Friday, January 06, 2012

Ancestry and Archives

I took up on their 14-day free trial. I have been working continuously for 12 of those days, literally all day and night, going to bed at 6 in the morning sometimes and I'll cancel tomorrow so I don't get stuck paying for a year.(editor's note: I went ahead and subscribed, I'm addicted!) I made big strides in my family tree. But there are so many dead ends because they won't release the Census after 1930. Whoever transcribes those records to digitize them has an awful job. I always look at the original record to see what I think it really says because the transcriptions are wrong about 30 percent of the time with my family. I mean, how many ways can you misspell McCuaig?  There are plenty!! Man, all my life people have misspelled my name. And the records online are no better, from M'cuaig, M'Quag to McQuiage, McQuaig, McCuaide, MacQuade, to Mackeg, Macuaig, Macaig one record even had McCusag. Going through archived newspapers up to 1922 from Mille Lacs, Princeton and Bemidji areas in Minnesota was the most fun and I pieced the pieces together and solved a huge part of the puzzle.

My grandmother and grandfather 1915

I so enjoyed reading about my grandmother's wedding write-up in the newspaper archive I found online and how my great grand-uncle was mayor of Bemidji for 3 terms. This photo was before that time as he was running for County Commissioner in this photo.It is funny because when I spotted this photo I knew our family still carries some of the characteristics of our ancestors. I see a resemblence. I emailed it to my sister who laughed and agreed. Something about the shape of the head.

I read he was not re-elected as mayor after 1916 because he was accused of being a prohibitionist (though he told the newspaper reporter he was not, just holding up the laws of the land, whatever they were.) Obviously, people wanted to drink and they didn't vote for him.  I was so into these generations of past families of mine that I couldn't stop searching for more information about them and hours went by.  One night it was 1 AM and I found some tidbit leads for more information and decided to search until 1:30 AM and call it a night and the next thing I knew a blast of wind shook the house and knocked me out of the spell and I looked at the clock and 3 hours had passed and I had no idea of it. It was like I was enthralled in a movie.

Then there was the little newspaper write-up making fun of one of my ancestors who sold his "ancient bronchos" to some poor unsuspecting guy who was clearing his land and needing a team of horses.Hmm, where they shysters?

I read about my dad at the age of 6, in 1922, taking what was probably his first ride in an automobile, a 1922 National with 10 people inside with the children. My dad's uncle bought it. What a car! I can picture them riding down the bumpy road, there were no seat belts! This would have been really a special outing because most people in those way-out towns still used horses and most roads in that area weren't paved. The newspaper used to even write about somebody visiting an aunt in another town or if someone came to town to conduct business. That was how everyone kept up with the goings-on back then. No social media needed. The guy delivering the milk often stopped and gave the newspaper the scoop of what people had told him during the day of deliveries.He knew whom was visiting whom and other gossip of the day. My 2-week journey back in time is almost over. I will miss it. My husband will be glad I'm back home.

1922 National

My relative with the National, trading it in for a Chevrolet Baby Grand.
He must have told the milkman because it was put in the paper.

Walter Patterson and his wife Lenora Steinmetz Patterson
Walt was recruited to play professional baseball but he chose Nora instead.
I don't know which team.
I was very young and they were very old but I remember
them. They were happy and laughed a lot.


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