Notes from the past…

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A gift for Nanny

My grandmother turned 91 years young on Thursday, October 4. Today is her birthday party. Although confined to a nursing home for the past 4 years due to mild dementia, her memory of long-ago events is still surprisingly clear. She has been a great help to me in my research, and loves to tell stories of her childhood and the people and events of those times. For her birthday, I have created a “newspaper article” for her, patterned after the old newspaper society columns I have found at

I found several articles dealing with my ancestors in the Dallas Morning News Archives at GenealogyBank. Most dealt with just routine events, but 3 in particular stood out. I used these three to create Nanny’s “society column”. Happy Birthday, Nanny!

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Take your computer out for lunch once in a while!

Sometime back I found a wonderful site that had the 1830 Federal Census for Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, where my Stanley ancestors once lived. The file was not searcheable, but could be downloaded free as a pdf file to browse. I had tried several times to download the file, but I have dial-up and apparently the file was just too large, as it never downloaded successfully.
One day about 3 weeks ago, I had to take my car to the dealership to have some routine maintenance done. I took my laptop with me to try to give some off-line work done, as I knew this would be a long wait. When I arrived at the dealership, I discovered that it had free wi-fi access available to its’ customers! I downloaded that pdf file in less than 5 minutes!
Now I have officially tracked my Stanley line back to 1830 and it has become one of my oldest documented surnames! Very exciting!
I started looking around for free wi-fi access a little closer to my home, and realized that a McDonalds and a BurgerKing are only a few blocks from my home and both advertise free wi-fi.
I came to realize that for those of us still relying on Dinosaur Dial-Up for our internet access, it makes since to celebrate our old companion the LapTop and take her out to lunch now and again. My dear friend prefers the aroma of McDonald’s french fries, and although she is not able to truly enjoy the actual taste, I do occasionally treat her to a quiet afternoon out for a little olfactory and online bliss!