Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Memories -- Halloween

Halloween has always been one of those fun filled holidays for me.  I have always loved all aspects of this pagan holiday; the costumes, the makeup, the chance to be someone or something else for a day, and of course THE CANDY!!

I do not have any memories of my first few Halloweens, but family photos show I was dressed as some sort of strange baby in an oversize shirt and a paper hat at the age of one and as what appears to be a pregnant child at the age of two….not sure what that was all about.  At this stage of my life I lived in a very full house with 4 siblings, my mother, my aunt and boyfriend and a family friend.  By all accounts it was a crazy environment!
Halloween 1973

Halloween 1974


My own memories of Halloween begin when I was four years old.  This was the year that Star Wars premiered and of course my costume of choice that year was Princess Leia.  I recall sitting patiently in a green chair in our living room of our Center Road house as my Mom braided my hair and pinned the braids to my head as Princess Leia had worn hers.  I was so excited I could hardly sit still! 

When I was officially transformed into Princess Leia, I was sent out the door with my four older siblings, who had all choose to dress up as the rock band Kiss!  What I sight we must have been walking down the street and going door to door……….a mini Princess Leah and Kiss!!


When I was seven I was a 1920’s flapper girl.  I borrowed a blue sparkly dress from my teenage neighbor.  I believe it had been a costume she had worn in a school play.  This was also the first year I participated in an annual parade in my neighborhood. 

San Andreas Dr. was the starting point of the parade route and the parade marchers would turn on San Carlos Dr and head to San Ramon Way.  Our final destination was San Ramon Elementary school where the parade participants would take part in a costume contest.  Prize ribbons would be awarded to the 3rd, 2nd, 1st place winners along with one over-all 1st place winner.  The participants who did not place received a participation ribbon.  I got my white participation ribbon and was as happy as could be.

The next costume I recall was my Moms creation, or idea I should say.  I was in the 4th Grade and my mom thought it would be a great idea for me to dress up as Gandalf from “The Hobbit” and for my 2 year old nephew to dress up as Bilbo Baggins.  Oh My!  I don’t know if I can quit put it into words to describe this costume or the ordeal of actually having to wear it, but I’ll give it a solid try! 

The costume itself was hand made by my older sister, who was, and still is, a true talent with needle and thread!  It was made entirely of heavy blue felt.  I had a large blue dress, or gown, that hung down to the ground hiding my feet.  I had a rope tied around my waste, and a long blue felt cape tied around my neck.  Atop my head I wore a tall black hat, and attached to the hat was a long grey beard. A very long grey beard!  On my nose I wore an artificial nose made of putty. A very long nose!  The piece de’resistance was a long wooden staff I carried.

My nephew, as Bilbo Baggins, had a similar outfit made from brown, grey and green felt.  He was to wear shoes outfitted with large furry feet, which I’m sad to report he was terrified to wear!!!  Although, a more accurate description would be he was terrified to be in the vicinity of said furry feet!!

So, come parade day, I walked in the parade alone and in absolute misery!  Why misery you ask…..let me explain this horrible experience as best I can.  I must start by stating in the state of California we frequently have what some term “An Indian Summer”, meaning our autumns can sometimes be much warmer than our summers!  This particular October was one of those Indian Summer Autumns!  I was dressed from head to toe in a fabric not meant for warm weather, especially not in layers!  In addition to my smeltering outfit, I was forced to wear that horrible putty nose, which smelled so horrendously bad I cannot truly describe the sent! 
At this point I must inform my readers that I was a child who needed to wear glasses simply to see my own hand in front of my face clearly. However, my mother insisted I could NOT wear my glasses while in costume because Gandalf did not wear glasses!  So, I was sent off in the annual Halloween parade dressed in an outfit not fit for 80 degree heat, with a putty nose upon my face which made me want to gage, all the while not being able to see clearly two feet in front of myself!

By the time I reached my final destination I had a headache so bad I felt as if I were going to vomit!  I don’t truly recall the judging ceremony, other than clearly wishing to be anywhere but where I was at that moment.  By the time the judging was over, I did not even want to wait to receive my white participation ribbon.  I just wanted to go home and rip my costume off!  My mom insisted we stay for the announcement of the winners, but agreed to allow me to remove the offensive nose, hat, beard, and cape and to finally put on my glasses.  And so it was in this condition that I was called to the podium to receive my blue First Place Ribbon!   I can still hear the announcer saying, in a somewhat bewildered tone as I walked to the podium, what a wonderful “witch” costume I had on.  I’m sure the announcer was questioning the judges’ decision at that point! I ended up being Gandalf two years in a row and won first place both years.

The next costume I recall was a Hobo Clown when I was in the sixth grade.  This too was my mother’s creation.  I wore baggy overall, a large black coat with a flower in the laple and carried a large rainbow umbrella.  My face was painted with face paint with a frowning mouth.  The face paint meant I was not allowed to wear my glasses.
Halloween 1985

However, this time I did not have the added stench of a horrible putty nose, and this October was much cooler, so my walk in that year’s annual Halloween Parade was much more tolerable. And when I was again called to the podium to receive my First Place Ribbon I was truly excited!  As an added bonus, my stepfather, who had taken a photo of me, won first place in a Kodak photo contest he had entered the picture into! The photo appeared in our local papers and the photo was shown around the world.  Well, I don’t really know that part for sure, but one never really knows!
The Winning Photograph


The Hobo Clown was my last time participating in the annual Halloween Parade, but it was not my last time dressing up for Halloween!  In the years that followed the Hobo, I was a baby, a 50’s Sock-Hop girl with a pink poodle skirt, and finally Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Boston University Genealogy Essentials Program


I am always looking to expand my knowledge while at the same time work towards a rewarding end.  To keep with this theme I have enrolled in the Genealogy Essentials Program through Boston University.  I am using this course as both a time to build on the knowledge I already have of genealogical research and to also use it as a stepping stone in my ultimate goal of becoming a certified genealogist.

The course began on Tuesday and has four modules.  Each week a new module opens up.  This is a relatively  self paced coursed in the sense that I can work on the assignments when it is convenient for me, with the clear that each week the assignments have a set due date at the end of each week.

I'm loving it so far and while I didn't think I'd learn to much I didn't already know, I have learned a few things that will aid me as I continue to uncover the lives of those who walked before me!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sorting Saturday -- Getting Genealogy papers organized!

I have been researching my family genealogy since the early 1990’s.  As you can imagine I have gathered a mountain of documents, photographs and other family memorabilia.  All of which requires organization of some kind.  Over the years I have had many, many filing systems, but none was ever quite sufficient for my needs and data retrieval.

Last year I converted to a color coded system for all my paper hard copy records and let me tell you………….what a HUGE difference it has made in my genealogical research!!  I can now easily find data I need when I need it and I can easily and quickly file any new data and documents I discover.  I also have a computer filing system which I will discuss in a later post.

The purpose of this step by step post is to explain how my paper system works in hopes that it could help other genealogy hobbyist to get their paper documents and data into a streamlined organization system.

Step One: Assign colors

I assigned a color to each of my four grandparents, my step-father’s family, and each of my husband’s four grandparents.

v   My Maternal Grandfather is Blue
v  My Maternal Grandmother is Red
v  My Paternal Grandfather is Green
v  My Paternal Grandmother is Yellow
v  My Step-father is Cream
v  My husband’s Maternal Grandfather is Purple
v  My husband’s Maternal Grandmother is Burgundy
v  My Husband’s Paternal Grandfather is Dark Blue
v  My husband’s Paternal Grandmother is Aqua

Step Two: Gather Supplies



v  You will need colored file folders and colored hanging file folders in each of the colors you have chosen to represent your ancestors.
v  Large plastic file storage box
v  File Folder Labels.  You can purchase labels with a colored line across the top in Red, Yellow, Blue & Green. Or simply use plain white labels.
v  One binder for each of your color coded ancestors. I prefer the binders where you can slip a paper in the cover and spine.  If you are color coding just your four grandparents, then you will only need four binders.  Because I have color coded my step-family and my In-Laws I have a total of nine binders.
v  Binder dividers with clear non-colored tabs. One 8-10 sheet set for each of your binders.
v  Colored circle labels.  Both large and small. You can purchase packages of primary colors (Red, Blue, Yellow & Green), our purchase just plain white circle labels and color in yourself. I did this with the other colors I chose to represent my step-family and in-laws.
v  Sharpie pens in all the colors you have chosen to represent your ancestors.
v  Pencil and blue/black pen
v  Stapler
v  Genealogy forms: Individual Record Sheet, Pedigree Charts, Family Group Record Sheets
v  Colored construction/card stock paper (optional)
v  Index cards (size of your choice)
v  Index card storage box
v  Alphabetical dividers for the index card storage box

Step Three: Assemble File Folder Box 


  NOTE: For simplicity in explaining this step I will assume you have chosen one color for each of your four grandparents (Your Primary Ancestors). Blue, Red, Yellow, Green

v  Start by putting the hanging folders into your box keeping like colors together
v  Starting with the colored file folders you have chosen to represent your Maternal Grandfather; place a label onto each file folder.
v  Write the name of your Maternal Grandfather on one folder and place into your box.  Write the name in a Last, First Middle format.
v  Continue writing the names of each ancestor connected to you through your Maternal Grandfather on each of the folders in the color representing you Maternal Grandfather.
v  Continue the above steps for each of your other three grandparents until you have a folder for each known ancestor.

Step Four: Fill your folders


v  Starting with your Maternal Grandfather’s file; staple an Individual Record Sheet to the inside left cover of the folder
v  Fill out the Individual Record Sheet with detailed information about your Maternal Grandfather.
v  Using your colored circle labels; place a colored sticker on ALL documents you have pertaining to your Maternal Grandfather (birth record, census records, marriage records ect).  I place the sticker in the lower right corner of all documents. If you don’t want the sticker on the front of the document, place it on the back. 
v  Place all the documents into the folder with your Maternal Grandfather’s name
v  You will continue this process for each ancestor who you have created a file folder for being sure to place an appropriate colored circle on each document before placing it into a file folder.

Step Five: Assemble your Ancestor Binders


v  Using your colored card Stock/construction paper, make a cover and spin label for each of your four binders using the colors you have chosen for each of your four grandparents.  You can also create a cover using a word processing program on your computer. 
v  Place one set of binder dividers into each binder
v  Label each divider with a surname connected to you through your Primary Ancestor.  For example the surnames connected to me through my Maternal Grandfather are Bestor, Cyrier, Savoie, Hubbard, Chartier, and Force.  I place the labels in my binder in order by generation. Therefore the Surname at the beginning is my Grandfather’s, then his parents, then their parents and so on.
v  In each Surname labeled section place your Family Group Record sheets.  I make two copies of each family record so I have one filed under the husbands Surname and one filed under the wife’s surname. I highlight with a yellow highlighter which person it is filed under (Husband or Wife). Within each section I file alphabetically by first name, then middle.
v  In each Surname section I have a running Document Log for each ancestor in that surname.  This allows me to quickly see what documents I have for an individual and what ones I still need to do research on.
v  Within each Surname section I have a subsection labeled “Maps” This is where I place all maps pertaining to the locations of residence for that surname.
o   I write on each map the first and last names of the ancestor it belongs to

Step Six: Assemble your Index Cards 


Note: I keep my index card file box next to my computer for easy access when I’m researching online.

v  On the top line of each index card write the full name of your ancestors (one card per ancestor) in a LAST, First, Middle format
v  On the index card, write that ancestors’ vital information: Birth date and Location; Death Date and Location; Marriage date and Location. Parents names, Spouses name, children’s names, siblings names; Burial information; Occupation ect. Use both sides of the index card.
v  In the upper right corner of each card place a color coded sticker indicating which Primary Ancestor connects you to the ancestor named on the card.  For my four grandparents I was lucky enough to find index cards with a colored strip on the top that matched the colors I had chosen for each of them. 
v  File alphabetically in your index card storage box by Surname-----First name----- Middle Name

As I stated above, I started using this system about a year ago after years of using various other filing systems…..by document type, by surname ect, and truly LOVE my color code system.  I am able to quickly find information and I know immediately how each ancestor is connected to me with a simple glance.  I will never file my paper genealogy documents any other way!!












Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday -- Jewell


This is the headstone of my Step Dad Gary Jewell Born 17 Apr 1947 and died 19 June 2002.  He is buried at Valley Memorial Gardens in Novato California


Etched onto the stone is a quote from a Dream Theater song; "The Spirit Carries On" which we heard in his truck just days after he passed away.


This picture was drawn by my sister and etched onto the stone.  It shows our stepdad doing his favorite activity....walking his beloved dogs Emma and Marley who have since joined him in heaven.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sundays Obituary -- Meyrick


This is the obituary for my 3x-Great Grandmother Margaret Meyrick, Which appeared in the Boston newspaper in 1918.

It read

Meyrick--In Roslindale, Feb 19. Margaret , Widow of John Meyrick.  Service from residece of her daugter, Mrs. Emily Bolton 335 Poplar St., Thursday 2.  Relatives and friends invited.

What this obituary does not say is that she was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Lloyd or that she was the grandmother to five granddaughters or the older sister to four younger siblings!

Margaret died on 19 Feb 1918 following complications from a hernia surgery.

My link to Margaret:

Hillary born 1972 California

Sherri Bestor born 1945 Massachusetts

Virginia Stanley born 1924 Massachusetts

Alice Bolton born 1889 Massachusetts

Emily Meyrick born 1865 England

Margaret Lloyd Meyrick born 1848 Wales                                                                          

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Surname Saturday -- Boisseau


Boisseau Ancestors
French Origin: Boisseau is a metonymic occupational name for a corn merchant or factor, one who measured grain. (Provided by Ancestry.com)

My first Boisseau ancestors can be found in Montreal, Canada in the late 1600’s.  There we find Pierre Boisseau.  It is believed Pierre was born in France in 1646.  In October 1670 Pierre married Anne Faubert, born 1649 in France.  Anne was a Fille du Roi, or King’s Daughter, which was the term given to all female orphans in France.  Pierre and Anne had two sons.  Pierre died in Montreal in 1699 and Anne died 1729.
            Children of Pierre and Anne Boisseau are:
1.     Antione Boisseau born 1680 in Montreal, Canada; Died 1754 Montreal, Canada
2.     Vincent Boisseau born in Montreal date unknown

Antoine Boisseau was born in 1680 in Montreal, Canada.  He married Angelique Bastien, a Native American woman, in Kaskaskia, Illinois.  They had two children.  Antoine died in 1754 at the family homestead in Montreal, Canada.
          *Notes:  Antoine Boisseau was the senior etait l’heritier, but he left the family before he was 20 years old either to be a soldier or a fur trader.  He was gone from Quebec for more than 30 years.  He can be found along the Mississippi River in Kaskaskia, Illinois where he married a native and had two children.  Antoine returned to Quebec with his son around 1734 and took possession of his family homestead, which had been under the care of his brother Vincent.
            Children of Antoine and Angelique Boisseau were:
1.     Antoine Boisseau born 1716, Kaskaskia, Illinois; Died1754 Vercheres, Canada
2.     Therese Boisseau born in Kaskaskia, Illinois; Died in the Mississippi Region date unknown; married Francois Belot 16 Feb 1727 at Fort Chartres, Illinois.

Antoine Boisseau was born in 1716 in Kaskaskia, Illinois.  On 13 Feb 1741 he married Marie-Judith Gregoire-Vanentin, daughter of Julien & Francoise Deserre, in Vercheres, Canada.  They had three known children.
          Notes: In the spring of 1754 it is believed disease hit the family as Antoine senior, Antoine Jr. and two of Antoine Jr’s daughter all die.
            Children of Antoine and Marie-Judith Boisseau were:
1.     Antoine Boisseau born 1741 in Vercheres, Canada; Died 1782 Vercheres, Canada
2.     Daughter born date unknown; Died spring 1754, Vercheres, Canada
3.     Daughter born date unknown; Died spring 1754, Vercheres, Canada

Antoine Boisseau was born in 1741 in Vercheres, Canada.  On 25 Jan 1762 he married Marie-Anne Guertin, daughter of Francois-Xavier & Elisabeth Charron.  They had a total of 15 children; two sons and four daughters got married.
          Children of Antoine and Marie-Anne Boisseau were: (note: only confirmed children listed)
1.     Vincent Boisseau born 1768 Vercheres, Canada; Died date unknown
2.     Louis-Francois Boisseau born 1771 Vercheres, Canada; Died date unknown, Chambly, Quebec, Canada

Louis Boisseau was born in 1771 in Vercheres, Canada.  On 28 Oct 1793 he married Elisabeth Werry-Allard in St. Antoine sur le Richelieu.  It is unknown when he and Elisabeth died. 
          Child of Louis and Elisabeth Boisseau was:
1.     Josette Boisseau born 1798 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 1870 St. Anne, Illinois

Josette Boisseau was born in 1798 in Chambly, Quebec, Canada.  On 25 Nov 1816 she married Francois Chartier, son of Antoine Chartier and Marie-Angelique Veronneau.  They had 14 children.  Josette died in 1870 in St. Anne, Illinois.
          Children of Josette and Francois Chartier were:
1.             Marie-Josette Chartier born 24 Sep 1818 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
2.             Francois Chartier born 20 Feb 1820 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
3.             Louis Chartier baptized 18 Jun 1822 (age 3 months) Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 2 Jun 1880 Kankakee, Illinois
4.             Virginie Chartier born 4 Feb 1824 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
5.             Leocadie Chartier born 14 Oct 1825 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
6.             Etienne-Timothee Chartier born 22 Jun 1827 Chambly, Quebec Canada
7.             Rosalie Chartier born 4 Feb 1830 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
8.             Augustin-Timothee Chartier born 19 May 1832 Chambly, Quebec
9.             Joseph-Leandre Chartier born 26 Sep 1833 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 11 Jun 1883 Miltonville, Kansas
10.          Jean Baptiste-Isreal Chartier born 5 Sep 1835 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 4 Nov 1866 Kankakee, Illinois
11.          Genevieve-Philomene Chartier born 3 Oct 1837 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 9 Jun 1880 Kankakee, Illinois
12.          Moise Chartier born 15 Apr 1840 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
13.          Marie-Anne-Ermelinde Chartier born 1 May 1842 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
14.          Raphael Theode Chartier b 17 Jan 1845 L”Acadie, Quebec, Canada; Died 13 Dec 1903 New York, New York

Genevieve-Philomene Chartier was born 3 Oct 1937 in Chambly, Quebec, Canada.  She married Jean-Baptiste Cyrier 2 Feb 1857 in Bourbonnais, Illinois.  He  was born 1838 in Comte St.Jean, Quebec, Canada, son of  Noel Cyrier and Josette-Louise Toupin. Jean-Baptiste (AKA John B.) died 1 Jun 1876 at age 38 years in Otto Township, Illinois. He is buried in St. Jacque de laBend near Irwin, Illinois.  Genevieve-Philomene (AKA Fanny) died 9 Jun 1880 at age 42 years in Kankakee, Illinois.  She is buried in Kankakee.
Children of Jean-Baptiste and Genevieve-Philomene are:
1.             Philomene Matilde Cyrier “Matilda” born 18 Nov 1857 Bourbonnais, Illinois; died 1867 age 10 years
2.             Jean-Baptiste Alfred Cyrier “Freddie” born 19 May 1859 Bourbonnais, Illinois; died 1871 age 12 years in Otto Township, Illinois
3.             Josephine Louise Victorie Cyrier “Victoria” born 15 Apr 1860 Bourbonnais, Illinois; Died 1868 age 8 years Bourbonnais, Illinois
4.             Marie Adele Victorie Cyrier “Delphas” born 14 Nov 1861 Manteno, Illinois; Died in infancy
5.             Louis George Cyrier “George” born 22 Dec 1862 Manteno, Illinois; Died after 1906 Indiana
6.             Henri Amedee Cyrier “Medie” born 30 Aug 1964 Manteno, Illinois; Died 4 Sep 1930 Lonoke, Arkansas
7.             Marie Cerio Georgeanna Cyrier “Georgia” born 21 Oct 1866 Manteno, Illinois; Died 1905 Otto Township, Illinois
8.             Joseph Lucien Cyrier “L.J.” or “Lucien” born 24 Aug 1868 Manteno, Illinois; Died 8 Sep 1913 Ottawa, Illinois
9.             Jean-Baptiste Joseph Edward Cyrier “Edward” born 9 May 1874 Otto, Illinois; Died after 1906 Manteno, Illinois
10.          Matilda Victoria Cyrier “Victoria” born 23 Nov 1876 Otto Township, Illinois; Died after 1906 Los Angelas, California
11.          UnNamed Infant birt unknown

Henri Amedee Cyrier was born 30 Aug 1864 in Manteno, Illinois.  He Married Marguerite Delia Savoie 11 Sep 1888 in Bourbonnais, Illinois.  She was born 12 May 1868 in Bourbonnais, Illinois, daughter of Maxime Savoie and Agathe LaFontaine.  Henri died 4 Sep 1930 at age 66 years in Lonoke, Arkansas.  Marguerite Delia died 8 Apr 1936 at age----in Lonoke, Arkansas.  Henri and Delia are buried together at Carlisle Cemetary in Lonoke Arkansas.
          Children of Henri and Delia are:
1.             Harriet Agatha Cyrier “Hattie” born 12 Sep 1889 Deselm, Illinois; died 19 December 1944 Kankakee, Illinois
2.             Irene Cyrier born Jul 1893 Illinois; Died ----
3.             George Dewey Cyrier “Dewey” born 30 May 1898 Illinois; Died 15 Oct 1967 Lonoke, Arkansas
4.             Annette Cyrier born 1901 Illinois; Died ----
5.             Doreen Cyrier born 1905 Illinois; Died -----

Harriet Agatha Cyrier was born 12 September 1889 in Deselm, Illinois.  She married Donald Hubbard Bestor 12 Sep 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois at St.Roses Church. He was born 23 Sep 1889 in Lanford, South Dakota, son of Robert Bestor and Carrie Hubbard.  Their marriage ended in divorce 20 Feb 1925.  Hattie married Joseph C. Catton 1928 in Topeka, Kansas. Hattie died 19 Dec 1944 at age 54 in Kankakee, Illinois.  Don Bestor died Jan 1970 in Wisconsin.  Death of Joe Catton is unknown.
          Children of Hattie and Don Are:

1.             Bartley Roger Bestor “Bart” born 15 Aug 1921 Kankakee, Illinois; Died 26 May 2007 Sun City, Arizona

I am the Granddaughter of Bartley Bestor.

Copyright (c) 2013, Hillary Marvier

Friday, August 9, 2013

Alcatraz


A few weeks ago I headed over to Alcatraz Island with my kids and my MIL for a journey down memory lane which I wrote about in this post.



Our trip was great fun and to top it off, our local paper ran a front page story on my MIL and her time on the island.  You can read that article here.


My kids and I walked down to our corner and picked up a couple paper copies of the article to keep as mementos.