Thursday, April 9, 2015

I found some more old time Stricklans!

Once upon a time in November of last year I was stumped about my Stricklan line of ancestry. There was an Abel Stricklan (Stricklin/Strickland/Stracklin, depending on the source) in Virginia but he had no parents or siblings. It was like poor little Orphan Abel.

I searched through as many records as Family Search had to find more information about Mr. Abel, and since I thought he was our Civil War relative I was very surprised not to find anything besides later census records with no more information than I already knew. He was just a line end.

This week at our Young Women activity we got all the girls signed up for Family Search so they could start looking for their ancestors, and one of the ward members who was helping suggested again that if we couldn't find any documents to help further our line, we could try looking at, since people with an LDS account get a free membership there too. When he said tha,t I thought, yeah, I really ought to look there (especially since my friend Coppelia had mentioned it months ago and I thought I'd like to check it out then, but I didn't).

Let's sum up the next two hours real quick because the process of looking at, confirming, and linking records to your ancestors takes a lot more time than it would seem: I LOOKED and there were RECORDS of Abel at, and once I put his father Samuel in, I got Joseph (his father) and Samson (his father) too. I got some more on the maternal sides of these lines as well, but it's going to take me a long time to catch up with the records I found. Those Stricklans have been 'Mercans for a very long time (which explains my dad's patriotism) (which is only a joke if you know my dad) (which is not to imply that he's super unpatriotic but if you don't get the joke it may sound that way) (that's probably enough explanation).

As it turns out, Abel wasn't in the Civil War (his son William was, whom I already knew about but didn't have any Civil War records for). I don't have any pictures of Abel, but here is a very happy looking William with his wife Nancy--and I think I see some of Calvin's/my/my dad's/my grandpa's cheekbones peeking up over that snowy beard.

Monday, April 6, 2015

November 1929

I've just been reading Hannah's book again. It's been a while. In November 1929 she wrote three entries, which I think is a monthly record in what I've read so far. At the last one she wrote, "I am going to try to dot down a little in this book every day," and then wrote no more that month. It's always nice to see that good intentions with less-than-perfect follow through are not a new phenomenon for people who start a family history blog and intend to post regularly and then miss a couple of months.

The thing that struck me the most out of these entries, though, was the family reunion she talked about. There were 85 people there. They raffled off a quilt and used the proceeds to find family names to do temple work for. I wonder what they needed the money for; it's hard to imagine how it would be done before it was all on the internet. I guess they had to go to Salt Lake and look through records the church kept? Either way, they accumulated 176 names from Sweden and did temple work for 126 of them! In the Logan temple, right here in my neighborhood. That's so impressive.

I would love to have a big Stricklan side (or any side of course, but Hannah is my Stricklan side) reunion with 85 of us present, but it seems like such an impossible task. How did they do it so often? They didn't all live in the same area, but closer together than we live now. And who organized such a thing? And convinced everyone to come? I applaud their efforts, whoever it was.

**And sorry for no photo. Something is wrong with my usual computer which houses my family photo file. I wanted one of an old-timey reunion (can you imagine it instead?).**

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Home Remedies

Dave and Ada
Grandma Stricklan had a few quirks, it is true; I remember a few from my childhood, although I'm sure didn't notice all I would notice if I knew her now. I know she liked vinegar. She made low-sugar cookies with Jell-o. She didn't like doctors. She even went so far as to refuse to go to the hospital when she was sick in her older years for fear of not coming out again. It seems as though her lack of regular check-ups made her circulation problems (affecting her mobility) worse, although I can't say for sure.

To tell you the truth, I actually completely understand. (Yikes.) I am hoping I won't get to the point where I refuse treatment for something I need, but as it is I really hate going to the doctor. Uh, really hate it. When I had mastitis twice after Norah was born, the second time was even more insulting than the first not only because it was frighteningly painful, but because I knew I'd have to go to the doctor AGAIN. It's not that I'm afraid--I just don't like the inconvenience. Ha! What a terrible excuse. But true.

As a result, I do all I can to avoid needing medical care. Good food, lots of exercise, fresh air, and a dose of vinegar every day. Don't worry, grandma's remedy is alive and well! Don't laugh, but I don't even remember why I started drinking the vinegar daily, but it's become a routine and I haven't been sick all winter. I know I'm basically just lucky and young, so I am going to try hard not to be crazy when I'm older and need attention (who will help me?).

In Hannah's book, she mentions that her health is improving in April 1929 because of a yeast drink she makes. Listen:

"I'll tell you how I make it. Boiled potatoes water, [something I can't read], add a little pinch of hops and a yeast cake or a start of yeast, no salt in it. Drink a cup after every meal. Have it good and strong so it will work a batch of bread & it will help you if you ever get stomach trouble."

It cracks me up. What is she even talking about, really? Yeast? In all of the gut-health reading I've done, yeast is one of the main things we want out of our system, not in. A cup after every meal? And what about baking bread with it? And yet, Hannah plainly said her health has improved. Who can argue with an 86-year-old journal entry?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I am so boring I post about weather (and I've thought a lot about it)

One thing I love about reading Hannah's book (which I'm reading at what you could call a leisurely pace) are the casual comments about the weather. Of course, for farmers in those days the weather was not very casual at all--but the thing I love is that every year Hannah notes that the weather is different. Some winters it hardly snows at all until March; sometimes it's too warm in the spring or too wet in August; sometimes it's oddly warm in January here but there's a historical storm on the East Coast. These things happen. They always have.

Don't you sometimes envision every Christmas of yore to have been white and then for winter to have the dignity to stay snowy until the March thaw, followed by April showers and May flowers? It's a pretty rigid standard to hold our dear old girl Weather to, especially when she's never shown any desire to be strictly orthodox in following the annual guidelines anyway. Let's all give Weather a break, I guess, and let her do her capricious thing.
This picture from Ada Stricklan's collection was captioned, "So, everybody had a bad winter," though I don't know whose house this is or when, or what was so bad about it. This looks like perfect snow for winter fun to me.

"Winter 1982-1983" Such snow is not to be found, at least in these parts, this year

Friday, January 16, 2015

A case for keeping buttons

Every time I take a personality test I end up with the same maddening result: Neither/nor, or sometimes either/or. If a question came up that said, "If you had a chance to take home a collection of buttons, some of them matching but in varied sizes and colors and you had no immediate use for them, would you keep them?"

I would surely answer a scoffing "No thank you."

But then I would keep them in real life, because I did. 

I love throwing old useless "stuff" away or just not acquiring it in the first place--I get a thrill from dropping things off at D.I. But shoot, I love these buttons. Both of my kids are absurdly entertained by them. And no, Norah doesn't try to eat them; what can I say, she's an anomaly. They came from Grandma Stricklan's sewing supplies that I swiped inherited, and although all of my sewing projects with buttons have been furnished from this collection, I just like to keep them around for fun. Stacking, sorting, dropping, throwing (not allowed), and cleaning them up again. 
I still generally throw things away rather than keep them for posterity, but I am extremely thankful that my parents and grandparents and Nate's parents and grandparents didn't do that (or else I'd never have anything to wear on Sundays--about 75% of the time I am wearing something or other that came from the Clarks' basement to church.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

gas prices

When we drove to New Mexico at the end of December, we flipped when we found gas for $1.99 a gallon outside of Albuquerque. Nate took a picture. We bought celebratory M&Ms. It has now gone aaaaall the way down to $1.93 here in Utah, which is actually so low it's frightening--but we are not talking about politics or oil policies or Monopoly on this blog, so let's move on to gas prices from the 1920s. Apparently gas was around twenty cents a gallon back then, which was absurdly expensive for them, rather like the regular $3.50 prices we've gotten used to.

This picture is of George Stricklan, my dad's grandpa and his gas station. Look, his name is on the sign and everything! His gasoline is packed with extra miles, too, so those '20s drivers would have really appreciated a little more bang for their buck.