Are My Roots Showing?

The chronicle of this woman's perpetual game of hide-and-seek with her ancestors

7 Ways to Build a Better Blog

July 29th, 2014

assorted_toolsIn the nearly 4 years that I have been blogging, I’ve gotten familiar with what it takes to build a blog.  I’ve had even more experience with READING blogs.

Based on my experience, I’ve put together a list of things that can help build a blog that people will want to read.  I’m not even going to mention content, so this list can pretty much apply to any blog on any topic.

1. Say NO to annoyance.  Never ever have auto-play music, video, or popups on your blog. Not ever. I don’t care who you are, if you have any of these things, the majority of readers who found your blog will move on.

2. A picture paints a thousand words.  A blog post without an image is like reading the back of a bottle of aspirin.  Snooze-fest.  Make sure you have something that catches the reader’s eye, then you spring your awesome content on them!  (Also, it saves a step when you double up your exposure with Pinterest or Instagram).  Need images?  Try Pixabay, MorgueFile, and creative commons on Flickr.  (always confirm usability – licensing, attribution, etc. before publishing an image on your blog).

3. The Missing Link.  Links on your blog should always open a new window.  You don’t ever want to drive a reader away from your blog.  Let them open a new window, and then come back to you when they’re done.

4. Spelling and Grammar are your friends.  Think about it.  How can I trust what you say when you can’t even spell it or use it in a complete sentence?  It’s not that hard to spellcheck and grammar check your posts before you publish them.  Your blog editor should have a built-in spellchecker.  If not, consider changing blog platforms.  In the meantime, write your posts in a word processor and check it there before you paste it into your blog editor.  One of my favorite tools to check my writing for readability (also a spellchecker) is Hemingway.

5. How about a date?  I will never figure out why people don’t date their blog posts.  I like to know that I’m reading the most up-to-date information available.  If your post isn’t dated, how can I tell?  I’ll be off to search for a blog post that IS dated, and I’ll chalk your blog up in the ‘unreliable’ column.

6. Just the facts, ma’am.  Be sure to fact check your blog post before you hit the “publish” button.  Nothing screams ‘unreliable’ louder than a post filled with incorrect information.  Not sure how to check the facts you’re using?  Then maybe you should consider a different topic.

7.  Consistency is key.  I’m not saying that you have to publish a blog post every day, every week, or only on alternating Mondays in weeks that contain a date with a number 2.  What I am saying is that you should post regularly enough that it keeps your blog (and your name) in front of your readers.  One tool I find helpful is the Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress.  You can also create your own with a calendar template in Word or using another editorial calendar template.

What about you?  Do you have any tips you would add to this list?

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

25 New Telephones In City Directory

July 24th, 2014

Banner

Yankton Press & Dakotan

4 Jun 1938 (Evening), p. 6, col. 8

25 New Telephones

25 NEW TELEPHONES IN CITY DIRECTORY

The work of distributing the new telephone directories recently printed by the Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., office here for Yankton, Gayville, Lesterville and Tabor, has been completed, according to E. B. Wilson, manager.

The new directory shows that there has been an addition of 25 new telephones since the last directory was printed last year about this time, Manager Wilson stated.

Telephone statistics in possession of Manager Wilson show that at the present time there are over 19,500,000 telephones in use in the United States which outranks all other countries in the world with 14.39 telephones for each 100 of the population.

I purchased roughly 25 original issues of the Yankton (South Dakota) Press & Dakotan, dating from 1938 to 1946.  I am systematically going through every issue and will be posting the articles that include the names of individuals.   I am happy to email full-size scans of any article.  Feel free to ask.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Father Feels Child is Dead

July 17th, 2014

BannerYankton Press & Dakotan

4 Jun 1938 (Evening), p. 1, col. 6

Photo - Kidnapping

FATHER FEELS CHILD IS DEAD

But Has Faith Persons Who Kidnaped His Son Will Be Caught

PRINCETON, Fla., June 4, AP – Wearied, grief-ridden James Bailey Cash, Sr., said today he was resigned to the death of his only child but convinced the kidnap-slayers would be caught.

Cash, his shoulders bent by fatigue and his eyes bloodshot from sleepless nights, appeared on the porch of his home to express to reporters his thanks to the 2,000 persons who hunted fruitlessly for the blond five-year-old boy snatched from his bedroom last Saturday.

Asked if he thought the case would be solved, he said:

Father Feels Child is Dead“Yes, I think so, as far as catching the fellows who did it is concerned.  Once we catch them we will be able to find out what they did with the boy.”

“I expect a break within the next week or ten days,” he said.

The stricken father said Mrs. Cash still was under a physician’s care but was “some better.”

With the baffling case entering routine phases of investigation, most of the 2,000 persons who tramped in vain over 120 square miles of territory bordering the Everglades returned to their homes.

The fleet of boats which cruised along the coast and through canals dispersed.  Divers who sought clues at the bottom of creeks and water-filled quarries turned to other tasks.

But the squad of federal agents headed by J. Edgar Hoover worked on every lead, mindful of the fact almost a week had passed since the Cash boy was stolen from his bed last Saturday night.

Agents continued to question a number of person — Hoover called “voluntary witnesses” – at federal bureau of investigation headquarters in Miami.  Hoover said no one had been charged with the crime.

This case made national headlines in 1938, with the FBI assuming control over the investigation the day before this article appeared.  Ten days later, Franklin Pierce McCall was indicted by a federal grand jury and pleads guilty.  He is executed in February the following year under the “Lindbergh Law,” which made kidnapping for ransom a capital offense.  You can read more about it here and here.  

I purchased roughly 25 original issues of the Yankton (South Dakota) Press & Dakotan, dating from 1938 to 1946.  I am systematically going through every issue and will be posting the articles that include the names of individuals.   I am happy to email full-size scans of any article.  Feel free to ask.

 

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Harold John Crowe – Indiana National Guard (WWI)

July 14th, 2014

Harold Crowe Sr military photoWhen I requested my great grandfather’s records from NARA a couple of years ago, I received the same letter as many researchers, politely explaining that the records had burned in 1973.  Not one to take ‘no’ for an answer, I began looking elsewhere to piece together his service.

Harold John Crowe was born September 15, 1899 in Cannelton, Perry, Indiana.  When he reached the age of 18 years, he traveled from his home in Rockport, Indiana to Princeton, Indiana (roughly 60 miles away) to enlist with the Indiana State Militia (aka Indiana National Guard).  On December 28, 1917, he presented to Medical Officer J. S. Critchfield for his physical, and on December 31, 1917, he took the oath before Major James T. Cutler and became Private Harold Crowe of Company D, 1st Infantry.Harold Crowe enlistment paper p1

Fortunately, the Indiana State Archives has some records for soldiers who served in the National Guard during World War I.  I requested copies of the records and received 7 pages: Enlistment papers (5 pages) and his discharge papers (2 pages).  Unfortunately, they did not keep copies of the DD-214s issued by the Army.  But perhaps with his serial number I will be able to contact a researcher in St. Louis to see if there is any additional information in the “other” military records kept at the Archives.

Harold Crowe statement of svc p1He never served overseas during the war, probably since it was over less than a year after he enlisted.  With the exception of about 6 months at Indiana, he spent his entire enlistment assigned to Camp Johnston, Florida.  He was a member of the 26th Road Company, 2nd Regiment until September 18, 1918, then to the Quartermaster Corps until October 1918, and finally to Motor Transport Company 809 until he was discharged.

He reached the rank of Corporal on March 15, 1919, and Sergeant on April 30, 1919.  He was honorably discharged on May 29, 1919, after only 1-1/2 years of service.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Days Gone By (4 Jun 1938)

July 9th, 2014

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Yankton Press & Dakotan

4 Jun 1938 (Evening), p. 2, col. 6.

Days Gone By

Days Gone ByTWENTY YEARS AGO

Mrs. M. P. Ohlman was a Sioux City visitor today.

E. O. Walgren was a Sioux City visitor today.

Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Lennon, guests of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Todd, returned home to Sioux City this morning. Mrs. Lennon is a sister of Mr. and Todd.

Mrs. Mary Gillis and little son Charles, were Sioux City visitors today.

Miss Pearl McCormick arrived home this morning from school duties at Ravinia.

Jesse Haggin, of Gayville, is home on a twenty day furlough from Camp Green, N. C.

Mrs. William Higbee has returned to Sacred Heart Hospital from the family home on the west side.

William McKeachie, formerly of Yankton county, now of Trinity, Texas in that wonderful valley now drawing so much attention, sends to Yankton samples of his small grain, alfalfa, and other products. In the assortment are two stalks of corn, ten feet or more long, just taken from the field. The grain, already harvested, shows a splendid crop, from barley to oats.

FORTY YEARS AGO

The Missouri river is stationary at a point about four feet above low water mark.

Lieutenant Alex Sharp’s gunboat, the Vixen, was in last Thursday’s reconnaissance off Santiago.

Miss Alice Spink has sold her dairy business to J. Clausen and will devote her time to the care of her mother who has recently suffered another stroke of paralysis and is confined to her bed.

John Caesar, the big black Newfoundland dog of Magner Bros., is a sight to behold just now. Pat and Mike Magner “scalped” him yesterday and all the hair he has left is on his ears and toes. John is completely disgusted with the whole affair and the flies have already begun to play circus on his back.

The city schools close for the summer vacation one week from yesterday, June 10 on Friday.

 

I purchased roughly 25 original issues of the Yankton (South Dakota) Press & Dakotan, dating from 1938 to 1946.  I am systematically going through every issue and will be posting the articles that include the names of individuals.   I am happy to email full-size scans of any article.  Feel free to ask.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Are My Roots Showing?

The chronicle of this woman's perpetual game of hide-and-seek with her ancestors