I thought I would have some adorable Christmas photo to put here, but I am out of town visiting family and don’t have my regular computer with my photos. So imagine something cute and festive. Happy holidays to my readers! Happy family tree climbing in the coming year!
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
In the first few decades of the 1900s, several of my ancestors traveled from Newfoundland to Butte, Montana to work in the mines there. According to Wikipedia, Butte was one of the most unionized towns in America at the time, due to labor activism among the miners. I wonder how that experience shaped the Newfoundlanders’ responses when they came back East and worked as longshoremen, another industry with serious labor organizations. My grandfather worked at different times as a fisherman (where he lost a finger), a miner, an ironworker (where he lost an eye), and finally as a longshoreman. His longshoremen’s union pension was a big part of my grandparents’ retirement security. I remember how angry my grandparents were during the Reagan years when they heard anti-union arguments. Their Newfoundland brogues would get thicker and they would try to explain how the bosses always wanted to get rid of the unions and the workers always suffered without unions.
I’ve been thinking about them a lot during the recent weeks of attacks on teachers’ unions.
I missed a few weeks of these due to the start of the new semester.
The house I grew up in was a third-floor apartment in a typical Boston style triple-decker. It was a long hallway with the parlor at one end and the kitchen and dining room at the other, with bedrooms off both sides of the long hallway. It was very noisy because you could hear what everyone else was doing, and it was near the airport so jets roared overhead all day long. I got pretty good at tuning things out.
It was too crowded. When I was small we had a parlor and a dining room and a playroom for all our toys, but as we got older and there were more of us, all the rooms were turned into bedrooms and we just had a kitchen and a dining room/living room as shared space. There was only one bathroom, so it was a challenge for everyone to get ready and get out to work in the morning. Things were always interfering or in the way: someone’s music was drowning out your TV, or someone’s project on the dining room table was interfering with dinner. At one point I was sharing a bedroom with both of my sisters. We each had a single bed and a couple of bureau drawers and a tall industrial-type metal shelf (spraypainted bright colors). All our stuff had to fit in that space if we wanted to keep it.
It was an old building with a neglectful landlord and things were always leaking or breaking. But it was affordable so we stayed and stayed and stayed. I even moved back in there for awhile when I ran out of money during grad school. I love living alone now because it feels so luxurious to have all my space to myself without interference. That probably sounds more antisocial than I really am — I do enjoy having houseguests and visiting other people! But I really love living alone.
I am going to try to keep up with the weekly prompts from Geneabloggers this year. I’ve added the theme badge to the sidebar.
This week’s prompt asks about family New Year’s traditions. I have to say that I don’t really remember any. Christmas was so family intensive that by New Year’s Eve we were more willing to go our own way, out with friends or to parties or whatever. Boston’s First Night was a big draw for some, though I never saw the charm of shivering my way through a freezing city all night. Those of us who stayed home would usually send out for Chinese food and watch movies on TV. We would only switch on the countdown clock in the last few minutes, and then we’d toast one another and either go to bed or finish the movie. It was really not a big deal for us.
I believe that some of my family still practice the ritual of sending out for Chinese food on New Year’s. I am at an age where takeout Chinese food does not agree with me, so I have dropped that tradition.
My grandparents were married on New Year’s Eve, which I think is terribly romantic. But apart from that I have no strong family associations with the holiday. It was always a very makeshift thing with us.
Of course, I hope that my readers had a great First Night however they went about it, and that a wonderful 2011 awaits us all!
So I got some of those little trembling leaf “hint” notices on my Ancestry.com family tree page.
But when I clicked on them, what I found was a tree that basically copies my information, right down to the photos I scanned.
And then adds a generation back to take the family back to England, but with no explanation of how children were born in Newfoundland to parents who never left England.
Hopefully in the summer I will have time to work on this project more. It is on my mind but work is taking up all my time.
This site is not abandoned!
Since I started it, there has been unrelated chaos.
Right now, I am in the beginning of a new semester, but once all the “new semester” chores are done I will get back here. I saw there were new comments and I will answer them soon!
Today this blog got the most pageviews ever. I suspect it is because some cousins were looking at my old family history site, and googled. I have not told anyone about this site because it’s not finished yet. I have a dozen more family pages to write. However, this is also the start of the new semester so I am not working on this site this week. So this post is really a note to any post-Costigan-reunion cousins showing up to say: get in touch if you need more info. The website is an incomplete work in progress.