Remembering My Mother

Today is another milestone for my family: my Mother was born 100 years ago, on 17 February 1917.

The youngest of three children, she was the family historian of her generation. (It was common knowledge that, during any phone call, she had a pen and note pad there to record any significant information.) She passed those genes on to a few of her children and grandchildren, as well.

She was a year old when the Spanish Flu epidemic hit. Somehow she did not get sick, even though everyone else in the family became ill.

When she was six, her house was struck by lightning and burned down. Neighbors came to help fight the fire, and then came back to help re-build.

She lived through the Depression and two World Wars.

Mother was an accomplished seamstress. She made everything from play clothes (from cotton feed sacks) to tailored suits. She made prom dresses and costumes. She made countless dolls (body, clothes and shoes) – Holly Hobby, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and nurse dolls – and teddy bears. She even made draperies professionally for a few years.

Mother attended the Methodist Church in Mt Pleasant (near Frederick, Maryland) from the time she was 13 or 14 until about 2 years before she died at the age of 97. She was the Sunday School Secretary for over 75 years and Charge Treasurer for 30 years.

When we left the farm, she began working for J C Penney Co in the fabric department. After she retired, Mother volunteered in the gift shop at Frederick Memorial Hospital, accumulating over 3000 hours. She also worked at the polls on election days for many years.

Mother held on to her independence as long as possible. She lived in her home until she was almost 93. Even after she moved to the assisted living facility, she attended church as much as possible for as long as she could. She volunteered in the facility’s gift shop. She crocheted an afghan for her great-grandson, though the process took much longer than it had in years past.

Mother raised seven children over a period of almost forty years. We may not have had everything, but she made sure we had everything we needed.

She has been gone for almost three years and I still miss her.

Happy Birthday, Mother! I love you!!




Transitions – Across the Generations 

My great-grandmother, Georgeanna Hargett Bruchey, was born 9 February 1863. She died in 1893 – just over a week past her 30th birthday.

Her son, my grandfather, passed away on 6 February 1959, and was buried on 9 February.

A grandson, my Uncle John, was killed in a car accident on 9 February 1946. He was 21 years old, and had been married just a week earlier.

One of her granddaughters, my Aunt Carrie, died on 6 February 1961. Her funeral was supposed to be on 9 February, but it was delayed until the 10th because of weather.

I don’t know if it is because of my family history research, or just because of my interest in the historical connections to dates. I have always been fascinated by the significance of those two dates in my family’s history.

Three generations. Of the four people, two were gone before I was born. I have only a few memories of my grandfather and Aunt Carrie.

Yet there is that connection, across the generations, that I remember every February.


Remembering Aunt Fanny


Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of my Aunt Fanny. Born Ruth Frances Bruchey, on 10 January 1917, she was known to all as Frances or Fanny.

She was the sixth child, fourth daughter, of Charles Edward and Carrie May McKinney Bruchey. My father, the third child, was about 6-1/2 years older. Four more children followed.

Daddy’s family was Old German Baptist, or Dunkard. The Old German Baptists are a “Plain” people, often confused with the Amish. My grandfather was an elder in the church.

Aunt Fanny was an excellent seamstress and an excellent cook. She kept a garden and canned its bounty until shortly before she died at age 94.

She was a hard-working woman, raised with the practical skills of a farming family.

But I remember the other side – the mischievous side of her. The twinkle in her eye and the wrinkled nose when she smiled. She composed funny little poems. Funny, but never hurtful or malicious.

She was a wonderful role model with a generous heart.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Fanny!




Time For Some DNA Testing

I’ve been wanting to do a DNA test for a long time.

As usual, I’ve obsessed over the process. Which company should I use? Is it “safe”? Will big brother use the results against me?

It’s time to set OCD and paranoia aside and get this done!

Mr D has agreed to take a test also. His will be a Y-DNA (males only) through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) because there is a surname project there. They are offering special holiday prices, so this is a great time to jump in. We might add the Autosomal test as well. (The Autosomal test looks at maternal and paternal lines; Y-DNA is paternal only.)

I am leaning toward Ancestry for my Autosomal test. I’ve had an account there for several years, so it makes sense to have the DNA data there also. If I do the Autosomal through AncestryDNA, I can transfer the results to FTDNA; it doesn’t work the other way around.

I’m intentionally not including any links here. This is information only; no affliliatiations or paid reviews.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress!