Let’s Get Social! Genealogy and Social Media

Genealogy is more about making connections between the past and the present and sharing stories within the two then it is about the filling in the blanks of certain life events. Have you ever thought of using social media as a tool in the gathering of these stories and a means of making those vital connections? Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are just some of the outlets that you should be using as an active family historian. I know most of you know about Facebook. If you aren't on it yourself, you have probably heard about it especially recently in the news. Despite the privacy concerns, I still think Facebook is a worthwhile tool to help you connect with living relatives as well as classmates and/or friends with whom you may have lost touch. Did you know that you can form your own … Read More >

I Am Here Because Of Immigrants

Today in America we celebrate Independence Day. It is a good day. It is a day that makes me reflect on my immigrant ancestors. I wonder what they felt when they celebrated their first 4th of July. Was it momentous to them? Were they proud to live in America? Were they happy they made the sacrifices they did to come over? My family history's immigration stories happened around the 1850's/1860's for the majority of the branches. There is one branch (looking at you Dunlap line) that I don't have that date as of yet. [Isn't there always that one line??] They came over to escape hardship. They came over to escape conscription. They came over as single men/women. They came over as families with young children in tow. They came over mostly from Germany and Ireland. They were all seeking … Read More >

What Started It All : My Love of Genealogy

An early memory. I walk into my parents' bedroom and see my mom looking at a big piece of paper that to my 8 or so year old mind covers up her entire bed. I ask "What is that?" My mother responds "It is a family tree." She then showed me her name and my grandparents' names. She went on to explain that she had recently talked to her Aunt Caroline (her dad's sister) and with her help had written … Read More >

Love Reading Old Diaries?

If you enjoy reading Tillie's Tales of the 1930s, I highly encourage you to check out the website Paper of the Past. Mandy is a scrapbook collector who shares the stories of those who wrote in them on her Instagram page. She brings to light what might have been forgotten and/or discarded. Starting tomorrow, June 16th, she will be emailing excerpts each week from a diary she discovered that … Read More >

Your Photos Hold a Story

Did you ever look at a photo and think: I know there is a story behind this! I just wish I could know what it is!? This happens to me more times than I can count. Sometimes a family member is dressed up silly which is the case in a photo of my grandfather wearing nothing but a native Hawaiian hula skirt and a huge grin. Where did he get this skirt? What drove him to put it on? Was it even his?? … Read More >

Tillie’s News Diaries from the 1930s

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1937

Went to Belleville dentist this morn; fooled around again little ground some of on teeth, come again in couple days, some dentist day. Painted smoke house. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary were up, cleaning out cellar. Henry brought load corn this morn. Eggs 21¢. Wheat 96 & 98¢.

Monday, Sept. 20, 1937

Washed ironed, patched, etc. dug sweet potatoes 4 bus. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary were here for dinner, he fixed chimney all day. Canned 1 pt. tomatoes. Beautiful day, but it is awful dry no rain for quite awhile. Harry Wittenauer stopped in, papa wanted to see him about cutting hay.

Sunday, Sept. 19, 1937

Went to Red Bud; Fr. prayed for the sick of the parish. Leo & Rose [Rosalia] came had dinner here, brought samples of apple butter, tastes pretty good; they went out to Henry’s this afternoon, get haircut. Floraville have church pinic [sic] & annual home coming today. there is Holy Name Society Rally held at Mascoutah today, for all parishes. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary came about 3:30 o’clock, Bert [Bertille] went along to Floraville pinic [sic], till about 9 came home again, didn’t win nothing raffled 7 quilts, went to Waterloo, Millsdadt [sic], Belleville & St. Louis.

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