Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday's Tip ~ Email Malware Warning

For more information on this virus click here.

Since we as genealogists look forward to the mail quite often, excited to receive packages and correspondence, I felt that I should bring this to your attention just in case you aren't aware of it.

I received an email that looked just like the image above. (Apparently I received two of them because the one above is from an email account that I don't use.) If you get one of these DO NOT CLINK ON THE LINK that says "Print a shipping Label NOW" like I foolishly did. (Only because I was actually expecting a package!)

When I clicked on that link, it downloaded a zip file to my computer which released a couple of different viruses. I got rid of those alright with Malwarebytes, but when I got a mailer daemon notice refusing to send an email that I supposedly sent I started to freak out.

Apparently my email address was used to send someone else a "Funeral Announcement" Malware. This morning my email address seemed to disappear. I discovered that it was suspended because of this whole mess!

Everything is good to go now. I certainly hope it stays that way.

Leslie Ann

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Those Places Thursday ~ My Childhood Home

Last month I went back home to Pocatello for a couple of weeks. The main reason was because mom sold the house. Times are tough and she just couldn't afford it any longer. I had a bunch off stuff in the basement I needed to go through and get out of there, not to mention helping her get moved out. We moved her in with my brother.

I was in the second grade when we moved into that house. The photo collage above depicts a few of the shots I have of the front of the house.

Left to right:
  1. It was October of 1970. The house was a peach color. I am standing on the porch with little brother. This was the day that I was confirmed.
  2. Not sure when that photo was taken, but it was some time between 1970 and 1974. Mom's corvair in front. I had a frightening experience in that car before we moved to that house.
  3. It was August of 1974. Calvin Buck and Grace Ellen Poulsen Smedley (my paternal grandparents) standing in front.
  4. My maternal grandmother, Blanche Theora Barker Piggott Dunn standing in front. By this time the house was a gold color with brown trim.
  5. Yes, that's me sitting on the front porch. The year was some time between 1995 and 1997. By this time the house was a grey color and sporting a new screen door.
 I wont lie. This was a pretty emotional event, boxing up memories and deciding what to put in the yard sale and what to keep and saying goodbye to the house that built us. What didn't sale went to Goodwill and some stuff went straight to the dump. I was able to ship some of my stuff home and the rest is sitting in my son's basement. I will get it here eventually.

Our house was the neighborhood house, the place to play hide and seek, kick the can, and other outside games. There were many sleep overs out in the back yard. I miss being able to just sleep outside under the stars.

So I guess this is the next stage of my life. When I am able to go back to Idaho, I will no longer be staying with my mom in the house I grew up in, but now I will be the grandma who comes to visit.

The last photo of the "Smedley house".

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Those Places Thursday ~ Yorkshire

August 1st was Yorkshire Day. I discovered this holiday from Days of the Year that afternoon. I originally wanted to do a post about it that day, but that wasn't enough time to do a little research on Yorkshire.

In 1974 the Yorkshire Ridings Society discussed the idea of Yorkshire Day and decided on the day August 1 because it was also the anniversary of the Battle of Minden. 

Each year members of the society read a declaration of the integrity of Yorkshire at the four of Bars of York (city gates); namely Bootham Bar, Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar, and Mickelgate Bar. The declaration reads as follows:

"I, (name), being a resident of the [West/North/East] Riding of Yorkshire [or City of York] declare: 

That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1134 years standing;
That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire;

That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women;
That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.
These declarations made this Yorkshire Day [year]. God Save the Queen!”

There are a few notable Yorkshire folk that you are probably familiar with, but my favorite is Patrick Stewart who was also the subject of one of last year's episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? in the UK. I watched the episode this morning and found it very moving. You should check it out.

Have you ever wondered about Yorkshire Pudding? I thought it was a yummy desert I could dig into with a spoon. It's not. I would call it biscuits and gravy. Well, like anyone else with Yorkshire ancestry I have got to try it at least once.

Watch this chef in action.

If you are keen on making your own Yorkshire Pudding, check out this plethora of recipes

The main reason I am so interested in Yorkshire is because my mysterious 2nd great-grandfather Thomas Cotton Smedley was married to my 2nd great-grandmother in Sheffield, Yorkshire and their son Thomas Joynes was born in Wombwell, Yorkshire.

It turns out that I have a few more ancestors from Yorkshire.
  • Thomas Taylor (1748-1837) & Mary Lee (1751-1830) married in Harthill, Yorkshire. I am just now learning some new information on this couple. I sense a post coming on.
  • William Goforth & Anne Skipwith, immigrant Quaker ancestors from Hull. Anne was the daughter of Willoughby Skipwith and Honora Saunders. Honora Skipwith died 1679 York Castle as a prisoner for being a Quaker.

Let's see if I can find a good Yorkshire Pudding recipe and eat as some of my ancestors. :-)
Leslie Ann

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ Buck Children

These are the children of my great-uncle Leonard Buck. I believe the children from left to right are: Richard, Shirley, Nancy, Chester, Leonard. The little one is Elsie. The photo was probably taken in Lincoln county, Wyoming about 1927.

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today is Paperback Book Day

Image from
Today is Paperback Book Day! In 1935 Allen Lane, then chairman of the British publishing house Bodley Head, pursued the possibility of publishing popular fiction in paperback when he couldn't find anything decent to read while waiting in a train station.

The folks at Bodley Head were not on board with the endeavor so that's when Mr. Lane started his own publishing house and he called it Penguin books.

So to celebrate this occasion I ordered a paperback! Not just any paperback, but one about one of my ancestors.

Killed Strangely The Death of Rebecca Cornell, by Elaine Forman Crane, is about the death of Rebecca Cornell who was the wife of Thomas Cornell. They are my ninth great-grandparents. 

Their son Thomas was tried and convicted of her murder. Ironically he was the ancestor of Lizzie Borden.

I can't wait until it gets here! I just love the smell of a paperback book. Don't you?

Leslie Ann

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why You Should Search Google by Image

Last week I decided to run an image search using the newly found photo I found back in April on FamilySearch of my 3rd great-grandmother Ellenor Creighton Pugmire.

I was hoping by chance that I could find more information using her photo. After all, she is one of my ancestors that I know so little about. Well, I didn't find any new information but what I did find left me feeling perplexed.

It turns out that this very same photo was attached to someone named Elizabeth Creighton.

This image was found on the website THE MUDDLE FAMILIES. I sent an email to the webmaster through his contact link, but that hasn't been updated since October of 2012 so I don't know if he will get it or not.

I can't get in touch with the person who uploaded the photo to FamilySearch because they didn't leave an email address or any other contact information. So now I am left wondering if this beautiful woman was my 3rd great-grandmother or not!

However I did notice that just below this photo on his website was a photo of one of her daughters and I think there is a little resemblance. If you click on the link above to that website, maybe you can tell me what you think.

I also found this same photo attached to several family trees on that Elizabeth Creighton Muddle was a part of.

So I thought I had better run image searches using the other photos that I found on FamilySearch. I found two more photos that were claimed to be someone else. Luckily I was able to sort one of them out because I found a family photo with the lady in question on a different website.

George Pickett

According to the Ferntree Gully Cricket Club website this is a photo of George H. Pickett who was a member of the cricket club and fought and died in WWI. According to FamilySearch this is my 3rd great-grandfather George Pickett (1821-1857). 

I highly encourage you to click on this link => search by image <= if you have ever downloaded an ancestor photo from:

  • FamilySearch
  • Geni
  • Any other family tree site
  • A blog or any other website 
And if you need to search by image from your Android phone, you will need the Google Search By Image app.

Leslie Ann

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Albion Normal School

I believe this was Hannah Comish Hall

These are some more photos that were in the possession of cousin Bruce. It took me a while to realize that some of the photos were taken on the same day, or at least in the same place.

Axline Gymnasium in the background

I have no idea who are in these photos, well except for aunt Lillian who has a big circle around her face. I hadn't a clue where the photos were taken either, but I was bound and determined to put on my detective cap and find out.

First, I realized I needed to know more about aunt Lillian. That's when I realized that I didn't even have her obituary. Thanks to the Digital Archives of Bear Lake County Library I found it. It was published in the News Examiner on August 31, 1989. Unfortunately, I can't post it, but if you follow the above link you will find it.

From her obituary I learned that she received her teaching certificate from the Albion Normal School in 1929. I was even able to find the 1929 yearbook on Mocavo. Unfortunately I am not a paid member and can't view the image in high definition so I can't even pick her out of the group, or see if any of these unidentified faces are also there. She is listed as Lillian Langford as a Senior Emersonian on page 70, and a Senior Philo on page 72.

So I have been googling the school for about two days now and have found enough photos of the campus to feel certain that these photos were indeed taken at the Albion Normal School located in Albion, Idaho.

Hansen Hall

I have also noticed that some of the ladies besides my aunt are in more than one of these photos. And I also realized that this photo I posted earlier must also have been taken on the campus.

You can see photos of all the buildings here.

The campus has been turned into a retreat, a great place for family reunions and stuff. It also turns out the Albion has a reputation of being haunted. Check out all the spooky links:

Leslie Ann

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Heber C. Smedley

This photo was among those that were in my second cousin Bruce Langford's possession. It is the headstone of Heber Charles Smedley in the Paris City Cemetery, Paris, Idaho. Heber was my great-uncle.

I can't be certain when the photo was taken, but obviously it was sometime after August 1937 when he died.

The photo below is from his Find A Grave Memorial.

Image credit: Wes & Debi Grosnickle
Notice how even the cemetery has changed. In the later picture the trees have been removed and you can see the small rolling hills in the background.

Leslie Ann

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thomas Smedley and Elizabeth Joynes Marriage Certificate

Yeah! I finally received the marriage certificate I was telling you about. It took long enough.

The writing is kind of faint in places so it took awhile to read correctly, however there are still two words I can't make out.

1841 Marriage solemnized by Banns in the parish of Sheffield in the County of York
When married: June 13
Name and Surname: Thomas Smedley, Elizabeth Joynes
Age: 38, 33
Condition: Bachelor, Spinster
Rank or Profession: Victualler
Residence at the Time of Marriage: Nursery, Wicker
Father's Name and Surname: Jno. Smedley, Thos. Joynes
Profession of father: Stockiner, Lace Man
Married in parish church by Thos. Sutton vicar

I still can't read who the witnesses are. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

And of course this certificate causes me to ask a couple of questions.
  1. Why was he listed as a bachelor when he was previously married?
  2. They were counted in the 1841 census on June 6, 1841 with their 3 year old son in Wombwell, Darfield, Yorkshire. Were they really living in Wicker, Yorkshire 7 days later? 
  3. Why wait until 1841 to get married when they were living together and had a child in 1837?
 And here is the birth certificate of their only child together:

See how Elizabeth is shown with the last name "Smedley formerly Tainey"? I think it should actually say "Joynes" and whoever recorded this information in 1964 misread it as Tainey. Anyway, were they really married at this time, or possibly waiting for his marriage with Martha Mitchell to be legally dissolved? Or, was that first marriage ever really dissolved?

So there you have it, more knowledge brings more mysteries.

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ Fourth of July Outing

Lillian Buck Smedley Langford with a group of unknown ladies somewhere in Bear Lake County, Idaho?

Leslie Ann

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Lillian Buck Smedley and Ladies

This is another photo that my cousin inherited. Obviously we know which one is Lillian. With the input of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA and one of my aunts I think I can say that the women in front of her is my grandmother Grace Ellen Poulsen Smedley.

If you compare this photo to one of her and grandpa, you can see the resemblance. And my aunt agrees with me that there is no other relative that looks like my grandma (well except for my dad and me).

You can definitely see that the hairline is identical. Her hair has just fallen a little in the photo on the right. It is also a small picture so when you make the photo bigger it's distorted a little around her face.

As for the identity of the other women in the photo, I have no idea. I am not sure if they are relatives or not. So once again I am calling on Bear Lake county, Idaho researchers for a possibility of identifying them.

Leslie Ann

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Smedley Family Lore - Where it all Began

Mansfield branch record
My great-grandfather Thomas Joynes Smedley was known throughout the Bear Lake Valley as the "Pioneer Brickmaker".

My grandmother who was his daughter-in-law wrote a history about him primarily based on her memory of him and information from my great-aunt Lillian (T. J. Smedley's daughter). I remember her telling me how he lived in Delaware and did business with Quakers.

Aunt Lillian also wrote a history about him that was published in the History of Bear Lake Pioneers. When it came to Thomas Joynes' father, Thomas Cotton Smedley, neither one of them got it quite right. They both reported his death as 1851.  Further research by two Smedley cousins and myself revealed that he immigrated in 1857 with his son and daughter-in-law.

After finding the passenger list and knowing that Thomas Joynes Smedley went back to England in 1896 to obtain genealogical information, I couldn't understand how the 1851 death date came about. Why wouldn't aunt Lillian know that her grandfather came to America with her father?

Just recently I finally discovered where that death date came from, thanks to my cousin and FamilySearch. She added a story on FamilySearch that was also written by Lillian Smedley Beck. It's not just a story, but more like research notes within the history. This writing is probably where the history published in the History of Bear Lake Pioneers came from. The following excerpt explains where the myth of Thomas Cotton Smedley's death came from:
"The last mention I found of Thomas Smedley Sr. was May 1852 in the Mansfield Branch Record. So he must have died shortly after that date."
 The image above is a copy of the Mansfield Branch Record she was referring to. And the "last mention" she found was March 27, 1852, the date he was cut off from the church:

Since Lillian couldn't find anything else on T. J.'s father, it looks like she just assumed his death happened shortly after. However, for some reason the baptism date of 1851 became the death date in the histories (an error, or attempt to deny the fact that he was cut off from the church?) and then naturally from there into numerous family trees. Thankfully some of them have been updated.

With help from some of the folks from the Facebook group Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA I was able to decipher the reason for his cut off.

"for immoral like conduct"
It could have been for something as simple as not following the Word of Wisdom, such as drinking coffee or tea, using tobacco, or consuming alcohol of some kind.

Referring to Thomas Joynes and his bride Ann Eaton, Lillian wrote the following:
"He was married to Ann Eaton and came to America sometime in 1857. I have not found their shipping record, but in the New Radford Branch Record it gives the record of Ann Eaton born 5 October 1834, Oxtow, baptized 11 Jun 1849, Mansfield. She emigrated March 26, 1857. So he must have emigrated at the same time."
So we know that she was never able to find a passenger list for her father's first passage to America, but for the life of me I still can't understand why he wouldn't tell her himself of such an eventful part of his life which would include the fact that her grandfather shared this voyage!

From reading her words it is clear that he shared a story or two of his childhood as well as from his time in New Jersey and Delaware, but nothing from a 24 day voyage across the Atlantic?! Maybe he relayed some stories to his older children with Ann and grew tired of retelling. Or maybe he was so out of sorts with his father and/or the trip that he never wanted to bring it up. I don't know. It just eats at me!

As for Thomas Cotton Smedley's actual death date, that remains a mystery. 

So tell me, have any of you discovered the beginnings of any of your family lores?

Leslie Ann

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Group of Women

This photo was among a few that one of my second cousins inherited when her uncle passed last year. She graciously sent me over some copies. As you can see cousin Bruce has defaced the photo by circling his grandma's face and pointing to her. I think a note in the margin would have been much nicer. I guess I shouldn't complain. Grandma Smedley noted above is actually my great-grandma Ida Buck Smedley.

I have no idea who the other women are, or the three little children for that matter.  The photo was probably taken in Bear Lake County, Idaho somewhere. It was probably taken some time in the 1940s and it's quite possibly a group of Relief Society Women.

If you are a Bear Laker, or have ancestors from that area, it's possible that you may know some of these ladies. Please let me know if you do.

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ Crocheting Great-grandma

Ida Buck Smedley,  Gertrude Smedley holding Violet Smedley,  Lillian Smedley Langford,
Irva Smedley holding Bruce Langford, Ella Smedley

Leslie Ann

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thomas Cotton Smedley ~ More Tidbits

You should have seen this girl do the happy dance when I found this FreeBMD marriage record for Thomas Smedley and Elizabeth Joynes on! I have been looking for proof of this marriage for a long, long time!

If you have read my previous post The 
Elusive Thomas Smedley, you will know that this has been one of the hardest ancestors to learn about. It seems the more I learn about him the more questions I have!

I now know why it has taken me this long to find this marriage record. The family genealogy that has been handed down has always assumed that they were married abt. 1837 because their only child was born 16 August 1837. News flash - they were married in 1841 when he was 2 months shy of being 4 years old!

Thanks to The British Newspaper Archive I was able to get the exact date of marriage from this marriage announcement published in the Sheffield Independent on Saturday June 19, 1841:

We have always known Thomas Cotton Smedley as a brick maker. It was kind of strange to see him listed as victualler in this announcement. But it does coincide with the 1842 banckruptcy notice where he calls himself a "Brick and Tile Maker and Beer Housekeeper".

Of all the questions I have about great-great-grandpa, the one that moves to the top of the list is 'why did they wait so long to get married?'

Yesterday I ordered the marriage certificate from GRO (General Register Office). I can't wait until it gets here!

Leslie Ann

Monday, March 31, 2014

Today is Crayola Crayon Day!

My Crayolas
It was 111 years ago today that Binney & Smith produced the first box of eight Crayola Crayons.

Crayolas were a cool thing to have back in the day. They were even on the list of school supplies that you should have each year. Are they still?

You would start with the 8 box count and then gradually go to the 48 count by 6th grade. If you had a box of 64 crayolas at home, boy your were somethin'. By the time I got into junior high I guess they figured we were too old for crayons so we had colored pencils instead.

Unfortunately I don't have any examples of my early crayola work to share, but I am sure I have some at mom's. I do have some awesome crayola art from some of my grandchildren though.

 And I am here to say you are never to old for a box of Crayolas! Coloring with my grandchildren is one of my favorite activities!

Leslie Ann


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