Thursday, June 28, 2012

Genealogy Update: Adam Schneider

In honor of today's Germany-Italy match, I'm proud to announce that I have identified 1/64 more of my ancestry that is German.

My recollection is that when I did most of my research in the mid-1990s, there seemed to be three Adam Snyders in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, two of whom I was related to. Since I could never figure out which was which, that made it hard to trace things.

William S. Nicholson
Now that so much more information is online, I am able to sort things out. I'm not sure how many Adam Snyders there were, but I'm pretty sure I can figure out which my two were.

Lucretia (Putman) Nicholson
Let's start with my great-grandfather, William S. Nicholson. Until my recent searches, he had been one of the two trickiest great-grandparents for me to determine ancestry. In fact, I had only been able to determine the ancestry of one of his great-grandparents. His mother was the former Lucretia Putman, and her grandfather, Peter Putman, emigrated from Germany in the mid-18th century. Peter is one of my ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War. His grandson, and Lucretia's father, William Putman, fought in the Civil War and died of his wounds. (So I was wrong when I said that I only had one ancestor who fought in the Civil War.)
Simon P. Nicholson

This site says that Peter's wife, Maria, was also from Germany, but I'm not going to count that until I can get more solid evidence.

Anyway, the new information is actually about William's father, Simon P. Nicholson. His mother was the former Phoebe Snyder, which is where the Snyders come into the line. Her father was Adam Snyder (or Schneider), and his father was Adam Schneider. Based on the text of the 1909 book A brief history of the Andrew Putman (Buttman, Putnam) Christian Wyandt (Weyandt, Weygandt, Voint, Wyand) and Adam Snyder families (Schneider) of Washington County, Maryland, I can conclude that the older Adam was, in fact, from Germany. So that's a second of William's great-grandparents whose origin has been found. Adam was also one of the founders of Somerset, PA. I remember seeing the historical marker about him when we visited in 2009, but I wasn't sure at the time if he was "mine".

The astute reader may notice the name "Putman" appearing again, even though we are looking at William's father, rather than his mother. In fact, Adam Schneider (the older) was married to Catherine Putman...Peter Putman's brother. First of all, this is another of William's great-grandparents identified as German. Second, this means that William's parents were third cousins. I've been waiting to find out where my family tree bends back on itself (everyone's does), and third cousins isn't such a bad way to have it happen.

One more thing...remember Peter's wife, Maria, who is possibly another German ancestor? She was Maria Schneider (Snyder), so there's at least a possibility that she was Adam's sister, which would make Simon and Lucretia third cousins on another side as well. I'm going to ignore that for now.

I'm also going to ignore the fact that the German Putmans were originally the French Huguenot Boutemonts -- with a few exceptions, I only care about the country of origin, and don't try to trace things back generations before that.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Geocoin Update: The Golden Rule

First, a terminology explanation. A "geocoin" is a (generally) trackable coin, minted for the purpose of being placed in geocaches. A "travel bug" is an object with a tracking "dog tag" attached, which is placed in geocaches.

If you attach a keychain to a geocoin (as I have done several times), you get the same thing as attaching a keychain to a travel bug dog tag, except you spend a little more money, and it's slightly more interesting (I hope!) to the finder. For example, you get an icon on your profile for each different type of coin that you find. (See picture to the right.)

In November 2010, I found a travel bug keychain called "Montana Plata". It was like my Maryland-themed keychain geocoins, except it was a travel bug and Montana-themed. I had hoped at the time that I would be able to do more geocaching, since the kids at four months old had gotten slightly easier to manage.

Well, they're still pretty darn time consuming. The only physical geocache I was able to find last year was in Estonia, and Montana Plata didn't fit.

Since I've been known to complain about people holding on to my geocoins too long, having Montana Plata for a year and a half weighed on my conscience.

So last weekend, I decided to take advantage of a Father's Day drive to drop it off. I used the geocaching app on my phone to find a nearby cache with the right attributes -- big enough to fit the coin, not too hard to find -- and headed for a cache named "Timberhollow". The instructions had me park at a historical marker, which was a waymark, so I got to work that in, too.

I had not planned ahead sufficiently to bring my actual GPS receiver, so I wasn't sure if I could find the cache -- the resolution on the phone isn't always great. Still, looking at Google Maps, I could tell I just had to walk 200 feet perpendicular to the road and look for a hollow tree (hence the cache name). That wasn't too hard to do, and I was able to return Montana Plata to the wild (literally), 18.2 miles from where I left it in 2010.

Now hopefully the karma will return my way, and some of my coins will go un-missing. Free State Mover #3 is in a cache off the Sligo Creek Trail -- I need to find some time to grab it -- but the rest of them are MIA.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Bowie Restaurant Project: (52) DuClaw Brewing Company

For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.

DuClaw Brewing Co., 4000 Town Center Blvd
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 06/01/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

DuClaw is a Maryland chain of three brewpubs (plus a BWI location). Before the kids arrived, we used to eat at the Arundel Mills location from time to time.

Our first visit to the Bowie location occurred on the last night of my parents' recent visit. While taking kids to a brewpub might seem a little bit odd, DuClaw actually has a fairly extensive kids menu. According to a press release I grabbed off the Internet, "Craft beer is most popular with the 25-34-year-old crowd," and I figure that's the age at which a lot of people start to have kids. Being kid-friendly is a good way of appealing to that crowd.

The kid-friendliness wasn't perfect, however. I called ahead to let them know we were coming, but they didn't have the high chairs ready. That's annoying when you have to convince two squirmy almost-two-year-olds to stay in place while their seats are fetched. Worse, they led us to a booth -- logistically, there's no way to put two high chairs on the end of a booth.

Honestly, though, this reception -- along with the placing of dangerous items too close to the kids' grasp -- is something I've grown to accept as par for the course. These deficiencies were compensated by the "smiley fries" they served, which were the cutest food I've seen in some time.

Enough about the kids, though -- how was the experience for adults? Everybody was satisfied with their food. I got the Spicy Jambalaya, which was good, and I had a bite of Christina's Pork Pastry Puff, which I enjoyed. In the past, I've had the Pepperjack Penne Pasta at the Arundel Mills location, which was also good.

I had a glass of their Misfit Red (pictured to the right). It was nice, but I'd probably try something else next time.

The service was solid, but not exceptional. The food is good, but not great. I was initially hesitant to award four stars, not out of any particular deficiency, but out of a lack of specialness. Then I realized -- hey, it's a brewpub. Bowie has a brewpub. That's exactly the type of interesting place to eat we could use more of. Four stars.

Bowie Restaurant News

Bowie Living reported that construction has begun on the new Dunkin' Donuts in Bowie Plaza. Finally, a place to get bad bagels 5 minutes closer than the other Dunkin' Donuts. Oddly enough, Christina recently picked up a bagel from a Dunkin' Donuts in Annapolis, and it was much better.