Monday, November 1, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - An Ancient Irish Rosary

This rosary has been in my family since before my ancestors swam over from Ireland. OK...they took a boat, but I'm sure it was a long, hard journey for them!  The rosary was William Quirk's, my 2nd great grandfather. Now William was born around 1842, so if the date refers to when it was carved or to commemorate an event, it most likely belonged to his father or mother.

William was Irish-born. What I don't know is if any of his family came over with him or if he made the journey alone...still looking into that one! Perhaps the rosary was a gift from a family member before he made the trip. A piece of the family to take with him on his long journey from home.

My sisters and I all have the utmost affection for this particular piece of family history. It's probably the oldest thing our family has. It was passed on to me by my mother several years ago and it spends the majority of it's time in our fire-safe.

Wisdom Wednesday - The Journey Begins

Well, sort of.

My journey towards accreditation began back in April of this year when my husband told me that if all we ever did was talk about me becoming a professional genealogist, then talk was all that was ever going to happen! I am blessed to have an extremely supportive you, Rick! So I went from stay-at-home mom (a position I had held for 4 years) to business owner.

I needed to think of a business name (so many of the cool genealogy names were taken), so I did what most people would do....I asked my Facebook friends and family for suggestions. I then compiled a list and everyone gave their 2 cents on what they thought was the best name. I had veto power the entire time, but as it turned out I agreed with their choice. It wasn't even a name I had come up with, but it worked. I really liked it. So was born.

I purchased the domain name, got the blog, email, and purchased my Doing Business As license. Then things started getting a bit crazy and everything came to a screeching halt. My father-in-law passed away (we actually lost a number of family and friends this's been a difficult year for our family) and summer hit. My 9 year old is pretty self-sustaining at 4-year old, well, not so much. He wants my undivided attention, and my children deserve it. So I put starting everything on hold until after they returned to school in the fall.

We had a very nice summer which included a car trip from Texas to Pennsylvania and back complete with lots of state/national parks and landmarks. We believe in summer vacations being as fun and educational as they can be! But when school started things didn't get easier. They got worse.

I had been asked to accept the nomination for PTA president of my oldest son's school. I originally declined, but was persuaded to accept. As a former Drill Sergeant they were looking for my delegating skills (not my yelling and screaming skills, but they can have them if needed :) ). I figured delegating was easy in the Army, so the PTA couldn't be too bad. Um...I was wrong.

The problem is you need someone to delegate to. So with school starting it was time to reinvent the PTA wheel, unscrew everything that was (majorly) screwed up, conduct a fundraiser, etc. It seemed like every time I started climbing out of the hole I had dug myself into by volunteering, someone threw more dirt on me. It was frustrating.

Did I mention that I'm an adult leader with Cub Scouts too? Yes...we are big scouting parents so this PTA was adding on to my other volunteer responsibilities. Not cool. And I was fixing some issues in the new volunteer position I had in scouting. Not going to get into the gory details, but there was gore involved. The mess is slowly getting cleaned up in scouting and PTA-land. At least I hope it is because I'm done.

My blog was born back in April, as I mentioned, but my first post was in October. The anniversary of the Royal Charter shipwreck on October 26th spurred my post, then my friend told me about Geneabloggers, and I got into this wonderful genealogy/blogging community. It gives me the motivation to get it together and to get headed back in the right direction.

The PTA and scouts are going to have to get used to hearing the word "NO" come out of my mouth. People need to stop looking at me like I'm some stay-at-home mom that has nothing but time on my hands to solve their petty problems...heck, my job as a Drill Sergeant was easier on so many levels! :) And being a stay-at-home mom was never easy...there were never any soap operas and bonbon eating in my life!

Bottom line...I...have...a...JOB!!! My job is personal. It's going to be MY business. My job is to get prepared for my accreditation and try to figure out how the professional world of genealogy works. I want to do something I'm passionate about and help other people while I'm doing it.

And so it begins....again. We'll check on my progress next Wednesday...

(Please allow me to beg forgiveness that this "Wisdom Wednesday" and the series I will be including on Wisdom Wednesday isn't based in the past. It's any wisdom and experience I'm gaining as I travel down the road to accreditation. There are certainly tidbits of wisdom to be gleaned by anyone else that may choose to take the same path!)

Tombstone Tuesday - Amazing What 100 Years Can Do!

The top photo was taken sometime around 2008 and the bottom one was taken in 1913. The bottom picture is easy for me to date (it came from the "unknown" album I mentioned in an earlier post) because it shows the fresh grave of my 2nd great grandmother Mary Quirk nee Lee (1846-1913). Also in the above picture is her husband William Quirk (1840-1902) to her left, her daughter Ella Quirk (1872-1941) to her immediate right, and her parents, Edward Lee (1819-1904) and Susan Lee nee Phillips (1821-188?) are next to Ella.

What I find interesting when comparing the two pictures is how much has changed. Ignoring my poor angle in taking the top picture I made note of two significant changes:

1) The section marker next to William's gravestone has sunken by an enormous degree, and

2) The circled gravestones are missing in the current picture! Perhaps something happened to them and they needed to be replaced. I wouldn't be able to tell from the picture if they had a flat stone, although it would be worth mentioning that the majority of stones in this cemetery are not flat markers.

You can certainly notice how my ancestors' stones are holding up. I can't tell the year of death for Susan because the stone for her and her husband has been swallowed by the earth to the point of covering it. It appears to be 1882 from the close-up I have, but I need to get documentation from the church still.

Tombstones sinking, missing and leaning. It makes me a bit sad, but must be expected to some degree. This is a coal mining town. Churches have been swallowed up by subsidences before in the Hazleton area! I should be delighted that they are still there at all. The earth eventually reclaims everything when left alone.