Sunday, January 21, 2007

Things You Didn't Know About Miriam

Jasia over at Creative Gene recently tagged me for a meme (whoa, I learned a new word!) in which I have to divulge 5 things about myself that you don't know. I decided to raise the bar a bit, and I'm listing below 5 things each from both my personal and genealogical life for your reading pleasure:

Personal:
  1. My "real-life" job is a paraeducator in special education. Under the supervision of a certificated instructor, I teach literacy and mathematics at the junior high-level, as well as assist students in their elective classes (Industrial Arts and Technology), Health & Fitness, Vocational Training, Social Skills, and Living Skills. I work with a wide range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Autism/Asperger's Syndrome (my favorite students), Marfin's Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, and mental retardation. I have also worked with children who have spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, and Fetal Alchohol Syndrome.

2. I enjoy different needle arts, all of which are self-taught: crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, plastic canvas stitching, and sewing. Crochet is my forte'. The photo below is of an afghan I designed and created for my son last year to match his bedroom decorating themes of Star Wars, Spider-Man, and other movie/comic book characters.


3. On New Year's Day 1987, I marched with The Salvation Army band in the Pasadena Rose Parade (I played the flugelhorn). As an aside, The Salvation Army (TSA) band and the Pasadena High School band are the only bands that have a standing invitation to the Pasadena Rose Parade. All others must receive a special invitation only. It is considered a great honor for any band to participate in this parade. On the other hand, I have also marched in the Butte, Montana Fourth of July parade with TSA, and that was an unforgettable experience as well (potholes, drunken miners, etc.)! Between TSA band, various school bands, and church music programs, I also have played cornet, alto horn, clarinet, piano, autoharp, concertina, and even the timbrel (in a drill-team-style group for The Salvation Army). Sadly, am no longer involved in any music groups.

4. I am a cat person. My current pet is a gray and black tabby female named Tessa, who we rescued in the neighborhood about 3 years ago. She loves to play "catch" with her rabbit-fur-covered fake mice.

5. Sometimes I wish I could duplicate myself! Then I could have enough time to do both genealogy AND create graphics. I use PaintShopPro 6, and have created many backgrounds, images, and animations, some of which are available at my graphics website, Kidmiff Kreations. Being a wife, mom of two teens (my kids drive me crazy; I drive them everywhere else!), employee, and hobby-genealogist, I haven't been able to keep up with this. I tend to dabble in graphic creation and design much more in the summer.

Genealogical:

1. I am a Mayflower descendant through Richard Warren (twice), George Soule, John and Joan Tilley, their daughter Elizabeth Tilley, and her husband John Howland. My children's father is a descendant of John and Elinor Billington, and their son Francis Billington. Those Billingtons! John was the first white man hanged on the North American continent (for murder), and Elinor was once condemned to be whipped for gossiping. Francis may have been the son that William Bradford wrote about, who nearly blew up the ship on the voyage over, by making a squab (firecracker) IN THE GUNPOWDER ROOM! After landing, John, Jr. got himself lost for three days, throwing the whole colony into a panic, until he was found and returned by (fortunately) friendly natives.

2. Due to the small genetic pool in colonial New England, I am related to myself quite a few times. My children's father also descends from that same Puritan/Pilgrim pool, and between the two of us, it's amazing our two children were born with all the correct number of body parts!

3. My own black sheep ancestors include 4th-Great-Grandpa Uzza Robbins, a hot-tempered blacksmith from Potter County, Pennsylvania, who murdered his son, and later his second wife (with his step-daughter nearly losing her life as well). Learn how Uzza lost his head, post-mortem, here.

4. Although I have never lived there as a permanent resident, I consider Michigan my home state. Sixty-nine of my direct biological ancestors spent all or part of their lives in that state between 1836 and the present. This includes all ancestors from my parents through my great-great-grandparents' generation, plus many in the older generations, including two sets of 5th-great-grandparents. In addition, I have 12 direct adoptive ancestors and 25 step-ancestors (married to my direct ancestors) who were also Michigan residents.

5. If I never find another ancestor, I still will consider my genealogical research to be successful, as my first goal when I began my quest was to reunite my paternal grandmother with her biological family. She and her younger brother had been kidnapped from their mother's home by her father when she was three years old, and abandoned at an orphanage. I was successful in achieving my goal, and you can read some of this story in my great-grandmother's AnceStory.

There, you now know more information about me than you ever cared to learn! I hereby tag Cameron and Maureen, David Bowles, Maureen Taylor, Denise Olsen, and Dana Huff. Pass it on, folks!
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