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With the spring semester of college behind me and a couple of my “volunteer” jobs winding down, I’ve been doing some serious research for the last month.  My “free” subscription to Ancestry will be ending at the end of this month, so I’m scouring it for last minute tidbits. One thing I’ve realized is that with my time short, I’m grabbing the image and the source information and will transcribe later.  That is mainly when I find the census images.  I can list occupation, residence, etc. all later.  I do make sure I’ve listed my sources – that way I have a way to look for it at another time if need be.

Some of the people I’ve located information for aren’t in my direct line, but rather collateral family members who hadn’t been located past a certain time.  Databases – besides Ancestry – that I’ve used include: Rootsweb, Familysearch, Find a Grave, and county websites. 

This week I’ve taken a break from my own line.  An older couple at my church came into the office (I work for my church) and we proceeded to talk about the husband’s father and grandfather.  They mentioned they didn’t know much about that side of the family – so there I was, offering my research services.  That afternoon after the wife sent me information she did know, I started finding census records and naturalization records.  It feels good to accomplish something.  I’m hoping to give them a report in another week.  I think taking a break from my own research will give me a fresh perspective when I get back to it.

I’ve also enjoyed reading the blogs of those who attended the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree over the past weekend.  I wasn’t able to listen to any of the lectures that were streamed live.  The pictures I’ve seen showed many of my geneablogger “friends” having a great time – maybe too good of a time!

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Our Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings, and based on Katie O’s post You Might Be a Genealogist If . . .”>You Might Be a Genealogist If . . . on Where You Came Fromblog, for this Saturday is Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – You Might Be a Genealogist if . . .. We were to make up our own sayings. Immediately several came to mind.

You might be a genealogist if . . . you are driving on vacation and see a billboard touting a county of that state and you say “I know people buried there!” (to which your spouse would reply – “And do you speak to them often?” – yes, this has happened to me!)

You might be a genealogist if . . . you get excited when people show up at your workplace (a church) and inquire about what information there might be about their ancestors who founded the congregation and you start pulling out all the history information, rolls, and other stuff (work? what work?)

You might be a genealogist if . . . you don’t realize how glazed over your siblings or children’s eyes get when you start telling them about the latest connection you’ve documented.

You might be a genealogist if . . . you see a familiar surname on another blog and contact the author to see if they share a common ancestor with you.

You might be a genealogist if . . . you always steer the conversation at family events to dates, times, names, and who has the family bible, marriage certificate from the gr-grandparents, or addresses of distant cousins who might have what you are looking for.

You might be a genealogist if . . . you choose to write the obituary for a close family member in order to list all the first and middle names and relatonships of the survivors and deceased parents, siblings, as well as all of their jobs, education, and hobbies so future generations won’t have to guess at any of that.

You might be a genealogist if . . . you know which libraries in a twenty mile radius have Ancestry Library edition in case you need to go use it.

You might be a genealogist if . . . you get excited and offer all sorts of help when a friend or acquaintence happens to mention in passing that someday they’d like to start doing genealogy research.

That’s mine – and yes, all of the above are true!

Thanks Katie and Randy – that was fun!

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This past weekend as I perused newspaper articles in Ancestry, I ran across a boatload of information concerning some distant cousins and an in-law of one of my great uncles.

Susan Peterson posted on her blog, Long Lost Relatives, an article, What To Do With Skeletons in the Closet” on February 26, 2011. She asked some pertinent questions (I urge you to go and read what she posted).  When I ran across all the information that made it abundantly clear that not only does our family have skeletons in the closet, but some scandals, and then those who are just plain screwed up, I realized that I would have to answer those questions.  My belief is that if the involved individuals are deceased – and more importantly – that the next generation is also deceased, and if the information is a matter of public record – especially when it was in the newspaper or on a document that anyone could obtain, then I will tell the story.  If there are truly sensitive aspects, I won’t lay them out in such detail, but respect the fact that there are possible descendents who either don’t know or have chosen not to acknowledge such behavior. 

A little over a year ago, I wrote Georgia On My Mind about my great-grandfather’s niece, Georgia Amore. This weekend I’ve learned some new information in addition to bits and pieces I’ve discovered since I wrote that. Soon, you’ll see that post again – with all the newest items added!

Many years ago when I first started my genealogical journey, a cousin mailed me some information – before either of us were proficient at scanning – and my email system back then wouldn’t even allow attachments. If it had, I’m sure it would have taken a very long time to download as I was still on dial up. One of the news clippings he mailed to me concerned someone who died in prison fairly recently in genealogy time (the 1970s). The man had the same last name as my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Neither of us had heard of him or even if he was part of “our” House family. Fast forward ten years and I’ve made a connection – and a pretty sad one at that. Some of you might remember the series I wrote about my grandmother’s brother, Alva Lester House, – Lester’s Despair – Part One and More Tragedy for Lester House, concerning several losses that he experienced during his life.  The news clipping concerns Lester’s son and his grandsons.  After I assemble all of the new items, I will write a post about what I’ve learned.

Another news item that caught my eye, was about my great-uncle’s sister-in-law.  I found it only because I’d put my maiden name as a keyword to search Coshocton newspapers.  I saw the name “Mayme Amore” (first name spelled incorrectly) and wondered what it was about.  She was married to my grandfather’s brother, Roy. (Yes, a real consanquity chart would say that Roy is my grand-uncle, but as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up having him referred to as my great uncle.)  I clicked on the news article and it was about Mamie testifying at her sister’s trial.  Whoa!  What? A trial?  What sort of trial?  And that my dear readers, is something you’ll have to ponder for awhile – but I will give you the answer and all the particulars soon!

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College classes are done for the semester (maintained a 4.0!! Yay, me!) so hopefully I’ll be able to start posting again on a somewhat regular schedule. So sorry I’ve been silent for too long.  Have also had quite a bit of personal upheaval going on – so that doesn’t bode well for focusing on genealogy, research & writing. 

I’ve recently heard from a new-to-me cousin; related through the Goul line of my family and hopefully she & I can start to compare notes and see if we have any new information between the two of us.

I’m excited by the recent upload on Familysearch Indexing of so many new records.  I’ve already found some marriage records and a baby that I never knew existed.  I’ve looked at the records but haven’t had too much time to absorb what I’ve found.

And as many of you know, I lost my mother a year ago this month.  Her estate is still not settled and now the reverse mortgage company wants to foreclose on her property since the real estate broker and the estate attorney decided to list the property for WAY too much to begin with and in this economy (& the fact that the property is in a depressed area of the country), nothing happened in the way of potential buyers.  So now we are just waiting . . . some more. 

I’ve not had a lot of time either to read most of the genea-blogs I am subscribed to – sorry about that.  I’m not ignoring you – believe me! 

And I’ve been thrilled to hear of the geneabloggers getting together recently in Salt Lake.  Love looking at the pictures.

I watched each episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” and my personal favorite was Susan Sarandon’s episode.  Looking forward to the 2nd season.  Are you?

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I started out 2009 with high hopes for the blog – participating in meme’s, Carnivals, and word prompts.  These are the stats for 2009:

January: 14 posts; 16 Comments; 1,293 Total Visits

February: 14 Posts; 23 Comments; 1,357 Total Visits

March: 9 Posts; 10 Comments; 1,061 Total Visits

April: 6 Posts; 15 Comments; 925 Total Visits (I was out of state about 10 days this month)

May: 830 Total Visits (I had 0 posts and no comments as I was out of state the entire month.)

June: 2 Posts; 5 Comments; 784 Total Visits (I was out of state for 2 weeks this month.)

July: 6 Posts; 9 Comments; 702 Total Visits

August: 6 Posts; 9 Comments; 528 Total Visits

September: 6 Posts; 11 Comments; 698 Total Visits

October: 5 Posts; 9 Comments; 712 Total Visits

November: 4 Posts; 3 Comments; 753 Total Visits

December: 3 Posts; 1 Comment; 629 Total Visits

Top Posts that People Read in 2010:

The Top Referrers:

Top Search Terms People Used:

  • James Madison – 146
  • unusual photos – 95
  • letters – 64
  • WWI letters – 51
  • Texas snow – 49
  • wordpress genealogy – 32
  • Looking for ancestors – 27

Top URL’s that were clicked on through the Blog:

It should be interesting to note what my stats for 2010 look like next year!

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The 87th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy concerns “GeneaResolutions”.  I looked back on my post for the 63rd Edition – I Resolve To . . . in order to see what I had listed as my resolutions concerning genealogy for 2009.

I had listed that I wanted to scan more documents, photos and the rest of my slides – did not quite get there!  I did scan some newly discovered photos but did not get a chance to scan much and certainly did not get my slides scanned.   I wanted to organize my files – absolutely did not do that!  For one thing they are in another room that is being used by another family member and it’s very difficult for me to get to them.  As for my online files, in between being out of state for six weeks this past spring and dealing with a new baby in the house, a lot of my genea-resolutions from last year never got done.

I had also resolved to blog more and take part in more carnivals.  That didn’t happen but not for lack of trying.  I also have not worked on my Graveyard Rabbit Blog – at all this year.

So this year I won’t be as ambitious (which is one reason I don’t ever make personal New Year’s Resolutions!).  So here they are:

  1. Leave comments on each genea-blog I read.  How do the authors know we’ve visited if we never say “hi”!
  2. Write at least one blog post every two weeks – since I know I won’t have time to write every week or every day.  I am going to try to write several posts to be published throughout my “down” time.
  3. Pick another branch of my family to research – this will get me out of the rut of looking at the same people and getting the same results. 
  4. Write one biography on an ancestor in the next three months.
  5. Write another chapter in my “Goul” family history.

When the year is up, I want to be able to say that I completed all five of these resolutions!

(CoG Illustration courtesy of footnoteMaven!)

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An update has been made to Mingling of Families and Murder. Please click on the link to be taken to more of the story!

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Thank you for the award, Karen!

Earlier this year, this award went around the genea-blogger (and “normal” blogger) community.   I was fortunate to receive this award from Sheri of Grandma’s Stitches.  Just recently I was given this award again – from Karen at Twigs to Roots. Karen has recently begun her foray into the blogging world and has jumped in with both feet! Please travel to her blog and give her a big geneablogger welcome!

As part of receiving this award, I am to list seven things about myself:

  1. I am back in college again!
  2. My new grandson will be 2 months old on Saturday!
  3. I love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!
  4. I get to take the day “off” for Thanksgiving this year as one of my daughter’s is having it at her house for the first time!
  5. All of my grandsons have blue eyes.
  6. I’m almost at the tail end of the “baby boomer” generation!
  7. I am secretary for the PTA at my grandson’s elementary school!

Next, I’m to Award this to other blogs that I enjoy.  I’d like to try to highlight some that are new to me – since this award has already been around to several.

A Tale of Two Ancestors by Amanda Acquard. Amanda must be the sister I didn’t know I had because we share the same interests – history, genealogy, and travel (though I haven’t been able to do that!). She is currently in graduate school and working toward becoming a genealogy reference librarian. Although I am currently only working toward my associates degree, I had decided I would very much like a career as a historical archivist – whether for a library or a museum – but that is a very long way off! Stop by and say hi to Amanda!

Ancestor Hunting by Cheryl Rothwell. Her story A Family Way is very touching. Please go read her blog if you don’t have it bookmarked already!

Diggin Up Dirt by Cat. She posts interesting articles about her own genealogy research and the information she’s been able to obtain. I find it useful to see what she and other’s have found – especially when I need a slight nudge in the right direction.  Stop by and read some of her interesting posts.

And I’m sure there are many more I could honor with this award – however, I want to make sure others have the opportunity to award it!

Thanks, Karen, for the award!  And congratulations to all who receive it!

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Extra! Extra!   Read all about how the case of Chase began at the town on the river spending days of childhood on the water and wandering through a haunted graveyard.  Though independent from birth, there was still time for the furry and feathered family members or calling on dear St. Nicholas.  Often taking time to share, show and explain traditions or statistics on age in the books for genealogy.  When friends would meet Mom, they understood her senior moments talking about the great Texas snow. Often explanations would be given about the American political road map with exclamations of “What a bunch of hooey!”  However, when we get together for the Carnival, I resolve to only say, “Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!” and we are not just horsin’ around.


Carnival:

  • Cruise?
  • Rides and Games?
  • Rio?
  • Parades?
  • Mardi Gras?

If you chose none of the above, you are correct!!!  In the blogosphere, the word carnival takes on a whole new meaning – well sort of!  Generally a blog carnival is a repository for many contributors’ blog posts centered around a chosen theme.  In the genealogy blog world, there are several types of “carnivals” in which to participate – Cabinet of Curiosities”, Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, Irish Heritage and Culture, and several others.

Three years ago, Jasia who authors Creative Gene wrote Carnival of Genealogy, Edition 1. This Carnival is now in its 84th Edition. The topic for this edition is “What has the Carnival of Genealogy Meant to You?”

Creative Gene was one of the first Genealogy Blogs I bookmarked and read each day.  Soon, I was clicking on the links to others’ blogs and soon bookmarked several of them.  I read with interest the CoG’s and soon realized that not only were others submitting articles that more people would read but sometimes connections were being made.  I knew that if I were to get more than just a few readers (and possibly some connections, too), I should participate in the CoG’s.  I enjoy writing and knew that should I undertake a project writing biographies of my ancestors, I should start writing and reading others’ articles.

My first submission to the CoG was for the 47th Edition, published on May 3, 2008 with the theme “A Place Called Home”.  My entry was The Town on the River. Wow! After some research and writing and re-writing, I had an article of which I could be proud! Jasia even extended a warm welcome to me and encouraged everyone to welcome this “newbie” to the Carnival!

Since that first entry, I’ve participated in numbers 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 78, and 79 (see top paragraph – all my titles are incorporated into the opening!).  There have been a wide variety of topics and several others besides Jasia have hosted.  I have not hosted a CoG – that is something I would have to look into and make sure that if I do volunteer to host that I have the time to make sure it is done properly. 

I’ve had several favorite topics.  Lately I haven’t been able to find the time to put in research in order to write an indepth post for some of them.  My favorites have been: The Case of Chase written for the 53rd Edition. The theme was “Carousel” – any genealogy topic was fair game. I had spent quite a bit of time on my article and included pictures and documented evidence information. This article brought four comments from others – two of them descendents of the man I wrote about – people I didn’t think existed! Another favorite entry was Independent from Birth for the 51st Edition.

I’ve read articles in the CoG that have touched my heart, sparked an interest, and given me new research techniques to think about and investigate.  Unfortunately, I’m unable to think of just one that would be the all time stand-out – there are so many talented writers and enthusiastic genealogists for me to pick just one!

I generally encourage my readers to check out or submit articles to the CoG.  The more the merrier!  And it’s always wonderful when someone new begins submitting articles.

The Carnival of Genealogy has enabled me to go above and beyond just gathering names, dates and places.  I have delved into the lives of those that I’ve written about – trying to capture their emotions, joys, and hardships.  Reading others’ articles has given me new avenues to investigate and research when hunting for that “brick wall” ancestor.

The impact on my life has been two-fold.  One – I’ve been able to meet new friends and some distant cousins.  By reading some of the articles and seeing a common surname, I’ve made connections.  The second aspect has been aiding me in becoming a more thorough researcher and writer.

I’d like to extend my thanks to all of the genea-bloggers who have commented on my articles; who have pointed me in other directions for information; to those who capture my interest with their thought provoking, informative and heart-touching stories; and to Jasia who first introduced me to the Carnival of Genealogy!  You folks are great!

And for all of you who think you can’t write an article for the CoG – just try it once!  You may learn something new about yourself!

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I’m taking a break from writing – or thinking – about the series of articles I want to post concerning Death, Dying and Wading into the Legal System. There are other things to write about for the time being.

New Geneablogger stuff – I guess I’m a little behind the times (please read: too busy dealing with personal issues) to realize that Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family (and other great blogs) fame, has been hard at work on the GeneaBloggers blog/website. There’s a wealth of great information and a list of ALL of the Geneabloggers! It’s been around for several months so if you’ve been a little busy or preoccupied (like me!) – go check it out and bookmark it! I think it’s great that each week, new geneablogs are mentioned.

There’s also a new Social Networking site “just for genealogists” – GenealogyWise. Several of the geneabloggers have hopped on the new bandwagon in town – so far not many have abandoned Facebook. Are you on GenealogyWise? I haven’t signed up yet. For the time being, I have way too much on my plate to try to keep up with another network! Perhaps sometime in the future.

Another item I wanted to mention was the recent SoCal Jamboree that was attended by many of the geneabloggers – especially those who live in the Southern California region.  To read more about this event (sounds like it was quite a party!) – head over to Southern California Genealogical Society 40th Annual Jamboree. Then check other geneabloggers postings to read about all the good stuff they learned, the new friends they made, how they met their “idol”, and see all the great photos! I’ve enjoyed the Jamboree vicariously – since I’m not in Southern California and not able to participate in person!

Elyse Doerflinger has pondered why Genealogy Societies Need to Look Torward the Future over at Elyse’s Genealogy Blog. Wonderful content and she’s received tons of comments! Have I mentioned that Elyse is one of our “younger” sisters in the geneablogger world? She has an excellent perspective on so many issues!

Don’t forget to participate in several of the upcoming Carnivals and prompts! If you have writer’s block – or just keep bumping into that genealogical brick wall and need a break – these are wonderful ways to get inspired.

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