Saturday, March 22, 2014

new finds

Hey all!

Sorry it's been a while again! I've been slowly trying to plug away on some genealogy work and it's just been taking me a little longer than usual.  About 3 weeks ago my grandmother's younger sister, Margaret Lev, passed away.  With her passing it has given me a bit of a boost to work on my grandmother's tree with a little more gusto.  But before I get to that I do want to share one funny little anecdote about my great-aunt Peg.  The last time I saw her, which was about a year & 1/2 ago, I had taken my grandmother to visit her so I could pick her brain about the family tree.  She was 3 years younger than my grandmother so I figured I'd see if she had anything new and exciting to tell me.  Turns out she remembered this great little story about how their parents (my great-grandparents) got together.  Their mother Beatrice & father John were both born in England, Beatrice immigrated here with her family and John came alone.  Beatrice's family moved to rural (at the time) Aurora, IL and John lived in the city and worked as a bricklayer.  A friend of John's told him there was more work to be had out in Aurora, so he moved out there.  Beatrice  happened to be engaged at the time to a mailman.  When John & Beatrice met it must have been love at first site because she promptly broke off her engagement and married my great-grandfather 4 weeks later.  To this day my grandmother still doesn't remember this story, but because of my great-aunt Peg I will always have it.

I've been having a rough time with this particular tree because of the surnames involved.  Unfortunately this is one of those trees that is a lot of work.  My grandmother's maiden name was Moseley; which is EXTREMELY common in England.  Not to mention it's got a handful of spelling variations which are all pretty much interchangeable depends on what kind of document you're looking at.  As if that's not bad enough, her mother's maiden name is the dreaded . . .  Smith.  Ugh, this is like an genealogical nightmare.  Also these names may not sound common to you but I also have Bastable & Hodgetts; both of which are more common than I care for them to be.

My frustration reached an all time high this week when I realized that when I was inputting all my ancestral information into I conveniently forgot to add most of the Bastable & Hodgetts line.  After spending about 45 minutes inputting everything I had on them I had about 125 more hint leaves than I did before.  Yippee!!  Slowly, but surely I narrowed most of them down, but I am still stuck on some hints that pertain to my great-great-great-grandmother Ruth Hodgetts & her brother Samuel.  There are unfortunately a few families with similar names and birth dates and I have no information on Ruth & Sam's parents so I can discern which is mine and which isn't.  I'm hoping I'll turn over some leaf soon that gives me the hint I need to sort it all out.  In the mean time I've discovered many of the people I left out (oops lol) didn't leave to far from me so I'll be able to visit some cemeteries and hopefully get some great pictures.

That being said I will move on to another brief topic.  My paternal great-grandfather, Victor Panfil, was a glass blower most of his life.  I knew he made glass ornaments for our christmas trees and he had fashioned these glass bells that we hang in the window ever year.  I had also heard some family stories about him doing some work with the Manhattan Project here in Chicago, but never really knew much more.  Unfortunately I don't have many details besides that he was blowing glass into beakers? or something that was of use to the Manhattan Project.  Also what I do have are 2 really great photos.

This is a photo of a pin given to my great-grandfather to commemorate his work on the Manhattan Project.  My Dad's cousin, Dayle, has the pin.

This is a photo of the certificate given to my great-grandfather by the USA War Department in August of 1945 commemorating his work on the Manhattan Project.  It also states that he "has participated in work essential to the production of the Atomic Bomb, thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of World War II"

Talk about your kick-ass great-grandparent stories!

Well that's all I have for now friends.  Hopefully soon I'll have some new exciting family finds to share with you!  Happy hunting fellow genealogists!