Jessica always has ravioli for the holidays
The daily calendar that sits on my desk is getting thin. Another year is wrapping up. Jess suggested including our blog addresses in the Christmas letter and writing our own notes online. You must have liked the idea.
As I first starting writing this post, Jessica and I just finished making ravioli for Christmas Eve. You can see some of our results pre-clean-up. The homemade goods are a family tradition that we’ve kept up – along with my family’s meatballs when we put up the tree.
This past year has been one filled with hard work. I dove into the remaining coursework I had to do to complete my graduate degree – finishing almost 60 percent of my classes this year. I’m looking forward to reading for pleasure again – and tackling projects that aren’t due at the end of the semester.
We cut back on trips – visiting Washington, D.C. twice, Columbus once, and Atlantic City once. We also returned to St. Marys for Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s a light year of trips – only five states, counting the one where I live. This might be the fewest number of states I visited in a year since high school.
I completed my second term as president of the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. My final meeting brought out the largest turnout of chapter members in the last decade. We elected a new slate of officers, and they’ll do a great job taking over the chapter. I’m glad that I was able to stablize the chapter’s finances, recruit a new team of officers (and provide them with all the relevant information about the duties of their office), and overhaul and update the chapter roster. I’ve also continued and expanded my work with the Lackawanna Historical Society. I produce the Society’s quarterly newsletter, and I helped organize a database of previous newsletters as well as preparing program brochures for several events this past year.
Want to see more of what we did this year? Check out Jessica’s holiday post.
My family has researched a lot of our ancestry during the past few years. I’ve worked on a project to record, photograph, and map the graves of ancestors. My parents have been a big help with this, and they’ve driven many miles of Ohio and Indiana roads with their GPS to get the exact locations of graves.
My parents visited two more cemeteries in the Cincinnati area about a month ago. With the information they collected there, I’ve updated the map, which is included in this post. (If the plugin doesn’t work properly, try to view the map here.)
Clarkspot Ancestor Graves in a larger map
For more information on my family’s history, visit my genealogy section.
The alarm sounded again early yesterday and today. Work resumed after a two week end-of-year break. While I sat reviewing the unread e-mails in my inbox (listservs, notes to myself, and notes from co-workers urging me to follow up on ideas and inspiration), I wondered where the past two weeks went.
I heard a saying once that even a bucket with small holes in the bottom loses water – and will eventually empty just as a bucket deliberately emptied. No missing the meaning of that. Be efficient and effective when using your time. Actually, be jealous so to avoid wasting it. There’s a great thought – whether it be a resolution for the year or a admonition to focus on business when returning to work.
Where did the past two weeks go? I worked on the Lackawanna Historical Society’s upcoming newsletter, traveled to Ohio and to Philadelphia, did end-of-year work for the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, watched some bowl games, researched my ancestors in Southwestern Pennsylvania, read two books – The Grapes of Wrath (#10) and The Seven Daughters of Eve, and worked on a few other projects that you’ll hear about in the near future.
The first Monday back in the office was actually welcome.
When my dad first researched our family history, he drove to remote courthouses, libraries, and archives in search of dates, documents, or other traces of the Clark family that settled in Perry County, Ohio in the early 1820s.
I recently did remote research myself. Sitting seven hours away in Scranton, Pennsylvania I checked the Ohio Historical Society’s web page to find the death certificates of most of my great grandfather’s siblings. The organization has an index of death certificates filed between 1913 and 1944. Enter the name and county, and the web site pulls the volume and certificate number from its database.
Last week, my dad got back in the car and drove two hours to the state archives. Armed with the certificate numbers that I gave him, Dad easily found microfilm copies of the death records. I got them in the mail yesterday. Deaths in 1922, 1933, 1936, and 1940.
My ancestors – and their relatives – never could have imagined that it would be possible to learn so much about them so quickly and so easily from anywhere in the world.