I can hardly believe that it has been two years since my son Magnus, left this earth. He was 20, just months from his 21st birthday, and he was so mentally ill he couldn’t go in living. I get through the grief of losing my little boy, my baby, by picturing him flying in a yellow house, balloons above his head.
Here we are, two years later. We’re quarantined inside our houses, fighting our way through the Coronavirus Pandemic. I never thought of this on the horizon, but I never thought of my son’s death, before mine, on the horizon either. The virus is yet another mountain we must climb, this one together.
This journey, like mine with Magnus, is and will be filled with sorrow and grief. We are in California and we have just started our climb to the top of the hill of cases. Our family is healthy, I like to think that Mags is watching over everyone he cares about and putting in a good word. Individuals, families, businesses, governments, everything and everyone, the world over, has and will continue to change. We may lose an untold number of people, financial stability, our very freedom that we have taken for granted. We need to stay strong, support one another, help those that need help. We will come out on the other side, bruised, battered and broken, but we will emerge, hopefully smarter and stronger. This is a war, a war that we will win.
Mags, please help us all, we need all the help we can get. I’m sure you’re keeping track of the statistics and rolling your eyes at the morons that were partying on the beach.
Magnus leaves me feathers on my path for me to find when I’m out. At least I like to think that every feather I find was dropped in place by him, just for me. I’m sure today is a flying day for him. Fly high Mags, be free, peace to you at last. Love you, miss you, you have no idea how much. I hope he leaves a feather for you too.
Some days I feel like one of my cat’s hairballs. You cat owners know all about hairballs. You hear a gagging sound and the cat leaves a hairy gift on the carpet for you to clean up. That hairy gift looks nothing like a Star Trek Tribble, but you get the idea.
A hairball is something that the cat doesn’t want. They don’t like dealing with them but eventually they need to deal with them.
I work on projects that people don’t like to deal with. Backups, restorations, software installs, databases, websites, domains, imports and exports of data.
My work doesn’t seem all that important to others until it needs to be dealt with. Until the data needs crunching, the backup needs to be restored, the domain needs to be recovered.
It’s not procrastination, it’s more like avoidance. The approach is to avoid the meeting because there’s way more important tasks going on. The graphic designer, the marketing expert, you fill in the blank. I’m at the end of the line.
That’s okay. Just like a hairball, I have to be dealt with, eventually.
One year ago today, my son, Magnus, chose to take his own life. Last year, two days after his death, I posted a tribute to him. I want to post a tribute to him again this year, but I don’t want it to be some maudlin regurgitation of how he died. Instead, I want to remember his good times, his happy times, the few times in his short life that celebrated the little snippets of happiness that I saw on his beautiful face with his spectacular smile.
I am lucky to be the mom of eight children. Some of them are still on this earth, others live in my heart. Like anyone else’s children, all of my children are unique and have unique gifts. They all love their siblings, and sometimes they can’t stand one another.
Magnus was born 11 weeks prematurely. He hated to be singled out as premature, he hated when I mentioned it. He was just over four pounds when he was born. He spent two weeks in the NICU, we took him home at barely five pounds. He looked like a little bald monkey.
Magnus was loved exceptionally by his siblings. Magnus thought the sun rose and set on his oldest brother, James. Many people thought James was the father, not the brother.
My second son, Mateo, left for the Marine Corp at 17, shortly before Magnus was born. When he returned, he was sleeping on our couch downstairs. Magnus came downstairs and asked me who the homeless person was on the couch.
Samantha, my eldest daughter, was the overprotective sister. She was also the sister that Magnus made the mistake of making an insulting comment to. Magnus came home from the pool, giggling, that she tried to drown him after he made his remark.
She was also the sister that photographed him in the first photo in this post. One of my favorites. You can see her love for him in the photo, even though she isn’t in it.
My youngest daughter, Alex, seven years older than Magnus, carted him around on her hip, as a toddler, even though she wasn’t much bigger than him.
Magnus was a happy old man trapped in a tiny body. I always thought there was a little of my father in him, if not an entire reincarnation. He had his own unique twist though. His sense of humor was spectacular. When we went to Hawaii, we attended a Luau. Unprompted, he walked out onto the stage, sang an Elvis song, threw his arm into the air and exclaimed “Thank you very much” as he exited the stage and returned to sit with us.
His personality changed at the age of eight. We moved to a new house, I’ll never know if that was his catalyst, but his personality changed. He still smiled, he still laughed, but he spent more time by himself and less time with the family.
It took him quite a while to learn how to read. Once he did, he started reading huge history books. He was fascinated by various dictators and could recite historical facts at the drop of a hat. He sometimes drove teachers crazy. One history teacher sent him out of class to the principals office because he disagreed with him. He had to apologize to Magnus once he realized that Magnus was right and he was wrong.
Many kids bring home animals that need help. Magnus brought home people that needed a place to stay, He would hand you his right arm, even if it was the last arm he had.
I miss him terribly. I worry about him. A few months ago, I had a dream about him visiting me. He told me that he had his own house, a flying house. He told me that the house was a little drafty, he had to put towels in the windows to keep the wind out. He flew to all kinds of places around the world. He was able to land his house whenever he wanted to and went to places he had always wanted to go. This picture of a flying house gives me great comfort, because I can see him so clearly waving to me from the window.
Magnus was a rock star. I will always have a front seat when he plays on his air banjo at his next concert.
We love you Magpie. Please stop by soon, I’d love to take a trip in your house.
When I write my genealogy based blog posts, I’m usually writing about one of my many ancestors. This time, with a heavy heart, I’m struggling to write about one of my young descendants, my son, Magnus Bartholomew Black.
We lost our Magnus this past Monday. I won’t go into the details of his death other than to say it was unexpected at the age of twenty. Magnus leaves behind his family and many friends and acquaintances.
Isn’t it strange that when you bury your parents, you are an orphan. When you bury your spouse, you are a widow or a widower. When you bury a child, there is no word for what you are because you aren’t supposed to bury your own child. I can tell you that you feel empty and soulless and that you don’t think you can go on without your child.
Magnust was special, I know all children are special, but he really was. I was 39 when I was pregant with him and we were told to expect him early, I was ill with eclampsia, also known as toxemia. We named him after a popular strong man, Magnus ver Magnusen and gave him a family name for his middle name, Bartholomew. He was born one week after my father’s death, on the same day as his funeral. It was a family joke that my father was in there, and the physical and personality resemblance between them was astounding, despite that Magnus had never known him.
Magnus was born in 1997, three months premature, 16 inches long, four pounds, three ounces. A tiny boy with a huge name. For being premature, he was huge and only spent one week in an incubator and one additional week in the hospital, he suffered no complications from his prematurity, or so we thought. When we took him home, he became the light of all of his sibling’s eyes.
He was immensely loved by my husband and myself, as well as his four older siblings. His eldest brother, James, was twenty years older than him and was frequently mistaken for his son. His brother Mateo was away at Marine boot camp until after he was born, Magnus wondered who the homeless man was sleeping on the couch. When we informed him it was his brother, his simple response was “Oh, Okay, if he needs somewhere to sleep, he can sleep in my bed.” He begged to be included in anything his brothers did. You could spot him perched on the side of the games that his brothers played, sometimes late at night.
His two sisters, Samantha, 10, and Alex, 7, when he was born, doted on him and he loved to be carried around by them. He was sometimes subjected to dress up sessions, where they would go through his wardrobe and pick several of his outfits for him to parade around the house in.
One of my fondest memories is his tiny body fitting into my husband’s hand and his giggle, as he held him up above his head. He grew into a young boy full of mischief and light. He read extensively, huge books about history, devouring the details that he could recite off the top of his head. You could ask him anything about history, past or present and he would give you the information in his huge brain, even at an early age. He made cartoons using a software program, something that teenagers had difficulty doing.
He was a happy, loving boy, we called him Skippy because he was usually spotted skipping in the backyard, at the playground in school, when we went to the store or the mall. His eldest brother dropped him off at childcare in the morning and he would latch on to his leg and beg to be taken with him and not left there. My eldest son spent a lot of time feeling guilty about leaving him at childcare. Later, his teacher’s told me, he would skip away and play with his friends as if nothing at happened.
He was honest and would say whatever came into his mind. His sister nearly drowned him the day he called her names at the local swimming pool. He could pick apart a situation, tell you every detail about it, and participate in conversations with adults. He was an amazing young man whose death has left a hole in our hearts and souls.
How will I answer the question when people ask me how many children I have? How will my children answer how many siblings they have? How will my mother tell people how many grandchildren she has?
So many memories flood my thoughts. One of my fondest is a video my eldest son has of he and his niece at Easter. They were blowing bubbles together, waving the wands in the air. She called him Uncle Dork because she couldn’t say Magnus. She dipped the wand in the bubble solution, asked him “Ready Uncle Dork?” Then they would wave the wand around in the air furiously until they ran out of solution. She would repeat this process until we were all hysterically rolling on the floor in laughter. He told me he loved children because they were honest and non-judgemental.
Magnus’ advanced maturity and his brightness began to be a problem for teachers to deal with as he advanced in school. He spent quite a bit of time explaining how wrong they were about a subject they were teaching and Magnus would never back down. I spent lots of time arguing with the same teachers once the realization came about that he was right and they were wrong. One teacher actually apologized and told him he was right.
We nearly lost him at 13 when he had a health crisis that could have cost him his life, but he rallied. He was bored at school, and in junior high school and high school. He struggled with keeping his attention on his school work and getting through to the next level. It wasn’t his ability to get school work done, it was his inability to trudge through the material. His intelligence and brightness were sometimes a disability, all of his teachers were amazed at his level of intelligence and abilities, but he struggled with manual dexterity and dyslexia.
In high school, he joined ROTC and he appeared to enjoy it, but as he grew older, even that became a struggle for him. After three years of struggling through high school, he rallied when we enrolled him at Montecito High School, an alternative education program. HIs principal, and the teachers, in particular, Mrs. Ketterer, took a special interest in him and he finally felt accepted. Had I known about the loving people that made my son feel so welcome, I would have enrolled him in the school earlier and he wouldn’t have had to struggle earlier. He graduated at 17 after a long, hard road of four years of high school. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?
He battled depression from an early age. He carried the weight of the world on his skinny shoulders. He was concerned about genocide and wars in various countries an in particular, how those wars affected the children of the country. Yet, he also had a fascination for rulers like Hitler, Augusto Pinoche, and many others. He would talk about intricate details of their lives and accomplishments. He was an atheist, an agnostic, a Christian, a Muslim, a Catholic, he couldn’t put his finger on his beliefs, they all had something that interested him.
He frequently brought home friends that needed special attention because of things they were struggling with. He spent hours counseling them on getting through family problems, their own depression, relationships or just teenage angst. We had many of them stay with us so that Magnus could get them through the issues. They all loved him, he drove them all crazy, he gave them everything he had.
I thought he would be a teacher or a counselor or even a psychologist. His own psychologist felt the same about him. Everyone, adults and especially children spotted his intelligence and abilities to help others. He couldn’t seem to help himself though.
The past few years after high school, he was attending online college courses, battling with himself about what he wanted to do with his life. His depression weighed heavily upon him and we took him for treatment several times. This past weekend he seemed bright and eager to go out with some friends on Monday to see a movie and go to the local mall. My husband and I left Monday morning, confident he and his friends would be going out for some fun time.
He’s gone now and I can’t seem to cope with him being gone. I know time will help me to cope, but for now, there is his empty room and an empty space I can’t fill in my heart. I can’t knock on his door and hear him asking me was I want from his bed. I expect him to walk down the hallway with one of his favorite curry dishes in his hand ready for the microwave, usually at 2 in the morning. Just recently he had told me that he might open a curry shop because he loved curry dishes so much. I see him standing in the doorway of my office, I see him in the hallway, with his odd popping walk that he shares with his brother Mateo and they inherited from my father. I see his mop of chocolate brown hair, his deep chocolate eyes. I hear his funny laugh and his impish smile. I see him every waking moment, I see him in my dreams, as fitful as my sleep is these days since his death.
I will bury my son in the next few days. I have to make decisions about how and where to deal with his body now that he is gone. I have to figure out how to fill the empty spot in my heart with the huge soul of my son so that I can carry him there forever.
I cannot say goodbye, I won’t. Farewell, my love, my little boy, my Mags, my Magpie, my Magster. I hope you are at peace wherever you are, and someday we will be together again. I will tell you that I love you and you will tell me “Love you too Ma.” as you go skipping off.
I’ve worked as an freelancer since 1996. One of the things I love and hate about my working status is that I don’t have co-workers.
The perks of working on my own are obvious. There aren’t any lovelorn co-workers flopping down in my office chair and telling me how horrible their weekend date went. No one is going to ask me to buy something from their son’s school catalog of wrapping paper. No politics to worry about, my dog and cat are the only exceptions, they do argue from time to time.
The negative aspects are just as obvious. There isn’t anyone popping in, telling me they’re making a coffee run and asking me what I want. I don’t get asked out to lunch. If I have a problem, I’m on my own to figure out the solution. There isn’t a water cooler down the hallway, so there’s no one to discuss the latest Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. I concentrate and maintain my focus fairly well but I have a tendency to to forget to take breaks.
I’m not alone. I read an article that estimated by 2020, more than 40% of the American workforce will constitute freelancers, entrepreneurs, independent contractors etc.
Coworking, a term coined to represent people that work together, independently, has been around since 1995. Surveys show that as many as 10,000 coworking spaces have cropped up all over the world, serving as an estimated 700,000 people. Sites like Coworking.com help people like me find offices to work in with other like minded people. There are companies like Bisner.com that are setting up software for coworking platform management. In a coworking space facility, I can book a room or work in an open environment. I can work in multiple places and not have to worry about leasing or renting office space.
I already have a weekly me day practice. I go to a bookstore and have lunch with myself. I take my planning material or my laptop and spend a couple of hours after lunch on a planning session. Sometimes I meet some people who are interested in a conversation. I met a young woman, Kayla, this week and we shared a conversation about journaling.
I could head to a local coffee shop. I can pick up some ambient noise, get a little atmosphere, have a break from my office, get a snack, maybe even meet some people. That means a disruption to my flow in my current project, two ways. First I need to stop what I’m doing, pack up my work in progress, hop in my car and find a free chair and table. I have to repeat the process on the way back.
One solution that works for me is virtual coworking. I can open up a youtube video and have a virtual coworker available anytime. Money Lab has a 25 minute video of himself in a coffee shop. Dave Seah, one of my favorite productivity experts, does Youtube live streams from his office. Burgess Taylor has coffee sessions, where she talks about journaling and writing. Rob Gordon made a virtual coworking sessions with a few of members of his coworking community.
If you’re a freelancer like me, do you cowork? If not, you might give a it a try.
Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of “52 Ancestors” in her blog post Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog. I am posting my ancestors, one week at a time with lots of spaces in between the weeks unfortunately.
My #14 ancestor on my Ahntenafel list is Percy Hartshorn Riordan (1890-1955). He was my great-grandfather on my mother’s maternal line. He married Irene Rae Shadel (1893-1985) on 1 November 1910.
Percy was born 25 July 1890, in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Daniel F Riordan (1861-1942) and Mary Alice Hankinson (1868-1952) in Lynn, Massachusetts. Both of his parents were citizens of Nova Scotia, Canada. Daniel’s parents were from Ireland. Mary Alice Hankinson descended from a long line of Hankinson loyalists and seamen. Many of her relatives fought in the Revolutionary war as loyalists and were captured and held as POWs. After the war, they were stripped of their land and property and banished. King George gave them land grants in Canada, and the Hankinsons settled in Nova Scotia.
Percy was the first born son of Daniel and Mary Alice. He had two younger brothers, Harold Knowlton Riordan and Ralph Ernest Riordan, both lived to adulthood. He also had two younger brothers, Perley Lee Riordan and Herbert Riordan that did not live beyond childhood. Perley Lee died at the age of 5 of typhoid and meningitis. Herbert died the same day he was born of unknown causes.
Daniel and Mary Alice lived on 27 Bullfinch in Lynn Massachusetts when he was born. The house is a nice two story white home and is still standing today, but I don’t know if it is the original home or a home that was built at a later date. There are homes on the same street that were built in 1880-1900, so its possible it is the same house that Percy was born in. By the 1900 census, Percy, his brothers Harold and Ralph and his parents were living at 76 Archer Street, Lynn, Massachusetts. This house was built in 1890 and is still standing. In Percy’s birth record and in the 1900 census, his father’s occupation is listed as a carpenter. The two older boys are marked as attending school. The house on Archer Street is marked as owned by Daniel and Mary Alice.
Daniel Riordan told my great-uncle Stan Riordan that he arrived in Los Angeles on 8 August, 1907. Like many people of means, in Los Angeles during this period, Daniel invested in oil and real estate. Unfortunately, his investments included the Julian Petroleum Corporation, which was involved in a swindle. I will reserve this story for Daniel Riordan’s blog post.
Percy lived at 5924 Pasadena av, Pasadena, California in 1908-1909, with his parents prior to his marriage. I have a photo of Daniel and Mary Alice in California. Her clothing of a white tailored blouse and a dark skirt suggests that it was before 1910. Daniel declared his intention to become a US citizen in Massachusetts in 1906, so they must have moved to California between 1906 and 1908, since Daniel, Percy and Harold appear in California directories in 1908 and 1909. In the photo, they are well dressed and standing in an empty lot in front of a palm tree.
By the 1910 census, Percy was 19, living in Los Angeles at 6040 Monte Vista Street. The house is no longer standing, but a home next door was built in 1905. The home next door is a two story wood siding home. Daniel’s occupation is listed as a house builder. Is it possible that he built the three homes that Percy lived in as a young child and man? Percy’s occupation is listed as a self-employed salesman of Postcards. Perhaps that’s how he met his future wife, Irene Ray Shadel. Perhaps they met at church.
Percy and Irene were married 10 November 1910 in Los Angeles, California . Percy listed his address as 6040 Monte Vista, Los Angeles, his age as 20 and his occupation as clerk. Irene listed her address as 545 No. Hoover, Los Angeles, no occupation and her age as 17. They were married by Cassius M. Carter, Pastor, First Baptist Church, 1225 Ingraham Street. Los Angeles, California. Percy and Irene had three children; two girls, Ruth and Bernice and a son, Stanley.
By the 1920 census , Percy, Irene and all three of their children were living at 261 Pearl Street, Pasadena, California. His occupation is listed as Foreman Terminal for the Electric Railroad. This address doesn’t come up in a search, it’s likely the address is different now.
In 1926, Daniel Riordan was convicted and sentenced to 3 counts of embezzlement and sent to San Quentin. He was an attorney and from within prison he fought his appeal. He was subsequently released in August of 1931. He and Mary Alice were not naturalized citizens, so they were deported back to Canada where they appear to have lived with his half-sister Eugenia Riordan Holmes. In 1942, they returned and Daniel died shortly thereafter. I will reserve this story for Daniel Riordan’s blog post. Mary Alice lived on until 1952.
In the 1930 census , Percy, Irene and all three of their children were living at 1672 Loma Vista Street, Pasadena, California. The home was built in 1927 and is a Spanish style home that is still standing today. The home is listed as owned. Percy listed his age as 39 and states that he first married at 19, he was actually 20. His occupation is listed as Railway Terminal Foreman.
In the 1940 census , Percy, and Irene were living on their own at 1380 Bresee, Pasadena, California. This home is no longer standing, but other homes in the area built during the same period appear to be Spanish style and quite small, 1 to 2 bedrooms. Percy lists his age as 49 and his occupation as a street car motorman. According to the census they lived at this same address in 1935. Percy is noted as having completed 2 years of high school and no college. Irene is listed as the respondent.
In 1944, Percy’s name appeared in a newspaper story in the Long Beach Independent . A couple was killed and nine people injured when a Pacific Electric train struck an automobile on 22 July 1944. According to family lore, Percy was greatly affected by this accident.
“Two persons were killed and nine others inured today when a Los Angeles bound Pacific Electric train struck an automobile at a crossing one mile west of Glendora, then jumped the tracks. Dead were George Keeler, 59, driver of the automobile and his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Keeler, 46, who lived but two blocks from the scene of the accident at La Freta crossing. Their two children, Ellen, 15, and John, 12, were in critical condition in Covina hospital, where the injured were rushed by ambulances. The other seven persons suffered only minor injuries. After the two car train jumped the tracks, the lead car broke loose and tumbled end over end, coming to rest in a gully. Motorman Percy H. Riordan, veteran of 30 years service with the line, and conductor C. L. Ennis broke windows in the wrecked car to free the passengers.”
Source of image: http://www.pacificelectric.org/tag/alan-weeks-collection/page/39/ Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection
Percy registered for the WWI draft  on 5 June, 1917, listing his address as 749 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, California. His build is and height are noted as Medium, his hair and eyes as brown. His age is listed as 25, crossed out and noted as 26, lower on the form 25 is handwritten. He would have been 26, his birthday was not until July 25th and he would be 27. He was not drafted and did not serve, his children were under age.
During WWII  draft, also known as the old man’s draft, Percy registered as age 51. This registration was not intended to be used for military service, but to provide a complete inventory of manpower resources that could be used for national service. Percy’s height is recorded as 5′ 10″, his weight 198, his hair as gray, his eyes as hazel, his complexion as ruddy. I have the gray hair, the hazel eyes and the ruddy complexion.
Other locations Percy and Irene lived in included the following. In 1914, they lived at 520 W Ave 54 in Los Angeles, Harold, his brother, was living with them. Percy is recorded as a salesman. In 1916, they lived at 949 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, California. In 1918, they lived at 435 Worcester Ave, Pasadena, California. In 1919, they were living at 261 Pearl Street, Pasadena, California. In 1924, they lived at 454 E Walnut, Pasadena, California. In 1947, they lived at 82 South Chester, Pasadena, California. In 1951, he and Irene lived at 82 S Chester, Pasadena, California. In 1954-1955, they lived at 555 or 1555 Atchison, Pasadena, California. Percy was registered as a Republican in California Voter Registrations.
Percy worked for over 30 years for Pacific Electric Railway Company [8,13]. The employment records show his payment records from 1916-1918. It’s likely he retired on or before the Glendora line was closed in 1951.
Percy died 19 December 1955  of a heart attack. He was buried at Oakdale Cemetery in Pasadena, California on 21 December 1955.
Name: Percy Hartshorne Riordan Sex: Male Father: Daniel F. Riordan (1861-1942) Mother: Mary Alice Hankinson (1868-1952)
Birth: 25 July 1890  Census: June 1900 (age 9), student, Lynn Massachusetts, United States  Census: June 1910 (age 19) salesman, Los Angeles, California, United States  Census: January 1920 (age 28), electric car foreman, Pasadena, California, United States  Census: June 1930 (age 39), Railway Terminal Foreman, Pasadena, California  Census: June 1940 (age 49), foreman, Pasadena, California, United States  Death: 19 December 1955, Pasadena, California, United States 
Marriages and Children
Irene Ray Shadel (1893-1985)
Ruth Dorothy Riordan (1911-1994)
Bernice Arlouine Riordan (1913-1988)
Stanley Leroy Riordan (1914-1997)
Like many people during this era, the family never spoke of anything that was negative. This would have included the accident that Percy was involved in and his father’s conviction and incarceration for embezzlement. Given that he was the oldest child, he spent quite a bit of effort on keeping them out of harms way before, during and after the criminal case. Daniel and Mary Alice lived for a time with Harold Riordan, Percy’s younger brother and Mary Alice lived with Harold extensively after Daniel’s death.
Percy is remembered fondly by his grandchildren. My mother has memories of him worrying over his bread rising and meringue cooking correctly on his lemon meringue pie. Irene, Percy’s wife made a wonderful lemon meringue pie out of Meyer lemons, which are a hybrid of tangerine and lemon. Perhaps he was in competition with her to make the best pie he could.
“Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXWD-9HS : 1 March 2016), Daniel Riordan in entry for Percy Hartshorn Riordan, 25 Jul 1890, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts; citing reference ID #18, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 1,428,243.
2. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
3. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.
4. California, County Marriages, 1850-1952,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8DW-W3P : 30 July 2017), Percy H Riordan and Irene R Shadel, 01 Nov 1910; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 2,074,035
5. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).
6. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.
7. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.
8. Ancestry.com. Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Long Beach Independent. Long Beach, CA, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper.
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.
10. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration. Full Source Citation.
11. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.
12. Ancestry.com. California, Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors. Original data: California Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950. 579 volumes. California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento, California.
My #13 ancestor on my Ahntenafel list is Mary Elizabeth Markey (1878-1938). She is my great-grandmother on my mother’s maternal line. She married Edward Christian Miller (1877-1954) before 1899. Although she passed before either my mother or me were born, she and I share some things in common. She had six sons and two daughters, her two daughters and her first son did not live beyond the day they were born. I gave birth to seven children, five sons and two daughters. Two sons of my sons did not live beyond the day they were born. Her children were born from 1899-1918, close to a 20 year span. Her oldest son was 16 when his youngest brother was born. My children were born during a 20 year span, and my eldest son is 20 years older then his youngest brother. Our birthdays were both in September, 101 years before my third son was born, also in September. If you look at her photograph, you can see she has white hair she wears in a bun. I’m working on my white hair, almost there. She died at the age of 59, days before her 60th birthday, since I turn 59 this year, let’s hope that one isn’t something we share in common.
I wrote another post about Mary Elizabeth Markey and her family. She was one of my brick walls, until I found information about her parents that solved one part of the mystery and brought up even more questions.
Name: Mary Elizabeth Markey Sex: Female Father: Thomas Markey (1842- Aft. 1905) Mother: Anna L. Conroy (1840-1892)
I am descended through:
her son, Earl Miller (1903-1972), who married Ruth Miller (1911-1994)
their daughter, #3 Beverly Joy Miller (1939- … )
Birth: 21 Sep 1878 – New York Marriage: Before 1899 – New York Residence: 1905 – Colden, Erie County, New York, USA Residence: 1915 – Colden, Erie County, New York, USA Residence: 1920 – Colden, Erie County, New York, USA Death: 18 Sep 1938 – New York, USA
Francis Miller (1899-1899)
Harvey Miller (1902-1981)
Earl Miller (1903-1972)
Genevieve Miller (1906-1906)
Lawrence C Miller (1908-1991)
Laverne Albert Miller (1909-1946)
Harold E Miller (1918-2000)
1878 – Born 21 Sep 1878 in New York[1, 2, 3, 4]
1899 – Marriage to Edward Christian Miller
1905 – Resided in Colden, Erie, New York, USA; Relation to Head of House: Wife
1915 – Resided in Colden, Erie, New York, USA; Age: 35; Relation to Head of House: Wife
1920 – Resided in Colden, Erie, New York, USA; Age: 41; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head
1930 – Resided in Colden, New York, USA; Age: 51; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Wife
1938 – Died 18 Sep 1938 in New York, USA; Age 59; Complications from gallbladder surgery
Ancestry.com, New York, State Census, 1915 (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data – State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.Original data: State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York S), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Birth date: abt 1880
Birth place: United States
Residence date: 1 June 1915
Residence place: Colden, Erie, New York, United States. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ sse.dll?db=1915nystatecensus&h=13083028&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt.
Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 on roll 323 (Chicago City.Original data – United States), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1920; Census Place: Colden, Erie, New York; Roll: T625_1099; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 276; Image:. Birth date: abt 1879 Birth place: New York Residence date: 1920 Residence place: Colden, Erie, New York. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dlldb=1920usfedcen&h=86900761&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt.
New York, State Census, 1905 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 08 E.D. 01; City: Colden; County: Erie; Page: 14.
Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1930; Census Place: Colden, Erie, New York; Roll: 1435; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 386; Image: 75.0. Birth date: abt 1879 Birth place:
Residence date: 1930
Residence place: Colden, Erie, New York. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll? db=1930usfedcen&h=27869015&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt.
5 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Year: 1900; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 14, Erie, New York; Roll: 1028; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0105; FHL microfilm: 1241028.
This year has been a rough one. I’m waving goodbye to it with no tears, I won’t miss it at all. This is the year I’ve promised myself that I will be less cynical and more grateful for what I have.
I want to thank my mom, for being there when I needed her and standing back when I didn’t. Someday, I plan to be there when you need me, which other then holding up a tree in the wind, isn’t very often.
I want to thank my husband for being there for 41 years and realizing that he’s not going anywhere and he’s stuck with me. He’s become rather fond of me, like an old comfy shoe or mold. He still makes my stomach flutter and my heart skip a beat. Then again, my heart does that all on it’s own.
I want to thank my children, James, Mateo, Samantha, Alexandra and Magnus for being who they are and loving me for who I am. I want to thank their spouses and significant others, Joe Ramirez and Jim Barron. They’ve all weathered some storms, but they’re all weebles and they get right back up and trudge onward, perhaps a bit bruised and battered, but still the strong, capable, belligerent kids I’ve tried to raise. Keep on trudging guys, you’ll get to where you want to go. If I gave you nothing through your lives, it’s the tenacity and the strength to keep trying.
Thank you to the rest of my family, who through the years, I have become closer to. Thank you to my maternal uncle Mel Miller and aunt Maryann Digiovanni Miller who welcomed me to his 80th birthday party this year. I’m so happy I was able to join him and meet some of the family on that side. Thanks to my maternal cousins, Lisa Miller Katz and Christine Ceccarelli and their husbands, Evan Katz and Mark Ceccarelli that I recently met, who are both wonderful people. Thank you to their children, I’ve only met two of them but they’re both growing nicely into their roles in the world.
Thank you to my paternal side of the family. My cousins, Shirley Langlois, her daughter Tawni Pantera, and Susan Langlois. We’ve recently connected on Facebook and promised a family lunch soon, although we’ve promised before, I’m hoping it’s coming in 2017.
Thank you to the other family members, distant or departed that I’ve connected with this year. There were many lost children that I found, children that no one mentioned, that nobody knew about. Two of them were Herbert and Perley Riordan. I found out why their parents were absent from census records. They’d been deported when he was released from San Quentin in 1931. There was also the mystery of my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Alice Hankinson and her family. I found her in the 1881 Canada census with Gilbert and Mary A Hankinson, who I assumed were her parents. Something happened to her parents, found on her birth certificate as James Hartshorn Hankinson and Susan Hannah Grant and Gilbert, a relative was caring for her. Her sister, Effie Hankinson was living nearby with another family. The Hankinson’s came from Lancashire, England, originally settling in New Jersey. When the revolutionary war broke out, they sided with England and ended up in Nova Scotia after losing everything they had. That’s a story still opening up for me.
There was the mystery surrounding Mary Elizabeth Markey, my great-grandmother on my maternal side. There was also the story of her mother Anna L. Conroy, a business woman whose husband, Thomas Markey had to sell land when she died to settle her business debts, which I will write about soon. There was Anne and Catherine Markey, Thomas Markey’s sisters, who died on the same day in 1904. The Markey line goes back to Ireland in 1810, when James Markey was born in the early 1800s and came to New York in 1840.
Although I’ve found bits of info on my paternal side, there are still great mysteries to explore. Like, what their names really were and where they were really from. I’ve sent my DNA away for genealogical analysis. We’ll see if that turns up any new rocks to flip over.
I want to thank friends who have stuck around for years. Chris Barrow and I have been friends since 2003. I regard him as a friend and a mentor and I’m happy to work with him whenever I can. We’ve called each other siblings from another mother through the years. Working on my genealogy, I’ve discovered that we share a genealogical location. Perhaps I will find out we really are related after all. I regard Simon and Laura Reilly as good friends as well, we’ve known one another since 2005.
Thank you to my childhood friends that are still with me. Jean Mumbleau and Toni McCarty and I go way back to high school. It’s hard to believe that we still connect on Facebook after all these years. I can thank Facebook for bringing back Oskar Avilla, a neighbor and playmate. His family is from Columbia and he currently lives in Bolivia. Oskar looked me up and found me and we have messaged one another several times. We played together in Sierra Madre, California when we were five and six.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank those that I’ve worked with this year.
Even thought we’ve lost so many beloved celebrities this year, I’m hopeful that the grim reaper has had his/her fill for awhile. Thank you to those that gifted us with their talent. There were so many that touched my heart, Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael. I spent most of this week listening to George Michael songs.
I hope 2017 brings you all happiness and joy and most of all love.
Today marks the day that Gmail will join Hotmail, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and many other email providers in rejecting emails that aren’t sent from their own servers.
Why Are They Rejecting My Emails?
Many email providers have set up special policies in their email server software that will reject emails that are not sent from their own engines. It’s a good thing, and its something you should be doing when you send out your email too. They are doing this to ward off spam for their readers.
What Happens If I Don’t Fix This?
Your readers will not receive the emails you are sending, period. This applies to all external, bulk mail systems like Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Aweber, 1ShoppingCart (or any shopping cart), Ontraport, etc. It applies to your shopping cart, any automated emails or bulk that are sent. It also applies to email that you send from your own website, when people sign up for your newsletter, fill in a form or opt-in, your contact me form, and any other automated emails that you send from your website. Again, if you ignore this, your emails will not be received by your readers and website visitors.
Don’t panic. Take a deep breath.
If you use your own domain email address as the “from” address, email@example.com, as an example, you are fine. You have this issue covered.
If you use another email address to send your bulk emails where the domain name is from another company, like those listed above, you need to make some changes.
How Do I Find Out What I’m Using?
Log into any provider of any service that you use to send emails out to your prospect or customer list. Go to the settings for the account and for all the lists and forms that you maintain on the provider’s system. Double check to make sure you are using your own domain email address.
Make a list of all your providers and your website forms and identify the email address that’s being used to send out the email.
I’m Using My Own Domain Email Address
The best solution is to always use an address using your own domain to send out any email. This applies to your newsletter, any bulk email from any external provider and any other emails that you send out from your website.
What If I’m NOT Using My Own Domain Email Address?
If you are NOT using your own domain email address to send bulk and automated emails, you’ll need to use an existing email address or create a new one.
If you don’t have your own domain yet, now is the time to do it. Buy a domain and setup email when you purchase the domain.
Now that you have the email address, get that list out that you made, identifying any of the email addresses you are using to send out your bulk and automated emails.
Log into each service and plug in the new or existing domain email address into all of the software systems that you identified above.
You have already been using the proper procedure to send out your automated or bulk email, using your own domain email address, or you’ve now established a new email address and are using it instead of external systems like Gmail. One more step.
Make sure you have that email address or email addresses set up properly on your domain. You’re going to need your own policy set up so that any server that receives an email from you knows you aren’t spam and are sending a valid email from a valid server.
The policy is called an SPF record and its done on your domain, usually using your control panel. Each hosting provider may have a different way of doing this. You’ll have to find out what the method is and create or add to your SPF record to make your email address safe for consumption.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this or don’t have the time, I’m happy to take a look at your systems and ensure that your emails to your prospects and clients are being delivered properly.
Gmail will start doing this today, June 30th, 2016, but many other email providers have already implemented this and your emails may already be getting rejected. Don’t wait, get it done now.
My #12 ancestor on my Ahntenafel list is Edward Christian Miller (1877-1954). He is my great-grandfather on my maternal line. He married Mary Elizabeth Markey (1878-1938) before 1899.
Edward was a dairy farmer descended from a family of dairy farmers. He was born, lived (except during a short time in Buffalo, New York shortly after his marriage) and died in Colden, Erie County, New York in 1954. His wife passed in 1938, and he lived with his children on the family farm above the barn in his own quarters until his death. Thanks to my cousin, Lois Miller, I have some photos of his family. Perhaps I can find out more about him when the 1950 census and more New York records are released.
I am descended through:
#6 Earl Miller (1903-1972), who married #7 Ruth Dorothy Riordan (1911-1994) in 1934.
#5 Beverly Ditman (1939-), who married #4 William Ditman (1933-1997) in 1956.
#1 Kimberly Ditman (1958-)
Name: Edward Christian Miller [1-9]
Occupation: Dairy farmer
Father: Christian F Miller (1851-1928)
Mother: Salome Frantz Kummer (1850-1938)
Facts and Events
Birth: 16 Jan 1877 in New York[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Census:28 Jun 1880 in New York, USA; (age 3)
Census:16 Feb 1892 in New York, USA; (age 16)
Census: 02 Jun 1900 in Buffalo Ward 14, Erie, New York, USA; (age 23)
Census: 01 Jun 1905 in Colden, Erie, New York, USA; (age 28)
 1880 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Census Place: Colden, Erie, New York; Roll: 826; Family History Film: 1254826; Page: 219A; Enumeration District: 85; Image: 0564.
The Christian Miller household was enumerated on 28 Jun 1880 in Colden, Erie County New York. The household included:
Christian Miller, male, age 29, married, farmer
Sally Miller, female, age 29, wife, married, keeps house
Louise Miller, female, age 5, daughter
Edward Miller, male, age 3, son
Arthur Miller, male, age 1, son
 New York, State Census, 1892, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12129-254924-66?cc=1529100 : accessed 6 October 2015), Erie,Colden; image 5 of 10; county offices, New York.
The Christian Miller household was enumerated on 16 Feb 1892 in Colden, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Christian F Miller, male, 41, born in U.S. Farmer
Salome Miller, female, 42, born in Germany
Louise Miller, female, 17, born in US
Edward Miller, male, 16, born in US
Arthur Miller, male, 14, born in US
Eda E. Miller, female, 7, born in US
George A Miller, male, 3, born in US
 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Year: 1900; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 14, Erie, New York; Roll: 1028; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0105; FHL microfilm: 1241028.
The Edward Miller household was enumerated on 02 Jun 1900 in Buffalo Ward 14, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Edward C Miller, male, born Jan 1877, age 23, married, 2 years, born New York, father born Germany, mother born Germany
Mary, wife, female, born Sep 1878, age 21, married, 2 years, born New York, father born New York, mother born New York
 New York, State Census, 1905 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 08 E.D. 01; City: Colden; County: Erie; Page: 14.
The Edward Miller household was enumerated on 01 Jun 1905, in Colden, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Edward C Miller, head, male, age 28, born United States, citizen, farmer
Elizabeth M Miller, wife, female, age 25, born United States, citizen, housework
Harvey Miller, son, male, age 3, born United States, citizen, at home
Earl Miller, son, male, age 1, born United States, citizen, at home
William White, boarder, male, age 64, born Canada, Al, pattern maker
 New York, State Census, 1915 (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Colden, Erie, New York. Page 23;Address: East Road;citing State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives; )
The Edward Miller household was enumerated on 01 Jun 1915 in Colden, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Edward Miller, head, male, age 38, born United States, farmer
Elizabeth M Miller, wife, female, age 35, born United States, housework
Harvey W Miller, son, male, age 13, born United States, school
Earl Miller, son, male, age 11, born United States, school
Lawrence C Miller, son, male, age 9, born United States, school
Laverne A Miller, son, male, age 5, born United States, school
Edward J Ross, boarder, male, 38, born United States, Farm Laborer
 1920 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Census Place: Colden, Erie, New York; Roll: T625_1099; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 276; Dwelling #67, Family #67.
The Edward Miller household was enumerated on 13 Jan 1920 in Colden, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Edward C Miller, Head, owner, free, male, age 43, married, born New York, father born New York, mother born Germany, farmer, dairy farm
Lizzie Miller, wife, female, age 41, married, born New York, father born New York, mother born New York
Harvey Miller, son, male, age 18, single, born New York, farm laborer, family farm
Earl Miller, son, age 16, single, born New York
Lawrence, son, age 11, single, born New York
Laverne, son, age 10, single, born New York
Harold, son, age 1 10/12, single, born New York
 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1930; Census Place: Colden, Erie, New York; Roll: 1435; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 386; Image: 75.0.
The Edward Miller household was enumerated on 03 Apr 1930 in Colden, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Edward Miller, head, owner, male, age 52, married, age 21 at marriage, born New York, father born New York, mother born Germany, farmer, own farm
Elizabeth Miller, wife, female, age 51, married, age 20 at marriage, born New York, father born New York, mother born New York
Lawrence Miller, son, male, age 21, single, mechanic, garage
Lavern Miller, son, male, age 20, single, no occupation
 1940 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627)
The Edward Miller household was enumerated on 01 Apr 1940 in Colden, Erie County, New York. The household included:
Edward Miller, head, male, age 63, widowed, born New York
Harvey Miller, son, male, age 37, married, born New York, proprietor, Retail drugstore
Viola Miller, daughter-in-law, female, age 30, married, born New York
Glen Miller, grand son, male, age 8, single, born New York
 Earl Miller Family Tree Record Image, Dec 1968; privately held by Kimberly Joy Ditman Black, Ramona, California, United States, 2015. citing Edward Miller b 1-16-1877 b. Elizabeth Markey, d. 8-17-1954.