Saturday, December 22, 2012

This Year and Next

Nearing the end of 2012, the You Go Genealogy Girls wish you a blessed Christmas.  May your hearts be filled with peace and joy.

Looking toward 2013, the "Girls" will be together lecturing and traveling.  Watch future blogs for more information on a February event where we will be lecturing.  Our two week trip to Salt Lake City will be in June 2013.  We hope to see old friends and make new friends in 2013.  Wishing all of our genealogy friends the best of luck with their research in 2013.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby
You Go Genealogy Girl #2 -- Cheri

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

The You Go Genealogy Girls wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May you have safe travels, good food, lots of story-telling and laughter.  Please pause to remember your ancestors who left you a great legacy.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Genealogy Bucket List

While You Go Genealogy Girl #2 is home harvesting and freezing veggies, I will be arriving in Salt Lake City tomorrow morning.  I will also be harvesting ... genealogy "finds."  My arrival is a couple days before the arrival of my group, Nebraska Genealogy Tours.  What a fun week we have in store!

Many times I hear people say they wish they could make more time for research trips, but life gets in the way.  Sometimes it is family commitments, health issues, jobs and lack of funds.  It would be nice if we could all have unlimited time and funds to do nothing but genealogical research.  The Family History Library is where you can do extensive research in one place.  It isn't that one trip does it all, but there are enough records there to satisfy many of your research needs.

In September, while working in the genealogy section of my local library, I assisted two out of town couples who were there hoping to locate ancestral information.  None were retired ... close, but not retired.  They had both been traveling all around the United States collecting information and seeing where their ancestors had lived.  These were not "a few days" trips.  Both couples told me that this was on their bucket list.  How nice they were getting to enjoy that list before it was too late.  Life might get in the way, but it can also run you down when you least expect it.  I can only imagine the stories they had to tell their children and siblings when they arrived back home.

What's on your bucket list?

You Go Genealogy Girl #1    Ruby

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One at home ... one on the way

The You Go Genealogy Girls have done a fine job of not being together this summer.  It has not been our intent, but what has happened.  We have talked about trips or meeting somewhere for research, but it hasn't happened.  Add to that the fact Nebraska has had a brutally hot summer with days in the triple digits with no rain, makes both of us want to stay at home in the AC and at the computer.

Things are cooling down now, even though we have not had rain for weeks on end.  Our original plans were to meet up in Kearney, Nebraska for the Midwest Family History Expo which begins Friday and Saturday of this week (Sept 7th and 8th).  You Go Genealogy Girl #2 has conflicts so has had to bow out of her arrangements.

Tomorrow afternoon I'll leave for Kearney, Nebraska, which is the shortest jaunt I've made to a Family History Expo this summer.  Kearney is located about smack dab between the east and west coast so maybe we should say the Heartland Family History Expo or the Mid-US Family History Expo or the Smack Dab in the Middle Family History Expo.  I think Midwest Family History Expo is fitting, even though we here in Nebraska usually don't refer to us as being the midwest, reserving that for a bit further east, for some reason.  So if we are not midwest, what are we?  Are we the Mid-Plains?  Whatever we are, we'll all show up to learn and share in Kearney.

Wherever I'm going, I am always thinking genealogy.  It can be anywhere in the United States ... smack dab in the middle, in the mountains, along a river, in a city ... I'm thinking genealogy.  Traveling to Illinois for the Family History Expo a month ago I recalled ancestors who lived in towns along the route as well as courthouses and cemeteries I need to visit.  For me life is one big genealogy trip.  I hope you feel the same and take your ancestors with you every day of your life.

There's still time to register for the Midwest Family History Expo which is held smack-dab in the middle of the United States.  Go .... GENEALOGY!

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 ..... Ruby

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where in the World Are the YGGs?

As I write this, You Go Genealogy Girl #2, Cheri, is getting their camper ready to head to the mountains in Wyoming for a few days of vacation.  They will enjoy the cooler, dry air.  Without phone service, Internet or TV, I am sure she will get caught up with her reading.  Wish I was going along, but I would soon be in withdrawal from having no Internet.  How did I survive years ago?

Once rested up from the Family History Expo in Springfield, Illinois, I have been tackling projects with vigor.  A donation of genealogy files and hundreds of genealogy books to the North Platte Genealogical Society takes me to the library every day to "do my thing."  That consists of checking duplicates after the books are appraised, recording them and sending them on to the cataloger.  Once they come back I check them off the list and put them in the appropriate areas.

I am also tweaking my lectures for the Midwest Family History Expo to be held September 7th and 8th in Kearney, NE.  You Go Genealogy Girl #2 has been helping me design my slide presentation for the keynote address which I will deliver.  She is extremely artistic.  My simplistic slides have been converted into colorful, eye-catching slides that I hope everybody attending will enjoy.  Incidentally, the title of my keynote address is Mudpies and Fireflies.  What does that have to do with genealogy?  Sign up for the Family History Expo and find out!

You Go Genealogy Girl #1  .... Ruby

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Busy You Go Genealogy Girls

Besides trying to stay cool, the You Go Genealogy Girls are staying very busy this summer.  You Go Girl #2 is off on a short vacation to Wyoming and Colorado with her husband and twin granddaughters.  I hope they experience a cool down in those states because Nebraska is remaining in the triple digits.

My summer has been busy with a variety of my own research projects, writing and lecturing, plus working on projects for the North Platte Genealogical Society, North Platte, Nebraska.  The suitcase is out but not packed.  I am preparing mentally at least as to what I'll take to the Family History Expo in Springfield, Illinois.

The Illinois Family History Expo will be held August 3-4 (that's next month!) at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois.  This will be a genealogical delight!  There will be presenters and exhibits along with some wonderful prizes.  It's a great way to meet genealogists, learn and go back home prepared to tackle all of your research problems.  I will be delivering four lectures.

The keynote address will be given by Bernard E. Gracy, Jr., External CTO and VP Business Development, Volly at Pitney Bowes.  And yes ... Mr. Gracy is a genealogist.

You can still take advantage of the early online registration until August 2nd.  There is no cost for attending the keynote address or visiting the exhibit hall.  The early registration is $69 or $99 at the door.  You can attend a single day for $59 and a single class for $20.

If you can't make the Illinois Family History Expo, try to make it to the Midwest Family History Expo in Kearney, Nebraska.  That will be held September 7-8 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center.  You Go Girl #1 is the keynote speaker, plus presenter of four lectures.  The keynote address is "Mud Pies and Fire Flies."  Now that I have piqued your interest, why not sign up?   There is a strong possibility that You Go Girl #2 will be at this Expo.

Hope to see you at the Expo!

Ruby .... You Go Genealogy #1

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day Two - Colorado Family History Expo

The Expo --- it's a good thing!  After a great day at the Expo, today will have to be special to top yesterday.  Hundreds of people are attending the Family History Expo.  Comments heard are that they are learning a lot.  I hope they go home and practice what they learn.

The FamilySearch staff are here to introduce us to new happenings, what is on the horizon (good stuff) and help with using the site and indexing.  Billion Graves accessed through FamilySearch is a big hit.  Be sure you try it out.

The vendors seem very happy, so I hope sales are good.  The speakers are smiling because their topics are appealing to the audiences.  Overall the Expo is a great genealogy event.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day One - Colorado Family History Expo

After my experience last year going to the Family History Expo when I got lost trying to get to Loveland, Colorado, I decided to use a GPS this year.  I sailed (drove) successfully through the plains of western Colorado to Limon.  Finally only a little over an hour from my destination I trusted the GPS to guide me straight way to the doors of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

I saw the mountains, I saw the city of Colorado Spring and suddenly the female voice on my GPS instructed me to turn right to my destination.  Sure enough ... the doors of a JP Penney store in a shopping mall.  I reprogramed the GPS and once again was back on course.  Turn left and then immediatey turn right into the back doors of Walmart.  Third time is a charm isn't it?  I reprogramed the GPS and took off driving first right and then left, into a residential area, back out again with instructions and into a warehouse area.

The GPS was turned off and once again I was driving by "the seat of my pants."  I knew my directions and I knew the Crowne Plaza Hotel was located near I-25.  There it was just down the street and the GPS lady was tucked away quietly awaiting the next customer who wanted to possibly end up in the warehouse district of Colorado Springs.

After lunch the Expo begins with the opening address and then the fun begins.  The work begins ahead of time with a lot of hellos to vendors and trying to set up registration.  I have already met two genealogists from Denver.  We had dinner together last night and enjoyed laughs and stories about our research experiences.  My first lecture is at 7:50 tonight.  I don't need the GPS for this.

You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and I were together decorating graves last weekend.  As we approached our grandparent's stone, #2 stopped immediately in front of me and said OH.  I would have screamed.  There was a rattle snake curled up in front of the stone.  Yes, I screamed  which scared him back into his hole.  We wanted to get yellow police tape to put around the area, but instead the city put poison down the holes, which didn't do any good.  The snake lives to scare the next visitor.  And just for the record ... it was NOT a bull snake.

YGGG #2 is at home enjoying her twin granddaughters.  She awaits my full reports of the Family History Expo.  I am sure she'll be envious.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On the Go Again

The You Go Genealogy Girls have been together to travel ... like in genealogy traveling.  Last week we spent two days in Broken Bow, Nebraska where our ancestors settled and lived for generations.  We stayed overnight in the historic Arrow Hotel in downtown Broken Bow, enjoyed the local home-cooked food and were delighted in our "find" at the Custer County Historical Society Museum.

Located across from the town square, the museum has an excellent research room.  They have a collection of photographs and displays, as well as numerous books, maps, microfilm, family files and indexes.  We were especially interested in the family files and spent two days scanning the contents for those of our ancestors.  The volunteers at the museum allowed us to set up our computers and scanners on a large table.

I was pleased to see so many traveling genealogists there on visits for a few hours, half a day or more.  They came from a lot further than 70 miles down the road.  I hope they had good luck in locating records of their ancestors.

Today I am leaving for the panhandle of Nebraska to visit You Go Genealogy Girl #2.  We will talk and do genealogy, decorate graves and probably do a little shopping.  I can always use some new shoes!

Next week Lil' Red will take me to Colorado Springs to the Family History Expo.  If you live in the area, be sure to take in the Expo.  I'll be presenting two lectures and would delight in having somebody say "hi."

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 -- Ruby

Monday, April 30, 2012

April Travels

This has been a busy month for You Go Genealogy Girl #1.  I flew to Washington, DC the day after Easter.  A few days later I took Amtrak to Wilmington, Delaware to meet cousins I had not seen since 1994.  Latrer my cousin from northeast Tennessee met me at Lexington, Virginia and we traveled back to his home in Mountain City, Tennessee.  After a few days there, I came back to the DC area and flew back to Nebraska.

Old Swede's Church in Wilmington, Delaware
It was all the things I did between these jaunts that have provided me with memories that will last forever. Because I love cemeteries, I was on a constant lookout for anything that resembled a tombstone.  At Wilmington my cousins and I visited the Old Swede's Church.  My Swedish ancestors attended church there.  The next stop was nearby at the wharf where we saw the restoration of the Kalmar Nycklel, the ship that brought those ancestors to the New World in 1638.

My cousins who met me live a few miles north in Pennsylvania.  Time was spent there catching up on our lives, having a family open house (with lots of great food) and of course, visiting cemeteries.  While I was in Virginia I spent several days at the City of Fairfax Regional Library where I found an excellent collection of books, maps and film.

The trip to Tennessee also included North Carolina and was non-stop each day in my quest to visit as many libraries, museums and cemeteries as we could fit into the day.  I had not seen my Tennessee family since 1997.  So, once again a lot of visiting to catch up on our lives.  This also included seeing a Wyoming cousin who had flown to Tennessee the day before I arrived.  We had not seen each other for over thirty years ... that's way too long to go without family connections.  These are all first cousins and so our memories include being together as children.

Mountain Laurel Inn - Damascus, Virginia
We made a trip to Abingdon in Washington Co., Virginia where I spent hours in the Washington County Historical Society in the old depot.  They have a fantastic collection of documents, photographs and books and I left with many copies.  Before we arrived in historic Abingdon, we drove through Damascus in the same county.  While there we turned up the lane of the Mountain Laurel Inn.  This used to be the home of my Rambo relatives.  It is now a beautiful Bed and Breakfast.  Unfortunately it will not open for a few weeks, so we were unable to go inside.

Met a cousin on the NC mountain top!
The next day we drove to Ashe Co., North Carolina.  I have so many ancestors buried there that almost every cemetery will be worth visiting.  My cousin stopped the pickup in front of our Aunt Bertha's old house.  It is well kept and still as pretty as it used to be.  We drove up the trail beside it as I wanted to locate an old cemetery I had visited many years ago.  It is overgrown.  My cousin kept driving his pickup further up the trail which seemed to run perpendicular.  At the end of the road we saw a lady who had been out for a morning walk.  Even from there the mountains were still higher and higher.

We visited with the lady only to discover that she is a distant cousin.  I quickly snatched my iPad out of my purse and began reciting our relationships.  We share an ancestor who is buried in that overgrown cemetery.  You never know where you'll find cousins!

Next on our trip was the Ashe County Historical Society Museum in the old courthouse in Jefferson, North Carolina.  From there we went to West Jefferson, North Carolina to Ashe County Public Library.  There is a nice genealogical collection in the library.  I whizzed around through books trying to use as much as I could in the amount of time we had for our visit.

Easily this trip could have been expanded into several months.  As the sun would set in Tennessee and the peepers and whip-poor-wills began their chirping and singing, I wished for more daylight hours to locate cemeteries.  I needed time to visit courthouses, libraries and relatives.  With all of my genealogy on my iPad I was pleased with the portability of it, along with the use of the camera and video in the iPad.  I kept notes on Evernote and Drop Box along with PDF Printer.  The iPad was a great way to show my cousins their ancestry and old photos.

In a few days, You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and I will be together at the Nebraska State Genealogical Society conference in Grand Island.  She will be back here in North Platte on May 16th and we plan on making a research jaunt together here in Nebraska.  You got it .... the girls are on the "run."

Ruby --- You Go Genealogy Girl #1

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Finally Here ... the 1940 Census

Anxiously I waited Monday morning, like millions (apparently) of others, for the release of the 1940 US Census.  I had told students and genealogy friends in the last ten years to say healthy, eat their Wheaties and they would be able to use the census.  There I was parked in front of the computer, healthy and ready for ... nothing.

Apparently they underestimated the number of people who would access the census. The server crashed.  Wasn't that expected?  I recall the same thing happening in 1999 when FamilySearch went public.  Over and over I tried with only minor flashes of what might have been a frame of census on my computer.  By afternoon I drifted over to where I was able to find some extremely distant cousins in Indiana ... and I pretended to be excited about them!

Throughout the day, You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and I would talk on the phone and exchange e-mails.  You should realize she's a devoted genealogist to get up that early in the morning.  I'm so proud of her.  I used Steve Morse's web site and she did also, in hopes we would be prepared for those images.  Eventually I was able to get images I wanted for North Carolina and Tennessee.  I looked at neighbors along the roads and it was a great walk back in time to my grandparents' house.

Aunt Lavaughn is a railroad brakeman!
Since Monday I have been using mostly and  Occasionally I have viewed images on FamilySearch.   I am not concerned at this point about the indexing.  It has been fun going through pages of images and looking at enumeration districts, piecing together the landscape.  In time those indexes will make searching much easier and faster.

Yesterday afternoon You Go Genealogy Girl #2 called to see if I had noticed our Aunt Lavaughn had an occupation in 1940.  She was living with her husband and young son in her parents' house in Alliance, Box Butte Co., Nebraska.  All along I was slinging blame at the National Archives and, but now I realize that everybody makes mistakes.  The enumerator didn't skip a line so Aunt Lavaughn was a brakeman on the steam railroad.  How exciting for her, but not true!!

We hope you are all enjoying your journey in 1940.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Friday, March 9, 2012

Files and Files ... A to Z

Family File Folders
North Platte Genealogical Society
Almost two years ago the North Platte Genealogical Society, North Platte, NE (where I live!) was given access to hundreds of family files.  They pertain to families who lived in North Platte and Lincoln County.  By the end of January I realized there were too many files to copy at home or I would need a new all in one printer.  The last day of January a rental copy machine was delivered to the genealogy section at the library.  Thus began a month of frustration and fun ... mostly fun.

While I did most of the copying, a good crew of volunteers prepared files, cross-checked and filed them.  There were lots of laughs along the way.  In the category of frustration, we soon realized that we were spending society money for the copies, paper, files and rental of the machine.  However, it was that or ignore the access given us to the files.  Working diligently we were able to finish the last file on March 1st, turned the copy machine off and closed the last file drawer.

The five drawer file cabinet is full of great information ...  pedigree charts and family group sheets, copies of marriage records, death certificates, photographs and more.  I first moved to North Platte in 1976 and consider myself a transplant.  Can you imagine my surprise when I discovered an old cousin from Indiana had moved here and is buried here?  I found her information in a family file I was copying.

When I wasn't copying at the library, I was here at home scanning records such as marriages of Lincoln County, WPA interviews and church records.  Eventually we hope to have those on a web page.  It takes time, but it is worth the effort.

It is time the You Go Genealogy Girls start thinking about travel.  YGGG #2 is coming to visit me in 1 1/2 weeks.  She is presenting the program, Antique Photos and Cherished Reflections, for the North Platte Genealogical Society meeting on March 21st.  The next day we will load up 'Lil Red and head to Broken Bow, Nebraska.  We plan on staying in an old, renovated hotel and using the Custer County Historical Society museum/research center for two days.  They also have file cabinets of family files.  We will be scanning the files.  This is our first excursion together since May/June of last year.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 .... Ruby

PS  If you are interested in the North Platte Genealogical Society family files, they are on the second floor of the North Platte Public Library, 120 West 4th Street, North Platte, Nebraska.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Begins

Even though the You Go Genealogy Girls were not together to ring in the new year, we were together on the phone, by e-mails and in our thoughts.  As we begin this new year, we wish all of our readers the best in the months ahead.  We also think about what we are going to be doing in 2012.

As of today, I think YGGG #2 is installing a new computer.  The old one is being moved to a different location.  I have not received any phone calls or e-mails, but look forward to her telling me all is okay and the new computer works great.

Since I received an iPad for Christmas, we have been comparing our settings, how to do things and what they can be used for in genealogical research.  Mine is the iPad 2 so a bit different, and lighter, but an iPad is still an iPad.  For my databases, I have installed Bento which works on my main computer and syncs to the iPad.  Of course, my Reunion genealogy files are on the iPad and they are much better for viewing than on the iPod Touch.  Using iCloud I have a lot of syncing going on between computers.  I have placed my Keynote presentations on the iPad (some) and can remotely control them by using my iPod Touch.

I am waiting on a new carrying case for the iPad and friends (cords, iPod Touch, cell phone ...).  It should arrive this week and hopefully I can stuff everything into it.  I don't have issues with the keyboard on my iPad, but I do have a wireless keyboard that works great with it.

Another Christmas present was a Smart Pen (LifeScribe).  It seems unusual to write something or take notes with audio through the pen and then have it show up on my computer.  I am anxious to try it out while watching webinars.  What a great way to learn!!

Just in time to start a new year, I discovered the reason I was going no where in particular with one of my Massachusetts lines was because I had the wrong surname.  Only the first letter of "B" was the same.  Broadening my research in the area, I was able to locate the correct sources and information to give Elizabeth the correct name.  Sorry about that Elizabeth!  Now the fun begins as I start reading and researching new surnames.

The You Go Genealogy Girls wish you the very best in 2012.  May our paths cross somewhere in the future and if not ... keep reading about us and sending us e-mails.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby


Find a Grave

Search 31.6 million cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search: