I'm helping a friend of Mom's put her family history together. She has macular degeneration and now has difficulty seeing her work of many years. It's all paper-and-pencil (never been put into a computer at all) and needs to be put online. She had started putting it on Ancestry but had not gotten very far. That's where I come in.
The thing is, I haven't put a gedcom and documents on Ancestry before, so I'm learning how to add pictures without adding the same person over and over - attached to different family members. Can you tell that this was my first mistake? I finally copied and pasted directions from the website and am working my way through those.
In the meantime, I plan to put the file on RootsWeb, the FREE genealogy place, although it's now owned by Ancestry. I guess almost anything to do with genealogy is now under their name? Seems like it, anyway.
RootsWeb's WorldConnect is where I have my own files. I'll add this new one since I can type the text of all the documents supporting the family. I will need to scan her copies, or save from the internet, the documents to add to Ancestry.
Monday was a perfect day to head out to Northwestern Oklahoma. The weather was fair and the road mostly empty once we got past the city limits. As we drove I-40 west, the sky ahead was full of clouds. Funny little clouds - like brown cotton candy. The sky stayed full of clouds all day - later turning into the whipped-cream-on-top flat-bottomed kind, while at the same time there were the wispy-spread-all-over-the-sky kind; then on the way home some of them were collecting into very large bunches. There was never an empty patch of sky all day. It was glorious.
The ponds were full to the brim. That was a good sight to see! We have finally had rain: none since last November until Memorial Day when it began to pour, and has rained regularly all this month.
We turned north where State Hwys 51 and 58 head that way until we reached Geary. We looked, and this is what we saw:
The buildings on the north side of Main Street had fancy brickwork overhead. On the south side of the street, the buildings were not so fancy, or the brickwork was hidden by ugly coverings.
Geary doesn't look as though it's a very prosperous town. The main thing I remember about Geary is wrestling. They were top contenders many years ago when I was in high school (yes, a thousand years ago). I looked, and found this January newspaper article about the Geary Tournament.
Oklahoma has red dirt. Some people don't believe it, but that's the truth. You can see it in this photo taken along the highway.
Those bits of white are gypsum. Southard, Oklahoma is the home of the US Gypsum plant. Many years ago when I first began driving that road, the air would be a cloud of white for about a mile and my car would be covered with powder. I guess they've improved their processing; this time the air was clear. The plant has grown in size, too, over the years.
Our next stop was Watonga, formerly home of the famous Watonga cheese, but now will be famous for Sweetie Wray's - a Yarn Shop.
It's in an old building that is fabulous inside. The clerk explained to us that a dentist had bought the building some years ago and restored it. (Please notice more fancy brickwork!)
The shop has advertising on one wall and a beautiful tin ceiling. They have a good assortment of commercial yarns, and some home-grown hand-spun alpaca.
On to Fairview, where they were repairing the middle of the road in the middle of town. Traffic was monitored by a flaglady and moved slowly. We looked at shop names as we passed, but with difficulty.
We inquired in a drug store where we could eat lunch and were directed to GB's. We had trouble finding it since it was in the front of the bowling alley. The inside was very bare, but clean, and we waited quite a while for our order. But when it came, it was good. I had the BLT and it was wonderful. Mom said her sweet tea was just right, not as syrupy as most places made it.
Having arrived at our destination and having regained our strength with good food, we set out for our first cemetery.
This is actually the North Mennonite Brethren Cemetery, just northwest of Fairview, rather than the South MB, which is south east of Fairview. There are many Mennonite cemeteries in this part of the state and I could spend a lot of wasted time if I didn't have internet resources.
The cemetery was what you usually get in Oklahoma - flat, open, and able to see across the distance. I make a point of this because of the other cemetery we visited later. Mom took the smaller right side to look for our ladies, while I took the larger parts. We had forgotten to bring a whistle (just one of many things we forgot), so that Mom could let me know if she found what we needed. We find that shouting across several acres in an Oklahoma wind usually doesn't work. The monuments across the back of the grounds were the oldest and probably what we were seeking.
I found Hannah, but not her daughter Mary.
Do you see that small marker behind Hannah's? I thought it must be for a child. Here's the photo with my pencil laid up against it so that you can see it was only just above knee high on me, a 5 foot 3 inch person. If you read the bottom line, Mr Schroeder was 57 years old. I've never seen such a small monument for an adult grave. This trip was filled with New Things.
Our last stop was Rusk Cemetery, east of Fairview a few miles. It has to be the strangest cemetery I've been to. There were hundreds of huge cedars next to, or over, the graves. The marker below was under one of the trees and I crawled under the tree to photograph the marker.
The best thing about the cemetery was their map!! (Although we certainly got a crick in our necks reading it since it was oriented to the grounds.) It appears to be exquisitely hand lettered with names and plot numbers. The numbers didn't help much, since the trees created a forest difficult to maneuver. I kept wandering around the same trees and markers, sometimes not able to go between two trees at all. I kept losing my place! Thankfully, it's a small cemetery and I wouldn't have been very lost - just a little lost.
By the time we finished here, we were ready to head home. The day had become hot and we were tired, we two old ladies.
On the way back, though, we made a pit stop in Watonga. Mom noticed the wheat on the side of the elevators.
We made it safely home 246 miles and 9 hours later.
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days . . .
James Russell Lowell