Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 and You Go Genealogy Girl #2 wish you and yours best wishes for whatever holiday season you celebrate. As we normally say ... Merry Christmas!!

Thanks for reading our column, sharing your comments and bestowing awards upon us in 2009. We look forward to a brand new year of exciting genealogical togetherness, traveling and research. Bring it on!!!

YGGG #1 -- Ruby
YGGG #2 -- Cheri

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Ancestor Tree

My ancestors and relatives mean a lot to me. I wouldn't be here without my ancestors! Christmas is a perfect time to focus on Christmas-past and our ancestors. A year ago my granddaughter suggested I needed to make ornaments for my tree with photographs of ancestors. She said, "After all, Grandma, you have oodles of old photographs." Indeed I do and I discovered I probably have enough for more than one large tree.

This year I occasionally thought about her request for ancestor ornaments. How was I going to create them? I found ideas and suggestions on Internet, but nothing seemed to be what I wanted. In October, You Go Girl #2 came for a visit. I told her she could not return home until we had solved the problem of putting ancestors on the tree.

She is artistic and talented in crafts, so it didn't take her long to figure how to do the ornaments. We found some thin, wood pieces of small circles and tear drops at the craft store. Later when they were out, my daughter brought me some light weight cardboard from work. That works, too! Raiding my quilting stash, I found odds and ends of fabric and scraps that looked old-fashioned. We purchased glue, ribbon, glitter and a tiny strand of garland with red berries on it. Covering one side of the wood piece, we then added a small loop of ribbons to the other side before gluing on the fabric. The ribbon serves as a hanger for the ornament. After all dried, they were trimmed.

The fun part was going through my collection of photographs that I scanned to my genealogy program. I manipulated each to get the proper size and then adjusted the color to sepia. After printing them, we either burned the edges or trimmed them. #2 is good at burning the edges. I would probably burn the house down! Those were glued to the fabric covered wood piece. Once dried, a small piece of greenery (garland) and bow was added. On the back side I glued a small name tag with the ancestor's name and dates. The final touch was putting glue around the edges and adding glitter.

I had no idea how many ornaments I would need, but made about 24 of them. They deserved a tree of their own (Ancestor Tree), so I purchased a four foot artificial tree with lights already on it. Once the ornaments were placed on it, I created a garland of twine and old-fashioned ribbon bows. Just the touch it needed. A small ornament was placed on the tree which reads, "Generations of Our Ancestors." The last photograph my husband and I had taken together was turned into sepia tones and placed on a small wooden tree which serves at the tree top ornament.

The best part of the tree is that I can look at it every time I am in the living room, study the photographs and remember who they are. I like to ponder about their lives and in particular their Christmases. I am sure they were quite different than mine.

The tree could easily handle more ornaments. I have plenty of ancestors who want to adorn it. But I also have months to work on them before Christmas 2010!

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Bounty

Turkey, turkey,and more turkey! Assuredly we all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. Ours was a nice small gathering of family in Cheyenne, Wyoming which was hosted by my husband's sister and her husband. Over the years we have not been able to spend very many Holidays with his side of the family so this was one of the few that we were able to and we had a great time and wonderful meal. The occasion this year also included a Wednesday evening at Chilis with the family. My husbands brother from Montana was there, our son, Mom and other family members, best of all was we didn't even have to do the cooking! After a great Thanksgiving with family we got to bring home an added bounty which made the trip even more special.

For some months, Mom has been trying to acquire the genealogy records that her sister Hazel had started work on years ago. Over the decades, she and Hazel had worked on the family research together when they could and often each worked on their own and collaborated over the miles between them. Hazel is no longer able to do research and she and her family agreed to send us all her records pertaining to our side of the family. She spent many years doing research before the computer age came along, perusing libraries and record repositories. Mom and I now try to work together as much as possible. At present we are the lucky caretakers of Aunt Hazel's records. Last week there arrived a dozen large family binders full of genealogy documents and research plus a huge box full of files and papers. Treasures which we will compare and then will incorporate the information into our own research archives. Mom also borrowed a large 4 inch thick photo album from one of her cousins who lives near Lingle, Wyoming. This is an awesome album of family photos, most of which we did not have. We are looking forward to becoming acquainted with these past family members.

Am I thankful? Yes, indeed! We brought home to Nebraska all this collection of research materials and photos. A project to keep me busy for the winter (along with all my other unfinished ones--). Reading, adding into records and of course a lot of scanning to do. It is a blessing for sure when family is willing to share and our Thanksgiving Bounty this special year was truly a Family Treasure. We are thankful for many things this year: our children and grandchildren, love of family, relatively good health and discovery of even more ancestors.

The You Go Girl #1 is awaiting her new IPOD Touch and I have a new NetBook to play with. We just can't get enough tech gadgets to take up our time with. Next to the "old" ancestors, our "new" toys keep us pretty busy. We have plans to meet next week in Ogallala, Nebraska ( about half way between us) for a day of play, shopping and gadget comparison. We must soon take time away from the toys and get back to the serious business of genealogy. The Grannies are getting older by the day and the To Do list is getting longer by the day! After all, I MUST get busy on all those albums and photos....

You Go Genealogy Girl#2, Cheri

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Genealogy Hibernation

Yes, you can hibernate and still do genealogical research. It's not as much fun as putting Lil' Red in drive and heading to exciting places, but almost as much fun. My plans to visit YGG #2 in the panhandle of Nebraska have not materialized for a variety of reasons.

First the weather, while nice now, has not been cooperative all fall. We have gone 2 1/2 weeks without snow and everybody is tense wondering when the next blast will hit Nebraska. After three major snowfalls in October, it seems likely that we might get blasted yet this month and into December. Second reason for not taking my excursion ... my knee is still not reliable. I'm pampering and babying it until in January when I will discuss knee replacement with my doctor.

Years ago a lot of people referred to Internet as the "Information Highway." It still is and more so. Have you thought about that? You don't have to pack a suitcase, remember to turn off the coffee maker and fill the car up with gas. The only difference is that Internet doesn't produce all those great "genealogy scents." I still love the smell of the musty, dusty old courthouse basement, lined with volumes of records. I love the smell of spring lilacs in the cemetery. The smell of library books turns me on completely and I can't imagine reading books online in the future and not enjoying the smell of paper and the thrill of turning the pages of a book.

When I was in high school (too many years ago to calculate) I discovered the genealogy section at my local library. It had been relegated to the basement. With plenty of lighting and long tables, who cared where it was located. There were plenty of books, mostly very old and seldom used. The basement had a strong smell of creosote. I never investigated where it was and why, but I still, after all these years, associate creosote with genealogy.

The other half of this team has been doing her usual Swedish research in hibernation and on Internet. The other day I came up with a plan. I was going to tackle some missing names and dates from relatives who lived on Nantucket Island. As some of it was taking shape, I began looking for grave information on FindAGrave, hoping that somebody had taken a photograph of family tombstones. Suddenly a surname looked familiar and brought memories of days of study in high school and college .... MOTT. Yes indeed, after more study and reading and piecing information together, I was able to add Lucretia Coffin Mott, the famous Quaker preacher and abolitionist, into my genealogy program. Welcome Lucretia!

Tonight I will put Lil' Red in drive and head to the library for the genealogy society meeting. All of about three miles there, but won't that be fun? I don't have to go far or look far for genealogy fun. Last night I dreamed about a bear who was watching me from behind a bush. I have never understood the meaning of dreams, but maybe he was trying to tell me that I have hibernated too long!

Ruby .... You Go Genealogy Girl #1

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Can You Say--Global Warming?

Well, this has been and interesting last 10 days or so. As you may recall, the Go Girls had plans to get together two times in the last couple of weeks. Mother Nature put a serious cramp in our plans and kept us home, both lamenting about the projects that we weren't working on together. Plans to visit out local cemetery and pay respects to loved ones, including Go Girl's husband, those got buried under 12-15 inches of heavy wet snow here in Nebraska. Our storm lasted for several days and it was not fit for man nor beast outside. My "beasts" slept on the sofa for 3 days.

For several days,the You Go Girls emailed each other many times a day, usually complaining of the weather, the cold, the wind, and anything else that came to mind. Our daily routine--what was for supper? Big decisions to make while watching the blizzard outside. Pots of chili and potato soup, helped to sustain us and our families. You Go Girl's daughter was trying to get moved in the midst of it all so naturally the storm settled in good. All this brings to question: what do genealogists find to do when they are snowed in before winter even gets here?

We always manage to find the silver lining when rough times encroach on our plans. I discovered a great site on the UsGenWeb for Tippah Co., Mississippi research. What an awesome collection for those of us with ties to that area. I spent two whole days perusing the site and copying great information. Hot tea, cookies, my puppies, and my ancestors all kept me warm and entertained while I watched it blowing outside. Eventually I would have gotten there, but the snow storm hurried up the research and boy am I glad! Who ever wants to wait for tomorrow if they can find something great today? (My poor Go Hubby was out working in the blizzard to support my genealogy spending habits...) My next task was to find my husband's Great Grandmother who had emmigrated from Sweden in 1888. She has been elusive to say the least for a variety of reasons. Much of our other Swedish family has been located but she remained hidden. More snow and wind, what should I do? Try out some Swedish chat boards on GenealogyWise. Sure enough, I got some immediate clues from my postings and got busy looking for our "Minnie". Finally she was found in Vilske Kleva, Skaraborgs, Sweden. What an great feeling to finally "meet" her. She had made it difficult for some reason, even after The You Go Genealogy Girls had visited her cemetery in Wheatland, Wyoming earlier this year. I had thought she might come to light soon after that, but it was not to be! Had it not been for the blizzard, she may have stayed elusive for some time to come. My third project was getting ready to have my husband submit a DNA test for his Hopkins Surname. That is now in the works, hopefully that will bring us closer to some other relatives AND ancestors.

Girl #1 sat out the storm with her computer and kept busy too. She was answering my questions, doing her research, baby-sitting a cat, and watching for the mail lady to come- with hope that the blizzard did not slow up the delivery of her new "Snow Leopard" update. How could it dare to storm with such an important item awaiting delivery? Trips to the window to look out and finally it arrived. She disappeared into seclusion for a day while she got that and her added RAM installed to her computer. Now she is ZOOMMing....faster than ever. She is also complaining less these days!

Fall has finally come to western Nebraska now. We have had nothing but winter so far and these few better days are welcome. Do we dare to plan a visit with each other soon? Sure would be great to be able to work on some projects together, but I shudder to think of what will come if we even think of planning a trip . Maybe we really need another winter blast, we really do get a lot done when we are house-bound and determined. What better could The Girls find to do than make homemade hot soup and take comfort and solace with their ancestors!!!!!!!!!!

Go girl #2, Cheri

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Girls on the Go and at Home

Where can you do genealogical research when it snows and rains most of October? We are not looking forward to a predicted third snowfall of the month that will finish out the month. These snow episodes change our travel plans, keep us out of cemeteries and mostly at home.

Go Girl #2 managed to get to my place in North Platte, Nebraska last Wednesday afternoon. She arrived just in time to unload her vehicle and load Lil' Red up for the Genealogy Night sponsored by the North Platte Genealogical Society. We both had displays and handouts, plus door prizes to set up. Other genealogists brought interesting displays and it was a fun filled evening of visiting and meeting some guests who were interested in the society and what we had for "show and tell."

The day before #2 arrived I received an injection in my knee which is an attempt to stall off knee replacement surgery. Within ten minutes the knee and leg had doubled in size and became as hard as wood, very painful and scary. By evening, while still in pain, I was able to walk. Now, a week later, it is much better, so I may be able to make it a few months longer. If the snow will hold off just for a few weeks in November, I may be able to travel and do some research.

In the meantime, nursing our colds and watching the weather reports, Go Girl #2 is doing intense Swedish research. I am sure she will be reporting about her excellent skills at finding missing Swedes. As for me, #1, I'm making ornaments for my Ancestor Tree. A year ago my granddaughter suggested that I make some kind of ornaments with the photos I have of ancestors. Staying inside because of snow, tender knee and a cold, I am now making them. Of course, I am not using original photos, but making copies in sepia tone and labeling them on the back with their names and dates. Rest assured that I will share this tree in photos on another blog. And I must give credit to #2 and her artistic skills in getting me started on the project.

Neither one of us is exactly burnin' up the pavement. Regardless of how we feel or what the weather dumps on us, we love our ancestors.

You Go Girl #1 --- Ruby

Monday, October 19, 2009

Burnin' Up The Pavement !

It's finally here. Time for the Go Girls to get together again! This has been a long dry spell for the two of us, separated by 180 miles and only our computers for company. Go Girl #2 will leave early Wednesday morning for the three hour drive to North Platte, Nebraska. Here, the girls will meet up at Go Girl #1's house (uhmmmm, Grannie #1) for some serious genealogy time. This is Family History month and we have some great plans which include our monthly meeting of the North Platte Genealogy Society and it's open house to be held at the North Platte Public Library on Wednesday. We are looking forward to a fun evening with old friends and hopefully to make some new friends. The public has been invited to come for a tour of the Genealogy Center there and bring along any family history questions they may have. Our wonderful group of volunteers will be there for several hours to help newcomers learn about genealogy research. Several of us have designed great visual displays and research aids for the occasion. Looking forward to a fun time!

Thursday will be an equally full day for us. I have a full list of photos that I hope to get Girl #1 to share from her family files--just for starters! She is always generous in sharing her research with me. She shares old photos with me and I restore the badly damaged ones so we can both enjoy them. She has also promised a short lesson on advanced use of the "search" feature on, that should be fun and maybe I will be able to get lots more found! We will snack, talk genealogy, snack some more, play on the computer, eat lunch, do some research, compare notes, discuss books and then eat supper. Our big routine as you can tell: eating and doing our genealogy, at least when we can stop laughing and being silly together long enough to actually accomplish other things. Girl #1 has asked for my help on a Christmas project she has in mind so we will also make time for a little crafting. It will be a nice break, but with a genealogy/family theme, we won't be far away from our true passion of research. Is there anything more exciting than that for two Grannies to do! A trip to the office supply store and visiting with my niece and great niece will round out the trip. It will be a fast trip of three days but we can cram a lot of precious work into that short time. It is so great to have a research partner and sister-in-law to have fun with. (She has a birthday next week too so I will have a small gift in tow, maybe it will be a surprise-new car,a trip, or new puppy?).

No sooner than when I get back home and Go Hubby and I will be having company here in Alliance. Can you guess who? You Go Genealogy Girl #1 will be headed to my house for this visit. We will then finish up all the projects that we do not manage to complete while I visit her house. While she is here with me, we will also make a jaunt to the cemetery to pay respects to our loved ones, visit her sister who lives in Gering, Nebraska in a nursing home, and hopefully even squeeze in a short trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming to do some research there. Winter is setting in, so the "Girls" are ending the season in style. Busy, Busy...and on the go as we surely do burn up the pavement whenever we get the chance!

You Go Girl #2, Cheri

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The REAL Genealogist

Occasionally I hear people comment on how addictive genealogical research can be. Is it the research or the simple urge to keep looking and collecting names? Maybe the research is addictive, but is it fun and interesting? It can be time consuming and that's where all the problems arise. Genealogy gets put on the back burner for things like children, grandchildren, spouses, vacations (I like mine with genealogy!), activities, jobs ... and then we say that someday when we retire we'll do family history research. Unfortunately, the older family members are gone by then ... or did you realize that when you procrastinated?

A REAL genealogist is one who is dedicated to the research. They will have obstacles and occasionally procrastinate, but overall they continue to study and learn genealogy research methods. When they run into a brickwall (Don't we all?) they don't give up. They keep trying, they look for answers elsewhere and sometimes they ask other genealogists for advise.

This advise can also be in the form of conferences, seminars and workshops. When I am lecturing, whether in a conference setting or in genealogy classes, I tell my students that the word "can't" is not in the genealogist's vocabulary. Maybe you think you can't locate something, but if you get rid of the negative word and negative attitude, you will be surprised at what will happen.

If you spend your money for seminars or conferences, do you put it to use? Or do you come back home and throw the syllabus and notes in the corner to collect dust? If the presenter recommends something, do you try it? How many times do you have to be told about how to locate free genealogical data online, before you decide to try it? A REAL genealogist will try these things, study the notes and syllabus and form their own opinion as to what works. Don't leave your problems in a heap with the notes until next year's conference or seminar.

How much time does it take to do this? It does take time. Why not start a schedule. See how much you can get done in one hour ... explore one Internet web page, such as FamilySearch. Learn all of the features. It won't take that long but you will soon master the skills and be able to search like a pro. The next hour you have available, try out another Internet database, or review your research for ideas on how to progress even further. You don't have to spend an entire day doing it, even though I do find that to be rather exciting!

Have confidence in yourself. Think like a REAL genealogist. Don't give up. Genealogy takes time. You may have to wait for a year before an online query is noticed an answered, or maybe two or more years. Keep telling yourself that you can do it ... and that you will do it.

Next week You Go Genealogy Girl #2 is coming for a visit. With the two of us it's always a genealogy visit! She has asked for a "free" session with me on ways to effectively research databases. It's free to a point ... she may have to buy us lunch! Girl #2 is a REAL genealogist. I know she'll go back home and put to use what she has learned and keep trying.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Girls Are Nominated

The You Go Genealogy Girls blog has been nominated for the Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. There are 10 categories. We are listed in the Personal/Family Category. Click here to vote.

The 40 Best Genealogy Blogs will be named in the May 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine. Girl #1 and Girl #2 would appreciate your vote. You can vote as many times as you wish between October 5th and November 5th. Sounds like stuffing the ballot box to me! If it works ... we love you for it.

Ruby ... You Go Girl #1

Sunday, October 4, 2009

From Soup To Nuts!

This last month has certainly been a busy one for this You Go Genealogy Girl. It seems that I am busy all the time with one project or another but not sure whether I have really accomplished much at all. I seem to flit from one thing to another. It is all great fun and of course all the additional tidbits have added to our rich family history.

In the pursuit for more information on my husbands Swedish ancestors I have worked through Genlines and found lots of great new information. One noted surprise was finding the information on the parents of his GGGrandmother. She was born in Loftahammar, Sweden in 1839 and along with her twin sister and other siblings was orphaned at the age 3 1/2 when both her parents drowned on the same day in 1842. Another mystery to be solved and I will be following the eventual journeys of the children. It should be exciting!

Next was another trip to Cheyenne, Wy., planning to house/dog sit for several days while my son was out of town. The poor dogs were kinda lonely by evening as this Go Girl took advantage of the time to do some research there. The Laramie County Library, which is very new, has a wonderful genealogy room for research. Mom and I spent one afternoon there perusing records.
Our next stop was the Wyoming state archives to order a divorce record. Once accomplished, we hurried home to her house to work on the computer and upload some photos to her tree on Ancestry. The next day brought a lunch date with a cousin who is a professional genealogist of note. We had a great visit, she gave me some useful tips on my Legacy program and then took us over to the archives. She showed us all around there and told us just how to use the facilities and records. It was great and she was so kind to take time to teach us! We stayed there all afternoon.

We have been working on a distant line connected to my husband and one of his cousins. The cousin requested some work from Mom and she has been diligently working on this for some time. We found lots of goodies in the archives of Wyoming. John "Posey" Ryan had murdered his second wife and grown step daughter in 1909. He had an extremely interesting history: Irish immigrant, civil war vet, teamster with the US Infantry into Indian country, part of the Carrington Expediton to establish forts along the Bozeman Trail and into the Dakotas, and was a well documented figure in Wyoming history. His first wife was a Native American with whom he had several children. These are the connections to our family. All of them went on to lead prominent lives within Wyoming and the Dakotas. "Posey" had been a fairly well to do man, having just purchased one of the first "new" autos in Platte Co., Wyoming at the time of the murders. His victims had some questionable dealings and backgrounds themselves before they supposedly cheated the old man out of his wealth and relocated to Cheyenne. We followed his life, trial in 1909, life conviction, governor's pardon after having served 10 years, and his death in 1929. He was really quite an interesting find and despite the murders, we couldn't help but have sympathy for the old man. He lived out his life in a nursing home in Buffalo, Wyoming and died while holding & caring for a baby while sitting in his car downtown. Despite the murders in his past, "Posey" Ryan had many friends and was actually quite well thought of by all accounts of his life.

Returning home, I have spent several days working in collaboration with Mom on some of our Hopkins lines that settled in Tippah Co., Mississippi. New discoveries there and many more mysteries yet to be solved. Silas Travis Hopkins and his wife Jane Salinas Buchanan were just some of the early family there. We discovered that present day Walnut, Miss., was first named "Hopkins", and another settlement very nearby went by" Hopkinsville". Roads are also named for the family in the area. A mix up in the delivery of and order of whiskey to a store owned by Silas Hopkins brought on the decision to change the name of Hopkins to "Walnut". Silas Hopkins and his wife were buried in the Mitchell Cemetery in Walnut, Mississippi in the late 1800's and during the 1920's or 30's this cemetery was plowed over to build a house and the graves were not known to have been moved. The stones were thought to have been thrown in a gully very near and some used in the construction of the home. There seems to be a project to try and recover this history so maybe we can get involved in that as it progresses. As a thought: How many of us would like to build our new home on top of a known cemetery?

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 is teaching a day long genealogy seminar in North Platte, Nebraska on Oct 10th, so I will hopefully be on the go again soon. I hope to attend the seminar to learn more and "the girls" have many more projects to tackle while I visit her home. We always have fun, learn a lot, laugh often, and of course eat a few of those lovely jelly beans that keep us fueled up and going!

It may be a long winter so we need to gear up soon with our projects. By the way, we have already planned our next 2 week long research trip for Salt Lake and the Family History Library for in the Spring.. We can't wait!

The You Go Genealogy Girl #2, Cheri

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wooly Worms and Genealogy

During my summer confinement, also known as "Out for the Season," I have taken to counting the days and lamenting the return of cold, winter days. In July I saw a wooly worm crawling up my driveway. Friday afternoon I saw another wooly worm. The neighborhood mice are seeking shelter in the garage rather early, forcing me to set out sticky traps. Leaves are turning at least two weeks early. Native Americans I have known through the years proclaim that early wooly worms mean an early, cold winter.

Actually all this probably means I should come up with a big genealogical research agenda for winter, quickly ... might be an early winter. I have missed my summer walks and prowls in the cemeteries, let alone the ability to spend time researching in courthouses and libraries. Now I can envision short days and cold winter nights, howling wind and piles of snow. This will force me to break down a few brickwalls I have ignored the last three months.

You Go Girl #2 will be here in about 2 1/2 weeks when she will attend my Fall Genealogy Seminar on October 10th. It's all about free genealogy web pages, plus digging deeper to locate vital records. Now you know what I've been doing all summer. It's no quick project putting together an all day seminar, plus a CD of information to accompany it.

The local genealogy society will be celebrating Family History Month (what we call the real month of October) in a big way. We will have volunteers at the library to show people what is in the genealogy section and help them get started with their research or overcome research obstacles. There will be three tours of the genealogy section during the month. Books have been moved about three times in two years, so this will reacquaint people with their whereabouts. On October 21st we will have genealogy displays, help stations, door prizes and handouts in an evening of welcoming people to the addictive work of genealogy. You Go Girl #2 is helping out by making displays and donating prizes. She is also my listener when I have bursts of inspiration for what hopefully will be a fun month.

Let it snow ... even early ... I don't care. I don't know where wooly worms go to stay warm, but I have my genealogy to keep me warm!

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 -- Ruby

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Survived Vacation and The Bears !

I arrived back home in Nebraska on Monday after 11 days of wilderness camping in the beautiful state of Wyoming. Bears? Well this year, there were none to be found around our camp. How lucky can I be? Maybe they just didn't like the smell of this granny genealogist!

Our vacation was awesome. The weather was mostly nice and sunny with a couple afternoon rain showers and about 75-80 degrees each day. It did get down to 30 one night in the high Medicine Bows, telling us that winter would soon show its face. YGGG #2 never left the camp site for the whole time except for our daily wildlife drives and exploring of the countryside. My time was spent preparing food, cooking, feeding the campfire or reading. For some unknown reason, I did not get in as much reading and study as I had hoped, but I did spend some quality time with my Swedish books and documents. The quiet time to study was nice-- no phone, tv, computer, knocking at the door or other such intrusions! We were 50 miles from the nearest town and 40 miles just to get cell service. Go Hubby did make the town trip a couple times for ice, adult beverages, checking on work and to check in with and report to YGGG #1. The latter was recovering from her knee surgery while I was out vacationing. We had to keep tabs on her health and, she, being a "town" girl would not have survived the 11 days of no internet anyway! She did say she missed me and our several a day communications while I was gone. Getting back home and to my computer, I had some juicy tidbits of genealogy information from her and others while I was gone. I must have missed that computer more than I thought!

We saw several moose and other wildlife on our daily jaunts into the back country. The highlight of our days were our back country drives and hikes. One of the other neat discoveries was several very old hand hewn log cabins that were scattered throughout many stream bottoms and valleys. I took lots of photos of these and of course we scouted around them all. Most were built in the late 1800's and some into the early 1900's. We assume that most were early claims along the creeks seeking gold and probably many were used for trapping also, as there were and still are lots of beaver etc., in the area. There are old trash piles around nearly every cabin. We turned up broken pieces of pottery, glass, cans, square nails, an old copper boiler and even the front off of a cast iron stove. We couldn't help but to ponder the lives of those early settlers and what they must have gone through to survive in such wilderness. It is still remote and wild and one can only imagine what it was like to try and survive there well over a hundred years ago. Several of the sites are still fairly undisturbed which is amazing. Were there many women, and what about children? I found a tiny "blue willow" lid from a childs dishes set in one remote cabin spot and it was unbroken in the dump area. It is so hard to envision a child in what must have been harsh living conditions.(This area gets way below zero much of the winter, with up to 8 feet of snow at times.) Did these people even winter in the mountains? They must have in order to make a living. I have a new mystery to solve now, as I intend to dig into some records and find more information about the people who once settled this remote area. A genealogist's dream-- as if I didn't already have enough of my own family to find !!!!

The trip overall was great, the guys played horseshoes, we all had fun, ate like kings, read books for a week, and relaxed.

One small glitch in the whole trip--. We have a large sharpei/chow mix dog, Misty, which made the trip this year with us for the first time. She did pretty well as a traveler, and had a good time with us. She is ,however, afraid of the dark and shook each night when the coyotes started to howl. Go Hubby had to use the "Coleman lantern" for her before bed outings as she was afraid of the shadows that the ordinary flashlite made. Our last night there was unsettled as she had a diarrhea problem and on the way home we had to make a stop along the interstate to again get her outside. I am sure we were a funny site to the passers-by. I had to clean her up with the baby wipes as vehicles whizzed by before she could get back in the car. She adores YGGG#1 and should have stayed in North Platte with her and helped her on her way to recovery. They could have "babysat" one another. She for one was glad to be home and has slept the day away today!

The You Go Genealogy Girls now have a whole year of travel and fun together before YGGG #2 returns again to the wilderness.....with the bears!

You Go Genealogy Girls #2, Cheri

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This and That and Not Much Else

What do you do with a painful knee and limited patience? I'm suppose to rest, but I didn't hear that ... maybe it was a whisper in my ear. While I am progressing each day after my surgery, it is slower than I anticipated. After all, I consider myself a SuperWoman, or is that SuperGenealogist?

For almost a week I have hobbled around with and without the walker, going from my recliner, laptop and TV to the computer/genealogy room. I have now achieved the ability of taking my walker outside to the mail box. This morning I decided to wheel two houses to the west, turn around in their drive way and wheel back home. Before I got back to my house, a nurse at the rest home complex across the street, was watching me. I suspect she thought I had escaped.

I am anxious to return the walker to my genealogy friends who generously loaned it to me. My granddaughter's 11th birthday party is tomorrow evening at the bowling alley. She wants me to come, but not with the walker. That makes me feel good as she doesn't want her friends to think her granny has suddenly gotten old and decrepit. The walker can be useful, though. It's great for transporting items from room to room, such as my bagel and tea in the morning and books and magazines when I change locations.

On the plus side, I have read through numerous genealogy periodicals that have piled up. I bet I'm not the only one who accumulates them in stacks. I have been reading messages and leaving messages on GenealogyWise. The FGS Conference blog is keeping me entertained and green with envy that I'm not at the conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am also dreaming of the day when I can walk around the block and also go to cemeteries. All in time! It's been a long summer!

You Go Girl #1 ... Ruby

P.S. You Go Girl #2's hubby, "Go Hubby," called me yesterday. They are still in the mountain wilderness in Wyoming. He drove to where he could get a cell signal to make sure I am okay. Isn't that special of him? He said #2 was alone in camp with the dog and her genealogy. So far they haven't turned into bear bait!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'll Be Dreaming Genealogy ..If The Bears Don't Get Me !

Tomorrow is the day that Go Hubby and Go Genealogy Girl #2 are leaving for our annual vacation to the mountains. Yippee! We travel to the high mountains of Wyoming just for camping, resting, reading, hiking, picture taking and fun with our son, Daniel who lives in Cheyenne, Wy., and his girl friend, Jamie. It is a tradition for us to take a long camping trip together each year. Up until 2 years ago we always camped with a large tent and loved it (still miss it), but alas as we have gotten older; the easier, dryer, camper trailer with a nice bed seems to rest our bones better. Son still tents and we do all our cooking outdoors so we get plenty of the back to nature "feel".

No computer, no cell phone service where we go so maybe I can get caught up on some reading and study of records. All week long I have been busy going through records on Genline and looking for those lost ancestors. What a thrilling find! I have one set of my husbands 5th Great Grandparents back to the late 1700s. Those along with my work from the Family History Library will be my study materials this week. I have packed a large box of materials to take along. A lawn chair in the sun, an adult beverage, my sweet guard dog by my side and dreams of those Swedish ancestors! What more could a soul want? The country where we go is gorgeous, we see elk and moose on a daily basis. The moose are even a little too close on occasion and have to be watched carefully as they can be mean and nasty! Bears also frequent our area so I must not set to daydreaming too much---there are still lots of relatives to be found when I get back home. I wouldn't want my future family genealogists to find me in the records as "bear bait".

You Go Genealogy Girl #2-- Cheri

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Genealogy With Food

Last night my local genealogy society members met for their summer potluck.  You Go Girl #2 missed a good one.  There were about 30 people in attendance.  We had to set up more tables and chairs, plus another table to hold the food.  There's no doubt about it ... genealogists love to look for ancestors, share ideas and EAT.  They are also good cooks. 

I had to hurry home and call You Go Girl #2 to share my excitement.  This was a good kick-off for our fall meeting schedule which begins September 19th. They asked questions about my summer events and what You Go Girl #2 and I have been doing.  I briefly told them about our trip to Salt Lake City and the fact #2 took too much baggage.  Then came the exciting news about the Family History Expo we attended in Sheridan, WY in July.  I encouraged them to attend a Family History Expo in 2010.  

They asked why we always take jelly beans on our trips.  This all started on a trip to eastern Nebraska and Kansas.  We were about an hour from our destination of Lincoln, Nebraska when #2 pulled out a bag of gourmet jelly beans.  Yummy!  She broke into that bag and it was let the jelly beans roll time.  We were so high on sugar by the time we reached Lincoln that we were goofy grannies.  Have you ever seen goofy grannies giggling and acting like teenagers?  From there on out, we never travel without our jelly beans.  Except we do try to keep our intake in moderation.  

You Go Genealogy Girl #2 explains it like this.  I think you'll enjoy knowing exactly why we like jelly beans and share them with others. 

"Jelly beans are like our family members.  Some are sweet and some are more sour.  Some of our 'beans' may be white and some may be black, some may have freckles while others may not. Each precious one is an unexpected individual and we love each one for who and what they are. When they are all together, they can become quite a mixed bag!  Whether during sad times or happy times, all those gorgeous 'beans' make these genealogist Grannies very happy indeed. They are the fuel of life ... maybe the sugar of life."  

And now you know the whole story.  When you eat a jelly bean, think of your ancestors and think about us ... The You Go Genealogy Girls. 

You Go Girl #1 -- Ruby 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Have Bike, Will Travel !

The long blacktop road rolled through the beautiful Wildcat Hills of Western Nebraska, leading "Biker Grannie" (AKA You Go Girl #2) and "Go Hubby" to the peaceful Hillcrest cemetery in Lagrange, Goshen Co., Wyoming.

When new information comes to light, it usually signals the plans for a research trip by the two You Go Genealogy Girls. As you know we usually travel via Li'l Red to the next site at hand. This day was unusual, however, as" You Go Genealogy Girl #2" was on a day trip with "Go Hubby". Camera in hand, we were headed by motorcycle to investigate the Hillcrest cemetery in Lagrange. YGGG#1 is temporarily out of commission awaiting some knee surgery so Girl#2 managed to talk Hubby into being chauffeur for the day. After all, these are all "his" relatives so it is only fair that he is put to work occasionally. He usually just stays home , working hard at his job so that the two You Go Girls can go play.

Last week it came to light that we had several relatives in the Hillcrest Cemetery at Lagrange, Wyoming. I could hardly wait to get over there to investigate. We have passed this small cemetery many times as we have been on our way to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I have always admired the pretty whitewashed wood fence that adorns the main entry by the highway. My husband and I have remarked often that we should take time to at least drive through as the cemetery has seemed to have had a strange pull on us. It seems that we have always been in a hurry, coming and going. In May The Go Girls even whizzed on by in a rush to get to Salt Lake City, again remarking that it would be a place that we should stop and visit.

To my wonder, we found that several of our Troyer and McComsey relatives were buried there when we recently acquired some information from newly found relatives. Willis Troyer, who was my husband's great-great uncle is one of those that we found there along with his wife, Ida and many of his extended family. Willis was the brother of my husband's great-great Grandmother "Lizzie" Troyer Smith. He was an early settler, blacksmith, and cowboy around Lagrange and the Goshen Hole area of Wyoming. You can read my story of this early settler, Willis Troyer, on my personal blog, THOSE OLD MEMORIES, " Willis Troyer, Cowboy and early Settler"

The Hillcrest cemetery is a gorgeous, peaceful little cemetery. It has a low canopy of cedars and pine trees which were planted many years ago and lovingly reared and cared for which shades the many grave sites within. Two long, pew style benches adorn a central area and provide a place for reflection, prayer and quiet thoughts. The picture above, although not one of our relatives, shows the serene atmosphere of peace in this little community cemetery.

I know that You Go Genealogy Girl #1 must really be jealous that this trip was made without her. She would have loved it, but alas, a "Biker Babe"--oops, "Biker Grannie", she ain't! Do not fear...the You Go Genealogy Girls will definitely be back on the road together real soon, heading to another great research destination........perhaps we will even visit Willis Troyer again!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2 -Cheri AKA "Biker Grannie"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Old Genealogist and The Old Editor

The other morning I looked closely at myself in the mirror and saw new wrinkles around the eyes.  My knee needs repaired which will be done toward the end of this month.  Picking up my cane to walk across the bathroom floor, I mumbled, "You are just an old genealogist."  

In September of 1983, I went to the local newspaper office to visit with the editor about writing a genealogy-history column.  It was something I had my heart set on doing.  In preparation I had memorized my speech about why it was needed and why I was the one to do it.  In my mind I had a goal and my mission was to accomplish it.  All I had to do was persuade the editor.  My positive approach resulted in him staring at the ceiling and then the wall, back at the ceiling, all in deep contemplation.  This lasted for what seemed like an hour.  Finally he swung his chair around and said, "Okay."  That's it?  Okay?  We worked out the details for my monthly column and I know as I was leaving he thought if I wrote it for a couple months, at least I had tried.  

Once home my family said, "You are going to do what?"  Then it hit me.  Can I do it?  I love to write, but can I come up with something that readers will enjoy every month?  Yes, I could do it if I tried.  If I quit trying, I would stop writing it. 

The column, "Heritage Lines," began on 21 September 1983 and I ceased writing it in June of 1996 when I moved to Iowa.  That's thirteen years of "yes I can do it."  There was something special about every column I wrote.  Not only did I learn something every month, but I put my skills to use and was stimulated to keep researching.  

Last week when I arrived at physical therapy, I discovered the editor, now lovingly called "The Old Editor" slowly gliding on the treadmill.  He is much older, frail and stooped over.  But, he's not giving up.  As I was on a bicycle type machine, he encouraged me by saying, "Faster, faster."  I could also sense he meant, "You can do it, don't give up."  

The wrinkles and bum knee are not stopping me.  I can do it and I'm not giving up.  Are you giving up on your research?  I hope not.  We all have a lifetime, whether short or long, to set many goals and work to accomplish them.  The Old Editor and the Old Genealogist both say ... "Faster, faster.  You can do it."  

You Go Girl #1 -- Ruby 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sooooo Many Pictures !

Pictures are taking over my world! Large headaches seem to manifest as I work with the piles of photos, old albums and orphan collections.

For most of this past week I have trying to scan, file, organize. and print many more old photos. That is my biggest area of interest as it pertains to the genealogy world so I spend as much time as I can on them. With well over 15,ooo photos in my library (nearly 50G) and many more to be scanned, it becomes a daunting task at times. I also scrapbook digitally so I have 126G of digital PNG files that I deal with too.

There are some wonderful side affects to all these photos though. I am the lucky one in the family who has managed to gather together a wonderful collection that pertains to my family and I am currently working on getting more photos of my husbands family. Go Girl #1 has accumulated hundreds of pictures of our ancestors from our mutual side of the family-which have been added to the trove of photos that I inherited from my parents and grandparents. They had 16 photo albums full of photos, several hundred loose pics and 2500 old slides. The latter, I have slowly been going through, scanning and converting those to digital photos. My mother-in-law has been contacting all the relatives on her side of the family and rounding up photos that they may have to share. All those come my way to add to our library. We have become almost obsessed with locating old family pictures from that side of the family. As time has gone on and family has grown farther and farther apart, those photos, especially the old ones, have gotten spread out far and wide. Often those kinds of pictures get disposed of because nobody any longer knows who is in the shots. We are striving to gather them and get them all labeled while people are still with us who can identify many of the old ones. Already we have several hundred with no names that will probably never be known. My hope is to make compilations of them all for all the family who would like them. Everyone shares and benefits.

Pictures, as many of you know, can take many hours to organize. What ever system works for you is the one to use. Picasa by Google is excellent and so is Heritage Collector Suite which is geared towards the family genealogist. If you have the Vista operating system, it also offers a fairly good way to organize and tag photos just by themselves within folders. The most important thing is to take some time and do some sort of organizing. One day will allow for a lot of simple organization. One simple way that my cousin, Patty, uses is to number her pictures within each file and name the file folder. She then files the original pictures within a file of the same name in her file cabinet or box. Simple and effective. Every time I want to borrow an original, she quickly locates it by this method. I have many hours ahead of me to go back and do the same but I think it is super simple, especially for easy retrieval of originals. I intend to make CDs of each" file folder" to include in each of my "original" storage file folders or boxes.

In short--organize--the sooner , the better. All the genealogy facts in the world mean so much more if you can put a face on those ancestors--quickly if need be! Attach photos to your software genealogy program if you have not already (but-remember not to change those photo locations or titles if you do this or they will not connect later). Don't procrastinate any longer with those old photos that you want your family to enjoy in the future, Clean out the boxes and albums today--Grandpa Fred wants to see the light of day and to be shared with all the other family, not just the select few who may see his picture in an old dusty album someday!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2--Cheri

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Destined To Be A Genealogist

Until I was a teenager, I grew up in a hotel.  It was not as glamorous as you might suspect.  I made my own entertainment which eventually caught up with me.  As early as I can remember, I enjoyed watching Sherlock Holmes movies and anything with a mysterious theme.  They weren't on TV.  I paid 10 cents to go to the local movie theatre.  As if that wasn't enough, I read Nancy Drew books from cover to cover.  

I would imagine myself in the settings, sleuthing around, trying to solve the mystery.  I had a car, which in my imagination was a Woody (still love those old Woodies!).  My imagination also took me to other states, all of which I read about in history books.  As my mystery thrills continued, I made my own adventures.  I would leave hand written notes on pillows in the guest rooms, stating that I knew what they had done and would catch them.  Eventually one of the maids took my notes to my mother who put a firm halt to my escapades.  

When I was in my early teens the lure of mystery turned to my own family.  Who could I discover who had never been found?  I soon was studying American History, adding my own family and wondering about what they looked like, where they lived when historical events were unfolding.  

While in high school my mother, proud that I was no longer leaving messages for people, decided to put me in touch with a mentor.  She was a very kind lady who was also a great genealogist.  With each new problem, she presented a lesson in records and how to search them, as well as evaluate them.  I did the research and she did the guiding.  My love for solving mysteries grew and grew, only now it was focused on my ancestors and relatives.  

I've traded Nancy Drew books for a library of genealogy books and periodicals.  The Woody never was, but now I have Lil Red to get me around (and You Go Genealogy Girl #2) to all those wonderful places that I sleuth.  The only messages I leave are my own to-do reminders.  

Overall it's a great life and I'm glad that I experienced the old movies, books and even leaving messages for people.  Thanks to Mom I had a great instructor who got me even more interested in genealogy.  Maybe all along I was just destined to be a genealogist.  

Ruby -- You Go Genealogy Girl #1

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The wrap up and final day of the FAMILY HISTORY EXPO in Sheridan Wyoming was great fun. Both of us girls had a wonderful time and learned a lot of new good research tips and methods. From England to Scotland to Sweden, we took it all in and often wished we were really there-- in country to get our hands on the real thing! Alas, we are stuck in the west of the US, at least for now- but we never give up on finding those elusive ancestors. We are now armed with more and better tactical approaches to finding the records we need. Holly Hanson and all her group did a wonderful job with the Expo planning. As we could see, it went off flawlessly. The lectures and meals were are done on time and organized expertly! Many vendors had their wares, books etc displayed so of course we came home with great new books and CD's to study. Prizes were a daily event with drawings and both of us lucky You Go Genealogy Girls gleaned a couple of nice items to bring home. Overall the conference was awesome. New friends, good food, great lectures and fun. What more could two old "Grannies" from Nebraska want? Thanks to Holly and the girls, we loved it!!!! If you can possibly take in one of the Family History Expo's in your area, they are more than worth the time and effort- you will be glad you did.

Bet you are wondering who "Mickey" is? He is the unexpected find that we made on our trip home from Sheridan. Our travel plans had included some side travels on the way home in order to visit some cemeteries where we had family. What genealogist would make a travel itinerary and not find at least one cemetery to visit? Heaven forbid! We found three on the way home to Nebraska. Girl #1 had a brother buried in Gillette, Wyoming so that was our first stop. It is a beautiful cemetery on quite a rolling hill layout. We found her brother's grave which she had never been to before and of course we took pictures. Over to the right a few feet was one of the most unusual stones we have ever seen (Go Girl #1 has walked cemeteries in nearly every state over many years and this one surprised even her). There was "MICKEY MOUSE", in all his glory! A very interesting and beautiful tombstone right in the middle of the Gillette cemetery. Of course we took more photos and then set off towards home. We didn't even get to the front gate and Girl #1 said " I think Great Grandpa Willis Gardner's brother is buried here too." Not a cemetery listing in site and Sunday, there was no person at the caretakers house. We pulled out her laptop and sure enough she had the lots and plots listed for "Uncle Billy" so back on the hunt we went. To our amazement, there was "Uncle Billy" Gardner and his family nearly right next to " Mickey Mouse"--we had been so engrossed with him that we had not even noticed our ancestors' graves. More pictures for posterity. It was a good day!

Two more stops, two more cemeteries, Custer and Edgemont, South Dakota. Here we visited the father and sister of Go Girl #1 at their final resting places. A beautiful deer greeted us in the gorgeous and peaceful cemetery at Custer. New flowers were added to the sites and once again we headed towards home.

Any genealogical outing is good but this one proved to be a great success and was really fun. When do we get to go again? Hopefully very soon. Our heads are spinning already with plans. Those ancestors are waiting...........

You Go Geneaolgy Girl #2, Cheri

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Day in a Genealogy Life

It's so rough.  We talked like teenagers until late last night about everything from ancestors to research techniques.  No ... not boyfriends!  The problem is that at our age we don't snap up in the morning as quickly as teenagers.  And, of course, there is no sleeping in when there's a full day of conference waiting us. 

We are heading in about 10 minutes to check out the lecture rooms.  Girl #2 is going to learn about hardware and software.  I am going to Germany.  Will learn from Baerbel Johnson how to avoid German mistakes.  She is a small lady who can't see over the podium, but full of an over-abundance of wisdom about German research.  

The Family History Expo has been a tremendous experience for us.  We have met so many interesting people who seem to eager to learn.  We are encouraging people to set up blogs, join Twitter and really get involved in social networking.  For many it is still a scary situation.  Maybe we can convince them that you all ... our readers ... don't bite.  

Ruby -- #1

Friday, July 17, 2009


The You Go Genealogy Girls made it through the first day of the FAMILY HISTORY EXPO conference in Sheridan, Wyoming. We had a great day! Our lectures were fun and informative and we made some new friends in the world of genealogy. We love to connect with others and learn what others are doing that is new in the field of research. Sheridan has been a neat town for us to visit.

Go Girl 1 was in the world of Scotland today while Girl 2 visited the Scandinavian lecture. We both have areas of research out of the US so it was fun and we picked up great new helpful tips. Both Arlene Eakle and Ruth Maness were good presenters and we enjoyed their offerings. A very nice luncheon was served at the conference and then we attended a couple other lectures. Tom Underhill even threw "chocolate kisses" to his audience. He did keep our attention while we learned about digital photography! In between the lecture schedule, Go Girl #1 kept busy blogging, tweeting, and making entries on Genealogy Wise. We (The You Go Genealogy Girls), are honored bloggers at the conference so we are also keeping updates going through out the day at the "blogger's bistro" that is set up here. It is new and fun! It was a busy day. Tomorrow we start with round two.

We had lots of compliments on our fancy new vests that Girl #2's daughter-in-law made for us, special for this occasion. She did a nice job on them and we really got noticed! Two old "Grannies" had an awesome day. Thanks Kim, for all the hard work and making us feel so special!

A fun day, new knowledge, nice compliments, and "chocolate kisses"--what more could we possibly want? The only thing better might be another new ancestor.

You Go Girl #2, Cheri

The Girls Blog in Wyoming

We have just attended the opening speech of the Family History Expo in Sheridan, WY.  Barry Ewell had a great opening lecture.  He was serious, funny and informative.  Some of his key points were: 

Ancestors want to be found.  (I might add you are lost not them!)
Every individual leaves a trail.  (I might add some are more fragrant than others!) 
Preparation saves time.  (I need all the time I can get!) 

One thing I learned from Barry is that genealogy is a travel experience.  Whether you physically go to a repository or are at your computer and on Internet, you are traveling with your ancestors.  You need to learn about every where they lived and the records created.  

We will keep you posted about more of our learning experiences and our brilliant comments that add to the experience.  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We Have Arrived

The girls have arrived in Sheridan, WY.  It was a fun trip here, as usual.  Girl #2's granddaughter came with us so she could visit her other grandmother here in Wyoming.  She is 11 years old and kept us entertained with questions and comments.  Going through little towns she would say that she blinked and we were past it.  Then giggle!  Brings back memories of when my own kids were little.  

Which brings to mind that genealogy is the game of memories.  Those memories may be your own (which you should write down) or those of relatives.  They unfold in stories, traditions and written accounts.  In course of collecting those memories, we add form and structure to the ancestors that appear as names on charts.  

It's early to bed and up early to get signed in for the Family History Expo.  A big day ahead of us and what fun it will be!  We'll chat with all of you tomorrow.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Watch Out Wyoming--Here We come!

The You Go Genealogy Girls are on the road again. We leave bright and early on Wednesday for Sheridan, Wyoming for the Family History Expo which will be held at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on July 17 and 18th. We are both so very excited! What a great chance to attend lectures and exercise our brains. We will also be lucky recipients of an award for our blog: The You Go Genealogy Girls.

The past 3 weeks have been extremely busy and even frustrating for us both so we are looking forward to a well deserved mini vacation "together". We need it just to get rested up from all the commotions of late.We will enjoy relaxation, fun and good friends. Go Girl #1 stepped off her porch a couple weeks ago and had a knee go out, she has been in therapy ever since. She missed the day long cemetery tour she was heading out for that day-- what a bummer! Go Girl #2 has had a house full of company for two weeks, has had a back sciatic problem flaring up and broke a back tooth in two and can't get in a dentist. All in all, we are just two old Grannies who are a mess. Never fear however, we will travel to get to the conference, even if it means by "cane"! Number 2 has her fancy new walking cane, I have my old curved wooden cane for emergency and my tubes of anbesol for the tooth ache. Sure hope we don't have a bad hair day while there!

Girl 1 came to Alliance today so that we could get an early start through Wyoming tomorrow. We spent some time today exploring the new uses for Twitter, Facebook, and the awesome new Genealogy Wise social site for Genealogists. This will really be grand as it grows and grows. We worked at getting connected to groups we have an interest in and looking around the site. It is fun as you can watch the interaction of the members growing by the minute. This looks to be a great new site for Genealogists. The You Go Girls are turning into real "social butterflies". (more like "social moths", I think) Oh well, we definitely like to be connected! If you have not looked at Genealogy Wise, be sure to check it out soon.

Our trip to and from Sheridan will include some family research too. What genealogist would travel and not take in an important site or cemetery? On the way back home we will visit family graves in Gillette, Wyoming; Edgemont, SD; and Custer, SD. This will provide a short beautiful ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota on the way home.

By the way, my brother Bill, and bother-in-law- to Go Girl #1 stopped for a visit today to wish us well on our trip. He was so kind and offered the use of a folding wheel chair for us to take along! Don't know who would be pushing and who would ride as we both think we deserve to ride so we respectfully declined THAT offer!

Watch for us in Wyoming starting today. We are the grannies with the sporty little red car and two very nice looking "canes". We will be filling up on jellybeans and pop while traveling North through Wyoming on Interstate 25 so "Watch Out Wyoming", the Genealogy Grannies are on the loose again!

Go Girl #2, Cheri

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A week of packing, therapy and genealogy

The Family History Expo at Sheridan, Wyoming is almost here.  I asked my granddaughter to get my suitcase off the shelf in my walk-in closet.  She is almost 11 and did so, but not without rolling her eyes, grinning and saying, "Gran is off again."  When it comes to genealogy nothing slows me down.  Not even a bum knee.  

I've been doing physical therapy for the knee and may end up having an MRI when I get back from Wyoming.  I will do as much as I can for that knee ... there are too many cemeteries to explore, conferences to attend and libraries and courthouses to visit.  I'm out and about, but don't have the strength and confidence I need to leave the cane at home. 

My usual routine is to pack and repack.  I have started packing and by Wednesday morning when I leave to retrieve Girl #2 from the peace and quiet of her "finally" empty house, I will probably have repacked a couple of times.  By Wednesday her house should be almost empty, down to one granddaughter and perhaps #2's husband and the two dogs.  Well, almost peace and quiet!  

This week I have also been exploring GenealogyWise on Internet.  If you haven't been there, now is the time to visit, sign up and join in.  It's a new social network just for genealogists.  I joined on Wednesday and it has been fascinating to see it grow.  My granddaughter was here Wednesday afternoon and we explored the membership roster and groups.  By evening it had more than doubled in both and my granddaughter was saying, "Wow, Gran, look at that thing grow."  

You still have time to register for the Family History Expo and meet #1 and #2.  Check out their web page and also the list of exhibitors.  Hope to meet you there.  Remember ... we are the ones with the jelly beans and of course, I'll have the floral cane.  

Ruby -- Girl #1

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


As many of you may know, this Grandma has been visiting my son's family of 10 in Topeka and then they followed us home and have been at our house in Nebraska for the last week! They plan to head home on the 12th of July. We all made a trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming last week before the 3th of July to visit my other son and Grandma. Since returning to Alliance we have had even more relatives visiting. Busy and exhausted!

On the trip to Cheyenne, we also visited with an Aunt from Amboy, Washington who brought with her about 200 old family photos and documents. I brought those home to scan and copy with the promise of a fast return to her possession. These were a trove of pictures we did not have so I could not pass up the opportunity, even though I knew we would be extremely busy all week.

I had to try hard to squeeze in some time with our very busy schedule to work on the project. One of my six year old twin granddaughters wanted to help me scan and since I was short on time I was initially reluctant to draft her into service. I figured she would soon lose interest and go back to play with all the other kids. We sneaked away and shut ourselves in the office room and I showed her what to do. Everything just went great and she was a very good little helper.
Lunch time came and then she was rearing to get back to work. Four hours later, nearly 5 1/2 total hours , we had done it all! Miss Taylyn was an awesome little helper. I was so surprised and pleased at her job. She loaded the scanner just perfect from one pile and took them out into another each time. She studied every picture, asked about clothes, hair styles, fancy wicker studio chairs, and why those people never did smile? She wanted to know who they all were and about the man whose ears were two different sizes. One relative in particular she singled out and said" he looks like that President, the one with the big black hat and hair on his face, like Daddy". That had me baffled at first but when I said "you mean Abe Lincoln", she said "yea, that one". We compared and sure enough...what do you think? Do you see our two "Abes"?

Grandma is thrilled that one of the family has shown even a tiny interest in genealogy, finally. Taylyn lasted 5 1/2 hours helping, great for a six year old. My "BUDDING" GENEALOGIST! Now if she will only bloom to take up this Grandma's interest someday. (You Go Genealogy Girl #3, maybe?).

Family will soon be gone home and You Go Genealogy Girl #1 and myself, You Go Genealogy Girl #2 will be headed for Sheridan, Wyoming for the Family History Expo and SOME MUCH NEEDED REST !!!!!

Yo Go Genealogy Girl #2, Cheri

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wyoming Here I Come!

Monday morning I was walking out of the house to join my friend Sara (also a genealogist) on a trip to eastern Nebraska.  We had a full schedule of cemetery visits ... and yes, I was excited to be visiting cemeteries!  My excitement was soon dashed when I stepped down the last step on my porch and felt something pop in my right knee.  

A few hours later my friend and my daughter brought me back from ER with instructions to elevate, ice and relax.  This morning I visited my regular physician.  She has given me complete approval to go to the Family History Expo in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Yeah!  I begin physical therapy on Monday and continue my routine of more rest (not fun ... I'm an active person).  The only plus side of resting is that I can get caught up with my genealogical periodicals and also use my laptop to stay in touch with the world. 

Girl #2 and I are looking forward to the Family History Expo.  There are only two short weeks to get ready for it.  We invite you to check out the list of presenters.  It will be two days of total learning and excitement!  

Ruby -- Girl #1 

Monday, June 29, 2009


What a busy last week for Go Girl #2! This Grandma is totally exhausted and worn out but we had a fun time and are now preparing for another jaunt to Cheyenne, Wyoming tomorrow with more family for a few days.

Day 1 towards Kansas last week: We drove to North Platte, Nebraska with plans to visit with Go Girl #1 for several hours. A wheel bearing went out on our travel trailer so my husband spent the afternoon while there repairing that, I on the other hand went with Go Girl 1 and we visited, caught up on some genealogy findings, had supper with family and dreamed about our next trip which will be to Sheridan, Wyoming on July 17-18 for the Family History Expo there.

Day 2, we arrived in Topeka, Kansas late in the day. Got hugs and kisses from all the family, which includes 8 grandchildren! We saw our newest Granddaughter, Penny, for only the second time. She has grown and is of course a beautiful baby. Rested and planned the rest of the stay.

Day 3, Topeka. Up at 5 am which was really 4 am our time--oh my! Our son and wife participate in a local farmers market on weekends so we went with them to do that on Sat. They bake wonderful homemade breads, rolls etc. It was really fun and a beautiful morning to get out together. There were great foods there, crafts, artisans, flowers and more--all handmade or homemade. At least 200 vendors to look at. Of course we sampled many great foods too.

Day 4, Topeka. We all packed up our camping gear and headed to the local lake for several days of family and fun. Temperature and humidity were rising! Kids went to the beach and the adults were miserable in the heat. Wild turkeys and deer and other critters were abundant! We were surprised by a "peeping Tom" one evening as a raccoon got on one of the lawn chairs and peeked in our camper window. I have pictures of his muddy paw prints for evidence.

Day 5, Topeka. The temp was already 97 and the humidity was 83 % and moving up! Boy, did that country make me long for "dry old Nebraska"! By noon it was 105, 87% humidity and 113 heat index. The only good thing is that I MIGHT have lost a few pounds from sweating so much, hope-hope. One of the youngest granddaughters lost two baby teeth and the oldest got a bad sunburn. A typical family, I think? By night fall, we had made alternate plans to the days of camping.

Day6, Topeka. Home to the city we went. "Air conditioning" was on our minds. We parked the camper in front of our son's house the rest of the week. We cooked out that evening and played games with the kids in the cool house. That was great. Grandma was trying to plan a trip to the library to do a little research but free time in a family of 10 is hard to come by.

Day 7, Topeka. Yea--Grandma and Grandpa go to the library. MORE AIR CONDITIONING! I actually got 1/2 hour of looking in the genealogy sections before we got called back for supper. Alas, some time is better than no time. My next strategy was to try and visit a small cemetery that I had seen on the way to the lake. Don't know what is wrong with all my family, they just don't see the draw of cemeteries. They look at fireworks stands and putt-putt golf land. I am not sure there is any hope for them!!!!

Day 8, Topeka. Cemetery here I come, Grandpa took me by and I got to take some great photos. It was again over 100 degrees so the hike through it will wait till Go Girl 1 and I can trek back that way again. It was dated 1875 and WE will scout out every inch of it! I got to go back to the Topeka library for another hour. Granddaughter, Abby, had her 4th birthday. Cake, ice cream and presents. It was a great time and of course we took lots of pics for posterity. Packing up to head home soon.

All week, we also managed to bake almost 50 loves of bread, more rolls and muffins so the kids would be ready for the farmers market again on Saturday past. Everything is only from "scratch". Busy, busy.......

The food was awesome while we visited. My son and his wife are both awesome cooks and being with family was fun as we only get to do it about 2 times a year now.

Day 9, homeward. It was 5 am and the kids headed to the farmers market while we started back for Nebraska. Three of the Granddaughters and their dog all came home with us! A twelve and a half hour trip back home, plus a flat tire on the trailer and a short stop to say hello again to Go girl #1 in North Platte, Nebraska. We had not heard so many songs and nursery rhymes in years. It was fun, we lunched in the car, played games and made frequent stops! Grandpa and Grandma have a few more gray hairs!!!!

Here we are today, at home, the rest of the family is due in soon and then we head to Wyoming bright and early in the morning.

You Go Girl #1 and myself, #2 will need the trip to Sheridan, Wyoming for the Family History Expo, just to get rested up! Join us there if you can, it should be great fun. We have won an award and will be there IN PERSON. Don't miss THAT once in a lifetime chance. He He!!!!!

Go Girl #2 (today, Go Grannie #2)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Genealogy Fireworks

Yikes ... the Family History Expo in Sheridan, Wyoming is only three weeks away.  Skip the 4th of July fireworks ... look to the sky in northern Wyoming.  There will be genealogists there having a great time.  If you haven't signed up for it, do it NOW.  

Girl #2 is still visiting family in Kansas and heading back to Nebraska tomorrow.  We both have a lot to do between now and the Expo.  That's half the fun in getting there.  She's the one who buys jellybeans (a big task!).  

In the meantime I have been spending cooler days inside instead of outside in Nebraska 100 degree weather.  These cooler days have afforded me time to clean up files and also do some studious research on one of my lineages.  

Let the Wyoming fireworks begin!!  

Ruby -- You Go Genealogy Girl #1

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How Sweet It Is

It is so sweet ... in four weeks (slightly less) Girl #2 will join me as we go to the Family History Expo in Sheridan, Wyoming.  We will be blogging while there, plus joining other genealogists in sharing and learning research techniques.  We'll also share with our reading audience.  

The Family History Expo has some great sponsors and there will be many vendors.  Along with the scheduled lectures, there will be many events.  Be sure to go to their web page and read about the expo.  

Don't contemplate much longer.  Get your reservations in for the Family History Expo.  If you are there, be sure to look for the YOU GO GENEALOGY GIRLS.  We will be the ones with jellybeans.  Ask us why jellybeans are our trade mark!  

Hope to see you in Sheridan!  

Ruby --- You Go Genealogy Girl #1 

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