Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11

It’s quiet in my house now, early morning 9/12/2011.  I finally have some time to sit down and reflect on the events of 10 years ago today.

I think it was in a church school parking lot where I had my first good cry.  It was so sad, but it was also a cry of relief – my husband is a pilot for American Airlines and he was at home.  I wondered in my thoughts how I would have handled that phone call from the company that awful day.  I am never really comfortable on the 9/11 anniversaries.  I feel a bit guilty being one of the lucky ones whose beloved family member was safe and sound.

“Where were you on 9/11?”  It was early morning on the West Coast when the planes struck the Twin Towers in New York.   I was awake, but not yet out of bed.  My son and my husband were nestled in with me.  My son was just in kindergarten then and didn’t need to be roused out of bed for school like he does now.

The phone rang.  I could tell from the caller i.d. that it was my sister.  I never liked getting phone calls early in the morning from family – it always meant trouble.  The first thing she asked was if my husband was home.  I told her that he was and she told me to turn on the television.  She said that a plane had hit a building in New York.  Just after I turned on the t.v., the second plane hit the other Trade Center building.

We got my son out of the room and started to get him ready for school.  We actually wondered if there would be school that day, but we hadn’t heard anything different, so we drove him in.  I explained to his kindergarten teacher that Ryan had a vague idea of what had happened – as much as a 5 year old could understand.  We did not really understand what was happening either.  I felt good about taking him to school.  I knew that he would be cared for and loved, and that he would be able to go up to the sanctuary in the Episcopal Church building where his school was housed.  Since it is our home church, I knew he would feel safe and comfortable there.

In the days that followed, I felt despair, sadness, relief, confusion, anger, and strangely, profound love.  I experienced, with a deepness I had never felt before, the love of family, friends, and neighbors.
Today, the anger has subsided.  But the love for my husband, son, friends and neighbors has only grown.  Love – one;  anger – zero. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tech Tuesday - GenSmarts

Dear GenSmarts,

Our relationship is becoming a problem.  You see, I am neglecting my husband and child, never mind the housework, to spend time with you.  I have neglected my blogging.

I have kicked my scanning to the curb for you.

I'm afraid I'm developing an obsession.  You complete me.  You help me fill all the empty spaces.  You are getting me to explore new ideas, and look at things in a different way. 

Never mind that I had to pay for your services - you are well worth the price.  

Fondly yours,

P.S.  I'll be right back GenSmarts - just need to update the other blog.  I promise.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011 - David Earl Savage

As I worked on a Facebook post for my husband on Father's Day, I decided to take out my new FlipPal scanner and find some pictures of my dad.  He died in August 2001, and I only wish he could have spent more time with my son.  Ryan was 5 when my dad passed, but it was clear from the few years that they did have together that my dad got a kick out of my son.  Even at that young age, Ryan had a great sense of humor.  I wish I could say that it all came from my side of the family, but I am afraid my son gets it from both sides!

David Earl Savage as a young boy
One year we were down visiting my folks in Vancouver, Washington, and we went shopping at Nordstroms.  My parents loved to buy my son nice clothes.  Ryan picked up a Peter Rabbit stuffed animal and hugged it.  That was all it took - my dad said he had to have it.  "Petey" was really the only stuffed animal that Ryan loved.  Petey had to go everywhere with us.

High School Graduation Photo
Sometimes, when I look at my son, I see my dad staring back at me.  There is something about his mouth, particularly when he is grinning, that reminds me so much of my dad.

I know that Dad would be so proud of his grandson.  I'm sure he is smiling down on him from heaven.

Dad in military garb, circa 1950's

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Burial Site Sleuthing

I heard this great story on NPR this morning (Saturday) about folks working on finding the burial sites of Negro League baseball players.

From NPR's website:  "Dink Mothell played in the Negro Leagues for 15 years. He died in 1980, and his gravesite has been just a patch of grass, no nameplate, marker or anything. On Saturday, a ceremony will at last grant Mothell's gravesite a tombstone, the result of efforts by two men to locate the remains of former Negro Leaguers."

Here's a link to the story: 

The Negro League website is:

As far as I know, I don't have any African American ancestry...but who knows what I might find someday.  I just really enjoyed hearing the story and thought I would share!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SCGS Librarians and Volunteers Rock!

I just wanted to say thank you to the volunteers at the Southern California Genealogical Society library.   The staff on hand during my visit to the library during Jamboree this year were wonderful.  Not only were they helpful and knowledgeable about the library, they were gracious and warm.

I know that a lot of work must have gone into planning such a large event.  This kind of pressure can turn even the kindest person into a monster - not so with those SCGS library staffers!

So, thank you, thank you, thank you.  Hopefully, I will be able to see you all again next year!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jamboree Madness!

What a great first day at Jamboree!  I started the day with a tour of the Southern California Genealogical Society library.  JACKPOT!  The German collection is just awesome.  I made some photocopies of things to track down.  The Cornish Collection - again awesome.  But my biggest discovery?  A copy of the 1949 Yearbook for my mom's high school in Pocatello, Idaho - with a picture of her in it!!!  Mind you, the Idaho section of the collection is small (well, tiny would probably be more accurate), so to find a copy of her yearbook....I was thrilled.  

I attended Thomas MacEntee's class on looking for living relatives.  Of course, his lecture was excellent.  And funny.  He let us know that if any of our phones rang during his presentation, he would answer it and ask the caller what they were wearing.  Thomas!

Spent the rest of the afternoon, emphasis on "spent", at the exhibitor's hall.  Finally broke down and bought a FlipPal scanner.  I can't wait to get home and put it to use.  Got a great "goody" bag from GeneaBloggers and SCGS (more on that later).  It's a good thing that I can only buy things that will fit into my one carry on bag.

More fun to come later.  A GeneaBlogger radio show and sponsored ice cream social.  Honestly, this is as good as it gets for a geneaholic :)

A little housekeeping item: I am alternating posts between this blog and the GenerationsOfGermans blog.  So check out the posts there too.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fishing for Family

My dad loved salmon fishing off the Washington coast.  The one and only time the whole family went with him, it was so rough that even the captain was throwing up.  Not my dad.  He kept on fishing.  My brother, sister and I were down below in beds with buckets next to our heads.  This was probably more than 40 years ago, and I still have vivid memories of my brother getting sick.  So fishing – the deep sea variety or the calm lake variety, has never really appealed to me.  I don’t mind being on a calm lake, it’s the baiting the hooks and dealing with the fish that I have a problem with.

But, here I am, trolling the deep waters of the internet, “fishing for family.”  I have decided to cast a wide net and post some surnames related to the Savages I am researching.   Hope I am using enough “bait” to find some of those unknown cousins!

Allen PRESTON and Alice WEST – 1700’s Middlesex, England
Allen PRESTON and Ann WOODHOUSE – 1760’s Middlesex, England
Thomas POWER and Jamima PEVERLY  - 1770’s Middlesex, England
John POWER and Sarah Matilda PRESTON – 1800’s Middlesex, England
Sarah POWER and Henry SAVAGE – 1800’s – Middlesex >Nottingham>Utah

Will throw out a few more "nets" in the next couple of days!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Bet Sarah Power Could Open It!

On my other blog, GenerationsOfGermans, I posted a copy of an old ad for a Volkswagen.  It was unbelievably sexist, but definitely of its time - circa 1960's.  As I looked at the other ads, some of them really made me giggle (and some of them were downright horrifying!).  Here's one that made me laugh.

Oh, yes.  I bet my great, great grandmother, Sarah Power Savage, could not have opened the old style ketchup bottle.  She managed to give birth to 13 children, travel from England and set up house in Utah in the 1850's.  I'm sure that my grandma, Marion Beagles Savage, who raised 7 children, and buried one, couldn't have opened that old fashioned bottle.  Oh, those frail and weak females - they really needed a ketchup bottle that was easy to open!  Never mind giving birth in primitive conditions, without drugs or doctors.  Never mind cooking every single meal, when the food was sometimes hard to come by, without a proper oven.  And the laundry, don't even get me started about just keeping the clothes and kids clean. Yes, by golly, having an easy to open ketchup bottle was such an advance for womankind.  Imagine, someday a woman might be strong enough to be a firefighter or emotionally stable enough to be an astronaut.  LOL

Seriously, I was laughing when I saw the ad.  She looks so darn pleased with herself, with her pretty red lips and perfectly done hair.  

Remember ladies, "You've come a long way baby."  Oh, wait, that's ad an for ladies cigarettes.  Ugh!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Talented Tuesday AND Wednesday Wisdom “Two-Fer”

That’s right lucky readers.  You are getting a “two-fer-the-price-of-one” blog post.  But they are all free, so I’m not sure that really works…hmmm.  And then, “You get what you pay for” comes to mind.   If you pay nothing, you get…  Let’s find another, more positive, cliché, “The best things in life are free,” (like my blog posts).  But not all genealogy-related “best things” are free, nor should they be.  Moving along now.....

My mother did a great thing.  She took all of my dad’s photos, school reports, military records, etc. and put them into 3 large scrapbooks.  It was an awesome undertaking – there was a lot of material to organize.   I borrowed one of the volumes so that I could have a better look at what she had collected over the years.   This is all great, except that all of the photos have been glued (with archival safe product) to the pages, making it difficult to scan them.

This all hit home yesterday, when I was going to do a “Talented Tuesday” blog post.  After years of being a dentist, my dad retired.  One of the things he enjoyed doing was cooking/baking.  He even took a baking class at the hometown community college and won several ribbons for his entries in a school baking contest.  It seemed strange to me at the time.  Dad was always a good cook (his beef and pork roasts were the best!), but baking seemed, well, a little different.  I had never really seen him as a creative sort of person, until he got into the baking.   I thought it would be the perfect thing to blog about – until I couldn’t scan the photos my mom had taken of his contest entries.  Rats!

Where is this leading FlipPal.  Yep, I’m going to bite the bullet and get one.  I “Googled” around a bit and it seems as if this is the best option.  So, look for me at the FlipPal booth at Jamboree in a couple of weeks.  I’ll be the one doing the “happy family history researcher” dance!

Oh, and “Wednesday Wisdom” - Please don’t glue down those lovely original photos.  Mea culpa, by the way.  I have several scrapbooks that I put together with “archival quality” products.  Oh, they will probably last a long time, but it is nearly impossible to share those photos now.  Guess I will be doing lots of scanning!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ebenezer Savage and Emma Rebecca Littlefield

Ebenezer Savage was my great grandfather.  I’ve written a bit about him before, but I thought I would write a post with a few more details for the “record.”  

From the book, “Henry Savage and His Family,” by Josephine Savage Jones:

“My brother, Ebenezer, was born 18 May, 1857 at Little Cottonwood, and my mother was nursing him at this time. She and the baby nearly starved to death. But as their president had promised, they did survive. The memory of those days never left my mother's mind, nor the minds of her children that went through the famine. Ever after then when mother mixed and worked out her bread you could not see a dust of flour or a bit of the dough left on the table or mixing pan. She would never permit a bit of food to be burned or thrown away that a person or an animal could eat. In this regard, her children, who went through this ordeal with her, were in like manner frugal and saving.”

Ebenezer married Emily “Emma” Rebecca Littlefield on February 4, 1892, in Henrieville, Utah.  Emma was born on March 11, 1877 in Panguitch, Utah.  She was the daughter of David Orson Littlefield and Mary Louise Sylvia Riggs.

Emma was widowed when Ebenezer died on November 17, 1898.  On the 1900 census she is living in Henrieville with my grandfather, Nephi Waldo Savage.

Henrieville, Utah Cemetery 2009

Nearest cross streets to homestead site

When we visited Henrieville in 2009, we stopped in at the Senior Center to find out where the cemetery was - and we actually found folks there that knew our family!  One kind soul was even willing to get in our van (which was a mess from our long road trip) and show us where the old homestead used to be.  I took these photos. 

Site of family homestead 

Henrieville, Utah Community and Senior Center

On December 19, 1901, Emma married Alma Jensen.  On the 1910 census, she is living with her husband in Camas, Idaho with 4 children – Nephi Waldo Savage, Ellen, Nina and Emma L. Jensen.  Emma L. appears to be the child of Emma and Alma because she is 3 years old.

Emma Rebecca Littlefield died on May 27, 1924, in Hamer, Idaho.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Data Backup Day

No, it's not exciting, but losing all of my family history research would be, and not in a good way.  Not in a way like, hey, I'm so excited, I just won the lottery. Or I'm so excited for the vacation.  But in an anxiety-provoking, crying, throwing up (sorry to be so graphic) way. I recently lost all of the t.v. episodes I bought from iTunes and spent 3 days (yes 3) recovering them.  And yes, it was inconvenient and I was frustrated. I had to leave the computer on the whole time and endure the wrath of family members for slowing down internet browsing. Fortunately, iTunes has all these programs for me to re-download; I wouldn't have been so lucky if I lost my genealogy work.  Makes me think it is time to do a little cloud computing and keep a copy up in the sky....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Time for a tour of churches in London

As I work through all of this wonderful genealogy information that I have gathered, I long to visit the churches where my ancestors were baptized, married and buried.  Just to stand in the same place where I know they had been would be so moving.  Someday...

I thought that I would introduce John Savage, my 3rd great grandfather, and his wife, Mary Bridcutt, through photos and descriptions of the churches where some of these milestones occurred.

John was baptized September 22, 1782 at St. Mary's Whitechapel.  Here is a bit of history of St. Mary's.

"The name Whitechapel came from the chapel called St Mary Matfelon, which had white walls. This was situated in what is now Altab Ali Park . The chapel was originally built in the 13th century and the last of a series of chapels with this name was so badly damaged in World War 2 that it was pulled down after the war. Its floor plan can be seen in the park as can a few of the graves. Matfelon was the name of the family responsible for the 14th century building.

On the corner of Whitechapel Road and White Church Lane. The inscription states that this fountain had been in the Old Church railing and was moved here in 1879, and that it was "Erected by one who is known yet unknown." Presumably, the benefactor wished to remain anonymous. Round the central fountain is written:

(The grey letters are damaged and may not be correct) The old chunk of stone in the centre has a hole, from which presumably the water came out. In the 19th century, when this was first built, drinking fountains providing clean water were an important means of preventing the frequent cholera epidemics that caused many deaths in the East End.)"

This is an image from Google Earth of the remaining foundation of St. Mary's.

John was married to Mary Bridcutt on February 9, 1806 at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch.  Here's what St. Leonard's looks like today.

John was buried on February 22, 1852 at Christchurch, Spitalfields. (see previous post for picture of Christchurch) I always wondered what the heck the name Spitalfields was all about.  It never sounded very nice to me!  Here's the explanation:

"The name Spitalfields was derived from St Mary's Spital (Hospital) which was founded in 1197. Recent excavations have uncovered the Charnel House, which can be seen in Bishop's Square. Many centuries before the hospital, the Romans used part of the area as a burial ground, and a decorated lead coffin found here is on display in the Museum of London."

For those of you doing research in the East of London areas, I have found the site very helpful.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Off to school - early 1940's

Last night I spent 2 hours in a PTA meeting trying to figure out what classes my son has to take to graduate from high school.  Things have changed since I graduated in the 1980's!  As I was deciding what to write about today, I remembered that I had a picture of my dad and his siblings with a caption about going to school.

Mary Lou, Frank, Neal and Dave

My mom included this photo in the "School Days" section of a scrapbook. I think that this photograph must have been taken in the early 1940's.  I wonder if things felt this complicated back then? 

 I am fortunate to have some of dad's report cards.  The ones from early on (about 1941, I think) were pretty simple.  But I like how personal they are - a nice handwritten note on lined paper.

By the time 8th grade rolled around (1947-1948 school year), the report cards were a bit more formal, and letter grades appeared.  It is interesting to see how dad did in school and compare it to how I did.  Luckily, my mom saved my report cards and I can easily see the differences and similarities.

Now that I have a teenager, I have to keep reminding myself that the occasional eye-rolling, and "how could you possibly know this" comes with the territory. I remember feeling that way about my parents.  The nice thing is, after a bit of growing up, I realized just how hard my dad worked to get through dental school, and just how smart he was.  My mom worked hard too.  She got her nursing degree, helped put dad through dental school, raised a family, and went back to work.  

Hmmm....I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a slouch.  Time to conquer the world!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shout Out to Thomas MacEntee and the Jamboree Extension Webinars

OK, another great webinar.  This one was "Social Networking:  New Horizons for Genealogists" by Thomas MacEntee for the Southern California Genealogy Society's ( Extension Series.   There was so much helpful information.  One of Thomas' suggestions was to search Facebook for family surnames.  So I did, and I quickly found a second cousin!  My family was from a small town and I knew that anybody from that town with my surname had to be related, so I didn't have to look long.

Here are a few links to check out has a list of webinars so you can see what is in the works.  Others may know of different sites to visit. may be scary for some of you, but recruit a "youngster" to help if you need it.  Be sure to take the time to understand the privacy settings, and only share what you are comfortable with.  has links to pages that will help you understand the ins and outs of blogging and ways to fine tune your blog.  And if you don't blog yet, try it!  

Happy hunting!