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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    The Family Curator Shares Connections at Shades

    footnoteMaven sent along an email from a Kinsel-line cousin last week, with a note that "it looks like I live in the middle of this branch of your family." It isn't the first time that a "cousin" and I have connected through Shades of the Departed, and I have a feeling that more leaves will be shaking out in the weeks to come.

    The email came from Scott Angus MacPhee, the nephew of my grandmother Arline Kinsel. Readers of The Family Curator will recognize Scott's name from that of the dashing Scotsman, Angus MacPhee who married Arline's younger sister Mercy. In a column for Shades last July, I described a classroom project using correspondance between Arline and Mercy with my English students for a lesson in "Reading Women's Lives." Scott found the article, and me, through Shades.

    As I said, this isn't the first time fM has introduced me to an relative. I am delighted to be a guest author and share a bit more of the experience at Shades this week, in "The Family Curator Makes a Connection Through Shades." I hope you will join me at Shades on November 14.


    Women. . . You Have the Vote!

    Arline A. Kinsel photograph, 1915, Pueblo, Colorado.
    Privately held by Suzanne Freeman,
    [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Green Valley, Arizona. 2008.

    Here is a special photograph in recognition of Tuesday, November 4 -- Election Day!

    Just when I thought I had seen all the family treasures, my Mother sent this photocopy to me in the mail. It is an early photograph of Arline posing before a Colorado voting poster --

    Mom deciphered the complete poster, only shown partially in the photograph, by using other pictures taken the same day of Arline's friend and her little boy standing with the same background. Little Gaylord was so small that the lower half of the sign is quite visible.

    Although women in Colorado were granted full voting rights in 1893, when this photograph was taken in 1915 some states were still barring women from the polling booth. It would be a full five years until the 19th Amendment gave women in all states the right to vote.

    On Tuesday I will be working in my Precinct reminding voters to take advantage of this privilege and urge you, too, to Get Out and Vote!


    It's That Time of Year. . .

    Thank you one and all for your participation and support of the Treasure Hunt. I am inspired to keep looking; who knows what we will find in those hidden recesses?

    The Family Curator has donned another hat the past few weeks to write college recommendations for students. More frequent posting will resume when the Muse returns. Thank you for your understanding.


    Treasure Hunt Challenge Round-Up: Just Look What We Found in Our Cupboards & Closets & Boxes!

    Official Treasure Hunters Badge by footnoteMaven

    Treasures abound from the Treasure Hunt Challenge posted at The Family Curator in mid-September. Congratulations to the brave adventurers who accepted the challenge, and then went on to follow their maps and "dig" for buried treasure.

    It has been encouraging to know that many family historians and genealogists share a common obstacle – a certain closet, box, or cupboard that just refuses to yield all its secrets. It's the one place to stash something special, but it can also be the one place forgotten when we go looking for that gem again. Thank you for joining me, hunters, and especially for sharing your treasure tales will all of us.

    Some hunters were so eager to find a treasure that they completed their quest before the ink was dry on their maps!

    Hats off to First Responder, Wendy Littrell at All My Branches Genealogy who found a box of treasures right before her very eyes – on her vanity! She tells more about her discovery and shares photographs in "X Marks the Spot." I think we must all wish we had a box like yours, Wendy.

    Coming in a close second, Midge Frazel at Granite in My Blood not only FOUND Treasure, she presents a model Archival Treasure Chest complete with supply sources, photographs, and evaluation in "Treasure Chest." I discovered a new archival resource from her post, and a reminder to preserve, preserve, preserve. Thanks, Midge.

    Tucked away on a closet shelf, footnoteMaven found an archival box with a treasure saved for "another day." We are delighted that the day is here and we can share in your discovery, fM. She introduces the treasure in a note "The Way It Was" and promises a series of articles at Shades of the Departed "relating to the Victorian custom of visiting cards." This sounds like an intriguing new series; I can hardly wait!

    At CanadaGenealogy, or 'Jane's Your Aunt', M. Diane Rogers organized and preserved the treasures on a bookshelf, and discovered a wonderful family letter she transcribes in "Genea-Blogger Treasure Hunt – Report." I love reading other people's mail, and this letter from Diane's "Aunty Grandma" is a true treasure, thank you.

    "I've Gone about as Far as I Can Go in my Treasure Hunt," declared Linda Steinstra at From Axer to Ziegler. Oh, to have only that one box! Linda shares great photos of family medals, photographs, and mementos and adds a descriptive note of provenance to each family heirloom. The last bit is something we so often overlook; thanks for the nudge, Linda.

    While many people are thinking about their stock investments these days, Julie Tarr at GenBlog is trying to figure out if her old stock certificates might still have some value – from 1914! She did the background checks for "The Stock Search Begins" and is now researching further. Now, wouldn't it be a treat, Julie, if one of those companies were still in business?

    Becky Wiseman at kinexxions teased us with a sturdy cardboard box, unopened since moving day. In "So, What was in that Box?" she cuts the tape and pulls back the flaps to reveal some true retro treasures and then, a treasure beneath a treasure. Sometimes those are the hardest things to find, so sealing the box for another day is the best thing we can do. Good questions, Becky, good thoughts.

    Concluding our Treasure Hunt Challenge, after much procrastination and angst The Family Curator finally did reopen The Magic Cupboard. Fearful that the magic was gone, she was much relieved to find that is was in fact still there, and revealed a wonderful travel photo album and accompanying travel journal complete with expenses for the trip. You can read about my surprise at "Treasure Found! A Clue to Military Service in Vacation Photographs."

    Thank you again, treasure hunters for accepting the Challenge. You deserve to proudly fly the Official Treasure Hunters Flag designed by footnoteMaven. Congratulations on your bounty!


    Treasure Found! A Clue to Military Service in Vacation Photographs


    "Boys and Wives Reunion"

    The Magic Cupboard hasn't lost it's sparkle, and once again revealed a wonderful surprise for the Treasure Hunt Challenge. Usually I find treasures from my maternal grandmother, Arline Kinsel, but this cupboard held memories from my father's side of the family. First, I came across a vacation photo album from my paternal grandparents. My school-teacher grandmother was meticulous in all things, and her photos are carefully labeled with subject, date, and place along the white border of the snapshot. It's a good reminder of an easy way to identify photos, and probably a reason to return to the old-fashioned border prints instead of the more common borderless style.


    At the back of The Magic Cupboard I found a companion treasure -- a little six-ring notebook with my grandmother's Bible Study notes and a packet of loose pages from another memo book. Those loose pages were a travel tournal for trips in 1962 and 1964, corresponding to the dates and photos in the album. Now, that's a Treasure.

    On June 8, 1964 she writes
    Left home 5:00 -- sprinkles -- fog. Victorvile at 7:00 for breakfast. Lunch under trees before Kingman at high noon. Williams 3:45. Arrived in Canyon by 4:00. Mix up in reservation. 45' tie up. Have a nice cabin. Had chicken etc. in room. Out for walk. Wind about us off path so headed for warm cabin. 551 miles.

    She also kept an expense log at the back of the packet of notes, and itemized her expenses for that first day

    Mon 6/8/64
    Breakfast Victorville $1.46
    Tip .15
    Gas- Barstow 3.91
    Gas - Needles 3.70
    Gas - Williams 4.93
    Grand Canyon 10.30
    Cards .10
    Fountain drinks .46

    From the Grand Canyon, Walter and Edna traveled through Durango, Colorado to a reunion in Eagle, Nebraska.


    As I looked at the photographs, initially I thought the men and women, "Boys and Wives," were gathered for a family reunion; fortunately, the notes identify the photo of men and women in the photo with the 314 Supply Train, Co. E, 89 Div. This must be my grandfather's WWI Army unit. Tucked behind one photo of men taken in 1964, I found a second photo of the same group taken in 1963. What unexpected clues to my grandfather's military service.


    "314 Supply Train, Co. E, 89 Div, Reunion"

    The return trip brought them through Torrington, Wyoming and Grand Junction, Colorado before arriving home in Santa Ana, California on June 25.


    Edna noted that they drove 3,950 miles spending $244.32.

    The website, Flashback 1964! highlights the tunes, the tv shows, and the trends of the year. What fun to think that as my grandparents were cruising west in their Plymouth four-door sedan they might have been listening to the Supremes croon "Baby Love" or The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night," although they were much more likely to be listening to the news or the Billy Graham radio hour. Gas was 25 cents a gallon and they could fill the tank of the Plymouth for $4.93. This year, I paid nearly $5.00 for ONE GALLON of gas. Of course, in 1964 the average yearly salary in the United States was $6,080 but those do seem like "the good old days."


    Tagged by The Chart Chick

    Photo by Paul Moody, used under license by Creative Commons

    Tag is always so much fun in the waning sunshine of Autumn. If you play late enough in the evening it becomes Flashlight Tag... much more fun if the players are coed. Thanks for tagging me for this Memory Meme, Janet, The Chart Chick. It's much more fun to play then be left in the Mushpot.

    Ten Years Ago (in 1998) I --

    1. was in my second year of teaching high school English
    2. working on my graduate degree in American Literature
    3. knitting socks for stress relief
    4. celebrating my son's 20th birthday
    5. cleaning up the basement
    Five Things on My ToDo List --
    1. clean up the basement
    2. clean up the garage
    3. clean out the closets
    4. get organized (do you see a theme here?)
    5. read War and Peace
    Five Snacks I Enjoy
    1. apples, oh hurray for autumn
    2. beef jerky
    3. cheese and crackers
    4. chips and salsa
    5. hot buttered popcorn
    Five Places I've Lived
    1. Orange County, California (not Laguna Beach)
    2. Malibu, California (much better than Laguna)
    3. Santa Barbara, California (even better!)
    4. Pasadena, California
    5. Moscow, Idaho
    Five Jobs I've Held
    1. newspaper sports writer, now that was a fun job!
    2. society page photographer
    3. technical editor
    4. publications editor
    5. English teacher
    Five Blogs I Tag -- "You're 'It'"
    1. Linda Steinstra at From Axer to Ziegler
    2. Lori Thornton, The Family Historian
    3. Miriam Midkiff, at AnceStories
    4. M. Diane Rogers, at CanadaGenealogy
    5. Lisa at Small-Leaved Shamrock
    This has been a great little meme, fast and fun. I only wish I had time to write longer lists a la Terry Thornton over at Hill Country of Monroe County. Terry's descriptions are always a delight, and this post is no exception.


    Treasure Hunters Progress Report

    Ahoy, shipmates. Looks like the hunters are getting closer to the treasure! Diane Rogers at CanadaGenealogy has posted an update on her search at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt': Genea-Blogger Treasure Hunt with some tantalizing tidbits about a 'Night for All Souls' at a Vancouver cemetery.

    At least two bloggers win the Eager Beaver awards for beating the October 20 deadline, but I won't spoil the round-up fun by naming names.

    I have had a bit of trouble getting motivated to open the doors to The Magic Cupboard at my house, but am determined to sail on.

    Remember, Treasure Hunters, email me with a link to your Treasure Found blog post by Oct 20 for the upcoming Treasure Round-Up.


    Treasure Hunters Round-Up

    Weigh anchor, mateys, we're sailin' to find buried treasure under the banner of the Show and Tell Family Treasure Challenge, courtesy of fair footnoteMaven.

    And shiver me timbers, I sure am glad to have company on this voyage to find the buried treasures in me own Magic Cupboard. It's a terrible task to take on without a tip-top crew at yer side.

    Here's a sneak peek at the treasure maps brought to the Challenge by our brave blogging buccaneers. Don't be shy about cheering them on! They will be posting about their treasures throughout the month – deadline October 20 – when we will have a Treasure Round-Up.

    Blogging Buccaneers, The Treasure Hunters

    • FootnoteMaven writes in "Treasure Hunt! A Challenge for Genea-Bloggers" that she has already found "something" in her closet of treasures, but she's not telling about it yet! It has been carefully wrapped in archival tissue and stored away to be found another day. I can hardly wait to read about this Treasure.
    • Treasures of a personal kind are in the mind of Midge Frazel in her post "Photo Challenge" at Granite in My Blood. Midge has made a comprehensive plan to organize, scan, and archive for her collection of family photographs, something that is probably at the top of a lot of To Do Lists.
    • Wendy Littrell at All My Branches writes about her plan to examine a box of property deeds and land transactions in "Searching for Buried Treasure." She is even hoping to find photos or satellite images of the property. I like her idea of "virtual" visits to our ancestors' homes; it sounds like a great addition to a family story.
    • JulieMc in "Looking for Buried Treasure" at Gen Blog has put together a very timely plan to explore a box of stock certificates from her grandmother and great grandmother; let's keep our fingers crossed that those companies are still on Wall Street for a few weeks. Wouldn't it be a real Treasure if those pieces of paper are still active?
    • The green-eyed monster peeked out when I saw the photos of Linda Stienstra's genealogy room in her post "My Treasure Chest Overfloweth" on From Axer to Ziegler. It has to be the family historian/genealogist dream-come-true. An entire room for research materials! In all those lovely shelves and drawers, Linda still has a box of "stuff" to explore; I can't wait to see what she finds and hopefully discover the secret to becoming more organized.
    • Becky Wiseman has a real mystery for this challenge. Just look at the photo on "Seeking Hidden Treasures" at kinexxions. It is a moving box, marked with her name and the every-mysterious "cards, letters, misc." How can she wait at all? It could be anything! We are looking forward to hearing all about it.
    • The Family Curator has a plan, too, in "Treasure Map to the Magic Cupboard," but mostly she just looks at the "stuff" and shakes her head. What will it take to move that mountain of paper? She wasn't even brave enough to photograph the cupboard with the doors open. Tsk, tsk.

    I hope you will join the Treasure Hunters on their voyage and cheer them on in their endeavors. Thanks one and all, for taking up the Challenge, and a special thanks to footnoteMaven for our very own "Jolly Roger" flag. Good luck hunters.


    Happy Birthday Dear Arline!

    Minnie Louise Kinsel and
    Arline Allen Kinsel
    abt 1891

    Happy Birthday Arline! I could not let today go by without sharing a photograph of Arline as an infant with her mother, Minnie Louise Chamblin Kinsel. Arline was born October 2, 1890 in Kansas City, Missouri and moved with her family to Pueblo, Colorado when she was very young.

    In celebration of Arline's birthday and to consolidate photos, letters, and documents for the Kinsel-Brown family line, I am launching a new blog entitled, Dear Arline. I had hoped to debut the site today, alas, it is not ready for public viewing (life has a way of rearranging one's schedule) but this photograph is featured in the inaugural article.The Family Curator will continue to feature my research progress, technology experiences, and general blogging interests. I hope you will join me as I uncover the story of Arline's colorful life.


    A Welcome Visit from Gnome-land

    The Genea-Blogging Gnome has dropped in for a visit after a short stay with Linda at From Axer to Ziegler. He's really logging some miles these days -- I've lost track of everywhere he's been since Terry Thornton set him off from Hill Country of Monroe County.

    I would love to feed him mushroom cakes and elder-flower tea for a week, but I'm sure he won't stay for too long. Who knows who's door he will be knocking next?


    Glad to Know You-All

    I've never been to a real southern get-together, but I imagine no one leaves a stranger if Terry Thornton is hosting the party. I just know that he guides his guests through the crowd introducing him/her to each person there until they feel like kin. At least, that is what Terry has done over at Hill Country of Monroe County in his three-part series for the round up to the "Getting to Know You Challenge."

    Getting to Know You Round-Up at Hill Country of Monroe Country

    This is a blog read to bookmark and savor. Terry includes 42 bloggers in the round-up AND (best part of all) serenades the reader with his own rendition of the classic tune.

    Part 1 - Getting to Know You, Overture, Act 1, Scenes 1-15
    Part 2 - Getting to Know You, Overture, Act 2, Scenes 16-30
    Part 3 - Getting to Know You, Act 3, Scenes 31-42, Finale and Reprise

    I'm holding off on posting the Treasure Hunters Map Round-Up until Oct 3 -- spend the next few days enjoying the party at Hill Country of Monroe Country.


    Treasure Maps Ahoy!

    Thank you to all those bloggers who have accepted the Treasure Hunt Challenge. I'm building the blogroll of participants and will have it posted by October 2. You can still let me know you have accepted the challenge, either by emailing me a link to your blog or leaving a comment here before the stroke of midnight, tonight.


    Treasure Hunt Challenge Reminder

    It's not too late to join the Treasure Hunt Challenge. You have until Tuesday, Sept 30 to post your plan on your blog and send me a link:

    Post your Plan/Treasure Map to your blog on or before Sept 30, 2008 AND send me an email (dmlevenick via gmail dot com) with a link to your blog. Write Treasure Map in the subject line. A list of bloggers who have accepted the challenge will be posted at The Family Curator.
    Check out the original Challenge posting for more details.

    (my apologies about the missing email address; I have added it above 9/30-dml).


    Treasure Map to The Magic Cupboard

    In the spirit of all dedicated treasure hunters, and to accept the Treasure Hunt Challenge myself, I've been working up a map to find the goodies buried deep inside my Magic Cupboard. There are actually five cupboards just like the one pictured here, and each one has served as a storage space for pictures and mementos for over thirty years. It hasn't helped that furniture lives in front of the cabinets making them a bit difficult to access, but the last round of natural disasters reminded me that it would be nigh impossible to rescue the contents of all five cupboards. Clearly, some decisions need to be made, some organizing done.

    1. Destination -- #1 Cupboard (pictured here). It's the easiest to get to and probably filled with the most eclectic assortment of stuff.
    2. The Map -- I think I will find boxes of snapshots from my sons' early years and since I was fairly good about photo albums then, many of these are duplicates. I would like to sort the photos and pass them along to the boys. I am on the lookout for pictures of pets, birthday parties, and holidays to assemble specific albums. And, I really want to find a few wonderful pictures to use for an upcoming special birthday. I know I saved old newspapers (earthquakes, war, elections) too but don't have any idea why I should continue to keep them as they are just turning dry and yellow. Maybe these could just be combined in an archival box and tucked away again (sigh), or maybe I should just toss them out. Can't we access these on the internet now?
    3. Timeline -- Next weekend there is nothing on the calendar and I'm making a date with myself to start digging.
    I've been hearing of other treasure hunters assembling their tools, and can't wait to learn what they find. It's not too late to accept the challenge to clear out a box or cupboard and go treasure hunting. Read about the Treasure Hunt Challenge here and post your own map (plan) before Sept 30; then go hunting and let us know what you find.


    The Love is Growing

    I’m “It!” Always did love the game of Tag, and now I am honored to be tagged TWICE with the “I Heart Your Blog” -- by Sheri Bush at TwigTalk and by Linda Steinstra From Axer to Ziegler. Thank you for the kind words and your vote of confidence.

    In the spirit of passing it on, I understand that the recipient:

    • must link to the person who gave the award
    • nominate seven other blogs and link to them
    • leave a comment on each of the nominated blogs
    • and can add the logo on his/her blog
    What a great way to move around the blog world discovering new blogs and meeting new bloggers. So many wonderful blogs have already been tagged that I will try to focus on blogs where I haven’t seen the badge and maybe share a few new-to-you sites:
    • I met Craig Manson of Geneablogie fame this summer at the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree and couldn’t wait to get to my computer and catch up on his blog. His recent experience with a treasure of family memorabilia mirrors my situation and I enjoy hearing how he is dealing with the challenge.
    • Speaking of the SCGS Jamboree, Paula Hinkel did a great job keeping attendees updated with information and addendums for the event at the Jamboree Blog. This blog is definitely worth bookmarking if you plan to attend next June.
    • As a Legacy Family Tree user I also regularly check in at the Legacy News Blog to see what tips and techniques Geoff Rassmussen has discovered. His clear and direct explanations make Legacy a real favorite for many of us.
    • Archivist Rebecca Fenning posts wonderful family history articles and photos at A Sense of Face providing a great connecting point for her family. I love the little vignettes she writes with each photograph.
    • Sally Jacobs is another archivist who keeps a helpful and interesting blog at The Practical Archivist. Her How-To articles are filled with tips for preserving and understanding family photos and papers.
    • Sometimes, a blogger needs a change of pace (or sound) and that’s when I head over to Tipper and Blind Pig & The Acorn where streaming music, photos, and stories all provide a virtual visit to Appalachia – a place I’ve never been!
    • And for a little city life, I enjoy Lisa’s stories of ethnic life at 100 Years in America. She makes me realize what a lot of heritage I have yet to discover in my husband’s Slovenian family history.
    It's a tribute to the blogging community that there is so much talent and mutual knowlege being shared. I can only imagine the months and years ahead!

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