Friday, April 29, 2016

Heritage Happening: College Paper

Rhode Island College Paper, circa 1965-69, photo by Midge Frazel, 2016

Information NOT in my Genealogy

This week, Rhonda McClure wrote a blog post that fits well with my Close to Home Project and caused me to leap up and look for a paper I wrote as an undergraduate in college sometime between 1965 and 1969. Because of the content of these two pages, I must pay attention to this "sentimental" document. I don't remember whether this assignment was for my college health (physical education) course or for the genetics class that I had to take for my Biology major. I remember insisting that I be given back this part of the paper. (Pages 4 and 5). I don't remember what grade I got further proving that such things don't matter to me.

After doing this "do-over", I see things that can be verified and some that only I will remember and need to be in my genealogy notes. Photographs can't tell the whole story and neither can death records.
Typed on my manual typewriter that was my high school graduation gift, I studied this paper and discovered it was Eaton's Corrasable paper that was most coveted by students back in the day. I have to scan it and put it in an archival envelope before it is lost to time.

As right now, I am working on my aunts and uncles, it is interesting to me to write down their hair and eye color. My parents grandfather and grandmother died before I was born and although I am fairly sure that he was blonde and she was dark, I am going to ask my cousin. That is still second hand information because our mutual grandparents died before even my oldest cousin was born.

My genetics teacher "tapped, tapped" on my pedigree chart because both my grandmothers had brown hair and eyes. I am a genetically recessive person. My eye iris color is so light, my former ophthalmologist had my eyes photographed. 

Do you have a list of hair and eye color of your ancestors or even of  your grandparents? If not, get to work.

Some links to help you with medical genetics:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Just Hanging Around

Hanging Folder Project, Midge Frazel, 2016
Just Hanging Around

On this first Blogiversary, I felt motivated to share how I am staying organized and write three blogs by only working a few hours a day now that I am retired. 

I took some time off this week to plan. The hanging folder organizer on the left in this photo was so full of files, that it fell off the wall! The time had come to redo my "forms and files" at my fingertips and hang up the second hanging folder holder that I purchased at Back to School time last August. These were both bought at my local Walmart but they don't have them year round. As luck would have it, I stumbled over a similar organizer at and have ordered it. The plastic folders (without gussets), I bought at a local BJs but they don't stock them except at Back to School, so I have ordered this set also at

I am a forms junkie. I use them to work out my family lines on paper and then when I am satisfied with what I have found, I enter any new information or sources into my research journal and only then does it go into my tree. With my planner in use this year, I am finding it easier to walk away from the computer in the middle of research or a partially written blog post.

Interruptions have always been a problem for me and they probably are for you too. The Family Tree Magazine Forms CDs and the "workbooks" that are in the print magazine are so useful, I wonder how I did research without them. 

In May I hope to research more gravestones and get ahead for the summer but that means putting other research aside while I am doing that. I have learned I can't do it all at once.

The Highly Caffeinated Genealogist One Year Blogiversary

Photo by Midge Frazel, 2016

Thoughts after One Year
It has been a year since I returned from the NERGC 2015 conference in Providence, Rhode Island. I wasn't going to attend but it as it was in my "birth" state, I decided to book a hotel and go to Providence. As usual, I was glad I went. I met some genealogists that I didn't meet before, took photos, attended sessions and dinners and was satisfied when it was time to leave. On the ride home, I decided it was to be my last conference. You should always make a decision after a positive experience and not a negative one.

My decision then was part of a larger plan and for this year I have been slowly implementing my new plan. I separated my gravestone work from my family history writing and I am pleased to say it is working out for me.

It was amusing that right after I launched this blog someone wanted to use the words, "Highly Caffeinated Genealogist" in their blog. I told that person that they could not and if they did, everyone would know about it as it was my idea. Everyone should do their own work. Period. Collaboration is fine as long as everyone fairly does their share.

Writing a blog (or three as in my case) takes a lot of energy. As I don't need to earn a living as a genealogist, I stopped taking clients early on. I have stopped doing presentations and I only occasionally go to a genealogy society meeting. I am focusing on my own work, learning about new technologies and sharing my ideas online. I'd love to tell you that this fine with other people but it is not. I have had more offers to serve on boards, take over as genealogist or even to do jobs that I am not qualified to do. 

I remember that when I picked up my genealogy again about 2001, someone sternly reminded me that I should wait until I retired to start. This used to be a pastime of older people. I am glad I didn't listen and that I was vocal in my opinion that they waited too long. If I had not started at the age of eight, I would not know what I do today. Working with the generations before me when they were alive has been my greatest joy.

Monday, April 11, 2016

An Only Child Production

September 12, 1976
Privately held, by Midge Frazel, 2016

An Only Child Production
I am told that April 12th is "Only Child Day" and if that is so, I would like to put in my 2 cents for the fact that I am an only child who loves being an only child.

Let me tell you, I do not claim to know anything about siblings and in all these years have learned nothing about the joy of having siblings. I would have been miserable.

You can't say you don't love a situation if you haven't experienced the opposite, but in this case I am happy to report that I would not have had it any other way. A friend once told me that I would have been "the worst kind of sister". I applauded him for being correct.

I liked being an "only" so much that I decided either I was having one child or no children. I am happy to report that my daughter loved being an only child. 

However, she is very good at having friends and married a man who has siblings. She decided to have two children and continue working. Good for her.

People told me that I was being selfish by having an only child and most of those adult people who had that opinion made an assumption that I had siblings. I waited politely for them to finish with their rant and them told them I was an only child and from that point on they should mind their own business. Adults in the generation before me were too quick to indoctrinate us "boomers" with their opinions.

When I was a child, most adults had at least three children and most of them were not role models for having a big family. I witnessed a fist fight between adult brothers in my neighborhood. Yikes. Fortunately, my mother was with me and she explained how people don't always get along.

I started my genealogy adventure when I was eight and have never stopped asking questions about family. I have inherited more "family stuff" that I can manage but that is OK. 

That's my take on "Only Child" Day. I am happy with who I am.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Highly Caffeinated Genealogist New Logo

The Highly Caffeinated Genealogist Coloring Design, 2016

The Highly Caffeinated Genealogist's New Logo

After nearly a year, I decided that this blog needed a new design so I am seeking the theme of coffee cups to be colored for my logo. I hope you like it.

This blog was intended to work as a place for me to post my family history writings that are not about my gravestone work.

This past year I have been reporting about things and ideas that genealogists are passionate about. Many readers have commented on the "stuff" that inspire us to keep researching and writing about. 

I will be buying more office products that help us be organized and comfortable in our home space where we write. My grandson who is only six asked for a journal for his Easter Basket. I was more than happy to buy him one. What do you need to inspire you to write?

Since there are not always photographs to compliment my stories, I am going to be using some of my coloring projects to enhance my ideas. Reader input is always welcome.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Close to Home: Contemporary Photos Dated

From the Family Photo Collection of Hannah (Champlin) Broadfoot and William Broadfoot
Privately Held by Midge Frazel, 2016

Contemporary Photos Dated
Inherited photo collections can be hard to manage. You can't help but be excited to dig in and find those family treasures. 

This collection contained photos, newspaper articles, obituaries, a couple books and letters. I took them carefully out of the box I received them in and started to look them over. It takes a lot of energy out of a genealogist. I placed them into another box, a few at a time. It took hours.

In this case, many of these photos needed to be sorted so that I could see which ones were dated (on the back) and which ones of those may have been taken on the same day. Women's clothes helped but the men's clothes were far too similar to be useful.

As I was preparing to scan small piles I came upon this small folder with photos stapled together inside. I took the photos carefully out and turned each one over. But, there was no date on the back of any of them.

 It wasn't until I went to throw this "Kodak colored" folder away that I stopped in mid-air over the wastebasket. I had forgotten how film developing could help with dating contemporary photographs. 

There's the information I needed in my late Aunt's handwriting. Date, occasion and location are all identified. Isn't that wonderful?