I hope to share research, information, tips, and a little of my family history with others following the path to greater genealogical awareness. Let the search for enlightenment continue...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Time for Spring Cleaning!

I'm working on tidying up my blog over the next few days.  I'll be checking and updating my links and possibly be adding and reorganizing my page elements and widgets.  I'd hate to be one link short of a connection if you know what I mean.

I've also experienced a number of problems with Blogger as of late.  Unfortunately I had the same problem with my blogroll that Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog mentions here and here.  I removed my blogroll but hope to add it again sometime soon.  I'd like to offer a big thank you to Susan at Nolichucky Roots who brought the problem to my attention.  It seems like I "solve" one problem only to have a new problem replace it.  I am currently having issues trying to log in and post comments to other people's blogs.  Apparently this is a "known issue" for Blogger, and they are working on a fix.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette; Originally posted May 26, 2010.) Henry A. Shenette. Photo circa 1950s. Service: U.S. Army 1936-1941; U.S. Navy 1942-1957. Rank: Corporal in the Army; Gunner's Mate, First Class in the Navy. Major Honors: two silver stars; two bronze stars. Thanks Dad!


Other Posts You Might Like:

Memorial Day 2010 - In Flanders Fields
Tombstone Tuesday: Francois Chenette, Civil War Soldier
Veteran's Day: The Life of a Doughboy, 1918
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: World War I Red Cross Volunteers

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...

Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko
(Original Images and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia ShenetteWhen I started to think about this post for the Annual Swimsuit Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I tried to come up with a period appropriate song title for the title of the post.  No matter what song I thought of one song that was not at all period appropriate kept coming to mind, Cindy Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.  It occurred to me that it doesn't matter when the song was written.  Girls then and now, just want to have fun, especially when they're at the beach.

I don't know exactly when or where these photos of my grandmother Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko and her friends were taken.  My guess is the late 1910s.  I'm not sure of the location either.  I'm pretty sure wherever it was it was in Massachusetts and on a trolley line from Worcester.  Revere Beach possibly?  I tried to see if I could match up the roller coaster or architecture to vintage photos of Revere Beach, but no such luck.  If anyone recognizes the location I'd love to hear from you.

These photos are just such fun.  I found them in an old scrapbook that was originally buried in my mother's basement.  The photos are small, and I only noticed some of the details in them when I scanned and enlarged them.  They are so wonderfully candid.  Clearly the girls--my grandmother, her sister Helen Bulak, cousin Sophie (Kowalewski) Konopka, and two unidentified friends--are having fun on the beach posing for the camera.

Unidentified left, Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko right

Unidentified Friend

Unidentified Friend

Left to Right: Unidentified, Unidentified, Helen Bulak, Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko

Helen Bulak left, Unidentified right

Sophie (Kowalewski) Konopka

Sophie (Kowalewski) Konopka

Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko

Sophie (Kowalewski) Konopka left, Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko right

Sophie (Kowalewski) Konopka

Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko

Sophie (Kowalewski) Konopka

Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko

Left to Right: Unidentified, Unidentified, Helen Bulak, Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko
BFF, or as they use to say back in the olden days, Best Friends Forever.  Some things don't change.  Girls just wanna have fun...


Other Posts You Might Like:

A Pretty Girl on Old Cape Cod
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me
Not So Wordless Wednesday: Cape Cod Memories
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shore Leave - Wordless Wednesday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia ShenetteThis is a fun, casual photo of my dad, Henry Shenette (second on the left) and his navy buddies.  It's also probably a pretty tame depiction of shore leave activities.  My mom told me that at the end of a particularly rowdy shore leave the Shore Patrol would round up all of the drunken sailors, put them in a big net, hoist the net on board, and dump the sailors back on deck.  My dad had a couple of fairly prominent tattoos gained during his navy days.  My mom once asked him if he was sober when he got them.  She said he didn't answer the question, "He just got mad."  She took that as a no.  Oh and you know the old saying, "swears like a sailor?"  It isn't just a saying.  Let's just say what my dad lacked in accuracy, he definitely made up for in creativity.


Other Posts You Might Like:

The Haircut - Wordless Wednesday
The Neatest Private on Guard - Treasure Chest Thursday
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women
Tuesday's Tip: A Tale of Two Indexers

Monday, May 23, 2011

U.S. Naval School, Newport, RI - Military Monday

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia ShenetteDuring the 1950s my dad, Henry Albert Shenette, was stationed in Newport, RI.  He taught gunnery at the U.S. Naval School there for a number of years.  My dad is the fourth sailor from the left in the back row of this photo.  I don't know who the other sailors and officers are.  If your dad, grandfather, or great-grandfather taught at the U.S. Naval School in Newport in 1953 take a look at this photo, and maybe you'll recognize someone you know.  If you do, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.  I'd love to hear from you!

U.S. NAVAL SCHOOL
INSTRUCTORS
CLASS NO. 18 A 53


Other Posts You Might Like:

Tombstone Tuesday: Francois Chenette, Civil War Soldier
Books of Interest: The Life of Billy Yank
Veteran's Day: The Life of a Doughboy, 1918
Post World War II "Care" Packages - Amanuensis Monday

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Neatest Private on Guard - Treasure Chest Thursday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia ShenetteI love this.  I know exactly where my dad was on July 26, 1939.  Actually, to be more specific, I know exactly where he wasn't on July 26, 1939.  He wasn't on duty.  I found this Orderly Pass in with my dad's military documents and thought I'd post it for Treasure Chest Thursday.  It's nice to know that besides his two silver stars, two bronze stars, good conduct medal, and various other military campaign medals, he can also count being the "neatest private on guard" among his many accomplishments.

ORDERLY PASS
HEADQUARTERS POST OF MANILA
Office of the Commanding Officer

Pvt. Henry A. Shenette, 6138[***],      Manila, P.I.
Company M, 31st Infantry,                    July 24, 1939.
having been selected as the neatest private
on guard   7/21/39   is authorized to be absent
from his company and duties from   6:00 A.M.,
Wednesday, July 26 to 6:00 A.M., Thursday, July 27,
1939.___________________________________
By order of the Post Commander.
[Signature of R. M. Lawson]
R. M. LAWSON
Major, 31st Infantry, Adjutant.


Other Posts You Might Like:

The Haircut - Wordless Wednesday
Company M, Thirty-First U.S. Infantry - Military Monday
Happy Birthday Dad - Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday: A June Wedding

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Haircut - Wordless Wednesday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) This photo captures one of those ordinary slice of life moments.  My dad, Henry Albert Shenette, spent a couple of years stationed in the Philippines in the late 1930s and early 1940s as part of the Thirty-First United States Infantry.  I don't think my dad is either one of the soldiers shown in this photo.  It's hard to tell for sure especially given that the man in the barber chair has his hand in front of his face.  He clearly does not seem to want to have his photo taken. 

I thought the scene was an interesting one.  Look at the man on the left sitting on the cot.  He reminded me of a story my dad use to tell about his time in the Philippines.  Apparently one of my dad's army buddies was quite a sound sleeper.  My dad and some of the other guys found it incredibly amusing to pick up the poor guy's cot, carry it outside, and put it in a stream or wherever else they could think of.  When the hapless sleeper opened his eyes in in the morning he never quite knew where he was going to wake up.

Luckily my dad's time in the Philippines ended when it did.  My dad said he was on the last ship out of the Philippines before the Japanese invaded the islands at the beginning of World War II.  According to one of his papers he returned to the U.S. on November 19, 1941.  The Japanese began their invasion of the Philippine Islands on December 8, 1941.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Wordless Wednesday: A Good Catch
Tombstone Tuesday: Francois Chenette, Civil War Soldier
Wordless Wednesday: Dad, Someplace Cold
Remembering Pearl Harbor

Monday, May 16, 2011

Company M, Thirty-First U.S. Infantry - Military Monday

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia ShenetteAs a bit of a departure from my usual Amanuensis Monday posts and my Mystery Monday posts, I thought I'd do a Military Monday post in anticipation of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.  My dad, Henry Albert Shenette, was a long-time military man who served first in the United States Army and then later in the United States Navy.  Before World War II he enlisted in the army and was stationed in the Philippines.  While my dad is not pictured in this photo, I thought I'd post it anyway in an effort to possibly connect with other folks who might have had family members stationed in the Philippines at the same time as my dad. The text below the photo reads,

CO. "M", THIRTY-FIRST U.S. INFANTRY.
1ST LT. TRULY (C.O.)     1ST. SGT. BUTCHER
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS     OCT., 1939

If you recognize any of the men in this photo I'd love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment at the end of this post.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Veteran's Day: The Life of a Doughboy, 1918
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: WWI Red Cross Volunteers
Where They Lived: Every Address Tells a Story
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Valley Forge is Back Again

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mom, At the Ballet - Wordless Wednesday


(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) I posted this photo early last year.  I thought I'd post it again in celebration of Mother's Day, plus spring is recital time.  My mom, Christine (Szerejko) Shenette, is the little girl on the left.  I don't know the exact date the photo was taken, but my guess is she looks about six years old which would date the photo to about 1927.  I don't know who the other little ballerinas are. 

In celebration of Mother's Day, I invite you to check out the links below to see some other lovely photos of my wonderful mom.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Not So Wordless Wednesday: It's Costume Month at Heritage Zen!
Wordless Wednesday: Mom
A Pretty Girl on Old Cape Cod
Not So Wordless Wednesday: Mule Train Into the Grand Canyon

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Man O' War - Tombstone Tuesday

Man O' War, Sculpture by Herbert Haseltine
(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) Given that the Kentucky Derby is this coming weekend, I thought it would be kind of fun to show a tombstone of a different kind this week. This is a photo of where the great racehorse Man O' War is buried at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. My family and I visited Kentucky in August of 2009 when my husband had to travel to to Lexington for business. My son and I visited the Kentucky Horse Park while my husband was at work one day.

While Man O' War never won the Kentucky Derby he is still considered to be by many the greatest racehorse of all time. His offspring include the 1929 Kentucky Derby winner Clyde Van Deusen and the1939 Triple Crown winner War Admiral.  He was also the grand-daddy of legendary horse Seabiscut. 


Other Posts You Might Like:

Tombstone Tuesday: Jacob Riis, Riverside Cemetery, Barre, MA
Tuesday's Tip: A Tale of Two Indexers
Tombstone Tuesday: Francois Chenette, Civil War Soldier
Tombstone Tuesday: Frank L. Naramore, The End of a "Tragedy"

Monday, May 2, 2011

Send Up A Flare, Mystery Bride Identified! - Mystery Monday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia ShenetteIt has finally happened!  Someone has actually recognized one of my mystery brides AND was kind enough to contact me!  I posted a photo of this lovely couple back in October of 2010 for Mystery Monday.  Today, I am happy to report the couple has been identified by their grand-daughter as Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shenkowski.  The bride is the former Sophie Choronzak, one of the children I mentioned was orphaned in my post Flu 1918 (Part 1 of 3).  According to Sophie's grand-daughter, her grandparents' wedding took place at Our Lady of Czestochowa in Worcester, MA in November of 1928.  Wow!  How about that!

Sophie was the daughter of Antonina and Josef Choronzak, the couple who died during the flu pandemic leaving seven children orphaned.  Sophie's grand-daughter remembers my aunt Helen Bulak, and I learned that Sophie worked at my aunt's store, Helen's, on Millbury St. in Worcester for many years. Sophie's grand-daughter said she Googled "Antonina Choronzak" one night and was more that a little surprised to find her great-grandparents name pop up on my blog.  She was even more surprised to find her grandparents wedding picture on my blog!  What's even more amazing?  She has the same photograph in a frame above her computer at home! 

We started a nice little e-mail correspondence over the weekend.   Maybe together we can learn a little more about Sophie, Antonina, and our respective families.  She said she suspects that between her and her mom, they can help me to identify many of the mystery photos in my collection.  Sophie's grand-daughter's final comment to me was so poignant.  She said, "I'm so glad that Antonina brought us together.  Their remarkable story continues..."  Indeed it does.   


Other Posts You Might Like:

A Comedy of Errors: My Family in the Census (Part 1 of 3)
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: WWI Red Cross Volunteers
What's In A Name? (An Ongoing Series): Kowalewski
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me