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31daystobettergenealogy

Amy Johnson Crow is hosting an online learning experience called “31 Days to Better Genealogy.” If you haven’t signed up for this, you can do so here. There is also a closed Facebook group that you can request to join after you sign up for the daily newsletter. You will receive a daily email and during the day, Amy posts a live video on the Facebook group. All members of the group are encouraged to work on the tip of the day, report their results, help and encourage each other.

Yesterday’s topic was “Explore Your Ancestor’s Occupation” and one of the items listed included looking at the Agriculture Census if your ancestor was a farmer. The ancestor I wanted to explore was my great-grandfather, James Emory House, born in May 1842 and died in October 1924. For most of his life he lived in Coshocton county, Ohio and indicated on the US Censuses that he was a farmer. His daughter – my grandmother’s sister – Julia Ann House had graduated high school (as did most of the eight children in the family), and when Julia married on Christmas Day in 1906, her dress was “white silk draped in chiffon.” Not only was it out of the ordinary for a family to afford to give their daughter a lavish wedding but to purchase a silk wedding dress for her. Those things indicated that James House had a substantial income.

I turned to the Non-Population Schedule in Agriculture for 1880. It showed that my great-grandfather owned 50 acres of improved land, 10 acres of woodlands with a total value of $2700. He owned two horses, 4 dairy cows, 5 other cattle, 8 swine, and 50 barnyard poultry. His chickens laid 200 dozen eggs in 1879. There were two acres in apple orchard with 50 fruit bearing trees and one acre in peach orchard with 40 fruit bearing trees. In 1879, five acres were grass mown and six acres of hay harvested. Crops included Indian corn – 4 acres/150 bushels; Oats – 2 acres/50 bushes; Wheat – 10 acres/170 bushels; and Irish potatoes – a quarter acre/20 bushels. Today, that $2700 would be close to $60,000.

This census provided me insight as to how well-to-do my great-grandfather and his family were back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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state genealogy chart

I happen to be Facebook friends with many geneabloggers so when Judy G. Russell (the Legal Genealogist) posted her chart last night, I knew that there would be many others who would do the same. Judy was inspired by J. Paul Hawthorne (with whom I’m not familiar). By morning, I’ve counted no less than five from those I do know.

I had already decided last night that I would do one for myself – boring though it may be – and use it as a blog post. So this is what I created (see above). Pretty repetitive!

The top half signifies my paternal branch and the lower my mom’s. William Amore – my paternal 2nd great-grandfather was born in New York. My dad’s maternal great-grandfather, Florus Allen House, hailed from Connecticut. See the two Virginia blocks on the far right top half? Those are for Evan Ogan and Susanna Fritter Ogan – the couple who raised my great-grandmother, Frances V. Ogan House. I don’t have a biological component to add there but I didn’t want to leave those two spots blank because then the chart would look lopsided.

I have a 2nd great-grandmother who was born in North Carolina – Amanda Evaline Mullis (wife of James Wilson Johnson); a 2nd great-grandfather born in Virginia – Israel Isaac Wilt who married Elsy Nash from Pennsylvania. Other than that – we are all predominantly Ohio or Indiana born!

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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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Many of you have been following the Genea-Blogger Group Games during the last couple weeks and the closing ceremonies were yesterday.  Thomas MacEntee from Destination: Austin Family hosted the ceremonies. Please go to Closing Ceremonies to see all the flags of the participants and the medals won.

Here are the awards I received:

Cite Sources – Platinum

Organize Your Research – Gold

Write! Write! Write! – Diamond

Genealogical Acts of Kindness – Diamond

I want to congratulate all of the participants on – not only acquiring a medal or two (or three or four or . . . ) – but on getting a little more organized.  We are such a great team!  Go Team GBG!

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I completed my last task early this morning in the GBG games.  Whew!  I was able to get quite a bit completed – though I would like to have done more.  I think this has challenged many of us in the genea-blogging world the last two weeks.  Thanks to Thomas MacEntee, Miriam Robbins Midkiff and Kathryn M. Doyle for being the administrators for these games as well as the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.  You all really keep us on our toes and make us strive to research deeper, keep proper documentation, stay organized, remember to keep back-ups of our information, and to write what we know.  Thank you!

So without further ado – these are my final stats:

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources – completed over 50 citations using John Wiley’s “How to Cite Sources”. Platinum Medal

2. Back up Your Data – didn’t complete.

3. Organize Your Research:
   
A) 0
    B) More than 20 – complete
    C) 0
    D) More than 20 – complete
    E) Created at least 20 new entries in the database; scanned over 20 photos – Complete
    F) Didn’t complete
Three Tasks – Gold Medal

4. Write! Write! Write!
    A) Wrote a Summary of my blog
    B) Participated in several of these
    C) Prepared at least 3 items in draft mode and published later.
    D) Wrote a Bio of my ancestor (finished today!)
    E) Didn’t do
Completed 4 Tasks – Diamond Medal

5. Reach Out and Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness
    A) Commented on several new (to me) blogs
    B) Joined more than 5 new blog networks
    C) Sent an invitation to another genealogist to join Facebook
    D) Didn’t do
    E) Indexed gravesites for Find-a-Grave (over 20)
    F) Didn’t do
4 Tasks Complete – Diamond Medal

Congratulations to all the participants and to all those who won any level of medals!

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This morning I received an invitation to join the “Getting to Know You Challenge for Bloggers” in order for those of us in the Genea-Bloggers group to glean more information on each other’s blogs.  There is also the upcoming Carnival of Genealogy 55th Edition – Show and Tell, 5th Edition Smile for the Camera – Crowning Glory, Blog Action Day on October 15th – Poverty, the on-going Genea-Blogger Group Games on Facebook, and my own Freaky Friday challenge.  The meme’s “Stores of Yesteryear” and “The Soundtracks of my Salad Days” have already been written.

And I’m partially done with writing a biography on one of my ancestors for the Group Games.  Looks like some great challenges coming up which give me a chance to flex my writing muscles (as opposed to those leg or arm muscles being used by the athletes at the Olympics!) in order to publish some wonderful posts.

Yesterday I noticed that footnoteMaven wrote an article on Using Family Photographs on Shades of the Departed on how to create a MOO greeting card. This looks like something (as a digital scrapbook artist) I would like to do – which means one more thing to add to my list!

I want to thank the hosts for these carnivals, meme’s, and challenges.  If you have not joined the Genea-Blogger group on Facebook, I urge you to do so.  You aren’t required to participate in any or all of the challenges however the topics do provide inspiration.  If you have tons of documents and photographs that need to be scanned – you are also encouraged to participate in Scanfest happening this coming Saturday.  I won’t be participating as I hope to be car shopping (and buying) on Saturday.

If you have Central European or Irish Ancestry, there are also the 10th Edition of Carnival of Central and European Genealogy hosted by Jessica at Jessica’s GeneaJournal and Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture hosted by Small Leaved Shamrock.

I urge you to give any one of these challenges a look and serious thought to participating!

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(Written on Thursday, August 14th)

This morning, using John Wiley’s “How to Cite Sources” , I completed 68 source citations.  Actually it was easier than I thought.  I started with my grandchildren, then my children, my husband and myself, and on up the family tree.  I included citations on birth, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, marriages, occupations, associations, and residences.  So I’ve finished with a Platinum Medal in “Cite Your Sources” (Category 1).

Under Category 4 “Write! Write! Write! I’ve completed 4 tasks as of yesterday and achieved Gold Medal status.  I’m still working on D. Write a brief biographical sketch of one of your ancestors.

I hope to have more organization under Category 3 completed today.

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