02 October 2014

Name Your Car Day

Today, October 2nd, is Name Your Car Day. As a family, we have had many cars over the years. I don't remember any names per se given to those cars. It was always "the Packard" or "the Charger". For me, my first beloved car was "the Cuda".  A 1966 Plymouth Barracuda with a glass back window.  I LOVED that car!! I wrote briefly about her in Cars - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History. Here's a photo:

1966 Plymouth Barracuda
My current car is a 1997 Nissan Sentra. Not the same mystique as my Cuda but it's MINE! I have nicknamed her "Lily" since it is supposedly a white car. Right now she's "Dirty Lily". I like to say that it's not dirt on her but a "protective coating"!! I guess before it gets cold here I should give her a bath! Here's a photo of the car during one of our lovely snow falls.  Can you see her?

1997 Nissan Sentra

01 October 2014

The 4th Quarter Begins

Well today is the start of the 4th and last quarter of 2014. I cannot believe how fast this year as gone by. I had so many plans for this year. Most are still waiting to either get started or finished. So far I have taken 3 trips home to Charleston to see my sister, nephew and niece (and brother-n-law). Normally I get down 1-2 times a year but when the airlines have sales I can’t pass up then I HAVE to go right? J I also got to see my godson get married. Talk about time flying! But I was so glad I was able to share the joy of his special day with my best friends and friends I had not seen in years.

So what are my goals for the last quarter of 2014? I have one more trip to see my sister and her family. This time we meet up in my brother-in-law’s hometown in southwest Virginia for a quick visit. Still any visit is a good visit when you can’t get home as often as you want!

I also have to finish a project I started LAST year for my local genealogical society. Our membership roster and surname list have not been updated in years. I ran into more problems than I anticipated so I am basically starting over. Going to use Access to reenter all that information. Had hoped to this project finished by now but life happens.....

One of the things that has delayed this project is my moving of apartments. Had been thinking about moving but nothing serious until a conversation with the old apartment manager. My father always liked to say “What are you willing to put up with?” Well after a conversation I had with the old manager….not much. So I moved. I have always wanted to move to the Frederick Maryland area but didn’t want to do the commute. But I decided why not, you only live once and if it becomes too much I can always move again J

I can’t believe how much STUFF I have! I had it hidden well in my old smaller apartment. But this move is forcing me to go thru things I should have done years ago. I have found some things that I knew I had seen but was beginning to think I dreamed them! Like a picture of my one of my elementary group pictures. I found another box of photos too. Once my computer/office area is set up I have lots of scanning to do!

The theme of this quarter will be fall clean up. I broke down and got a laptop computer for my longer commute. My reasoning is that with the extra time I can work on my blog and my genealogy. I am writing this blog post from the commuter bus. I have to figure out which are the better seats so I can see the computer more clearly. But live and learn….bets the alternative!

So what are your goals for the final quarter of 2014? Here’s hoping we ALL make our goals!

12 August 2014

52 Ancestors: #11 Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin

I am up to #11 in my "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge.  I'm pacing myself .... yeah, that's it!!

This edition features my paternal great grandmother, Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin (1883-1973).  She used Bridget or Agnes interchangeably it seems throughout the years but it is Agnes on her tombstone.  Agnes was the daughter of John Williams (1849-1928) and Mary Dewan (1854-1916).  She had 4 siblings that I have found. Born December 20, 1883 at Palmer Hill, Jay, Essex County, New York and raised in Black Brook, Clinton County, New York. Agnes married Daniel Joseph Coughlin (1877-1953) on August 22, 1905 in Lake Placid, Essex County, New York.  They had 6 children:  Bernard (1907-1980), David (1909-1984), Ann (1913-2000), Daniel (1915-1977), Mary Elizabeth aka "Betty" (1917-1998) and Thomas (1921-1945).

From the Census Summary Sheets, I was able to find Agnes in all but the 1900 Federal and 1905 New York State censuses.  As you can see she was listed as Bridget or Agnes.  She is also the reason I have started to search those hard to find relatives by their middle names (when known).  You just never know!!

Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin
Census Summary Sheet (1880-1940)

It's the Coughlin side of the family where I lack lots of photos.  I do have this picture of Agnes and Daniel from about 1940 at the farm in Palmer Hill, Jay, Essex County, New York.

Daniel & Agnes Coughlin

07 July 2014

It's Grama T's Birthday!

Today is the birthday of my (step) paternal great grandmother and a wonderful woman, Elizabeth Ann "Bess" Madden Torrance (1888-1985).  I am behind in my research but I do know her parents were Thomas and Margaret Hurley Madden. She was born in Jay, Essex County, New York.  She had 4 children, 3 of whom made it to adulthood including my grandmother, Helen Marguerite Torrance Coughlin (1910-1995).

Here is a cute picture from 1971 with "Grama T" and a friend of my father, Thomas Raymond Coughlin (1944-1998), along with Grandma Helen's note!


I just love this picture! It shows that poor Grama T had to put up with so much from my father and yet still had a smile on her face!!

Happy Birthday Grama T!! We love and miss you!!

15 May 2014

Helen Torrance Coughlin - Birthday Girl!

Today is the birthday of my paternal (step) grandmother, Helen Torrance Coughlin.  She was born on May 15, 1910 to Elizabeth Madden and Walter Torrance in Upper Jay, Essex County, New York.

I recently found this birthday of "Grandma C" at her 75th birthday gathering in 1985.  I can only imagine she was on the phone with one of her children!

Happy Birthday Grandma C!!!

14 May 2014

52 Ancestors: #10 Daniel Joseph Coughlin

And the roll call of ancestors continues! This entry in the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge" is my paternal great grandfather, Daniel Joseph Coughlin (1877-1953).

Dan was the 5th son and 7th child of Daniel Coughlin (1837-1911) and Anna/Annie McDonough (1845-1893) born in the Palmer Hill area of Black Brook, Clinton County, New York. In 1905 he married Bridget Agnes Williams (1883-1973) in Lake Placid, Essex County, New York.  They had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. He died from fracturing his neck in a farming accident on June 12, 1953 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I do have a picture of him working the farm at Palmer Hill, Black Brook, Clinton County, New York in the 1930's.

I have been tinkering with a census tracking form. So I used Grandpa Dan as my "test subject".  The only census I have been unable to locate him in is the 1900 Federal Census. He would have been 23 years old in 1900 and I am not sure where he may have been as he did various jobs before he took over the family farm after the death of his father in 1911. It was interested as I reviewed the censuses I have from him and saw the many variations of "Coughlin". Most I have seen on my personal correspondence but a few I had not seen so they have been added to my Names Variations chart!

05 May 2014

Why Blog? - Motivation Monday

Why blog?

Image Courtesy of LEOL30
I get this question all the time from non-genie friends and family members (and a few genie friends as well). Why did you start? If you haven't received a lot of feedback or my favorite, if you haven't found all your relatives, why continue to blog?

So why do I blog? Well it comes back to podcasts, websites and blogs! I listen to a LOT of podcasts on my daily commute.  There are also a lot of websites and bloggers I follow on a regular basis.  There was a period where ALL mediums were talking about creating your own blog to share information and if you are lucky you will have people share with you. I always kept in the back of my mind but always had "something" else to do.  Finally, I just DID it. I went online and a few clicks later....blog created!!

I do not blog on a regular basis.  I usually have great ideas and then when I finally get to "pen and paper" so to speak, I draw a blank.  But I am trying to get better and one day I will finally get into the routine.  We all have something we should strive for daily!! (I also hope to redesign and/or add more to the blog.  It's on my list :) )

And to answer my friends about what I get from the blog.  Some of my family members read this blog and have made comments about not knowing something or thanking me for sharing information.  So that is good. Currently I have been contacted by a few previously unknown distant cousins, some more helpful than others.  One helpful distant cousin in particular is trying to break through our common Coughlin brick wall.....where in Ireland did brothers Daniel and Thomas Coughlin really come from???? We have emailed and spoken on the telephone (so 20th century I know but it works too!!) and I am confident that one day, ONE DAY, we will be successful!!

I also get the satisfaction of sharing what I may or may not know about my relatives.  I have TONS of photos that I am continually in the process of scanning and labeling with the hopes of putting them online so I can share what I have with family and friends.  I hope they are enjoying them as much as I am.

I also want to give credit and much thanks to the following folks, podcasts, websites who inspired me (aka gave me that nudge) to finally create a blog.  In no particular order they are:
I say if you have ever thought about starting a blog, genealogy related or not, JUST DO IT! Check out the folks I mentioned and I know you will come away with some inspiration. 

The one piece of advise I would give is do what feels right for you.  Some blog daily and others, like me, when the spirit hits you! You can always tweak your blog as you get more comfortable with it.  The blog is how YOU want it to be not how anyone else wants it...just you.