31 December 2007

Just a few hours till 2008

Where did 2007 go? I definitely did not accomplish all that I planned for 2007. Genealogical items are pretty high on the list. I did not sort through all my old genealogy information files. These are the files that tell me the 1920 census is about to be released to the public (done in 1992), that there is no index to the 1910 census for most of my states (now indexed at Ancestry) and many other tidbits that I excitedly copied for my subject files. At this point I either know the details or know where to find them more easily. The files I have already sorted take up much less space than they formerly did. I challenge you to organize your genealogy files. Toss what you no longer need. Make duplicate working copies of vital pieces of paper and put the originals in a safety deposit box or house a copy at a relative or friend’s home. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. These would either be forgotten or more important things would arise.

2008 will bring a new place to live. I dread the looking stage – where do I want to live? What is affordable? Then there is the challenge of a self-employed woman starting over in life. Not all lending institutions are thrilled with those pieces of the mortgage puzzle! I will stay in the Twin Cities area for now. The majority of my family resides in Minnesota and is great factor in my decision.

Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy, and happy New Year. Several family members and friends are going through some tough times personally and healthwise -- I wish for a less painful 2008 for them.

Christmas 2007 Redux

Regular readers probably noticed that recent postings are few and far between. I took some time off from blogging for both myself and the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Philadelphia conference blog. It was a family Christmas. As of today I have been a part of seven family celebrations with one yet to come in Salt Lake City with a very special family of mine. Not every family was at the same place at one time. There are grandchildren who are still firm believers in Santa Claus. My parents are still with us and I know I am quite lucky to be able to say that given my own age.

This Christmas season was so much fun. One evening I had all four of my Minnesota grandchildren staying overnight. Added to that were two others who call me Grandma. 6 kids in one house and assorted adults, too. Pure exhaustion and exhilaration. We played "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader" several times. Our family did great on the math and literature questions, but not on science. We all laughed so hard. Earlier, I promised to tell you what genealogical gift I gave them for presents. It turned out to be family togetherness, retelling stories, recalling memories, and fun with the younger generation. And a special day with my daughter as we did day-after-Christmas bargain shopping. A long day just to ourselves. We both deserved that.

21 December 2007

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas to my readers.

The tree is up, most gifts are purchased, and we have snow on the ground. The stockings are hung on the mantles. The ornaments that mean so much are hanging on the tree. I have ornaments that are not antique but that are getting pretty darn old. I remember purchasing them on sale 40 years ago in California. Then there are the special ornaments that were purchased one at a time with that year's date. Some of my own childhood memories are on the tree as are the kindergarten creations of my children. The inflatable. light-up Christmas penguin is on the front lawn. Christmas penguin? A couple of weeks ago my oldest son came home from a shopping trip and gave me the penquin. Yes, I love penguins.

Christmas is going to be a great time this year. On Christmas Eve I will be with my oldest son and granddaughter, his girfriend and her children. On Christmas Day I will be with my parents at my sister and brother-in-law's home. Their son will be there with his girlfriend. Their daughter will be there with her 1 & 2 year olds. My other sister, her son, my parents' caregivers and their daughter, and other "in-law" family members will join us. By dinner time, my daughter, her husband, and three children will arrive from up north. They will stay at my son's for two days and the kids will have one giant pajama party.

Family. Family changes. New Family Members. "Adopted" family members. All of these will be a part of our Christmas. Along with hugs, kisses, good food, smiles, a few tears, and lots of noise. That makes up the Stuart, Warren, Dougherty, DuBois, & Kerr Christmases. This year we will have the reappearance of the dancing banana. Let's see, who will be the "victim" this time. . .

I hope you have one like this, too. If you don't have family around, check to see if a neighbor will include you in their celebrations or take you to church with them. Offer to bring along something for the brunch or dinner. It will be more fun that way. On the other hand, do you have any relatives, friends, or neighbors who will be alone -- invite them to join you in celebrating.

Did you notice I said nothing about the gifts being wrapped? That's because that is next on my list of things to do. Then I have to figure out what genealogically related gift they are all getting. I will tell you about it later -- otherwise you might not keep the secret.

Internet Problems

I feel like I am in a strange zone. For the past couple of week the Internet access in my home office has been gradually more problematic. Now it is out completely and I am having withdrawal symptoms. The repairman will be here the day after Christmas. In the meantime, thank goodness for Panera Bread in Elk River and its free wireless access.

12 December 2007

Google Maps & Street Views

It is after 10 a.m. here and I have just spent the last three hours online. I know what Fairmont Ave. in Mountain View, California looks like recently. I was able to view other places in that area where I lived in 1968. Next I viewed pictures of my homes in St. Paul. The last house I owned is hidden by a tree! My childhood home and the area around it look much the same as when I last drove by it.

You might be able to find some of your places, too. Only selected cities are included at this point.

First, click on Google Maps and next click on Street Views for a U.S. map that has a camera placed on various city names. Some of these include the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco areas in California. Some other cities include St. Paul, Minneapolis, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. Individual spots within these cities can be accessed by using your mouse to move the map around or by typing a specific address in the search box. The streets bordered in blue are the ones with photos online.

If you use the Street View for any of these cities you can search for an address, click on the person figure and see a view of the street and the buildings. Once you are on a picture, you can use that mouse and get a panoramic view of the street. Back on just the map, your mouse can also take you around the city.If you are not quite so adventuresome and want some additional help, view Explore Google Maps.

Have fun with these and let me know what you were able to find.

09 December 2007

Libraries Hit YouTube

I can't wait to go upstairs and tell my 14 year old granddaughter that genealogy has hit YouTube. I am sure she will be impressed.

The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana has a YouTube video tour of the new library and its resources. I saw many familiar faces on that video. The ACPL was the host for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Conference in 2007.Click here to watch the video.

In the same vein of genealogy conferences and new libraries, the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri will be hosting a reception during the National Genealogical Society Conference in May, 2008. The Mid-Continent Public Library Genealogy Center is building a new home that is scheduled to open in May. The video talks about that expansion and the resources of the library.

04 December 2007

How Museums and Libraries Lose Stuff

Have you ever been in a library, archives, historical society or other facility and ordered a book, collection, or microform to view, only to be told it cannot be found? As genealogists we just know the missing item is the one that holds the long-sought clue to a brick wall in our research. The loss of items has generated much press in recent months. A recent article in the George Mason University's History News Network discusses some of the losses and also addresses reasons for it.

One comment made by a reader concerns helpful patrons who reshelve the books they have looked at. The reason for book return shelves and carts is to prevent misshelving and many facilities look at the type of books being used. This aids in future purchases as well as decisions on books to put in storage when shelving capacity is bulging at the seams. I remember searching nearby shelves and behind other books to find a missing item. The same holds true for missing microforms. The article serves as a reminder to follow the reshelving or refiling rules of any place we visit in our family history research.
I just spent a great weekend near Duluth, Minnesota visiting my daughter and her family. Yes, we had 14.5 inches of snow there on Saturday. I heard that they received an additional 12 inches today. My grandchildren there are 2, 6, and 9. The 6 and 8 year old boys were fascinated by some of the pictures and maps I showed them online. The 2 year old girl always wants to see the pool pictures on my computer. These are pictures of the three of them at a Duluth indoor water park we went to last March when they had the previous big storm.

On purpose I also showed a slide show of older family pictures. The boys were curious about the names of the people and how they connected to them. Their attention span is not great, but the slide show on the computer kept them more interested than showing them paper photos. They also wanted to know where the people lived. That brought out the globe. A great way for a family history and geography lesson. Then I showed the 8 year old daily and historical newspapers online. He was furiously writing down the URLs. Then I showed him some sites with digitized books. Thankfully, these boys also like to have books they can hold and read. But it was fascinating to watch them looking at me like I was a font of knowledge. Yes, I enjoyed that.

NGS Conference Program and Registration

This past Saturday, The National Genealogical Society posted the program for its May 14-17, 2008 conference in Kansas City. Registration is open for this conference that features more than 150 lectures and workshops. Kansas City and the surrounding area is a great place for research, tourism, restaurants, and more -- check out the extensive details at the conference website.

For those who register no later than the early bird deadline of March 31st, there is a choice of either a printed or CD version of the syllabus. The availibility of both printed and CD versions of the syllabus is only $10.00 extra charge if ordered by this date. Those who register after this date will only receive the CD version.

I am intrigued by some of the interesting lecture titles that appear to be unique to this program.

23 November 2007

Keeping Up with Salt Lake City Changes

If you would like to keep up with what is happening with the former Crossroads Plaza mall and ZCMI Center in Salt Lake City, check out Downtown Rising. The new complex is called City Creek Center and is scheduled for completion in mid-2011. The site includes details such as overview maps, FAQs, press releases, retail info (grocery, restaurants, food court +), and planned residential space. If you are traveling to SLC, don't forget that the Gateway shopping complex just a few blocks from the library is open as are the shopping areas on 400 South (University Line) that can be reached by Trax Light Rail or bus. Restaurants abound in both places.

Check out Downtown Salt Lake City for info on downtown restaurants and other helpful details.

18 November 2007

Holiday Travel

Not me. Last year I spent Christmas in northern Minnesota with my daughter, her husband, and their three grandchildren. This year it is their turn to come to the Twin Cities.

Our family began our holiday season today with a birthday dinner for my oldest granddaughter, Kaylene, who turned 14. As if having a granddaughter who is already 14 wasn't traumatic enough, she has now surpassed me in height. Not by much, but she is elated.

For many years, an extended business trip has kept me away on her birthday. We began a tradition of what she calls her "fake birthday." It is celebrated either before or after my business trip. I recently told her I would be in town on her birthday so we could celebrate on time. She said she still wanted the "fake birthday." It is special Granddaughter and Grandma time, and I was thrilled that she wanted our tradition to continue. This year we are going out to dinner and then jewelry shopping for her gift.

Page 161, 6th Sentence

For some time now, bloggers with a connection to genealogy have been "tagging" each other. This is tagging as in tag, you're it! Challenges are made, information is requested, and so on. Some is very serious, other tags are just interesting and some are humorous. Randy Seaver issued a tag to me yesterday, November 17th in his blog. I don't always have time to accept the challenge, but I did today. The tag this time around is to open the book you are currently reading to page 161 and post the book title, author, and the 6th sentence on that page. Yes, Randy, I do read your blog, Genea-Musings. Reading the blogs of others is something that I do when I am trying to avoid other work that is calling to me. After all, keeping up on the genealogy world in general is important!

The first book I am reading is really going to tell you something about me. Actually, I can blame Eileen Polakoff, another professional genealogist for this one. A few years ago when I was going through one of those trying times in life, she sent me a big box of romance novels. I became hooked on this mindless fluff. I can find the best romance novel sections in used books stores everywhere. The current trashy novel is Daring by Jillian Hunter. Why did I pick this book -- it was on sale at Wal-Mart and had Scottish plaid on the cover. After all, my maiden name is Stuart. I was hoping that page 161, 6th sentence would be one I could post! The sentence is "She jumped, putting her hand to her heart." No, I will not tell you the rest of the story!

The second book on my nightstand is Nathan Philbrick's Mayflower. The 6th sentence on page 161 is "But for William Bradford, who had come to American to recreate the community of fellow worshippers he had known in Scrooby and in Leiden, there would always be something missing." I can blame this gift book on another professional genealogist, Josh Taylor.

I no longer have genealogy periodicals on my nightstand. A break from genealogy is important now and then. As someone who works full time and then some in this field, those breaks are great therapy.

15 November 2007

List of Newspaper Indexes and Images Online

The Library of Congress website includes a section "Newspaper Archives/Indexes/Morgues." This page includes links to sites with newspaper indexes, images, directories, and other links for finding newspapers online. In this case it is largely directed at historical newspapers which are what genealogists generally seek. One section of the page tells which newspaper related sites have a fee involved. Be sure to check on some of the links to other general sites for more lists. Check back occasionally for updates to the lists. Now, if miraculously the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other Twin Cities newspapers were only indexed online before the late 1980s, I would be a totally happy camper.

13 November 2007

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

During World Wars I & II, 1.7 million men and women died during their service to the Commonwealth. The London Times recently carried an article that listed databases, collections, and hints to use in tracing the war graves. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission alone covers cemeteries found in 150 countries that represent those 1.7 million war casualty burials from World Wars I and II. The easily searchable database results give the service person's name, rank, service #, date of death, age, regiment, nationality, and the name & place of the cemetery or memorial. The nationality column includes Australian, Canadian, Indian, New Zealand, South African and United Kingdom. I checked the database for one of my English surnames and 70 names popped up, including one Canadian.

The register can also be searched for the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in World War II. The CWGC website is a treasure trove of information.

05 November 2007

My October Arkansas Trip

Though the trip was a business one, I did save a couple days for personal genealogy and visiting friends. I stopped in Clarksville and Ozone, Arkansas for a short while. My late father-in-law was born a bit south of Clarksville, in Jamestown.

Things have changed, but I still recognized important places. Being there always reminds me of the summer we tent camped on the Arkansas River and the humidity and the cicadas kept us awake. Lesson learned: do not go camping in a nylon tent in Arkansas in August. When the relatives in Fort Smith offered a couple of air conditioned rooms we jumped at the opportunity. LOL.

The drive north through the town of Ozone was quite different. A lot of home have been built along the road. I drove north to Branson but driving through the Ozarks did not bring the oohs and ahs of beautiful fall colors -- the leaves were just beginning to turn. Still, the awesome beauty and fresh air of the Ozarks was there on a sunny day as I drove with my windows open.

Baseball History

An October 31st article in the online Globe & Mail out of Toronto told the story of a woman who brought some exciting photographs to a meeting of baseball researchers. These photos included teams from the U.S. and some are rare images.


24 October 2007

The World Series

Twenty years ago this week I sat in the stands at the Metrodome in Minneapolis and watched the Minnesota Twins win the World Series. The Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3. In that twenty years, I have met some wonderful friends in St. Louis, but that win was so exciting that I just can't apologize to all of you! In 1987, my daughter worked security for the Twins and had the opportunity to purchase tickets. We jumped at the chance, even thought the seats were wayyyyyy up there in the stands. Katie had a better view for part of the Series -- from her job vantage point at the edge of the bullpen. I may have to dig out my Twins sweatshirt from 1987!

I have been a baseball fan since the early 1960s when the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins. With no brothers, my sisters and I learned to love the games our father loved.

Tonight I watched the Boston Red Sox win over the Colorado Rockies, 13-1. A genealogy colleague in Boston, Josh Taylor, sent me a message that as he sat in his Boston apartment, he could hear the fans cheering when the Sox scored runs.

California Libraries and the Fires

I have heard from some friends and relatives in Southern California that they are safe from the devasting fires at this point. I still worry about others and their families. The images of burned homes and businesses are sobering. In the past few days, The California State Library Blog postings have included updates on library closings for safety in regard to the fires.

23 October 2007

Save $25.00 on the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

If you register by October 30th, you will save $25.00 on the fees for the January 7-11, 2008 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. You may still register after October 30th, but that will be at the regular price. Check the Utah Genealogical Society's website for more details and for on-line registration. Thanks to Judi Hansen, Registrar of the SLIG for this reminder.

20 October 2007

A great week in Arkansas

I am writing this from Little Rock, Arkansas while attending the Arkansas Genealogical Society’s Seminar. Yes, attending and not speaking. Last night, Carolyn Earle Billingsley, PhD. presented two thought provoking lectures and today Sharon Tate Moody, CG, presented a full day of lectures related to legal research. Tonight my mind is whirling from all the wonderful and clearly presented information from these two women. My other purpose for being in Little Rock was to attend meetings related to a genealogical conference.

In 2009 (September 2-5), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference will be hosted by the Arkansas Genealogical Society (AGS) in Little Rock. This past week several of the national level committee chairs from FGS for that conference had a joint meeting with AGS representatives as well as Arkansas, Little Rock, and North Little Rock representatives with historical connections. It was a comfortable meeting (of course, very businesslike ) but we had some fun too. I felt that we all were "on the same page" and I felt very welcome. We also were privileged to tour the great host hotel and the convention center.

Of course I explained to the local group why a Minnesotan made sense as a National Publicity Co-Chair for the 2009 conference – my late father-in-law was born in Arkansas and once that genealogy bug hit, our family made multiple trips to beautiful Arkansas. Tomorrow I will visit Johnson County where he was born. The next trip to Arkansas will be less sightseeing and more family research for my children and grandchildren.

Do put the Arkansas dates on your calendar BUT before that be sure to plan for the 2008 FGS Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 3-6. Keep watching the website for that conference and the conference blog for the evolving details of the 2008 event. As I said in a previous post on this blog, some unique aspects are being planned for the Philadelphia conference.

15 October 2007

New Blog for the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies' Philadelphia Conference

The next FGS Conference will take place from September 3-6, 2008 in historic Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This four day "Footprints of Family History" educational conference honors the host city as the place where the ancestors of millions of Americans first set foot on the continent. Family historians like to keep up with additional news and details about the annual FGS Conferences. The 2008 conference committee has a blog as one way of providing that information.

It is easy to join in on the knowledge – just go to http://www.fgs.org/ and click on Blog or go directly to the Blog at www.fgsconference.org/blog. Check back often to see the frequent news, updates, program announcements, vendor details, and more that will be provided by the dedicated volunteers of the conference committee and others in the genealogical, archival, and historical communities. Why not add the site to your Favorites or Bookmark it for easy access!

Please feel free to share this notice with fellow genealogists, editors, bloggers, librarians, historians, archivists, and anyone you think might be interested in this educational and fun conference in such an historic city.

Where is she now?

I think I need a featured spot on the Today show similar to the Where in the World is Matt Lauer? Somehow, I doubt that the show's producers and the viewing audience would care where I am!

This past Saturday I presented an all-day seminar for the Tennessee Genealogical Society in Germantown, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis. TnGen has a wonderful separate library in conjunction with the supportive community officials of Germantown. What a nice example for other places! I had a tour of this large and nicely lit space which also has space for classes. The genealogy library has books and other materials for many states other than Tennessee. Dick Eastman talked about this genealogy library opening a year ago. The TnGen website has a neat virtual tour of the library.

On Friday evening the society had a banquet and I was privileged to meet Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy and her husband, Jim. We had a wonderful time talking to each other. Jim is a Duluth, Minnesota native and Sharon lived in Duluth for a while.

09 October 2007

Columbus Day? Warning: Soapbox Ahead

What day did you celebrate yesterday? More than likely it was Columbus Day. I celebrated Native American Day, too. I am thrilled that my ancestors immigrated to the United States, but we must not forget that the ancestors of many other people were already here! Indian tribes spanned the country and kept being forced further westward by the later arrivals to this land. I have always groaned when reading histories that expound on how the Indians were given land for their reservation two or even eight states away. Much of this land was theirs to begin with and more importantly the land "given" to them by the U.S. government was often not farmable. I read one bit of official correspondence that discussed how some land was being eroded by the river and basically the Indian family was told "tough."

South Dakota has declared a specific Native American Day the last week in September. Other areas celebrate Native American Day on various dates, but some do observe it on what others call Columbus Day. Let's not forget the original settlers of what was to become the United States, Canada, and other areas.

04 October 2007

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2008

I hope you already know about the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The 2008 edition takes place from January 7-11 in Salt Lake City, of course. The unique aspect of this institute is the immediate access to the Family History Library. Student can immediately apply what they have learned. Classes are five days long and ample time is provided for research at the FHL.

Students choose from ten courses and remain in that same course for the week. The 2008 courses include courses on Western U.S. research, problem solving, writing family histories, Welsh and Scandinavian research. I have been teaching and coordinating at SLIG since the mid 1990s. This year I am once again coordinating Course I American Records and Research: Focusing on Families.

This intermediate level course assists researchers in learning about and using sources and methods. The 2008 classes focus on topics related to researching families and individuals. Sixteen informative classroom hours on significant U.S. records and strategies take you beyond basic research tools. In addition, for this course, six hours of in-person help in the Family History Library during the Institute week provides hands-on assistance. Three of the instructors provide this valuable guidance. This course alternates every other year with another Institute course with resources related more directly to localities.

For more info on the institute, other courses, special evening classes, and to register, visit the Utah Genealogical Association's website.

October 4th is a special day in my family

Sixty years ago today my parents were married. That's right -- 60 years ago. Both of them are still alive. Dad is 88 and Mom is 81. Their celebration was quiet today since my Mom is afflicted with Alzheimer's. I looked for weeks to find just the right 60th Anniversary card. In the end I bought a blank card and wrote my own message from the heart. I was born 9 months and 4 days after their wedding. My middle sister often reminds the entire family that she was the planned one -- not me.

29 September 2007

Learnin' & cruisin'

It's time to think about taking a Genealogy Cruise in 2008. I highly recommend one that takes place October 25-November 1, 2008 (I am one of the speakers). Hosted by Fly Away Travel, this cruise is on the brand new Liberty of the Seas ship, owned by Royal Caribbean International. I was pleased to see an article about the Liberty of the Seas in the September/October issue of AAA Living Magazine.
You can read this article online at the AAA website.

This seven night cruise with well-known genealogy speakers is the perfect blend of relaxation and learning. I was a part of another genealogy cruise a couple of years ago and the experience was better than terrific. Cruises often offer lectures, workshops, and other great activities. cThis Genealogy "Seminar at Sea" is a special segment of a regular cruise. To attend the genealogy sessions, you must book your cruise through Fly Away Travel. As a passenger, you will be able to partake of all activities on the cruise. (And, of course, the wonderful food.) Do you have a spouse, friend, sibling, child, or significant other who cannot understand how you can spend an entire day at a genealogy seminar or in a library? This is the perfect way to attend a seminar and still spend time with them. They will be so busy and pampered that they won't even care when you attend a session.

The cruise departs from Miami on October 28th, 2008, and returns to Miami on November 2nd. This cruise has an itinerary that includes stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private island). The genealogy sessions are offered on the three days at sea so that you may enjoy the shore days with no conflicting events. We get to spend the week on a new, up-to-date, and clean ship. Amenities aboard the Liberty of the Seas include a water park, fitness center, live music, rock climbing wall, dancing, shops, casino, spectacular views, many restaurants, 24 hour room service, and a mini-golf course. Or, you may just find yourself a deck chair and relax. You might consider bringing along a costume for Halloween - but it is not a requirement. I saw some pictures of the costumed genealogists and speakers from the 2006 cruise.

The lineup of speakers is just one of the treats for this cruise. John Colletta, Stephen Danko, Michael J. Leclerc, Paul Milner, George Morgan, Donna Moughty, Laura Prescott, and Paula Stuart-Warren. The list of their topics is online and the areas of expertise of this impressive group and their lectures cover just about all areas of genealogy. Handouts for the sessions are included in the price. When not teaching, my plans include sunshine, massage, spending some money in the shops and on land, taking some tours, playing mini-golf, and karaoke (some of my colleagues have already told me I WILL participate -- oh, are they in for a surprise and a headache when they hear my voice.)

Need a roommate? If you are seeking someone to share your cabin, let FLY AWAY TRAVEL know -- they may have the name of someone else looking for a roommate. Talk to fellow members of your genealogical society and convince them they need to register for this week -- and don't forget to mention that you are looking for a roommate to share the expenses! I look forward to seeing some "old" friends and meeting new friends on the genealogy part of the cruise. There are still cabins left so reserve your spot now before they are gone. For more info: Genealogy Cruise http://www.genealogycruises.com/
Travel Agency http://www.flyawaytravel.com/
Royal Carribean http://www.royalcaribbean.com/

28 September 2007

Minnesota Genealogical Society Seminar St. Paul

Do you have a clear calendar for tomorrow, Saturday, September 29th? The annual MGSSeminar features well-known national lecturer, John Philip Colletta, PhD. The MGS website lists the topics and schedule. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. along with refreshments.

More novels with a genealogy connection

A friend from Saskatchewan, Eileen Condon, shared more titles of genealogy novels. She mentioned "Killing Cousins by Gene Stratton (the author of Applied Genealogy). It's been around since 1989, but I'm not sure if anyone else has suggested it. I also read Bloodline by Fiona Mountain--had Barnes and Noble order it for me after reading a review in "People" magazine. Of all places to find a genealogical reference!!" The latter is subtitled A Natasha Blake Ancestor Detective Mystery.

Please share your suggestions for novels with a genealogy connection. Send them to me via e-mail or as a comment to this blog post. I am seeing some duplication, but that's OK -- it may be mean a higher recommendation for the novel.

For previous titles check here, here, and here

19 September 2007

Orphan Train Riders

Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press has an interesting article about the Orphan Trains. This Saturday the 47th annual Minnesota reunion of New York Orphan Train riders is being held in Little Falls, Minnesota. The plights of these children are often sombering.

For more info on the Orphan Trains, research tips, and other reunions, check these websites:
The Orphan Train Heritage Society of America which began back in 1986 in Springdale, Arkansas

National Orphan Train Complex which will have a museum and research center and will house the Orphan Train Heritage Society.

Many books and articles have been written on the orphan trains and the riders. A 1995 PBS special was produced under the American Experience series and titled The Orphan Trains. A transcipt is on the website.

18 September 2007

The Anniversary of Emoticons :-)

The Minneapolis Star Tribune had an article this morning about the 25th anniversary of the emoticon. I am sure it will bring further discussion of whether the man in the article was the first one to use the :-) to denote a smiley face in an electronic message. I figure that others will claim that title as this anniversary article makes it way around the country and the world. Carnegie Mellon professor Scott E. Fahlman first used that smiley face on September 19th, 1982.

I found the article interesting and thought you might, too. :-)

17 September 2007

United Kingdom Non-Conformist B, M, D

The National Archives of the United Kingdom has a new partnership with S&N Genealogy Supplies that gives researchers access to online images from non-parochial and non-conformist birth, marriages, and deaths from a variety of religious denominations covering 1567- into the 19th century. A basic search can be done at no cost, but to obtain extended information and to view the actual images, credits must be purchased. I typed in one of my English surnames, Copping, and found entries I will definitely be checking.

Read the full article here

16 September 2007


I have many things I love to do when researching both family history and history in general. One is going to an archive, library, or courthouse and working with the original records. Being there in person means I can get that special emotion from touching that original record. Being there onsite also means I can move on to other records when the first ones lead me in a new research direction. I also love to sit in my robe, looking out the windows at the deer, chipmunks, and squirrels while doing online research. To do a great job today, we really need to do both of these.

The Salt Lake Tribune recently carried an article on one of the newer entries into the world of online document images and indexing. Footnote.com and its history and aims was discussed. At the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies conference I won a year's subscription and am having fun with the site. On the Footnote main page scroll down a bit and on the left side you will see a link to "see all titles." Material is constantly being added.

11 September 2007

9/11 Remembered

Six years ago on 9/11, I was in Davenport, Iowa for the 2001FGS/Quad Cities Genealogical Conference. The conference was to begin the next day. A cadre of volunteers had been planning this conference for five years. I was sitting in my hotel room working on the first of the daily newsletters for that conference. I had the TV on but it was on mute. I looked up at one point and saw some pictures on the news that I figured were some archival footage. The telephone rang and it was Sue Kaufman, one of the conference publicity chairs. She asked if I had the TV turned on and broke the horrible news to me that the images I was seeing were current and not plane crashes from some old movie.

The rest of that day and the days that followed are still sort of blurry in my mind. The FGS Board decided to have the conference proceed. There were already hundreds of registrants onsite and they could not fly back home. Each day the same cadre of volunteers and additional folks rebuilt the next day’s sessions depending on which speakers had arrived in town. Several speakers who had airline flights cancelled, got into cars, some picked up others, and drove across several states to be with the rest of us. Some arrived without their suitcases. Registrants and exhibitors made similar efforts to reach the conference. The registrants were great – they accepted the ever-changing program. That daily newsletter turned out to be a vital daily update.

As a conference chair, I met with representatives of the police department and facility staff. A plan of action was determined and the main aim was to make sure people were OK and that the police would be guarding us – unobtrusively. The two federal buildings in the vicinity made this an important decision. I will never be able to listen to God Bless America again without crying. There were several renditions of it that week – including hundreds of us at once. A huge U.S. flag was hung in the lobby and a large TV was placed there by the convention center for us all to view what was going on. So many people were affected directly by the terror of that day and suffered losses of special family members and friends. The people who worked in the aftermath day in and day out in New York, Pennsylvania, and in Virginia at the Pentagon served their fellow men and women and many of those workers bear lasting scars. The men and women who still serve as our protectors deserve our thanks, no matter our political leaning.

The camaraderie and support evident that week in the Quad Cities is indelibly marked on my mind and that of the other 1,400 people who were at the conference. You know who you are – we have a special bond.

10 September 2007

Basic Genealogy Class in St. Paul

On Saturday, September 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., I will be teaching Tracing Your Family History Online and Off. This class is held at the Minnesota Historical Society. The full class description is:

Do you need a refresher on research basics or are you just catching the genealogy bug? This session assists you in beginning to research your family history or updates what you already have learned. The extensive handout includes an abundance of useful Internet addresses and locations of places to do additional research. The class covers steps to take no matter what your ethnic origins happen to be. (I have at least seven in my background.) The importance of researching the greater family including the siblings of your great grandparents is demonstrated. You never know what surprises their records might hold.

Extensive PowerPoint visuals will show you the wealth of ancestral information found in censuses (1790–1930), records related to births, deaths, marriages, churches, probate, cemeteries, citizenship, and more. You will learn where to find these records both online and off. Some information is wonderfully close to home and – no matter where your family lived. Hear about the ever-changing face of genealogy research and have the opportunity to ask questions. It is never too late to too early to learn more about your family.

Visit the Minnesota Historical Society's website for cost and registration details. Click on Library and then on Library Classes.

07 September 2007

Genealogy TV Show -- Top Ratings

How popular is tracing family history? An article in today's Guardian Unlimited http://www.guardian.co.uk/ tells that the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? drew a 30% audience share that translated to 6.5 million viewers last night.

I never thought I would see such a headline! Not that I didn't believe it could happen -- but to see it prominently placed in a newspaper is what I never thought could happen. To view the entire article, type "genealogy" in the newspaper's online search box.

31 August 2007

Quick & Dirty Grammar Rules

Do you sometimes wonder if you have used the proper word and punctuation? At other times do you wish you could correct me? My favorite website for checking out proper useage is Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Check it out at: http://www.qdnow.com/. I have it bookmarked in my Favorites.

30 August 2007

Street Name & Numbering Changes

I recently wrote a column for Ancestry's Weekly Journal about the difficulty in finding ancestral homes due to street name and numbering changes. It is also posted on Ancestry's 24-7 Family History Circle at: http://blogs.ancestry.com/circle/?p=1769

When I wrote, I asked for additional comments and thought that you might like to read the reader contributions at the above URL.

24 August 2007

Back from Fort Wayne plus future conference dates

I arrived back in Minnesota on Wednesday evening. I stayed after the FGS conference ended to research at the Allen County Public Library's "new" Genealogy Center. What a great place. At the conference, I ran into a lot of genealogy friends from all over -- including some fellow Minnesotans. I talked with 3 women who were from Illinois and Indiana -- had not seen them in years and years.

This is an update on the 2008 and 2009 national level conferences so that you can add the dates to your future planning calendar.

Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) http://www.fgs.org/
2008: September 3-6, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2009: September 2-5, Little Rock, Arkansas

National Genealogical Society (NGS) http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/
2008: May 14-17, Kansas City, Missouri
2009: May 13-16, Raleigh, North Carolina

14 August 2007

Slow Blog Week

It is very possible that I won't be doing many blog posts this week. I am in Fort Wayne at the Federation of Genealogical Societies/Allen County Public Library genealogical conference. Between presenting lectures, volunteering at the booths of several organizations in the Exhibit Hall, and attending meetings, I may be on overload!

Lectures begin on Wednesday and the Exhibit Hall opens on Thursday after the keynote speaker. There are genealogists everywhere. The Grand Wayne Center has a huge blue banner hanging over one door that simply says "Welcome Genealogists" and the latter word is spelled correctly.

Many of us have already spent hours in the library doing some research. It is really a special research facility. I think I need to spend several weeks here!

13 August 2007

Newspaper Indexes and Images Online

A wide variety of newspapers are indexed online and many have a link to the associated images. The majority require a subscription, but some are available at no charge in libraries. These are the links to several from the long list I will discuss over the next few weeks in greater detail:

Google News Archive Search: http://news.google.com/archivesearch?ned=
National Digital Newspaper Program: www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica
Utah Digital Newspapers: http://www.lib.utah.edu/digital/unews/

In upcoming blog posts I will discuss the contents of each and share comments on the usefulness, search capabilities, and breadth of them.

08 August 2007

New Contact Information

If you need to contact me, the updated mailing and email addresses are posted online in the directories at www.apgen.org and www.bcgcertification.org. I am actually living in Zimmerman, Minnesota, but my mailing address is in Elk River. I wonder what business and personal billing items such as credit card, membership, subscriptions, and utilities I have forgotten to update?

Everything is all moved

As of Tuesday afternoon, I am all moved. Notice I did not say unpacked! I just know that one of these boxes contains the pen and pencil cup for my desk. The movers were a fantastic group of guys. I did enjoy the look on their faces when they walked into my apartment and saw the multiple rows (stacked 3 high) of boxes. Then I explained that many of them contained my "library." With all the boxes of reference books, periodicals, electronic equipment, 25 years of client files, lecture files, and stationery items, and all the personal mementos a genealogist saves, they gave their muscles a workout. Of course, I had to browse through boxes of things that were in the back of the closet. I saved many things way before I caught that genealogy bug. I found ticket stubs from date movies, a ticket from a play that was more boring than boring, drawings from my own children and grandchildren, a dried corsage from a prom, poetry written for me, greeting cards, "things" from family vacations, baby books, and a lot of other fun stuff. A couple boxes of old love letters and cards have been taped shut with packing tape -- taped around and around. Too many of the grandchildren know how to read. I won't toss them, but they are not ready to read them quite yet!

More Free Blogs and Electronic Newsletters

A few more free blogs that you can check online and some electronic newsletter that you may choose to be emailed directly to you:

http://www.genealogue.com/ Chris Dunham's blog that he self described: "Genealogy News You Can't Possibly Use." Some of the posts are humorous, others ironic. Is there good genealogical news on this too -- YES. I love to read this for both humor and education.

http://randysmusings.blogspot.com/ Randy Seaver's blog that combines info on his own family digging and pertinent general genealogy info. The right side of the main page contains a lengthy list of other blogs, electronic newsletters, and helpful websites. I have enjoyed reading this one for a while.

http://www.newenglandancestors.org/ Both members and non-members can subscribe to the informative eNews, the New England Historic Genealogical Society's electronic newsletter. The news is about more than just New England research.

03 August 2007

My family was not on that bridge

By now, you have probably seen images of that horrific bridge collapse here in Minnesota. I have heard from many folks who wonder if my family and I are OK. I am fine as is the family.

I pretty much sat in front of the TV all evening Wednesday. I didn't have nightmares, but did wake up with very sore hands -- must have been clenching them. I was on the bridge last week and also on the River Parkway that runs underneath part of the collapse -- it is just 4.5 miles from my current apartment. I do love that area and driving along the road under the bridge was a relaxing drive.

Last week I almost bought a condo that overlooked this area of the river on the south side of the bridge. It was in the Riverview Towers -- it is the high-rise that stands by itself at the south side of the bridge and has been on CNN over and over. There have been interviews with residents. I am now very glad I decided against it -- I loved that condo for the river view -- I am sure that would not be so special now.

I heard immediately from my oldest son (his daughter Kaylene, age 13, was with me) and from my sister who said all her family are just fine. My daughter Katie tried to call me for over an hour -- the phone lines were all busy. Granddaughter Kaylene says she won't go on a bridge over the Mississippi ever again. I did get her home today via one way that honors that. We will have to deal with it in time.

Unfortunately, there's going to be more of the sad news as they get to the submerged cars.

02 August 2007

Saturday, August 4th

This is the last date to register online for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and Allen County Public Library's four day genealogy conference that takes place this August 15-18th. Of course, you may register at the door, but it is helpful to conference workers if you do register online by that date.


PERSI and Fort Wayne

Have you used PERSI? That is the Periodical Source Index compiled by the staff at the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center. It is a subject index (almost 2 million entries) to more than 10,000 genealogical and historical periodicals published in English and French.

While in Fort Wayne, Indiana in two weeks I plan to spend considerable time in the periodicals section of the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center.

All. ALL. Every one. All issues. Yep, every item indexed in PERSI is from a periodical housed at the ACPL. When I was there in April, I walked past bookshelf after bookshelf of these periodicals. I didn’t have time to concentrate on the actual articles then – but I do when I return there in two weeks. I am bringing along my digital camera to capture images that I need to save.

31 July 2007

More on the U.S. National Archives Central Plains Region in Kansas City

Check out online finding aids and indexes for selected Archival Holdings at NARA's Central Plains Region (Kansas City) http://www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city/finding-aids

Thanks to Evie Brissette, CG, a volunteer at this branch of NARA for suggesting that I include this in the blog. She also reminds us that via NARA's website you may submit an email inquiry for items such as the actual record tied to an entry in the online naturalization database.

If you haven't checked the NARA website for other regional locations and their holdings, visit www.Archives.gov and click in Locations in the left column.

26 July 2007

Do you have old family recipes?

I am looking for a old family recipe or two - one that has notes on it that might relate to family history. Do you have a handwritten recipe from your grandmother that has a notation such as "this was originally Aunt Mary Smith's recipe." Or perhaps "I always served this when the Fishers came for dinner." Maybe your great grandma made similar notes in a cookbook. I have a couple of recipes that came from my mother-in-law and I noted that on the recipe card. My spaghetti sauce recipe says "Mom's recipe."

I am writing an article that will be based on such a recipe. The aim will be to gather clues from the recipe and notations to learn more about the person and family history. For example, who is this Aunt Mary or the Fishers? Maybe the notation says "this dish was served at Cousin Elizabeth's wedding reception." Does the recipe have this notation: "My mother brought this recipe with her from Greene County when she moved westward." Which Greene County!

If you have a recipe or two like these, would you be willing to share a copy for use in the article? I would list you and your state of residence as the contributor of the recipe. The recipe would be reproduced in the article. You could scan it and send as an email attachment to PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com or mail a photocopy to me at P.O. Box 1054, Elk River, MN 55330-1054.

Still more books with a genealogy connection

Myke Rachu, a fellow Minnesota resident and also a genealogist, sent a few more titles of books that have some genealogy content. Myke says: "I recently read a book (with English genealogy bits) recommended by Theresa Dirksen [another genealogist]. It is a mystery entitled Bloodline by Fiona Mountain. Another genealogy related mystery series is by Rett McPherson (light reading but fun). I believe there are 9 titles by this author. Another two mysteries are Second Sorrowful Mystery by Jonathan Harrington and The Heir Hunter by Chris Larsgaard.

Fort Wayne, Here We Come

I hope to see many of you at the 2007 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana this August 15-18. The Allen County Library is the local host. The ACPL main branch holds a world-renowned genealogy collection.

Tonight I was browsing the list of vendors and societies that will be in the Exhibit Hall. If you want to do some pre-planning of which ones you absolutely must visit, check the Exhibitor's List at http://www.fgsconference.org/.

There is still time to register for the conference and the Exhibit Hall does have several spaces open if you are interested in having a booth. The website has the details.

24 July 2007

Nu? What's New

Nu? What's New is a free bi-weekly newsletter edited by Gary Mokotoff and published by Avotaynu. It is designed for researching Jewish family History. HOWEVER, I have found much useful info for searching in Eastern European countries, Canada, the U.S. and good updates on the Family History Library. You can sign up via the website below and the back issues are available online. Avotaynu is a magazine with the same aims and my subscription to it has been valuable in the same ways. http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm

14 July 2007

Where is she now?

Earlier this week a friend sent an email that began with the words "where are you now?" I am actually in St. Paul for the next month. This coming week is federal jury duty. This is all while I am in the midst of meeting client work and writing deadlines. As if that is not enough, I am packing to move! When I moved out of the four bedroom, two story house three years ago, I thought that was difficult. Lots was tossed, shared with family members, and much was put into storage. It is time to condense once again.

Where am I going? Well – when I figure out where I want to live when I grow up, I will have that answer. It will likely be condo in a northern suburb of the St. Paul -Minneapolis area. I have seriously thought about Washington, DC, Salt Lake City, Boston and other places -- but leaving the grandchildren would be too difficult for me right now.

In the meantime I will be living in Zimmerman, Minnesota. I am temporarily moving into the lower level of my oldest son’s house (his invitation!). I will get to see my oldest granddaughter, age 13, all the time. One of the youngest grandchildren, age 8 who lives in Duluth, asked why I wasn’t moving in with them. Ah, cousin rivalry.

The next trip will be a combination research, visiting friends, and speaking at a genealogy conference adventure. The conference is the Federation of Genealogical Societies/Allen County Public Library 4 day extravaganza. Check it out at http://www.fgsconference.org/

I will let you know my new address and e-mail address shortly.

13 July 2007

One if by land, two if by sea . . .

Another of those memories from my long-ago youth is learning part of the poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. "Listen my children and you shall hear . . . begins the lengthy poem that tells about the lantern signals and other warnings Paul Revere used to warn that the British were on the march to the Boston area.

On that night of April 18, 1775, the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston held the church sexton who displayed two lanterns for all to see that Paul Revere signaled that the British were marching by sea and not by land. Today this church is also known as the Christ Church in the City of Boston, an Episcopal church built in 1723. Ten months ago I visited the church and gazed at the steeple for the third time in my life. It was still a thrill to see it. Did I recall all the words of that poem? The answer is a definite "no" and to be honest, I only remembered a few lines. For more on the history of the church and the events surrounding Paul Revere visit http://www.oldnorth.com/hist.htm.

Do any of you have family members who were members of that church around 1775? If so, you might want to contact the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Its Research Services team is cooperating with the Church’s Foundation to assemble information on these families. If you do know of a family member who was a member of that congregation between the years of 1750 and 1800, please contact Joshua Taylor, NEHGS Research Services Coordinator at jtaylor@nehgs.org.

08 July 2007

Topographical Maps

Tonight as I read the San Jose Mercury News online I saw an interesting article about U.S. Geological Survey topograpical maps and genealogical research. Genealogy was even spelled correctly! To read the article in the July 8th edition: http://www.mercurynews.com/lifeandstyleheadlines/ci_6328874

You may be wondering why I was reading the San Jose newspaper when I live in St. Paul? Many moons ago we lived in neighboring Mountain View, California when my husband was stationed at the Moffett Field Naval air base. My oldest son was born while we lived there and I occasionally check websites related to the area.

06 July 2007

More books with a genealogy connection

Fellow genealogist Betty Malesky of Green Valley, Arizona shared the following titles of fiction books with a genealogical connection. If any of you have additional suggestions send them to me at PSWResearch@comcast.net and I will share them with all the readers.

Night Journal by Elizabeth Crooks
Eve's Daughters by Lynn Austin
Death on the Family Tree by Patricia Sprinkle
Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

Thanks Betty!

Ancestry.com and the August FGS/ACPL Conference

Thinking about attending the August 15-18, 2007 Genealogy Conference sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Allen County Public Library? Four full days of genealogical education, luncheons with interesting speakers, extended hours access to the renowned Genealogy Center at the ACPL, a large exhibit area of genealogical and historical vendors, and non-stop opportunities for networking with fellow genealogists and asking questions of the speakers and vendors, and now one more big reason to attend.

The exhibit area will be open to everyone (registrant or not) on Thursday through Saturday. Ancestry.com is sponsoring a live computer lab at its huge space in the exhibit hall. This will be the place to see live class type demos that will help you use Ancestry.com, Family Tree Maker, and Ancestry publications. Each session is repeated several times so that you won't have to miss those lectures that are musts on your schedule. For a full Ancestry line-up see:


To register for the conference, check out the lectures and speakers, see the lineup of meal events (complete with menus,) and learn about lodging visit http://www.fgsconference.org/

01 July 2007

Free Genealogy News

From time to time I will post the links to genealogical and historical electronic newsletters and blogs that are available at no cost. I do happen to be one of the writers for the first two.

24/7 Family History Circle http://blogs.ancestry.com/circle/

Ancestry Weekly Blog http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=dailynews

Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter http://www.eogn.com/
Dick also has a Plus Edition that is fee based.

Leland Meitzler and Everton Publisher's Blog http://www.genealogyblog.com/

30 June 2007

National Archives Central Plains Region

I spent the last week researching at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration regional branch in Kansas City. Friday afternoon was spent on Leavenworth Prison records. Some prisoners have extensive files with names, birthplace, offense, when sentenced, aliases, previous prison/jail stays, fingerprints, letters from and about the prisoner requesting parole or a different job in prison, mulitple health forms, and lists of visitors and correspondents -- complete with where they live and the relationship to the prisoner. Each file is a bit different. The prisoners were from many states.

And how did I know what I wanted to look at? Go to http://www.archives.gov/ and in the search box at the top of the page simply type "Lavenworth Prison index." The index covering 1895-1920 is online. These records are part of Record Group 129, Records of the Bureau of Prisons, United State Penitentiary Leavenworth, Kansas, Federal Inmate Case Files 1895-1920.
I did find files for a client but none for my own family so far. I had some possibilities but they did not turn out to be family.

If you are hesitant about checking such records, reread the first paragraph and it might convince you of the value of the information in these files. On the opening page for NARA's website, click on the "Locations and Hours" in the left most column and link to details for all the regions and more.

22 June 2007

ZCMI Center in Salt Lake City

For those of you who like to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, here's an update on the changes in the surrounding area. A news article in today's Salt Lake Tribune tells that the last two retail tenants in the almost empty ZCMI Center shopping mall will be out in a few weeks. Then the mall will be demolished. The Crossroads Plaza mall is already mostly gone. These complexes and other buildings will be replaced by City Creek Center, a retail, office, and residential complex. Project completion is scheduled for mid-2011.

June 22nd article: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_6205712

Downtown Rising http://www.downtownrising.com/city_creek/

The Gateway shopping and entertainment area remains open and continues to add more elements. It now has an Office Depot store!

14 June 2007

Drive-In Movie Memories and Lists

Some of you are old enough to remember when there were drive-in movies everywhere. My childhood favorite outdoor theater has been replaced by a grocery store, an office supply store, a Mexican restaurant and by one of my favorite bagel places.

There are still some of these drive-ins in use today. I started writing this post after reading one of the Minneapolis StarTribune's blogs: http://www.buzz.mn/?q=node/1539. I love nostalgia. This article had a link to "Cinema History Around the World" that has lists of current regular and drive-in movie theaters as well as long list of those demolished or simply out of business. Check it out at http://www.cinematour.com/main.php

I agree with the blog author, James Lileks, about the childhood memories. We always had to be in our pj's before going to the drive-in. As we got older we did object to this! It was so much fun if there was money to visit the snack bar -- otherwise we brought our own kool-aid and popcorn.

My 3 youngest grandchildren who live about 2.5 hours north of me are taking turns staying with me in the next few weeks. I promised to take them to a drive-in, the food kind, which will be a new experience for them. We still have a few in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area that have the speaker type order boxes and the food order is delivered to your car. I wonder if I can find a drive-in movie with something suitable for them?

11 June 2007

FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference is hosted this year by the Allen County Public Library. The ACPL is the home of the world-renowned Genealogy Center. The conference dates are August 15-18, 2007. These conferences are filled with lectures, workshops, meal events, books, software, and lots of networking time -- all designed to enhance our family history research.

Registration for the four-day event is simple. The easiest way is to register online. You may also print the registration form and mail it in. Just go to http://www.fgsconference.org/ to learn more about this exciting educational event.

That website tells about the hotels with rooms for conference goers, and shares details on speakers, lectures, roommate service, genealogical vendors (booths are still available), youth fair, keynote speaker, banquet speaker, a day for professional genealogists, and, and, and. . . Future blog posts right here will share more conference details.

Be sure to visit the sponsors' page to see the logos of the wonderful sponsors that help to make these conferences happen.

If you aren't familiar with the ACPL check out its website http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/ and click on Genealogy.

Depending upon which door you exit from at the convention center, you are less than a block from the library. Even better, the library will have extended hours during the conference week. Hurray! Keep checking my blog for more details on the newly expanded ACPL and the tantalizing Genealogy Center. I had the pleasure of touring and researching there this past April.

The regular hours are posted first, followed by the extended hours.

Monday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m.

Tuesday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m.

Wednesday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m. and then until midnight for conference registrants

Thursday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m. and then until midnight for conference registrants

Friday: 9:00 a.m. -6:oo p.m. with 6:o0 a.m. to 9:00 a.m for conference registrants

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. -6: oo p.m. with 6:o0 a.m. to 9:00 a.m for conference registrants

06 June 2007

Novels with a genealogy connection

Pam Eagleson, CG, from Maine, shared details on a book with some genealogical research connections. From time to time I will post info on such books or movies on this blog. Please share your favorites. (Send to PSWResearch@comcast.net)

"My book group just finished reading David Baldacci's Wish You Well (2000, first trade edition 2007). It is totally different than any thing he's ever written and he said in an interview a couple of months ago on CBS's Sunday Morning that it is his favorite book. It’s basically a novel he wrote after doing several oral history interviews with his mother. He writes of how important chronicling the history of one's family is -- of the countless hours researching his own family's history. He warns that there are so many people who have either lost family memories forever or who are perilously close to doing so. The last section of this new trade edition includes a section with photos on his family research, a reading group guide and getting started on your family tree. Check out his website http://www.davidbaldacci.com/ and follow the link on the left side to the Other Writing section and click on Essays and then the second one on Origins of Wish You Well. FYI-He used the Library of Virginia extensively in his research for this novel. He lives in Richmond. This book is now required reading in several schools."

The Ohio Genealogical Society Summer Workshop 24-29 June 2007

Held at the The Ohio Genealogical Society Library, 713 S Main St., Mansfield, OH 44907-1644. For fees, registration, lodging and other questions: Phone 419-756-7294 or check http://www.ogs.org/.

The week begins with registration and reception at Library - Sunday June 24, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. followed by five full days of learning on topics such as land, church, probate, military, researching women, newspapers, German, Italian, British Isles, Scots-Irish, and several states. There will be time to research in the OGS Library. Instructors, Robert Keener’ Jana Broglin, CG; Shirley Hodges; Dwane Grace; Sandy Malitz; Brent Morgan; Elissa Powell, CG; Karen Bennett, CG; Sunda Peters; Kay Hudson; Ted Minier; Tom Neel; Wally Huskonen, CG; Paul Morehouse.

05 June 2007

Learn and relax on a spectacular Genealogy Cruise

Special Note: Unfortunately, this cruise was cancelled in June by the travel agency.

A Genealogy Cruise?

Late this coming autumn Fly Away Travel is hosting this perfect type of vacation. From October 27-November 3, join me and others for this event. I was a part of another genealogy cruise a couple of years ago and the experience was better than terrific.

Cruises often offer lectures, workshops, and other great activities. This Genealogy "Seminar at Sea" is a special part of a large cruise. To attend the genealogy sessions, you must book your cruise through Fly Away Travel. As a passenger, you will be able to partake of all activities on the cruise. (And, of course, the wonderful food.)

Do you have a spouse, friend, sibling, child, or significant other who cannot understand how you can spend an entire day at a genealogy seminar or in a library? This is the perfect way to attend a seminar and still spend time with them. They will be so busy and pampered that they won't even care when you attend a session.

Cruise Details
The cruise departs from Miami on October 27th and returns to Miami on November 3d. Cabins are still available. The ship is the brand new Royal Carribean's Liberty of the Seas. This cruise has an Eastern itinerary that includes stops in San Juan, St. Maarten, and Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private island). The genealogy sessions are offered on the three days at sea so that you may enjoy the shore days with no conflicting events. The Liberty of the Seas just had its maiden voyage in May. We get to spend the week on a new, up-to-date, and clean ship.

Amenities aboard the Liberty of the Seas include a water park, fitness center, live music, rock climbing wall, dancing, shops, casino, spectacular views, many restaurants, 24 hour room service, and a mini-gold course. Or, you may just find yourself a deck chair and relax. There are plenty of these chairs on-board. You might consider bringing along a costume for Halloween - but it is not a requirement. I saw some pictures of the genealogists and speakers from the 2006 cruise. I am already thinking about what I might wear.

The Speakers
The lineup of speakers is just one of the treats for this cruise. John Colletta, Stephen Danko, Michael J. Leclerc, Paul Milner, George Morgan, Donna Moughty, Laura Prescott, Drew Smith, and Paula Stuart-Warren. The list of topics is online and I have already found several that I want to attend. The areas of expertise of this impressive group and the lectures they will give cover just about all areas of genealogy. Handouts for the sessions are included in the price.

More than just learning
I am already planning my days on the cruise. Let's see, sunshine, massage, spending some money in the shops and on land, playing mini-golf, and karaoke (some of my colleagues have already told me I WILL participate -- oh, are they in for a surprise and a headache when they hear my voice.)

Need a roommate?
If you are seeking someone to share your cabin, let FLY AWAY TRAVEL know -- they may have the name of someone else looking for a roommate. Talk to fellow members of your genealogical society and convince them they need to register for this week -- and don't forget to mention that you are looking for a roommate to share the expenses.

Let's Have Fun
I look forward to seeing some "old" friends and meeting new friends on the genealogy part of the cruise. There are still cabins left so reserve your spot now before they are gone.

For more info
Genealogy Cruise http://www.genealogycruises.com/
Travel Agency http://www.flyawaytravel.com/
Royal Carribean http://www.royalcaribbean.com/
Paula Stuart-Warren PSWResearch@comcast.net

01 June 2007

Upcoming Event: Minnesota Genealogical Society

June 16, 2007, Willmar, Minnesota

Minnesota Genealogical Society/Heritage Searchers of Kandiyohi County: MGS Annual Greater Minnesota Meeting

A full day of genealogical lectures, vendors, networking, and more for only $15.00. A box lunch is available for $6.50 if MGS receives your order and payment by June 9th. You don't have to be a member of MGS or Heritage Searchers to attend this event.

Some of the topics:
"Capturing the importance of ordinary people through oral history
"Beginning Genealogy"
"Researching Military Records"
"The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists"
"Census - U.S. & State - How to get the most out of them!""The Family History Library and Its 4000+ Family History Centers: How to Further Your Research from the United States to Europe"
"What's New at the DAR"."Research Rewards in County Courthouses and Town Hall Records" "Genealogical Research Using the Internet"

I will be presenting two of these, the WPA and Courthouses.

For full details: http://www.mngs.org/

Welcome to Genealogical Eclectica

That is really the title. Don't bother checking the dictionary to see what "eclectica" means -- I tossed around many ideas and liked this gramatically incorrect one. This blog will not be on just one topic related to history and genealogy. It will cover a variety of topics, thus it will be eclectic. I will keep you posted on my activities, genealogical events in a broad range of geographic areas, research tips, current and past news, volunteerism, networking and many other subjects. At times you may have to endure news about my family. My family goes far beyond my beloved children and grandchildren. I am Mom or Grandma to a lot of my colleagues. No, they are not all on my birthday or Christmas gift giving list! But, they all have a special place in my heart.

Why did I really begin this blog? Fellow genealogists and other friends often ask where I will be lecturing or researching. They tell me to keep them posted so they can keep up with me. Other ask what is new in genealogy or at a particular library, archive, or historical society.

This blog seems to be the easiest way to reach many people. I do have to warn you that postings will not always be every day. At times there may be one a week and sometimes there might be several in one day. You will be able to post comments. If you see that I have misstated something, have a typo, or just have something to add to the discussion, please join in.