Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Prompt (Week Twenty) Posted at AnceStories2

I just posted another prompt over at AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. It's been a month since I posted a journaling prompt; life's been very busy this past month, but it's been more than that. I was enjoying posting my own responses to my prompts here on this blog, but I got bogged down with the last one, "Your Community." I started writing a great post, got a touch of writer's block on it, and additionally, could not find the photos I wanted to scan to illustrate it. It was too much and I gave up! Blogging, in my opinion, is supposed to be fun, so if it stops being fun, I don't do it!

Anyway, this week's prompt is "Your Reads," and it's all about the magazines, newsletters, or newspapers that you grew up with or subscribe to today. When I was little, my maternal grandmother always used to subscribe me to Humpty Dumpty and Highlights! magazines. My mother had had Highlights! as a child, and I purchased subscriptions for my children when they were little, too. Highlights! has always accepted children's submissions of short stories, poems and drawings for publications. I wasn't into writing back then, but I would occasionally send off some original artwork. They never were published, and looking back, I know why!

My parents always received Guideposts and Reader's Digest and National Geographic. Dad had his NGs encased in specially purchased storage boxes. Some of the oldest were water-damaged from when the Nenana River flooded Fairbanks, Alaska when I was a baby, filling our apartment with 2 1/2 feet of water. And speaking of National Geographic, when I was 12, I received a year's subscription to National Geographic World (for kids). I always liked the posters of wild animals in those.

I don't really remember our family having a subscription, but the local newspaper for our area was the Ketchikan Daily News. Our barn made the front page in 1978 when a tremendous windstorm blew through Southeast Alaska and uprooted and snapped trees all over Prince of Wales Island. A huge spruce next to the barn was uprooted, and it took the barn with it. Another regional magazine was Alaska magazine (of course!).

Being in the ministry, my parents also received religious publications. I remember New Wine magazine (the Charismatic movement), Decision (Billy Graham's publication) and The War Cry (the publication of The Salvation Army). I also enjoyed reading Sunday School papers, because they usually had a serial story done up in comic book style on the back page. At school, I remember getting Scholastic newsletters, and being able to order paperback books from them.

As my parents really got into their little homestead and farming lifestyle, they subscribed to Mother Earth News, and received the National Pygmy Goat Association newsletter (Dad was on the board for a few years, and even wrote a couple of articles for the newsletter, including one about shooting the bear on our front porch. What? I haven't told you that one? Maybe later...). They also received a magazine about New England rural life (which I can't for the life of me remember), and the newsletter for a Frisian-American ethnic society (again, the name slips my mind).

In my home today, you'll find my genealogy magazines, Internet Genealogy and Family Tree Magazine, as well as quarterlies and/or newsletters from the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, the Western Michigan Genealogical Society, the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Historical Society and the Potter County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society. We also receive Energy Times, Smart Computing, Guideposts, and Nostalgia (Inland Empire edition), as well as quarterly publications from our health insurance and auto/home insurance companies. My husband subscribes to Reminisce, Reminisce Extra! and Good Old Days magazines. My teenage daughter receives Seventeen and Cosmo Girl, and my son loves his subscription to Mad magazine. We also tend to pick up many favorites at our local library, as well as visit magazine and newspaper websites online.

What do you read? What did your ancestors read? What (and how) will your descendants read?


Craig Manson said...

I read a lot of history, of course, a lot of fiction, and much law and public policy (because I have to). I read a zillion blogs a day on genealogy, law, pop culture, and other stuff. Go back four generations in my family and you find most people didn't know how to read! I have many family documents signed with an "X". My dad taught me how to read before I went to school, and it's been the key to my success. I worry a bit that coming generations won't read anything but text messages on their phones. Imagine Shakespeare rendered in "text-speak!"

Miriam Robbins said...

I, too, read before I went to school. I explicitly remember reading Dr. Suess' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish at age three! (My reading material has gotten a bit more complex since then.)

Thanks for commenting, Craig!

Janice said...


Great article... I wish I knew more about my ancestor's reading habits. It really does help us to know them better.

By the way, I'll assume you had ancestors in Potter Co PA... will you share which ones?


Miriam Robbins said...

Janice, my known Potter County, Pennsylvania ancestors include:

Nelson H. PECK (c. 1819 - 1839) - I'm not sure how he connects with all the other PECKs in the area

His wife, Lura Ann JACKSON (1826 - bef. 1900), daughter of Joshua JACKSON, Sr. (c. 1780 - c. 1820) and his second wife, Elsie ROUNDS (1790 - 1869). Joshua's first wife was Miriam STANDISH, descendant of Myles STANDISH of Pilgrim fame.

Nelson and Lura had one child, Viola Gertrude PECK (1848 - 1918) who married Charles H. ROBBINS. Charles never lived in Potter County to my knowledge, but both his parents were ROBBINS. His maternal grandfather was the infamous Uzza ROBBINS, who was executed in neighboring McKean County for poisoning his second wife, Wealthy (BRIGGS) CLARK and attempting to murder his step-daughter.

Some of the collateral lines include CRAPSEY, LYMAN, PHOENIX, REES, TAGGART, and WEIMER.

Specific Potter County locations of include Coudersport; Roulette; Eulalia Township; Sweden Township; as well as Broome County, New York.

See any connections?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post, thanks! A whole new thing to think about and I'll have to ask some elder relatives what magazines they recall lying around the house. Certainly we've still got a handfull of LIFE magazines (JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Man on Moon, etc.), but beyond that and Readers Digest, I don't know much.

I regularly read Internet Genealogy (and have written for them too), and also regularly read Family Tree Magazine, Ancestry Magazine, and website Magazine. The latter may sound strange, but as a marketing consultant, it helps me stay ahead of what is happening online. In fact, I think many would enjoy reading at least one issue. The web has become so important for online research and it's to all our benefit to understand the 'under the covers' web, to get the most out of our online search experience.

If you like puzzles as much as you do reading, try to with the genealogy puzzle with Cash Prize at my new site.

Dan Lynch

Miriam Robbins said...

Dan, thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope your drop by again soon! I have enjoyed reading many of your articles in genealogy magazines. Your site looks to be a lot of fun, and I'll keep returning in hope of solving the puzzle!