Sunday, September 13, 2009

Raymond L Ruffing Obit and Online Memorial

Ruffing, Raymond L.

RUFFING RAYMOND LOUIS RUFFING On Sunday, September 6, 2009 of Beltsville, MD. Loving husband of the late Emily J. Ruffing; beloved father of David R. Ruffing of Crofton, MD, Diane L. Ruffing of Beltsville, MD and Debra J. Mills of Stevensville, MD. Also survived by seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and godfather of Dana Payne, Jr. Relatives and friends may call at the ROBERT E. EVANS FUNERAL HOME, Rt. 450 and Race Track Rd., Bowie, MD on Sunday, September 13, 2009 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10 a.m., Monday, September 14, 2009 at Our Lady of Fields Catholic Church, Millersville, MD. Interment Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham, MD. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Lung Association.

Published in The Washington Post on 9/11/2009

There has also been an online memorial done online with lots of pics here

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday- Garland Family Bible

As a child I would always pull out my Grandparent's family bible from a book shelf and look at all the great pictures in it. I would always stop at the family record section and read through the entries of births, marriages, and baptisms. Amazed at the history those pages contained. Just a few years ago I was honored to be presented the same bible as a Christmas gift from my mother and aunt. It is an heirloom I will always treasure.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Remembering PapPap

My paternal grandfather Raymond L Ruffing passed away two days ago on September 7th in Laurel, MD. Ever since he was admitted to the hospital last week I have been thinking a lot about the man I and my cousins always called PapPap. Pap was born in Mifflin, PA on July 2, 1927 to Florian J Ruffing and Nora L Flading. He worked at a steel mill when he was a young man, joined the army during World War II, served as a Washington D.C. police detective and umpired/coached baseball for as long as I can remember. (See this blog post for a previous post about my Pap)

My best memory of my Pap was 4 years ago shortly after my grandmother died. We were all gathered around the family table after the funeral and Pap was telling the story of when he first saw my grandmother. They were both stationed in Germany after World War II, my grandfather with the 508th Parachute Regiment that was affiliated with the 82nd Airborne and my grandmother was with the Womens Army Corps. Pap said he was in a taxi riding down the street when he saw my grandmother walking down the sidewalk and he told the cab driver "You see that woman? I'm going to marry her one day." He had tears in his eyes as he told the story. I will miss you PapPap, I hope you are at peace, and you and Memaw are somewhere having a most excellent time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I'm wordless after finding my Great-Grandfather's headstone on Find A Grave. Photographed by: G. Stoecklein

Another Brick Knocked Out Of The Wall Part 1

I've been doing a little research on Ruby Bernardo who I mentioned I found some information on with the help of friends in Second Life in this blog post. With the information I found at Family Search on her death I contacted Washington State Library and asked them to look for her obituary. A few days ago I got a response and received the copies of her death notice.

Wow! What great information! I now had her address and what funeral home handled her arrangements. I immediately contacted Gaffney Funeral Home and asked them if they had any information on her. They emailed me back a copy of her funeral record just the other day with a wealth of information. It shows her and Macario are separated at this time, the date of her funeral, cause of death, her religious affiliation, her internment and much more! The full record is below, just click on it to see it full sized.
A friend checked with the cemetery (New Tacoma) and they say they have no record of Ruby so the mystery continues. Stay tuned for part two where I find out some more information on Ruby!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Using Flickr as a Genealogical Tool

Earlier today I was using iGoogle to read some of my favorite genealogy blogs and noticed the gadget called Genealogy Photos.

This is a great little gadget that pulls photos from Flickr with the genealogy tag and posts them randomly when you refresh the page. For those who may not know, Flickr is a photo sharing site where you can upload up to 100 MB of photos per month for free. You can upgrade to a Pro account with unlimited features for $24.95 per year. It's a great way to share your photos and other genealogy files with other researchers as well as search for ancestors. To conduct a search just simply type the surname, genealogy. For example a search of Coleman, genealogy brings up these results. Of course you could narrow the search further by searching Surname, Genealogy, Place, Year, etc.

When uploading your family pictures and records to Flickr make sure to add as many tags as possible in the tag box. For example if you are uploading a picture of Grandpa Joe Smith from Bangor, ME tag it as Joe, Smith, Maine, Bangor, Penobscot County, etc. If you find a "cousin" you'll want to make sure to contact them using Flickr's messaging system and maybe even add them as a friend. Once you sign up feel free to add me as a friend, my user name there is Family Reflections and you can view my genealogy photostream (Flickr's name for the page where your photos are listed) here. Happy Root Digging!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Breaking Down Brickwalls in Second Life

I was working online this past Sunday and got an alert via TweetDeck that DearMyrtle had posted a new blog post. The post talked about the genealogy meetings and chats they had in the program Second Life. I thought what a great way to get to know your fellow genealogists. I signed up that very night but wasn't able to join in the chat until Monday evening. Boy am I glad I did!

With the help of all my new friends in Second Life I was able to locate the death record for my elusive Great-Grandmother Ruby Adams (Bernardo). With that information I was able to locate an obituary in a Tacoma, WA newspaper and I'm waiting for a response from the librarians on a copy!

If you join Second Life (it's FREE BTW) feel free to send me a friend request to NAMASTE DEEZUL. I will be on this evening for some chat.
That's me in a green Just Genealogy t-shirt in front of the Live Roots gazebo.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grandma Garlands School Records or THAT'S why I'm so terrible in Math!

While organizing the office/genealogy workspace/craftroom a few weekends ago. While I came upon my Grandma Garlands high school transcripts from Milton High School. I love collecting obscure records of my ancestors, it really puts some flesh on the bones so to speak. It was super easy to get the record, all I did was write a letter to the high school letting them know I was the family historian and was looking for my Grandmother's high school transcripts. I let them know she was deceased and included a copy of her death certificate as proof. A few weeks later I got the transcripts in the mail.

I gleaned some great genealogical information from them too! My Great Uncle John J. Coleman (who raised my grandmother) was listed as guardian with his occupation listed as a shipfitter at Boston Navy Yard. WOW! What a find this is! I also learned that prior to her attending Milton High she was enrolled at Mount St. Joseph Academy. Her grades from Mount St. Joseph were also included which was an added bonus. I had no idea she attended any other high school other than Milton. They will be the next people I contact for more information on Grandma Garland.

As for the grades it seems Grandma Garland was great in P.E. class and Sewing but not so hot in Math. Now I know why I have so much trouble with math!! If you send off for your ancestors school records come back here and let me know what kind of great finds you come up with!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cemetery Touring

Anna and I just got back from a trip to Apalachicola, FL. It's really a beautiful area and I wish we had some more time to spend there. In addition to spending some time in town we got the opportunity to visit two historic cemeteries. Although none of our ancestors are buried in the cemeteries we had fun touring them.

The first cemetery was the Old St. Joseph Cemetery. Most of the graves in the old section (1835 - 1841) are unmarked graves of the many victims of the Yellow Fever epidemic that struck the area in 1841.

It's not known how many people are buried here but it is believed many of Florida's leaders including several members of the Florida Constitutional Convention rest here. Although there are not many headstones I found this beautiful black headstone on the other side of the cemetery.

The second graveyard we visited was the Chestnut Street Cemetery of Early Apalachicola (Old City Graveyard)

There were so many interesting stones there I didn't have time to take pictures of them all but here are two of my favorites:

The grave of George W. Core

Transcription: George W. son of Rev. D.W. and Mrs. F. V. Core. Born Nov. 27, 1877 Died Mar. 1, 1902 A life so well spent on this earth cannot fail to reap a bountiful harvest in the one to come.

I loved this headstone because the whole stone is a stump of a tree and it has the seal of the Woodmen of the World on it.

The Grave of Catherina Spano

Transcription: Here rests the body of Catherina Spano Bor 17 May 1853 Died Oct 09 1900

I really loved this marker. It's obviously homemade and the shadow it reflects is really interesting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I will be off for the next week starting Saturday and in addtion to spending some time relaxing I wanted to take some time to "Spring Clean" my genealogy binders and files. Honestly I had no idea where to begin and looking at my files I was a little intimidated. But soon I found this article at with tips on how to get your genealogy research organinzed. There are so many great tips I can't wait to get started!

Happy ancestor hunting folks!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pap and the Treasure Trove at Newspaper Archives

Recently I signed up for a 7 day free trial at Newspaper Archive just to see what I could find. Boy did I find a treasure trove of information on my paternal grandfather!

My Pap has had an amazing life, born in Pennsylvania in 1927 and descended from German immigrants. He was raised on my great grandparents small farm on Flading Lane. He played high school baseball and was set to join the Red Sox when war broke out in 1941 he joined the war effort in the 82nd Airborne division. He met my grandmother in Germany and they were married when they returned to the states. He's been a Washington D.C. Police Detective and for all of my life he was a baseball coach and umpire.

I was so excited to find several articles about my Pap, mostly about his baseball coaching career. Here was an article about him being given the head coaching position at Mount St. Mary's College, another article talking about his position as Assistant Coach at the Naval Academy, even an interview where he talks of learning the game from his uncle "Red" Ruffing who played for the Yankees (as a side note I've yet been able to prove our relationship the famed pitcher with any kind of substantial evidence) and also an article where he talks about catching fly balls for the Homestead Grays. These articles have helped me flesh out the story of my Pap and add a bit of interesting history outside of his basic statistics.

I strongly recommend getting yourself a subscription and checking it out! If you do and find something useful to you I'd love to hear about it, just leave a comment below.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Been A Long Time...

Yes I know I have let this blog fall by the wayside. Truth be told I've hardly had time to work on my genealogy at all.

From now on though I am going to set aside some time to do some research. I've also been studying to become a Certified Genealogist! I'm very excited about it, hopefully I will be able to turn it into a career! Now wouldn't that be something? Look for more frequent updates here on my family research, my journey to become a genealogist and other genealogy related posts!