Happy Halloween!

From my personal postcard collection

Sadly, Halloween is not the carefree children’s holiday it was when I was growing up. I remember the excitement every time Halloween rolled around.

I think my teachers realized that not much learning would happen on 31 October, but we still had to at least pretend to get classwork done in the morning, as that teacher threat was ever present – I don’t want to have to cancel our Halloween party this afternoon!

Our trick or treat bags were usually brown paper bags that we had decorated as an art project a few days before. Since the teacher kept them stacked in a pile in the back of the classroom until the big day, no one was without a bag to collect our goodies.

My elementary school had a morning session and an afternoon session, but we were dismissed to walk home for lunch. There was no school cafeteria. However, that was a huge plus on Halloween because after lunch, we were allowed to walk back to school, wearing our Halloween costumes. AND we got to wear them all afternoon in the classroom.

The primary grade students had a Halloween parade, with the kindergarteners leading the way. They visited all of the classrooms up through grade 6. I have only vague memories of those parades, but there are distinct classroom party memories tucked away.

Everybody brought candy, enough for a piece for each student in the class and we took turns walking around the desks placing a piece in each trick or treat bag.

I honestly can’t remember if we had cupcakes and punch or anything like that, but it seems to me that by fifth and sixth grades, we did have those treats, too.

Needless to say, we were plenty sugared up by the time we walked home and couldn’t wait for darkness to come – so we could visit neighbors and collect still more candy!

The future of Halloween was already coming into doubt by the time I was in sixth grade, as I remember my mother telling me not to eat any candy from neighbors I didn’t know until she had a chance to examine the wrappers. There had been a news report of candy with a razor placed in it.

By the time I was in junior high school, my trick or treating days were over, but it then became my job to take my brother, who was five years younger than me, around for his Halloween fun.

However you choose to celebrate Halloween tonight, have fun and be safe.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Days Old Are You?

Time once again for Randy Seaver’s SNGF challenge on Genea-Musings.  Thank goodness, he included a link to a calculator or I’d be working on this for a while. Even with a calculator, I’ll be I’ll be off somewhere!

1)  Do you know how many days you have lived?  How many hours?  How many minutes?  How many seconds?  

2)  For this challenge – do some calculating.  Figure out how many days you’ve lived, how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds (you can round off to account for the time you were born on your birth date – do you know it?).   Tell us your birth date, birth time (if you know it), and then calculate your time alive up until your birth time today.

NOTE:  If math befuddles you, use the Age Calculator at http://www-users.med.cornell.edu/~spon/picu/calc/agecalc.htm

3)  What does all of this mean to you?  Think about that marvelous “machine” inside your chest beating in rhythm.  Share your thoughts!  

1) I was 69 years old on 7 March 2021 and was born at 8:33 p.m. According to the calculator, I am 25,439 days old minus 8 hours, as it is 12:33 p.m. at the moment

2) I am 610,536 hours old.

3) I am 36,632,160 minutes old

4) I am 2,197,929,600 seconds old.

What does all of this mean to me? It means since I waited until I was 27 to begin working on my family history, I wasted 27 years, or 236,688 hours, 14,201, 280 minutes or 852,076,800 seconds when I could have been doing family history research.

That means I missed the opportunity to interview my great grandmother in Slovakia (who would have known my paternal 2X and 3X great grandparents), my great grand aunt in Rhode Island, who would have known my maternal 2X and 3X great grandparents AND I could have questioned my three grandparents who lived during my lifetime about their memories.

Randy, yes I can tell you are a numbers kind of person. I definitely am not!

As for mortality, if I am lucky enough to match my ancestors, two of my grandmothers passed away in their sleep in their 90s in relatively good health and mentally with it.

I hope I am as lucky!

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge. I was expecting a Halloween-themed topic.

Happy Halloween, Everyone!


Friday’s Family History Finds

The best Family History Finds this week:

Family Stories

Reconnecting a Lost Branch to the Family Tree: James Byrne by Dara on Black Raven Genealogy

Come Sit a Spell with Jacob Dobkins by Roberta Estes on DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

“Miss Winters in the Drawing Room” by Jeff Record on Vita Brevis

Essex County Midwife – Mary (Brennan) Moynahan by Cindi on My Moynahan Genealogy Blog

Cabbage Days by Tracey Arial on Genealogy Ensemble

Research Resources

Russian Empire Rules Mean Research Opportunities Today – An 1852 Explanation by Lara Diamond on Lara’s Jewnealogy

Recent Additions to National Library of Scotland Maps Platform by Chris Paton on Scottish GENES

About Those SS-5s by Judy Russell on The Legal Genealogist

Photos of Immigrant Ships by Nancy Loe on Sassy Jane Genealogy

1921 Census for England and Wales to be Published Online on 6 January 2022 by John Reid on Anglo-Celtic Connections

Research Finds in the Graveyard, Part 2 by Leah Grandy on Atlantic Loyalist Connections

A Start Point by Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist

Tech News

23andMe Purchases Lemonaid Health Inc. by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Trackuback Genealogy Platform Launches in Ireland by Chris Paton on Scottish GENES

OpenShot, a FREE, Powerful, and Easy-to-Use Photo Editor by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Genetic Genealogy

Y We Know What We Know by Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist


The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Online Family Trees by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Is Ancestry Missing Your Ancestors? on Amy Johnson Crow

A Marriage License and a Marriage Certificate May Not Be Together by Nancy on My Ancestors and Me

Build a Rock-Solid Family Tree foundation by DiAnn Iamarino on Fortify Your Family Tree

Never Stop Looking by Alison Spring on The Frugal Family Historian

Education Is for Everyone

Quick Tip #27: Read the Instructions to Enumerators by Janine Adams on Organize Your Family History

Beyond Photo Boxes: Top 10 Archival Products for Family Photo Projects by Kate Jacus on Organizing Photos

Reference Books for Your Personal Library by Donna Moughty on Irish Family Roots

Tombstone Tuesday – Halloween Edition AND More Halloween Hauntings, both by Karen on Karen’s Chatt

Quick Tip – Your Ancestor Was Not Born in Elders by Yvette Hoitink on Dutch Genealogy

Digging into the Entire FamilySearch.org Website: Part One by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Keeping Up with the Times

Upcoming Genealogy Changes You Don’t Want to Miss by Lori on Genealogy at Heart

Help Learn More About the Origins of Scottish Gypsy/Travellers by Chis Paton on Scottish GENES

Sitting Bull: DNA Confirms Great Grandson’s Identity by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Facebook Changes Its Name to Meta by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy newsletter