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 ( 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: 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 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:

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.  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.