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

Monday, Aug. 16, 1937

Canned 5 qts. peaches, 1 tomatoes, cooked catsup. Pap went to Waterloo to get fruit jars; didn’t have them in yet, he stayed all morn. still didn’t come, he is going to deliver them tomorrow. Berniece came said, there was some fish left, if anybody wanted some, at Mertz’s on ice; we don’t want any today. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary came this afternoon, he helped put up stands, got 5 chickens – 12 lbs. @ 19¢ for pinic [sic] tomorrow; had watermelon lunch. Nic Schaefer Jr. was here, stopped on way home from Hess sale at Ruma. Gypsy Joe sang song for Mrs. Hess by Agnes today.

Sunday, Aug. 15, 1937

Went to mass, took so long, he [priest?] was little mad this morn. somebody said something about him. The pinic [sic] brought in $523.44 clear. Uncle Fred & A. [Aunt] Mary stayed awhile; went home. Leo & Rose came down, had supper, chicken, she brought squrril [sic – squirrel] along. Went to Firemen pinic [sic] & dance; large crowd Schmidts played. German band played in afternoon. Bert [Bertille] drawed no. for raffling quilts. Miss Mary Arnes & Edna Probst. Had all different stands gambling etc.

Saturday, Aug. 14, 1937

Made catsup, canned 3 qts. tomatoes. Went to Red Bud to Beckers Mill got check cashed, got new fan belt put in Chev. $1. went to Paul Crook looking for pigs, but were just delivered this morn. went through Tipton to Pluegers, but he moved last Sat; doesn’t live there any more, moved 10 miles away; went to Waterloo to church. Henry & boys were up this afternoon got wagon; last nite they were at Waterloo big W.L.S. Show at Pautlers Hall; I had forgotten all about it. Send bu. peaches small ones with Henry; pap picked 2 bu. little more. got in mushmellons & 1 watermellon [sic]. Hugo Probst is building new house on his lot, tore the old one away; also J. Kreher’s, Siedle is building that, contract job; but Probst just day labor. J. Reheis, Klein etc. We went over to Geo. Wagners awhile. Mary & Anita were out to. Clif Stahleber had a accident with his motorcycle at Pautlers, back wheel locked through [sic – threw] him quite a distance; hurt pretty bad.

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