Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Certificate of Baptism

Baptism records are a primary resource for family history research.  These records are more likely to be accurate because they were documented shortly after a person's birth.  They usually include birth date and parent's names, as well as where the baptism took place.

I was lucky to find my paternal uncle's Certificate of Baptism.  He was baptized on 3 November 1954, less than a month after his birth, in the Brandywine Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware. The same church where my grandparents were married.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Your Baby's Health Record

On what would have been my uncle's 63rd birthday, I was going through some of his papers and came across some interesting things.  He was sentimental (just like me) and kept a lot of keepsakes (just like me).  I've found everything from my grandfather's wallet to my uncle's high school cafeteria card.  So, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I found his baby health record book.

As a mom, I know how important it is to keep detailed medical records for each child.  My grandmother had three children to keep straight, and I'm sure this book was a big help.

Finding this little book has been such a pleasant surprise.  I now know that my uncle weighed 8 pounds 2 1/2 ounces when he was born and that he was allowed to start eating soft table foods at 9 months old.  These little every day facts are so priceless and are part of who my uncle was.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Blood Type A

While going through my paternal grandfather's wallet, I came across his Blood Bank of Delaware card.  On the back is a sticker where his blood type is written.  His blood type was A.  I never imagined I would know, or want to know, what my grandfather's blood type was, but it got me thinking.

I know that I have the same blood type as my dad, O positive, and that is different from my grandfather's.  How did my dad get his blood type?  This question lead me to do a little research since I have forgotten what I learned in school about blood types.  There is only one possible way my dad got his O blood type - both of his parents had to have passed him a gene for the type O blood.  My grandparents, however, could have had type O blood, type A blood, or type B blood.  It's all genetics.

In this day and age where DNA tests are so prevalent and helpful in doing genealogy research, it has been a breath of fresh air to find such a simple answer.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Certificate of Satisfactory Service

My latest find, my paternal grandfather's wallet, has been a treasure trove of information.  Who knew how such a little thing would contain so many details and lead to so many hints to follow?

The first thing I looked at was his Certificate of Satisfactory Service card.  A card he carried from 1945 until his death in 1986.  It was a post-war document that certified him as having served his full tour of duty in the United States Navy during World War II.  On the back of the card are the dates showing the period of his active duty, 21 February 1942 to 9 November 1945.  These dates are so important to have while doing research on an ancestor's military career, and I am looking forward to doing some digging.  It also states that he was given an honorable discharge from the Navy, but his signature and fingerprint are the best treasures.  It makes this paper card that he carried in his wallet for 41 years to prove that he was a veteran of World War II that much more personal and connected to who he was.



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal great-aunt and paternal aunt, probably taken on Christmas day in the 1990s in my great-aunt's kitchen in Galena, Maryland.

Kathlyene LeGates Churay (1927-2008)
Diane Odgers Veasey (1951-2002) 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt and uncle, probably taken in the early 1990s.

David Veasey (1946-2014)
Diane Odgers Veasey (1951-2002)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal uncle taken at the home of his maternal aunt in Galena, Maryland in October 1994.  He was 40 years old.  Judging from his shirt and the pin on his sweater, it was around Halloween.  His shirt reminds me just how much he loved animation.

James Odgers
1954-2007

Monday, June 12, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal uncle taken on Christmas day in the mid-1990s at my father's home in Bear, Delaware.  He is holding a glass ash tray.

James Odgers
1954-2007

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's A Kodak Moment

At any given family function, you could find my paternal uncle with his camera telling someone, "It's a Kodak moment," and then take their picture.  He loved capturing the fun moments of family time.  And as time goes on I appreciate it more and more.  For one, it puts faces with names and photos with different events.  Not to mention all the photos are a family historian's dream.  But most importantly for me, I get to see things from his perspective, whether I was at the even or not.  I see what moments and events he found was worth capturing and remembering.

This is a photo of him at a picnic at his sister's (my aunt's) house in Bear, Delaware in 1993, maybe Memorial Day weekend.  His camera is in his hand, ever ready for that next Kodak moment.  Maybe someday I will find the photo he just took or was going to take and will be able to see this moment from his perspective.

James Odgers
1954-2007
This is YOUR Kodak moment, Uncle Jim.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What Did They Do For A Living?

I think digging into the professions of my ancestors helps me to understand a little better who they were.  This information can be very valuable in connecting missing pieces of their lives.  I am always on the lookout for clues like photos, documents, and keepsakes.  If I look closely, maybe I will find the answers to some of my questions. What did they do for a living?  Where did they work?  Was it close to their home?  Did they do the same job for their whole working life?  How did their job affect who they were as a person?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Photo of the Day

There is just something that I love about this photo of my paternal great-grandfather that was taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  He looks so proud posing in his guard uniform.  I am still on the look out for where this was taken, though.

James Odgers
1893 - 1965

Monday, May 29, 2017

Who Are You Honoring on Memorial Day?

Memorial Day honors those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values.  It is a day to remember all who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Today I am remembering my great-uncle, William Bunting.  He was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.The fatal battle began in the early morning hours of 21 July.  My great-uncle's division was called in for support that night.  His US Army Infantry Division, the 77th were tough fighters and the Marines fighting alongside them at Guam referred to them as the "77th Marine Division."  My great-uncle was killed in the battle the following day.

I am also remembering my uncle, Paul Branyan, Jr., who died on 10 December 1967 in Vietnam.  My uncle and his company were in a terrible fight with an enemy that was dug in at a ditch.  He was on an armored personnel carrier and was passing ammunition to a fellow soldier, Drew Shipley, as he was firing a 50-caliber machine gun.  Sargent Shipley was shot in the head and killed.  Despite knowing the danger, my uncle took over the machine gun, and tragically met the same fate.

May we never forget the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country.

Who are you remembering on this Memorial Day?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal great-grandmother that was probably taken in the 1940s.  The photo belonged to my grandfather and has "Mother" written in the lower right corner.

Caroline Wright Odgers
1888 - 1965

Friday, May 12, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in 1984 at some sort of a function.  She was 33 years old.


Diane Odgers Veasey
1951 - 2002

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Little Mementos

Recently I came across a pocket edition of The Gospel According to St. John that belonged to my paternal grandfather.  He must have had it while he was in the Navy in the 1940s.  In faded ink are his name and references to the US Navy.


Inside there are passages that are marked with underlines and brackets.  It makes me question why he did this.  Was it because he had to for some reason or other, or did these specific words hold a special meaning to him?


Even more interesting to me is what else was in this book - five diverse newspaper clippings.  Each one must have held some significance to him.  That is why they were kept neatly in this book.

This first clipping must have come from his parents, because at the time it was printed in his hometown newspaper, he was in the navy and stationed in England.  But how did he get it?  Did his parents mail it to him?  Did they give it to him when he arrived home?  Did he find it after their deaths?  Even with all of those questions, it is amazing to me how something this small can contain so much information.  At this time my grandfather was 26 years old, which would put the year around 1944 or 1945.  It also contains my great-grandparents' names and their address.  The big announcement was that my grandfather was advanced to his US Navy ship's cook second class.  Aside from mentioning that he was stationed in England at the time of printing, it also states that he had been stationed in the Caribbean for 23 months out of his three years in the US Navy.  Both of these are big clues when it comes to doing military research.


The second clipping had me a little perplexed.  I saw that my grandfather had "Delaware Gardens" marked in ink with parentheses.  It made me wonder if this was a street that he had lived on at one time, but none of the streets mentioned in the little article sounded familiar to me.  That is when I decided to turn over the clipping and look for clues.  And there it was...£1.  Then it clicked.  This was from when he was stationed in England.  A new neighborhood with a street named after his home state, something familiar when he was so far away from home.


The third clipping was way easier to figure out.  It announced that my aunt came in first place in her age category (nine to 12) in the Simons Gardens Egg Hunt.  Simons Gardens was the neighborhood in which they lived and would have taken place in the early 1960s.


The fourth clipping also had to do with my aunt.  This one announced that she was admitted to the De La Warr High School chapter of the National Honor Society in her sophomore year, 1966 - 1967.  My grandfather must have been very proud of his daughter for her academic achievement.


The last clipping was the announcement of his divorce from his second wife, to whom he was married after the death of my grandmother.  I know this was a very bitter time in his life and it took place in the 1970s.


Five newspaper clippings from different times in his life, all contained in one little book from his US Navy Days.  It just amazes me when I find these little treasures, a glimpse into who my family was and what was important to them.  It keeps me motivated to keep digging.









Thursday, May 4, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal great-grandmother taken in the 1950s or early 1960s.

Caroline Wright Odgers
1888 - 1965

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reflections of a Day Gone By

This is a photo of my paternal great-grandmother with two of her grandchildren, my aunt and uncle, and her dog.  The photo was taken some time in the 1960s in the home of my great-grandparents in Delaware.  There are a lot of things that catch my eye in this photo.  The newspaper is open to the sports page where an article about the Phillies front office and an advertisement for WFIL-TV can be seen.  There is also a reflection of my aunt's face in the coffee table. The multicolored pillows sitting on top of the couch and my great-grandmother's curlers are pretty awesome too.  Just a little glimpse into a day in their lives.

Caroline Wright Odgers (1888 - 1965)
Diane Odgers (1951 - 2002)
James Odgers (1954 - 2007)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt, looking a little bored, sitting in the living room of her paternal grandparents.  The photo was taken in Delaware in the mid to late 1950s.  The photo on the table is of her mother, my paternal grandmother.  The same photo was used in my grandparents' engagement announcement that was published in their local newspaper.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in 1961 at the home of her paternal grandparents in Delaware.  She was nine or 10 years old.

Diane Odgers
1951-2002

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in her family home in the mid-1950s.  She is sitting on the floor with a Captain Kangaroo game in front of her.  Captain Kangaroo was a children's television series that aired from 1955-1984.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Photo(s) of the Day

These photos show my paternal aunt with the family dog.  They were probably taken at her family home in Delaware.  The first two were taken in the early 1950s, the third was in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in the early 1950s, probably on a street in Wilmington, Delaware.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt holding a drink while sitting with a doll in her lap, I believe this was taken at the home of her paternal grandparents in Delaware during the 1950s.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt with a dog, taken at the home of her paternal grandparents in Delaware, probably in the late 1950s.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Friday, April 14, 2017

Way Before Their Time

I have seen countless (too many, actually) pictures of people's feet on the beach posted on social media.  I guess that is why I laughed when I saw this picture.  It is a picture of my dad and my aunt in the water at a beach in Delaware in the 1950s.  And, yes, those are feet in the bottom of the photo.  The feet belong to my grandparents.  I'm guessing my grandmother was trying to get a cute photo of her children frolicking in the water during a family beach outing and including the feet was just an accident.  Maybe the sun was in her eyes and she didn't notice.  Whatever it was, it makes for a great glimpse into the past from the perspective of my grandparents.

I wonder what their reaction was when they first saw this photo.  Maybe they laughed just like me.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in the early 1950s, I believe in the home of her paternal grandparents in Delaware.

Diane Odgers
(1951 - 2002)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Photo(s) of the Day

These are two photos of my paternal aunt taken in the early 1950s, I believe in the home of her paternal grandparents.  It looks like she is having a good time sitting on the kitchen table with her rubber duckie.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in the early 1950s, in Delaware.  I believe this was in the home of her paternal grandparents.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Monday, April 10, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal great-grandfather probably taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s in Delaware.

James Odgers
1893 - 1965

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal aunt taken in the early 1950s, probably in the home of her paternal grandparents in Delaware.

Diane Odgers
1951 - 2002

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo from my paternal aunt's wedding day on 27 November 1970.  She is posing in her family's living room in New Castle, Delaware with her maternal aunt, who was standing in as the mother of the bride, because her mother had died nearly two months before her wedding day.  I'm sure it had to have been a bitter-sweet day for everyone.

Diane Odgers Veasey (1951 - 2002)
Norma Lea LeGates Pinder (1922 - 1992)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my uncle taken on Christmas Day 2005 in his aunt's living room in Galena, Maryland.  He was 51 years old.

James Odgers
(1954 - 2007)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal grandparents taken in their living room in New Castle, Delaware, probably in the late 1960s.

William Odgers (1918 - 1986)
Ellen LeGates Odgers (1924 -1970)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my uncle taken in his family living room in New Castle, Delaware in December of 1965 while he was playing with some of his Christmas presents.  He was 11 years old.

James Odgers
1954 - 2007

Monday, February 20, 2017

What Is In A Sympathy Card?

Early sympathy cards were announcements of a person's death.  They were usually plain and included the person's name and facts, maybe an image of a tombstone.  Eventually they evolved into what we know today, a message of sympathy to bereaved family members.

I have been reading through a lot of sympathy cards as I go through things from my uncle's funeral.  The thing that stuck out to me was the personal messages written in some of the cards.  Words like sense of humor, wonderful, fun, great boss, great friend, special person, great guy, and kindhearted were used to describe my uncle.  What a wonderful picture of him was painted through the kind words of people that he touched throughout his life.  A picture that was easy for me to see because I knew and loved him.

It got me thinking, though.  How many other sympathy cards will I come across for other deceased family members?  And will any of those include kind words that will paint a picture for me of someone I never met?  I sure hope that is the case and I plan to keep looking.

One thing I do know is, even though it has been over nine years, I still miss my uncle's kindheartedness and wonderful sense of humor.

Accrued Pension Form of 13 September 1909

This Accrued Pension Form is found in the Civil War Pension File of my paternal third great-grandfather.  My third great-grandmother filed t...