Friday, May 30, 2014

Follow Friday: Going over Home

If you haven't seen it, here's the video trailer for Going over Home, thanks to my brother, Nicholas Andrews. Going over Home is a historical fantasy with a genealogy theme, set in present and pioneer Indiana. Available on Amazon.com and at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park and Johnson County Museum of History!
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Historic Indiana

                                                  Indiana history has always fascinated me.

  It all started with Conner Prairie. Ever been there? It's a living history museum in Fishers, Indiana. It's has an 1836 village centered around the William Conner home, which was built overlooking the White River. In fact, it was in that very home that it was decided that the little hamlet of Indianapolis would become the new state capitol. 

  Indiana is chockfull of history. Mounds State Park is another one if you're interested in prehistoric Native American history. Koteewi Park in Strawtown is another, as is River Road Park in Carmel. Spring Mill State Park has a little pioneer village with a working mill that was built almost 200 years ago in 1817. I just bought cornmeal there the other day when we were there camping. If you're a pioneer history nerd like I am, Indiana is a must visit.


                                      
                                    William Conner home                    Log cabin at Conner Prairie


                                                                      
                                                                     1817 mill at Spring Mill State Park
                                                                      

  But I think the real reason I find Indiana history so enthralling is because I am a part of it. My life is intricately tied in with many of my ancestors who came here so long ago. Take Jesse Vawter, who came around 1803 - one of the earliest Baptist preachers in the territory. He baptized over 800 people. Almira King Holsclaw is another; she wrote a short detailed memoir about her life growing up in southern Indiana. John and Mary Ellen Raridan Mulry came to Indianapolis in 1868 almost straight from Ireland. Patrick Garrity, an Irish potato famine immigrant, came to Wayne County. Elias Caylor was one of the earliest preachers in Hamilton County. The list goes on.

 William and Almira King Holsclaw


  So it was only natural that I set Going over Home and the entire series following it in Indiana. They say you should write what you know, and with so many ancestors' stories and resources at my fingertips, it was a natural, cathartic adventure. I am writing Going over Jordan now, which is set entirely in the 1840s in southern Indiana, and I am living it all over again.

Cabin at Spring Mill State Park              Cabin on the front cover of Going over Home

                 I love the writer's life, and the genealogist's life. What story do you have to tell?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Amanuensis Monday: A Belated Mother's Day

I thought I would take the time to share a poem written by my grandmother, Mary Holsclaw Andrews. Happy belated Mother's Day to all you mamas out there. 


God's truth is ever shining - it's there for all to see
And as I choose to follow it, his light is leading me
But should I try another path I walk in darkness - as the night
And know not what besets me
Unseeing wrong from right
When I keep the light before me - no matter where it leads -
I know my God protects and guides
And cares for all my needs

    - MRA


                                              Photo: Happy Mothers Day to my mother. She wrote this poem and we had to share with all,  on my parents monument.

 
 
 Mary Ruth Holsclaw Andrews (1919-2008)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Funny: Grandma Lutz

One of the first things I came across in my early days of genealogy were pictures that my great-great grandmother, Alma Bruns Lutz, had written on. There were lots of them. Seems she wanted to make doubly sure nobody forgot their names.

My favorite, though, was a baby picture of my grandpa. She sarcastically had written, "Poor Bob. Born March 25, 1944. Married May 25, 1962." There were lots of these "Poor Bob" pictures. Her sense of humor shone through on my grandpa's face as he told me about her.

Grandma would hang her clothes out to dry and unfailingly her neighbor would come out at the same time and start burning trash. The smoke would drift over and inevitably their clothes would always smell like smoke when they took them down off the line. She asked them nicely to find another time to do this but to no avail. This went on for a while until Grandma couldn't stand it anymore. So one day when she was out watering her flowers she asked her neighbor to come over to the fence to chat. The lady came over expecting a friendly conversation when Grandma took her running hose and shoved it down her neighbor's shirt. She had had enough! Needless to say, she didn't have any more clothing smelling of smoke after that.

                                                   Alma "Grandma Lutz" and her son Ervin

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Surname Saturday: Potter

Today I want to focus on my husband's last name: Potter. Yes, I get asked all the time if I am related to Harry, to which I always reply, "yes, of course." Being the Harry Potter fan that I am, I always joke that that's why I married my husband Ben- to have this last name.

But Potter has a rich history in Indiana. Ben had a CD-ROM that I discovered a few years ago created by his great-uncle Bill Potter. It was the entire genealogy that his uncle had conducted, and it shared the history of the Potter family. Needless to say, I was instantly drawn in, being the genealogist and 9th generation Hoosier that I am. Turns out my husband is also a 9th generation Hoosier, so that makes our kids 10th generation!

Anyway, the Potter family came to Brown County, Indiana in the 1850s because they heard it was pretty. (We still camp in Brown County every October.) The Potter men have moved around Indiana from their days in Brown County, including Bloomington, Lafayette, and eventually Indianapolis, where Ben was born. Below I have pictured the Potter family tree, beginning with the youngest, our son, Micah James.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mystery Monday: The Andrews Family

  Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects about genealogy is research on your own last name. In some ways it defines who we are. As a teacher, mine follows me around all day long. First I was Miss Andrews, now I'm Mrs. Potter. So, naturally, when I began genealogy at age 16, the Andrews line was of particular interest to me. Unfortunately my Papaw Andrews had died two years before I started researching my family history, but I did have my Grandma to tell me what she knew, which really wasn't much. I did however immediately learn a heartbreaking piece of my grandfather's past. His father had walked out on him and his mother and sisters when he was very young. My dad had never met his grandparents on that side, and the only hint he had to their character was visiting his grandmother's grave with his father, who stood there, harrumphed, and moved on. So for me, the new genealogist, it was a dead end. I had Katie, Todd, Glenn, and Glen Andrews, and that was it.

  Then, years later, I managed to contact family on my grandpa's side who still lived in Illinois, where he was from. I still remember the happy dance I did in the living room when I received their letter. They had found Glen's parents! Daniel and Sarah Jane Kimball Andrews. So my grandfather, Glenn Daniel, was named after his father and grandfather! Whattya know. Now it was time to take to Ancestry. Sure enough, there was Daniel as a baby in 1850 with his parents James and Hannah Finney Andrews. Yes!

  But past James? Not a trace. We even vacationed in upstate New York last summer, and happened to be an hour away from Saratoga, where he was born. So we made the little trip up to the Saratoga library to come up with absolutely nothing.

  In short, sometimes you have to come to peace with the fact that you will never know everything there is to know about certain lines of your family. I suppose it just makes what you do know all the more special. I am an Andrews, and that's that!

                                                    Glenn Daniel Andrews 1911-2000