29 August 2009

Saturday Night Fun and Whinefest

SNGF over at GeneaMusings is a quickie this week. Probably because our Host with the Most, Randy Seaver, is on vacation and by now, schmoozing with other Geneabloggers in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Yes that's right, I am missing yet another mega genealogical conference of the year:

FGS 2009 Annual Conference: Passages Through Time
Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center
Little Rock, Arkansas, September 2-5, 2009

The conference hotel is the world famous Peabody Hotel. Go ahead, ask me . . . "What are they famous for?"

But hey, I am having so much more fun sitting here on a Saturday night ready to participate in the SNGF exercise of the week.

Which of your ancestors have you actually met? Randy says that even if we were too young to remember , it still counts. We are to name that ancestor and state where they were living at the time. My list is unfortunately very short.

My paternal grandparents Edmund Beffort and Myrtle Borgstadter. They were living in Salina, Kansas. Yes, that's me - a petite flower - sitting on my grandfather's lap and the little fat kid my grandmother is holding is the first of my many younger brothers.

Next we have my maternal side - a four generation ladies only grouping. From left to right: Mummy Dahling, the petite flower , My Great Grandmummy Dahling Hazel Berry Harris and my Grandmummy Dahling Maryellen Harris Skillman. I never met Hazel's husband, my great grandfather Hillary T. Harris. He passed away the day I was born.

This photo is a re-run from a previous post. My grandfather Darrell K. Skillman and me.

My Skillman grandparents and my great grandmother Harris were all living in Garnett, Kansas.

And finally me and my great uncle Pinocchio in Anaheim, California

28 August 2009

Cemetery Restoration Project in San Joaquin County

Over at my other blog, The Educated Graveyard Rabbit, I posted an article I wrote for the San Joaquin Genealogical Society Newsletter. It is all about an historic cemetery restoration project and the man who keeps it going. It's a great story, if I do say so myself!
Photo courtesy of Tim Cook, Stockton, California

18 August 2009

How Do You Want The Archives Served?

Over Easy?

Not me. Given the opportunity, I would prefer to research onsite. But alas, I am geographically challenged. 2,899 miles to be exact.

Yes, NARA has a regional facility close to me in
San Bruno. . . . . but come on, it's not the same and you all know it! I get all hot and bothered just thinking about an opportunity to do research in Washington, DC. I have a re-occurring dream that I have won a grand prize - an all expense paid trip to NARA in Washington, DC. Not only that, they are closing to the public for 1 week just for me. I will be assigned a personal assistant from their staff (my choice, of course) to be locked in there 24 hours a day for 1 week.

Er. . where was I? Oh, oh yeah - the reason for this post.

The National Archives has joined the Geneabloggers, sort of. They now have their very own blog. A blog about online public access to the records. They have very cleverly named it :


They describe the blog :

We began this blog because we are hoping to talk with you about online public access to the records held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). We care about improving your researcher experience.

Finally a chance to let them know what you want. Finally, real people behind the curtain that are ready, willing and able to actually listen to what you have to say.

17 August 2009

Stiletto Sisters

I recently took inventory of my "Get Out Of Hell Free" cards and found that I needed to lighten the load. This photo cost me about 50 of them.

15 August 2009

SNGF - My Ultimate Genealogical Goal

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Randy Seaver's genealogical exercise for the week is something I talked about in a previous posts here and here. I do not want to miss out on the fun so I am going to modify Mr. Seaver's assignment just a tad and answer just the basic part of the first question - "What is your ultimate genealogical goal?"

The Ultimate Genealogical Goal I have set for myself is certification. Board Certification.

The number one reason I want this achievement? Purely selfish - Validation. Acknowledgment from a panel of seasoned, professional genealogists, scholars, historians that I have finally reached an advanced level of understanding the principles of evidence analysis and the ability to convey those skills through the examples of my research I submit in my portfolio.

In plain English - becoming certified will mean that I can tell my family and friends "See - I told you I knew what the hell I was doing!" It reflects my knowledge of what records are available and where to find them. It lets people know that I have worked my butt off and I am good at what I do.

Over at the BCG website, I found this statement about certification that I really like -

"Compiling an application for Certified Genealogist is a grand achievement in itself, even if it is denied approval. It shows focus, perseverance, and a degree of organization well beyond that of most genealogists."

How long do you think you have have left to fulfill this ultimate goal?

I turned 50 this year and I think that I probably have 20 or 30 productive years ahead of me. I am going to send in my paperwork to "start the clock" in September. This means that I will have exactly 1 year to complete my portfolio and submit it.

Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal?

Hell No! I really need a time management coach or something. I find myself getting way to distracted and I have so many things going on at the same time.

I have some major obligations - editor for my genealogy society's newsletter, registrar for my local DAR chapter, ProGen class, NGSQ monthly discussions group, a monthly and a weekly online publication that I write columns for.

Then I have my "schmoozing" thing - Facebook, Genealogywise, Twitter, etc. Then I have my blog and keeping up with all the other Geneabloggers. I love my blog and love reading others. Reading them help motivate me.

If not, what should you do to achieve the goal?

I need discipline. Whips, chains, the works.

Will you do what you need to do?

Yes, I will some how, some way get 'er done. Time to use a few "Get Out Of Hell Free" cards to keep me on track.

14 August 2009

A New Image For Me?

Among some of the different hats I wear for different genealogical organizations one of the most difficult is for my local society. I am the editor for the San Joaquin Genealogical Society's newsletter. Going on two years now and I gotta tell you it is frustrating at times. For instance - I introduced a new column called "Ask Ms. Genie" in hopes of some reader participation. My friend Suz says that I am not promoting it properly.

So I sat down at took a good look at it. The photo I use in the header is this:

I have decided that perhaps a more personal approach might be the ticket so I will use this photo of me instead:

The next issue comes out in a couple of weeks and I will be sure to let you know how this goes over with the members.

ps. I am pointing at my navel because the jewel I had in there fell out, not because I am hungry. Maybe I should crop that part out.


This cartoon by B. Kilban is a wonderful genealogical lesson. I learned recently that there are more ways to spell the surname WALLACE than I ever imagined. Just a few:


08 August 2009

Saturday Night Fun and 16 Great Great Grands - I Got 'Em All

Randy Seaver wants us to learn about our ethnic heritage. Saturday Night Fun over at Genea-Musings is all about pedigree charts and a little bit of math this week. Here are the game rules:

Do you have a pedigree chart that shows you as #1 and goes back five generations? If not, you should make one! Fire up your software program and create a report and save it (you'll see why in am inute!).Here is your SNGF assignment for the evening (if you choose to accept it - this is not stump the genealogist or even Mission Impossible):

1) List your 16 great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don't know all 16 of your great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

My paternal side:

16) Gerhard BEFORT - born 10 February 1832 in Obermonjou, Russia and died 16 August 1906 in Munjor, Ellis County, Kansas. GERMAN/RUSSIAN

17) Catherina STECKLEIN - born 18 December 1836 in Gatzig, Russia and died 24 February 1911 in Munjor, Ellis County, Kansas. GERMAN/RUSSIAN

18) Johann Adam ERNST - born 1831 in Obermonjou, Russia. GERMAN/RUSSIAN

19) Anna Maria KEMPER - born 1832 in Obermonjou, Russia. GERMAN/RUSSIAN

20) Fred BORGSTADTER - born 20 August 1853 in Hitzenhausen, Germany and died 5 March 1929 in Lincoln, Lincoln County, Kansas. GERMAN

21) Mary Elizabeth HOBROCK - born 26 December 1861 in Beardstown, Cass County, Illinois and died 13 February 1932 in Lincoln, Lincoln County, Kansas. GERMAN

22) Louis Ernst BESSON - born 12 August 1865 in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany and died 23 April 1939 in Prior, Douglas County, Missouri. GERMAN

23) Sarah Jane SOLOMON - b. 15 November 1863 in Jonathan Creek Township, Moultrie County, Illinois d. 15 February 1897 in Prior, Douglas County, Missouri. ENGLISH

My maternal side:

24) Joseph Payne SKILLMAN - born 27 August 1856 in Bourbon County, Kentucky and died 16 August 1926 in Altoona, Wilson County, Kansas. ENGLISH

25) Sallie D. WILSON - born 2 August 1861 in Georgetown, Pettis County, Missouri and died 24 November 1944 in Shell City, Vernon County, Missouri. IRISH

26) Ernest Francis SHEERN - born 30 July 1862 in Harpers Ferry, Allamakee County, Iowa and died 11 September 1934 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. IRISH

27) Jennie DELANEY - born 10 May 1862 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died 26 December 1929 in Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas. IRISH

28) George Wesley HARRIS - born 11 March 1864 in Lincolnton, Lincoln County, North Carolina and died 17 April 1949 in Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas. ENGLISH

29) Minda Ellen WALLACE - born 20 November 1861 in Yadkin County, North Carolina and died 14 March 1942 in Allen County, Kansas. IRISH

30) William Campbell BERRY - born 22 August 1856 in Des Moines County, Iowa and died 13 July 1921 in Bronson, Bourbon County, Kansas. IRISH

31) Laura Cordelia ROBINSON - born 12 June 1862 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and died 15 April 1951 in Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas. IRISH

Let's tally this up:

German/Russian = 4

German = 3

English = 3

Irish = 6

I am going to combine the German/Russian and the German together. Let me tell you why. Although that part of my family migrated from Germany to Russia and lived there for over 150 years, I am certain that there was no inter-mingling of the Catholic Germans and the Russians. I won't say that it never happened, but it did not in the village of Obermonjou and not with my lines.

So re-calculated we have:

Germans = 7

Irish = 6

English = 3

I obviously do not have Y DNA, but I have had my mitochondrial DNA tested and I am in halpogroup R.

07 August 2009

Better Have Shades

For Shades of History that is. Yes boys and girls, it is time to mosey on over to Weekend With Shades. My monthly column "The Year Was" is ready for your viewing enjoyment.

I had a groovy time with this one. I explore the year 1893. Just a few of the things I take a look at are "Little Egypt", "Cream of Wheat" and tomatoes. Now how can you resist a combination like that!

06 August 2009

Happy Blogaversary To Me!

Can you believe that one entire year has gone by? It seems like the older I get, the days go by so much quicker. I can clearly remember being 20 years old and thinking that 40 was just ancient. I can clearly remember taking my oldest son to his first day of kindergarten. Damn kid had another birthday last week and took such delight in telling me that he is now 32 years old. I remind him that there still is no "real" proof that he is mine. I had C-Sections for all three of my boys. I went to sleep, I woke up and they gave me a baby. This was back in the day before id bracelets, blood work, fingerprinting, etc. They could have screwed up. I could have been given the wrong child. What? It could have happened. In the case of my oldest though, I must admit that he looks exactly like me. And if I am going to keep one, I might as well keep all three.

I had a few friends send me some Happy Blogaversary Cards and thought it appropriate to share some of them with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Without the support from the Geneablogger community, I don't think that I would have started this adventure. The encouragement and help and moral support that has been given to me this past year is priceless. I have a ways to go yet, but I am well on my way to becoming the best genealogist and historical researcher that I can possibly hope be. The education of a genealogist never really ends. It is alot of work and there are days I am sure my brain will explode. However, I am so very lucky to have friends (like the ones shown below) that I know will be there for me. Ain't Life Grand!

There are many more that should be included in this work of art, but I was unable to find a photo of them. They know who they are.

01 August 2009

Saturday Night at Seaver's Place

Well it is Saturday night and you know what that means . . . .I finally find myself ready, willing and able to play along with the fun and games over at Genea-Musings. It's Saturday Night Fun over at Randy Seaver's place.

Here is the game o'the week -

Over on Facebook, some people have been posting their "3s of Me" with information about themselves providing three responses in different categories like "Three names I go by," "Three jobs I've had," "Three favorite drinks," etc. You get the idea. So here is your assignment, if you decide to accept it (this is not Mission Impossible, of course):

Tell us your three responses to the questions:

Three genealogical libraries I frequent

1. California State Library - both the Sutro in San Francisco and the California History Room in Sacramento

2. Western Jewish History Archives at the Judah Magnes Museum in Berkeley

3. Here in Stockton, there are a couple - Special Collections at the University of the Pacific, the library holdings of San Joaquin Genealogical Society which are housed in the Stockton Public Library and the San Joaquin Historical Society Library.

Three places I've visited on genealogy trips

1. North Carolina
2. South Carolina
3. Alabama

Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to)

1. The National Genealogical Society
2. The California Genealogical Society
3. The San Joaquin Genealogical Society

Three websites that help my research
1. Ancestry.com
2. Genealogybank.com
3. Footnote.com

Three ancestral graves that I've visited

My 7th great grandfather - John Teeter Beam, Cleveland County, North Carolina

My 8th great grandparents - Peter Heyl/Hoyle and Catherine Dales, Lincoln County, North Carolina

My 4th great grandparents Peter Bess and Sarah Beam, Lincoln County, North Carolina

Three ancestral places I want to visit

1. KANSAS : The following counties = Allen * Bourbon * Neosho * Elk * Wilson * Ottawa * Saline * Marshall * Lincoln * Ellis

2. INDIANA : St. Mary of the Woods, Vigo County

3. KENTUCKY : Bourbon County

Three brickwall ancestors I want to research more

1. Pauline Sheern/Sharon aka Helen Hunt
2. My 3rd great grandparents - Daniel Delaney and Ellen Collins
3. My 2nd great grandfather - Fred Borgstadter