Saturday, June 25, 2011

Working on some family projects...

I've been thinking about working on genealogy again.  I originally did some work back in the 1980's BC (before computers).  At that time we even visited some of my relatives in New York cemeteries.  By doing so I even found where a great-great grandmother was buried next to a great grandmother and no one in the family ever knew it.

A few years ago I became interested in learning more about the Ziegfeld Follies since my great aunt had been a Follies Girl (as they were called).  She performed in the Follies and the Midnight Frolic.  This is a picture of her from the Ziegfeld Frolic and I believe this was called the balloon dance.  From what I understand gentlemen could pop the balloons. 

I came across a site called Find a Grave and decided to add my great aunt's information in case a relative of another Follies Girl stumbled upon it.  Then I forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I decided to take a look at the site again.

My Dad died this past September and I was surprised to find his information entered on the site.  I assumed my sister or someone in her family had probably stumbled across the site and decided to add it, but to my surprise they hadn't.  It was someone I didn't know, so I clicked on the name.  It was a man who lives in the next town and does volunteer work for the site.  He gathers information on local deaths and enters them so they'll be available for research.  I contacted him and he turned the listing over to me so I could update the biography.  That's when I decided to start adding information on my mother and other relatives.  I'm only adding the ones that I have first hand information about...either the cemetery plot information or graves I've personally visited in the past.  If I haven't documented it myself I don't add it.  I'm still not finished, but work on it whenever I have a little extra time.

I've also started going through old photos and writing on the back who the people are, where the photo was taken, etc., and then scanning them.  Does anyone know if there's a program that I could put on my computer for old photos?  I'm finding I can't list all the names, dates, and locations when I save the scans to my computer.  The titles would be much too long.

I enjoy old photos.  Here are a few I've come across:

Both sets of my grandparents together. 

My second grade class.  I'm the little girl with the glasses in the second row at the front of the class.  The little boy at the front of the third row told me there was no Santa Claus in Kindergarten.  I've never forgotten.

My Grandma Durgin with Hilda Sims in 1932 in Washington, DC.  I believe Hilda must have been a cousin since my grandmother's maiden name was Sims.

This is my Grandpa Morris' Christmas card.  He owned a gas station in Westwood, NJ.

Have a good weekend...


  1. I take spells of where I work on my family tree. I store all of my information on the program called Family Tree Maker. You can store the old pictures in the scrapbook of the person of who the picture is. If there is more than one person in the picture you can copy it and paste it in other folders of other family members along with all of the detailed information that you wrote for the first one. When you have pictures of them then you can print out detailed family tree information that will include the pictures of the people if you choose that option. I really like this program because it is a great way to store all of that information. I also scan in the copies of their birth and death records and store them in there too. I've also taken 3 inch 3 ring binders and stored as much of the information as I can in those so I can look at it that way too. You can then take that with you somewhere if you are researching and make any corrections or additions to that record and then come home and change it in your program and print it out again.

    How neat to have some of those old pictures that you have! I wish my family took more pictures or would at least share them! I have some that won't share! That's just mean!

    Have a Great Weekend!

  2. Your great aunt was a Follie girl - how cool is that!

    It's really nice when we find out things about our past.

    Hope you got some rain.

  3. Strangely your class-room picture could be a picture of my class-room when I was in 2nd grade although mine was in a different country.

  4. It does seem an interesting project. Do keep us posted.

  5. Oh Betty, this is soooo cool! I hope you find a program to keep your photos. Mine are quite unorganized. I'd love to work on geneology too. Fortunately relatives on both sides of my family have done tons of work on it. Yahoo! I love your photos esp. of the 2 ladies beside the car; I'm sewing a 1930 style dress at the moment to match a hat that my sister in law made for me.

  6. I love old photos, too! The sites you mention are interesting. I'll have to take a look. My mother was very into geneology.
    (My dad was related to Francis Scott Key--a proud fact in our family.)

  7. What a neat project! I'm always impressed with how many cool old photos you have!

  8. O! Do you have any other photos from the Follies? Do you know what year the one you have was taken? My grandmother was a Follies showgirl in the 1915-1917 timeframe, and I would love to find some more pictures of her. A relative has identified her in just a small handful of photos that I've found...
    Alas, she was just a showgirl, and the Follies either didn't keep good records or they have all been lost, so it's been difficult tracking her down specifically....

  9. PS. I found this photo also while poking around tonight... is your great-aunt perhaps the lady on the far right of this trio:

  10. Here's a better view of that picture:

  11. LVS, I replied by E-mail, but I don't think it went through even though it didn't come back to me. Maybe you don't have an E-mail address listed on blogger? I'm not sure, but if you didn't hear anything contact me directly at so I'll have your E-mail address. I'll send my reply again. Thanks.


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