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Feb. 9th, 2016

Breakthroughs, works finished and in progress...

A few years ago, through a distant cousin, I learned that an uncle who may have known my dad's birth father had died. At the time, I took a chance and looked his kids up on Facebook, then sent a couple of them (there are 6) a message of condolance, explaining who I was and saying I was sorry to have never gotten the chance to meet the uncle.


Friday, I got, out of the blue, a Facebook message from one of them. She hadn't known about the 'other' folder on Facebook and so, completely missed my message from 4 years ago. Through her, I 'met' another cousin. We've been exchanging a touch of information the entire weekend and Sat, she sent me certain photos. Photos that I literally sat and cried over.

I finally got to 'meet' my dad's birth dad, my paternal grandfather. And the first thing I saw *was* not only my dad, but my brother in him. Very clearly, very distinctly. Even Mark was rather shocked at the resemblance. My dad is most definitely his child. We are most definitely descended from him. It's uncanny.

The neat thing is, they want to meet my dad and us. So, hopefully, the next time we're home for vacation, we can arrange a family reunion 70+ years in the making.

Meanwhile, I've been working hard trying to get caught up on my mental list of things I want finished by Mysticon. To that end, I've finished 5 steampunk/clockwork necklaces, several steampunk/clockwork charm style bracelets and chainmaille bracelets and 4 beaded steampunk/clockwork brooches-

Clockwork charm bracelet, finished.  #nofilter #clockwork #steampunk #bracelet #handmade #jewelry #charmbracelet #dantesspirit

One of two, the other is copper based.

Time in a bottle necklace  #handmade #steampunk #clockwork #necklace #handmadejewelry #dantesspirit

The dull work begins- putting price tags on everything.   #nofilter #handmade #handmadejewelry #steampunk #chainmaille #bracelet #bracelets #dantesspirit

Work in progress. The left one will become a steampunk charm bracelet.  Both out of solid copper as a base.  #chainmaille #handmadejewelry #handmade #copper #Japanese6-2 #mobiusknot  #steampunk #dantesspirit

Still beading. Current piece will be turned into a pendant. Four clockwork/steampunk brooches, five to go...  #nofilter #beadwork #steampunk #clockwork #brooch #brooches #handmade #handbeaded #seedbeads #dantesspirit

Simple can be elegant.  #handmade #handbeaded #beadwork #seedbeads #copper #clockwork #steampunk #pendant #necklace #dantesspirit

That is by no means all of the pieces that have been finished, but the majority at least. I plan to bead at least 5 more brooches, them try to finish at least one clockwork style embroidered silk scarf and have another in progress to work on at the Con.

In other news, my Hellebores, aka Lenten Rose is blooming and man is it beautiful.

My Hellebore, aka Lenten Rose, is blooming.  #nofilter #garden #hellebore  #lentenrose #hellebores #lentenroses #flowers #dantesspirit

And now, I have a Diva Kitty that demands attention.

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Nov. 11th, 2014

[Semi] Wordless Wednesday

NYC from Ellis Island

A view of New York City, and the Freedom Tower, as seen from the Wall of Honor area of Ellis Island. Nov 2014.

Remember to thank a Vet today.

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Sep. 3rd, 2013

Well, that was fun

And took the better part of an afternoon just to get the basics down. Later I'll go a flesh it all out, but i learned three things after rewatching last week's 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

1- Cindy Crawford is my 11th cousin.

2- Ernest Hemingway is only related to me via marriage ( 2nd cousin 5x removed of husband of 4th cousin 7x removed. Confused yet? He's Cindy Crawford's 8th cousin 2x removed, so related by bloodline.)

3- Charlemagne is my 37th Great Grandfather. (He's Cindy's 41st Great Grandfather, interestingly enough, guess she has a few more generations between her and him in her line than I do.)


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Jul. 22nd, 2012

Dear So and So-

When I say that this particular branch is not my main family, I mean it.

When I say that the information I have comes from research other family members directly related to that line and what I could find in a casual search, I mean it.

When I say that I'll do more research into that line when I get the time, I especially mean it.

Sending me links and the like, demanding to know where I got my info- on people that aren't even directly related to you, no less, that you even admit you haven't been able to connect in your tree, as well as things I've already seen and filed away for future research and even told you as much- is extremely annoying after the 6th email.

Take a hint- that family name is NOT my direct lineage. Nor is it even a secondary lineage. In fact, other than by marriage, that line isn't even related to me. Therefor, it's not a priority to do the research on at this time. That line gets added to when I hit roadblocks in my main family lines.

And if you're trying to use my research to figure out where this particular person fits in your tree, instead of trying to do that yourself- being lazy, in other words- well, that just pisses me off. I don't mind sharing information, but you really need to make some sort of effort on your own as well.

In the mean time, your emails will go unanswered for now, because I do not have the time to do the research into that family name right now.

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Apr. 9th, 2012

The 1940 Census

Has been basically absorbing all my attention in the last week since it went live for searching. Well, it and Skyrim. But mostly the 1940 Census.

I need to finish up The Kitchen Project posts, need to edit photos and blog about the gardens, need to edit and plot out my Daring Cooks Challenge post- and it's going to be a long one, so I better get started soon- and work on things for my shops. (Actually have 2 kumihimo cuffs in varying stages of completion, one will be hand dyed by me from bamboo cotton, the other should be finished by tomorrow for listing on Weds.)

In the week since the Census went live for searching by enumeration district, I've found Mark's maternal grandmother, his paternal grandfather, his paternal grandmother, my grandmother, my grandfather, my great grandparents on Bonnie's side, Bonnie's mother, my dad's adoptive parents, his birth grandparents... yeah.

Last night at 946pm, I found my dad.

And the problem is, finding him and where he was has raised more questions. Some of which may never be answered.

He wasn't living with his birth parents- I've yet to find them. He was with his birth mother's parents. Which means sometime between May of 1939 and April of 1940, he and his birth mother left his birth father and he was left with his grandparents. Why? Where did she go after that? Where was his father?

The problem with finding those answers is that the people who would know the reasons why, are no longer living. So they may never be answered.

But I'll be darned if I don't try.

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Mar. 22nd, 2012

The ties that bind

So it's been a few months since I worked on my Pennock lineage. Ok, it's been since late November of last year.

I got caught up in my mom's side and then the husband's lineage, that I did absolutely nothing with my own lineage.

Then someone who is related to who appears to be a granduncle I never met, by marriage, sent me a message and I'll be honest, I found it easier to talk to someone NOT intimately connected to the Pennocks about the Pennocks. No I still have not responded to the last email I got right before Thanksgiving of 2011, though I did send them a Christmas card and received no response in exchange. So, there's that.

Which prompted me to look at that part of my family again, to which I found, dozens of little green leaves waving at me (this is after all), leading to hundreds of new things the spiders that crawl the census reports, etc for had found.

I connected with someone else who works at a cemetery back home where apparently, my great grandparents and a few great granduncles/aunts, etc are buried. Which in turn lead me to look through the hints on my great grandmother's line- Fannie Mae Pennock nee Carnell.

The Carnells came to America fairly late, my 3rd Great grandfather Carnell lived and died in England, it was his son, William, that came to America and his daughter Fannie that married my great grandfather Pennock.

But back to Edward, my 3rd great grandfather on the Carnell line.

In 1841, he's listed as an Attorney and Solicitor in Tonbridge, Kent, England, as per the 1841 England Census. He married Sarah Kipping in 1846. They had 3 children by the 1851 census and he's listed as a Solicitor still.

1861, they have 9 children, 8 that are still living as far as I could tell, the youngest was 6 months. (they had 10 total, 9 lived)

Here's where it starts to get odd- in the 1861 England Census, Edward and 5 of his and Sarah's children, aged 16 to 5years, are listed as being in Hastings, St Mary in the castle, England.

Sarah, along with the youngest 6 month old, was listed as being in Hadlow, District 13, as a 'visitor' at what appears to be her parents' house.

Hastings and Hadlow are, in modern times, 34.9 miles apart. St Mary in the castle is a Ionic/Georgian Church/Parish in Hastings.

Why was Edward and 5 children in a parish church while his wife and youngest daughter were 35 miles away?

But wait! It gets better!

In 1863, at the age of 48, Edward- who is an Attorney, remember, was suddenly in Sussex, England.

Why? Because he was charged with rape.

According to the England & Wales, Criminal Register 1791-1892, on 23 March 1863, he was brought before a magistrate on charges of rape. If I'm reading the records correctly, he was released and acquitted of the charges.

It does not say who brought the charges or why. It's also confusing, because though it says 'Not Guilty', it also has a check mark in the 'Convicted and Sentenced' column, under 'Whipped, Fined or Discharged under sureties'.

So if he was found not guilty of the charges, why was he still fined or whipped or released (discharged) on sureties? And who brought the charges and why?

I haven't done much more digging on this matter yet, I took a break last night. But well, like Mark tells me, once I find something that makes me question it, I don't stop looking and digging until I know everything about it. I don't think this will be any different.

As an aside- Edward and Sarah apparently only had one more child after the 1863 trial, a daughter in 1864.

1871 England census, Edward is back in Tonbridge, with 2 of his sons, Frederick(aged 20) and Charles (aged13). He dies 3 years later, in 1874, at the age of 59. Where is Sarah and the rest of the family? Well, Sarah died in 1868. The rest of the older kids were likely either in America (William, my 2nd great grandfather), started their own families in the instances of the older girls, or off in apprenticeships in the case of the older boys- if that's where they in fact were.

But that leaves the 2 younger girls, Sarah and Katie, and the youngest son, 'Auther'(I believe it's meant to be 'Arthur', but census records being what they are from that day and age, transcription errors do happen). Where were they? With their older siblings, in their homes? With aunts or uncles?

Who knows. That's another bit of information I need to figure out as well.

From what I've been able to tell, only William, my 2nd great grandfather, came over to America. The rest of his siblings, lived and died in Kent, England.

And down the rabbit hole we go yet again.

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Nov. 21st, 2011

I know you're out there, and I know you're going to find this blog one of these days.

And because I know I'll never be able to say it to you face to face, and I need to get it out of my head, I'm writing it here.

I'm done with pulling punches. I'm done with bottling it up, with hiding the names. I'm done with hiding. I'm laying it all out now.

I'm glad you respect my privacy enough to not tell Bonnie that you found me. I appreciate that- greatly.

But. There's always a but, you know...

I never once said I felt the rest of the Pennock family abandoned us. I said I felt- and still do to this day, deeply- that Bonnie abandoned us. And she did, you know. She chose Bob over my brother and I. She chose to have that life with him, away from us, instead of doing what the Courts had told her to in order to regain custody of us.

You see, you don't know the whole story, now do you? I bet you never knew that we lived in a house with no indoor bathroom, and very little indoor plumbing. I bet you never knew that Bob made us all go out to the barn in the middle of the night because there were men in the woods coming to kill him- one of his paranoid delusions.

I bet you never knew that Dan and I watched from an upstairs window as Bob went after OUR DAD with a lead pipe, for having the gall to bring us back 5 minutes late one day.

I bet you never knew Bonnie left me standing on the side of the road one day, while she went chasing a stray cat into the woods on the other side. Did you know I was almost hit by a car? No, I bet you didn't know that.

The Courts gave my dad temporary custody of us- I have the papers that prove it. All Bonnie had to do was clean her house and prove she could provide a stable environment for us. She never did. She chose to live with Bob, to move nearly constantly- we never could keep track of where she was after awhile.

SHE chose to not send birthday cards, christmas cards, etc. SHE chose not to write, not to call.

Not us. Not my dad, not my mom- yes, Vera is my mom, in more ways than Bonnie ever could have been.

You know something else? I was reminded of it today talking to mom. Milo and Margie took us for a day, when I was young, to a birthday party/ice cream social, in Grand Rapids. They set a time as to when they'd be back, as dad and mom had later plans with us. They kept us long past the set time. They never called to say they'd be late.

Mom and Dad thought they took us and fled with us.

Do you know how that made them feel? Can you even imagine how that would feel? To think that your children had been kidnapped by their grandparents???

THAT'S why they were told they could not see us anymore. But that did NOT mean they could not call, that did not mean ANY OF YOU could not send birthday cards, that did NOT mean any of you could not write.


But this isn't about the rest of the family. This is about Bonnie. This is about how *I* felt abandoned by the one person who was supposed to be there. The one person who was supposed to be MY MOTHER. As much as I said when I was 18 that I wasn't angry at her, yeah, I guess I still am. And I am STILL hurting from that abandonment.

Your mother isn't supposed to leave. Your mother isn't supposed to chose a MAN over her own children.

Don't you ever tell me that my own experiences, that my own firsthand knowledge, that my own FEELINGS are incorrect. I was 5 damn years old and MY MOTHER walked out on me.

You want a relationship with the niece you haven't seen in over 33 years? This is not the way you do it. Think about that.

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