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


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