Stormy Weather – Family Finds

Camp Parole, near Annapolis, MD

I enjoy researching family oral history and finding records to validate the story. But, sometimes the records reveal there is much more to the story. One such story involves some stormy weather and my great-great-grandfather, William Rumple, who served in the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War. The story told is he laid in the mud for two days during a battle and became chronically ill as a result.

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Sports – Family Finds

Sheepish Sports – Sheep to Shawl

During the 1980’s, my mother, Betty LaFara, participated in a competitive, team sport called Sheep to Shawl. As the name suggests, the competition begins with a sheep and ends with a shawl. A sheep is sheared, the fleece is carded and spun into yarn, the yarn is then woven into fabric, and finally, the fabric is fashioned as a shawl. It is a timed event, typically set at 2 to 4 hours depending on the amount of preparation allowed. An event is made up of 4 to 10 competing teams. Team size is set by the event organizers but will include at least one shearer, three spinners, and one weaver.

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Fun and Games – Family Finds

My father, Bob LaFara, grew up in the Indianapolis east-side neighborhood of Irvington during the 1930’s. The LaFara family lived in a house on South Ritter, right next door to public school #57. Recently, for the prompt “In the City,” I shared a story my father wrote about his childhood neighborhood. [1] This week, I am sharing another one of his childhood stories, “Bob’s Tires.” [2] This one is about fun and games with some old tires. It’s the sort of game a boy during the depression years could create with found items.

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In the City – Family Finds

Bob LaFara, 1937
Bob LaFara, 1937

My father, Bob LaFara, lived most his life in the city of Indianapolis. He told many stories about his childhood, growing up in the east-side neighborhood of Irvington.  My father created his own website back in the early 90’s called Bob’s Crafts, in addition to craft projects, he also shared a few of his stories. This week I am sharing one of his stories about life in the city when he was a boy.

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Health – Family Finds

Finding genealogical records pertaining to the health of our ancestors is rare. I have found the occasional mention of illnesses in local newspapers. And, if a death record exists then the cause of death is either an indicator of general health or a final illness. For more recent ancestors, I have relied on family oral history for stories of serious illness or celebrated health. This week I put some of the oral histories to the test and find supporting records. I will also share some of the more interesting reports of illness discoveries I have made.

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