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Friday, September 28, 2012

How to stay busy for a conference: Next FTF post is up!

My next post for Family Tree Firsts is up!  Hope you all enjoy it!!

I really do overschedule, overstretch, and overreach at times in my life.  My simple weekend of staying at home looking at a computer screen filled very quickly.  Obligations, opportunities, and a need to be helpful do it to me every time.

Fall Virtual Conference Kick Off–There’s Still Time to Register!Besides the Family Tree University Virtual Conference, the one thing that I had to do (no matter what) was meet my new-to-me cousin Bob.  We have been corresponding for several months and I was not going to miss the opportunity to meet up with him and his wonderful wife while they were in town.  All I have to say… I sure do see the Arvin family resemblance!  My husband commented on it as well.  Hopefully we will get to meet up again in the future.

Yes, I am still pouring through all the lectures from the conference.  I know I will watch a couple of them several times just to make sure that I didn’t miss any of the information.  This is such a good conference and I have a feeling that I will be attending them in the future as well.  One day I think I would like to attend a brick and mortar conference, but it may be a while off.  Like when the boys can fend for themselves and it is okay to leave them alone…when will that be…really? 

 

 

Week 39 of Abundant Genealogy


Week 39: Society Journal or Quarterly. Share with us your favorite genealogy society journal or quarterly publication. How long have you been reading it? Which group publishes it? Why is this publication one of your favorites? How has is helped you research your family history?

American Ancestors Magazine Cover 2012I have really enjoyed receiving my issues of American Ancestors from NEHGS.  They are interesting, insightful, and an all-around good read.  When I get it in the mail I just can’t stop reading it until I am through from the beginning to the end.  I became a member last year, and since they are quarterly I have only received 5 issues. 

In that amount of time it has helped me in several ways, and I am sure that I will discover that it is a publication I won’t want to do without.  I have discovered new ways to research, places to look, and most importantly I can study the ways that others write and research.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Visiting Sisters: October 1908

Wheat farm. Daviess County, Indiana
Wheat farm in Washington, Daviess County, Indiana
Image from the Library of Congress
This was another treasure that I recieved from my aunt a few weeks back.  While long, it is a fascinating personal account of a vist between sisters.  The family connection for the people named in the entry are listed below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Siblings:
William H. Duley
Rebecca Duley Fravel
Abbie Duley Lasley
Emma Duley Farish
Catherine "Kitty" Duley Deatrick
Sarah E. Duley Bline

Rebecca Hall = Daughter of William Duley

Mary Brennan, Emma Graham, Abbie Connnaughton, Carrie Cates, John Bline = Children of Sarah E. Duley Bline

Rhoda Brennan = Sister in law to Mary Brennan

Still piecing together the Deatrick family...



Page 1

Washington, Ind October 20, 1980

Mrs. Rebecca Fravel and Mrs. Abbie Lasley and Mrs. Emma Farish left for New Albany October the 19, 1908.  There visiting there Mr. and Mrs. James Deartrick there sister and also Mr. Ben Deatrick and family, on the morning of the 20 started for Washington Ind to visit Mrs. Sarah E. Bline and her daughters and sons and sons wifes and our only brother William H. Duley and his daughter Rebecca Hall and her little daughter Mary Hall from Mount Vernon Ind.  They also met us there and we had a family reunion it was real nice and a happy meeting for us all to meet again and enjoy life together one more time in this life = but the parting will be sad but bye and bye we will meet to part no more that will be grand = we was met at the depo by Mrs. Mary Brennan = Mrs. Abbie Conethan our brother William H. Duley having a buss ready we all got in and away we all went to the city Hotel = to our sister Mrs. Sarah E. Blines home = she met us at the door with a welcome.  Shake hands and a lovely kiss on her lips all so met her son John and wife Ellie with all there welcomed in there home then having a nice lovely dinner spread before us to partake off which was good and nice =  and on the 21 of October we were all invited to Mrs. Abbie Conathan to take dinner we all went.  Mrs. Rebecca Fravel, Mrs. Abbie Lasley, Mrs. Emma Farish, Mrs. Sarah E. Bline, Mr. William H. Duley, Mrs. Rebecca Hall,

 

Page 2

and her daughter Mary Hall to a = dinner and good time together after the good dinner we served we all got on the street car going to the semitary where Mrs. Bline husband body was laid to rest to await the reserection morning when the graves shall give up the dead.  We all walked around though the grave yard looking and readin on the grave stones until we were very tired then we all come to the car and got in and then went home with our sister Mrs. Sarah Bline = staying all night = then on the 22 we were all invited = to take dinner with Mrs. Mary Brennan = where we all having a nice dinner and a real good time to geather having another one in our number which was Mrs. Emma Graham from Browstown = which was the daughter of Mrs. Sarah E. Bline = then after dinner the neighbors of Mrs. Brennan came in and we all together had a nice talk together and a real nice time = then we all come home with our sister Mrs. Bline at her home at the city hotel = on Friday the 23 our brother William H. Duley and his daughter Mrs. Rebecca Hall and her little daughter Mary = left for Mount Vernon Ind and went to there home = but my prayer is that we may all meet where parting is no more

 

Page 3

on the evening of the 23 there was a four seated rig frove up at our sister Sarah Hotel = there were eight of us got in the rig Mrs. Rebecca Fravel, Mrs. Abbie Lasley, Mrs. Sarah E. Bline, Mrs. Emma Frasher, Mrs. Mary Brennan, Mrs. Abbie Conathan, Mrs. Ellie Bline, Mrs. Emma Graham we all had a nice time.  We went all through the town of Washington Ind.  Seen the nice churches = school houses and so many nice residents and so many butiful flowers = and riding out until the sun was setting in the west and we all had a nice and a good time together = on Saturday the 24 Mrs. Rebecca Fravel, Mrs. Abbie Lasley, Mrs. Emma Farish all went to Mrs. Margaret Holbins had a nice dinner we spent the day with her = in the evening Mrs. Sarah E. Bline and daughter Mrs. Emma Graham come to spend the evening had good time together in the evening we come home with sister Sarah then myself Abbie Lasley and Emma Graham went down to Mrs. Mary Brennan and taken supper = then I come Abbie Lasley and stayed all night with sister Sarah.  On Sunday morning the 25 myself Mrs. Mary Brennan, Abbie Conthan went to the ME church to meeting and all came back to Sister Blines for dinner in the evening we all went to the Salvation Street Meeting = at night we went

 

Page 4

to the UB Church to meeting Brother Moon from Harrison Co was the preacher.  Brother Seoonoaen (?) was the presideing Elder it was quarterly meeting.  The sacrament was administered they had a good meeting = Monday the 26 = Sarah B, Abbie L, Rebecca F, Emma G all went to Mrs. Will Cates for dinner.  We had a lovely dinner every thing was so nice and good.  We had a nice talk after dinner and a good time together.  Then Mary Brennan and her son was with us for dinner.  Later in the evening we all went out calling on Mrs. Rhoda Brennan and then from there to our sisters home Sarah E. Bline for to stay all night on the night of the 26 Sarah, Becca, and Emma and my self went up in town to shows they were real nice.  On the morning of the 27 Becca and Emma and myself went to Abbie Conathan to stay a while = then we come back to sister Sarah for dinner and on the evening of the 27 Emma Farish, Abbie Conathon and myself called on Brother Moon and wife and spent the evening nicely.  Then come back to sister Sarah for the night.  So many of our friends come in to bid us good bye for we were going to leave for New Albany on the morning of the 28.  It was sad to part

 

Page 5

with  those we loved.  Our Sweet sister and her loving children Becca dn Emma and myself left the city hotel leaving our good sister standing in the door with weeping eyes to bid us all farewell = and waving her sweet hand goodbye = then our nephew John Bline and our nieces Abbie Conanthan and Mary Brennan, Carrie Cates and her husband Will Cates = all went to with us so sad = but as the hymn sang = I sed god be with you all till we meet again = leaving them and kissing them all good bye = but I hope not forever = then we got to New Albany at 10 clock in the evening, getting on the street car went to Mr. Ben Deatricks and ate dinner = they went to see our friend Mrs. Stacie Anderson = which was very sick then went from there to our sister Kitty Deatrick and her husband James Deatrick = and staying all night with them.  On the morning of the 29 Mrs. Rebecca Fravel, Emma Farish, Catharine Deatrick = Abby Lasley, all went to Lem Deatrick for dinner had a fine dinner his wife and daughter treated us so nice = after dinner we went to visit Mr. Ed Deatrick and wife and family had a good time.  Stayed till late in the evening.  Becca went home with sister Kitty to stay all night

 

Page 6

Emma went to Mr. Ben Deatrick to stay all night = I went to visit Mrs. Ryland.  She was not at home = then I went to Mr. Lem Deatrick at night.  Will Ryland, Mrs. Ryland Will Ryland Mother, and mrs Lizzie Deatrick = and myself Abbie Lasley all went to the mission church = we herd a fine surmon = then I went home with Mrs. Lizzie Deatrick and stayed all night = on the 30 Mr. John Deatrick came and taken all four of us sisters down to his farm on the Ohio river to take dinner with him and his family = my sister names that went was Rebecca Fravel, Kitty Deatrick, Emma Farish, and myself Abbie Lasley = we had a nice time at his home every thing was lovely the hous was so nice well furnished but one was missen that was laney his wife.  She has gone never to return again.  She was not there to welcome us in as she use to meet us at the gate and welcome us in but she has to her home in heaven where when we meet her at the gate we will enter in to the city where there will be no more parting but forever praising the lord halleugh; then in the evening John Deatrick brought us back to Ben Deatrick.  Becca dn emma Stayed all night I went to Lem Deatrick, Lizzie Deatrick and Will Ryland and myself went on the hill to the campground

 

Page 7

to visit Mrs. Cora Riggle my cosin.  She had consumption.  She was very poorly = no better she was so glad to see us = and had so many good words for us all and so many pleasant smiles = poor woman I did feel so sorrow for her = then we come back to Lizzie Deatrick eate supper and went to Ben Deatrick after supper.  Stayed a while then went to see Staccie Anderson.  Found her better then I went back home with Lizzie Deatrick and stayed all night = the next morning  which was the 31 of October Becca F, Emma F, and myself Abbie L, left New Albany for Corydon.  Got to Corydon at 10 O Clock.  There Ben Lasley was there for to take me home = Georgie Fravel to take Becca home, Charley Farish come to take Emma to her home = that the end of our journey a good and a nice time we all had together.

What do you all know about that =

Written by Mrs. Abbie Lasley = after her and her other too sisters Becca Fravel and Emma Farish taken there trip to Washington Daviess Co Ind to visit there sister Mrs. Sarah E Bline and children.  I love you one I love you all = I love you until we shall hear the call = To meet on cannan happy shore = there to meet to part no more

 

Page 8

Written by Mrs. Abbie Lasley
For her sister
Mrs. Sarah E. Bline
And Family

Mrs. Abbie Lasley, Mrs. Rebecca Fravel, Mrs. Emma Farish

This was all about there visit to Washington to see there sister and what happened while there and at New Albany on there journey

Remember me when this you see
Tho many a miles afar we be
And the grave shall be my bed
Remember me when I am dead

Abbie Lasley, love to all

Say it like you mean it... I AM A WRITER!



This morning I read a post on Lynn Palermo’s blog The Armchair Genealogist that really spoke to me.  It was “Blog to Book:Finding Your Writing Routine.”  At times it was like she was reading my mind.  I found myself talking back to the computer screen and nodding in acknowledgment.  Luckily no one saw me, so there were no mom-has-gone-crazy-again stares. 

Lynn shared her story of becoming a writer in this post, and I found it encouraging.  Until the last few months I would only tell my closest friends that I had really started to love writing.  A few weeks ago I told a complete stranger that I was a writer.  It was liberating.  It was scary.  It was so unexpected!  I just blurted it out when I was asked what I do.  “oh, you know.  I am a stay-at-home mom and I write a family history blog.”  Where in the world did that answer come from?

As a child I had been told several times by teachers that I couldn’t write.  Which, as with my artist streak (another story about how I believe all I am told) I subconsciously took to heart.  I couldn’t diagram a sentence and still don’t understand how to use punctuation correctly.  Verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives… make it stop!  Just let me put the words onto the paper.

I struggled with writing prompts through school, drug my heels on papers, and cringed at the thought of having to share my thoughts or ideas with the class.  My one bright spot seemed to be creative writing.  I earned repeated praise for my poetry, fictional short stories, and other creative writing assignments.  When I was in 4th grade I sat down at the family computer (an apple IIe) and wrote a 10 chapter novel about a girl in colonial Maryland.  To be fair, 4th grade was the year I studied Maryland State History. But, I wasn’t a good writer.  Nope, not me; just ask all my teachers.  Well, except one.  When I was a junior in high school my honors English teacher was great.  This was the year for creative writing and all of the sudden I was an A student for the first time ever.  That should have told someone, anyone, something about me.

Twenty years later and here I sit struggling with the thought that maybe, just maybe, I could be a good writer.  Maybe, just maybe, someone would be interested in hearing what I have to say.  Could it be true?  I know that I type so fast words get lost from my brain to the keys.  I know I still struggle with the proper usage of the comma (just ask the poor soul who reads my FTF blogs before I send them off).  However I have learned to love the written word again.  I now write on a daily basis, and I have found that I could spend hours at my computer putting thoughts to paper if I could.

Does that make me a writer?

If it does… what do I do next? 
 
Well, besides swallow that knot in my throat and take a plunge… any plunge… into the world of free-lance.

I have wonderful friends and family who have been encouraging me to take this leap.  Why don’t I write I book?  Why don’t I write some articles?  Why don’t I do some more research and really write an in depth history of X family?  Well… why shouldn’t I?

First… I just have to kick this fear of failure to the curb.  Yes, I have to get over the fact that I may fail.  On the other hand I could be a sucess.  Just need to throw that doubt out, like I somehow did when I started this blog.

 
photo credit: Joel Bedford via photopin cc and Dave Dugdale via photopin cc

Monday, September 24, 2012

Software clean up next step

Okay, here is my next please help question, because I am not sure how to proceed. 

Now that I have all the people cleaned up I am starting on the media.  My biggest problem is I have Census records that are linked to the wrong people with the wrong source citations.  For example:  The Kelley family should show a Census record for Rutherford Township, Martin County, Indiana.  The source citation for the record states that, but the image is for the Combs family from Lost River Township, Martin County, Indiana.

<insert hysterical screaming here>
 
"SP.M.0911"

When I click the button on FTM2012 to unlink source I get 10 choices to unlink... to say I am paranoid about doing something wrong in an understatement. Suggestions?  Besides paying one of you to come to my house and sort this out.

Image from the Library of Congress

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Court records and the interesting things you read in them.


For the last several days I have been combing though the Surry County, North Carolina Court minutes from 1797-1836. There are references to many of my family (so far all on the "good" side of the law) and I am cataloguing them for future research. However, every so often, I run into an interesting snip-it of another family’s life.

This evening the following item on page 23 from the court minutes of 1815-1819 caught my eye:

Ordered by the court that JEMIMA KELLY (a child of JOHN KELLY who has deserted his FAMILY) aged three years this day August 16th, 1815 be BOUND unto JOHN MARTIN until she arrives to the age of 18 years.  The said MARTIN agrees to learn her the art & minstress [mystery] of a SPINTRESS give her one years schooling between the age of 12 & 16 years & two suits of clothes at her freedom.  6/paid

So besides the heart wrenching story of a 3 year old being abandoned… what the heck is “the art & minstress [mystery] of a SPINTRESS?”  Could it be a person taught to spin on a spinning wheel?  Any ideas?
Spinning wheel in attic. Cajun farm home, Crowley, Louisiana
 
 
Image from the Library of Congress

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friends are the best research partners: Next FTF post is up!

 
My next post at Family Tree Firsts is up!  You can read it here.

A few weeks back a group of my friends, who all have a passion for genealogy, got together to share and learn.  We had a great time and it made me think about genealogy societies.  I know, odd train of thought, but bear with me a minute.

Genealogy societies form as a place where people in an area, or with a specific research slant, can come together to learn.  Or at least that is the way I tend to define them.  There was one in the nearest big town to me, about 20 minutes from my house.  However, their meetings have, in the past, been on the same night as meetings for another group I am involved with.  I was a ceremonial officer in the other group for the last 4 years and I needed to be at those meetings.  Unfortunatly the genealogy society appeared to met at no other times.  Yes, I was bummed, but I figured that I would pick it up after my term of office was over.  Well, good intentions and all, I can no longer find working contact information for them and have a sinking feeling that they may no longer be a functioning group.

That is why I was so excited to find like minded people in my other hobby who invited me to come up to the NOVA area and share in a day of genalogical fun!  We did have a great time, and with an amazing set of cooks a great pot luck too.  Yummmm..... fooooooooddddddd.  We just sorta formed our own impromtu informal group.  Those sometimes are the best kind.

We decidedly to meet quarterly and our next meeting is in November.  I seriously can't wait.

Image from the Library of Congress

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My turn on the DNA testing path

I am sure many of you have seen the multiple posts from various bloggers who are doing the AncetryDNA testing.  Well… add one more.  When the special offer came across my computer I couldn’t pass it up.  This time I am doing the test myself.  Maybe next time I will get my husband to do one.

It was a different set-up than the FTDNA test my dad did.  With his it was a cheek swap.  This was a spit test.  The scientist in my is wondering why and I will need to go do some reading up on why one vs. the other.  In school we did the cheek swap when we learned how to analyze DNA and I remember how much getting a good scrape was stressed so that you would collect enough DNA to replicate and analyze.  I wonder if the spit test is supposed to gather more DNA. 

Well, 8 weeks give or take and I can report back to you all how much of an American mongrel I am.  Wonder if grandma’s story of Native American blood with show up.  Should be interesting nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week 38 of Abundant Genealogy

Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories. Tell us a funny ancestor story that stands out in your mind. When did you first hear the story? Do other family members tell different versions? Does this tale play a large part in your family tree?

Wow... so much  material to draw from.  I have very colorful family members who love to spin a good yarn.  My dad has always told great tales about growing up and all the trouble that he, his siblings, and his cousins got into. 

One of my favorites, one that had my grandmother fuming until the day she died, was about stealing watermelons from a roadside stand.  Now I know that is not exactly a good story to be laughing about, it is about theft after all, but it always makes me giggle.

My father and his brothers were notorious for doing things... well... lets just say not always on the up-and-up.  They never got caught, and always seemed to be just ahead of those that could get them in trouble.  So no harm no foul, right?  My grandfather had just been elected to the Indiana State Legislature and needless to say my grandmother wanted to make sure they were more respectable in their behaviour.  There were quite a few lectures to the kids on this subject.

In the late 1950's the drive from their home in Daviess County to the state capital was very long.  Heck, when I last lived in Indiana it was 3 hours with better and larger roads.  Grandma and the three boys, I don't know where my aunt was, were driving home from dropping grandpa off for a session.  It was getting dark and they were only a few miles from their home town.  Grandma was driving with the new license plates that showed this car belonged to a member of the House. 

All of the sudden dad yells "Mom!  Stop the car!"

She slams on the breaks thinking that something is horribly wrong when all three boys pile out of the car, run across the 2 lane highway, each one grabbing a watermelon under both arms from the roadside watermelon stand, and start running back.  As soon as dad gets back to the car the farmer come out from inside the house with a shotgun.

Dad and his brothers start yelling "Go MOM go!  Floor it!!!"

Grandma not knowing what else to do, confused by what just happened floors it as the farmer begins to shoot at the car.  A few minutes later, once she composes herself, she lays into them.  saying things like "Your father is a member of the legislature!",  "What were you thinking!", "What if he had shot you!", "What if he saw the plates?!", "Wait til your father hears!!" and so on and so forth.

Yeah... she still turned red 30 years later.  One day she confesed that she speed off becasue 1) she didn't want him to shoot her, and 2) if she drove fast enough he might not be able to tell they were government plates.

photo credit: carrie227 via photo pin cc

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rolodexing the cousins

 
Last night I sat down and was going to write an email to a cousin. I pulled up the name, looked at it, thought about it, and then I wasn't sure that I was actually writing to the right person after all. This is a problem I never thought I would have. So many extended family members that I can't keep them all straight!

Seriously, this is a problem I that never, in a million years, would have dreamed I would encounter.  I am an only child.  On my dad’s side I have 5 cousins.  On my mom’s side I am the only one.  Yes, they have a few more cousins than that, making my 2nd cousin numbers swell, but they are so much older than me I didn’t connect with many of them. Some I have never met. Family get togethers were always smallish.  Maybe there would 20-25 people on a good year at a reunion or grandma's house for holiday dinners.  We all knew each other, and, well, as a kid I was pretty much ignored.  Once we left Indiana, those became fewer and fewer.  Now that I am older I wish I had more close connections with my relatives, but that is just not the way it is.

Imagine my delight and joy, however, when new-to-me cousins started connecting with me.  WOHOO!  It was awesome!  Nearly a year in I am finding that I can’t keep many of them straight though.  It looks like I am going to need to sort and file my relatives so that I can at least attempt to remember who goes to which family.  Thank goodness I don’t have anyone connecting to me with more than one family… yet.

Anyone have any advice on how they keep their living relations in order?  I have thinking just a database by researching family name.  Could work.  Heck I live with a programmer, bet he could hook me up with something snazzy.

photo credit: renaissancechambara via photo pin cc

Redefining genealogy in the 21st century

Recently I was directed to a post by Kenneth R. Marks titled “I Don’t Wanna be a Genealogist.”   To be honest I was not sure what to expect.  I had read the review on Jenny Davis’s site Attracting 21ster Genealogists and had to read it for myself.  Briefly, in the article Mr. Marks tells his personal research story into genealogy and why the institution that is in place needs to change. 

First off, and this shows just how un-hip I am, I had never heard of the term 21ster.  Sad, but true.  It also appears to be a term only found in genealogy circles as my friends who aren’t into my addiction looked at me like I had grown two heads when I asked them if they had heard of a 21ster.  All the Google searches I did on the term only pulled up genealogy blogs too, that was a clue.  Ms. Davis defines a 21ster as:
Undefined by age, a 21ster has embraced technology and expects to use all sorts of technological tools in their family history research.
My wonderful husband told me that they have a similar concept in the IT world but have not labeled it with such a swanky name.  The world at-large does acknowledge that there are a group of people out there, usually in the 15-35 age range, that are driven by their use of technology.  They are the ones that will whip out the smart phone and do searches, purchases, and correspondences right there.  They are plugged-in and know how to use the tech out there.

In his post, Mr. Marks’s characterization of how to define the current generation of genealogists and family historians struck me.  He stated:
It is my view that neither term fits the current state of ancestor research. In fact, the “new” type of researcher is interested in discovering kinships, relationships, and stories, with an ever increasing interest in old photos, old documents, letters and other artifacts. In other words, both “genealogy” and “family history” apply but neither term satisfies.
I would define myself similarly.  I do enjoy collecting all the ephemera as well as the cold hard facts about people and making connections with others who are researching the same families.  The ability to share and collaborate with others makes you a stronger researcher since you have to be critical of your findings and others as well.  Also, I feel you can’t have a good story with just the raw data.  You need historical, social, and personal stories to really fill out your family saga.  On the flip side I don’t agree that a new term needs to be created.  Why can’t the words genealogy or family history still be used to define what I, and others, do?  We are still tracing our ancestors; just because we are doing it in a high-tech way doesn’t make it any different than those who do it with pencil and paper. 

Mr. Marks experiment intrigued me; however, I am not sure I agree with all of his conclusions.  I know, from first hand-experience, that you cannot do EVERYTHING online in any subject.  Sometimes, you have to go to a museum, archive, specialized library, or even a castle to understand the project you are trying to learn about.  Yes, I have done the castle thing for a project.  Relying on only on-line sources for any research endeavor is tantamount to hamstringing yourself at the beginning of a race.  You will never be completely successful in your research by limiting the types of information gathering opportunities you have.

That being said, do I think that there are places for improvement?  Yes.  Would I like a better online presence from societies, archives, libraries, and the like?  Yes.  Do I expect them to put their entire collection online?  No.  That costs money and resources that many places just don’t have and it is unrealistic to think that everyone can digitize all their images at this point in time.  It would be fantastic if someday in the future we could have everything in the world online, if not for research for pure preservation of the materials, but this is a gargantuan task that I know possibly not be accomplished in my lifetime.  Right now I would be satisfied with an online presence which makes browsing their titles, contacting the correct staff, or how to take advantage of their institution.  All too often I search sites unable to find this information.  In particular my frustration is with many genealogy societies.  It is my opinion that societies have no excuse not to have an online presence with all the free or low cost resources out there to get you started. 

As for the claim that 21sters don't want to be lectured at but worked with... I am not too sure how I feel about that statement. If the presentation is exciting, intriguing, and thought provoking I will be more than happy sit through it. Having someone work with you, in my opinion, is only good in small groups, and rarely online. If you want someone to work with you, you are going to have to get out of your house, off the computer, and meet them somewhere, most likely an archive. How else will you learn? Of course, I do love the smell of musty, dusty old books and the feel of that rag paper in my hands. You won't get that from the computer.

For his conclusions on what it takes to be a certified genealogist, well, it’s not for everyone.  I too have looked at what it takes to get certified and/or accredited.  It is intimidating, but very looks similar to the types of programs for advanced degrees and certifications in other fields.  There has to be a standardization that researchers go through to get that alphabet soup after their name, or else everyone could claim that because they have taken a few free online webinars they are now a professional.  Nothing like that should ever be taken lightly, and just like other areas of study, not everyone needs their Masters or Doctorate to be successful in their chosen fields.  Kudos to those who strive for that, they deserve the perks (what few there are) that come with their hard work and dedication to the field.

Now… off to do some online research.
 
 
photo credit: HikingArtist.com via photo pin cc and Klara Kim

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oral History to the rescue: Next FTF post is up!

My next Family Tree Firsts post is up, so run on over there and check it out.

This was such a neat experience for me.  I have begun to fall in love with personal accounts, stories, and biographies as a window into the lives of my family.  This was one of those moments that I will never forget; reading the life story of my dad’s great aunt to him over the phone.  It was almost surreal at points when he would fill in information for me about where places were and other people mentioned in the manuscript. 

As a recap, Eliza Jane Combs was the baby sister to my great-grandfather, Everett Combs.  Their parents were Willis Franklin “Frank” Combs and Mary Margaret Hall.  Frank and Mary had 9 children who were: Ira, Jennie, Homer, Ada, Everett, John, Margaret, George, and Eliza.  Frank's parents were James Combs and Mary Jane Hayden.  Eliza married first Everett Emmons and second Otis Kinnman.  By the time she gave the interview in 1973 she had done genealogy research for about 20 years the best I can tell.

I have to give my heartfelt thanks to Jill Larson who is a librarian and archivist at the Lewis Historical Library in Vincennes, Indiana.  She was great to work with while I was locating this document.  The staff and the library is a real gem with so much to offer historians and genealogists who want more information on southern Indiana.  Oh, and cheap too!  They only charge cost of paper for copies ($0.10 a page!) and mailed it to me with no problems.  Check them out!

Finally, I wanted to share with a couple passages from this interview.  They really struck me, and made me feel like I was right there with her and my family. 

In the summertime and in the fall we would go to fairs and things, but they didn’t have too much going on.  We used to get out with our brothers and pitch horse shoes.  I still love to pitch horse shoes.  It was regular boys’ activites, bit I was a regular tom boy.  My brother was four years my senior and we used to just love to climb trees.  In the tall cherry trees we had these old fashioned black cherries.  I would climb to the top of the tree with him and pick cherries to eat.

When we lived up in the hills – that was when I was a smaller kid of course – it was before I was ten years old.  We had an orchard and he only owned 80 acres, but we romped all over that.  We made our own sorgum.  We had mulberries, chinquapins, beechnuts, and everything else on that old hill.
 

We didn’t suffer, but I thought that we were dog poor.  We didn’t have much money.  We raised our own beans and potatoes and dad kept a pretty good herd of calves and cows and he always had a lot of hog running around through the woods.  They ate a lot of acorns from the oak trees.  My older brother wasn’t married until he was 28 and he had a great big bunch of calves and cows running around there.  They didn’t have too much farm ground.  I forget just how much my dad did have cleared.

My dad and his dad were mean horse shoe players too.  I guess I now know that it is a family obsession!  She talked for almost 10 pages about growing up on farms and the life that she had as a child in the country.  Priceless information to me.
 
Image from the Library of Congress

Oral History to the rescue: Next FTF post is up!

My next Family Tree Firsts post is up, so run on over there and check it out.

This was such a neat experience for me.  I have begun to fall in love with personal accounts, stories, and biographies as a window into the lives of my family.  This was one of those moments that I will never forget; reading the life story of my dad’s great aunt to him over the phone.  It was almost surreal at points when he would fill in information for me about where places were and other people mentioned in the manuscript. 

As a recap, Eliza Jane Combs was the baby sister to my great-grandfather, Everett Combs.  Their parents were Willis Franklin “Frank” Combs and Mary Margaret Hall.  Frank and Mary had 9 children who were: Ira, Jennie, Homer, Ada, Everett, John, Margaret, George, and Eliza.  Eliza married first Everett Emmons and second Otis Kinnman.  By the time she gave the interview in 1973 she had done genealogy research for about 20 years the best I can tell.

I have to give my heartfelt thanks to Jill Larson who is a librarian and archivist at the Lewis Historical Library in Vincennes, Indiana.  She was great to work with while I was locating this document.  The staff and the library is a real gem with so much to offer historians and genealogists who want more information on southern Indiana.  Oh, and cheap too!  They only charge cost of paper for copies ($0.10 a page!) and mailed it to me with no problems.  Check them out!

Finally, I wanted to share with a couple passages from this interview.  They really struck me, and made me feel like I was right there with her and my family. 


In the summertime and in the fall we would go to fairs and things, but they didn’t have too much going on.  We used to get out with our brothers and pitch horse shoes.  I still love to pitch horse shoes.  It was regular boys’ activites, bit I was a regular tom boy.  My brother was four years my senior and we used to just love to climb trees.  In the tall cherry trees we had these old fashioned black cherries.  I would climb to the top of the tree with him and pick cherries to eat.

When we lived up in the hills – that was when I was a smaller kid of course – it was before I was ten years old.  We had an orchard and he only owned 80 acres, but we romped all over that.  We made our own sorgum.  We had mulberries, chinquapins, beechnuts, and everything else on that old hill.



We didn’t suffer, but I thought that we were dog poor.  We didn’t have much money.  We raised our own beans and potatoes and dad kept a pretty good herd of calves and cows and he always had a lot of hog running around through the woods.  They ate a lot of acorns from the oak trees.  My older brother wasn’t married until he was 28 and he had a great big bunch of calves and cows running around there.  They didn’t have too much farm ground.  I forget just how much my dad did have cleared.



My dad and his dad were mean horse shoe players too.  I guess I now know that it is a family obsession!  She talked for almost 10 pages about growing up on farms and the life that she had as a child in the country.  Priceless information to me.
 
Image from the Library of Congress

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wait.... when did they become a twin? Databse problems running amuck

The ongoing struggle of keeping my database up to date is in full swing again.  I have been plodding along the last few weeks in all my copius free time trying to streamline the information.  Some days I want to run away screaming from the computer, throw it out a window, or worse yet reenact the printer destruction scene from Office Space.

I don’t know how, but somewhere along the way (I think most likely in one of the upload/downloads with Ancestry and Family Tree Maker) I acquired duplicate people.  250 duplicate people to be precise.  The only reason I found this out was by going alphabetically, person by person, through the tree.  Anytime I had two people of the same name I compared each one to see if they were the same.  I can now say that I am an expert at merging, attaching, and detaching people in the software.

Currently I am going through all the media items.   I have people attached to media that they are not in, and worse some of the media is labeled correctly for that person but the image is not what the description is.  What a mess!  It is going to take me weeks to get this all straight.  After the media is under control then I have to attack the source citations. 

With all the turmoil in my program I am not sure that I should be entering anymore data into it until it is all fixed.  Guess I better lock down the internet for a while to resist the temptation huh?  To say I am frustrated is putting it mildly, but I guess I am asking too much in expecting the program to work the way I think it should.  It is not its fault it was made this way… right?

Have any of you struggled with your software?  Any tips on how to survive the next few weeks as I clean it all up?  Besides lots of chocolate, wine, and mindless television. 

photo credit: jypsygen via photo pin cc and RenoTahoe via photo pin cc

Week 37 of Abundant Genealogy

State capitol. Jefferson City, MissouriWeek #37 – State Archives Week 37: State Archives. Which state archives repository is your favorite? Have you been there in person? What does their website offer to visitors? Share any advice you can to potential visitors who may visit the archives in the future.

Alas, I have not made it in person to any state archive.  On  my list is the Virginia and Maryland ones as they are only a day trip for both.  However, I have to tell you to go check out the Missouri State Archive online.  It is awesome! 

At it they have the Missouri Digital Heritage site. If you have Missouri ancestors this is worth the visit.  I have found several birth and death certificates online as well as images and documents pertaining to various historical events.  There is a lot there, take some time to get familiar with the site and look through it.

Image from the Library of Congress

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where were you on September 11, 2001

Taken January 1997 from a ferry on our way to Ellis Island
Geneabloggers made a call for us to write a post today about where we were when the towers fell.  I made the decision to join the call and write to you, and my future family, what was going on in my life that day.  It is amazing that 11 years later how many details are still cemented in my brain about that day.  Part of recording family history and genealogy is collecting the stories of your family, most of whom have died long ago. Few people remember that you need to collect your stories too so that future generations can know you as well. This is a story I can tell for my kids, and thier kids.

I woke up early to the calls of my almost one year old from his crib.  It was a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning in rural Indiana.  Just a touch of fall in the air and I could smell the nearby farms that had started cutting hay.  Clear blue skies with promise of a great day. 

As a stay at home mom to a 25 week preemie I had one focus in my life, my son.  Tuesday for my preemie baby was developmental therapy day and I had a laundry list of things to do before the therapist got there at 9 am.  Mr. Man was in a surprisingly good mood and I wasn't going to question it.

My husband's job at that time required him to travel every week to the client site.  For the past 2 years he had been leaving Monday morning for his office in Manhattan and returning home to us Friday evening.  We had talked the night before and I knew they were in the middle of big project that was going to have him working until all hours at his office on 5th Avenue.  Thankfully he had an apartment only a few blocks away, over near the UN.

After breakfast I placed the baby in his play pen for a few minutes so I could take a quick shower.  The therapist would be there in an hour and I still needed to pick up the living room and vacuum the floors.  Mr. Man was playing away with his toys and I had The Today Show on in the background for noise as I started the morning routine.  It was my way of trying to keep sane with only the two of us in the house.  The hosts of The Today Show, Katie Curic and Matt Laurer, had commented on how beautiful it was there in Manhattan that morning, and I remember hoping my husband would be able to enjoy a bit of the weather.  Secretly I was trying to plan out our next trip out there. (You can read her reount of the day here.)

File:Manhattan smoke plume on September 11, 2001 from International Space Station (ISS003-E-5388).jpg
This image or video was catalogued by
Johnson Space Center of the United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
under Photo ID: ISS003-E-5388
Found at Wikimedia
Half an hour later I started the tidying up for the therapist.  The machine was loud, and I just happened to glance at the TV when I saw the tower on fire.  From that moment on I was glued to the television.  The therapist arrived on time as I was talking to my mother-in-law and saw the second plane hit.  She had tried to call my husband but could not get through.  The cell towers were on the Trade Center, and there was now no signal.  My sons therapist was always the best, and she promised to call and reschedule as the phone rang again from another relative. 

Finally about 9:30 my husband was able to get to his office and call me.  Only the land lines worked, and he was with all of his co-workers in their office looking down 5th avenue at the smoke and the burning Buildings.  He promised to call me again as soon as he could.

As I hung up with him the reports of the attack on the Pentagon come in.  My gut wrenches again.  My fathers cousin was a General and his last post was the Pentagon.  Could he have still been there?  Was he at this new duty station? Now, the other half of the family living in Indiana are calling me to see if I can get news on our cousin.  All we can do is wait.

I watched the towers collapse with my son in my lap sitting on the floor of the living room with the tears running down my face. At one point I was on the phone with a good friend from college, the maid of honor from my wedding, and I remember screaming as I saw the buildings collapse.  It was like having you heart torn out.  Everything was in slow motion, my mind not wanting to believe what my eyes saw.  I truly grieved, with my whole heart, for all those that were lost and again when the reports of the plane down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

My mom in Iraq 2003
For hours we sat and listened and watched and cried.  Glued to the news, wondering how much more tragedy would be coming that day.  I knew that my sons world would never be the same. I was viewing a pivotal moment in time, history in the making, and nothing would ever be the same again.  My mom was in the Army and I knew that she would be out there, in some form or another, fighting against this new threat.  She did.  As a member of the 745 FST attached to the 3rd ID her unit was part of the initial push into Iraq two years later. 

The uncertainty was palatable in the air every where you went for the next few weeks, even months, and I clung to my family.  Thankful that my husband finally made it home, nearly a week later, in a truck crammed with men from his office who lived in Ohio and Indiana.

Not all my memories from that time are bad, thankfully.  The most striking memory I have in the days following the attacks was the way the sky looked.  For the first time in my life there were no trails in the sky from airplanes.  It was clear, blue, cloudy on occasion, but the familiar criss-cross lines of all the airplanes were missing.  Beautful.  My father told me that now I knew what it was like when he was a kid.  Just blue skies and natural clouds.

For the past 11 years conversations have turned again and again to where were you on 9/11.  We listend to a friend from college tell how she was in a conference near the trade centers when they heard a terrible rumble.  They looked through the windows and saw the first plane hit the tower just a few blocks away.  Other friends who were evacuated from DC after the plane struck the pentagon and listend to thier descriptions of the the smell of the black smoke in the air.  Everyone has a story, and for those who were there they need to share.

The December after the attacks I sat at a Holiday Dinner with my mother's family.  With us was the last few members of my grandmother's generation.  My Great-aunt Bertie told us about Peral Harbor.  She could remember exaclty where she was, what was playing on the radio, and what happened that day in December 1941.  She told us that this was our Peral Harbor.  This event would define us as poeple and as a nation.

My sons have never known a world without the impact of 9/11.  All I can do is hope for a better world before I have to let them go into it on their own.



File:Flag - 3rd Infantry.jpg
Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry render honors as fire fighters and rescue workers unfurl a huge American flag over the side of the Pentagon as rescue and recovery efforts continued following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The flag, a garrison flag, sent from the US Army Band at nearby Fort Myer, Virginia, is the largest authorized (20 x 38) flag for the military.
Image from Wikimedia

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week 36 of Abundant Genealogy

Week #36 – Ancestor Photos Week 36: Ancestor Photos. For which ancestral photograph are you most grateful? Who is in the photo and how did you acquire it? Why does the photo hold a special place in your heart?


An amateur photographerAgain, this one was hard.  I thought all week.  Which one of the few photos that I have am I most grateful for?  Still, on Friday, here I sit unable to make a decision.  Why?  Well, because I am thankful for anything and everything I get.  There have been too many family heirlooms lost to fire, destruction, and time not to be happy that I have the few (even if they are copies) in my possession.

Not only because they are family, in most cases people I never met, but because as a visual person I am now able to put a face with a name. I can imagine and dream what they may have looked like, but lets be honest, probate and census records don't lend a hand in the description department. 

Image from the Library of Congress

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Look, another FTF post is up!

Genealogy GoodiesI know I have been AWOL around here, sorry.  Back to school has taken its toll, but that is another post.  My next Family Tree Firsts post is up!  You can read about it here.

You all have read, and read, and read about my various endeavors down the path of lineage society applications.  Well, I decided to share that experience with the rest of the world too.  Share the enthusiasm don't you know.  Timely too, since I have a local DAR meeting this Saturday afternoon and I hope to get a gold star so-to-say with my research and be able to submit it soon.  Fingers crossed.