Mar 202010

“Spring is Sprung
The Flowers are Ris
I wonder where
The Birdies Is”

So today is the first day of Spring, and it’s snowing. Yesterday it was 60°F (and for a few days before that too) and today it’s 30°F and snowing.

Mar 192010

So we’ve now completed the 3rd week of the NBC series Who Do You Think You Are – based on the remarkably popular BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) series of the same name that has been running for some years now.

  1. Sarah Jessica Parker – a good story, but too many “un-be-liev-able”s for me. It apparently set the pattern for the series – a 2 min 30 second introduction of what the series is about. Each segment ends with a “what’s coming up after the break” and then the next segment starts with “here’s what we did before the break”. But great that she did find out she has ancestry back to the earliest history of the colonisation of North America with the Salem Witch trials.
  2. Emmit Smith – a great story – same criticisms as Episode 1, but it seemed a more compelling story as Emmit followed his ancestry across the “slave owning and trading South” to Africa. This was of interest to me as I have worked on the genealogy of a friend whose ancestors were born in slavery in Mississippi and North Carolina. This chart shows her ancestry. The people in the 4 light yellow boxes were all born in slavery.
  3. Lisa Kudrow – also a great story of travel and discovery. Although this only covered part of the 20th century as she travelled back to the village of Ilya in the Belarus to uncover what happened to her great grandmother and to Gdynia in Poland to meet a cousin who had bought news of the family’s terrible fate at the hands of the Nazis to New York not long after World War 2 ended.

Continue reading »

Mar 152010

Today was a public meeting of the Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention Board – the Board put together by Governor Granholm to decide the fate of the Michigan Library and Historical Center in the wake of the disbanding of History Arts and Library (HAL) in 2009.

Western Michigan Genealogical Society was asked to make a presentation to the Board and that “honour” fell to me.

Below is the text of what I presented to them this morning in writing. I also got 3 minutes for a presentation, so read out my written submission, but omitted the parts that are in blue below to keep within the 3 minutes.

More comment on today’s event will follow in a separate posting this evening or tomorrow morning. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:08 pm
Mar 132010

We live in farming country, with our property almost bordering a very large field/paddock. (See

Today as I went by I noticed a flock of large white birds circling over the corn field – turns out they were swans.

Birds on a Pond

A large number of waterbirds on a pond in a corn field near our house.

shows a shot of the nearest pond, with Mallard ducks, Canada geese and the white swans. I’m not sure if they are Tundra Swans or Mute Swans – both are indicated as being present in Michigan.

Mar 102010

Tuesday 9 March 2010 was the day of the Spaghetti Dinner at First Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center. This was to raise funds for the “Relay for Life” that is coming up on 7-8 May 2010.

There was spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, bread sticks and Pavlova. There was also a Bake Sale table selling a variety of cookies, cup cakes, and of course ANZAC Biscuits.

It was fairly successful – we made nearly $500 from it, so that will be a great start on the Friends Team fund raising effort for Relay for Life this year.

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