Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Carnival of Genealogy, 34th Edition

Welcome to the October 18, 2007 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. The topic for this edition is Halloween and the Supernatural! We have some wonderful articles in this edition... serious, mysterious, spooky, and humorous ones. I am just delighted with the collection we have today and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too. So pour yourself an ice cold glass of apple cider, grab a doughnut, and indulge yourself in some great reading. Genealogy meets the haunted...

We begin with a couple articles that I was personally hoping to see. These are articles about family members who were accused witches, one in Salem, Massachusetts and the other in Wethersfield, Connecticut. I don't know about you but I've always been fascinated with the witch trials in days of old. I suspected some of you had family members who were involved in these and I was right!

Randy Seaver starts us off with The Witch in my Ancestry posted at Genea-Musings. Randy struggles to compose a suitable article for the COG and then lands on a most fitting one. And while the witch trials were actually a sad time in history, for many innocents were hanged, this is as good a time of the year as any to remember them and remember how beliefs in the supernatural got out of hand. Thanks for sharing, Randy!

And next we have Susan A. Kitchens's article Is it witchcraft? posted at Family Oral History Using Digital Tools [News]. Susan commented, "Finding out about tried and convicted witches in a 20-year old letter sent to me from my Dad's cousin." Susan makes a couple big discoveries here... first, that she likely has ancestors who were hanged for being witches, and second, she discovered just the kind of thing that gets us genealogists "hooked" in our hobby! Thanks for sharing, Susan!

Moving on, we have a bit of Halloween history shared with us by Becky Wiseman. First she presents A Night Not Soon Forgot, posted at kinexxions which is an article from a 1910 Indiana newspaper. It's a great story of one family's Halloween night long ago... Also from Becky we have Goblins Will Get You If You Don't Watch Out posted at Whitley County Kinexxions. This is also a newspaper article from her neck of the woods but this one was published in 1919. It begs you to "throw off the shackles of convention"... read on and see what sorts of Halloween celebrations went on back then. Thanks for sharing, Becky!

Tales of haunting and places haunted in the great state of New Hampshire are shared with us by Janice Brown in The Dark Elements of A New Hampshire Halloween posted at Cow Hampshire. Janice is writing weekly posts on this topic all month. Be sure to check them out. I really enjoyed Francestown New Hampshire: Is Haunted Lake Haunted? too. Eerie! Thanks for sharing, Janice!

Here's a real treat. From first-time contributor to the COG, Thomas Wheatley, we have a fabulous list of superstitions from around the world in, Is Your Family Superstitious? posted at Family History Quick Start. Thomas commented, "As many of us have ancestors that came from different areas of the world, I thought it would be interesting to research what are some of the superstitions that our ancestors may have believed and have been passed down to us." This is a well researched list and I know you'll enjoy looking up some of the superstitions your family might have believed. Very entertaining! Thanks for contributing this to the COG, Thomas!

Next we have a slew of memories of Halloweens past. First up is a new comer to the COG, Bob Franks presenting Ghosts, Goblins, Tricks and Treats: Childhood Memories posted at Itawamba History Review: The Itawamba Historical Society, saying, "Memories of Halloween from childhood in the rural Deep South during the 1950's and early 1960's". Welcome, Bob, and thanks for sharing your personal memories of Halloween. Bob remembers locals events, tasty treats (I remember those wax lips and mustaches too!), and one night without TV ;-) Check it out... it will take you back!

And next with some Halloween memories of her own is Lori Thornton presenting Memories of Hallowe'en posted at Smoky Mountain Family Historian. Lori's memories are fond ones and she graciously shares them with us in this article. Be sure to click on the link at the end of her post. It will give you grins and giggles! Thanks Lori!

Also with some memories to share, Apple presents Apple's Tree: Ghosts of Halloween - My Childhood posted at Apple's Tree. Apple has happy Halloween memories including trick or treating for UNICEF. I sort of remember that from my childhood, though I never did it myself. Do kids still do that these days? Thanks for the memories, Apple!

Steve Danko presents his memories in a little different way in, An October Day in Second Grade, 1962 posted at Steve's Genealogy Blog, saying, "A fictionalized account of the day before Halloween when I was in elementary school grade, written from the standpoint of my second grade teacher." And followed that up with, Halloween 1962 at the Vincentian Institute, Albany, New York, commenting, "Photos from the real 1962 2nd grade Halloween party." This is an interesting and creative way to share one's memories. Steve takes a look at a real event from another's perspective. The photos are wonderful Steve. I always wondered how the Catholic schools dealt with the whole Halloween thing. Thanks for sharing!

And next, Jasia presents I Prefer a Happy Not a Haunted Halloween posted at Creative Gene. As a long time fan of the Peanuts gang, I couldn't resist this opportunity to share my own happy Halloween memories of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally and the Great Pumpkin. "My lips touched dog lips! Yuck!", remember that line? Happy Halloween memories from me to you :-)

And sharing a Great Pumpkin story of her own, footnote Maven presents I Once Was The Great Pumpkin posted at footnoteMaven. Humor, high drama, and a very charming story to boot! footnote Maven puts it all together for us in this touching family story. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this very special event with us, Maven!

Sharing his grandfather's and granduncle's memories of a tragic incident back in Transylvania, John Newmark presents The Vicious Chiffonier - Part I posted at Transylvanian Dutch. This story will leave you as sad as Maven's story left you happy. It's a story with lessons to be learned that are timely to this day. Thanks for sharing your story, John.

Next, Miriam Robbins Midkiff presents 29 East LaCrosse - Haunted or Not? posted at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors, saying, "We question whether our century-old home is haunted or just well-visited from another dimension." Imagine having someone knock on your door to ask if your house is haunted as is rumored. It was a strange day for Miriam. Stranger still is the possibility that it might be, now. Thanks for sharing, Miriam!

And next, Jessica Oswalt presents Cemetery Thoughts ... posted at Jessica's Genejournal. Jessica describes that creepy feeling that only cemeteries can give. I've been there, felt that too. Read on and see if you too can relate. Thanks for your contribution, Jessica!

We have some great story tellers among us. Terry Thornton is one of them. He presents Haints on the Road in Parham... posted at Hill Country of Monroe County Mississippi. This one will give you chills as you read it. I'm convinced! I'm not driving by that cemetery at night... Thanks for sharing, Terry!

Bill West is a great story teller too. He presents THE HELL HOUNDS OF BREWSTER posted at West in New England. Good one, Bill! Bill created his own haunted tale and shares it with us this haunting season. This man can spin a tale... check it out and learn how legends are made. Thanks, Bill!

And wrapping things up for us on a humorous note, Jimmy Kavanagh presents Halloween - Interviewing The Dead For Genealogy Research posted at Genealogy Gifts. You'll enjoy this one. It'll make you smile. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!

I have to add a few other things that are just too fitting to be omitted.

First there's Terry Thornton's posts on witch balls and bottle trees. Both fit right in with Halloween and the supernatural.

And then there's footnote Maven's article previously submitted to another edition of the COG but so very apropos for this one... My Ancestors Didn’t Raise No Fools – April or Otherwise - Or Did They. I thought it was hilarious then, and the story stuck with me. I think I will always think of this story when I think of Maven. She sure can make me laugh!

And last but not least... here's a freebie for anyone interested. You can download an ebook copy of Myths and Legends of Our Own Land — Complete by Charles M. Skinner, from Project Gutenburg. In this book Mr. Skinner tells stories of hauntings and legends from all around the country. Most interesting reading! I've heard so much about the legend of the Nain Rouge here in Detroit (he seems to appear just before a major tragedy happens). You can check it out in this book. Happy Haunting!

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. I never cease to be amazed at the variety of articles the genea-bloggers come up with on a given topic. Hats off to you all and thanks for your submissions!

And now it's time for a call for submissions! Here's a challenge for all you genea-bloggers out there. You may have to put on your thinking caps for this one but I'm sure you're up to the task. The next edition of the COG will be hosted by Blaine Bettinger. As you know, he's The Genetic Genealogist. Here's the question he's putting out to you... Do you have a family mystery that might be solved by DNA? Blaine will analyze your post for possible answers to questions or mysteries based on genetic genealogy and then he'll try to help us all understand if and how genetic genealogy might be used to solve our mysteries and questions. I'm excited to have this opportunity to pose a question to the expert. How 'bout you?

Please submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. The deadline for submissions will be November 1st. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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(Halloween theme banner for this edition created with elements from Snow Raven's kit, Dark Gothic Halloween.)