Merchant Marine Memorial


American Merchant Marine Memorial

The memorial is located in the Hudson River just west of Battery Park. Designed by sculptor Marison Escobar, it depicts four merchant seamen and their sinking vessel – the S.S. Muskogee – after being attacked by a German U-boat. The fourth man is in the water and is only visible when the tide is out. According to Wikipedia, the sculpture is based on a photo taken by the U-boat commander who attacked and sunk the S.S. Muskogee. All of the American crew died at sea.

This beautiful photo was taken by Raul Garcia Peñalver and found on Flickr.

The World War II Museum in New Orleans has recently opened the US Merchant Marine Gallery that helps tell the story of these mariners who crossed the Atlantic and Pacific transporting supplies, weapons and men to the warfront.


A Swinging Christmas

Did you know that Glenn Miller was a Major in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II? He was instrumental in the formation of the Army Air Corps Band which would become the U.S. Air Force and the USAF Band shortly after the war ended. Today the USAF Band has a reputation for Christmas flash mob performances in Washington, D.C. during the Christmas season. This performance in Union Station took place last year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in the spirit of Glenn Miller.

BlogCarolingSpecial thanks to footnoteMaven for her annual blog caroling tradition. Hope everyone enjoys a swinging Christmas full of good cheer.

Christmas Tour of Blogs

Geneabloggers are an amazing group of family historians. They use their blogs to document their family history while taking advantage of the many social elements of blog platforms to find other geneabloggers. In the early days we were a relatively small group. Today there are more than 3,000 blogs listed in the blog roll at Geneabloggers.

In 2008 we decided to show off our blogs with a Christmas Tour of Blogs. It was great fun and helped us get to know more about each participant. You’ll find a list of the posts from all the participants at the 2008 Christmas Tour of Blogs list. Changes over the years have impacted some of the participating sites but I’m pleasantly surprised to see how many are still there. Below is my entry of Christmas at Moultrie Creek.

Traveling Through Time

When you think of time travelers it’s usually in some form of science fiction. There is another kind of time traveling that has little to do with fiction . . . family history research. Those of us who are fascinated with our family history don’t think of ourselves as time travelers, but we are. Our research takes us to some amazing places as they were many years ago. Often those trips are frustrating, but then we meet an ancestor who is very happy to introduce us to her family and friends.

Recently one such adventure happened to me. I was in checking out the latest batch of new leaves in my online tree. Following one leaf to another user’s tree brought me face-to-face with my third great grandmother, Frances Georgina Scott Barrett.

Frances Barrettt Portrait

Frances Georgina Scott Barrett

Delighted as I was to see Frances, I knew she had more to tell me and that I needed to introduce myself to her great great grandaughter, Kay. I was right. Kay has all kinds of information on this branch of the family. One very special treasure is the diary of Georgiana Barrett Devlin. Georgiana is Frances’ daughter and my great great grandfather’s sister.


The Diary of a Southern Lady – Katherine M. Jones, editor

Kay has transcribed the diary, added notes from her research and published it. Within seconds of learning about this treasure, I had a Kindle copy of the diary and soon found myself in 19th century Mississippi. Georgiana has introduced me to members of the family I never knew existed and helped me sort out family relationships that my research could not. Every time I open her diary, I take another trip back in time.

While Georgiana has given me lots of new directions for my own research, I’m even more indebted to Kay for her work to transcribe and share this wonderful treasure. It also is an inspiration to pay it forward. I have a collection of letters my maternal grandfather wrote my grandmother before they got married in 1913. He died in 1921 so these letters and a few pictures are all we have of him. I have been slowly scanning and transcribing those letters. Kay’s effort with Georgina’s diary had inspired me to make this project a priority with the hope that it can help other family members with their research.

The Diary of a Southern Lady and Dolph’s Letters will keep me on the move between the 19th and 20th centuries for some time.