Friday, December 28, 2007

James Pierce sketch

Good sketch of James Pierce as he sits in the Chester courtroom. This was shared with me by my dear cousin Char. She and I are equally crazed about finding Pierce information.

Did he kill a man? You read the articles and change your mind each time. Seems he did it then it seems he and his brother were at the wrong place at the wrong time and possibly framed. There is testimony from a woman who swears he did it ( no evidence, mind you) but turns out she was James' sweetheart. James was married so perhaps the woman felt scorned because he wouldn't leave his wife. Just because he was an adulterer doesn't mean he was a murderer, right? There is ALOT of speculation.

Goal for this one will be the end of January. If it's done earlier - then I'll splurge on an expensive celebratory Belgian ale. Now that's motivation!

Steak, prime rib and one bio

It's been the week of meat and I am ready for seafood or chicken to break it up. Yummy fillet last Sunday to celebrate Doug's promotion, a fat rib eye the size of a roast Monday, then bloody rare prime rib for the day after Christmas. While the food was great as usual, it's more red meat than we usually consume in a week's period. Obviously a poorly planned menu - good nonetheless.

While the holiday has had me busy with food prep and visitations I have managed to get one of the bios in good enough order to call it complete. For George Pierce (born 1871) I have the details of childhood, marriage and children. Also some great newspaper articles about him rescuing people during a bridge collapse. Also have a good obit with his picture detailing his career as a police officer, fisherman and his deftness playing cards. Couldn't ask for more.

Two of George's brothers were accused of murder and held in jail for many months and this makes for good reading. Some of the articles are poor copies, microfilm copies, and the transcription is slow on those. The bios on the brothers will take longer due to the sensationalism of the newspaper accounts of the trial and evidence. Maybe I'll put that file aside and try and shape up some of the females in the family.

Good start and it's not even January. Yippee!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sorting paper

Well ... I found new motivation just by making myself write down the goal of getting this project off the ground. There is a reminder, figuratively tapping the top of my head, that I have started this before only to give in to my inherent laziness and procratinating. There is always a good book I'm into or something I'd like to cook, eat, etc.

So I got out all the Pierce stuff and started to put into piles of individual familes. Lets take a step backwards here now. Alas, there were other scraps of family papers mixed in. Surnames of Elliott and Williams surfaced. Organizational skills haven't been my strongest redeeming factor over the years. So today I just made the pile of Pierce info and started file folders for ancestors where I had lots of info. Everything else went into one box. The other family info, the Willams and Elliotts went into their own files in the cabinet. That's another project and I don't want to get sidetracked again. Family Tree Maker has been great as I can see what is already recorded. Don't get me started on the times I've sent for the same death certificate because I wasn't organized. It's a start. Maybe I can do more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New Year's Resolution

It's early to start this and yet years behind in completion. I've been collecting information on the Pierce family of Chester, Pennsylvania and routinely setting goals to get it organized into a biographical booklet. For years. For many years.... It's not for the NY Times best sellers list, although I wouldn't cry if that happened, but a recording of the Pierces who lived and died around the Delaware County area. So, even though there have been feverish exchanges of information with cousins online (cousins I've never met) and we've had our plans to get it all documented and placed in a historical society library, this has obviously not been accomplished in the oh...10 + years I've made the attempt. This is due to laziness, procrastination and generally other things in life that had taken priority.

So, this is my new years resolution - to get all the superfluous paper documention, scribbled notes and clues that I've collected over the years, old census transcriptions and death certificates and write it out. Each Pierce should get their own little bio - no matter how little I have. I'll start with Edward Pierce. He was born about 1805, give or take a year.

If I'm lucky I'll have this properly recorded well before next Thanksgiving and the loving results sent to the Delaware County historical society and to a local library for the genealogical section. Ok, so tomorrow I'll drag the milk crate and file folders out and sort the data into families. As I have several generations that ought to be the first step. But I'll start tomorrow.