SNGF: Questions about me

This week Randy is asking us to answer six questions he heard in in a keynote address given by Judy Russell at RootsTech.  I’m going to try to answer as best I can.

a)  What was your first illness as a child? I’m not sure what was first, but the first one I remember was chicken pox.  I was about 4 years old.  My brother got chicken pox and he kindly gave them to me.  I don’t remember them being particularly annoying or, at least, not as annoying as my siblings said they would be.  I remember I got to stay in my pajamas all day.  After I finished, my brother then got shingles on his back (the same brother who had chicken pox).  My poor Mom must have been at her wit’s end at that point.

b)  What was the first funeral you attended? This was more difficult for me to remember.  I did not go to my Grandpa Lassalle’s funeral .  I know that.  He was the first person I remember dying.  I was 8 at the time. I stayed home with a baby sitter.  I distinctly remember watching Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan on TV and eating dinner on the TV trays. Honestly, I can’t remember any as a child, though I’m sure we must have gone to one or two.  The first one I remember is when my Uncle Matt died.  I was 18 at the time.

c)  What was your favorite book as a child? This is an easy one.  Without a doubt, The Borrowers by Mary Norton.  I read the whole series and then reread it.  I loved the adventures and it was so imaginative.  (Mrs.  Piggle Wiggle, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Amelia Bedelia would have been close runner ups.)

d)  What was your favorite class in elementary school?

We didn’t have separate classes in elementary school, so I’ll answer with my favorite grade.  It was 5th grade.  I had Miss Bos as my teacher.  I had her in 2nd grade and she was my favorite.    Miss Bos was one of those teachers who didn’t have to be dominating to be effective.  She was great at bringing out the best in me. 5th grade was a great time for me.

School was relatively easy.  I was able to finish my work early most days, so I earned privileges like working as a reading tutor, helping set up for assemblies, doing different errands for the teacher, and leaving early for recess.  We got to go on more field trips in 5th grade.  I remember going to plays, factories, and wildlife refuges.

It was also a great time for me socially.  An older kid, a 6th grader (note that: older…LOL), took me under her wing.  She liked me because I was small (I was only 4 ft 8 in 5th grade and had the face of an 8 year old).  It was because of her I was picked for the girls sport team (we only had one that played other schools in whatever sport), was selected at the top whenever the class picked teams, and never got picked on.  There were certain perks to be known on school grounds as “Shorty”.

e)  What was your favorite toy as a child? I thought of several things but I think that crayons and coloring books were probably my favorite toy.  I could sit for hours coloring.  I took them everywhere even the ball field where we watch my brother play Little League.  I couldn’t draw and I think coloring made me feel artistic.  I still color from time to time

. f)  Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn? This is one of those memories I’d rather forget.  Well, not really.  My best friend, Renee and I, learned how to swim at the local swim center which was at the high school.  I think we were 8 years old.  I remember this very well because we advanced from the first group to the second to the third.  Then, it was time to advance to the middle pool.  And, I failed miserably.  My downfall?  Floating on my back.  I could not master it.  And, so I couldn’t advance.  By the end of the Summer, I still hadn’t mastered it.  The teacher bumped me up to the middle pool for the last session.  But, since I couldn’t back float, I never progressed and that ended swimming lessons for me. I think I did pretty well with the questions.  That certainly brought back a lot of memories!


SNGF: Surname Christmas Tree

Getting back into the swing of things, it’s time for Randy’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!  This week my assignment is to make a surname Christmas tree.

I don’t have the patience to type surnames and try to form them into a tree.  I’m going to cheat and use Tagxedo.  I found a shape like a Christmas tree and used it for this.  Then, I added in first 5 generations of surnames from my tree.

This is my Surname Christmas Tree…

taxgedo xmas tree



SNGF: Pick a Name

Randy’s latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge is up.  Tonight’s challenge is to go to my genealogy database.  Scroll down to the letter B, and select the last person in my list.  Then, tell what I know about this person.

1.  The last person in my letter B’s is Manuel Buttelo.

2.  I see that I only have vague information about Manuel.  He was born ca 1900.  He married Jorgina Pacheco ca 1931.  He died in 1976 and was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland, CA.  Manuel and Jorgina had 4 children.

3.  I decided that ol’ Manuel needed some more data, so I searched for the family in the 1940 census (the first that he and Jorgina would be together.)  Surprisingly, he is listed as John Buttelo–and this is not the first time he was noted as John.  His name was given as John in an obituary for one of their children.

From the 1940 census I learned that he was 17 (so my ca 1900 needs to be moved over a bit) in California.  The family was living in Alameda, CA in 1935, but moved to 93rd Avenue in Oakland by the time the census was taken.  He had 7 years of schooling.  His occupation was pipe fitter for the shipyards.

I tried to research Manuel/John further but couldn’t get beyond 1930.  I did a search for Buttelo as soundex (in case it was originally Botelho or some other form) but I came up with no John or Manuel.  Very curious.

I decided to move over to because I hate dead ends.  Using vague information I found Manuel Buttelo in the California Death Index.  He was born in 1903 but it says “Other Country” for his birth place not California.   I did a search on John Buttelo and found the exact same entry, so he went by John and Manuel.

I did a little searching in the Daily Review and the Oakland Tribune to see if I could find an obituary.  No luck.  Maybe I’ll try again later when my brain is fresh.

I ended with a city directory search.  I used’s search form and found two entries.  If I went through each year manually, I’d probably find more.

I found John and Jean Buttelo in 1935 living on Redding Street.  John was an auto mechanic.  In 1943, they were on 93rd Avenue (same as in the 1940 Census) and he worked for the shipyards.  In both years, they are the only people with the Buttelo surname.  This leads me to believe that the surname was Botelho or some other variation originally.

So, beyond the 1940 Census, two city directory entries, and the California Death index, I wasn’t able to take Manuel Buttelo back any farther.  And, I collected another question:  Was he born in California or another country?

4. Manuel was the husband of Jorgina Pacheco (aka Georgina Algrava) who was my grandfather’s first cousin.

So, once again I don’t get anything done that I was supposed to because I was researching ;)  I did pick up a little information but not a lot.