Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman





Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blogging From A to Z - 2014





I did it. I signed up for Blogging From A to Z April Challenge for 2014. I will be posting tips and tricks for writers. The April schedule is below.


This challenge was a lot of fun (if sometimes stressful) last year when I wrote about Arizona and its history. This year I'm doing something that I think many will find helpful. Tips for writers of memoir, genealogists and family history writers and writers in general.

So I hope you will join me this Tuesday for the beginning of this fun-filled month. If you are interested in joining in with your own blog or visiting others on the list you can find all that information here. Last year I made new friends and learned a great deal from other Bloggers.

Let's get Writing . . .





Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Cemeteries and Word Prompt

Pioneer Cemetery Tour, Downtown Phoenix, March 22.

Volunteering to preserve our history.
Doug and I before the tour.  Doug getting in to character.

Mrs. Gray, mother of William T. Gray. 

Sheriff  Lindley H. Orme of Maricopa County.


Wife of Thomas Barnum who died in 1909. A cousin to the circus Barnum.

Part of the tour group I led. Mrs. William Hancock. He was a Maricopa
 County district attorney and probate judge. 

Phoenix Marshal Henry Garfias

Josie, wife of James Monihon. He was a Phoenix mayor and was instrumental in 
bringing the railroad to the area.

Sheriff Joe Phy was killed at the Tunnel Saloon in Florence in 1888.

Sheriff Noah M. Broadway who once had a ranch on Broadway Road in south Phoenix.

The entire cast of characters.
Noah Broadway (Mark Broadley), Henry Garfias (Gary Tone), Lindley Orme (Jay Johnson), Wife of James Monihon (Christina Delgrado), wife of Thomas Barnum (Megan Taylor), wife of William Hancock (Tammy Haas), Josephus Phy (Doug Ackerman) and the mother of William Gray (Judy Smith).

The avenue of hearses.


This was a fundraiser for the Arizona Historical Cemetery Association and the Phoenix Pioneer Cemeteries.

We also got to listen to another actors Ovilus Mini from www.GhostOutlet.com. It was really cool!

What volunteer jobs have you had over the years?

Word Prompt: leaves

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cemeteries and a Word Prompt

I began doing my genealogy soon after we got married in 1976.  Our daughter, born four years later, grew up visiting cemeteries. It's part of the research. She has always had an uncanny knack for finding family stones.

People used to joke that I had more photos of gravestones than I did of family members. Well, often times that is all that is left. Distant cousins have sent me photos from across the country. The cemetery above is in Illinois where my great grandmother, Nellie, was born.



One of the stones in this cemetery is her great grandfather. Abner Keith was born when our country was new and died after the Civil War. Can you imagine the things he saw and experienced in his long life. 
He was born in Pennsylvania, spent time in Kentucky and then in Illinois. He followed the western movement with thousands of other pioneers. 


My great great grandfather James W. George was born in Barbour County, Virginia in 1839. With the Civil War the area became part of West Virginia. He is buried in Kansas in the same cemetery as my mother, my brother, and numerous other relatives. When you look at things like this is it amazing how recent those events really were. He died in 1909.

One more I'll share came from a distant cousin in Ohio. This is the stone in the center of the Martin family plot. I didn't know about many of these siblings of my great great grandfather so you can imagine how exciting it was to receive this information; besides the sense of contact their stone and its photo brings me.
William Martin was born in 1811 in Baltimore, Maryland and died in Ohio. His wife, Ura Sands, was from a Quaker family who came to America and settled first in Pennsylvania. 



I still visit family graves whenever possible. We have found quite a few of my husband's family in Washington state during the last few years. With learning about paranormal research a new dimension has been added. Perhaps we have actually talked to some of them through EVPs (electronic voice phenomena.)

Whatever your belief cemeteries are a link to the past and one that is sadly neglected in many places. Thankfully, those interested in genealogy and history are refurbishing these old cemeteries and gathering information and stories about those buried there.

One such group is the Pioneer Cemetery Association in Phoenix. We are members of this group and on March 22 my husband will be performing as Sheriff Josephus Phy during a tour of the cemeteries. Hope to see many of our friends there learning about our history and supporting this great group. For more information go to the Phoenix Pioneer Cemeteries. I hope others are doing the same for where my ancestors are buried.

Word Prompt: gravestones

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' and a Word Prompt


Any of my readers who have been around for awhile know I love the Old West. I'm happiest when watching men in black frock coats, ladies with bustles and listening to the clip-clop of horses hooves and the thump of  boots on the boardwalk.

Last week our grandsons were in town so we took them out to Rawhide. This is a rebuilt Rawhide south of Phoenix and although I'm not real crazy about it I had to share this taste of the West with the boys. 

Papa taught them how to play checkers.


Alex experienced reaching new heights.


And riding the bull.




While Brendan rode the rapids.



They weren't too sure about the gunfights at first but eventually realized nobody was really getting hurt and the gunshots were just loud noises.


We have given Brendan many cowboy sets for gifts and he plays with them all the time. I try to give him bits of information about real outlaws and lawmen to base his play on. I can only imagine what this trip has created in his mind. The one thing we didn't get to do is ride in a stagecoach which was disappointing because he loves his toy stagecoach. It rained hard the day before and they couldn't take the horses and wagons out into the desert. I was disappointed but seeing the Wild West through another generation's eyes will always be a special memory for me.


Before they left I made sure we watched "Gunsmoke" and "The Rifleman" on ME TV. There's nothing like those shows for teaching lessons and jump starting imaginations. 

Do you have special memories related to the legends of the Old West? Did you watch the wonderful old Westerns on television? Do you enjoy movies about the Wild West?

Word Prompt: Wagons