Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Potter In Our Family

This year marks 30 years of Emma Bridgewater pottery. Born in 1905, my maternal Great-Grandpa William Thawley was a potter for the Staffordshire Pottery industry for decades. Fascinating, that most of the Emma Bridgewater pottery is still made by hand and individually painted so no two pieces are the same.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saint Valentine's 2015

This past Saturday, we had a delightful Valentine's tea together at The Ballantyne. Here are a few pictures of our day together:








Sending love to you and yours.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Organizing Memories

Can it really be February already? My goodness the days, weeks, months and years seem to go by faster and faster every year. That is why it is important to reflect, and preserve our past memories.
 
I've always taken photos, but they were in assorted albums on my computer, or tucked away in photo boxes at our parents' homes. Then about two years ago I decided to take on the project of collecting all the photos, spending weeks scanning them all onto an external hard drive.
 
The project turned into more than anticipated, as we started doing our family history research and collecting those memories and photos also. Which has left me with an enormous organization project.
 
The Ancestry Memories
 
We built our family tree on ancestry, with both of our sides, then printed a page for each generation for my binder. The binder is convenient for me to look up an ancestor quickly, and to make edits or notes. We have six of the trees done, and have six to go.
 
On ancestry, along with family pages I've found a lot of ancestor photos. I saved them all onto a  thumb drive into organized folders and printed them all out for my photo binder. I use the 12x12 project life binders as I like that you can re-arrange pages if you find more photos, also they hold a lot of photos.
 
Nana and Grandad's Wedding Day December 12th, 1954.
Nana and Grandad's Wedding Day December 12th, 1954.
After printing the photos, I sort them into time categories for each ancestor, then place them into the inserts. I'm still a long way off labelling all of them, but hope to eventually.
 
The ancestor photos that are our favorites we frame around our home. We have a running list of all the different ancestors that have/haven't got a frame so it's balanced and we don't miss anybody out.
 
Since we have the tree, binder, and photos of memories we've been working on a website, where we can store our findings so they can help other cousins in their genealogy search.
 
The Childhood Memories
 
The photos of our childhood memories came from our parents. We scanned them all in, and like the ancestor binder, I've sorted them all into some semblance of a chronological order. They all need labeling also.
 
Kiki
Me aged 3, in 1989.
Secondly, about a year ago I wrote up a small 100 page book of all my childhood memories up until we met and got married. I may be an amateur, but I've been water coloring all the pages as I feel it personalizes my story more thoughtfully than a 300 page novel. To organize it I have a binder with sleeves to organize my pages as I go along. It's a work in progress, as it has lot's of post it notes with other stories, and memories I've remembered over time.
 
The Happy Ever After Memories
 
These are my most recent memories. I have an empty project life binder waiting for me! It may be some time before I get around to printing all our most recent pictures as the other two projects have taken over right now.

Cory, Kiki
Our wedding day, July 31st 2013 in Port Charlotte, Florida.

I have all our photos on an external hard drive and conscientiously keep them organized as I go along; Each year I start a new folder on my desktop like "Family Photos From 2015" and then each month I make another folder on my desktop like "January 2015". Every time I upload my photos I put it into the monthly folder, then every month I drag it into the years folder and create a new one. I've done this for about three years, and it's such a timesaver. I'm also starting a new folder for each year called "Print" where I select favorite photos each month that I'd eventually like to print.
 
A favorite program for an amateur like me is Picasa. I use it to easily view my photos and videos, as well as make minor edits like straightening.
 
So that is how I'm currently organizing our memories. It is a work in progress and doesn't happen in one afternoon, but when we think all the extraordinary things we've learn't in the process from our ancestors, or childhoods... it connects us and helps us ruminate our life's purpose.

What ways do you organize your memories?

Linked up to: Coastal Charm #248 Share Your Cup #136 Imparting Grace #141

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Story Of James and Ann Bird nee Viner

This is the Story of James and Ann Bird nee Viner.
 
 
The family name Bird comes from Middle English bird, brid ‘nestling’, ‘young bird’ (Old English bridd), applied as a nickname or perhaps occasionally as a metonymic occupational name for a bird catcher. The metathesized form is first found in the Northumbrian dialect of Middle English, but the surname is more common in central and southern England. It may possibly also be derived from Old English burde ‘maiden’, ‘girl’, applied as a derisory nickname. (Ancestry.com)
 
James Bird was my four times great grandfather on my mothers paternal side. He was supposedly born in France in 1820. His father Peter Bird is estimated to have been born around 1800.
 
I say supposedly as James led a colorful life, and possibly fibbed on census records as to where he was born, as most records of his life are from the coast of Somerset, England.
 
At the tender age of sixteen, James was tried for larceny on April 2nd 1836. He was dismissed with no bill.

 
At the age of twenty-five, on October 14th 1845 he was tried and got three months imprisonment for assaulting a police officer. His record on Ancestry is oftentimes confused for a younger namesake who is listed under him.
 

But within a year of being released, James married his sweetheart Ann Viner on March 17th 1846. She is quite a remarkable women, you'll have to keep reading to find out why. Ann was the daughter of Robert 1801-1848 and Mary Viner nee Emery 1801-1866.
 
 
But James hadn't quite learn't the error of his ways and was imprisoned yet again, but for the last time on record on January 5th 1847 for six months for larceny.
 
 
Sometime into James and Ann's marriage was the 1851 census which shows his occupation as a laborer, and their three children Henry, James and Mary Ann living at 29 Silver Street in Bridgewater, Somerset.
 
 
In the 1861 census, it no longer shows their son James. The couple now have Alfred, William (our direct ancestor), Charles and Edward. James' profession is a drover and they live at 157 Monmouth Street in Bridgewater, Somerset.
 
 
In the last decade of his life, in 1871 James was a laborer and had also taken in his one year old grandson Henry.
 
 
After twenty-seven years of marriage, at the age of fifty-three James passed away on December 9th 1873.
 
The twist however, is his commendable wife Ann brought the family circumstances up. She learned to do accounts and her children had respectable occupations as a pension officer, a police officer (ironic) and our direct ancestor William joined the Navy and served on  HMS Royal Adelaide.
 
 V574 - HMS Royal Adelaide
 
V575 - HMS Royal Adelaide
 
Some history on HMS The Royal Adelaide 
 
The Royal Adelaide was a First Rate ship of the line. Along with her sister, the Princess Charlotte, they were ordered in 1812 being an enlarged version of the Victory. The design was altered after being ordered, to include a round bow and stern. She was built at Plymouth Dockyard, the keel being laid in May 1819 and launched on 28 July 1828 by the Duchess Adelaide of Clarence. She measured 197.11feet x 53.11feet 2466 tons (4122 tons by displacement). The rated armament when built was 104 guns, on three decks, mainly 32 pounders but also 8in shell guns and carronades; she never actually carried this armament, as she never saw active service. After launch she went into reserve at Plymouth, not being commissioned until December 1835. She did not go far however, being employed as the local harbour guardship and flagship of the port Admiral, and was moored in the Hamoaze. In May 1839 she paid off back into reserve. She then lay quietly swinging around her anchor until April 1859 when she was again commissioned to serve as the local receiving ship (accommodation for new recruits) / depot ship / port Admiral's flagship at Plymouth. There she remained until 1891 when she went to sea for the first time in her life, when she was towed to Chatham. There she was used as a receiving ship (i.e. accommodation) and depot ship. She finally paid off in 1904 and she was sold for scrap in April 1905, being broken up in Dunkirk.
 
 
After her husband died, Ann went to live with her daughter Mary Ann Holman at 6 Barclay, in Bridgewater Somerset. She passed away a few years later in January 1894.
 

Update: January 16th 2015

I found out why James Wright was born in France. There was me thinking he was hiding a past, when all along he was born during his father Peter's service in the French Napoleonic War.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Whatever Is Lovely

I recently got a book, several copies actually of the book Whatever Is Lovely by Tina Krause. The book asks us to celebrate the good gifts and loving promises through thoughtful devotions, inspiring quotations and scripture with encouragement from Philippians 4:8.
 
 
I see life as a path. We all start at different points; depending on who our parents are, our circumstances and our health. Our end is imminent, and could happen at any time during our life's path. During our walk up the path, we all have choices, purpose and a legacy we leave behind.
 
Choices
 
Whatever consumes your mind, consumes your life. Whatever is lovely, is encouraging. Being an encourager is a choice. It is choosing not to be the critical of yourself and others in your life.
whatever is lovely / free printable
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." - Philippians 4:8
 
Purpose
 
Some days it's hard to think a clear thought, let alone finding and creating a purpose. Some of us find purpose in our professions, our hobbies or a talent.

"The Purpose of Life Is to Discover Your Gift. The Meaning of Life Is to Give Your Gift Away" -William Shakespeare.


While others biggest purpose is their home and family.
 
 
Legacy
 
Legacy is the memory you leave behind in other peoples minds. Personally, I never thought much about legacy until a year or two ago. Last year was kind to us, but the previous five years before that I lost two grandparents in '09, another in '10 and in '11 my dad got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and fought until his death in '13. One day you'll be a memory, so do your best to be a good one!  
 
 
 
Whatever circumstances you face, be encouraged. Whatever is lovely is achievable. Focus on your purpose and legacy and take time to be at peace with your soul. These are my goals for time and eternity.


Monday, January 5, 2015

And A Happy New Year

 Happy new year darlings, are you ready for 2015? I am, but first a little recap of our New Years.
 
Two days before new years eve we drove through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to Florida to stay at The Carillion Beach Resort Inn. The Resort is along route 30A near Panama City Beach in Florida.
 
 
The next morning we started with brunch at The Great Southern in Seaside, Florida. The small coastal town where the movie The Truman Show was filmed,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
We had shrimp rolls from the Shrimp Shack before watching the sunset on the gulf in Seaside, Florida.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rosemary Beach, Florida
 
 
We had breakfast alfresco at the Summer Kitchen, and some birds joined us. Hubby took this picture of this precious bird just before it flew a-w-a-y.
 
 
 
 
 
That evening we had a romantic new years eve 'picnic' style dinner on our balcony while we watched the sun setting on the last day of the year. We talked about the past year, and how kind it was to us, and our hopes for this year and many years to come.
 
 
 
 
On new years day we drove back through Florida, Alabama (first time for both of us), Georgia, South Carolina back home to North Carolina.

Linking up with: The Dedicated House #123 Coastal Charm #243 Boogieboard Cottage #209
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