More on Gallop

A few months ago Stephen Plowman wrote about the Gallop coat of arms as recorded in the 1677 Visitation of Dorset.  It’s an interesting topic for me because I’m a descendant of immigrant Capt. John Gallop (c1593-1650) — like so many other Americans.

Now Plowman is back with more on the Gallops. This time the question is where they got the quartering with the white bear (Azure a bear passant Argent).

Greenland arms
Arms of Greenland

No one knows the origin of these arms. Under English heraldic rules these should be the arms of a heraldic heiress, a woman who transmits her father’s arms to her descendants because she has no brother.

There are two heiresses recorded in the Gallop pedigree at the Visitations. They are Alice, daughter of William Temple, of Templecombe; and Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Thorne, of Caundle Marsh. These arms aren’t known to match to either family. So the mystery remains.

I can’t help but see this figure as a polar bear. It reminds me of the arms of Greenland (Azure a polar bear rampant Argent). Not that Greenland makes any sense in this context, but I love polar bears so I’m always going to see the polar bear connection if there’s one anywhere in the vicinity. (Totally off-topic, but I have a polar bear charm with snow flake obsidian that used to hang from the rear-view mirror of my car.)

Plowman notes the arms quartered with Gallop in this instance match those on record for Aresen (Denmark), in Rietstap’s Armorial Général. An unlikely lead, but it’s the best anyone has so far. Now that I know, I’ll be watching for other instances of a white bear on a blue background.

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Phil Marincic

The guy who bought Great Grandpa Will Luce’s ranch in Big Piney, Wyoming was Phil Marincic (1899-1969). I haven’t done any research on his family, although I’ve been intending to. It says he was born in Italy. I’m surprised. Somehow I had the idea he was from Croatia, like John Radosevich. I’m also surprised he belonged to Grandma’s generation. I just assumed he was a contemporary of her father.

Edit: But now I see some sources say he was born in 1889 instead of 1899, and some sources say he was born in Yugoslavia rather than Italy. So there is more work to do.

The 1956 Wyoming Brand Book shows Michael Marincic with the LU Quarter Circle (167-23) and Donald Paul Marincic with the Flying Heart (414-36), both of which were originally Will Luce’s brands.

John Radosevich

The guy who bought the Swanstrom place in Farson, Wyoming was John Radosevich (1908-1986). He was born in Croatia and came to America as a child. He was part of an extensive family who settled in Rock Springs. I can’t remember when that was. Maybe 1966 or 1967.

Mabel (Eberle) Romish

Grandma Vivian Swanstrom’s best friend from nursing school, and maybe earlier, was Mabel Eberle. It was Mabel who went on the day trip to Rawlins on the day Grandma and Grandpa ended up getting married.

Over the years, in the back of my mind, I always kind of wondered what happened to Mabel. I thought she and Grandma must have had some kind of falling out, else she ought to have been still around somewhere when I was growing up.

But no. That wasn’t it at all. I decided a few weeks ago to see what I could find out. In our modern world of computerized databases she was easy enough to find: Mabel (Eberle) Romish. I had remembered only her maiden name. I knew but had forgotten she was Mabel Romish.

Mabel was born in 1898, so she was three years older than Grandma. She graduated from nurses’ training in 1928, the year after Grandma. I think*. I’ll have to look it up. The way I remember the story, at Grandma’s graduation Grandma looked out at the audience and saw Harry Swanstrom, whom Grandma knew from childhood. He had just come home that day from his time in the army, and was sitting with his mother Josephine who was Grandma’s landlady. Grandma later married him, on a dare from Mabel. The three of them had taken Grandma’s brand new DeSoto Roadster (yellow with red wheels) to Rawlins for the day. So, that would be 1927.

Mabel died suddenly of a heart attack in 1939, when Mom was three. And that’s why I never met her. The story reminds me what a private person Grandma was. She would mention Mabel in passing, for example in stories about rock hunting, but never once did she tell the story about Mabel’s death.

* My sense of the chronology here must be mistaken. Grandpa Swanstrom enlisted on 23 Dec. 1921, served in the Philippines, and was discharged on 22 Dec. 1924. If indeed he appeared at Grandma’s graduation on his first day home, she must have graduated in 1924 or perhaps, more likely, in the spring of 1925.

Updated May 17, 2020 to add link. Updated May 23, 2020 to add note about the chronology.

Use Your Phone for Negatives

From Janet Maydem at Family History Daily:

Wouldn’t it be nice to see what’s really on all those old family photo negatives or slides you’ve been carefully collecting and storing? If so, you might be ready to try out a negative scanner app (also known as a film scanner app). These free apps are designed to quickly scan old black and white and color film negatives and positive slides and turn them into digital photos.

Read more: You Can Now Use Your Phone to Turn Old Negatives and Slides Into Photos

Hard On Equipment

I participate in a genealogy community where I often end up working with this woman EH. She’s not a particularly good genealogist. In fact, she’s quite awful. Her confidence in her own abilities far exceeds anything rational, but that doesn’t stop her from having an opinion about anything and everything.

Everyone loves her, though. She’s a bit like Donald Trump in that way. She’s got an ear for political advantage. She’s an unfailing cheerleader for those who resent the system but if one of her lame ducks breaks something it’s not her problem, and if there’s ever any bad news to be delivered she’s off doing something else.

So here’s the funny thing. The other night I had a dream that connected Erica to a familiar character type. We all know the guy who never uses the right tool so his projects are a mess. That’s Erica.

In my dream she was the guy in the Corb Lund song, Hard On Equipment.

I recommend going over to YouTube to hear it, but if you don’t have time:

He's been roundin' off bolts since the age of fourteen 
Was that a five-eighths or a nine-sixteenths?
He's got a metric socket that don't quite fit
Well it'll wiggle just a little but it ain't quite stripped

The safety guard's gone from his grinding machine
He got a stiff paint brush he only sorta got clean
He's the hired man, the neighbor and a cousin in law
He's a jerry riggin' fool, he got the tool for the job

Well it's vise grips for pliers, pliers for a wrench
A wrench for a hammer, hammer's everything else
It just don't seem to make much difference
I sure do like him but he's hard on equipment

His corners ain't square and his floor ain't level
And he's always had trouble with the old tape measure
His doors don't close 'cause the jamb ain't plumb
And he's a Goddamn menace with an air nail gun

They love to see him comin' at the lumberyard store
Fixed the leak in his roof with a two by four
Drilled holes in his boards with the wrong kinda bit
And when they don't line up he blames the government

He got the whole front yard full of fix 'em up cars
Three don't run and the rest won't start
Well, everything's fine with his rebuilt motor
Except of course for the couple spare washers left over

Baler wire tie-downs goin' down the road
On two bald tires and an oversize load
He ain't never read a manual 'cause that's like cheatin'
He don't mind the grease on his hands while he's eatin'

He's got busted up knuckles, his thumb got bruised
Jesus Christ was a carpenter, too

And that’s EH in a nutshell. Stop for a minute and think what that looks like applied to genealogy. Deep breath.

Pete Catches

Pete Catches was my dad’s “blood brother” (hunka).

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  • 10 Sacred Native American Places (Feb 27, 2017), at, visited Aug. 8, 2019. From the Grand Canyon, to the little known eerie Black Hills, these are 10 Sacred Native American Places !
  • Art In Motion presents Lakota Medicine Man Pete Catches: “Walks With Fire” (Sep 28, 2017), at, visited Aug. 8, 2019. I met the late Medicine Man, Pete Catches in Moscow, as part of the American contingent at the 7th Generation Conference, and then interviewed him in Philadelphia, although he lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Of all the “Holy people” I’ve ever met, Pete was the only one I ever believed could speak with the Almighty.
  • Pete Catches (Aug 5, 2009), at, visited Aug. 8, 2019. Medicine man Pete Catches sits down with Art In Motion. This 36 second spot is only a glimpse into the culture and life of Pete Catches.
  • Peter Catches sharing vision of Oceti Wakan (Aug 24, 2010), at, visited Aug. 8, 2019. Peter Catches (Jr.) sharing his vision of Oceti Wakan, a healing/educational center on the Pine Ridge Reservation for the Lakota people.
  • Sacred Buffalo People (Feb 26, 2009), at, visited Aug. 8, 2019. Pete Catches, Sr. tells a traditional story: how the bison and the Lakota came to be related.

Findagrave needs some empathy

A few days ago I wrote about how Findagrave had taken credit away from me, even though I added some close family graves first. Instead, they reversed their own algorithm in order to give credit to one of those people who compete with each other to see who can add the most memorials. A stranger.

Now I see an article by Judy Russell (“the Legal Genealogist”) suggesting oh so gently that Findagrave might want to reconsider the way they allow (I would say “encourage”) strangers to add memorials even while the family is in deepest mourning.

This struck a cord with me because this is what happened to me when my sister died. We weren’t even back from the funeral before a stranger had created her memorial on Findagrave, and added her obit, and picture.

It doesn’t take much for me to see that my sensitivity to having credit for my step-mother’s and step-brother’s memorials taken away from me is just that much worse because some other stranger grabbed the credit for my sister’s memorial.

Truly, the folks at Findagrave aren’t thinking about the human connection. They are working to reward the volunteers who churn out the volume and create the money. Which is really what matters.

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  • Judy G. Russell, A modest proposal (Aug 5, 2019), The Legal Genealogist, visited Aug. 5, 2019.

Rootsweb is back

Rootsweb is back up after 18 months in the toilet. I’m not cheering. The whole thing was mismanaged start to finish. It took them 18 months. Let that sink in.

Rootsweb is one of the old guard of genealogy websites that host user-contributed data. When Ancestry bought Rootsweb in 2000 they promised to take good care of the data, and not turn it into a pay site. (Yeah? I was skeptical too.)

Ancestry took the site down in December 2017 after discovering it had been hacked.

And they were oh so sad. They got everyone’s data back up and running but they couldn’t allow anyone to log in or remove their data. Safety concerns, you know. And if that meant they were locking thousands of users out of their own data, well surely you don’t think it’s intentional do you? All for your own good.

Now they’re back. I’m not celebrating. In fact, now that I have access to my data again the first thing I’m going to do is get it off this unreliable site.

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Edited to fix broken link.