Grandfather of a Different Kind

Today saw the return of a family heirloom (well, part of it, anyhow) to this Corley household. After 17 years, I’ve been reunited with my family’s grandfather clock, which friends have stored for me in the interim. The face and movement are with a clock repair shop that will clean, fix and test them, hopefully reassembling everything early next week. In the meantime, the rest of the clock is now in my dining room!

My dad bought this clock in 1978 and it merrily chimed away for my fam until my mom and sister moved out of state in 1994. Me and the clock? We stayed in Maryland. I was soon off to college and moved in temporarily with neighbors. The clock moved with me.

When I went off to college, the clock had to stay at my friends’ house though — dorm rooms don’t have much space to accommodate such a piece (and its Big Ben chiming probably would have infuriated my roommate).

And so the clock stayed at my friends’ house while I was at school. And there it remained as I bounced from apartment to apartment to apartment in the ensuing years after graduation.

Moving a grandfather clock is not a trivial matter. The movement must be (carefully) removed and packed, the head separated from the body. It costs hundreds of dollars each time.

And so I waited to be reunited with my clock until I was a) in a place with tall enough ceilings; and b) relatively certain that I’d be there a while. It took 17 years.

Oh, I visited the clock (and the friends storing it) often. I know they’re going to miss it. The kids in the household grew up with the clock, much like I did. It eventually stopped ticking though and probably hasn’t chimed in more than 15 years.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the clock restored and the pendulum swinging again. I’m not sure I’ll have the chime turned on — my house is pretty small and I’m afraid it would keep me up at night. I’m sure I’ll ask the clock repairman to play the chime at least once though, for old time’s sake (no pun intended; well, not really).

Stay tuned for a future post when the clock is restored and in working order!

My 99 Genealogy Things

I found this list on Tonia Kendrick’s blog, Tonia’s Roots. I love lists (and memes!)!

Key:

Things you have already done or found – bold type

Things you would like to do or find – italics (NOTE: my blog renders itals as bold and red. Go fig.)

Things you have not done or found /don’t care to.

99 Genealogy Things

  1. Belong to a genealogical society (Not counting the national ones, I belong to the Upper Shore (Md.) Genealogical Society and the Historical Society of Talbot County. Hoping to join more societies relevant to my own ancestry — in Texas and Virginia, for example.)
  2. Joined a group on Genealogy Wise.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society/local library’s family history group.  Would do this before attempting No. 10.
  12. Joined the National Genealogical Society.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.  Not yet, but I will.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants. 
  19. Cold called a distant relative. (Does cold-messaging on Facebook count?)
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name (and those of ancestors)
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it. 
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research. I’d love to be able to do this, but haven’t found the right formula!
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.  Okay, I’m counting this as the same as No. 19.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items.  But I have created house history gift items!
  33. Performed a record lookup.
  34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space. – Ha-ha — yes, several.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret (but not all of the secrets).
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion and/or obsession not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person. I would love to do this, but need more time in the day.
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots. Would love to teach a course someday.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure. Thankfully, no.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.  Thanks to dabbling in DNA!
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records. Always
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language. Will need help doing this someday with German records, I’m sure.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record. Not the immigrants, yet, but several native ancestors have traveled abroad and I’ve found their records.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer. 
  51. Used microfiche. Just did this today!
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  53. Used Google+ for genealogy.  I’m on there, but I’m not really using it…
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century. I have not, but others before me have (thank you!)
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century. Ditto, No. 56.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents. I wish. I’ll get there!
  60. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  61. Have found many relevant and unexpected articles on internet to “put flesh on the bones”.
  62. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  63. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.  Since my research business is based in an area where I have no ancestors, this happens all the time!
  64. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC. I have home field advantage on this one.
  65. Have an ancestor who came to America as an indentured servant.
  66. Have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Civil War.
  67. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  68. Can “read” a church record in Latin.
  69. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name, just enough to be confusing.
  70. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  71. Created a family website.
  72. Have a genealogy blog.
  73. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  74. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  75. Done genealogy research at a court house.
  76. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center(s).
  77. Found an ancestor in an online newspaper archive.
  78. Have visited a NARA branch. Only the main one!
  79. Have an ancestor who served in WWI or WWII.
  80. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  81. Have a blacksheep ancestor.
  82. Found a bigamist amongst my ancestors.
  83. Attended a genealogical institute.
  84. Taken online genealogy (and local history) courses. ProGen counts, right?
  85. Consistently (document) and cite my sources.  Lesson learned!
  86. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors.
  87. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  88. Have an ancestor who was married four times.
  89. Made a rubbing of an ancestor’s gravestone.
  90. Followed genealogists on Twitter. Follow me! @baysideresearch
  91. Published a family history book.
  92. Learned of a death of a fairly close family relative through research.
  93. Offended a family member with my research.  Hope not!
  94. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
  95. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
  96. Submitted articles for FamilySearch Wiki. Maybe someday…
  97. Organized a family reunion. No, but I plan to attend the 85th CORLEY family reunion in Illinois in 2012!
  98. Used Archives in countries where my ancestors originated.
  99. Converted someone new to the love of all things genealogy.  I think I’ve passed the bug on to a few.

Benjamin William Franklin Corley

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Today, July 12, is the anniversary of the death of my second great-grandfather, Benjamin William Franklin Corley in 1891. So, I thought I would list what I know about him:

- While he was born in Kentucky, he spent most of his life in Shelby County, Illinois
– He had a twin brother, Henry William Washington Corley
– His parents were Jonathan Cheatham Corley and Delilah Basham (Delilah’s father, Obediah, is my ticket into the DAR, eventually)
– He was a farmer and a “local preacher” with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but transferred to the Free Methodist Church after a dispute with the local minister of the former church
– He married Lois Wakefield in 1842
– He passed away at his wife’s funeral — here is the story from A Genealogy of Corleys (page 150):

“While the service was being conducted, Mr. Corley leaned his head over on the shoulder of his son Joseph*, and expired. The further service was adjourned, and a joint service for both of them afterwards was conducted.”

*Joseph was my great-grandfather.

Thanks to A Genealogy of Corleys, I have a picture of Benjamin and Lois.

July 12 also is the anniversary of the death of my grandmother Ida Bole (Hill) Corley in 1943. I’ve written about the Hills extensively.

Lois Wakefield

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Today, July 11, is the anniversary of the death of my second great-grandmother, Lois Wakefield, in 1891. Here is what I know about her:

- She was born in Illinois in 1822
– She was married to Benjamin William Franklin Corley (we’ll learn more about him tomorrow)
– Together, Lois and Benjamin had 11 children, including my great-grandfather, Joseph Corley
– It appears Lois spent her entire life in Shelby County, Illinois

I haven’t spent a lot of time on this line and I haven’t been able to identify her parents yet.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Thank You, eBay

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Earlier this year, I created an alert for my last name on eBay. I get daily updates on new items for sale that are related to the surname Corley. There’s a ton of 80s TV show memorabilia related to Al Corley, who starred on “Dynasty” (relationship unknown as of now).

There also are several authors with the last name Corley. This daily alert has netted me two books written by my kinsman in the past year. Over the summer, I scored another copy of A Genealogy of Corleys, which I gifted to my half-brother. Just a couple of weeks ago, another book by a relative went up for auction. It was a Spanish-language novel edited by my great-uncle Ames Haven Corley for use in the classroom.

I was the only person to bid on the book and therefore won the auction. For less than $5 ($.99 bid + shipping), I now am the proud owner of the 1922 Macmillan Spanish Series edition of Amalia. It’s in great shape. Too bad I can’t read Spanish!

Ames Haven Corley

I don’t know a ton about my great-uncle Ames, but I do know that he taught languages at Williams College (where my father eventually went to school) and at Yale University, for whom this book was printed. As the title page above states, he was an assistant professor at the time this book was published.

It is neat to read the preface, written in 1917 by my great uncle, who signed his name A.H.C.

There are exercises at the back of the book, which were devised by my great-uncle as well.

I highly recommend setting up a similar search on eBay — you never know what it may turn up about your ancestors. After the luck I’ve had so far, I intend to set up more alerts for other surnames in my family tree.