Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Facebook and Friends

On this Day, 10 years ago, I joined Facebook
Coloring by Midge Frazel, 2016

I am not a person who makes friends easily. As an only child, I enjoy solitary activities and find it hard to work in a group. Facebook has changed me a lot. Facebook may not be so wonderful when people disagree (and there has been plenty of that lately) but most will agree that it helps us keep in touch with friends and family. 

In 2007, at an ed tech conference in the Florida sunshine, my friend Kathy Schrock told me that Facebook was now open to all, so when we returned to our room in the hotel, she showed me how to join and what she had been using it for. 

The day before, I took this photo of the January Florida sunshine and wondered what ten years ahead would look like. It does seem like a long time ago. Now, we must try to stay in the sunshine. I'd like to gather my friends (I have over a thousand) and say, "Let's stay friends."  It is the most precious.

Ten years ago, 28 January, 2007

Friday, January 27, 2017

Using a Planner

February 2017 Planner pages, Erin Condren Planner, 2017
Using the Planner

I really like my new planner and the "bullet-journal" productivity books that I have bought from Erin Condren. Next year (2018), I will probably get the larger Life Planner horizontal style. I examined one at Staples and I think that will work for me. I will order it direct from the Erin Condren Web site since I do need it a few months ahead to plan.

This is the start to February that I finished this week while I watch TV. I have the stickers on the whole year. That's the easy and fun part. As you can see from the collage at the top of this post, there are three spreads in one month. I am planning a quick summary of what blog posts were for each month and if it is about an ancestor, which ancestor it involves.

The round (currently pink) stickers are removable and I am color coding them as I plan them. I put a checkmark when they are finished as set to post. I write three blogs so I will have to use three colors. 

Hubs birthday is Valentine's Day so it is a big holiday around here. I am ready except for the meal. I buy the food and the Italian bread that morning and if it looks like snow, I will buy it ahead.

I have been lucky to be able to buy the planner and notebook supplies on sale ahead of time. It is fun. You can get sticker madness. I am happy to say that I will not fill mine up with stickers. I have seen some planners online that have so many stickers that they can't be shut. Wow. People need a lot to motivate them. I get that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Noun Project: Person, Place or Thing?

Photo of our hardcover Dictionary, privately held, Midge Frazel, 2017
The Noun Project: Person, Place or Thing?
A Bullet Journaling Project for 2017

I wouldn't be surprised if, as you read the word noun, you parroted back, "A noun is a person place or thing." because if you are of a certain age, you were taught by your elementary school teacher to recite the definitions of sentence structure. However, the real definition is a whole lot more complicated. Read the real definition here in the online version of this print dictionary. Evidently, we learned the child's version of noun. Unless you majored in English, you probably didn't give it another thought.

There is so much that doesn't fit into your favorite online or offline genealogy application.

Here's the THING...
Sure, the person and the dates and sometimes the places fit neatly but the things of like don't
  • organizations, clubs and organizations people belonged to
  • neighborhoods, addresses and houses lived in 
  • family businesses and the other people who worked for them
  • military history (and the places they served)
  • sources of information on a surname (compiled genealogies)
  • groups of people buried together in a plot (some of who are not related to the family)

I ran into this when I tried to keep track of the research I did for my family businesses. No matter how I tried, I couldn't find a way to record, cite and analyze information past the basics. For a long time, I used a research log, a list of citations and a timeline.

However, a project like that, that could be turned into a memory book for my family was not easy to record, write or set aside until more information was gathered. This is why I spent several months learning about bullet journaling. The classic method was not "genealogy specific" so I started working on a method that suited me. 

I am now working with a planner system, a bullet journal and a software writing tool (Scrivener) and a paper notebook. It sounds complex but since most of my work is done at home this will work for me. I stopped taking client work and became retired. I am now only working on my own family as was recommended to me by several genealogists. 

This is my plan for 2017 and by the end of the year I hope to report progress.

The distractions are endless.

I am even distracted by DNA, which I started to learn and immediately saw it as a specialty and not something for every genealogist. I was WRONG. But, keeping track of that was harder than I thought.

I will be seventy this year, my health is not perfect and I am trying to be practical about the total picture. I'd like to ENJOY genealogy once again. I am working on it but lately, genealogy hasn't been fun. 

I suspect that others may feel the same. Do you?

Copyright: Erin Condren, 2016-2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Inventor: Glamorous Profession

Privately held, Midge Frazel, 2016

A Glamorous Profession
Blog Post 4 

Lest you think that being an engineer during the depression was a glamorous profession, this is a photo of the workplace Bill worked in probably during the 1950s. Bill hated wearing a tie and some years after these photos were taken, he took a chance and stopped wearing the daily tie and white shirt. Because I knew him, I can tell you that he did not like working in a big room with so many people around.  I am guessing that this room was twice as big as what was photographed and maybe there were some offices with closed doors.

Finding photos that tell a story after all of the family has died and you can't ask questions about it, is a sad situation. We did find the above photo before his oldest son died and sent copies of it to him and to his daughters (who couldn't believe how old it looked!)

There is always more to be learned about someone who lived a long life like Bill. He died at age 97, outliving his wife. I think of all the photos, I like this photo booth strip because it was so out of character for him to do. He was quite the guy.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Inventor: The Early Years

Compass belonging to WH. Frazel, 2017, privately held
The Inventor: The Early Years
Blog Post 3

1935 Rhode Island Census Card,

When Bill Frazel took his first job at Builders Iron Foundry in Providence, RI, he is listed as a "clerk" in this census record. They didn't want to pay him as an engineer. Bill and his wife Ruth, didn't marry until 1937, so he was living with his parents in Bristol, RI and commuting to Providence. Just as today, people had to take a lower paying job to get their foot in the door. The Great Depression was no exception.

My husband and I have finally been through the box of his possessions and found this compass that he may have used quite a lot. 

What we didn't find was his American Red Cross blood card. Bill was blood type AB negative which is unusual. Bill's wife was tested and had to take the shots when she was pregnant because she was O positive. It is not know what type his parents were but that may have contributed to the stillborn death of his older sister. In the cemetery, there is her headstone and a blank space which was probably reserved for Bill or a future child which they did not have.

Bill was the classic only child. His mother doted on him and was known to brag about her smart son. Bill's father had been married previously and they had a child who only lived with them for a while since he was older than Bill. This first wife is buried in the family plot.

It was wonderful to talk with Cousin Eleanor as she knew this family and even attended the wedding of Bill and Ruth. Eleanor's family lived next door to the family and her mother was Bill's mother's sister. I gained information that no record will ever reveal.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Inventor: Brown Senior Candidates

Thursday, November 8, 1934 The Evening Bulletin (Providence, RI),
Privately held by Midge Frazel, 2016 (Photo Link)
Front Row, third men from the left (Wilbur H. Frazel)

Newspaper Clipping of Brown University Engineering Students
Blog Post 2
As a senior at Brown University, my late father-in-law, was enrolled in an engineering program. Newspaper clippings are a great source of family history but will deteriorate over time. I have scanned this and put it in an archival envelope. 

We know that my late father-in-law was accepted to both MIT and Brown and chose to go to Brown because his parents were Rhode Island residents at that time. He went to high school in Dedham, MA and apparently either his father retired or took a job in Rhode Island.

Even though it was during the Great Depression, both of my in-laws went to higher education.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Inventor

Photo by Midge Frazel, 2016, privately held
Bill Frazel, the Inventor
(Blog Post 1)

My late father-in-law, was an engineer and inventor. When colleague, Lisa Alzo, asked about his inventions, she and I collaborated for her article in the current issue (Jan/Feb) of Family Tree Magazine for an article about invention, titled "Reinventing the Past" (pages 48-54). It is always a pleasure to work with another genealogist as you always learn new things and have fun.

The photo above is a gold service pin with a diamond chip that was presented to Wilbur Hyde Frazel, (1913-2011) my husband's father, for his work service. It was still sealed in the tiny box. He obviously didn't open it or wear it as I guess it was intended. 

When he died, my husband packed up his Brown University (an Ivy League school) yearbooks, programs and mementos and we put them aside so I could do further research. He was a very unsentimental person, so I was surprised to find that he had saved anything. Bill was a only child so it may have been his mother, Linda Hyde Frazel, who kept the photographs and newspaper clippings and Bill added it to the box of "stuff" when she and her husband died in 1949, only a few days apart. My in-laws were married by then and settled in Rhode Island. Linda did keep genealogy records for her family, so she was the family historian for her family.

I thought you might like to see a clip of his college yearbook. Full image . Yearbooks can be a great source of information to add to your genealogy writings. This small clip confirms that he "was prepared" at Dedham High School. His parents moved to Dedham when he was of middle school age so his father (a self-taught mechanical engineer) could get a new job. Prior to that they lived nearby to where we live now in Hudson, Massachusetts.

We see that while Bill was at Brown, he lived at 1615 Hope St. in Bristol, RI where his parents lived during those years. He took a bus to Brown and that is how my in-laws met. She was on the bus going to Rhode Island College, a normal school.

 My husband didn't know that his father's degree was in Electrical Engineering. Sc. B is a Bachelor of Science. The year was 1935. 

I was amused that they called him Frizz because they tried to call my daughter that when she was in High School. The Frizz part refers to his name and the fact that his hair was extra curly.