Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Very Tough Assignment---Keep the Blog Interesting---Really Tough to do!

I've been blowing it big time lately on keeping the blog interesting and moving along.  At first I published articles on various, older families. Then I awakened to the fact that even if I went back only three generations---in some families I have them back eight to as many as twelve generations---and picked a family to write about, only 1/16th of the visitors to my site would be interested in that particular family. Not a good way to keep readers interested in visiting the blog. As to my genealogy, it is already public and there is a link in this blog to take you to it.
What will I write about? Well, because I have found interesting things about certain individuals in my genealogical lines their stories will be told. But mostly I intend to write about topics other  than family that I find of interest to me that I hope will be of  interest to you. Also, and I want to emphasize this, I would really appreciate in-put from my readers.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peripheral Neuropathy---Inherited---I have it---Do any of You?

I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy in my early seventies. My sister Virginia, who is 14 months younger than I, followed right on time, one year later. There is very strong evidence that ours is the inherited variety. I don't know whether our two younger brothers, Rodney nee Frank, or Lee had it. Both died in their early seventies so it may not have been far enough advanced for them to have noticed it or had it diagnosed.

Peripheral Neuropathy? What is it? I don't know whether it is a disease or an affliction but it has to do with the ends or periphery of your nerves literally dying. You lose a great deal of the physical ability to feel things with the surface of your body. In my case, my feet became numb which  in turn caused me to lose my balance. At first you don't notice it because you compensate with your vision. Your balance is a combination of feeling--sensing through your feet--and seeing. As long as there is a light source somewhere within your vision you're okay. But if it's very dark and there isn't a light source, even a tiny one, you will quickly lose your balance. There is no known cure or even a modestly effective treatment for it yet.  Research is in high gear to find both but as of now, nothing.

I don't know which family line it came down through. That is why I'm asking all of you related to me whether you or any member of your family, past or present, may have, or do have it. My personal knowledge of the affliction came when I was diagnosed with it fifteen years ago. I'd never heard of it before.  

Your response would be greatly appreciated. I will pass along to you the results of this request just in case it might be of some help to you or a member of your family.

Monday, August 15, 2011

ECOFF--.A Long Line of Distinguished Warriors

A few  years back, 2007 I believe, after I had started work on my memoir, I got in touch with one of my relatives who had served as a pilot  in WW ll, David W. Ecoff. Dave had a twin brother, Daniel, who had also served in WW ll  and was also a pilot but in the Navy. I finally reached Dave and had a wonderful old-home-week conversation with him. Dave and Dan born July 10, 1920, which made them almost exactly six years older than I so I didn't really know them at all.

Dave was sworn in as an aviation cadet on the 25 of February, 1942 and soloed on June 19th of that same year. and was discharged October15, 1945. That same year, he enlisted in the Air force reserve and served until 1980 when, at age 60, he received an honorable discharge.

In 2007 I contacted Dave to help me with the genealogy of that side of the family. During our conversation I became aware of the long line of Ecoff men and relatives who had served our Country from the war of 1812, actually the Revolution, through WW ll. He had collected copies of pictures of  most of them including pictures of  the12  Ecoffs who served in WW ll, one of whom was an Olaf G. Beestrum, who I believe was the husband of an Ecoff female.  He very kindly sent me a copy of his collection of Ecoff warriors and several years later, a copy of a book covering his years in WWll which will be the subject of an upcoming blog. For now, though, I want to show you his colledtion of the Ecoff Warriors: 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Politics, Keep out of the Blog ? Hmmmnnnn

Ohh my, the temptation is so great for me to launch into current politics on my blog.  But, good sense (my good wife, Genie) is sitting on my shoulder counseling me to keep my politics to myself. When I'm thinking rationally, I know she is right. But when politics get really dicey, as they are now, it takes all the will power I possess to keep my big mouth shut. Holt males, at least all of the ones I have known over the many years of my life, are vested with a very active and very vocal political gene.  It causes their faces to get red, their eyes to snap and sparkle,  their arms to wave wildly with a finger pointing menacingly at whom ever they are lecturing on the topic at hand---political topic that is. And they are right by d---.  Ohh, it's bad, bad bad.
So, good common sense tells me to keep on the straight and narrow environs of our familial past and pass along to you what I know or have found out about our collective ancestors. Believe it or not, some of our ancestors were very active politically, especially the Holt folks. And  many many of our ancestor males participated in our countries wars that occurred in their life times. I'm very proud of our ancestor  participants in the nations battles over the centuries. We've had them in every war since the French and Indian war of 1755/58 right down, I suspect though I don't know of any, to the current mess in the middle east. We lost at least one Davis cousin, Ronald, during the Battle of the Bulge in WWll. He was a dispatch currier whose Jeep was blown up. There were probably others in those many wars and I would like to know who they were so we could honor them. If you know of any, please send me the information and I will compose a blog naming them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Davis Family Surname Quandry Solved at Last

I've been battling my Davis surname quandary for at least thirty-five years, ever since I started doing genealogy. Davis?, What quandary? I could never find the paternal line for Joseph Davis, born 1840/41 in Pennsylvania. I finally met a cousin and fellow researcher, Ethel Daley, who had an old, Kennedy family bible that gave Joseph's name as Leeman--bible spelling--when he married Sarah Ann Kennedy in 1869 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

See my blog of about the Davis quandary.
Frank Davis, a direct, lineal, male descendant of Joseph's, had his DNA done and low and behold, it provided a 37 out of 37 marker match to the family name of  Hamilton. I immediately emailed Mr. Hamilton and learned that his birth name was indeed Boyd and that he had been adopted at the age of 2 by a Hamilton family. So, Joseph's father was a Boyd.  Unfortunately, women are only counted in the 1840 census and not named,  so I'm not aware of the families living close to her or, indeed, where she was living in 1840.  My suspicions are she was living in Middlesex Twp., Butler County, Pa. since that is where she shows up in the 1850 census living in the Samuel Davis household. They married that year.  But that doesn't give me Joseph's father. I need to find her living either with or near a Boyd family in 1839/40 and I suspect it was in Middlesex Twp., Butler County, Pennsylvania.  The search is on.  Join me, I need the help.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Excuses from the old Gas bag

Just  a line or two to let you know I'm still among the living. Cranky as all get out, but still here. Genie, my wonderful wife, is about to sweep me out the door to get me moving. I'm in a terrible slump and grouchy. Summers are suppose to be spent in such wonderful---and cool--places as Yellowstone Park, or thereabouts, where sneaky trout are hiding in wonderfully cool and inviting streams.  Or maybe wandering around in some weedy, long ago abandoned grave yard looking for an ancestor whose name I have just found in some moldy old records. You know, exciting things like that.
 Even my Memoir writing has been suffering from neglect. Speaking of my memoir, I've decided to break it up into two and maybe three items, it's right at 170 pages now. Gassy old bugger--but slow. I've been working on it, off and on, for the last fifteen years.  You read that correctly, fifteen years. You weren't aware that my middle name is Procrastination were you? Well you are now.