Sunday, November 17, 2013

Texas First Families!

It's been six months. I could say something trite about how busy I've been, but it's true. I'm fully taking advantage of being retired.

About 18 months ago, I was able to make the link between my gg-grandfather, Thomas H. Probert, and his father, William E. Probert. One of the interesting discoveries was that he was a "Fife Major" (literally playing a flute-like instrument called a fife) in the War for Texas Independence in 1837. He was 47 years old when he left his wife and children and headed to Texas along with more than 100 other volunteers from Lexington, Kentucky. Here are a few posts related to his story:

It became apparent that if I was willing to document this relationship that my family could qualify for "Texas First Families." I know from experience that compiling one of these applications requires you to really organize the information you have and "fill in the blanks" if you find missing information. I was up to the challenge.

I put together an application and waited for the review committee to request additional information. (I've never submitted a lineage application without the reviewers wanting clarification or more documentation). Imagine my surprise when this beautiful certificate arrived in the mail six weeks later. I must be getting good at this. Based on this, I know that I could also apply for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas -- maybe a 2014 project.

Yesterday I also submitted an application for the Daughters of the American Revolution. Vincent Wainright was our family's "patriot" through the Jones/Wainright line. Vincent served as a "Minuteman" in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. It could be months before I know the outcome of that one.

So I hope the drought is over. I have a lot of information recently discovered from newspapers about Thomas Probert, our gg-grandfather from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. I look forward to sharing it all with you.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ian's Preschool Graduation

It seems hard to believe, but my "super-great, special extra, grandson #1" aka Ian, graduated from preschool on May 19th. This weekend he will celebrate his 5th birthday. Where has the time gone? I'm not ready for kindergarten -- but I know he is.

Ian and friend

Ian has attended the same preschool since he was an infant. The staff is very caring and competent and he has flourished there. The church held a lovely ceremony that featured two musicians from Tennessee who were top-notch performers. The graduates entertained us with two songs including "This Little Light of Mine." Bill and I were privileged to attend and be a part of the day.

Roland and Andrew

The only downside was that grandson #2, Andrew, was not feeling well. He snuggled into his parents doing everything he could to feel better. Grandma Kathy can't help but look at this picture and want to hold him.

His teachers warned us -- in no time at all, we will be attending their high school graduations. Believe me, I can wait.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bill's 77th Birthday!

"Congratulations on making it to a day neither one of us thought you would live to see."
                                                                              My husband's cardiologist when Bill turned 70.

Anyone that knows Bill knows that he has definitely beat the odds. He had his first heart attack when he was 42. He's had several since resulting in two triple-bypass surgeries and one double stent insertion. Among family and friends, we often joke about Bill "threatening" to be dead and never following through. He just keeps on rollin' . . .

I met Bill 32 years ago this month when I was a divorced, single parent of a not-quite-three year old daughter. The fact that we've been married for 26 years was definitely NOT in the cards. Who knows how these things happen.

We've had a wonderful life together. We've had the opportunity to camp our way from coast to coast of this beautiful country and Canada and travel overseas several times to Europe and once to Israel. We are very compatible travelers and wish we could do more. We spent 30 years sailing on weekends and had a  wonderful group of  friends who shared this passion with us. In recent years, we've replaced that hobby with  cycling along the Little Miami Bike Trail. Bill has logged almost 6000 miles on his "comfort" bike.

Bill is supported by several men friends including the members of C.A.K.E.S. (Coffee and Kibitzing Every Sunday) and his "Monday Lunch Group." I've never encountered such a caring group of men.

I have to admit that I'm in an unusually reflective mood as we reach this milestone. There are so many things I could discuss -- Bill's daughter in Tennessee, Liz, Roland and the two wonderful grandsons we have, the three dogs we've shared (Scruffy, Anchor and Zippy), but something else is on my mind this year.

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter told me that her son, Ian, was asked in Sunday School to draw a picture of someone he loved. He explained to his parents that despite loving them, he had chosen to draw a picture of Grandpa Bill because Grandpa Bill had given him some yellow trucks. These trucks were vintage die cast trucks, probably from the 50s. Ian loves his trucks -- and needless to say, Grandpa Bill loved hearing the story. So it made me think of one of my favorite pictures.

Ian and Bill walking into Heather's wedding, July 2011
So happy birthday, Bill. I know you are loving your life right now. Just keep on rollin' . . .


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Settlers and Builders of Ohio

Since I became interested in genealogy 13 years ago, I've taken advantage of several opportunities to document my ancestors. In addition to blogging, one of the ways I have done this is by submitting my findings to various lineage groups sponsored by the Hamilton County Genealogical Society and the Ohio Genealogical Society.

I have two main reasons for doing this. First of all, it forces me to improve as a genealogist. I must submit my records for peer review -- and I can assure you it is not always an easy process. Often one of the reviewers will request supporting documentation. In some cases, I've been forced to explore records previously unknown to me. However, once accepted, I had a real feeling of accomplishment that I had preserved my family's history for those who come after me.

Secondly, both organizations preserve my application and supporting documentation. Should something happen to me and all of my documentation be destroyed, it is good to know that all Hamilton County records are being preserved at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives and that those submitted to the Ohio Genealogical Society are preserved at their library.

So far I have had ancestors accepted into three Hamilton County lineage groups: Century Families, Settlers and Builders and First Families, and three Ohio Genealogical Society lineage groups: Century Families, Settlers and Builders, and Civil War. I would still like to submit three more ancestors for the Civil War group and an application for First Families to OGS. If I get really brave, I may even try to submit to the Daughters of the American Revolution because we should qualify through our Wainright line. I'm most proud of our First Families award because I had to prove that we had direct ancestors living in Cincinnati or Hamilton County before December 31, 1820. William and Ruth Wainright and their son, Britton, qualified.

One thing I know for sure -- I am a descendant of a very diverse English, Irish, German and Welsh family including one who fought in the Revolutionary War (Vincent Wainwright) and one who arrived from Germany as recent as 1881 (August Vonderheide). I am proud to know them all.

Monday, April 1, 2013

When I'm 64 -- Today!

When I'm Sixty-Four
Credit to The Beatles

December 2012
Photo Credit: Nephew Mark Jones

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo
You'll be older too, (ah ah ah ah ah)
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.

I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?


Today I'm 64!!! In some ways it seems hard to believe, in other ways -- no big deal. As I type this, I'm in my favorite recliner, in my lovely home, Zippy in my lap and Bill on his computer next to me. These are happy and peaceful times for me. I got to spend yesterday, Easter, with my wonderful Jones family and my wonderful daughter, husband and grandsons. Andrew delighted all of us with taking his first steps consistently. Ian, "Super-Great, Special-Extra Grandson #1" warmed my heart as only he can do. Spring weather and days of bicycling are on the horizon. I'm taking an online course on genetics offered free by MIT challenging and stretching this old brain in ways I couldn't have imagined.

So I want to give thanks for my husband, my daughter and all of my wonderful family and friends who are the reason for the joy, peace and gratitude I have for the life I've been privileged to live.
And that's no April Fools . . .

Kath at 64