Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy Birthday!! Happy Anniversary!!! Happy Memories Today

For all of you out there who want to celebrate a happy occasion today, like birthdays, anniversaries, or other special events, I am sending you my positive thoughts.  We aren't being selfish or self-centered.  But for some of us, today was (before 2001) , and still should be, a happy occasion.

Monday, August 6, 2012

GRIPitt 2013

The Genealogical Research Institute of Phoenix in Pittsburgh is the newest institute for genealogists.  I posted updates of the 2012 institute that I was fortunate enough to attend.  Now
the GRIP classes for 2013 have been posted on their web site: http://www.gripitt.org/?page_id=547.  This information is more than just the title and coordinator; it's the detailed description.

You may want to put July 22 through July 26, 2013, on your calendar.  Registration for 2013 will begin at NOON (Eastern Time) on Thursday 7 February 2013.

Make sure you look at all of the information on the web site.  There is a tab for "Blogs" that you can check out and read about all of the bloggers listed and their comments regarding the 2012 institute.

And, as full disclosure, I have received no compensation for these comments other than being listed on the blogs page.  I am commenting because I had a great time and learned so much that I'm still processing a lot of the information.  So, thank you to Debbie and Elissa.

Friday, August 3, 2012

1940 Census on Family Search - Indexing DONE

I'm sure most of you received this email announcement.  If not, here it is.  And thank you to all who helped.

We did it!

Today just before 2:00 p.m. (MDT), the very last batch of the 1940 US Census was arbitrated and submitted for publication. The indexing portion of the 1940 US Census Community Project is officially done!
Just look at what we accomplished:
  • The project was supposed to take at least six months, yet it was completed in just 124 days—two full months ahead of schedule!

  • An "army" of more than 160,000 volunteers participated. Plainly stated, there is nothing in the annals of the genealogical community that can compare with this achievement.

  • Because of the familiarity of the volunteers with the names and places contained in the records, the resulting index is thought to be among the most accurate of any census ever published.

  • Tens of millions of people will benefit for generations. That's quite a legacy!
It will take a few more weeks to complete the quality audit of the remaining states and publish them online for searching; however, the majority of the 1940 US Census records are already searchable online at the sites of the consortium members. Meanwhile, we hope the feelings you have at this moment of accomplishment are satisfying and will motivate you to continue giving. Families are being united across the generations with every name you index or arbitrate.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

GRIP 2012 Reveiw and GRIP 2013 Preview

GRIP 2012 offered four classes while GRIP 2013 will offer 6.  I believe that means that there will be room for 50-60 more students. 

GRIP 2013 (July 22-26, 2013) is offering the following classes. This information is taken from the GRIP brochure.

Intermediate Genealogy:  Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. 

Skills for Proof with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.

Bridging the 1780-1940 Gap:  From New England to the Midwest with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS.

Military Records: From Cradle to Grave with Craig R. Scott, CG.

Your Immigrant Ancestors' Stories: Writing a Quality Narrative with John P. Coletta, Ph.D., FUGA.

Advanced Research Tools:  Land Records with Rick Sayre, CG and Pam Sayre, CG, CGL.

Now, aren't you going to have trouble deciding which class to take?  More details will be on the GRIP web site (http://www.gripitt.org/) in the future.  (It may take Debbie and Elissa a little while to recover from this first one before they get everything up for 2013.)  Registration will be in February 2013. 

Cafeteria food is not my favorite.  But there was a very nice salad bar for both lunches and dinners.  Turkey sausage was offered some mornings.  I loved the steamed vegetables:  beans, carrots, and zucchini.  I also really liked the cooked spinach that was served.  And the sweet potatoes with orange were good.  The turkey for dinner one night was moist and, fortunately, there was some left over, I think, because turkey was added to the salad bar the next day.  Great!  Oh, yes.  And I can't forget to mention the desserts.  What a variety, every day. 

The LaRoche College campus is beautiful.  While there are slopes, none of them are too difficult to walk.  I didn't make it to the labyrinth this year but I hope to get there next year.   I also didn't go into the library.  The chapel is lovely as is the little garden in front of it. 

Suzanne, in the bookstore, was very helpful to me.  And the staff working around campus were all pleasant.  I never felt uneasy because the campus security was around and was visible, particularly in the evenings. 

I believe that photos of GRIPitt 2012 will be posted on the Institute web site: http://www.gripitt.org/ in the near future, so you'll be able to see some of the fun we had. 

Lastly, if any of you are hesitant to come to GRIP alone, without knowing any one, I would encourage you to come any way.  I didn't know anyone; I flew in by myself; I took a taxi to the college on Sunday (by myself).  And I went back to the airport with 2 other students.  I never ate by myself, even if I was the first one to sit down at a table.  So, don't hesitate to plan for GRIPitt 2013, even if you don't have a friend to go with you.

GRIP - Friday

First, I'm home.  With a 3 hour time difference between Pittsburgh and home, I work up VERY early this morning.  Of course, I stayed up as late as possible to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  (I just love watching all of the athletes walk in and I'm always amazed at where some of the countries are located; how small they are; or how many islands make up one country, etc.) 

Friday was only a half day of classes.  I believe this was a very wise idea.  So many of us (most of us?) talked about how tired we were.  During lunch it was fun to have one last visit with all of our new friends before leaving.  I just loved the opportunity to visit with both those in my class but those other special people I met who were in other classes.  (Did anyone notice that the cafeteria noise seemed to be higher Friday lunch even though there were fewer of us in there than on Sunday night?)

Many of us in Paula's Intermediate Genealogy class also appreciated the fact that she passed out the certificates one at a time so we could more easily identify the other class members (particularly those from the other side of the room, or from the front, or back);  those we didn't have as much opportunity to get to know.

Friday morning we had classes on finding US resources to help us "cross the pond" and then probate.  Honestly, I wasn't too excited about the first one, since I am not anywhere near finding out where or when my ancestors arrived in this country, or from where.  BUT, we should never discount something too soon.  There were so many different types of records mentioned and examples shown that will help me, just because they list locations.  So what if they don't list another country?  It's a location.  That's what is important!  Thank you, Paula. 

Of course probate records are really important for all of us to look at.  We never know what other types of information will be found in these records.  This is an area of records that I have not used at all.  I'm just really need to get out of my comfort zone and jump in.

I'll write a separate post listing next year's classes and summarizing a few things about this year.  But I will say now that I am SOOO glad I went.  Thank you Debbie and Elissa, all of the instructors and all of the other students. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

GRIP - Thursday evening

I can't believe that it's Thursday evening already.  Except that I'm tired.  Definitely not tired of genealogy.  Definitely not tired of the amazing conversations.  Definitely not tired of the sessions.  BUT, yes, my mind is tired of trying to process and use all of this wonderful new information, etc.

I forgot to mention that I met Amanda of  http://www.amandasathenaeum.com at lunch yesterday and took the time to read some of her earlier postings as well as those about GRIP.  Then, Bob sent me an email about saying hi.  It's funny.  We've talked numerous times but I never mentioned my blog and so I'll have to make sure to specifically say Hi tomorrow. 

Sometimes I wish there was a way to slow down Josh.  He gave us some great ideas about organizing digitally.  Unfortunately, some of it has taken him almost 5 years, and I'm not sure I'll do that.  (I'd rather research).  But some of his ideas are so simple that it's too bad I didn't think of them. sooner. 

Paula spoke on state archives, government records and newspapers.  It seems a shame to only put titles to 3 seventy-five minutes talk, but I have so many notes that I just can't summarize them easily tonight.  You'll just have to hear Paula some other time;  or catch me after I've recovered from the information "stuffed" head. 

Dinner tonight was with some friends I made this week and then Elissa Powell (one of the GRIP organizers/directors) sat at our table.  I was able to "grill" her about SLIG, Samford, and Boston U, as well as talk about next year's GRIP sessions.  Since this was my first institute, I appreciated her time and the information she provided in answer to my questions.  I'll write about next year's schedule in the near future.  Just not tonight. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GRIP - Wednesday evening

Today was another busy day. 

While this is my first institute, I understand from talking with other students, that they are similiar in that you get up, have breakfast, go to class, have lunch, go to class, have dinner, go to evening program, and go to bed.  Of course during all of this you are talking, and talking, and talking genealogy, if you aren't listening, listening, listening.  And these classrooms are great since we have power to each table and internet access, so we can go online at the same time we are trying to listen, etc.  Chaos!!!  No, not really.  Tiring?  Yes, to a point.  Exhilarating?  Absolutely!!!

Today, Josh and Paula were in our room (remember Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper) for two sessions each.  Paula spoke on court and military records.  Oh, my, are there a lot of different names for the same type of court, depending upon where you are looking.   So it's important to know the correct name for the locale in order to be able to get the information you are seeking.  With military records, Paula showed us why it's so very important to look at more than just pension files.  And there are such a huge variety of resources in so many different places.  While I don't know of many ancestors who served in the military, I now have a great number of places to look to find out more about them.

First thing this morning Josh spoke on tax and land records.  No, we definitely didn't go back to sleep.  He reminded us that our ancestor may have paid taxes even if he didn't own land.  To me one of the most important points regarding land was that we need to account for ALL of the land our ancestor owned, and follow it at least two land exchanges before and two after our ancestor owned the land.  And the last date could be decades after our ancestor either died or moved out of the area.  Good things to remember.

For me the most unusual session today was the last one, by Josh,  "Building a Locality Profile."  Now, at dinner tonight, I heard some current and past ProGen students talk about doing this for one for one of their assignments.  But I had never heard of this idea before.  Yes, I have collected a little information about repositories in the area, but nothing to the extent that Josh described.  But I can definitely see the advantages.  Of course, he kept reminding us that while we were putting together this locality profile, we weren't supposed to be researching.  (How many of us will be able to do that completely?)  After listening to Josh guide us through items to include in our profile, and places to find the information, many of us went online and looked at some counties.  There is a lot more information regarding research opportunities than I ever knew.  I think I'm going to have to commit to doing at least one county (or locale) a week, or something like that.  It just makes so much sense. 

We have completed 12 sessions (3 days, 4 sessions each day).  We have 6 more to do since we only have a half day on Friday.  By then I think I'm going to have so much information "stuffed" in my head that I would be unable to find room for any more.  But oh, am I glad I came. 

Now I'm going to see if I can find anything to help a fellow student with a "brick" wall before finish up with some other homework stuff. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GRIP - Tuesday evening

First I need to talk about last night's "extra" session.  Pam Stone Eagleson spoke for about an hour about writing.  WOW!!!  I had an opportunity to talk with her at breakfast today and told her that she made the process seem simple but not easy.  The basic steps are simple enough for each of us to follow.  The difficult part is going to research, after the family facts research, that is necessary to make an interesting narrative.  I still need to do a little more fact research before I think about writing.  Of course, I need to do a lot more other research also. 

Well, Maia's books to the rescue.  Martha set up books for us just outside the cafeteria.  She had so many different types, but there were a few that are going to give me some historical perspective.  I know I have a few at home also, that I haven't read yet.  Now I have more motivation.  So I just have to find the time.

Now on to today, Tuesday's sessions.  Our Intermediate class began at 8:30 with Paula walking us through citations.  Yes, we all have some experience with them, but we had some good discussions about how to handle unusual situations.  I haven't been very diligent about recording when I accessed a record, particularly an online one.  Paula, and others, explained why this is important.  I'm definitely going to be more careful with this; and with my software program, it's really not that hard.  I've just been "neglecting" that box, thinking that it wasn't really that important.  I'm not going to any more.

The next morning session, Josh Taylor came in and gave us great information about JSTOR.  I had never heard of it and I need to work with it a lot more before I understand it, but it's a great resource for academic writings on 55 (I think Josh said) different topics.  Most of us in the class were able to acccess JSTOR through the LaRoche College library site.  Lucky us.  There are a few places in Arizona that have JSTOR.  I just need to find out which ones and see if there are any I can access remotely also.  (I love researching "after hours".)  

Original Manuscripts was Paula's first session after lunch.  Oh, I hope I can find some great things my ancestors left.  I'm lucky to have some, but it's really amazing what is available and at so many different repositories.  Manuscripts regarding mid-American ancestors are at repositories from the University of Virginia to Bancroft Library at the University of California and many places in between.  A major point I learned is to not limit my search of documents to just the locations where I thought my ancestors lived.  Original manuscripts can be anywhere AND since they are one of a kind, we can't just find them locally.

Last for today was Paula talking about Government Records.  I must admit that I was really brain-tired by 3:30, so I didn't process as much information as I would have liked.  But with the syllabus and my notes, and some rest, I'm sure I will be able to research some of the wide variety of records that the federal government keeps and has stored in repositories all over the country.  I did remember that we need to look at libraries/repositories that are not just NARA facilities.  Many university libraries, as well as perhaps a few others, are federal repositories, so these places also have records that we may be able to access.  Great information  but I'm going to have to do some good searching  before I use these. 

I have a little homework for tonight, and I'll see if I can get the timeline with surnames done.  It feels funny not being able to do it all online and then just printing out a copy.  Oh, well.  (Should I try to bring a printer with me next year?)  I'll have to think about it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

GRIP - Monday evening

First day almost over.  The first 2 sessions this morning were really analyzing records, and what we could find out about just one will.  I had a few ideas, but the amount of information some members of the class discovered lets me know that I'm going to get a great amount of help just from class members.  Of course Paula Stuart-Warren was great in leading the discussions and keeping us "on task".  I took this class because I knew I needed to improve my research skills.  And I already think I have.  Can't wait for the rest of the week.  And that was just the morning.

After lunch Josh Taylor came in and talked to us about compiled genealogies and what we can gain from them.  Now I just need to find some that were written about one of my surnames.  Unfortunately, I haven't found any yet, but I have great hope.  Even if you don't have a genealogy written about your family, Josh gave so many different places to search; again things I had never thought of.

Then, last session today, was again by Paula.  She gave us 100s of ideas for substitutes for vital records.  Yes, it will take us more time if we can't find some direct evidence with specific facts, but information is out there.  And we just have many more places to look.

One special part of today was at 4 pm.  We had a genealogy problem from one of our class members.  We spent time reading the statement and coming up with ideas to help him find this elusive ancestor.  (And don't we all have them?)  Anyway, gain the knowledge and ideas that the class members came up with were fantastic.  Now I just hope that the problem I submitted can be used some night.  Hope! Hope! 

Today was a great example of why we shouldn't do genealogy alone. 

In about an hour we'll have a special program.  Pam Stone Eagleson will be speaking on "Telling the Tales:  Writing Your Family Narrative."  Then, I'll be off to my room to spend a little time on the computer trying to find out more information about Louise Post, husband of Philip Post, whose will we read and studied this morning. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

GRIPitt - Sunday night

Today, we checked into the LaRoche College dorms.  I'm not sure how many of us are at the First Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, GRIP for short.  The rooms are basic dorm rooms but different than when I was in college (eons ago).  Then we had two people to a room, with about 14 rooms sharing one down-the-hall bathroom.  These rooms all have private baths.  WOW!!  AND they come with a small microwave and refrigerator.  (Since I flew, I didn't bring snacks, but what a treat for those who drove and could pack snacks.)

While I brought an ethernet cable, as required for internet use in the dorm room, the router, etc. weren't hooked up.  And, I didn't know how to connect everything.  Well, Jess and Marissa came to the rescue.  Thank you ladies.  Otherwise, there would be no posting tonight.

After dinner in in the cafeteria (where it was LOUD) with so many genealogists all have a great time, we had our welcome and introduction.  And a special announcement.  Next year's dates are already set (July 22-26) and there will be SIX (6) classes, not four as this year.  Isn't that great!  Ican hardly wait to see the brochure and find out what my options will be.  Of course, I think I'm going to suggest that everyone here this year gets first choice next year.  OR, everyone in the Intermediate Genealogy course automatically gets moved to the Advanced, if they want to.  Now wouldn't that be great?!!! At least for a few of us.  Oh, well.  Wishful thinking. 

But the campus is beautiful with some hills, but not too much slope for me and my legs. I'm used to walking on flat, flat ground (Phoenix area, if you didn't know).  It is a little more humid, so perhaps I'll try walking in the morning.

Breakfast is 7:30 to 8:30 and classes start at 8:30.  It's going to be interesting to see how we all get through the cafeteria line finish eating in only an hour.  But we'll see.  Perhaps some of the group won't be eating breakfast.  Then, on two days, I think Wednesday and Thursday, one of the classes starts at 8:15, not 8:30.  So those students are really going to have to be on time if they want to eat.

I'll try to write tomorrow night.  I'm going to be writing primarily for me, so that I can better remember this week, but I hope you will also enjoy the stories and information. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Surname Saturday - Poe, Sharon and Sandra

I believe that Sharon and Sandra Poe were born about 1938-1939 in the Reno area of Nevada.  I believe their mother was Marian.  I found a few articles in online newspapers, but nothing mentions their parents.  I am hoping to find them to help me with my research on the Poe family.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GRIP - Pittsburgh - Some openings - 10 days to go

I haven't been posting about the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, but I'm very excited about going.  I leave 10 days from today and fly into Pittsburgh.  I'll have one night in a hotel before moving into the dorm on Sunday.  I'm nervous because I've never been to an institute before, and excited about meeting other researchers and the great organizers and instructors.  And, of course, I'm looking forward to all of the new information I'll have to help me with my research in the future.  

While I don't know if I'll have time to post during the Institute, I'll keep notes so that if any of you are interested in attending next year, I may be able to answer questions.  Because a few students had to cancel at the last minute, as of this minute, the GRIPitt site says that there are two seats available in Intermediate Genealogy, one seat in German Research and four in Problem Solving with Online Repositories.  Look at the web page for more information: http://www.gripitt.org/

Hope to see you in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday's Tips - Census Records - Instructions?

I just recently discovered a wonderful blog (web site) by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  https://www.evidenceexplained.com/  Quick Lesson 9 was about instructions.  Yes, instructions for enumerators and ESM gave a great example of how an enumerator gave "additional" information on a census record that could benefit us if we carefully read the directions.  In fact, though, the "additional" information was in the enumerator instructions that many of us don't read.

Thank you, ESM.  I would now like to apply your suggestions regarding reading instructions to the current indexing projects, particularly the 1940 census records, on familysearch.  Some indexers (and arbitrators) really want to make corrections to the census record when they index, like spelling a name "correctly" or adding county and state if "same place" or "same house" is listed.  As an arbitrator, I am also trying to help researchers, but unfortunately I feel I must read (and follow) the instructions provided even though sometimes I would also like to make changes. 

This reminder to read instructions is going to be valuable to me in my future research, just as finding out WHY a record was made has helped me analyze the information in a document.  Thank you again. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Smashed Goal!! Indexing and Arbitrating

Congratulations to all of you who Indexed or Arbitrated.  We smashed the goal!!

It was a great day.  Now I need to get back to some normal chores.  It's going to be exciting to see all of the new indexed records coming online because of our efforts.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mystery Monday - Trice Marrage to Steen/Steele Again

Last fall I posted information regarding the first wife of Charles Y Trice (1853-1915).  Well, I've discovered some more information, but it's still leading to questions.  This is a lengthy explanation since I'm trying to work out all of the details for myself as well as asking for help from all of you. 

According to a familysearch index (I need to look at the actual film) Parral Lee Steen married C Y Trice in Henry County, Missouri in 1878. 

Then, according to online death records for Missouri for the two children of Trice and Steen, Harriet Trice Sheley's death certificate says her mother's name was Perilee Steene born near Joplin, Missouri.  Odon Trice's death certificate says his mother's name was Paralee Steen born in Joplin, Missouri.  So I have some consistency.  Unfortunately I can't find any Steen(e) with a first name with Per* or Par* in 1870 or 1860 census records.  And in the 1880 census with Trice, her age is given as 23, which would indicate she was born about 1857.  Any suggestions?

Then to make matters worse, on FindAGrave the headstone for Paralee Trice, wife of C Y Trice, shows 1847-1893.  So how old is she?

Then, the other mystery.  In 1900 census, Charles Trice is married to Lena and, in error it says they have been married for 15 years.  So what's wrong?  I know that Odon and Hattie are not Lena's children, but children by Charles's first marriage.  Since Ruth was listed as being born in  November 1892, but Paralee didn't die until 1893, is there a divorce record?  Where can I find that? 

Lastly, family lore states that Charles Trice married Luna/Lena Drake in 1890 or 1891 in Franklin, Indiana, or around there.  I have been unable to find a record of this marriage. 

So, I need a marriage record for Charles Trice and Luna/Lena Drake.
I need a birth record for Ruth Trice stating her parents' names, just to make sure she is the daughter of Lena. 
I need a divorce record for Charles Trice and Paralee, if the Trice/Drake marriage took place before Paralee died. 
I would like to find out the names of the parents of Paralee Steen(e). 
I would like to have a death record for Paralee Steen(e) Trice, not just a photo of the headstone.

All suggestions are appreciated.  Thank you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

After Conferences - Now What? - Master Location Files

I was fortunate to be able to attend both NGS and Jamboree this year.  (I'm going to miss FGS.)  Anyway, I learned a lot but I really need to process what was presented, organize my CDs and syllabus material, etc.

So, I'm working on going through my family files on the software programs and making sure that I have good sources for each fact.  Since some of these were started before I became as aware of the importance of sources, I have lots of catching up to do. 

Tina Lyons http://genwishlist.blogspot.com/ worked through her files by surname.  I haven't quite figured out what to do later, but for now I'm going through my master location list and making sure that I have the correct counties for each town.  It's a start.  Of course I have 10 or 11 different family files so it's taking me quite awhile.  And I have more than one software program so I have to work a little differently for each one. 

I have google or yahoo open and put in a town and state and find out a county.  Then I look in the Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920, and make sure that the county was there at the time period I'm working with.  I have found that many times I can quickly make an adjustment to numerous files at once. 

So, I hope you don't need to do this, but if you do need to make changes to locations, check out your software program and see how to make changes that will apply to each mention for that location.  Good luck.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

SCGS Jamboree 2012 - Saturday

At 8:30 Elyse Doerflinger gave a great presentation on organizing digital Stuff.  If you don't know her, she's dynamic, knowledgeable and young.  I'm sure that the attendees in the almost full room were very glad they found at seat in this 8:30 session.  Thank you Elyse. 

I had some good sessions and one I wish I had skipped, even though the room was full.  I know that sometimes timing of a presentation gets off, but I really feel that all of us deserved more than a 30 minute presentation in an hour time period. 

I feel my mind is overloaded.  I'm having trouble remembering the classes I took today, much less the past two days.  But I have notes and I bought some DVDs and CDs of many presentations that I was unable to attend.  It's going to take me weeks, I'm afraid, to really analyze and organize what I have heard/learned. 

If you haven't been to Jamboree, think about next year.  For all of us who live in the west, this is the premier genealogy conference.  It's close, across from the Burbank (Bob Hope) airport; it's reasonably priced; it's convenient (the hotel is next to the convention center); there are restaurant options with a block walking distance.  AND the SCGS volunteers put on a great, well-planned, well-organized conference that is FUN!!!!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

SCGS Jamboree - Friday

While Jamboree sessions requiring registration began at 1:30 today, the exhibit hall opened at noon and the morning choices including a tour, a research trip to the SCGS Library, roundtable discussions, and more.

I chose to attend four sessions all concerning Genealogy Society Development.  Wow!  So much information; SO MANY IDEAS.  Too bad I'm not 10 people (or perhaps I need to be 20).  Cath Madden Trindle's topic was Projects.  Then Schelly Talalay Darshashti spoke about Publicity.  George Morgan provided a long, long list of Affordable Member Benefits.  We finished with Josh Taylor's presentation about Creating a Website.  Most societies have web sites, but Josh gave us great ideas to improve our sites.  I wrote notes and more notes. 

If you are interested in these presentations, you can order video or audio copies of them by contacting Conference Resource at www.myconferenceresource.com or calling 866-813-2451.  No, I am receiving no compensation for this review.  However, if you want some exciting ideas to energize your society, you can get them through these presentations.

SCGS Jamboree Tech Trax

Preconference Day is over.  Five sessions.  I really thought four were great.  The most helpful to me was Barry Ewell's talk on photo editing.  Since I have had my digital camera for less than 2 years, and have never tried to edit anything except for cropping (a little) and pushing the button for auto editing, I was quite hesitant before he started.  I was afraid that it was all going to be over my head.  With his clear explanations and his offer to send even more info to us, I am excited to try some cleaning up of photos.  Thank you, Barry.

Today, this morning I'm going to the society track.  Then, Jamboree sessions begin after lunch.  I still haven't made all of my choices.  Some hours there are just too many great topics and speakers.  My suggestion to others in this position, check out which sessions are video or audio taped.  Yes, it's a little extra expense, but far less than attending another conference. AND, you can listen to these over and over and over.  I started that a year ago and I'm so glad I did. 

In fact, Dawn Thurston was a part of the Writers' conference yesterday and her four session were video taped and are on sale at a discount if you buy all 4.  Her syllabus pages were good, but her sessions were packed.  Some people were turned away because the room was full.  And there was lots of excited talk at lunch and later.  So, I think I'll get hers.  Now for other decisions.

One great day down;  3 more to go

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jamboree - Tech Track/Trax

I'm in Burbank at the Marriott.  Tomorrow morning, Thursday, will be my intro to technology and genealogy; more than a laptop and a digital camera.  (That's the extent of my tech stuff.)

If you are in the session, please let me know.  I'm sure I'll have lots of questions.  Of course, it appears that so many bloggers are really much more advanced than I am.  BUT, if you are a newbie in this area, I'd love to meet you.  Please say Hi. 

For ID purposes, I'll be wearing a long skirt and a little Indian jewelry. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Society Saturday - Writing & Publishing Ideas

Are you trying to decide how to write your family history?  What format?  What to include?  How many generations?  Descendant or Ancestor based?  A personal story?  A cookbook?  A location book?

The number of ways to write about your family are endless.  There are so many varieties of books.  So, how do you decide?

This morning the Family History Society of Arizona (FHSA) held a mini-workshop about writing your family history.  Three published writers, members of FHSA, attended.  Also, books by 3 other FHSA members were available for review.  In addition, a variety of other types of books about family stories were available for the attendees. 

In the 2+ hours of this informal session, each author talked about her efforts and works.  The attendees were able to ask questions.  There was a lot of interest in the numerous ways to present research.  Also included were discussions about photos, color printing or black and white, types of fonts, number of pages, types of paper and covers, and ways to bind the books.  Some authors charged for copies; some gave the books as gifts.  Some writers gave copies of their works to libraries.  Options regarding printing were also discussed including self-printing, printing at local office-supply store, or paying a printer. 

I know that this session has inspired me to start writing on some projects and to continue writing on others.  I may actually get some books published next year. 

If any of you are interested in providing this type of session for your friends and/or society members, and have questions, please contact me.  I'd like to see more activities like this;  I believe we would all benefit.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Adoption Question

Can you help? 

How can an adopted child prove the relationship to a birth mother?  Mother and child are in contact with each other.  Neither one of them is against proving the relationship.  The birth was in Connecticut and the adopted child still lives in Connecticut. 

Suggestions?  Thank you. 

SCGS Jamboree - In THREE weeks

Three weeks from now I'll be at Jamboree in Burbank, California.  (It's sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society.)  I'm excited.  I know I'll see familiar and new faces.  It's not too late to register.  http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/Jamboree/2012jam-home.htm.  Yes, that's where you'll find all of the information.  Hope to see you!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NGS 2012 - Day 4

A busy day started out with my getting up late.  Last night some band was playing about 3-4 blocks away on an outdoor stage.  I couldn't hear the music but I could definitely "hear" the bass sound.  Then at 11 pm fireworks because the team won.  Not being a baseball fan, I didn't even know they were playing.  Anyway, I slept in late.

But I'm so glad I didn't miss my first session.  The room was full, even at 8 am on Saturday morning.  Patricia Wells Stamm spoke on "Railroad Men and the Records They Left Behind."  Using the records may not be difficult IF you can find them.  This was a great presentation with some good references.

Next I was torn between two courses.  I attended "Indirect Evidence:  What To Do When Perry Mason Isn't on Your Side" by Harold Henderson.  Not a lot of new information here, but I loved the t-shirts on his slide that said "Department of Hints."  I often wish there was a service desk in the next room.

I ordered the CD for Elizabeth Shown Mills' "Information Overload?" and attended the session by Laura Murphy DeGrazia on "Should You Believe Your Eyes?  Sizing Up Sources and Information."  She provided some of the most concise definitions of Source, Information and Evidence that I've seen.  I would have liked the talk to be a little more at the intermediate level, but that's just me.

During and after lunch there seemed to be a lot of discussion about how uncomfortable the chairs were in the conference rooms.  Lots of us were having hip and back problems.  I don't know how these chairs were different, but it seemed like more of us were uncomfortable.  But, then there are only 2 more sessions.  I can do this.

So on the "Online State Resources for Genealogy" by Michael Hait.  Michael said he has subscriptions to all  of the major web sites, but he was going to talk about those "other" places to look.  He provided a few specific web sites but then also suggested that we look at county government web sites and reminded us that some counties have archives.  He also suggested looking at branches of county governments for possible probate and land record indexes online, and then university and public libraries.

The last session of the last day:  Rev. David McDonald filled in for another speaker who had a family emergency.  So there were no pages in the syllabus and he lost the file for this presentation.  He couldn't find it on his computer.  Well, if you think this was going to be horrible, you're wrong.  David's topic was "Top 10 Tips to Concluding Effective Research."  A syllabus was passed out that listed and explained 10 tips.  For me, this was a perfect way to end the NGS 2012 conference. A way to decide when "enough is enough." 

I'm going to have dinner, catch up (perhaps) on email, index (perhaps) a couple of batches and PACK.  I need to leave the hotel about 7 am so the packing must be done tonight. 

I have so many new ideas, and ways to be a better researcher and a better organizer and a better evaluator, etc.  And, as many of you know, there just aren't enough hours in a day or days in a week, to do it all.  But I will get started and I know I won't be sitting around "eating bon-bons" and being bored.

I hope to see you at Jamboree next month or in Las Vegas in one year. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

NGS 2012 - Day 3

It's been a long day.  Sessions were generally OK.  However, the most unexpected topic was the one that I really needed the most.  Dr. William B Saxbe, Jr spoke at 4 pm today on "How to be a Bad Genealogist."  I expected some humor.  But this session had us all in laughs for the full hour.  This was a great way to end the day.  If you ever have a chance to hear Dr. Saxbe speak on this topic, and you need a laugh, make sure to attend this session.

I didn't go to any truly crowded sessions, but I'll order CDs for them. 

While Tom Jones and Elizabeth Shown Mills had full classes in the largest room, according to some other attendees two other sessions (held in smaller rooms) also had to turn some people away.  "Pursuing your Genealogical Research in the Library of Congress without traveling to Washington, D.C." by James Sweany and John T Humphrey's "German Language Skills for the Genealogist".  Isn't it great to see the wide variety of choices?

Every time I walked by the 1940 indexing station, the computers were full.  What a great way to get more indexers.  While you index two projects, someone is right there to answer questions.   

I'm making my list of sessions for tomorrow.  I also need to get my CD order organized so I can turn it in during the morning.  The vendor hall closes at 3 tomorrow so lunch time will be my last opportunity to make sure I haven't missed anything. 

I've been talking to people who have ipads and other devices.  I'm trying to decide what I want to replace my heavy laptop while I'm traveling.  I definitely want a full-sized keyboard, since I touch type.  I'm not sure I can deal with a keyboard on the screen.  I appreciate all of the people who have shown me their "devices" and told me what they liked about then and what they might buy now, whether it is the same thing or something different.

It's time to get my two (minimum) projects indexed tonight.  Then it's to bed.  I think.  Some music is reaching my room from street level (and I'm on the 28th floor).  The front desk doesn't know where it's coming from.  I'm afraid it's going to be a late night of entertainment for others, and "secondary music" for me until after 11.  I hope not, but I'll deal with it.

Remember Las Vegas, 8-11 May, 2013.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NGS 2012 - Day 2

Well, my choices today weren't as helpful to me as yesterday's but it was still a good day.

But I'm going to talk about dinner first.  By the way it's sort of a joke in our family that when we travel, we enjoy seeing the sights, the architecture, etc. but we come home and talk about the FOOD.  So, for those of you who know Cincinnati, I ate at Arnold's (on the patio, if that's what you call it).

I started out with "Lies and Sins of Omission" by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens. She was pleased so see so many of us in the room at 8 am.  And she was good.  We all need to deal with lies, omission and family legend while we are researching.  Liz, as she introduced herself, showed that even though we have 4 or 5 documents that all support the same fact, that fact may not be correct.  Her example of a man whose records all claimed he was born in New Jersey, and come to find out he was naturalized at about age 23 with his father because he and his father immigrated from Ireland when he (the son) was about 3. 

Next session I crowded into a room with a few hundred other people to hear Elizabeth Shown Mills talk on "Indexes! Indexes! Indexes! . . ."  She presents her facts so "quietly" I guess you call it.  Her syllabus is concise, makes taking notes easy, and then provides us with 2 pages (1 page back to back) with all of the great examples she had provided on her slides.  Thank you so much ESM. 

The last session of the day I heard Claire Bettag speak on "Assumptions: A Genealogical Slippery Slope."  Yes, I am attending quite a few BCG Skillbuilding sessions, but that's what I think I need right now.  I wish she had spent a little less time on the actual BCG standards, but the information provided was good. 

As a side note, I really don't like to be read to.  I don't think that slides should have everything that is printed on the syllabus and that someone should be reading it to me.  I think that's overkill.  And if the speakers are reading it just so that those who buy a CD have all of the information, then perhaps we, sitting there, shouldn't have everything on our pages.  The two sessions that I haven't mentioned specifically still have a page each in the syllabus that will be helpful.  Unfortunately, neither speaker even mentioned some of this. 

Tonight I went to the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Library.  I had made a list of microfiche to look at.  Unfortunately after looking at all of the pages, there wasn't anything that helped me.  But that's OK.  The staff at the library was great.  The tables were filled:  overfilled in some cases.  Can you image all of these librarians willing to help researchers until 11:30 tonight?  And I know that some of them worked today also.  I would have looked at some books but they had to be requested and brought up from another location.  So I decided to come back to the room, sit with my feet up, and catch up on emails, blog reading and then writing this. 

NGS 2012 is half over.  Tomorrow Elizabeth Shown Mills and Tom Jones are both presenting in the morning. (No not at the same time.)  I am trying to decide whether to just purchase the CDs rather than try to crowd into the room.  When the chairs are so close together, and all the chairs are filled, it's just so difficult to take notes.  AND, if I buy the CDs then I can listen to them over and over. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NGS 2012 - Day 1

What a great day!!

NGS 2014 will be in Richmond, Virginia.

NGS 2015 will be in St. Charles, Missouri. 

AND remember next year NGS 2013 will be in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I met the entire contingent from the FHSA (the Family History Society of Arizona).  The two of them.  I'd love to know if there are other attendees from Arizona other than George and Linda.

Today there were only three time periods for sessions.

At 11 am I was in a VERY crowded room.  Tom Jones spoke on "Strategies for Finding 'Unfindable' Ancestors".  I loved his comments about the search will be time-consuming, tedious and expensive (for travel).  He provided 4 examples, which are available in the NGS Quarterly, of how to work around this problem.  I think I liked the two comments about not expecting names to be spelled the same (I knew that, but it's good to be reminded of this fact) and that a person is more than his/her name. 

Since I was not scheduled to attend one of the luncheons I had 2 1/2 hours to visit the vendor hall.  I picked up some great ideas from the Oklahoma Historical Society booth on how to find some elusive ancestors.  I also learned more about the familysearch wiki.  I sort of understood it, but Paul Nauta spent time explaining more.  Thank you, Paul.  I briefly said hi to Lisa Louise Cooke, who sent her regards to all of us in Arizona.  (In March she was the speaker for the Family History Society of Arizona's annual meeting.) I found some wonderful old postcards at Wolf's Head Books.  A little costly, but oh, how great!  AND I sat down for about 20 minutes.  I really should go back later and look at some other states. 

The first session after lunch I was torn between Ann Fleming's "Writing with Style" and Suzanne Adams "Paradigm Shifts When Searching Online Genealogical Records."  Both had great pages in the syllabus.  (And I really appreciate that.  I definitely don't like to see syllabus pages that are in prose or that are double spaced just to take up space.)  I went to the writing session.  I learned that I need to make a style sheet for each project that I am writing and I need to be CONSISTENT.  Even if it's wrong.  Ann also reminded us that even if we intend to write "Just for our family" when it's out of our hands we really don't know where it will be.  I wonder how many authors of family histories knew that there works would be in libraries of various types all over the country. 

My last session today was "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: The Evidence Presented Clearly Shows..." by Barbara Vines Little.  I've never attended a session of hers.  In fact, I don't know if I ever heard of her or have seen her on another conference schedule.  WELL, NOW when I see her on the schedule I will definitely consider her presentations.  She was great!  Now, this was at the end of the day.  The room was warm.  The room was CROWDED!!  And she's explaining the difference between a list-style proof summary, a narrative-style proof summary and a proof arguments.  I'm quite sure no one went to sleep.  What a lot of information in one short hour.

After a quick dinner I walked to the Cincinnati-Harrison County Library. Wednesday nights it is open until 9 pm.  I know that tomorrow night it will be open for conference attendees until late (11:30 pm) but that's past my bedtime.  I was curious what resources they had that may help me with my research.  I think there were probably 40+ attendees in the genealogy section and as I left at least seven more were entering. 

After walking back to the hotel, instead of writing this blog, or deciding what sessions I want to attend tomorrow, OR indexing, I looked at the catalog for the library and made a list (a long list) of items to look at tomorrow night.  Well, perhaps I'll have to stay up past my bedtime.

Yes.  A great first day at NGS 2012 in Cincinnati.

NGS - I met Kimberly Powell

How could I forget to mention that I introduced myself to Kimberly Powell last night?  For those of you (only a FEW I hope) who don't know about genealogy.about.com, it's a great place to find information regarding almost anything about genealogy research.  And I love all of the ideas for organization.  Sorry Kimberly for interrupting dinner last night, but I was so pleased to see you in person.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1940 Census - Arbitration

First, I am an arbitrator.  YES, one of THOSE who don't "like" your indexing.  That's not true.  It's just that I need to make a decision between two different points of view.  I don't make decisions on anything that doesn't already have a conflict. (Two indexers who don't agree.)

I also index.  AND, I was corrected because I didn't put in the county for the township that was listed in the residence.  WELL, there was NO county listed.  Yes, I could have looked it up.  YES I even knew it.  But I believe the indexing instructions say that I'm not supposed to add additional information.

THEN, I was also marked incorrect because what was written as the county was misspelled.  Obviously the other indexer just copied the spelling.  And so did the arbitrator.  I typed in the correct spelling of the county according to an atlas and google wikipedia.  So what is going to be published?  I asked for a review. 

NO there shouldn't be a "war" between indexers and arbitrators, no matter which side of the "war' you are are.  But we need to work together and try to get published the best information online to help us and others with research.

My request?  Indexers and Arbitrators:  READ the instructions:  Read them again in ONE week.  Read them AGAIN in TWO weeks.  I'm definitely not saying, or implying that I don't make mistakes.  But PLEASE don't correct me for a spelling that is correct, just because the enumerator didn't spell the county correctly.

NGS - Familysearch dinner for bloggers

First, I received an invitation to this dinner because I am a blogger (sort of?)  Anyway, I received a tech pad.  I'm not a tech person but it's this neat device to keep all those cords in one place.  You know:  those that go with all of our tech devices.  Thank you, familysearch.

Now, am I there under false pretenses?  I don't blog regularly.  I don't often write about events and I almost never ("never say never") write about products.  But I was at this lovely dinner. 

The most fun was the bloggers I sat with and the stuff I heard.  Another Karen but she's from Ohio: www.karenmillerbennett.com.  Then Ruth Blair www.familyhistorysearchers.com  from Ontario, Canada,  She mentioned that copyright laws are different in Canada.  We often forget about that.  Then Julia Langel at http://geneajulia.blogspot.com

I talked "briefly" with Dick Eastman.  Well, I reminded him that he had come to Arizona for the 2011 Family History Society of Arizona annual meeting. 

I also met a woman who is real:  Kimberly Powell.  I've been recommending her web site/blog for years.  It's www.genealogy.about.com.  In my opinion (and of course this entire blog is my opinion), it's one of the best sites for information, particularly for beginners.  But researchers of all levels can benefit from her site.

I learned about becoming a blog ambassador.  I signed up a few minutes ago. 

Now for the really exciting part.

Did you know that familysearch.org has historical record collections from over 60 countries?  And, one of the newer collections will be the 1802-1940 Civil Registrations from Italy will eventually be online with images and then indexes with an agreement between familysearch and Italy.  WOW!! 
Daily, there are about 10,000 volunteers online to answer patron questions in 13 languages and sometimes as many as 17 or 18.  WOW!!!
More than 650 societies have registered to help with indexing the 1940 census.  (Family History Society of Arizona is one of them.  Thank you!!)  What's really amazing is that a little over 30% of all  of the 1940 census records have been indexed in 37 days.  If we continue at this rate, the entire 1940 census may be indexed in July.  We really need to keep working.  Don't slow down just because the initial excitement is over. 
Now, this may not seem quite as exciting as the 1940 census project, but family search has plans to add more and more images to their web site.  And you all know what that means.  Indexing! INDEXing!!  INDEXING!!!  When we finish the 1940 census we will want to continue our efforts.  After all, the more indexed records, the easier we will find records what may include our ancestors.

So, thank you familysearch.org.  Thank you to my dinner companions.  And a special thank you to all of you who help make those records searchable.

NGS - I'm in Cincinnati

Yes, I arrived.  I'm in my room; have internet connection with ethernet cable (that's OK).  I picked up my registration bag.  This is my first NGS conference but I've attended 2 FGS and 2 Jamborees.

Now decisions!!

Fortunately tomorrow only has 3 time periods to make decisions for.

The vendor hall opens at 9:30 and the first session starts at 11.  But first there is the Opening Session (AT 8).  Oh, well.  I wasn't planning on much sleep any way.
I'm going to try to get into "Strategies for Finding 'Unfindable' Ancestors" by Thomas Jones at 11.  But then there is also "The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments into the Genealogical Narrative" by James Bloom, and then two more that aren't going to be recorded by Lisa Louise Cooke and Josh Taylor.  Now what?

Unfortunately during the afternoon 2 hours I have 4+ sessions that I'd like to attend during each hour.  I'll order CDs, but which ones?  And how many?  Have I reached 10 already?  I get a discount if I order 10.  Does that mean 10 a day?  :) 

I'll try to write tomorrow night and let you know.  But I'm excited.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

NGS 2012 Cincinnati - 3 days

Only three days until NGS starts.  I'm already in Kentucky, just 100+ miles south.  I've been traveling and haven't had daily access to the internet (BooHoo), and I don't have a printer with me, so I am not organized in the same way as before other conferences.  We'll see how it goes.  BUT, I'm looking forward to seeing friends, making new ones, getting ideas to help get through those "brick walls" AND, naturally, improve my documentation, etc. etc. 

See you in 3 days.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Zane Grey AND Jess Severs

Do you have any OLD Zane Grey books?  Do they have the name Jess Severs written in the front, in a woman's hand?  If so, I'd love to hear from you. 

The family story is that my grandfather Jess Severs loved Zane Grey books and bought some and my grandmother wrote his name in the front.  I'm trying to locate one, or more.  Please let me know.  Thank you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who Else? Early Marriages Amongst Neighbors

During this past few days my husband Walt and I have been driving in Maryland and Virginia.  Driving south on Route 13 from Salisbury we noticed how far apart homes were (even now).  It reminded me why we often find future spouses, or inlaws, near our ancestors.  Even with a car, it took time to get from one drive to the next. 

With the 1940 census out, still not everyone had cars, or traveled very far.  We still need to check out neighborhoods.  But we also need to check not just the names on the same page, but also those a few pages before or after our ancestors, keeping in mind how the enumerators went around one block before starting another. 

Just things to remember. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Indexing - It's not just the arbitrators

There has been some conversation regarding the "bad" arbitrators.  Please understand that we do make mistakes.  And I know I've made a few as an arbitrator.  I'm sorry.  And, as an indexer who has had some entries considered incorrect, I understand how indexers feel. 

HOWEVER, please realize that we arbitrators would never see your indexing entries IF the other indexer agreed with you.  These just never come to our screen.  So, if you want to ask other indexers to improve their indexing, fine.  If you want to ask arbitrators to improve their arbitration, fine.   I truly believe that each of us is honestly doing the best we can. 

While there are some batches I arbitrate that take very little time, there are others that I spend many, many minutes trying to figure out the difference between the vowels, or consonants, etc.  And, I truly stress more when I download a batch as an arbitrator than when I download a batch to index.  Why?  Because I know when I index that someone else either will agree with me and the arbitrator won't see the batch, or that the other indexer and I will have different entries and the arbitrator will correct my "error" to the best of his/her ability. So, as an indexer, I know that someone else is looking at it.  That's reassuring. 

There is a request for more arbitrators.  But new indexers aren't going to sign up if they feel that they are going to be criticized for every decision they make.  After all, for each entry I arbitrate, there is one entry considered "right" and one entry that is considered "wrong."  That's just the way it is. 

I'll continue to index.  I'll continue to arbitrate.  And I'll continue to do my best, as I'm sure all of the rest of you are doing.  Thank you all for your efforts.  We're make tremendous progress on the 1940 census but remember, there are many more records to index after the census is complete (or even now if you need a change of pace.)  So, thank you again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SCGS 2012 Jamboree - Exhibit Hall FREE

SCGS is trying something new.  The FANTASTIC exhibit hall will be open FREE.  That's right!!  You don't have to be a registered attendee to enter.  (Although you'll miss out on some great information if you don't attend.  AND FUN!)  As mentioned in the blog http://genealogyjamboree.blogspot.com/, this way you can visit the exhibit hall if you volunteer and are not a registered attendee. 

Just think.  If you can only take a couple of hours away from family/friends in the Burbank area during that weekend, check out the hall.  OR, if you are flying to the Los Angeles area, or through one of the Los Angeles airports, book through the Burbank Airport.  Airport terminal to exhibit hall is probably less than a half mile. 

See you in Burbank in June.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Indexing - 1940 Census - Given Names

My understanding of the "rules" for indexing names is to type what is written.  That means that "Geo" is Geo NOT George.  And "Wm" is Wm NOT William.  As an arbitrator, I really don't like to have the percentage of accuracy go down for the indexer who spelled out the name completely, but it happens. 

Now, if the rules have changed since I began indexing, someone needs to clarify it for all of us.  But for now, I will reluctantly make the decision that what is written is what I am supposed to index or choose during arbitration even though I know that both spellings clearly identify the same person. 

I hope this hint helps all of you great indexers improve your accuracy percent.  Remember, the more accurate we all are, the quicker the indexing will be done. Then we can all enjoy the results of our efforts. 

NGS - Cincinnati

I'll be there.  I'm excited.  This will be my first NGS conference. 

Now,  I just received a notice that lunch reservations must be made by March 24, which is tomorrow.  So, if you haven't made plans for lunch, look at the possibilities.  http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/  This is the link for topics and speakers. 

See you in 2+weeks. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Indexing - 1940 Census - first lines with no residence number or surname

If you don't have a surname or a residence number on the first few lines of a census page, please go up to view and look at previous page.  Get the information for the surname and residence number from there and use that on the page that you are indexing.  We really want to make sure that all of the children, or other family members, get a surname if at all possible.  Thank you for all of your indexing efforts.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Indexing - Location - 1940 Census

Indexing suggestion:

When you are indexing the 1940 census there are some location columns.  If you are unable to identify the location or the spelling, I suggest that you use a google search.  Do you know if the city is Las Angeles or Los Angeles?  Do you know if you should be spelling the county Yavapi or Yavapai or Yavaipai?  Should you be writing St Lewis or St Louis or Saint Louis? 

I have the google window open while indexing.  If I have a question, I put in the state;  then I try to identify the county, spelling it as I believe it may be spelled.  Usually I get a quick response with the spelling that I used, or a slight variation.  It's quick; easy; and accurate.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book - Arizona 1890s era

I have not read the book These is my Words:  The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E Turner.  However, it comes highly recommended.  While it is a novel, reading the reviews I believe it is probably "historical fiction", with lots of history along with the romance, etc. 

I'm always looking for good books to help me understand how my ancestors lived:  the times and the places.  While I don't have any Arizona ancestors, for those of you who do, you may want to check out this book.  AND, if you know of other good "historical fiction" books, particularly Kansas and Missouri during the late 1800s and early 1900s I would really appreciate hearing about them.

Disclosures:  I have received no compensation in any form for the brief mention of this book.  AND, as mentioned before, I haven't even read it yet.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life Interferes with Genealogy

I don't know where I read/heard this, but sometimes it's really true.  Life has definitely interferred with genealogy for me during the past 3 1/2 months.  And, it's going to continue for the next 1 1/2 months except for NGS in Cincinnati.

I haven't even looked at the 1940 census for my relatives.  BUT I have worked on indexing for a few hours, in between other projects.  Perhaps summer will be different.  Let's hope.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Family History Society of Arizona AND Lisa Louise Cooke

Just a reminder.  Lisa Louise Cooke will be the featured speaker at the FHSA seminar/annual meeting next Saturday.  There's still time to register.  Go to fhsa.org to see all of the information.  Then, call or email me so we can get your phone number and what type of lunch you would like. 

It's going to be a great day.  Hope to see you there.

1940 Census - FOUR weeks to go

In case you have missed the news (No, not the national news on TV), the 1940 census will be available in four weeks. 

Have you looked at the Steve Morse site to help you find the ED?  You still have four weeks to do that.

Have you signed up to index?  You still have four weeks to do that.

Will the servers go down?  Who knows!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1940 Census - Index - Please

Yes, I'm another one on the Indexing Bandwagon.  I won't go into details, but PLEASE, sign up to index.  And, if you go to familysearch.org, you can choose the state you would prefer to work on. 

You don't need to wait until April 2.  Practice a little now and you'll feel like a pro in the 30+ days between now and then.  As Mikey used to say, "Try it; you'll like it."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Thoughts

Do you remember decorating shoe boxes in elementary school?  Then each student would bring cards and we'd go home with a box of Valentine's Day wishes?

Do you remember making cards with white and/or red dollies in the shape of hearts or circles?  And trying to cut wonderful hearts out of red construction paper?  These special ones always went to our grandparents and parents?

Do you remember making dozens of rolled cookies?  Heart shaped, of course.  And decorating them with red (really pink) and white frosting?  And trying to write on them with a frosting filled cone?  These would go to neighbors and friends.

Do you remember those little heart-shaped candies with words on them?  And sorting through them in order to make a sentence and then put them on a little plate for a parent?  Or a friend?  Or a spouse? 

And now, I look through dozens of cards, to find the perfect one for my husband of many+ years, in order to let him know how much I love him. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surname Saturday - Isaacs, Norman Frances

Norman Frances Isaacs was born in Texas in 1920.  I believe he died in Nevada in 1979.  While I know he had one son, born in 1950 in California (still living), I am looking for other children of Norman Isaacs and his wife Lora NaDean Hardin (1920 Texas to 1996 Nevada).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

GRIPitt - Registration Success

I just registered for the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg (GRIPitt).  With the advice of Michelle, I was registered in my first choice class and received an email confirmation with a time of 10:01 (just one minute after registration opened).  Thank you Michelle.

I'm so excited.  I've never been to an Institute.  No, it's not close (I live in Arizona).  No, I don't have any ancestors in Pennsylvania.  BUT I'm going to be learning so much that will improve my research skills.  Fortunately, I have five months to prepare. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Roots Tech 2013

I am listening to Josh Taylor.  I don't know if I heard correctly, but did he say that RootsTech 2013 is going to be in March?  If so, when? 

I have been trying to figure out how to follow RootsTech on facebook.  I do have a facebook account and have friends who are mainly family.  But I can't figure out how to get RootsTech info on facebook.  And I don't have a twitter account, so I don't understand how to read some of that info.  Remember, I'm tech challenged! 

But, perhaps in one year I'll be able to feel comfortable enough with some of this to attend.

Monday, January 30, 2012

RootsTech - Why I'm Not There

And, why I'm sorry I'm not there.  (I should have listened to Amy.)

When I looked at the topics, and listened to others talk, I felt that I didn't even have the vocabulary to understand the presentations at RootsTech.  I didn't even understand some of the titles of the presentations.  After all, I don't know the difference between a tablet, an Ipod, an Ipad, a notebook or a droid and Android, a smart phone and IPhone and a blackberry, or apps.  After all, I just learned how to use a digital camera 1 1/2 years ago, right before FGS in Knoxville in 2010.  My phone doesn't take photos.  I don't know how to send text messages.  And I keep forgetting how to even get messages for the few times someone calls me while my phone is off.  I do have a facebook account, but it is basically so that I can see photos of my grandchildren; find out what activities my nieces and nephews are doing; and finding out where my sister is traveling on business.  I don't tweet.   I tried google+ but haven't figured out how to actually get factual stuff rather than just someone's personal info. 

And while this blog is 7 months old, I don't know how to even make some changes in the template (like background color and title colors) and I'm afraid to start over.  I also haven't been able to figure out how to sort the blogs that I follow, since my list is really getting too long for a 3 to 4 times a week look.  (It's overwhelming and I regularly consider just taking almost all of them out of reader.) 

So, with this lack of knowledge, how could I possible understand the stuff being presented at RootsTech?  Why should I spend the money to attend a conference and be overwhelmed by all of you who are familiar with this stuff? 

So, why am I sorry I'm not there?

Well, I was able to download the syllabus.  Of course, I don't know what to do know because it seems like each one is in pdf and word.  So, which do I keep?  One or both? 

BUT, the biggest positive is that I actually understand most of the words in the syllabus.  (At least for those sessions I've looked at so far.)  Some of them are actually very similar to sessions that I've attended before at other conferences.  Could I have benefited from attending?  Yes.  Will I consider going in 2013?  Yes.  (Except that NGS is in Las Vegas and that's close and I want to attend and encourage Arizona researchers to try a large conference.  Then there is FGS in Fort Wayne.  Who can resist researching there especially when flying that distance?)  With those two and Jamboree, can I really manage FOUR conferences in one year? 

So, I'm going to try to listen to the RootsTech sessions that are going to be streamed by RootsTech.  (Those in Room 155, I believe.)  I need to figure out if I can listened to them at some other time, because, unfortunately, sometimes life interferes with genealogy. (Too often, sometimes!)  And, then I have a list of other sessions that I understand are also going to be streamed.  I still need to get all of the info about those and how to access them. 

Therefore, I'm going to be busy the next 2 days.  Perhaps not as busy as those of you who are traveling to Salt Lake City.  But I do know that I won't be waiting in airports trying to remember if all of my liquids and gels are in small enough containers.  I won't be walking in the rain or snow;  after all I'm in the Phoenix area.  And, while I won't learn as much as I probably would if I were there, perhaps I'll be able to understand enough to gain the knowledge to attend next year, or the year after. 

Have a great time!! To all of you who are there.  I hope you share thoughts with all of us who are not there.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Expo - Mesa and Family History Society of Arizona (Day 2)

Well, this is really day 3 (no Expo, just recovering).  We had about 300 people pick up flyers in the two days.  I saw lots of FHSA members as well as talked with some researchers who would like to have chapters in their areas:  Cave Creek, Apache Junction and Gilbert.  I'll see what I can do to help them form chapters. 

So many people found out that Lisa Louise Cooke is coming in March and picked up information.  They either heard her talk at Expo or heard someone else talk about her presentations.  I just know that our Seminar will be great.  For those who would like to attend, the registration form is at http://www.fhsa.org/.  We'd love to see you.

I met a couple of new bloggers;  I saw a couple of researchers who were in my Tempe Parks and Rec classes; I saw a few more who had attended sessions at one of the libraries.  It's nice to see these fairly new researchers enjoying the benefits of a wide variety of presentations.  And, without traveling across the country.  Arizona is a fairly large state and there were genealogists from Flagstaff, Prescott, Springerville, Benson, Yuma, Tucson, Green Valley, Parker and probably every place in between.  (If you aren't familiar with Arizona geography, Benson is SE, Yuma is SW, Parker is sort of NW, Springerville is sort of NE, etc., etc.  And, while many consider Flagstaff at the northern border, there are still miles of land north before you actually cross out of Arizona.)

So thank you to all who stopped by, visited with me, shared stories while sessions were going on, etc. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Expo - Mesa & Family History Society of Arizona

I had a great day at the Family History Expo in Mesa.  I spent the day in the book for the Family History Society of Arizona.  I met so many great people.  And some came by more than once just to "chat."  I gave some of them names of free web sites (like familysearch, rootsweb and heritage quest).  I waved at many others that I knew.  I "met" Byron again.  We talked last year; he joined FHSA; I saw him at FGS in Springfield in August 2011; and now he's presenting.  That was really great to hear.

I was going to have dinner during one of the late afternoon sessions.  I ended up not eating until almost 7 because 1-3 people were at the booth continuously from about 4:30 to 6:40.  Isn't that great?  And I certainly wasn't going to get up and say, "Excuse me, but I want to eat instead of talking with you about genealogy and FHSA." 

Mary Lu came by between sessions a couple of times and really helped out, answering questions and visiting with some researchers while I visited with others.  Thank you Mary Lu.

Well, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I know it will be great.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Who Do You Think You Are

This information is for those of you who haven't heard the news yet.  Save Friday nights beginning February 3.
 This paragraph is from NBC.com.  See this site for the complete details.

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.-- January 6, 2012-- Viewers can take an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities when NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" returns for its third season on Friday, February 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). The celebrities who star in the series are Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rose Parade - A New Year's Tradition

I just finished watching the Rose Parade for the upteenth year.  Being brought up in Southern California we always watched the Rose Parade and usually had a choice of 4-6 TV stations.  Sometimes we even went to see the floats while they were being decorated.

Then, I went to Cal Poly Pomona.  The second day of freshman orientation someone walked through the dorm and asked if anyone could type.  Well, I could.  I was drafted to type something for the Cal Poly Rose Float Committee.  I was hooked!!! Big TIME!!!  I learned to arc weld and then spent almost every day and evening from Christmas Day to New Year's Eve working on the float.  Committee members had white coveralls, like painter's coveralls, and we had a Cal Poly Rose Float Patch that we sewed to the back.  I kept those coveralls for years.  And, I may even have the patch someplace, in some box.  (I need to look for it.)

Then, after the decorating, that year and the next few years, until my husband Walt graduated from Cal Poly and we moved to Connecticut, we would spend New Year's Eve camped out on Colorado Boulevard.  That was the best way of getting a front row seat for the parade, as well as parking fairly near our street site.

So, it doesn't seem like New Year's Day until after the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game, whether they are held on January 1 or 2.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.