Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Being A Male

While driving down the country road on Saturday afternoon, Bill notices something interesting on the side of the road and nearly (because I screamed "stop") runs into the car in front of us.

What was it that gained his full attention, you may ask?

Bikini Car Wash.

Yeah, you read that right. Bikini Car Wash like girls in bikinis washing cars.

Explain that one to the insurance company.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wednesday's Hero

A special thanks to Greta and Silke of Hooah Wife for their help.To every man and woman who has served and is serving in the United States military, thank you for everything that you do and have done. And every man and woman who's given their life for the cause of freedom will never be forgotten.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

John Wayne

"There's a generation of Americans that kind of grew up with Wayne, matured with Wayne and grew old with Wayne, through all the trials and traumas of modern American history - and in doing so, found in him a voice they understood."

I generally read the news on-line. So when I came across this article about the 100th birthday of John Wayne, I needed to add my own piece of history to the story.

My grandfather, William J. Gallagher II loved John Wayne (he watched every single movie he ever made) and I did not realize until I read this article that John Wayne was not only close to my grandfather's age in life but died one year before him. I guess I knew it but never really paid much attention to it. So, why take notice now? I cannot answer that question. I can tell you family is very important to me and maybe it is because I have been through some sh!! lately with my own family that I just took notice of the article and its reminder of another person whom I cherished "once upon a time in my life".

I was close to my grandfather. I adored him. He was a terrific role-model who loved life with all its challenges and successes. He was a simple man who loved simple things and like his hero believed there was a right way and a wrong way to live life. (I do, however, wonder if he knew John Wayne was married three times. I am not sure the grandfather I knew would approve of that.)

Like the character John Wayne played in the movies, my grandfather was strong of character, popular among his peers and extremely patriotic.

If you want to read this article, here is the link. http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070523/D8PA4RO80.html

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Count Down To Ava Marie

Jackie & Joey's Baby Shower "May 20th, 2007"

Getting Ready For The Party

This is where I will add my disclaimer for any pictures my family hates of themselves.

My mind was preoccupied, therefore I cannot be held accountable for capturing the following looks (above) on my mother's or (below) on Chrissy's face. And of course, these are the only pictures I took of these two. I should be promptly taken outside and shot. (kidding)

But I should be given a little credit. I did manage to get several of the mother-to-be, Jackie.

With all her friends,

And her relatives,
And her mother,

Along with my sister,

And the grandmothers,

Aunts and Cousins,

The happy parents-to-be,
And my sweet little Nikolas,

I believe all and all,
The shower was a success.

Oh and of course, it never occurred to me to ask someone else to take my camera and snap my picture so when little Ava looks at these in twenty years, it appears her own Mom Mom was not even there. But, I was there, Ava. Really. It was my house.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Montefiore Cemetery

We drove out to Lawnview to locate the grave of Alexander Mervine, my paternal great great grandfather who like my maternal great great grandfather, John Keller, fought in the Civil War.

Alexander Mervine was originally interred in Odd Fellows Cemetery but since that cemetery was bought then sold to the City of Philadelphia in 1950, the interred bodies were relocated to Mount Peace and Lawnview in 1951.

Unfortunately for us, Lawnview's office was closed so we could not be directed to the actual grave site. However, we did ride out and check the grounds. The place is kept in immaculate condition and we will return next weekend when the cemetery's office is actually opened.

But in the meantime, we checked out the cemetery located next to Lawnview. Upon entering its gates, we realized that this particular cemetery was not part of Lawnview (as we first thought) but was a Jewish graveyard. We had never been in a Jewish Cemetery so we were taken aback on its grounds especially how crowded it was. The headstones were so close together it appeared by our eyes that these folks could not have been possibly buried in the horizontal position. Of course, we (being Catholics) had no idea on the actual burial rituals of the Jewish population so you know I will be researching this in the future.

What I know about this cemetery so far;

It was opened in 1910 and located at Church Road and Borbeck Streets in Rockledge, PA. You can view this cemetery while standing in parts of Lawnview cemetery.

History of the name known as Montefiore;

Moses Montifiore was born October 24th, 1784 in Livorna, Italy. He left Italy and made his home in London, England. He was a successful business man. In 1812, he married Judith Cohen. Knighted by Queen Victoria in 1846 he received the title of 1st Baron. He was given this honor due to his extraordinary service on behalf of the Jewish community. He died July 28th, 1885. He had no children.

Montefiore cemetery pictures to follow at a later date.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Maps Of Austria And Poland Borders


21st Century Borders

19th Century Galicia

19th Century Borders

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Origin Of The Wislocki Surname

Other spelling include; Vislosky, Weslawski, Wesowsky, Wesolowski, Wyszalkowski, Wyczechowski, Wyczolkowski.

In the case of our family history, it was found spelled Wisloski and later Weleski.

Name originated in Wadwicz, Lacki and area known as Pomerania. Depending on the year, it could be considered Germany or Poland or whatever, the borders changed so much that after several hours of researching, I could write an entire chapter of who ruled who back when. Anyway, this name dates back to families of nobility in the middle ages.

First people with this surname immigrated to the states of Pennsylvania and New York in the early and late 19th century.

Missing Link

While researching this branch of our family history, I became alittle baffled as to why our ancestors were listed as immigrating from Austria but spoke Polish and Russian. If you look at a present day map of Europe, these two countries do not share a border.

However, if you look at a later 19th century map of Europe, you will be surprised to see that the Austrian Empire did border the Kingdom of Poland after what was known as the Partitions of Poland which occurred in 1772 and again in 1795. The Austrian Empire annexed Poland by creating an area and calling it Galicia that connected Austria to Poland. In 1846, Galicia became a part of Austria.

In Austrian controlled Galicia, the population was 50% Polish Catholics. If you look closely at some of the Wisloski records, you will notice that some members were indeed listed as arriving from Galicia.

Borders changed again after World War I when Galicia became part of Poland.

After World War II, Galicia was divided between Poland and the Ukraine.

Here Is A Little More 19th Century European History;

In the 19th century there was a great power struggle between the two dominate German States of Prussia and Austria. However, Prussia was victorious and in 1866 what was known as the North German Confederation was founded and the following areas were under Prussia's control; Austria, Schleswig, Holstein, Alsace-Lorraine and Westphalia. Later the following areas were also controlled by Prussia; Thuringia, Saxony, Wurttenburg and Bavaria.

Though by the end of the 18th century, half of the Kingdom of Poland was under Prussian rule, the Kingdom of Poland consisted of Lithuania, Belarus and half of the Ukraine.

The Western and Central part of the Kingdom of Poland were of Polish Ethnic and Catholic backgrounds. The Northeastern section was a mixture of Catholic Poles and Lithuanians. This area is now known as the Republic of Lithuania. The Eastern part of the Kingdom of Poland was of Belarussian and Ukrainian backgrounds.

Also under the Prussian control were the provinces Pomerania, Silesia and East Prussia. These areas are now a part of Poland.

After World war I, Pomarania remained under Germany's control. Most of its inhabitants were German speaking and Protestants. But after World War II, it became a part of Poland and its German inhabitants either escaped from the country or were expelled and the Poles settled in the area.

Before Silesia fell under Prussia's rule in 1742, Silesia was a part of Austria. The German language and culture stems back to the 13th century. In the 19th century, most of the population was Catholic. In the Western & Central locations, German was spoken. In the Eastern location, Polish was spoken. After World War II, most of Silesia became a part of Poland and a small section went to Saxony. Just as the Germans in Pomerania, the German inhabitants living in Silesia were expelled or escaped and the Poles settled the area.

East Prussia was a population of German Lutherans. After World War II, East Prussia was divided between Poland and Russia. The German inhabitants escaped or were expelled and the Poles and Russians settled the area.

This is just a small taste of the history of the areas' constantly changing borders. Between the variations in the language, maps and name changes, my head is on a free fall spin. Maps will follow at a later date, that is when I can see straight enough again to post them.