thegenealogygirl


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Photograph Showcase: Seeing Grandpa Costello’s Smile

COSTELLO, John and Mary family 1950 Chritmas time

John & Mary Costello Family, 1950, Spokane, Washington

Do you see that happy Grandpa sitting front and center with one of his sweet grand-babies kissing the top of his head?  Do you see that beautiful and happy smile on his face?

Well so do I!!

 

I have seen two other photos from this particular sitting.  In both of them, Grandpa Costello is not looking at the camera.

So imagine my delight when my sister brought this photo to me.  For the first time ever, I was seeing a photograph of my Great Grandpa Costello looking at the camera and smiling.  Really smiling.  ❤

But I have to give credit where credit is due.  See that lovely, happy woman on the back row on the far right?  That is my grandaunt Barbara.  She sent my sister home with a bundle of photos for me to scan.  This little treasure was amongst them.

I am so grateful to Aunt Barbara for sharing and especially to my sister for making an impromptu visit to our Aunt.

If you’ve been reading along for a while you may remember that I discovered 7 seconds of video of Grandpa Costello earlier this year.  In that video Grandpa is definitely smiling, so this photo isn’t the first time I’m seeing his smile, but it is the first high quality photo with his smile.

I think that the important lesson in all of this is that we can’t ever consider our efforts “done”.  I’ve talked to Aunt Barbara several times over the years.  I’ve visited her in her home and interviewed her and Uncle Dan.  I’ve exchanged letters asking questions.  But this past Spring I specifically sent her a letter asking if she had any photos of Grandpa Costello that I might scan.  Because of my letter, she had gathered a small group of photos and then had them all ready to send with my sister when she visited.  Her bundle included several photos of my Great Grandpa Costello that I had never seen.  That my mom had never seen.  These photos may have NEVER made it to my branch of our tree if I hadn’t thought to ask Aunt Barbara about photos of my Great Grandpa Costello.

So, keep asking questions of your oldest living relatives.  I thought I had gleaned every detail I could from Aunt Barbara.  I hadn’t.  I wonder what else I might learn the next time I visit her?

 

Happy Thursday, I hope you think of a great question to ask one of you oldest living relatives today!

 

 

 

ps – Because only three family members in this photo have passed on, I am not labeling this photo here.  If you are a family member and want the names, shoot me an email.  I will add a detailed description of the photo in my private Ancestry tree.

 


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Photograph Showcase: Grandma Costello’s Art

COSTELLO, Mary, 1939 sailboat art - smaller

This lovely little sailboat was created by my Great Grandma Mary Brown Young Costello in 1939 using chalk.  It appears to be an oil chalk.  My great aunt recently gave it to my sister who brought it straight to me to scan.

What a little treasure!  Grandma Costello was very talented.  She crocheted, cross-stitched, tatted, arranged flowers at a flower shop, and apparently created beautiful chalk drawings.

Aunt Barbara said that Grandpa Costello didn’t like her to draw.  I’m curious about that.  I wish I had been there to ask a few follow-up questions.  Like, did he dislike her art or the time she spent?  Or did she go somewhere to take a class and maybe that was his issue?  Expense, time, or a handsome art teacher?  😉

I am so happy my sister has a new family treasure to love and that she allowed me to capture a high quality scan so we can all enjoy Grandma Costello’s art.

 

Do you have any artists in your family?  How do you preserve and share their work?

 

ps – This drawing is framed under glass.  I did not remove it from the frame because of it’s age and the fact that it was created with chalk.  I scanned it on a high quality flat-bed scanner at my local family history center.  It turned out great!  I scanned it as a .tiff at about 1200 dpi so that family members could print the image in whatever size they prefer.  I sized it down and saved it as a .jpeg to share here.


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Photograph Showcase: Fixing the Sink

Grandpa Duval & Uncle Craig

Grandpa Duval & Uncle Craig

This is my great grandfather, Frank Duval and his grandson, my Uncle Craig.  My great grandfather was a hard worker and an excellent do-it-yourselfer.  I imagine there were lots of moments like this one with Grandpa Duval inviting his children or grandchildren to help him with a project.  His descendants include quite a few do-it-yourselfers – I don’t think that is a coincidence.

I wonder where this bathroom was…?


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DIGGING IN in 2015

gg, DIG IN!

Happy New Year!

I learned a long time ago that I am much more likely to achieve my New Year’s Resolution if I only choose one.  I think it through and carefully select one DO-able goal that I think will have an impact on other areas of my life.  They are usually simple goals like floss every day, write in my journal every day, take a shower and get ready for the day before my husband leaves (that goal was set after my youngest was born).

This year is no exception.  I have chosen one loose resolution – I’m still working on defining it exactly.

Aside from my one New Year’s Resolution, I usually choose a few shorter term goals – goals in areas of my life that just need a bit of re-focus.

This year, one of those goals is about Family History.

In 2015 I have set the goal to post at least once each week on my blog.  Because, posting about my genealogy experiences definitely improves them.  I think things through more carefully if I write about them.  I make connections with people.  I learn from my readers.  I attract distant cousins who always enrich what I know.  I read what other people write about genealogy.  Blogging about genealogy has been good and I want a little more good in my genealogy life.

So that is my genealogy goal for 2015 – at least one blog post on here each week.

I have a Genealogy Wish List for 2015 as well:

  • Order the homestead papers for Henry and Alice Hyde.
  • Order the homestead application for Frank and Alice Duval.
  • Acquire the Estate record for Alice Hyde.
  • Order the Civil War Records for Landrie Brouillette & Seth Potter Maffit.
  • Make ANY kind of progress on John Costello – my great grandfather and SERIOUS brick wall.
  • Make a decision on a DNA test/company and have John Costello’s two living sons (in their 80s) take the test.
  • Buy a higher quality scanner.
  • Finish scanning the many photos Grandma gave me.
  • Clean out my hard drive.
  • Buy Dragon Naturally Speaking (is that what it’s called?) and use it to transcribe the interviews I have recorded.
  • Find someone to rescue the old cassette recordings my mom gave me to care for.
  • Order a handful of the long list of English records I want.  (Pricey)
  • Resolve the conflict in Family Tree on familysearch regarding my James Young, my 4th great grandfather.  This requires a surname study for the parish.  Two James Youngs married two Janet Robertsons two years apart and each had a son James Young.  Oy!
  • Prove or disprove that Landrie Brouillette and Emilie Fortin are the parents of Esther Brouillette.
  • Organize my family photos, documents, videos.  Make backups.
  • Participate in the 52 Ancestors challenge again.  (No pressure, just when it fits in.)
  • Join Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
  • Attend RootsTech.
  • Learn more about the Alaskan adventures of my family members.
  • Visit BYU and the FHL in SLC more often.

I could keep going and going.  But I know that setting ONE goal – writing one blog post each week – is DO-able and it will help me chip away at that big old list there.

So, how about it?

What is your ONE Genealogy goal for 2015?

I challenge you to set ONE goal and DIG IN!

PS – that super cool photo up there is my Great Grandpa Frank Duval.  Here it is with the back of the photo too.

Frank Duval, August 1938

Frank Duval,

Frank Duval, A-6- International Truck, Douglas’es Shovel a North West.  On Overpass at Shelby, Mont.  August 1938 [handwriting belongs to Frank’s wife Estelle Maffit Duval.]


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Photograph Showcase: Back to School Best

vicki and craig costello, sept 1958

My Aunt Vicki & Uncle Craig, ready for school. My mom is peeking through the screen door.

Back to School pictures have been flooding my Facebook news feed for days now.  These precious first day photos have been a long tradition in my family.  I love this one of my aunt & uncle.  That Zorro lunch box is pretty awesome.  My poor mom is looking disappointed to be left out.  You can see her peeking through the screen door.


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Ancestory Story – Amelia Pallina – 52 Ancestors

Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 2.50.04 PM

A portion of my great grandparent’s marriage record.

Amelia Pallina is my 2nd great grandmother.  Except for the thing is, I don’t know for sure that’s her name.

I know that she exists because I know her son exists.  He is John Costello, my biggest brickwall.

So what do I know about Amelia?  Not much, let’s break it down.

  • I have the above marriage record for her son John that states her name is Amelia Pallina and that she was born in Barcelona, Spain.
  • I have an entry in the front of my mother’s baby book that matches this marriage record.
  • The 1920 & 1930 US Census for John list his mother’s birthplace as Spain.
  • I have a few oral family stories stating that she was the mother of 4 children, John and 3 daughters.

When I look at my tree, my eye always goes right to Amelia’s name.  It is my most recent dead end.  She is a mystery, a woman hidden by mist.  So hidden in fact that I can only see her outline.  And it’s pretty hazy.

Amelia, who are you?  Is that your name?

 

I also wrote about John Costello here.