Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy blogiversary to me!

Photo by eyeliam
Today is my one year blogiversary.  In some respects its hard to believe it has already been a year and in other respects it feels like I've been doing this forever.

I remember starting on my journey a year ago and feeling much like the little one in the picture - a little hesitant about sticking my finger in but once I got a taste of it, I loved it.  I like to think I don't wear my blog on my face, though!

Thanks to everyone who has followed along with me and a special thanks to Kerry Scott for giving me a nudge!

Here's me on my "real" first birthday.

Now I'm going to make a wish and blow out the candles......

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have a minute to spare? Let's index!

It just takes a minute to help with indexing the 1940 US Census which will be released April 2.  Of course, we'll take more time if you can spare it.  This project will provide you with some fun and a chance to make a difference in learning about our citizens and ancestors in 1940.  You might even find your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles.....the possibilities are endless.  And if that doesn't entice you enough, how about a chance to win a prize?

That's right, if you sign up to help with the indexing project, you could win a prize. Two qualified entrants will be chosen at random to receive a $50 Visa gift card and one qualified entrant will be chosen at random to receive a $100 Visa gift card!   Here's all you need to do.

Come on, you know you've always wanted to be a part of something big and this is your chance.  This is BIG, I tell you, BIG1940 US Census Project

So join the fun and sign up to be an indexer.  I promise you'll have fun and maybe even learn something along the way!

Disclosure:  As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My dad was a smarty pants

Check out his transcript from Fresno High School.

I'd always heard that my dad was a straight A student and was valedictorian of his high school class.  I guess this confirms it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

And now a word from our sponsor

In anticipation of the release of the 1940 US Census on April 2, I've been focusing on events in the 1940's and how they have affected my family.  But I need to take a break to share a FANTASTIC discovery.

I've written a lot about my elusive 3rd great grandfather, Emery Waller, and his first wife, Rebecca Parker, who died 6 days after giving birth to my 2nd great grandmother, Rebecca Waller.  And I've written about my Black Sheep family member, William Warren McAboy, my 2nd great grandfather and Rebecca Waller's husband.  And when I posted the obituary for Rebecca Moriah Waller McAboy, my last comment was that I hoped at some point I'd run across a photo of her.

Well guess what arrived in my in-box this morning from my new cousin, Kris?  Yep, that's right - a photo of Rebecca Moriah Waller McAboy!  Kris went through some things with her mom and came across this photo labeled Mariah, c. 1920......which means this is our 2nd great grandmother.  How cool is that????

Rebecca Moriah Waller McAboy
c. 1920
I can't put my finger on the expression on her face - she seems somewhat sad, thoughtful, but most of all, tired.  But I think she's beautiful and I can't stop looking at this photo!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Kris!!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Who reported the news?

In my family, it was my dad!  Now I know you're thinking that all soldiers during World War II wrote letters home and told about the war but this was different.  My dad's 'job' was to report the news back home to the local paper in his home town of Fresno, California. 

I'm sure all of his assignments were interesting but I can't imagine anything was more interesting than the time he spent reporting 'live' from the Nuremberg Trials.  What made it even more interesting, I'm sure, is that my dad was Jewish - I can't imagine being a Jew and listening to those proceedings.

In going through the box of stuff from the garage I found a newspaper folded up dated October 10, 1946.  And there on the front page was my dad!

The Fresno Guide
Fresno, California
Thursday, October 10, 1946
EYEWITNESS Corp. Gordon Levy of Fresno was a very interested spectator at the recent trials of the Nazi war criminals in Nurenberg.  His account of what he observed appears in a story on Page 13-A.

And then when you turn to page 13-A, there's more......


To declare that the Nazi war criminals recently sentenced at the conclusion of the Nurenberg trials should not be held to account for their crimes would be the same as to say "there has been no war, there have been no slain, there has been no crime," according to a Fresnan who wrote eyewitness accounts of the trials for an Army newspaper in Germany.

The Fresnan is Corporal Gordon Levy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sigmund Levy, 1549 Echo Avenue.  In an article published in the "Sky Dozer," a newspaper for the enlisted men of the Aviation Engineer School, Geiger Fields, Washington, Levy wrote:

Levy entered the armed forces in June, 1944, and took his basic training at Keesler Field, Miss.  Soon afterward he went overseas, where he became sports editor of the Ardee News in Furstenfeldbruck, Germany.

He is a graduate of the Fresno High School, where he was a track star.  At the time he entered the army, he was a student at Stanford University, where he was president of his class and sports writer for the Stanford Daily.

The GI who is fortunate enough to make the Nurenberg hike can gaze at scads of personalities, some even outshadowing the hated Hermann Goering and nutty Rudolf Hess, who sit fidgeting in their court-room dock.  There's former U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle, Lord Justice of Britain's Court of Appeals Geoffrey Lawrence, and until recently Justice Bob Jackson, who issued the red herring to his Supreme Court bench partners not so long ago.  There are scores of interpreters, but the glance is back again to the dock and to Carl Doenitz Joachin von Ribbentrop and Al Jodl.  There are more certainly, but those are the blue ribbon prizes.

One can't help but feel the importance of it all.  In the bomb-blasted old city of Nurenberg, whose  history dates back to 1050 and Emperor Heinrich III, one sees the result of Nazi Germany's attempt to rule the world.  He surveys the gigantic sportplatz where Hitler reviewed his fanatic followers and he also sees a city 90 per cent destroyed.  And in this Palace of Justice it all makes sense, as though it had been written long before the paperhanger ever thought of "Festung Europa."

This is the IMT, and this is the result of aggressive war.  Justice Jackson opened the trial last November with this advice:

"Their wrongs....have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated."

He closed the prosecution's argument last month:

"They stand before the record of this trial as blood-stained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain King.  He begged of the widow as they beg of you: "Say I slew them not."

If you were to say of these men that they are not guilty, it would be true to say there has been no war, there has been no slain, there has been no crime."

And here's a close up of the photo included with the article.

ON JUDGMENT DAY  When the International War Crimes Tribunal read the verdict of former Nazi leaders, these armored cars and heavy machine guns provided a guard for the courthouse at Nurenberg.  A Fresnan, Corporal Gordon Levy, who was an eyewitness at the trials, reported that "one could not help feeling the importance of it all."

My dad just wasn't a part of history, he reported it!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Where was my Dad in 1940?

In Junior High School!  How do I know?  Because I have his Report card to prove it!

Dad was always a good student and this report card proves that.  I was a little surprised, though, to see two B+s - I'd always thought he'd gotten straight A's all through school.  I wonder what instrument he played in the orchestra - I'm guessing it was piano because the only other instrument I remember him playing as a kid was the accordian.  He took piano, and later organ, lessons until just a few years before his death.  We loved listening to him play as kids and I always admired his dedication to practicing and lessons.

It's interesting that it looks like he moved on to 9th grade in February, 1941 - didn't kids graduate to the next grade in September? 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Who do you hope to find?

Like most of the geneaworld, I have been eagerly awaiting release day of the 1940 U.S. Census.  I wasn't active with family research 10 years ago when the 1930 census was released so I feel a bit like the new kid in school - excited to get started yet a little apprehensive about where to begin.  So I'm going to start easy and focus on finding someone who can help me in my quest - my mother!

My mother was 12 in 1940 and due to her parents' divorce, at some point she lived with her great aunt and uncle in a different city than either of her parents.  But she's not 100% sure where she was in 1940 - was she still with her mother, had she moved to Berkeley with her aunt, or was she back in Fresno with her mother and step father?  So I'm going to help her figure that out!

She remembers the address of the home she lived in with her grandfather's sister, Anna Teresa Fitzgerald Sronce, as 1441 Milvia Street, Bereley, California.  Lo and behold, when I received the 1950 death certificate for Anna, that was the address listed and it showed that she had lived "in this place" for 30 years.  However, the 1930 census shows Anna and Robert Sronce in Oakland.  My guess is that I'll find them on Milvia Street in 1940 but we'll have to wait to know for sure.

Once I find the Sronce family, I'm hoping my mom will be listed with them.  If she's not there, I'll have to start searching in Fresno to see if she's listed with her mother or, perhaps, her grandparents.  I'm hoping that once I find her, I'll spark some memories for her and she'll be able to put more pieces of the puzzle together.

Who do you hope to find in the 1940 census?

My mom - Geraldine Martin
She looks to be about 14 years old