (High School Revisited will return next blog.)

"Mother's Day 2015 - By Jim Hatch

I am an only child so I guess you would have to say that my mother spoiled me a bit. We never discussed why I didn't have a brother or sister...maybe a medical problem, financial decision, who knows but it sure made my life lonely sometimes. Luckily I had a lot of good friends in the neighborhood that became my "brother and sisters".

My mom started back to work when I was about 4 years old. She and her sister had started out in the 20's working for a telephone company and my mom went back into the telephone business, finally retiring in the 70's with 39 years of service. She loved her work...she loved the people she worked with and they loved her.  She was outgoing, funny, caring and always there when you needed a shoulder to cry on.

My grandmother lived in the apartment house we owned and lived in.  Grandma had her own apartment and she was my baby sitter for many years.  And I grew to love her almost as much as my mom.  But mom was special.  She worked, cleaned house and cooked, did laundry and all the other things housewives did and yet she worked outside the home.  She often walked to work because she said it helped her hold down her weight, which from time to time would start to plump her up a bit more than she liked.

Mom never left the house to go to work, or some other place, without dressing up.  Her hair had to be perfect and she selected the correct dress, jewelry, shoes and handbag all complimenting each other.  People often commented on how nice she looked.  She and my dad, a dark, wavy haired six footer, made a handsome couple when they did one of their favorite things in  They glided across the floor and everyone watched.  

Mom began to fail when she lost my dad, who was only 61, when he succumbed to lung cancer. At about the same time, mom had cataract surgery and in those days you had to wear what I call the "coke bottle glasses" because the lens were so thick...if she did not have her glasses on, she could not see anything.  Also, she knew it was time to retire and so, with the loss of my dad, her vision problem, and her retirement all coming in close proximity, she seemed to change a bit.  Just a tiny bit at first but as the years went on, it was evident that a rest home was the only answer to her full-time care.

She lived the last 8 years of her life in a rest home where everyone loved her and her friends and family could visit...they noticed her decline as Alzheimer's began to accelerate. 

Whenever I would go home on leave, she would dote on me and almost ignore her grandkids and daughter-in-law because she wanted her only child to be all hers for as much time as we had.  Of course, my wife's family lived nearby, so I had to spend time with them as well, and I don't think Mom ever really accepted that.

She loved Glen Campbell's show, she loved to shop, she loved to visit her family, way up in Siler City, North Carolina...a whole 45 miles away...but it could have been a hundred miles the way she talked about the long trip.  In the early years, it was almost an all day trip by bus, which we took together many times.  

My dad had a variety of jobs: A & P Manager, Civil Service and Volunteer Fireman, Grocery Store Employee, his own roofing company, but regardless of what he did, mom was always supportive but knew two salaries were better than one and, she knew her job was pretty steady and secure.

I loved my mom and she adored me.  She has been gone 33 years and I still think about her often.  Every time I go back to my hometown, I go to the cemetery to visit her and dad, side by side, in Mt. Hope Cemetery.  

Dad with Grandma,
when he was a little tyke.  
Someone once said that they are not gone because they are there to slip into your thoughts by day and tip toe into your dreams by night.  My mom is still very much with me...and guess is not only Mother's Day, but it is also my Mom's birthday, May 10th. Happy Birthday Mom...I love you.

Today's Terri's Tidbit: Do you have favorite stories and memories of your parents or grandparents?  What were they? Take a moment and write them down.  If you are lucky enough to still have your parents and grandparents living, make some new memories that you can hold close to your heart, for a very long time. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

High School Revisited

To start off, how about a little Throw Back Thursday?  These are my kindergarten and  senior year pictures. My kindergarten picture was taken right after a home perm.  Can you tell? 

My high school years (10-12) were spent at Ruskin High School, Home of the Golden Eagles. I graduated in 1976. While there, I was in the pep club, was a Chanter (wrestling cheerleader), Senior Class Vice President, on the Yearbook Staff, in Gold Choir and a few other things. I loved being in high school and hated to see it end. My best friends were Patti (Johnson) Buie and Sheila Smith.

I was a Chanter for only one year, although I did make it for my senior year as well. However, we thought we were going to be moving from Kansas City and I gave it up. We found out shortly thereafter, that we were not going to be moving for another year. So, I got in pep club and cheered the teams on that way. Here is a picture of the Chanters. My friend Sheila is the third one down on the left column. 

We had a lot of fun cheering for the wrestling team.  We got to go to a lot of meets and met lots of people from other schools.  That was a time when "mooning" was a big thing.  So after just about every meet, some of the wrestling team would find us girls and moon us.  They thought it was so funny how we would all scream when they did it.  Boys!  

Another thing that happened a lot during that time was "farming yards", and ours got farmed more than once. "Farming" was driving your car up onto someones lawn, stopping, then gunning the engine and leaving huge ruts in the ground.  They would tear up a lot of yards and since ours was on a corner, we were a prime target.  

And if that was not enough, there was TP'ing!  Oh yes, that still happens today too, but we got TP'd so many times that the people doing it almost set up a routine.  So one night, my mother stood at the window waiting for them. Sure enough, here they came, not being very quite I might add.  Just as they got to the yard, she yelled out, "You better get out of here right now!" Boy, they high tailed it out of there so fast.  Yes, we did get TP'd again after that, but not near as much. Inevitably, it would rain after they did it and what a mess that would make.  We would be out picking up tiny pieces of toilet paper, off the yard and trees, for days.

My ballooning.  Not a great picture but you get the idea.
I got ballooned one time, which was a whole lot easier to clean up.  They bought the long balloons and tacked them down into the yard, where they stood up straight.  There were balloons everywhere.  

Did you have a "strip" that you used to cruise in high school?  We did and we cruised it almost every weekend.  Ours went from the high school, all the way down to Truman Corners, on Blue Ridge Blvd.  Many times we would turn around in the McDonald's parking lot and head back the other direction. My friend Patti and I made a habit of stopping at McDonald's, getting an order of french fries to split and a drink.  We had such a great time hanging out together.  I got the opportunity to spend some time with her in Missouri about a month ago.  You would have thought that there was no time between the last time we saw each other.  We picked right up where we left off.  

Patti Johnson Buie and I, a few years ago.
Still great friends after all these years.
I fell in love right after my sophomore year with a boy from the rival high school.  A mutual friend introduced us and we dated, off and on for four years.  I remember going out on our dates and sitting next to him in his car, before consoles. Our first date was to the very first Star Wars film.  My mom and dad loved him and many times, after we broke up, he would still come by the house, I think to see them.  A funny thing happened at my 26th class reunion (no typo, we just decided to do it then instead of the 25th).  We had our reunion at a bar that one of our classmates owns.  I happened to look up and who should be sitting in the band area but my boyfriend from high school.  Now remember, he went to a different high school. So I walked over to introduce my husband and before I could say anything, he jumped in and said that he was not crashing the reunion but was there to hear the band.  Okay...  He didn't stay long after that.  What a coincidence...ha!  Our reunions are always so much fun and filled with lots of surprises. It is hard to believe that next year we will be having our 40th!  Yikes, can I really be that old?

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  Do you have a dear friend from grade school, high school or college?  Give them a call, right now, and catch up on each other's lives.  It will be a great way to brighten your day!

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Home, New State, New Beginnings

We finally arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, in the summer of 1973. When we got there we lived in an apartment in Grandview for a couple months, while we looked for a house. I wanted to get a recent picture of them but they have since been torn down. The picture to the right is my mom and dad coming out of those apartments. Ours was the one on the second floor.  There were a lot of changes at once that summer: new state, new home, new school and new friends.

We found a house and all of us were ready to move in but we had to clean the place first. We also did some painting. It took several days to get the house clean because the previous owners were smokers. I can remember my mom taking the venetian blinds to the bathroom tub, spraying them down with 409, and the nicotine turning the water yellow-brown from the build up. It was so gross. I don’t think they had ever been cleaned. 

Our subdivision, Terrace Lake Gardens, was quite a ways from the school so I had to ride a bus, which I hadn’t done in years (since I was in grade school) so that was going to be a new experience. I can still remember the first day of school, getting on the bus, not knowing anyone and before we got to school, having several friends. They knew I was the “new girl”. Things traveled fast around our neighborhood. 

Our house sat on a corner lot and was right across the street from where the bus stopped. My bus driver also happened to be my neighbor. That was helpful at times, because if I was running a little late, she would usually wait for me, whereas other drivers probably would not have. There was a really cute boy that lived in our neighborhood, that I kind of liked. He started hanging around and I have to say, my parents weren’t as fond of him as I was. Nothing became of that, other than friendship.

Our house in the Terrace Lake Subdivision.
My sophomore year was a busy one. I tried out for several plays and had small parts. I still remember my drama teacher saying, “there are no small parts, just small actors”. Supposedly Ed Wynn, the actor/comedian said that. But I have seen it attributed to a Russian actor named Konstantin Stanislavsky, too. I loved being in the plays and with each one came a great group of people to work with. I was a nun in the Sound of Music and had a one-word line in it. I got to call out “Maria” during one of the scenes. (I still get teased about that) I didn’t have much to do in that play but it was a lot of fun and quite a production. A lot of the seniors were in it and I thought it was cool to be able to hang out with them at rehearsals.

I was chosen to be the understudy for the lead female role in the play “Mary, Mary” during that year too. I was the understudy for Cheri Buie, who was so awesome. She was a senior and so talented. Anyway, they decided to do an Understudy Night that would be performed the night before the regular opening night. It was so scary. David Dahm played the male lead, my ex-husband, Bob.  We made it through the evening and I got to experience my 15 minutes of fame. 

David Dahm and I rehearsing for "Mary, Mary'.
Don't you just love the pants?
That same year I was nominated for an award with two other students. I think it was a DAR award.  I didn’t get it but one of the other people nominated was Sheila Smith, who went on to be one of my dearest friends. We both lost to a guy in our class.

I didn’t have to take any PE classes during high school because my credits transferred over from my junior high and were enough to get me through. I was ecstatic! I did have to take some electives like Spanish and drama class. I took Spanish all three years but can honestly say that if you don’t use it, you lose it. However, I can still ask where the bathroom is. Important, right? I wish I had paid more attention and had a way to practice what I learned, because I could sure use it in many ways now. I have been saying I am going to try Rosetta Stone. I have had it for several years and haven’t done it, so the odds are probably not in my favor. Oh well, if anyone needs to know where the bathroom is located, in Spanish, give me a call.

Ruskin High School, my alma mater.  
It has changed a lot over the years. 
Today's Terri's Tidbit:  The United States Census Bureau has a really fun website, with lots of valuable information, including a running meter of the current population, US and World.  Check it out here.  It is a great source for those working on their family history. I usually go to or to look at the actual census forms but you can do it through this website.

Not all census takers enjoyed their job or had the patience needed to deal with many different people.  One of those individuals was a man named Frank Wilkeson, who had some interesting entries on his forms. Check them out here, in an article on Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems website. Based on my research, this was a very important job that was not always taken seriously. The assessor would go house to house, taking notes and many times would then transcribe that info onto the forms.  They didn't always get transferred exactly right and many times the names were spelled phonetically or just plain wrong, so it makes a genealogy researcher's job more interesting and many times more difficult.  The most recent census that is available online, free to the public, is the one from 1940.  They have to wait 72 years after the census to release it, which means the 1950 one should be available in 2022. Will your name be in that one, or will you have to wait, like me, for the 1960 census to come out in the 2032 timeframe?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Family History Made Easier: Don’t Reinvent the Genealogy Wheel

I am doing something a little different for this blog entry.  I wanted to tell you a little bit about how and why I have been doing research into my family tree. So the regular family history stories will continue next week. 

One caveat before I begin, however, is that I am not an expert on this subject.  I am a work in progress and continue to be astounded with new stuff everyday.  However, I have had a lot of “lessons learned” over the years and thought I would pass some of that on, to any interested parties, in hopes that it may save you some time. 

I have had several people ask me why I decided to do the blog and where I go to get my information, such as when I applied for my Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) membership.  My recent stories on my family come from my memories, with the help of my dad, (who I have bugged relentlessly with questions) and other family members.  My DAR application required a lot of research, and patience, to find all the documents required to apply.  But I did it, applied and was accepted.  To make sure I had everything I needed though, I visited with the local DAR Registrar, before I sent my app in.  She was so helpful.  If you have a DAR Chapter in your area, and are thinking of applying, take advantage of this person.  That’s what they are there for.  They are a wealth of info on how to begin, as well as all that is required at the end.

I was talking to a friend recently who had inherited a trunk with many family treasures tucked away inside.  It had valuable family history information that would make it pretty easy for her to do the genealogy on that particular side of the family.  I was so jealous as I listened to her tell me about all the journals, pictures etc. she had in her possession.  I would love to have had those resources when I began my search for the people in my family tree.  But thank goodness, there are options out there for people who don’t.

Living family members can be one of your best resources.  Talk to them, ask them lots of questions, record their stories, take pictures and do it now.  I want to emphasize two points here, the RECORD and the NOW.  I wish someone had given me this advice 25 years ago, when many of my family members were still alive.  I just did not have the foresight to ask lots of questions when they were still living.  Take the time to visit with your mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins and glean as much information as you can.  And write it all down or voice record it.  Make your notes concise and easy to read, so when you go back to them at a later time, you can understand what you have written.  It will at least give you a better place to start and you can branch out from there.

There are many online websites that you can search through, sitting in the comfort of your home.  But the best place to get the most direct information is at the location where your ancestor lived or came from.  I really need to do this and will hit the North Carolina Archives in Salisbury, when time allows.  The Historical Society, State Archives, and local Chambers of Commerce are invaluable when you know where your ancestor came from.  When searching on or, many times they don’t have a copy of the original and require you to go directly to the State Archives or to Salt Lake City’s Family History Library, another place I want to spend some time in.  The websites are great but they couldn’t possibly put everything that is out there on them.  However, more and more documents are being scanned and loaded to these sites everyday. I read an article that Family Search had reached 1 Billion online indexed records, in less than 7 years, but anticipate they will have another billion in far less time. 

Any information you find should be cited.  Make sure to get all the information about the newspaper articles, death certificates, wills, etc. like where it was located, dates, book titles, page numbers, every little detail you can think of.  Why do I stress this?  Because I have found some cool stuff, put it in my file, went back to it later and had no idea where it came from.  You will want all that information to verify your research. Write names on the back of pictures or file them in a way that you can have a directory.  Nothing is worse than having a picture of a family member but having no idea who they are.  There is a great book out there that gives you all kinds of information on citing your materials.   It is Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Thomas MacEntee also has one called Citing Your Sources.

Learn from other people who are doing their family history research.  There are some very interesting blogs out there from people who know their stuff when it comes to genealogy.  Take advantage of their experience.  They have been doing this for a long time and I have learned numerous ways to streamline my work, just by viewing their YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, or reading their blogs.  A couple really good ones are Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings, Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems, and Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers.  There are tons more but I have found these to be very helpful. 

I started my blog because of some videos I watched on Lisa Louise Cooke’s YouTube website and I listen to her podcasts regularly.  They always have lots of little “Gems” that I pick up and try for myself.  Her YouTube channel has many great videos.

There are many more resources out there.  The Geneabloggers website lists over 3,000 genealogy and family history blogs, if you want to check out what others are doing.  And that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Every day, more and more things come out on the Internet that help the genealogist in training improve their techniques.

Facebook has become a great source for genealogy information too.  I mentioned in a previous blog Tidbit that I had hit a brick wall and listed it on the North Carolina Genealogy Facebook page.  Within 30 minutes I had broken through the wall with information people had provided. 

Everyone has heard of Angie’s List and Craigslist, but have you heard of Cyndi’s List?  If you have done any genealogy, at some point you have probably run across this powerhouse of a resource. 

Cyndi’s List has over 330,000 links where you can go for all kinds of valuable information that may help you find that long lost relative.  It is my go to source when I think I have covered all my bases and am still coming up short.  It’s also just a fun site to dive into and click away to see all that is available.  If you haven’t been on Cyndi’s List before, or recently, treat yourself and check it out here.

I am very thankful for all those out there who have been so gracious to share information online that helps us “want to be” genealogists.  I just hope I can pay it forward someday.

Today’s Terri’s Tidbit: has lots of information for those who are interested in genealogy.  They have an Ancestry Genealogy Toolkit that is packed with links, articles, charts, blank fill in forms, etc.  If you want to check it out, click here.