Thursday, February 13, 2020

DeOldify your photos has released a program that colorizes old photos. 

You can sign in for free and test out the program. It looks like after you do a few it requests you sign up for a paid membership.

The results are very cool though not perfect, but I'm sure it will improve in the future. In the meantime, it will be fun to play around with.

As soon as I finish organizing and digitizing my photo collection, I'll probably sign up for an account and start creating colorized versions of all my photos.

June 1922. Possibly my grandmother Ruth McFadden Webb (1905-1985) and an unknown girl

An unknown family and location

An unknown woman sitting on a car with a man visible through the window

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Old cylinder recordings and my grandfather

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The UCSB Library invites you to discover and listen to its online archive of cylinder recordings; donate to help the collection grow; and learn about how these sounds and songs create an audio history of American culture.

The UC Santa Barbara Library has a digital library of a lot of old cylinder recording from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

They have all types of recordings from music, speeches, sermons, vaudeville etc. I love listening to them and can spend hours just browsing the collection.

Then I came upon this recording:  He'd have to get out and get under (to fix up his automobile).

I then recalled an old photo of my Grandfather, Clyde Lee Webb from circa 1915.

 Clyde is the man under the car. The other person is unknown.

According to the site the song was released about 1913, so it may have been fairly popular back then. I wonder if the writing was a reference to the song. It's seems quite likely. Putting a pop-culture reference on a photo is something I would definitely do.

It's kind of  strange. When I knew my grandfather he impatient and seemed humorless and not much fun to be around. Something as simple as this all these years later kind of makes me feel a little closer to him.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Ireland Trip - Last Day and back to Dublin Airport

For my final day, I was hoping to squeeze in a few more interesting sites.

The Glenveagh Castle at Glenveagh National Park.

I was there early for the tour, so I was able to walk along the grounds and part of the park for a while. It is an interesting place, and since October is the off season it was quiet and you could just look and reflect. 

Next was the Dunfanaghy Workhouse. 


The tour tells of a woman Hannah who spent some time in the workhouse during the famine years. This was around the same period my great great grandparents and family left and settled in the US.

My flight was for the next morning but due to poor planning I didn't realize I'd need to be on the road at by 3 AM to get to the airport. Besides, I would rather be able to see the countryside and any interesting places to stop rather than drive in the dark so I decided to leave that afternoon.

Not long after heading out I came to I think the village of Dunfanaghy  With it being cold and rainy the beach was deserted. 

Along the way I saw many ruins like this. Unfortunately, most I couldn't see a way to stop and explore. This was one of the larger ones and from the window to the left on the first picture, I'm guessing it was a church. 

It would be fun to research these buildings, find out how old they were and who lived in and around the area back then, but that's a project for another day.

There were a lot of other things I wanted to do but didn't have the time. I'll definitely need to come back someday.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Ireland Trip - Day 11

There were quite a few things I wanted to see and do in the area, unfortunately I wasn't able to get to all of them. Many of these historical markers and objects were out of the way on non-paved roads or trails. It had rained almost every day of my trip so far, I decided not to go after dark since I didn't see any lights at most of the places and didn't want to get my car stuck anywhere with poor phone reception.

My first stop was the Coughaneely Stone.

The legend is that this is the stone on which Balor, the one-eyed mythical king of nearby Tory Island, decapitated the local chieftain, Mac Aneely.

Next I stopped by the ruins of the late medieval Tullaghobegley Church and graveyard.

The birthplace of Saint Columba 521-597

As I did this I wandered around and just took in the scenery. The pictures really don't do it justice.
I really wanted to hike or bike this mountain and area.
I'll just need to come back someday.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Ireland Trip - Day 10

This was my final day to do research in Ireland. I visited the Donegal County Library in Letterkenny. It was about a 45 minute drive from Falcarragh.

I didn't find anything about my family but did a lot of reading on the area and its history. I also found several more names to look into to see if there is any relationship.

After finishing at the library I did a little self-guided walking tour. I'll definitely plan to come back here someday and spend a little more time.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Ireland Trip - Day 9

Day 9 was a Sunday and not too much was going on in town. I went out and took another walk around town and except for an occasional car I saw very few people out and about.

I came to Falarragh Cemetery and wandered around there for a while. There were quite a few McFadden's and Ferry's but I didn't see any Collum's. No telling yet if some might have been distant cousins.

 Because it was cold and rainy, after lunch I decided to get in the car and drive around the mountains and look around.  I drove over this bridge a few times before I realized the stone next to it with writing.

This is where family and friends would say goodbye as others walked over the mountains to emigrate to other locations. It's about 40 miles to the port of Londonderry and about a 12 hour walk. It's likely my great great grandparents and family took this path to come to the US about 1850.

It reads:

"Family and friends of the person leaving for foreign lands would come this far. Here was the separation. This is the Bridge of Tears".

I think it might be interesting to hike this route starting at the bridge and ending up at the Londonderry port, but that's an activity for another trip.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ireland Trip - Day 8

The official research part of my trip was finished but I definitely wasn't ready to return home yet.

I returned to Dublin airport to pick up my rental car and drive to Falcarragh, County Donegal. It was about a 4 hour drive and as I got closer the roads got narrower. I later learned that the GPS directed me to the back roads rather than the main roads.

I stayed at the Loft B&B which is attached to the Loft Pub. It was a quiet street and the pub closes at 11 so it was a great place to stay.

I checked in then went out and walked around town. It was a small, quiet place, quite a change from Dublin.  

After a while, I returned to the pub, got some dinner and a Guinness or two. Everyone I met was very nice and when they inquired about my trip I said that I was doing family history research and mentioned the names I was looking for. Everyone replied, "yeah, there are a bunch of them around."

Unfortunately none of them said, "hey, you need to meet John down the road," then called, which would spur him to come on over to the Loft pub and he'd fill in all my Irish brick walls. So instead I had another Guinness then went back to my room to plan what I was going to do for the next few days.