Home for Christmas

On October 21, 1945, my Pop sent this missive to my Mom. He was on board the SS Trevilian, a tanker ship anchored off the Philippines. I imagine it was the best early Christmas present she ever got! The form letter, in all caps, reads: Please do not mail Xmas parcels to me at this address. I expect to be on my way home before Christmas and hope to enjoy the holidays there. If plans... Read more →

The Greatest Navy in the World

As soon as my Pop heard about Pearl Harbor, he was determined to join the military. The Army didn't want him, so he joined the Navy. Because of his age, education, and experience, he started his service as a Lieutenant JG Gunnery Officer, and was in charge of the Navy Armed Guard on cargo ships. He served on the SS Esso Concord, the SS Trevilian, and the SS William Pepper. My Mom kept a scrapbook... Read more →

Throwback Thursday: Captain John Francis

I've been messing around with Ancestry.com and finding out some pretty remarkable things about my forebears. Allow me to introduce you to Captain John Francis, my fifth great-grandfather. He was born in the colony of Connecticut on June 20, 1744, and died in the state of Connecticut on May 30, 1824. He married at age 20 and had one son. He served in the American Revolution, too! Here is the story of his service, which... Read more →

In the Beginning

Today is our Ruby wedding anniversary - 40 whole years! How did we get here? Well, our first date was in August, 1979, at a pizza joint on Capitol Hill in DC. More dates followed quickly. Early in the fall, I invited Joe to accompany me on a canoe trip down the Mullica River in New Jersey. This event was hosted by one of the programmers where I worked; many of my fellow employees attended.... Read more →

No Wonder I Like Outlander

Several years ago I took Ancestry.com up on their two-week free trial and found out some really interesting details about my family tree. I quit after the free trial, but I occasionally get emails talking about "hints" on my ancestry. I got one yesterday - a hint about my great-great-grandfather, Barney Whitney. It was a record of his service in the Union Army during the Civil War. Well, that was too delicious to pass up,... Read more →


What a wonderful whirlwind it was! Christmas, that is. Christmas Eve was a flurry of activity that ended with a grand party at my sister's house. It started early - I had to get some bloodwork done, get a couple of last minute gifts, and pick up our Christmas dinner from the fabulous Founding Farmer's. Then I had to rearrange the fridge and stow the dinner, throw stuff in a bag, and check on our... Read more →

A Pretty Wedding

Here's my grandmother's marriage certificate. It's not as fancypants as her father's certificate, but Gramma's wedding was 27 years after his, so maybe things were more streamlined in the 20th century. Anyway, the Washington Star published the following description of the wedding. The suburban home of Dr. and Mrs. Charles F. Whitney of Woodside, Md., was the scene of a pretty wedding Wednesday evening, when their daughter, Miss Mabel Whitney, was married to Mr. Jarrett... Read more →

Marriage Certificate

Here is the Certificate of Marriage of my great-grandfather, Charles F. Whitney, and my great-grandmother, Anna Elizabeth Hall. The writing is a little faded, but that's understandable, considering that it was written in 1880. They were married in Menard County, Illinois. I think that John T. Hall and Laura F. Hall are Anna's parents, my great-great-grandparents. I especially like the picture of the bride, groom, and their attendants at the top of the certificate. Don't... Read more →

Report Card

This is my Gramma's high school report card. Check out the date of the school year: 1900-1901! Gramma was 18 in 1901, so I'm guessing that she was a senior. It appears that she graduated from Eastern High School. She didn't have a very heavy course load - just History, English, French, and Latin. Oh, and Neatness. Neatness? I wonder what the syllabus was for Neatness - Dusting, Polishing, Tidying? What do you think? No... Read more →