Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The year of 2010 has been a great and fun year for The You Go Genealogy Girls. During this past year we have been able to pursue our love of genealogy in many different ways and were privileged to get to meet so many new friends along our well traveled roads. We got to meet and make lots of new friends this year while we attended some great Family History Expos and during our annual research trip to Salt Lake. Every museum, library and even some of the cemeteries we visited brought wonderful new discoveries and we even made new friends in each of these places too! Thanks to everyone who helped make our year such great fun and for adding to our list of "new best friends". We love you one and all and thank you for being our friends and faithful readers. We hope to see you all again soon and to have the opportunity to meet many new friends too.

The Lord willing, us sisters-in-law (also known as the You Go Genealogy Girls) will be on the road again in 2011 to pursue finding even more treasures and knowledge. We feel so lucky to be able to do what we really love and being able to do it as a team surely does make it even more enjoyable. Those newly discovered ancestors should appreciate the excitement and love that two of us at a time exhibit when we manage to bring them into the light. Two silly old Grannies jumping for joy in the dark recesses of a court house or library must be quite a site as we have been known to celebrate and exhibit unruly behavior. We may have to tone it down a bit in 2011 and act more our age......or maybe not!

Our wishes are that each and every one of you will have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year with your loved ones. This is such a special time to make new memories and also to remember those awesome people who went before us and provided us all with the opportunities we have in this world.

We will resume writing in 2011 and see you all very soon!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The You Go Genealogy Girls; Ruby and Cheri

You Go Girl #2- Cheri

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Favorite Things

The lyrics to the song "My Favorite Things" are so fitting for a genealogist. We could rewrite it and end each stanza with "These are a few of my favorite things."

Do you have favorite things in your genealogy or your research? Having started my genealogy before computers, aka B.C., I can honestly say my computers hit the top of the list of my favorite things. Years ago I was at a library conference where a young man told us how every book would be cataloged centrally and available universally. He also stated we would be able to search home computers for information about anything in the world. What a vision he had! There were some laughs and exclamations of doubt. But, I believed him and kept waiting. Here we are with home computers, mobile computers and Internet, which is at the top of my list also.

For various period of time I have my favorite ancestors. They are all very special to research and I enjoy spending time investigating them. Because they can't talk to me, I talk to them and try to discover where and how they lived. When I discover photographs of them, I am taken on a journey back in time. We are so different and yet so alike.

I still marvel at how my scanner copies photographs. I can make changes to them, adjust the colors, saturation and density, plus print them out or attach them to my genealogy software. One of my favorite scanners is the hand held one I can put in my purse or computer carrying case. I'm telling my age, but I can remember the delight of owning a Brownie camera. Now I use a digital camera and see the photographs in an instant. I prefer this day and age, so I would have to say my scanners and digital camera ranks high on the list of my favorite things.

The other day some genealogy friends were engaged in a conversation about books ... genealogy books, historical fiction and non-fiction. One of my favorites is Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. We all know the Mayflower story, but he takes it deeper and a step beyond. Another New England story is told in Killed Strangely the Death of Rebecca Cornell by Elaine Forman Crane. Rebecca was supposedly killed by her son, Thomas Cornell. It makes for entertaining reading and is also a good example of the court system in New England.

While in Virginia for Christmas two years ago I read The Lee Girls by Mary P. Coulling. It was a perfect book for a perfect setting, about the daughters of General Robert E. Lee. I was staying north of Lexington, Virginia and could imagine the Lee family, the pre-Civil War era and during the war. This book is definitely one of my favorites.

A year ago at Christmas time I read Someone's Daughter by Sylvia Pettem. This is an account of the search to identify a missing woman. She was found murdered in 1954 near Boulder, Colorado. The author takes the reader on a twist and turn narration of a fifty year search. It is poignant and heart breaking, but also brings to mind that we all have relatives who have disappeared.

Each time I purchase a genealogy book, it becomes my favorite. Some I refer to more often than ours, such as Ancestry's Redbook and The Source. They definitely top the list of favorites, but occasionally another book will sneak into the list.

I'm thankful for the genealogists who care, share and help others. There are so many of you who have become my favorite genealogy people. Let's all start singing ... "These are a few of my favorite things."

YGGG #1 .... Ruby

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Among the Nominations

You Go Genealogy Girls Blog has been nominated again for 2011 for Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs, aka Family Tree 40. There are 8 categories and 117 nominations.It is an honor to be nominated again this year. We wish to thank our readers for the nomination and their votes.

If you like our blog, please click here to vote for it. You can also click on the Top 40 badge in the sidebar to place your vote. Please encourage your friends to vote for our blog. You can vote for five blogs in each of the categories and vote more than once. We encourage you to visit often and vote often! We are listed in the EVERYTHING category.

We are in good company. There are excellent blogs among the nominees. Be sure to visit all of the blogs. All the genealogy bloggers work hard to support our community so take the time to visit each one. Each has great information and stories to share, you will surely learn something new from each one.

We appreciate your support and vote! And we aren't even politicians!

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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lazy Day...a December Sunday

Have you ever had one of those weekend days when you have so much to do and no ambition to do it? I will bet that every genealogist has gone through one of those such days. Your desk is piled with papers waiting to be filed, files already on the computer need to be organized, newly arrived photos need to be scanned, Christmas gifts for early shipping need to be wrapped, wash could stand to be done (even though it is Sunday), Hubby is home from work and wonders what will be for dinner ...and so do I! Oh my, the list just goes on and on.

Today the sun is actually out and it is warmer outside without the darn wind blowing. I should go out and finish a bit of Holiday shopping this afternoon as I have conveniently put that off citing windy conditions that have kept me from it all week. I hate shopping in the wind: car doors fly open often jarring the hinges, something always manages to blow out of the car, the automatic door of the store never opens and I am just plain grouchy when it is windy. Maybe shopping would cure the Sunday lazies. Maybe not.

Let's get busy and cook a great seven course meal as it has been while, even for that. Sounds really good, doesn't it? Mom's homemade chicken and noodles with fresh mashed potatoes, baked squash and maybe even a pie. Yum, wish I had a cook....and a maid!

It would be awesome to see those 1830's family Bible pages all scanned and printed out on beautiful paper. Great, great, great Grandmother probably spent a Sunday just like this all those years ago just getting all those names added to that Bible. A thoughtful scrapbook page would surely show them off beautifully. You Go Girl #1 is also anxiously awaiting the appearance of those treasured scanned pages. They seem so content in their little box all packed among photos of their family, this is not the day to disturb them.

Those nasty dirty clothes....well I am sure we can find something clean to wear tomorrow. We might be sporting summer shorts, tank tops, and inside-out underware but since it is winter anyway and the furnace is already running we can just turn it up a few degrees and be wonderfully comfortable!

Speaking of comfortable- I have decided, this will definitely finish out as a lazy day Sunday.
I'm on the way to the kitchen to tackle the arduous chore of throwing some things together in the crock pot for "supper" and the ice cream cake is already waiting in the freezer for dessert. The maid can at least serve it when it is ready!

A grand cup of hot, white chocolate in hand and my cozy soft blanket wrap are all I need this lazy afternoon in December. I will settle in my easy chair with my four new genealogy magazines that have been beckoning to me. Actually they have been calling to me for several days now so it is only proper that I should answer that call. They might just decide to disappear in the shuffle, never to be seen again if I do not pay them some homage this day. I will also dream on that Christmas List from the last posting, that will come when I lay down my new Internet Genealogy magazine right in the middle of an article just to catch a few winks. ;) What of all that "other important stuff"? I bet it will still be around on Monday and maybe I will even get that shopping done...tomorrow.

Thank you to Susan Peterson from "Long Lost Relatives.Net" for awarding us with the ANCESTOR APPROVED award, our second one! We are blessed with good friends and loyal readers.

You Go Genealogy Girl #2--Cheri

image of lady and Santa from :"Two Dog Pond" blog. She makes beautiful glass art jewelry. Check it out for unique handmade gifts from Nebraska!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All We Want For Christmas ...

Dear Santa,

This is what the You Go Genealogy Girls want for Christmas. We hope you will visit us on Christmas Eve. Please ... no coal in our stockings! We will put out cookies and milk.

YGGG #1 - Ruby wants:
1. Ink, ink, ink and more ink for the printer ... always out.
2. Paper for the printer.
3. Days of non-stop genealogy planning and research.
4. Time to read all the genealogy periodicals that are piling up.
5. Success in Salt Lake City in the Family History Library in May and June.
6. An iPad would be nice.

YGGG #2 - Cheri wants:
1. An iPad.
2. More hours in the day. Make those uninterrupted hours!
3. Time for organization and planning.
4. A large printer to work on oversized old photographs.
5. Success in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library in May.
6. New genealogy books.

We both look forward to a new year and new challenges in our genealogical research. Life will be interesting for both of us as we from month to month in 2011. In January, YGGG #1 (Ruby) will add a new bud to the family tree. She will become a great grandmother to a baby boy. The girls are planning a trip to Salt Lake City the end of May into June. Our annual trek always promises great experiences and new "finds." The Family History Expo in Loveland, Colorado will round out June for us. In September we plan to attend the FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois. Before we know, our wish list for Santa will be on our minds again.

As we wrap gifts, bake goodies and decorate the tree, we are thinking about our ancestors. They are on a tree that in places remains undecorated ... lacking full names, dates and places of events. It is somewhat bare, but we hope to decorate it in 2011.

Best wishes to all this December,

YGGG #1 --- Ruby

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving...for "The Genealogist"

T.....is for Thanksgiving and remembering our ancestors, those in who's footsteps we follow from so long ago.
H.....is for Home, the place where our families gather to remember loved ones, have fun together, and where our memories linger.
E.....is for Eating, of course, as what would the day be without that grand old turkey bird, good food from recipes handed down through generations, and loving family?

G.....is for the Genealogists, the family researchers and historians who work so tirelessly to keep their proud legacies alive.
E.....is for the Energy to keep going even when that brick wall seems to get higher and higher before us.
N.....is for Nature: the land and her bounties that moved our ancestors onward and continue to sustain us this Thanksgiving Day.
E.....is for Evidence as it is the precious "gold" treasure that proves we exist. Where did we come from and to where are we heading?
A.....is for Anniversaries. The markers in our journey through time which we all celebrate and cherish.
L.....is for Love; that which is felt by family and is given as a true gift from God.
O.....is for the Optimism in us all for the journey ahead. Our ancestors are calling, we must answer and be thankful for the rewards.
G.....is for our Grandmothers. They are the far reaching roots in all our lives. Ties from the past and keys to the future.
I......is for "I", myself and me. I am the keeper of my family history and I will continue to see to it's future!
S.....is for Sitting quietly, lost in our thoughts of those gone before us and dreaming of the future generations to come.
T.....is for Thankful as this is our day to give thanks for family, fortune, happiness and yes, even times of despair as those are the pages of life. Thankful you are here and we are all together this Thanksgiving day!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF YOU! From Ruby and Cheri, "The You Go Genealogy Girls"

You Go Genealogy Girl #2 -Cheri

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More of Our Celebrating Families Day

After nearly a week of lousy weather and very high winds, we were lucky to get a beautiful fall day recently for our day of "Celebrating Families" in honor of Family History Month. We worked hard all month to put the day together and also celebrated the special month with additional offerings at the museum. Our local museum, The Knight Museum and Sandhills Center hosted the month long celebration which culminated in a day for everyone to show off their family histories and stories. For more information on the wonderful facilities for family research at the museum, please check out the official website for the museum and also the postings here and here on the blog, Nebraska Roots and Ramblings. The You Go Genealogy Girls do try to spend some time at the Heritage Room in the museum doing research each time we are together in Alliance. Our day long celebration was a first for the museum and the nearly 70 people who took part in setting up their displays and attending the evening program, presented by Girl #1, seemed to really enjoy the special day. Showing off collections and talking genealogy or history were the days topics in anticipation of the evening program.

Girl #1, Ruby offered up an interesting evening program that centered on writing about the people we research and often call "family". Her lecture, "Writing About Ancestors, Neighbors, Friends and Murderers" drew nice comments and good questions from the audience. Attendees went away with new ideas about writing family stories and learned the importance of honoring our ancestors.

Through out the afternoon, nearly 16 tables of family memorabilia and genealogy based scrapbooks and researched trees were on display for the public to stop in and see as well as for those who brought their items. Everyone had a great time and it is always fun to see what other historians and genealogists come up with in unique ways to honor their family. Simple book displays, beautiful antique clothing, fancy framed wall charts, heritage quilts, old jewelry, Christmas ornaments, scrapbooks, and even a swimsuit from 1900 rounded out all the awesome and beautiful displays.

We hope you enjoy seeing a few of our pictures from the day, we wish everyone could have been there with us. There are also a few more pictures on our earlier posting at "Celebrating Families".

What a great day we had and what a wonderful way for everyone to share their family with others. Genealogists love to gather and share anyway but when it all comes together in a family honoring celebration it is even better. Learning and sharing should never end and next year will be even bigger and better!

You Go Girl #2-- Cheri

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Official, We Are Now Famous!

The "Girls" are now officially famous in the world of genealogy. Today, our blog was quoted by Arlene Eakle in her Virginia Blog! Arlene will soon be teaching classes again when she will be a presenter at the upcoming Atlanta Family History Expo. I recently told about Arlene and some of her classes at the Expos. Thanks to Arlene for shining the spotlight on The You Go Genealogy Girls but her lectures brought about our entire blog post. The knowledge that she holds and imparts to those taking her classes is truly a labor of love. Many genealogists share but not many with her busy schedule and demands on their time spend so much time helping others to learn. She calls it Vanity Runs Amouk, hardly so, as she deserves the accolades!

The Atlanta Family Expo will soon be in full swing so if you are even close to the area and love genealogy you should plan to attend. All the classes presented are very good and the fun of the conference and meeting new friends is a wonderful experience. Arlene will again give her lectures on Southern Research, some of her best! Lisa Bratton will present a class geared toward researching a historic slave family and Leland Meitzler will offer "Finding Your Civil War Era Ancestors". Many others will be presenters for this Expo and several of the classes will center on the Southern area. Wish I was going again just take Arlene's classes and to brush up again and to pick up some new guidance as she delves a bit deeper into Southern Research.

My recipe for learning includes some suggestions for everyone now that Winter is upon us and today it really feels like it is here with snow in the forecast. Brrrr....The time has changed and with more dark and quiet evenings we can surely find more of that time for quietly sitting and reading; to study the important historical aspects that certainly affected our ancestors. I do look forward to winter only for the slowed time that comes with it and the additional time to learn more about genealogy!

Get in the car or on a plane and visit an Expo in your area. If you can not do that then at least set aside some personal learning time for yourself on these cold evenings. Sit back with a hot cup of tea, a good book, or a class syllabus, this is the perfect time of year to relax and energize your genealogical batteries with knowledge. Order "Genealogical Resources of the Civil War" by Dollarhide through Leland Meitzler's Family Roots Publishing Co., or Arlene Eakle's "Tennessee and Kentucky, Twin Gateways to the South" from The Genealogical Institute, Inc. They are the next best thing to attending a Family History Expo in person. How lucky we are to be experiencing this wonderful place and time in history when knowledge surrounds us within many venues. Your computer, a book, a museum, or even a conference: pick one or all and never stop the learning -maybe you too will become famous!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2- Cheri

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebrating Families

On Thursday, October 28th, I was delighted to take part in a celebration of family ... mine and others. It was sponsored by the Heritage Seekers, a Box Butte Co., Nebraska genealogy/history group. The celebration was held in the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska. By late afternoon sixteen tables had been set up to accommodate the displays people were creating in celebration of their ancestry.

There was everything from quilts to ornate family trees. Photographs of loved ones lined the walls and tables and reminded me that they are never forgotten. People proudly stood back admiring their displays and those of others, while cameras flashed to preserve the moment. By early evening people were filing into the museum and the chatter began. One lady found a relative on another's big pedigree chart. Others had fond memories of somebody in a photograph and stories were exchanged.

Do you remember the Blizzard of 1949? If you were alive and living in Nebraska in 1949, you undoubtedly remember the blizzard. Traffic by rail and vehicle stopped, lives were lost and cattle suffocated in the huge snow drifts. There were photographs of the blizzard, some showing children building igloos in the storm's aftermath.

Several genealogists brought scrapbooks of family photographs and memorabilia. They are talented individuals who artistically create colorful pages, making it easy to read and learn about their ancestors. Others brought reunion books, family albums and family recipe books. There was limited time to study and read everything.

As people visited, munched on cookies and drank coffee, the sun went down. The floor to ceiling bank of windows across the back of the room provided a view of the night sky and stars. I was pensive in thought, hoping our loved ones knew we were celebrating them, honoring them ... not just that night but always.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 -- Ruby

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Spirits Are After Us!

How eerily appropriate that the "Girls" are together again for a few days. The spirits have been in the air and have seemed to be all around us as we have had a very busy past week. You Go Girl #1 has been visiting in Alliance for some much needed research time and we have been planning and then presenting Family History Month programs which we will report about very soon! Halloween has certainly blown in on the wind the last few days here with howling winds that have been gusting to 50 miles an hour. Outside my office window which is above the spare bedroom where Girl #1 stays, our huge flags have snapped, whipped and clanged as the metal flag buckles have banged against the flag pole both day and night bringing the eerie sounds of screams, pains, balls and chains! Sleep has been elusive as the sounds of the night winds have brought uneasy dreams.The one lone huge limb that hangs over the corrugated metal roof of our back deck has constantly scrapped the metal for three days making creepy sounds like a monster's fingernails scrapping over a blackboard. Spiders have moved indoors for the upcoming winter. The dirt and grit has been in our teeth and hair as we have ventured out to darken the doorways of the local museum to investigate records and our once "gorgeous" faces have been plastered with that same dirt mixed with snow and leaves. We have looked like a haunting pair indeed! Braving all the evil forces of nature, we even managed to make our fall pilgrimage to a couple local cemeteries to visit our dear departed love ones, thanking the Gods that they couldn't see what homely creatures had blown in with the wind to pay them homage. Our hair was standing on end as if we had been struck by lightening which complimented our overall looks. Sorry, there are no photos...we love our readers and didn't want to scare you all away!

"The final nail in the coffin", as they say, was our trip today back to the museum for more records today, ah but first a stop at the grocery store for sustenance. Nice warm buttermilk leaking from the store carton and all down the front of that You Go Girl #1 sure did leave her with the lovely odor of the rotting and decaying soil and flesh of the season. She was ripe! Finally we made it to the Heritage Room at the museum and found just what we thought was needed for records, pulled out the hand held scanner and went to work. It is so great when things go wonderfully in the world of finding elusive family of the past, however today was not the case. This operator of the scanner had ghosts looking over her shoulder, and it was turning into one Halloween that our ancestor just did not want to be disturbed. Even our usually loving ancestors did not take pity on The You Go Genealogy Girls this day, you see they were practicing for the upcoming special night, thus our ancestor's complete records are still hidden for a visit again on another day. All we got was an eerie warning from that possessed scanner, we would surely all meet again.....some day!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2-- Cheri

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Obsession With Cemeteries

What do you call a person obsessed with cemeteries or graveyards? That's easy ... a GENEALOGIST. I can spot cemeteries a mile away and sometimes think chopped down tree trunks are gravestones and imagine fallen tree trunks will lead to a mysterious graveyard in the woods. Yes, the imagination takes over.

On the constant lookout for cemeteries, I have been known to go out of the way to locate them, altering my schedule to the point I have to speed to arrive to my destination on time. After spending hours looking for an old, nearly abandoned cemetery, I was startled to see that it was under lock and key. A few graves within the site were old and I was not about to leave without getting closer to them. Tossing my camera gently over the fence, I discovered a spot near the gate that was low and I began crawling into the cemetery. It had rained the night before. The first push I gave through the mud I remember that I was wearing white slacks. Fortunately they came clean. I got my "high" for the day and took photographs of the stones. All in a day's work!

Have you ever been stalked in a cemetery? It can happen and especially if somebody wonders what you are doing or if you are alone in a cemetery. A few years ago I was enjoying my lunch in a cemetery when I realized there was a Nebraska, dirt-spitting, rip-roaring truck going up and down a road along the perimeter of the cemetery. Same truck, over and over, back and forth. Two young men in it kept watching me. Just as I got out to deposit my lunch remains in the dumpster, they were heading pell-mell through the cemetery at me. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone. Holding it in front of me and pointing to it, I drew it to my ear while watching them. They abruptly stopped and backed out of the cemetery, never to return again unless perhaps to bury one of their friends. Incidentally there was no cell phone signal in the cemetery!

Genealogists never stop when it comes to cemeteries. Three years ago, two of my friends and I decided to spend a crisp November day in search of abandoned, hard to locate cemeteries in this area. We packed our lunches and could hardly wait to set out in exploration of what was bound to reveal interesting tombstones in strange places. We discovered the tombstone of a young child in a flat field of corn rows. The current farmer and those before him have plowed and planted around the stone, leaving it standing in isolation for over one hundred years.

Next we discovered a few stones on top of a hill ... yes we have hills here in the Platte River Valley. Once at the top of the hill, we were not only short of breath, but breathless from the view of the valley below. For miles we could see the meandering South Platte River and could envision pioneers in their wagons, riding horses and walking thousands of miles westward. Many never made it and from that vantage point I mused on the many unmarked graves along the route.

As the sun was going down we decided, with some speedy maneuvering, we could visit one more cemetery. It was surrounded with a fence and the farmer had recently picked the corn around it. There were several graves and some were rather unusual. It was getting dark and soon even darker. One of my friends produced a small flashlight. A dim light, but better than nothing! While they struggled with the gate, I managed to return to our vehicle. About that time a corn picker in a truck came along, stopped and offered to help. That's sort of a Nebraska thing ... they either stalk you or they help you!

The other day my granddaughter and I gave a demonstration to friends on how to witch for graves. She makes it look like child's play and often grabs people's attention while witching. Some people just don't get the hang of it. Maybe they have blocked, non-believing minds. That's okay as we witch enough for everybody. Imagine walking two-thirds of a sandy, prairie-dog infested pasture before finding the place of a child's burial. We aren't nuts, just close to it!

My granddaughter says that cemeteries are peaceful and not spooky. When you visit a cemetery it has a different appearance. The stones brushed by snow, covered by red and gold leaves, surrounded by wild flowers and dripping in the summer rain, all add to the comfort and serenity of death. They rest there, but their souls are with the ageless.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 .... Ruby (look for me in the graveyard!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Celebrating Family History, Nebraska Style!

This has been a busy last few days as our museum, The Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska has been getting ready for Family History Month -now in full swing. At the center of our planning, museum employees and myself have been designing displays and getting set up for our month long celebration. We are in our brand new building this year and are excited to celebrate our families!

The centerpiece of our display is an eleven foot long pedigree chart which hangs from ceiling to floor. It contains the history of the Newberry family, one of Alliance's pioneer families and covers a span of 200 years. What a beautiful chart it is and will certainly get our visitors in the mood to begin their own genealogy research. The Heritage Room is always open and volunteers are there on Tuesdays to help visitors find their records or start their family research. Nebraska Roots and Ramblings has a nice blog all about our ongoing museum celebration and special day on Oct 28th, so be sure to check it out. You Go Girl #1 has showcased our program in fine style.

As an added bonus for us, The You Go Genealogy Girls will be together again later this month as we host local family history displays and present the program for the Heritage Seekers, our museum genealogy and historical group. We will spend a few days together again doing research, presenting our program and working on our new project: learning the wonderful aspects of "Google Earth" for genealogists. We don't seem to have enough to do already so will attempt to become proficient with maps! Lisa Louise Cooke's DVD series, "Google Earth for Genealogy", will hopefully teach these old grannies some new tricks!

If you are in the western Nebraska neighborhood, stop by and join in our Family History celebration at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center. You just might see The You Go Genealogy Girls lurking in the halls or haunting the old sod house which is showcased in the museum. After all, Halloween will be just around the corner after our big night of Family History fun!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Celebrating Family History Month

October is Family History Month. It's time to show off your ancestors and best of all, do more research! Before the snow flies here in Nebraska I hope to get out and about this month and visit cemeteries and libraries, maybe even a courthouse or two.

The North Platte Genealogical Society is celebrating with an Open House on Saturday afternoon, October 16th. Members will have displays of their ancestral items, charts, photographs and anything that means genealogy. One of our members allowed me to use her large family tree for the display in the lobby of our local library. The lighting in the library doesn't do justice to the framed tree. It is a beautiful family tree and makes me think I need to consider making something of my own lineage.

Later this month I'll travel to the panhandle of Nebraska where I'll stay with You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and speak at her local genealogy/historical society meeting. They will also have an Open House on October 28th where people will display their ancestral artifacts and treasures. My speech is titled "Writing About Ancestors, Neighbors, Friends and Murderers."

At both open houses I plan on displaying my Ancestral Christmas Tree. It will also be on display in my living room for Christmas. I've added some new ancestors to it this year and never cease to enjoy looking at all of them.

My ancestors bring me joy and entertainment. I have pride in them and the legacy they have given me. This doesn't stop with October, but it's fun to celebrate them this month!

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 .... Ruby

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remembering the Civil War

A few months ago I purchased yardage of some Civil War commemorative fabric. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the war. There will be celebrations and festivities, programs and also a time for remembering. I have both Union and Confederate ancestors so my allegiance is split.
This weekend I decided it was time to do something special with the fabric. Using three different fabrics, plus the muslin for the lining, I started cutting fabric, batting and interfacing in anticipation of making a tote bag. Very seldom do I sew with a pattern, so this was just measure, cut with the rotary cutter and sew. My mother used to tell me that sewing is not done right if you don't have to rip. I ripped four times on my tote bag. Part of that was because I was thinking of Cherokee ancestry while I was sewing and just not paying attention. Somehow those Cherokees kept getting in the way!

On the front of the tote bag is a fabric photograph I made of my late husband's first cousin, three times removed, Richard Edmond Weathers (1836-1870). He was the son of Squire Beauchamp Weathers and Ruth Sharpe. Richard served in the Union Army, enlisting as a Quartermaster Sergeant on 13 August 1863 in Lamb's Independent Cavalry Regiment in Indiana. Less than a year later he was promoted to Captain in Co. H, 131st Regiment, 13th Cavalry, Indiana Volunteers. He was married to Elizabeth Shaw in 1859 and had two children when he enlisted. The 131st Regiment, 13th Cavalry was the last regiment from the state to be mustered out of the U.S. Army on 10 November 1865. The five oldest sons of Squire and Ruth Weathers served in the Union Army in the Civil War and fortunately all five came back to Indiana alive.

The background fabric behind the photograph is of a cannon and tiny labels saying "Remember Me." No genealogist will ever forget a Civil War ancestor or relative.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mt. Rushmore Guards Their Souls...part 2

Our recent trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota took us on a side trip to find some old cemeteries that still exist today but were a large part of the early frontier days of the Black Hills. The second one we visited on this trip was the Mt. View Cemetery located in the active mining and now tourist town of Keystone, S. D. This cemetery, while quite small for the amount of years it has existed is probably one of the most unique that we have visited. The varied history of the community it serves gives this scenic little cemetery a proud and unique character, one which also by it's serene location seems to command one to view the final resting place of it's inhabitants with silence and reverence. Established long before the construction of nearby Mt. Rushmore, it is, none the less, protected by night and day as the granite stone "faces" of Mt. Rushmore stand guard over all the souls who are resting there. It is the only cemetery in the world with a view of Mt. Rushmore.

To imagine what the lives were like for many who are buried here, one must learn about the history of this unique area of the Black Hills. Mining in the area dates back to around 1876 with the discovery of placer gold along nearby Battle Creek. Several small settlements sprung up in the area until 1883 when the Harney Peak Hydraulic Gold Mining Company was organized to mine the area which was later to become known as Keystone. Also in 1883, the Etta Mine which was rich in mica was opened and soon the area began to produce tin oxide which was in great demand. The town was officially platted in 1891 and named after the Keystone Mine. In 1894 a rich ledge of gold producing quartz was discovered and named The Holy Terror mine after one of the miners wives! The Holy Terror mine became one of the richest gold producers in the country. Gold, mica, feldspar, tin oxide, quartz, many other minerals and even arsenic played rolls in the success and even the later failure of the economy. Early in 1900, the narrow guage railroad reached Keystone which encouraged further development of many of the mines and later was used to haul goods and equipment into Keystone to aid in the carving of Mt. Rushmore which was started in 1927. Many local men and miners were often employed in the construction of Mt. Rushmore as the wages were good in a time that mining had started to decline. During WWII, minerals from the mines near Keystone were in great demand and used in production of war goods.

Keystone had a varied and checkered past during the years of miners and saloons and the small community has seen many ups and downs since the turn of the twentieth century. Clashes over claims, serious mining accidents, several early fires which destroyed the town, and floods have claimed many lives in the area of Keystone. The devastating flood of 1972 destroyed again a large part of the business district which had been resurrected over the years to become a premier tourist area and also took out most of the original railroad tracks into the community. Loss of life in the Black Hills area was substantial and Keystone was hit hard..again.

Many times over the last century, the Keystone town and community has rebuilt- each time it has gotten bigger and better. The lumber industry, some mining, and most of all the tourists have kept this little city alive. As a kid who frequented Keystone in the 1950's and has visited many times over the years, I have watched the old town grow. Once it was a sleepy, small tourist town with wonderful little shops and now has grown all the way through the valley in all directions. Top name hotels now scavenge for land to build on, spreading into the small fingers of the valley. Beautiful eateries, shops and museums line the once again busy streets. The whistle of the 1880 Train can be heard through the valley as it stops close to the town of Keystone. The ever present Mt. Rushmore watches over the daily life.

All the while that the town of Keystone has lain beneath her, the Mountain view cemetery has taken in the inhabitants of this proud little town. An infant girl which was relocated from an old cemetery downstream was the first burial here in 1900. The older Harney Cemetery was abandoned and reclaimed by "Mother Nature".
Mountain View cemetery also is one which has seemed to reflect the history of the area with its often stylish old headstones... and beautiful handmade monuments. Several well known historical figures are interred there. Many more photos that we took in the cemetery can found here and they are as varied and unique as is the area's history.

The day we visited, we stood and marveled at the stone of Zeke Valdez, which is pictured above, it showed us that he was a worker on the construction of Mt. Rushmore. A week after our trip to Keystone was my 40th class reunion in Alliance, Nebraska. One of my classmates and friend who happens to live in Hill City, S. D. was attending with her husband. Oddly, we happened to start talking to them about our recent trip to the Hills and about visiting the old cemeteries. The stone of Zeke Valdez came up when I mentioned the unique engraving on it and it turns out that Zeke was the uncle of my friend's husband. His family has been in the Black Hills for generations and several of his relatives (including the Grover and Valdez names) are buried in the small cemetery at Keystone. How truly small this old world is! His family's pride will mark his uncle's resting place for eternity.

The little Mountain View cemetery high above Keystone is certainly a beautiful little known gem in the otherwise hurried and bustling tourist community in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

(photo link: Keystone, S. D. cemetery pics)
(photo link: Hill City, S.D. cemetery pics)
(link to part 1 of this set: "Resting in Forested Beauty")

You Go Genealogy Girl #2 --Cheri

Friday, September 10, 2010

Resting In Forested Beauty...part1

Camping in the wonderful outdoors usually conjures up thoughts of fun, relaxation, fireside cookouts and wild life. My family is no different than most others as we love all those things and spend as much time as possible in the summer seeking the solace of those beautiful forest settings. During part of our recent vacation, my husband and I had been perfectly content to lounge around camp and get caught up on our reading which had gotten too far behind. The afternoon of the fifth day was very quiet, as the camp had nearly been vacated of the last of the before school travelers. We were discussing taking a short drive and a picnic, but where to go? We had frequented our favorite camp site in the Black Hills of South Dakota for many years, knew nearly every back road and were not in any mood to visit Deadwood or other tourist filled streets in the Hills. There were only a few places which we had not yet visited over the years. At the same time as I was thinking of suggesting it, "Go Hubby" asked if I would like to visit a cemetery. Boy, did I! We could think of two which were very near where we were camping and we could have our picnic while out for the drive.

We headed down the road towards Hill City, just 13 miles away. Hill City is the oldest existing city in the Pennington County area of the Black Hills. It is part of the original lands of the Lakota Sioux. In 1874 when then Major General George Armstrong Custer led his famous expedition to the Black Hills area, gold was discovered along French Creek which lies just south of Hill City. By 1876 the Hill City area (called Hillyo) was being settled by miners who came first for gold and then to mine tin. During the early years of the Harney Peak Tin Mining, Milling, and Manufacturing Company, Hill City was quite the rowdy town with many saloons lining the streets. Over the first few decades the city had many ups and downs mostly due to fluctuations in the mining business. Population counts varied from year to year.

As a child during the 1950's, my family spent nearly every summer around the Hill City area and the town itself seemed like a second home to me. Mom and I would wander the little two block long main street looking in the few souvenir store windows. It was a fairly quiet little city during those years.We bought our groceries at the corner grocery store which in later years closed and became a biking and climbing shop and I spent countless hours watching chipmunks run in their little wheel at a corner gas station which has been replaced by a new modern tourist stop. Time has certainly changed Hill City as it has blossomed into a first class "artist's" center and tourist stop. It has now expanded its business district to cover many more blocks and the famous Black Hills Central Railroad 1880 train has helped the city to thrive since the late 1950's. Through the years of early settlement, mining, the timber industry and tourism, the Hill City Cemetery has overlooked the little community from far atop a hill to the NW of the town. Many times we had passed the cemetery as we headed to Deerfield Lake for a day of fishing but the cemetery was one place we had never stopped to see.

As my husband and I located and strolled the cemetery a couple weeks ago, I was at first surprised to see the wide variety of tombstones and markers, but in retrospect, they seem to mirror the history of the town. There are simple stones, elaborate memorials that reflect the one time residents who may have had made money in the mining business, and unusual homemade headstones. Many babies are buried there, telling the story of the hardships and difficult living of the early settlers to the area. I believe the cemetery is a perfect reflection of the community that it serves. The Hill City cemetery is certainly a place of solitude and seems to be filled with the voices of those from the distant past. Those that rest on the hill are surrounded by the forested beauty of the Black Hills.

I have added a few interesting photos of the Hill City cemetery here .

Photos of our visit to the well hidden Mountain View Cemetery in the historic mining town of Keystone, South Dakota can be found here. The follow up article about Keystone and the Mountain View cemetery,"Mt Rushmore Guards Their Souls" can be found here.

You Go Genealogy Girl #2- Cheri

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Link to a Link to a Link

Ever feel like you do nothing but click and then click again to get to where you want to go on Internet? If so, you are not alone. Sometimes it can be fun and then sometimes downright annoying.

Now that my Salt Lake City stash is a thing of the past, I am working with what I discovered on my 2010 sojourn to Utah's genealogy mecca. I have more time to explore what I've missed this summer on Internet.

Sometimes I go directly to GoogleBooks to find a title that interests me or to WorldCat or to Historical Books on Family Search. That's not too many clicks of the mouse. But what if there's more on Internet that I'm missing? Then I begin a search on Google (not GoogleBooks) to look for a family surname or a family genealogy or a county history. That's when you begin clicking and clicking until your mind becomes a bit foggy and you are dizzy.

With more clicking I discovered a web page that I did not know excited until now. I am sure it will be a constant referral in my search for online data. In my daily blog reading, I like to read Harold Henderson's Midwest Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog. That's when I found a link to Genealogy Book Links.

The original information came from the Pro Genealogists' blog. I had to click there to find out more about Genealogy Book Links. Turns out a retired librarian who loved genealogy (Don't you just love a librarian who loves genealogy?) developed a searchable website for free online books. She did this three years ago. So, what was I doing three years ago besides moving? Now her 5,000 links consists of approximately 20,000 links with 7,500 in biography and family genealogies. Each week this wonderful librarian adds 300-500 new titles.

The Genealogy Book Links web page is easy to navigate. It's arranged by surname, locality, material type and also by topic. Just click on where you want to begin and you will see what books or periodicals are available FREE to be downloaded off Internet. Some are at GoogleBooks and some are located on other web sites. They are all downloadable in PDF format.

Keep in mind that in order to be downloadable they are older books, no longer under copyright. But some of the information is still interesting and good ... waiting for genealogists to explore. This is a great way to search at one site and eliminate some of the clicking to get what you want. What genealogist doesn't want a new adventure in old books?

Oh ... by the way you might want to click through blogs and see what you can find. Including the two above mentioned, some of my favorites are Genealogy Tip of the Day, Genealogy's Star, Granite Genealogy and Genealogy Roots Blog.

YGGG #1 --- Ruby

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Celebrating a Finished Project

Have you ever had that wonderful experience of finding a new ancestor or information about somebody on your family tree? You want to jump for joy, do the happy dance and better yet tell somebody. Unless that person you tell is a genealogist, they usually are not interested in your good fortune.

So, genealogists, celebrate with me that today, August 22nd at 3 p.m. I had the wonderful experience of completing my stash of research papers brought home from Salt Lake City in June. It has taken me about ten weeks to navigate through the three foot tall stack, read them, evaluate the information and enter information into my family tree databases on the computer. I have scanned the pertinent papers, which actually was almost everything.

Last year when YGGG #2 and I went to the Family History Library I scanned microfilm to a flash drive. It was a new flash drive. Once home I was able to retrieve almost everything. Suddenly the flash drive crashed only producing error messages that it could not be opened. There was confirmed data there that I no longer could access. Not wanting two weeks of research ending up on a crashed flash drive, this year I decided to make copies which I could read, transcribe, evaluate and scan myself.

While it appears that nothing is left of my three foot stack of papers, I still have plenty of research to do. I am proud to say that I did good research, came home with a multitude of information and extended some of the pedigrees back three or four generations. I have enough leads to keep me busy for months. Well, at least until YGGG #2 and I head back to Salt Lake City in the spring of next year.

Throughout my research I have learned to never say never. You will invariably find an ancestor who did the unusual. Think out of the box and hope to discover that person. You should also review your own research and keep it current. New resources are being located, some digitized or somebody has written a book or article that will interest you. By today's research standards those books or articles are usually documented better than what we used twenty to thirty years ago.

A genealogist's work is never done. There will always be some mystery ancestor teasing and tormenting you to find them. It's like the old childhood game of hide and seek. I am always seeking and you better know that plenty of them are hiding. The challenge of genealogy is what keeps me going.

And going .... And going ... YGGG #1 -- Ruby

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Expo Photo Collection

The last of my photos to share from the Kansas City Family History Expo that was recently held the end of July. The next Expo is coming up soon in Salt Lake City. You can read more about it here.

"Go Hubby" and I are heading down the road on a bike trip soon. I look forward to sharing some sights from our trip and hopefully we will locate an interesting historical site or library to share!

Burnin' up the pavement again.....want to come along You Go Girl #1? Nothing like the wind in your hair, rain in your face and bugs in your teeth! I will take along a few of those ancestors to keep me busy in the evenings around the fire. Maybe they will share some tales of their own.

You Go Genealogy Girl #2--Cheri

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Arlene Eakle's Southern Research Classes

Arlene Eakle was one of the premier speakers at the Kansas City Family History Expo recently. This lady is such a joy to know and any time that you can sit and visit with her, you go away feeling as though your knowledge base has just widened, even if "learning" was not the original subject of the conversation! She is more than willing to answer direct questions to help anyone further your quest for more records or ancestors.

At Kansas City, she offered a fantastic array of classes which centered around researching in the Southern States including:

"What is the South?..and Why is it Different"
"Birth, Marriage and Death Records in the Southern States"
"Migrations of the Southern Church Groups to the Midwest: Routes and Sources"
"Want Land, Will Travel. Southern Land Records: State by State".

I was particularly interested in all her classes as I do research in NC, MS, TN and VA; her areas of expertise. Even someone who does not research those areas could have gleaned at the very least- a good history lesson! The Family History Expos always have a great selection of speakers including Gina Philibert Ortega, Leland Meitzler, Ron Arons, Lisa Alzo and many others but if you are lucky enough to attend one which features Arlene as a speaker, you will not go home without new ideas and great directions to further your research.

She always has a booth on site too and offers a very good selection of her own published books as well as some good books by other authors in the genealogy field. Some of her newest titles are "Genealogy in Land Records" and "Tennessee Research" and I was lucky to have purchased several of her titles as well as other great books at the Expo.Winter needs to hurry and come so I have more of those quiet evenings of reading!

Look for Arlene Eakle at the California Family History Expo in October where she will again present some very informative classes. Dr. Eakle also writes several blogs and started the Genealogical Institute Inc., in Tremonton, Utah.You can reach her or get links to her blogs HERE. The Family History Expo Channel offers several interviews with Dr. Eakle as well as with several of their other presenters.

by: You Go Genealogy Girl #2- Cheri

Arlene talks about Virginia research:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kansas City Family History Expo-A Blast!

I can't believe it has been nearly two weeks since the awesome Family History Expo in Kansas City and they are already gearing up for the next one in Salt Lake City! Son, Jason , accompanied me to KC and attended the Expo with me. (I actually "invited him" to be my chauffeur). He was in for a surprise when he arrived at the Family History Expo as he expected a small conference and a few meetings! As usual, Holly and her group put on an exceptional Expo and we both had a wonderful time there. The class offerings were excellent and Jason who is a History major was more than pleased with what he learned. We also met some really great new friends from the world of genealogy, one of whom was Thomas MacEntee of Genea-Bloggers fame.

Thomas hosted several lectures which centered around the use of social networking sites to aid the genealogist. I attended his fine presentation on Facebook and went away with several new things to try out and some great tips on how to properly use Facebook: making it work for us as genealogists and how to "safely" set up a new account. I use Facebook daily but gleaned many tips for its productive use that I had never considered before. Thomas also presented a class on Social Networking: "New Horizons For Genealogists" and another on Twitter: It's Not Just "What I Had For Breakfast" Anymore. It was great to finally meet Mr. MacEntee! He welcomed us warmly to the Bloggers of Honor area and even passed out some of his famous badge ribbons to add to our name badges. Along with his Genea-Bloggers ribbon, I now proudly sport one that names me as QUEEN. (You Go Genealogy Girl #1 has one from the Loveland Co., Expo that says she is a DIVA...) Surely the Queen must rule!!!

Everyone there was super nice but Thomas made my son and I feel welcome right away! Thanks to him for adding to our fun Expo experience.

Thomas MacEntee also has a new book out this week called "Approaching the Lectern: How To Become A Genealogy Speaker". It is available as an e-book, epub for the Kindle, and in printed form. For a nice review of his book, click here to see the article by Susan Peterson on her Long Lost Relatives blog. For more information you can check out either of Thomas MacEntee's sites: Destination: Austin Family or The Connected Genealogist. I have the printed form on order and am anxious to see it. I know it will have great information to aid us with our genealogy presentations!

Tomorrow I will share some other personalities from the Expo...

You Go Genealogy Girl #2, Cheri

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation Is Over--For Now!

What a busy last two weeks! I have been on the road again but this trip was not with the company of You Go Genealogy Girl #1 in the drivers seat. On July 25th I headed east towards the Family History Expo in Kansas City. First stop was an overnight at the home of Girl #1 in North Platte, Nebraska. We shared some notes, updated our I-Touch family apps and visited about the upcoming Expo. Tuesday morning I headed to Hastings, Nebraska to visit with my cousin, Joy, for a day. She and I do not get many chances to be together so it was a really fun visit for me. We went out to eat, toured Hastings and took some photos of the old historical buildings in downtown. She showed me the way to the highway that I would leave on the next day before we returned to her house. We played on her new piece of body inversion equipment and then had some wonderful berry pie. Hanging upside down definitely gives one a new look at the world. We thankfully saved the pie until after play time! The evening went by fast while we played on the computer, looking up some of her ancestors on various sites. She wants to start doing some genealogy and she enjoyed finding some of her unknown great grandparents--a good start for her future research. She has a large garden which can be seen from her kitchen table window and the morning I left there we had pie for breakfast(acting like we were kids again!) I loved watching the birds and seeing her beautiful garden flowers. Wish we lived closer as our short visit brought back many of the fun times we had growing up together.

Wednesday, July 28th I arrived in Topeka, Kansas at the home of our son and his family. There I got to spend time with the grandchildren and do a little research at the small library of the Topeka Genealogy Society. It was a really nice facility and jammed full of good books and held a large variety of genealogy periodicals. I was quite surprised at their holdings given a fairly small building that houses the collection. My son accompanied me there and we even found some good family info which I did not have! On Thursday, son Jason, and I packed up and left for Kansas City to attend the Family History Expo on the 30th and 31st.

Bright and early on Friday, we checked in and prepared for the full day at the Expo. Our first stop was setting up in the Blogger area. I was an "honor blogger" for the expo and we handed out bags of jelly beans and business cards for the You Go Genealogy Girls while we blogged and twittered during the day. It was a very busy day indeed. Meeting all the other wonderful bloggers, attending classes, buying books, and getting acquainted with many of the people from the world of genealogy. It was such a fun day and the lectures were packed with awesome research aids and helpful information. Saturday brought another busy day too. We both attended some different lectures and a couple classes together. We came home with pages of notes to be organized and put in our syllabus for future reference. Jason is a history major and really enjoyed the two days. He was surprised at what Mom really did with my researching as he thought it was just gathering names and vital records. Genealogy took on a whole new aspect with him and he picked up some very useful information for his field of study. With respect to the study of history, he was thrilled to have a different perspective on researching other than the common college classes offer. He is ready to attend another Family History Expo. We had a wonderful time together, the first real Mother and son outing for the past several years!

As the Expo ended we again packed and headed back to Topeka, Kansas. I spent a couple more days with family there. We did a bit of shopping but mostly stayed in where it was cool with temps of 106° and heat index of 115°. I had planned on some time at the public library but stayed home with the kids due to the devastating heat! Tuesday, Aug 3rd was the day that all the family packed up to head to my home in Alliance, Nebraska. Everyone was meeting again at my house to gather up some of their kids who had been visiting family in Wyoming and Alliance. My grand daughter, Katelynn who is 10 rode back home with me. We drove 7 hours back to North Platte, Ne., where we spent the night again with You Go Girl #1. She was anxious to see all my new books and get copies of my notes from all the Expo lectures. She and I spent a fun evening discussing genealogy while Katelynn played with her cousin, Tyrah who was staying over with her Grandma. The girls had great fun and it was nice because they do not get to see each other very often either. (The You Go girls really are "grannies"!)

Wednesday when Katelynn and I got home, the rest of the family was already there and packed-ready to leave for several days of camping. We got out of one vehicle, hugged the dogs, changed luggage, unloaded most of the books, and piled into another vehicle for the trip to the lake. Are you tired yet?--I was! Off to the lake we went, boat and camper in tow. Son, daughter-in-law, seven grandchildren, two Grandfathers, other in-laws and more kids! Needless to say, the few new books that I took along to read while I was relaxing never saw the light of day. Fun in the lake for the kids, cooking out, fishing for the guys and sitting around camp took up the last four days of my vacation. It was fun having family here as we do not get together very often. However--

This You Go Girl missed having a constant internet connection while traveling. At my son's house where there was a 3G connection, I had to share with others and sometimes could not get online and I had no internet while at the lake. I was having serious genealogy withdrawal, new books were waiting at home, and the heat was not helping my mood.

Today, life is getting back to normal, family all headed home to Topeka yesterday and we got the camper home and stowed until next time. All my great Expo notes need to be organized and pictures need to scanned for Girl #1 who is working on an exciting new project. Salt Lake FHL findings are ready to be entered in Legacy, books need to be read, and papers need to be sorted--again. Starting tomorrow I will share some pics and findings from the Kansas City Family History Expo. Thankfully, vacation is over--for now!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2- Cheri

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekly Genealogy Activities

It was Murphy's Law at the Family History Center Wednesday afternoon. The first reel of film had plenty of those "other people" in the proper time frame, just none of mine. Back to the drawing board to rethink what I need to do. The second reel of film had the will I needed. Plunked it on the reader-printer and the machine wouldn't work. I will have to find another copier or do it the old-fashioned way by hand. Grrr!

It was Murphy's Law Friday when I went to make copies and my printer produced the message "Ink System Failure." How dare it do that! I have tried everything in the manual and online troubleshooting but nothing works. Tomorrow will be devoted to trying to get assistance by telephone. Once I get through all the routine messages of push this for that and do I want it in English, I may get to the root of the problem.

Do you use Skype? Late yesterday afternoon my computer produced strange sounds from my Skype account. Sure enough, it was my nephew calling from their camp site. I got to see YGGG #2 and Go Hubby and their gang and visit with them. Looked like they were having fun. One of the twins and the five year old were hogging the web cam ... so cute. They related all their boating experiences. I would say that's Makin' Memories. When you can't be there, Skype's the way to go!

We can look forward to a hot week here in mid-Nebraska. It will be a great time to stay put at the computer, work on genealogy and hope nothing breaks down. Wherever you are ... have a genealogy fun week and a great day all day today!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Genealogy Multi-tasking

Hold yer horses! YGGG #2 is alive and well, just occupied. Aren't we all occupied? She doesn't multi-task too good when it comes to genealogy, family get togethers, vacations, packing, unpacking and cleaning house. While most of the Midwest Family History Expo attendees are home, she's hasn't quite gotten there.

YGGG #2 and her granddaughter, Katelynn, spent last night with me and just headed out the door for home base in Alliance, Nebraska. Some of her grandchildren, her son and daughter-in-law are already there. Once home she will unpack and start packing the camper and boat for a lake outing. Once the gang leaves in a few days to head home to Topeka, YGGG #2 will repack everything for vacation time with Go Hubby.

Now where does that leave time for genealogy? My condolences are extended to her as we all know she'd rather be doing genealogical research. Lucky me I'm heading to the Family History Center today to read microfilm.

In the meantime, YGGG #2 has asked me to tell you all that she'll return in due time to fill you in on her many genealogy adventures. Aren't you the least bit curious about mine?

YGGG #1 -- Ruby

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Genealogy, Rest, Relaxation, More Genealogy

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 has been on the road in Lil' Red since mid-May. While I have made appearances at home, they have been brief. At least for a while, my suitcases are out of sight and Lil' Red just roams around town.

That should leave time for rest and relaxation. How I wish! As long as there are genealogy projects, I don't get in much R&R. I have been writing, reading, more writing and also trying to get through my still very high stack of papers from Salt Lake City. There's good stuff in that box. I feel that every spare moment needs to be devoted to it. Actually it's almost like Christmas seeing what comes out of the box next. It's gone down by about two inches since I returned home in early June.

Already I'm being asked by friends if I'm going back to Salt Lake City in 2011. I need to discuss that with YGGG #2. We have actually talked about selecting another site for our annual, big research trip. However, we seem drawn back to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It's convenient staying next door to the library and Lil' Red knows the way. YGGG #2 is a pro at packing the car with everything needed for our stay in Deseret.

While I'm basking, not in the sun, but in the thrill of going through genealogy treasures here at home, YGGG #2 is getting ready to leave for Topeka, KS. She will visit her son, daughter-in-law and their eight children. On Friday she will be at the Midwest Family History Expo in Kansas City. I'm turning green with envy. However, if I don't stay home, my treasures will still be in the box and the writing and research will not get done.

Maybe I do need a little rest and relaxation today. Could I possibly find a cemetery that I have never visited? What's that Lil' Red? No more out of town trips for a while? Okay, back to the grindstone.

YGGG #1 .... Ruby (the one at home)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How To Dress For Conferences

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 in her finest! She was prepared for the recent Family History Expo in Loveland, Colorado. Gadget bag, I-touch, blogger beads and computer. Maxine would have been jealous.

Cheri, You Go Genealogy Girl #2, is preparing this week to attend the Midwest Family History Expo in Kansas City on July 30-31st. You never know what "characters" YOU might meet at a conference or Expo. Ron Arons will present "Researching Your Criminal Ancestors". Be sure to check out the full two day agenda online and make your plans to join us in Kansas City. Only 10 days before the fun and learning begins!

"Maxine" TM Hallmark Cards


You Go Girl #2, Cheri

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Day At The Museum: Genealogy Style

The past Saturday was our long awaited day to have some fun in the park and tour some great Nebraska museums. The You Go Genealogy Girls were the hosts for "A Day At The Museums" in Alliance Nebraska. Since we both belong to the genealogy society in North Platte, Nebraska and I live in Alliance, Nebraska; we thought it would be a nice field trip to bring the genealogy group to Alliance.

You Go Girl came to visit me and we stayed busy for two days beforehand, getting things ready for our picnic meal and planning the tour for our group. We were anxious to get started and looked forward to seeing our friends on Saturday.

Finally the day arrived. We busily gathered all our supplies with the gracious help of my niece and "Go Hubby". Everyone at my house had to work if they wanted lunch! We arrived at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center at 9 am to set everything up. The museum director was kind enough to let us use the indoor patio facility at the museum when the weather that morning was to exceed 100 degrees! It was very nice and surely did make the long day more bearable. By 10:30 AM our guests had arrived and we were ready to get started. Our group included friends from North Platte and Alliance, with some staff ladies from the museum who very kindly helped out with lunch and our tours.

First stop was a walking tour of the basement, kitchen, storage, and archiving area of the Knight Museum/Sandhills Center. We got a behind-the-scenes tour of their great system for storing all the collectibles and archiving the thousands of family history documents that are housed there. The museum director, Becci Thomas, was very thorough and our group got to see the unique movable shelving systems and see how they integrate into the new museum. The basement tour concluded with a look at the facility's full service kitchen that is used for meetings, weddings, and city celebration parties: all these gatherings can be held on the beautiful indoor patio area that we were using for our gathering that day. Our museum is a complete community facility.

Lunch was next on the agenda! Everything was served buffet style and while the group ate and visited we held our door prize drawings. Several guests went home with small mementos of the day. Immediately after our lunch, the group gathered and split into vehicles for the short drive to the nearby Sallows Military Museum which is part of our overall museum system but housed separately. A few of the genealogists elected to walk the three blocks, passing by our historic city fountain. Once again the director filled everyone in on some of the history of the area and told about the displays in the military museum. That building also houses a small but impressive indoor botanic garden which was an added bonus.

Back to the main museum at 1 PM. There we were introduced to the impressive holdings of genealogical,family history,county histories and vital records which are housed in the gorgeous "Heritage Room" of the Knight Museum/Sandhills Center. The research room was designed and built into our new museum for the purpose of housing those records and anyone is welcome to come and research there. Staff is always on duty to assist patrons and welcomes all visitors to the new facility. From there we journeyed into the new little theater to view a Nebraska Sandhills film which introduced everyone to the main museum. Western Nebraska history from the age of the dinosaur through prairie pioneers, native Americans, soldiers, railroaders and agricultural families is all beautifully represented in the museum. It had been a busy day for everyone but we were not quite finished yet!

Two o'clock brought us all to a museum conference rooms where we were treated to a power point presentation on the new Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance. The administrator of the facility, Allen Pannell, showed many photos of the project as it has progressed in construction and told about the ways the veterans and their families will be honored. The cemetery is built on part of the land that was once the Alliance Army Air Base. Nearly all the first troops into Normandy during WWII were trained here at this base so it is a special honor for us to have this new facility located here. It is the first Nebraska State Veterans Cemetery. The program was enjoyed by all and we went away with a lot of new knowledge and pride about the cemetery.

A few in attendance took some time to do some research at the days end before the three hour drive back to North Platte. Many said they were surely going to make the trip again and spend more time getting to know the wonderful museum system we have here. The day was long but a lot of fun for all and best of all was that one of the ladies in attendance met a relative that she never knew. Her unknown family had just came to the museum as patrons and in the course of writing a check for a gift shop purchase, our museum director noticed their name as being the same as one of our tour guests. She introduced them and sure enough, they were related and had never met--who knew? That is one of the things that most genealogists dream of! A nice ending to a fun genealogy day in the park.

My next big outing will be the Family History Expo in Kansas City on July 30-31st. The agenda is available on their website and includes great topics as Southern State researching, Swedish record acquisition, and using Twitter and Facebook. For those who can't attend, we will have daily live updates from the conference--right here!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2, Cheri

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