29 May 2009

Sheri Goes To Jamboree

Three days after I fly home from Samford, I will have just enough time to pack another bag or two and make my way down south to Beautiful Downtown Burbank. Well the Mariott Hotel at the Burbank Airport anyway.
The Southern California Genealogical Society's 40th Jamboree will be June 26-28, 2009. This will be my maiden voyage to Jamboree and I am thrilled to finally be able to attend.

This will almost be like a homecoming for me. I was born in Burbank at St. Joseph's Hospital. I am told that St. Joe's is still standing in the exact same spot as it was 50 years ago. Think maybe I'll stop in and see if they remember me!

My partner-in-crime and general shenanigans, Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family and the driving force behind Geneabloggers, has some simply mahvalous activities planned especially for Geneabloggers and anyone who wants to know more about this groovy group of people.

I heard somewhere that the Pussycat Dolls were holding tryouts somewhere in Los Angeles that same weekend. What with all my experience dancing in the frozen food aisles of grocery stores, I might give it a shot. What??? It could happen!

27 May 2009

Sheri Goes To Samford - My Sophomore Year

That's right, I am going back for more! The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama is an experience unlike any other you'll ever come across.

The folks at Samford give this description:

"The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. "

"The institute is academically and professionally oriented and is cosponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The faculty is composed of outstanding nationally known genealogy educators. Begun in 1962, the institute regularly enrolls over 200 students from around the country."

Sounds a little scary but I am here to tell you that ......well ok, it was a little scary at first. The first hour maybe. Imagine a week with 200 fellow genealogists who are serious about their work and don't think that you are obsessively crazy!

Until I get back from this year's adventure, you can read about my "freshman" year 2008 :

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and the ending.

Got Directories?

Miriam Midkiff has a new website that you really need to check out - Online City, County, and Rural Directories .

I cannot stress the value of this type of resource. Most directories were published annually - a great way to determine how long a person or family stayed in a certain area and who they had for neighbors.

An educated genealogist will realize that directories can tell you so much more than where a person lived. Often you will find an occupation and place of employment, names of adult children still living at home and whether a woman was a widow.

One can travel back in time by looking through the business section of a directory. Here is where you will learn about the community - churches, schools, stores, professional services and social organizations.

Thanks Miriam for providing a one stop shop for online directories!

A Conference for the Nation's Genealogists

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, who is the National Publicity Chair for FGS sent this press release to me and asked that I share it with you.

A Conference for the Nation's Genealogists
Four days of genealogy know-how!
Actually 4.25 days if you count the activities on the day before one of the genealogy extravaganzas of 2009. The Federation of Genealogical Societies and its local host, the Arkansas Genealogical Society, invite you to beautiful Little Rock this September 2-5 for this Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists. Almost 200 lectures, workshops and other presentations await your inquiring mind. What else will you find at such a conference? Many of the countries top researchers, speakers, vendors, archivists, librarians, editors and others in the field of genealogy will be converging on Little Rock eager to share their genealogical knowledge and experience. The conference theme is “Passages through Time” and you will come away with the energy and knowledge to take you through time to research your ancestry with up-to-date techniques, records, and databases.
Register by July 1, 2009 and save $50.00 off the full conference registration. Your full conference registration provides entrance to all lectures during the full four days except for a few with an extra fee. Hear speakers from all around the United States. Ask them questions, learn from your fellow genealogists, figure out ways to find Grandma Griffin’s marriage record, purchase books, CDs, software, maps, databases, memberships, and come away with a renewed energy that can only be found at such a conference. Learn about military, land, school, tax, county, court, probate and other record types. Learn ways to get around brick-wall research, trace African American, Native American, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and other ancestry.. You will receive tickets that enables you to participate in door prize drawings. A conference tote bag and a CD containing the handouts from 99% of the lectures is also yours. If you wish this material in paper form, that is available for a low fee.
Share luncheons with researchers, bloggers, librarians, archivists, speakers, authors, and others who will be talking and sharing all day. Find possible relatives or someone who researches in a place where your family once lived.
Registrants to date are coming from all over the U.S. and some from Canada. This conference has topics for everyone no matter how long you have been doing genealogy. For more details visit
http://www.fgsconference.org/ and keep up-to-date on conference news, tips, previews, and more at http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org/. See you in September! Be a part of the more than a thousand registrants who will be attending.

24 May 2009

Cheryl Palmer + Blogger Comment Moderation = Apologies and Thank You

Cheryl Palmer over at Heritage Happens, bestowed this wonderful award upon me several weeks ago. I had turned the comments moderation section to my blog off so I wasn't aware until just now that she had. Thank you Cheryl and my apologies for not acknowledging you sooner.

23 May 2009

Confession + Penance = Some Great Websites For Your Research

There must be some kind of medication out there that eases the painfully embarrassing symptoms of internet withdrawl.

Until this morning, I had been away from my computer for 10 days. I can't believe that I am still here to tell the tale. The first couple of days weren't so bad. A little anxiety, mild sweating and a tad bit of finger twitching. It was the third day that began my descent into Hell.

I will spare you the gory details of those days but feel I must confess about yesterday.

Yesterday, OMG Yesterday I actually WALKED ten blocks to Kinko's to try and get a fix. For an obscene amount of money (they charge you by the minute), Kinko's will allow you to use their computers which have internet access. This is a first come, first serve deal with no time limit. My neighborhood Kinko's only has 2 computers for this use. When I walked in and found that I would be next in line after the 10 people ahead of me, I nearly passed out. I was able to bribe my way up the line to hold position number 4. After about an hour, I caught myself growling and thinking to myself that I could take down the big guy who was first in line. I scared myself so badly, I turned and ran ( ok, ok - I walked very fast) out of the store.

So part of the 77 step program my husband is forcing me to participate in, requires that I share something useful I learned from the Internet.

Which brings me to the real intent of this post - I have come across some of the greatest sites that might be of interest to you and your research.

"Daily Life and Work" is only one section of a digital textbook called "Colonial Life in North Carolina." This brilliant program is brought to you by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of the Learn NC program. But wait, there's more! This particular digital textbook includes sections like "Mapping the Great Wagon Road" - This article describes the route and its history and offers two detailed maps, one from 1751 and one from the present, for comparison. "Material Culture: Exploring Wills and Inventories" - This part explores legal documents surrounding a person's death and how historians use them to understand daily life, family structure, and other aspects of the past. Oodles of images of actual wills, inventories and the items listed in the inventories along with explanations of their use.

The Nevada Observer, an online State News Journal, offers an electronic reading room free of charge. There is a wide array of literature to choose from, but I found the nineteen century Travel Journals really interesting. Other selections include a shelf or two on the history of organized crime and the families involved, Hispanic heritage, selections from Mark Twain and just about everything you would want to know about mining.

The Society for Historical Archaeology has a website full of great resources for the family historian. A couple that caught my eye were Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information and a section called "Unlocking The Past"

The ability to locate records for your ancestors lies in the knowledge of why they were created in the first place. Every bit of information you can learn about what was going on at the time these records were created is definitely to an educated researcher's advantage!

10 May 2009

My First Article For Shades!

Oh Wow! My first article for "Shades of the Departed" was published this past Saturday. I am so excited, it turned out way better than I expected thanks to the expert editor of this fantastic online publication, footnoteMaven.

So get your shades on, and follow me back in time to
"The Year Was 1878"

06 May 2009

Showcasing Blogs - Prompt #18

Back in January, Amy Coffin of We Tree wrote a post entitled "Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog" in which she gives us a series of blogging prompts to help genea-bloggers with their writing. While some of you have been participating weekly, this is the first time for me. #18 says to showcase another blog.

This is a most excellent idea, however I cannot choose just one. So let me tell you what I am going to do for you instead - introduce you to some new genea-bloggers that I have recently discovered.

I chose these for a number of reasons. Some are humorous, some scholarly, some unusual in content and most all for their exceptional writing skills. So without further ado, in no particular order, some of the finest NEW-TO-ME blogs I have come across.

BLOGGING A DEAD HORSE by Dead Man Talking. Outstanding writing accompanies excellent photography. My favorite posts are "Greatness Large And Small" , "Varieties of Hope" and "Hello Rabbits" in which he introduces himself and explains his reasons for his blog.

YOU GO GENEALOGY GIRLS by Girl #1 Ruby Coleman and Girl #2 Cheri Hopkins. Self described as "Grannies on the Go", this blog is about their research and travels mostly located in Nebraska and Kansas. Follow along with the girls, Li'l Red and fistfuls of jellybeans. "Let's Get Acquainted" is their introduction post. "Genealogy and Housework or Should Opposites Co-exist?" is one of their funnier posts.

JAKE FLETCHER'S GENEALOGY PROJECT by who else? Jake Fletcher. Jake is a high school senior who has made his blog his senior project. Jake demonstrates solid research skills and writing.

FAMILY TREE MAY CONTAIN NUTS by Lori from Canada. "Family trees, Fun, Freebies and Food" - what more could you ask for?

WINGING IT by Alex from Auckland, New Zealand. "Wing One Place Study (and other genealogical ramblings)


WIBBLING JO'S GENEALOGY BLOG by Jo from the United Kingdom. The definition of wibbling is chattering randomly.


PIERCE LEVEL by Ralph Poore from Boise, Idaho. Ralph writes about the Pierce Family and the town of Wilmer which is located in Mobile County, Alabama.

BLIND PIG & THE ACORN by Tipper. Blogging about her Appalachian Heritage.


04 May 2009

SJGS Cemetery Walk at Stockton Rural Cemetery

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society is going on a field trip!

A Cemetery Walk at Stockton Rural Cemetery

With Del McComb

Local Historian, Author & 4th generation Stocktonian

Saturday May 9th @ 1:00 PM

Why not bring a friend or two along for this rare treat as we listen to Del bring the past back to life with stories about some of the cemetery’s more notable residents.

To get to Rural Cemetery from either Interstate 5 or Hwy 99 :
Take the Crosstown bypass and exit on El Dorado Street.
Head north on El Dorado until you come to Harding Way.
Turn right on Harding Way and continue east to California Street.
Turn left on California Street and head north until you come to Pine Street.
Turn right on Pine. After one block, Pine Street starts to curve to the right. At this curve turn LEFT and drive through the gates of Rural Cemetery. We will meet at the Reuel Colt Gridley monument. As you drive through the entrance gates, continue forward and on your right will be Memory Chapel and the statue.

01 May 2009

Board for Certification of Genealogists Is Making Movies

The Board for Certification of Genealogists has a real treat for those who are pursuing certification. A Certification Seminar Video has been put online at their website free for you to watch from the comfort of your home. The stars of the show are Dr. Thomas W. Jones, CG, CGL, FASG and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG.

Recorded before a live audience in Salt Lake City in November 2008, the video seminar follows the same format as the certification seminars BCG presents at the annual conferences of the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

The 2 hour seminar covers all the essentials about BCG certification.
Preparatory Information - There are four clips in the section that run about 5 minutes each: Introduction, What is certification and why should I obtain it, Certification categories and Certified Genealogist preliminary application process.
Parts of the Portfolio - Six clips that are about 10 minutes each explaining each of the 7 requirements you must complete for your portfolio.
The Process - Four clips (two are about 5 minutes and the other two about 12 minutes) These clips cover extensions, packaging and mailing details, the judging process and a Q & A session with the audience.
Bravo to BCG for this extremely important and innovative way to assist genealogists who are working towards certification. Talk about public outreach!!!