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 Ancestry.com, 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 Ancestry.com 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


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