Explain Lorraine brain ?

Very recently, I signed an email message “brain drain Lorraine”  with this image. That night I was dreaming about my ancestry. A name came to mind and I was “working” that family. When I awakened (in the middle of the night) I immediately ran (walked) to the living room and wrote down the surname “Vinson.” The first thing I did after I got up for the day was look up “Vinson” in my Ancestry.com database. Gospel truth: I had limited “sources” regarding Mary Elizabeth and her surname is “Vincent.” ~~~ I marvel that a tired old (85 years) brain was working like a computer. Is it safe to say that “brain” wants to comply with Lorraine’s very vocal declared desire to have her database 200% accurate?


Furthermore, explain this: Seven individuals with the surname “Vinson.” Why was my first instinct to choose Mary Elizabeth? The others were accurate (I double-checked all of them).

Further furthermore: It has been months since I worked with “Vincent” (and the “France” family in Kentucky) and I don’t know when I documented “Vinson.”


Explain Lorraine brain!! Why sit at the computer for ten, twelve, or fourteen hours??  It is challenging–and rewarding–and there is never a stopping point.


Keeping Things in Perspective

This enlightening information arrived in my email and worth sharing. My mother was born this day in 1906, and my father was born in 1904.

Maybe we don’t have it that bad? My Father was born in 1900!

It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.

On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath.

On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.

Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime.

At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish.  From your birth, until you are 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or die.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict.  During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation.

On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it,  almost ended.  When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How  did they   endure  all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Refined  and enlightening  as time goes on. Let’s try and keep things in perspective.  Your parents and/or grandparents were called to endure all of the above – you are called to stay home and sit on your  couch.




My mother was born on this day in 1906. I “see” her when I walk into my bedroom; I “see” her when I look in the mirror (because this old lady looks like her eighty-eight-year-old mother). If my mother was still alive, I could show her DNA proof that I am her daughter. She believed “they mixed up the babies in the hospital.”  She raised me but there was no love or affection. She, in turn, was raised without love and affection; her father was abandoned at an early age. Beyond DNA, our “environment” plays a major role in our lives. There’s a scripture that reads “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.” My sons bear the scars–and my grandchildren.

My father rejected the community he grew up in. At age fourteen he turned his back on family and faith. Growing up, I did not know my grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Dad deliberately chose to live “out of state” so visiting was virtually impossible.  As mentioned in earlier blog messages, I knew absolutely nothing about my ancestry and (to me) the precious Old German Baptist Brethren church and community. But, about age four or five, “my Heavenly Father” introduced me to Jesus and I’ve loved Jesus my entire life. To her credit, on Sunday mornings, my mother would dress me appropriately and I’d walk (alone) several blocks and attend Sunday School. “My Heavenly Father” has never failed me!! He provided for me and my sons after their father deserted us. (Oh, the stories I could tell.)

I believe my “Frantz” grandmother was praying for me–and her son and his family. My journey into genealogy started when I sat on the grass beside my grandparent’s grave–in LaVerne, California. From that day (in 1987?) until now there has been a remarkable abundance of family history showered on me. More than any other genealogist I know, volumes of information just waiting to be compiled.



Remember “polyester” ?

In years past, polyester was popular. I don’t know about the 2000s because I haven’t needed to shop for clothes. My wardrobe is ample. My mother had an “ample” wardrobe of bright-color dresses.  Here are pictures of a “lap robe” fashioned with squares from Mother’s dresses.


My pets are on display to give the reader a smile. Allow me to tell you another story. From genealogy contacts with my Old German Baptist Brethren and Mennonite “cousins,” I knew they made rag rugs from polyester garments. (Polyester is almost indestructible.) I took the dresses to Modesto, California, with “rag rugs” in mind. My cousins chose to make the comforter and laprobe. I was told one dear elderly gentleman (a Brubaker cousin) cut all the squares.

One-track mind

Staying home, staying safe, hopefully, time well spent. Yes, I “climb the family tree” day and night. I’m “doing” in my dreams. Frequently, I’m creating a blog message (in my mind) during sleepless hours. ~~ How are you entertaining yourself during the Coronavirus pandemic? ~~ Superfluous information: I saw a website that advertised create a free puzzle but it wasn’t really “free.” I envisioned creating puzzle pieces with surnames of extended family members. These images are attractive and absolutely free clipart.

“Janitor” at work

Frequently I refer to myself as a “detective.” Today I was a “janitor” cleaning up Ancestry  messes!! It appears that folks just copy from one another and fail to do a “search.” A couple of keystrokes and I had extended information about one individual. That led to parents and siblings. It is “an extended family” and worth documenting. All those Ancestry  subscribers had the incorrect given name based on the 1940 Federal Census. I looked at the “original” and the name was erroneously transcribed. His name is Wilbur and not Arthur. A dozen records supporting the name “Wilbur” but subscribers held to one record. So I created an illustration (and you can see it at the bottom of this message). I put a comment with the Census record.  Documenting the Hershberger family led to a lady already in my database. For the fun of it, I documented “before” and “after” relationship to Betty Lou.




A new ritual

For decades (yes, decades) I’d start my day with NBC “Today”  show. (Remember Dave Garroway?) Recently I was unhappy with the conversation, and stories, which constantly attack President Trump. Now I start my day with the TV on TBN. (Decades ago, I was receiving Trinity Broadcasting Network [TBN] with a “rabbit ears” antenna. It was a fledgling station in Southern California.) “Blessed are the peace-makers.”

Watch this Sheltering in Place video by Dr. David Jeremiah.

For objective reporting, watch Tucker Carlson and Shawn Hannidy on FOX news.