Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancesors: #2 Stanislawa Frances Karpinski

Amy at No Story Too Small has challenged bloggers to post on 52 ancestors in 52 weeks.  I am hoping to post each Sunday.  I am going to use my pedigree chart starting with my great grandparents and go in order.  This might get a little hairy later on, but at least it will give me some things to research/write research plans for and will help with filling out my chart for 2014.

Pedigree #9, Ancestor 2/52: Stanislawa "Stella" Frances Karpinski Acquard, the wife of ancestor #1, Florian Dana Acquard.  Stella is my great grandmother and one of 2 great grandparents I met, though I unfortunately do not remember her (she died shortly after I turned 5).

Stella was born 6 May 1914 in Buffalo, Erie, NY to Franciszek “Francis” and Jozefa “Josephine” (Szydlik) Karpinski.  She was the fifth of 6 children.

She married Florian Dana Acquard on 28 December 1932 in Bennington Center, Wyoming, NY.  They had 6 children, including my grandfather, Theodore.  When her husband died in 1948, she married his brother, Walter John Acquard.  They did not have any children.

Stella died 26 January 1987 in Batavia, Genesee, NY of thyroid cancer.  Stella is buried next to her first husband in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Bennington Center, Wyoming, NY.

A few personal things about Stella are that she knitted my christening outfit, which my sister and some cousins also wore.  We took many photos of my son in the outfit as well.  After Stella had been widowed a second time, she moved into a home across the street from Attica Prison.  This always amazed me as a child, but my mother told me Stella said it was the safest place to be - after all, who would escape from the prison and go to the house directly across from it.


  • Marriage License
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Marriage Announcement
  • 1920 Census
  • 1940 Census
  • Find A Grave Memorial
  • SSDI Index


  • 1930 Census (
  • Obituary (


  • Birth Certificate (Buffalo)
  • Death Certificate (Batavia)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge: Post 1

I joined Joy's Book Blog's New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge, where you read 1-4 books relating to your New Year's resolution.  I chose books that focused on on my word of the year, savor, in a variety of ways.  Though I won't finish them by the end of January, I think having them to read throughout the year will be a good reminder of what I am  working on in 2014.

My books are as follows:
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
    • This is actually a reread for me.  It is the read along book for the challenge and fits my focus pretty well.
  • Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach
    • A great book that lasts all year focusing on appreciating the little things in life.
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
    • Savoring life will be much easier if I'm not stressed by my to do list pile at home and work.  This book has come highly recommended from a multitude of people, so I have high hopes.
  • Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thích Nhá̂t Hạnh and Lilian W Y Cheung
    • A Buddhist leader and a Harvard nutritionist offer cutting-edge science and deep Buddhist wisdom on the subject of eating with one's health and the welfare of the planet in mind.
As I mentioned above, the read along book is The Happiness Project.  The first set of questions were to be discussed today.

1. The first question is borrowed from The Happiness Project Reading Guide at HarperCollins. Gretchen argues throughout The Happiness Project that striving to be happy is a worthy, not selfish, goal. Do you agree? Do you think that Gretchen was right, or not, to devote so much time and attention to her own happiness? Do you spend much time thinking about your happiness?
I think it is definitely a worthy project, so long as you do not do it to the detriment of others.  I think at time she went a bit too far, but overall I think it was a good plan.  I don't spend nearly that much time thinking about my happiness mainly because I don't have that much free time or a book contract to do so.
2. Of the three topics covered in the first three chapters (Vitality, Marriage, and Work), which area would you like to improve the most in 2014? Why? Would some of the techniques that worked for Gretchen work for your situation?
I think I would like to focus on my marriage most.  Not because it has problems, but rather because we're still learning how to focus on each other while being parents.  I think she has some great tips in here and in her second book.
3. What idea from the first three chapters of The Happiness Project could use today that would likely make you happier?
"If you do new things — visit a museum for the first time, learn a new game, travel to a new place, meet new people — you’re more apt to feel happy than people who stick to more familiar activities."

I'm all about seeing and learning new things and definitely find that I am happier when pushing out of my normal routine.
4. What idea from the first three chapters of The Happiness Project are you pretty sure wouldn’t make you happier at all, even if it seems to work for Gretchen?
She definitely has much more time to research and think about her happiness.  I, unfortunately, can't just spend hours a day reading, thinking. and writing on my happiness.
5. What do you think of the structures that Gretchen uses to facilitate her Happiness Project? Would something like a Resolutions Chart help you? What about the concept of tackling a different theme each month?
I think a resolutions chart may help, but that would require a level of organization that I don't currently have.  I very much like the idea of a different theme each month, though within the overall framework of my year, which I guess is what she is doing though on a broader scale.  For instance, for January I am focusing on organization and increasing my productivity (hence book 3 above) so that I can more easily savor what is occurring without feeling rushed or stressed.  I'm still figuring out the rest of the year.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 Florian Dana Acquard

Amy at No Story Too Small has challenged bloggers to post on 52 ancestors in 52 weeks.  I am hoping to post each Sunday.  I am going to use my pedigree chart starting with my great grandparents and go in order.  This might get a little hairy later on, but at least it will give me some things to research/write research plans for and will help with filling out my chart from Saturday.

Pedigree #8, Ancestor 1/52: Florian Dana Acquard

Florian and Stella's Wedding (right)
Clarence Stafford, Best Man, and Alfreda Karpinski, Maid of Honor (left)
Photo is a scan of a photocopy I received from Dottie Wyckoff
I guess it's good to jump right in with one that I need to work on.  I have not done much research on my father's side of the family because I have a great aunt and great uncle who have traced the family very far back.  I need to ask for scans of vital records and other sources they have as soon as possible.

Florian was born the 9 August 1899 in Bennington Center, Wyoming, New York, the 11th of Joseph and Mary (Kohley/Kollin) Acquard's 12 children.  He married Stella Karpinski on 16 December 1932 in Bennington Center and had 6 children, Theodore (my grandfather), Ronald, and one son and three daughters who are still living.

Florian died young, at age 49 on 28 December 1948 of a cerebral hemorrhage.  According to my great aunt Dottie, he died because "he fell from a wagon when the part holding horses to wagon broke.  He landed on his front part of head.  A week or two later he had a cerebral hemorrhage."  He was buried at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Cemetery, Bennington Center, Wyoming, NY.

My father has the middle name of Florian after him and my uncle looks very much like him.  It is nice that part of him has been carried on.

Found on 4 January 2014:
  • Newspapers from Old Fulton Postcards
    • Death Announcement
    • Multiple Tax Announcements
    • Announcement on Administration of his Will
    • Wedding Announcement and 1 Year and 10 Year "Remember When" of Wedding
    • Birth Announcement of son Ronald
    • Miscellaneous Social Column Items
  • Vital Records from
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Marriage License
  • WWI Draft Record (Ancestry)
  • 1930 Census (Ancestry)
  • 1940 Census (FamilySearch)
  • Probate Record (Wyoming County Surrogate Court)
  • Find a Grave Memorial
  • Information from Aunt Dottie's Acquard Genealogy Binder
To Do List:
  • Federal and State Census Records (Ancestry)
  • Birth Certificate 
  • Death Certificate 
  • Newspaper Birth Announcements of Other 5 Children
  • Religious Records from Sacred Heart
  • Land Records
  • Get better copies of photos

Saturday, January 4, 2014

SNGF: What's Your Ancestor Score?

From Randy at Genea-Musings:
1)  Determine how complete your genealogy research is.  For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart'sWhat Is Your Genealogy "Score?"  For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.  

2)  Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method).  Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3)  Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

4)  For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart.

5)  Post your table, and your "Ancestor Score," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

My Table
As you can see, at 10 generations I have 15% done, but at 12 (the furthest back I can go), I have only 4%.  It will be fun to see if I can add to this at all this year.  I have to admit that this chart makes me jealous of those with New England ancestry :-)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Goals

Source: Facebook
It is time to write down my goals for the year and send them out into the universe.


  • Move with intention for at least 10 minutes every day and track on SparkPeople.
  • Blog at least 3 times a week remembering that though this started as a genealogy research blog (if only I could get the posts to transfer over...), recording my current life story is important as well and should be included.  I would love to have a life record written by my ancestors.
  • Spend time each day nurturing relationships with my husband, family and friends.  This includes having a sit down family dinner at least Friday-Sunday (nights my husband doesn't work).

    • No screens around him Monday-Friday night, except for texting photos and stories about him to my husband, sister and the grandparents.
    • Read every single night.
    • Stop worrying so much and just marvel at how amazing he is and all of the changes and developments he has.
    • Read 30 books and track on Goodreads.
    • Work on genealogy, either research, organization or ProGen, at least one hour every week.
    • Go to at least one new place every month.

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    Toward 2014

    Thank you to my friend RL for posting this on FB today.

    Last month in my ProGen course we made a list of our clients and time-sucks.  Who or what was most important in our life and what was keeping us from it.  I made my list of my "clients", starting with family and friends, then work, followed by education/professional development and hobbies such as traveling, reading and genealogy.  Finally, at the end of the list, I added myself.  An afterthought, really, and, as a new mother with a new job and not enough hours in the day or energy to make the most of them, I realized that that is how I have been treating myself, the most important "client" I have.

    I have never been one for New Year's resolutions; I instead prefer to pick a word for the year, such as explore or renew.  I think I first read about this in The Happiness Project and over the past few years it has provided a focus that a resolution cannot.  This year, based on the above paragraph, it seems like the obvious choice would be "balance" and yet that does not resonate within me.  I'm not a believer in balance, particularly not when life is being lived in such a fierce way.  My baby is growing up quicker then I imagined possible.  I have gotten onto the career path that I have been working towards for many years now and one I want to dive into as much as possible.  Yet at the same time, I want to remember it, to notice it, to stop worrying once in a while and just be.

    As such, 2014 shall be the year of "Savor".  To me, savor means taking the best of what is offered and enjoying it to the fullest.  I cannot do everything and be everywhere, no matter how hard I try, but I can say yes to those things that most interest me and then revel in them, for these truly are the days.

    Monday, December 30, 2013

    2013 in Review

    I know a lot of people who are happy for 2013 to be ending; they dealt with illness, infertility, divorce, loss.  Things no one wants to have happen, yet do.  And while my life wasn't perfect this year (due to my family and friends dealing with the above), it was the best one I have had to date.  It started with an amazing trip with my husband to Belgium and Luxembourg, peaked with our son being born and ended with a new job in my field.  I'm not sure how 2014 can beat this year, but I am looking forward to seeing it try.

    1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? Had a baby.
    2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm not a fan of resolutions; I much prefer a word of the year.  I have a post on that for tomorrow.
    3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Me!  And my cousin's wife had a little girl 4 months later to the day.  Also my college roommate and some of the women in the infertility group I am a part of.
    4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully.
    5. What places did you visit? Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent and Messancy (an ancestral village of mine), Belgium, Luxembourg City, Manchester, New Hampshire (NERGC), Kingston, Ontario, various wanderings around Central New York and a lot of trips to Buffalo.
    What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?  A raise?  Energy?  A trip to see friends in NYC and a spot at GRIP?  I honestly can't ask for much.
    7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 30th, when Julian was born.  October 1st, when I started my new job after 6+ years with Starbucks.
    8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?   Getting a job in a library.
    9. What was your biggest failure? Giving up the awesome exercise routine I had while on maternity leave.  Working full-time while having a child has quite the learning curve.
    10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Someone in my household has been sick pretty much every day since the end of October.  Daycare illness is just thrilling.  But compared to what a very important little girl in my life faced this year, I can't complain about anything in the department.
    11. What was the best thing you bought? My Windows 8 laptop that can be used as a tablet.
    12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband.  He is amazing with Julian.  I couldn't do it without him.
    13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? So many politicians.
    14. Where did most of your money go? Hospital bills, student loan repayments and daycare.
    15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Having a baby (I think we have a theme here) and getting a new job.  The trip to Belgium was pretty exciting, too.
    16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, which I hate but is rather catchy.  And Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
    17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    a) happier or sadder? Happier
    b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
    c) richer or poorer? Poorer
    18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Enjoying the moment in pregnancy, life before baby, maternity leave, Julian, etc.
    19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying.
    20. How did you spend Christmas in 2013? Christmas Eve with my mom's family, Christmas day with my dad's and this coming weekend with my in-laws.
    21. Did you fall in love in 2013? Very much so with Julian and even more so with Aaron.
    22. What was your favorite TV program? Criminal Minds.  I've watched it way too much this year.
    23. What did you do for your birthday in 2013? On the actual day worked, then took Julian to the pediatrician where he had to have a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia (ugh).  The Saturday before we went to the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute for the Robert Indiana from A to Z exhibit, lunch at a cute hot dog stand, read at Barnes and Noble and then Thai food at one of our favorite local restaurants.
    24. What was the best book you read? I'm currently reading Auschwitz : a doctor's eyewitness account which is phenomenal.  I also enjoyed Lean In and learned of the brilliance of Sandra Boynton.  
    25. What did you want and get? A healthy baby and safe delivery.
    26. What did you want and not get? To win the lottery.  I ought to start playing ;-)
    27. What was your favorite film of this year? I don't know that I really saw any new movies this year.
    28. Did you make some new friends this year? I did.
    29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Paid maternity leave and universal health care.
    30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? For the first part, "maternity leggings are amazing" and to end, "yes, I am riding the librarian stereotype bus all the way to the end in my cardigan."
    31. What kept you sane? My family.
    32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? The Pope.  Never thought I'd say that.
    33. What political issue stirred you the most? Gay marriage legalization.
    34. Who did you miss? My Grandpa Acquard.  I wish he could have met Julian.
    35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. Just keep pushing.