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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - August/September 2003
Wee Snippets (3)

Ligonier Games award scholarships
On Saturday, September 6th some 10,000 enthusiasts for Scottish music, dancing and athletics gathered at Idlewild Park, Ligonier, for the 45th Annual Ligonier Highland Games. At noon over twenty top grade bagpipe bands followed a parade of Scottish clan societies, military re-enactors, heavy athletes, rugby players and Scottish breed dogs around the main field, then joining together to perform as one massed band with some 500 pipers and drummers thrilling the crowd. Activities for all these groups then continued throughout the day until 6 PM.

Following the day-long competitions in solo piping, drumming and Highland Dancing, eight scholarships worth $150 each to be used to attend clinics or workshops were awarded to the following contestants by Games president Gordon M. Reid.

Amateur solo piping in Grades 1-4 respectively were won by Eric Ouellette of Coventry, Connecticut (Grade 1); Daniel Cole of Scotia, New York; Sean Regan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and John Hasley also of Pittsburgh. Grades 1-2 winners in the solos drumming were won by Alex Wright of Lorain, Ohio, and John Massey of Jackson, New Jersey. In Highland Dancing the winners were Madelyn Shaffer of Level Green, Pennsylvania, and Shelby Makel of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

The Ligonier Highland Games are a cultural activity of the Clan Donald Educational & Charitable Trust of Pittsburgh. The 2004 Ligonier Highland Games are set for the weekend of September 10-12. For information

Do you remember seeing the elephant?
No expression characterized the California gold rush more than the words "seeing the elephant." Those planning to travel west announced they were "going to see the elephant." Those turning back claimed they had seen the "elephant's tracks" or the "elephant's tail," and admitted that view was sufficient.

The expression predated the gold rush, arising from a tale current when circus parades first featured elephants. A farmer, so the story went, hearing that a circus was in town, loaded his wagon with vegetables for the market there. He had never seen an elephant and very much wished to. On the way to town he encountered the circus parade, led by an elephant. The farmer was thrilled, but his horses were not. Terrified, they bolted, overturning the wagon and ruining the vegetables. "I don't give a hang," the farmer said, "for I have seen the elephant."

For gold rushers, the elephant symbolized both the high cost of their endeavor - the myriad possibilities for misfortune on the journey or in California - and like the farmer's circus elephant, an exotic sight, an unequaled experience, the adventure of a lifetime.

Source: Jo Ann Levy in They Saw the Elephant (from the Website, Life Along the Trail). From the Sequoia Genealogical Society, Inc. Newsletter, Volume 30, Number 7, September 2003, Tulare City Library Genealogical Department, 113 North "F" Street, Tulare, California 93274-3803.

Things to be sure to include in your query!
1. Who are you looking for? Burial site, names of children, wife, etc. Be specific.
2. When providing the surname, are there other spellings that may have been used? Example: Calkins/Caulkins.
3. Approximate dates, if available, are helpful in narrowing the search - birth, death, marriage, also, last known to be living in or near. Example: born 1848 NY, married Sarah Webster 1869. Lived in Grant County 1880. Not listed as a survivor in daughters obit in 1892.
4. Occupation - religion if known.
5. Always include a Self-Addressed-Stamped-Envelope (SASE). Don't expect a reply without one. An e-mail address is helpful.
From GEMS of Genealogy newsletter, September/October 2003, Volume 29, Number 3, published by Bay Area Genealogical Society, PO Box 283, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54305-0283.

Let's go site-seeing - Slave narratives from the Federal Writer's Project:
From 1936 through 1938, the Federal Writer's Project of the WPA collected over 2,300 first-person accounts of slave life and 500 black and white photos. These were microfilmed in 1941 and assembled into the seventeen volume, A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. These fascinating autobiographical accounts contain the impressions and reactions to their bondage. The Library of Congress has made the collection available online. More than 200 photographs will be available to the public for the first time. The collection can be found at:

Kansas sites for the Internet researcher:
Kansas State Historical Society: <>, Kansas Newspaper: Kansas census reel listing:, Kansas County Histories/bibliographies: Guide to Kansas Research Resources: (requires Acrobat Reader). Researcher's Guide to Local Government Records: (requires Acrobat Reader). For more information contact The Historical Society at 6425 SW Sixth Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66615-1099.

Signers of The Declaration of Independence:
For bios of each of the signers of The Declaration of Independence, check out these sites: Colonial Hall - A look at America's Founders:, Signers of The Declaration of Independence:, and The Political Graveyard at:

What would it be worth in today's dollars?
Here's a neat and easy-to-use site that does the figuring for you (1800-2001), http://www.westegg.coem/inflation

The United Kingdom Surnames Website... a free facility where you can post and exchange family history data with others. It covers the entire United Kingdom but records are grouped by county and region for easier use. You can search either the entire site or individual counties for surname matches. If you have English ancestry, it's a great place to post family information.
Our thanks for this information goes to the Larimer County Genealogical Society Newsletter, September/October 2003 issue.

Familial or hereditary: is it the same or different?
Familial means something "runs in the family," like a gift for singing, high intelligence, short stature, and, of course, genetic disease.

Hereditary means something is transmitted from parent to child, specifically something genetic. It has the same root word as "inheritance." Something "hereditary" can also be called "familial."
Source of information from Kinfolks, PO Box 5652, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70606-5652.

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