Saturday, 29 March 2014

March's Interesting Genealogical Blog Finds

Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

A interesting tale of Romanian ancestors moving to the US and how to find the relevant records, even when you hit a brick wall!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 29 - What's in your bag or pocket?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 29 - What's in your bag or pocket?

My pockets always contain:
  • a lip balm, for those cold wintery days of chapped lips
  • tissues, you never know when you're going to need one of them so they're always an essential especially as my nose generally always runs when I'm outside
  • my mobile phone, I do not go anywhere without that!!!

I do not always carry a bag, it very much depends on what I'm doing or where I am going. If I am walking somewhere locally with my husband I always rely on him having his keys and money and never take anything but than what is in my pockets. This is great except on the occasions when you are going out to drop your husband off somewhere and get back home by yourself realising your keys are inside the house!!!

I have 2 main bags I use, one being my work bag and the other my handbag.

My handbag always contains:
  • my camera, for those impromptu photography moments
  • my phone, as I said before as I do not go anywhere without it!
  • a packet of tissues
  • a pair of gloves, for those cold days
  • a lip balm
  • keys
  • my purse

My work bag is huge and sometimes a bit like Mary Poppins bag! It contains:
  • my folder, containing all those small pieces of paper I make random notes on and notepads I keep
  • my optometry equipment, whatever I require depending on the day
  • handcream, for those dry hands from constant washing in the hospital
  • a mirror, to make sure I always look my best
  • perfume, in case I forget to put it on in a morning before work
  • mouth freshener, as I have to get close to patient's faces so like to make sure my breath is pleasant
  • pencil case containing my pens, keyfobs, 
  • a bottle of water
  • lunch & snacks
  • reference books
  • the latest Optometry journal and magazines which I am still in the process of reading
  • ID badge
  • headphones
  • my keys
  • my purse
  • all the other "stuff" that gets added over time
  • AND a packet of tissues!!!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

An Odd Photo Find...

A few weeks ago, my dad had acquired an old photo album which I was having a flick through and we found this photo:

I know this isn't the best image as its a photo of the photo in the album, but it is a fresh grave adorned with flowers and a headstone commemorating the lives of my great grandparents. It surprised my father and I as we were fairly certain that there was no surviving gravestone (and presumed there had never been a headstone) as we had previously been on a hunt to find it but here there was a clear photo depicting the newish looking gravestone.

My father went back to the cemetery a few weeks ago to look for the stone and found it, so when I get chance this is a visit I need to also pay to find the previously lost gravestone of my great grandparents in Horsforth Cemetery, West Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 28 - Parents

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 28 - Parents

Ok, this post will not be going into great details as both my parents are still living, so here is a very short synopsis of my parents:
Both my parents were born and brought up in Horsforth, a small town (at the time) north of Leeds, West Yorkshire. They met through the local Baptist church and in their late teens and early 20s helped with the Boys Brigade their together. They later married at the same church after my mother finished her university degree in Hull, East Yorkshire.

They both became Secondary School teachers, my father taught Physics and my mother German and French, which was very useful when I was at school as they would regularly help me with my homework when I got stuck :)

Before I was born they moved to a small East Lancashire town which was where I grew up. They were outsiders living in Lancashire as they were both born in Yorkshire as the War of the Roses still divides these 2 large northern English counties to this very day!!! You have to cross the hills of the Pennines to get from one county to the other which remains enough of a divide today as it did 400 years earlier.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 27 - Cars and Transport

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 27 - Cars & Transport

My Brasilian friend Henrique in
my dad's Morris Minor 1000 Traveller

As a child, my parents always owned at least two cars. 

My dad had his prize and joy old J-registration Morris Minor 1000 Traveller, which he used regularly to commute to work and would spend hours in his holidays and weekends tinkering with it. In the summer we would often take it to Morris Minor Owners Club rally's and other car events. 

We also had the family car which my mum would use during the week for commuting to work but was also the primarily used car at weekends. Over the years we have had a VW Polo, Vauxhall Astras, Skoda Fabias and Octavias.

VW Polo
(Image link:,
Author: Rudolf Stricker, 12 Nov 2007,
accessed 2 Mar 2014
I applied for my provisional driver's license at the age of 17 and started to learn in summer 2003. It took me a bit longer than average to learn but I eventually passed my driving test on my first attempt in summer 2004. I used to learn in my instructors Peugeot 306 and Daewoo Matiz, but also practised in my parents Skoda Octavia.

I used to drive to school with my mum in a morning and also had my driving lessons from school, I learnt in the hilly Rossendale valley so uphill starts were a vital skill to require!!

Vauxhall Astra
(Image link:,
Author: Maxdot, 3 Jul 2005,
accessed 2 Mar 2014
I acquired my first car in 2008 when I started my first full-time employment. It was a Stone Grey 1.4 petrol Skoda Fabia which had previously belonged to my grandparents. In fact I still own this vehicle and drive it daily, although it is now beginning to get a little old and we're considering replacing it before too long. It has been an amazing car and has been so reliable. I have done 85,000 miles around the country in it and has been a fellow companion on those long commutes through all kinds of weather, sun, rain, wind & SNOW across the Pennines from Bradford to Bacup which I did for 4 years. I think I will be quite sad to replace the Skoda Fabia which has served me for 6 years and was my first car. It will always have a special place in my heart. 

Skoda Fabia
(Image link:,
Author: Adrian Pingstone, 25 Mar 2005,
accessed 2 Mar 2014
In considering replacing it we would happily get another Skoda, as it has been a great car and well worth its money.

Skoda Octavia
(Image link:,
Author: Rudolf Stricker, 13 Feb 2008,
accessed 2 Mar 2014
As children we had names for a few of our cars, the Morris Minor was called Horace the Morris, but I don't think I can remember the names of the other cars.

My husband and I would really love to invest in a VW camper and travel around the country and Europe in it during our holidays, I don't think we'll be buying one anytime soon, but it is a dream I have always had.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 26 - Technology

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 26 - Technology

Nokia 3410
(Image link:,
Author: Erik Baas,
6 Dec 2009,
accessed 22 Feb 2014
I have seen quite a lot of technological changes and yet I am only young (in my late 20's), but for my parents and grandparents in their lifetimes have seen much, much more change.

I remember getting my first mobile phone when I was about 16 years old. It was a brick and had a big aerial, I cannot remember which model it was, but I remember getting a Nokia 3410 not long later. I remember the hugely pixelated screens and the game SNAKE which every one loved, but there was no access to the internet and no other games available other than what was inbuilt into the phones. You could buy polyphonic ring tones, which looking back sounded ridiculous!! There were no cameras or music players they were solely phones with the ability to text people. I can remember gradually upgrading my phone handsets and remember getting my first Sony Walkman phone which had a great inbuilt music player and the development of cameras on phones as well. Latterly, I remember getting my first smartphone and not knowing how to make a call on it!!! Now, I can check my emails, Facebook, take photos, watch TV or films, listen to music, play hundreds of games and have access to nearly everything on my mobile phone, it is incredible how in the last 10 years mobile phones have changed immensely.  How did we survive when we did not have everybody at our fingertips 24/7.

The internet and our access to the internet has also changed immensely. I think we first got dial up internet at home in about 1999/2000. If you were on the internet no one could ring you on the house phone, so we had to check the answer phone after coming offline. If my parents needed to make a phone call we had to wait before we could go back on the internet. Now, you can have the phone and internet running together and without wires as well. The amount of information one can access online has changed life phenomenally, there is no longer the need for a family to own an Encyclopaedia to do one's homework with.

Computers have decreased in size and speed as well. I remember when people only owned desk tops but now we can use tablets and laptops, which are decreasing in size yet increasing in capacity and speed. I remember having lots of floppy disks to save computer files onto, whereas now you can use dropboxes online or use a memory stick, which you can attach to your keys.

Cassette tape
(Image link:, Author: GRAHAMUK,
  20 Dec 2004, accessed 22 Feb 2014
Some friends of ours were reminiscing about when we would record the charts onto cassette tapes and how annoying it was when the tape machine ate the tape and destroyed it. Now we can get any music at our fingertips on the internet, with programmes such as Spotify, we don't even have to own the albums or CDs anymore. For my 18th birthday I was given a minidisc player which was so cool at the time, but they never really took off and died a slow death with the invention of MP3.

Do you remember cameras and photography before the age of digital cameras? You took photos and then would have to send off the films for development which could take up to a week before receiving the photos back. When the photos were returned you then realised that you'd missed the head off Great Uncle George on that only family reunion of the decade!!! Now, you can take as many photos as you like without having to worry about paying to develop the rubbish ones. You can quickly delete that awful photo in which you seem to have developed a double chin. You can even take photos on your mobile so you do not need to carry a phone and a camera with you everywhere. You can snap anything in an instant.

I do not ever remember being the first to get new technology but do keep reasonably up to date. I tend to wait until they come down in price and people have reviewed them before splashing out.

Technology is sooooo useful where would we be without the internet, our mobile phones, cameras, music playing systems in our lives these days!