Category Archives: Carnivals

Carnival Of Genealogy – 65th Edition: My Happy Dance

The topic for the 65th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is to describe your happy dance.

The last time I had my happy dance was last Thursday. A woman who descends from my Keppler line (which is a very difficult line for me) found my cousin Joan’s email address on the web. So, she emailed Joan, who tried to forward the email to me, but said my email address didn’t work. So she forwarded the email to my Uncle Larry, who then forwarded the email to me.

Once I finally read the email I was estatic. She described meeting “Uncle Max and Aunt Marie” (my great-grandparents) once as a child…my heart began racing. Then the email went on to describe the immigration record she found (which I’ve been desperately searching for but haven’t been able to find). Finally, I couldn’t contain myself and I bursted out in what I can only describe as a girl-ish squeel.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend was in the kitchen making breakfast. “You okay?”

But I didn’t have a chance to respond. The more I read the email the more excited I got. I continued my girl-ish squeel but added some quick arm movements in there too.

“Should I call an ambulance?” he finally yelled out.

I finally finished the email, jumped from my chair and began cheering happily. I had finally found a Keppler cousin – after years of hard work I had finally found someone who was also descended from the Kepplers AND to add the delicious cherry to the top of already enormous ice cream sundae: SHE HAD INFORMATION. And she was more than willing to share and had so many wonderful questions about the Doerflingers. Finally…I had been dreaming of this day for years.

So I ran into the kitchen screaming with joy and jumped right into my boyfriend’s arms. I was so happy and excited and squeeling for joy.

I can’t wait for my cousin to send me copies of the stuff she has. I’ve been waiting for ages to finally find someone who knew about and cared about the Kepplers. She has information on things that I didn’t even know about. And, she has lots of genealogists in the family: Herself (who is learning and the newbie), her daughter (waiting for an email response), and her cousin (who has the family bible I never knew about).

Personally, it doesn’t take much to make me do the genealogy happy dance. I love every detail in genealogy, no matter how small.

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My New Years Resolutions


During 2008, I have made it a big point to make my genealogy the best it can be. During this, I have completely re-started my tree, starting with myself and truly working my way backwards. I have made sure that everything is properly sourced and that I am not overlooking any records. I want my genealogy to be worth something to someone someday and that won’t happen if everything isn’t properly sourced and clearly written out.

While I haven’t spent as much time on my genealogy as I would have liked because of school obligations, the big move I made in October, and chaos on the home front, I have done pretty well. So as I reflect as to what I want to do with the new year concerning my genealogy and blogging, I’ve come up with some pretty neat resolutions:

1.) Continue to have everything sourced!! This may seem like a no-brainer, but I certainly made the mistake of not doing this when I first started my genealogy and I am paying an extremely heavy price as I try to go through each person.

2.) On my desk I have a clipboard, which has multiple sheets of paper on it. On these sheets of paper is random little to-do items, websites I want to check out, and articles I want to read. I want to finally get rid of the stuff on this list so that I can have a clean slate.

3.) Since I aspire to become a future teacher, there is no doubt that I value and love education. So this year, I hope to educate myself further in genealogy and then share that knowledge with you. I want to write more how-to articles and give you guys tips. I hope that what I learn will be a bit out of the ordinary – something that gives me an edge in the genealogy world. I’m not quite sure what I will learn about genealogy that will be so different and unique – maybe a weird organizing tip or a cool way to look through records… well, we’ll find out soon enough.

4.) I want my blog to have a good appearance – so I will definitely be learning some more about blogging and getting traffic here.

5.) I want my Graveyard Rabbit Blog to be the best it can be!! I want to write more content and really get it off the ground.

So there you go – my genealogy and blogging New Years Reslutions! I would love to hear about some of yours.

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Dear Genea-Santa

I hope you are doing well. I am writing you my yearly list of genealogy gifts that I would love to have this year.

1.) A cookbook of Grandpa Dugger’s delicious meals. He always could make the best spaghetti ever! And I’ve never tasted pork chops so tender. I would love to be able to recreate these meals.

2.) Benjamin Dugger’s Family Bible. I really think it holds some of the vital clues that I am missing.

3.) Great Grandpa Doerflinger’s camera and photo development gear. I would love to see that circa 1900 camera and gear.

Thank you Genea-Santa. I’ll be leaving the door unlocked on Christmas Eve, since you know I don’t have a fireplace.

And as always, there will be cookies waiting for you.

Elyse

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Christmas Tour

As part of the Carnival of Genealogy – I am going to give you a tour of Christmas in my house as a child. So here is a tour of Christmas in my house – when I was 5 and younger.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a Christmas tree! Every year we put up a tree and decorated it with random ornaments. It had a rather collective feel and was very home-y. (You can see baby pictures of me in the background).

And of course – you have to have stockings! In California – we didn’t have fireplaces. So, instead we hung them from a door. My stocking was the one with the bear, my mom had the one with the Santa on it, and my dad had a basic red one.
And of course – you can’t have Christmas without a cute kid! So here you go – here I am looking super adorable in my mom’s sweater that I stole from her closet. (I was pretty much the only kid in my family for a long time!)

There are very few pictures of me with my Grandma Dugger (My dad’s mom). She started showing signs of dementia less than a year after I was born. This picture was taken on my very first Christmas, as I am sitting on her lap in an obviously uncomfortable dress.

Christmas just isn’t complete without Santa. Here I am at about 2 or 3 years old, sitting on Santa’s lap. I don’t have the happiest look on my face – and nearly all of my pictures with Santa before I was about 6 or so look like this: a smiling Santa and a nervous looking me. I find that ironic since I believed in Santa til I was about 11, and through the biggest fit when my mom finally told me Santa wasn’t real. I still remember how betrayed I felt that it was all a big lie – and my mom had no idea that I was going to react like that. She figured I had already figured it out since all my friends didn’t believe in Santa. But not me – I was determined in my faith that Santa existed.

This is a photograph of my parents and I on my first Christmas. For some reason – a spot has developed over my dad’s head. It is the only family-christmas picture I have.

So there you go – a tour of Christmas in my house when I was a child. I hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to see a tour of your Christmas! Email me or comment this article with a link to your tour!

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Baby Face!

As part of the 7th Edition Smile For The Camerica, I have posted a great baby face picture. This picture of my mom is just so adorable. It was taken in 1960 – and is one of my absolute favorites of my mom. I really think it shows how much we look alike.

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Was My Story Fact Or Fiction?

I nearly forgot to tell you all whether my scary ghost story was real or not! But…not to fear, I may be telling you the truth a little late – but I am still telling you.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about…well I wrote a scary ghost story (http://elysesgenes.blogspot.com/2008/10/appalacian-ghost-stories.html) in a genealogy carnival. As part of the story, we were required to have the readers guess whether the story was true or false.

So….here is the bottom line: MOST of the story is true. I really did hear my name as well as dogs in the distance, and the source of the sounds are unknown.

Everyone did get thoroughly creeped out (Well…All except my Aunt Phyllis who kept saying she wanted to stay to see what the “spirits” wanted). We did leave…rather fast actually. My Aunt Deb had my cousin Jen and I running down the dirt hill trying to get back to the car.

The part that is fake though, is the blood on my knee…or rather how the blood got on my knee. As Jen and I had been running to the car, we had been holding hands to keep close together. Sure enough, she tripped and she pulled me down to the ground with her. She got some bad scrapes on her hands and my knee hit a rock, causing a small deep cut to occur.

I hope you all enjoyed reading the story because I really enjoyed writing it and reading your guesses.

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Appalacian Ghost Stories

This is a Carnival of Genealogy 58th Edition article – and with the spirit of genealogy it is all about those spooky stories about an ancestor. With this particular edition, you all have to guess if it is fact or fiction….and I won’t reveal which it is until after October 15th (when the submissions are due)

Without further ado, here’s the story:

When I was about 13, I went to go visit my Grandpa in Tennessee for two weeks with my cousin and my aunt.

My Grandpa lived in a small town called Elizabethton in Carter County. It is literally in the middle of the Appalacian Mountains in eastern Tennessee, right near the border of North Carolina. The town has one drive-in movie theatre and two ma-n-pa grocery stores. The real part of “town” is a street with a library, a small city hall, and a donut shop. People live on dirt roads and everybody knows everybody (literally). The place to be on a Friday night are at the church get-togethers or at this gigantic barn where everyone listens to country music and line dances.

So, this story starts off with the second night I was there. My Grandpa had made this delicious spaghetti dinner and everyone was sitting on the back porch talking. My Grandpa started telling stories of his teen years and I made the mistake of asking him what his parents were like. He quickly told me that he did not discuss his parents and I was not to bring the subject up again. Needless to say, I was very confused and a bit hurt but I kept to myself.

As I went to take everyone’s plates into the kitchen, my Aunt Phyllis (My Grandpa’s sister-in-law) took me aside. She told me in hurried whispers that she could help me fill in some of the gaps that I had in my genealogy. She offered to show me around the area and take me to where my Great Grandparents were buried.

So the next morning, my Aunt Phyllis, Aunt Deb, my cousin Jen and I went driving into the hills of Tennessee. The roads were filled with long winding roads. There were no houses, no street lights, no stores or buildings – Nothing. We finally turned down a dirt road and continued driving up the mountain. We finally reached a driveway that led up to a small one story house. It was abandoned and I learned that it had belonged to my Aunt Bet – my grandpa’s sister. We walked carefully through the tall grass (we were warned against snakes) and got to the backyard. The grass was so overgrown, that you could barely see the fence. We walked into the fenced area to find a small family cemetery of sorts.

The most recent headstone was of my great grandparents – and it was one of the few that I could actually read. Everything was overgrown, and I began trying to push back the grass to take pictures. Although it was daylight, the trees and overgrowth made it difficult to see. Everyone was walking around the area, observing the stones and attempting to read them.

As I was trying to make out the letters on one plastic make-shift headstone, I thought I heard my name. I turned around to find everyone doing their own thing. I shook it off as my imagination and kept taking pictures. I was so facinated to be in the place of my ancestors final resting place.

I then began taking notes when I could’ve sworn I heard barking dogs. I looked around to find everyone looking nervously around – wondering where the dogs could possibly come from. There were no other houses around…how could there be dogs. Then, my aunt screamed and we all began running towards the car. As I was running, I tripped over what I thought was a rock. As I looked down, I saw a small headstone in the ground.

I moved the grass back to find a small headstone with the words “Inf. Dau. of Monroe and Matilda Dugger”. I instantly stopped and everyone began gathering around me. Everyone stared in confusion because they had never heard of an infant daughter that had died. My Aunt Deb was thoroughly creeped out and I had the chance to snap a photo before we left.

As we were driving home I noticed that my knee was bleeding. I began wiping the blood away with a tissue in the car – only to discover that there was no cut. I immediately felt the creeps.

Once we were back at my grandpa’s house that night, my aunt grabbed a magnifying glass to look closer at my knee. Sure enough, we couldn’t find a single cut or scrape…and no one else on the trip had been bleeding.

Alrighty – truth or fake? I think you all have some guessing to do…

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