21 December 2010

"Seaver and the Citations"

It is time for my annual Christmas video. I was a little tired of the Elves and Santa, so I have done something REALLY different. May I present -


Starring Randy Seaver, Bill West, Craig Manson, Elizabeth O'Neal and yours truly. We take caroling to a place far, far away where it has never been before.

05 December 2010

SNGF - My d'Aboville Numbers

When Saturday night rolls around, here at Camp Fenley we try to make the scene over at Randy Seaver's place GeneaMusings for his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

For fun and games this week, Seaver asks,

1) Do you know what a d'Aboville numbering system is? A clear description of it is in the Encyclopedia of Genealogy here, and on Wikipedia here. Pretty neat numbering system, isn't it?

2) What are your own d'Aboville numbers for your four lines of your grandparents (starting with the first known person in the paternal line)? Your genealogy software program may be able to help you with this [Family tree Maker 2011, RootsMagic 4 and Legacy Family Tree 7 can, but Family Tree Maker 16 and earlier cannot].

It looked like a huge math problem to me. Luckily, I have RootsMagic 4 and in no time at all, I had my numbers for each of my four grandparents paternal lines :

From HEINRICH BEFORT (1761- ? ) my number is =

From J. FRED BORGSTADTER (1853-1929) my number is =

From LEWIS T. HARRIS (1810-1836) my number is =

From THOMAS SKILLMAN (1639-1699) my number is =

01 December 2010

"There's One In Every Family" - 100th COG

There's one in every family, the odd man out. The square peg who tries to conform to a world made of round holes. In my family, the oddity is me.

I was raised in a white, middle class, polly purebred environment. The eldest child and only daughter (I have a truckload of younger brothers) of midwestern transplants who were determined to live the American Dream. We weren't the Rockefellers, but we had a very comfortable life. We could have given Ward and June Cleaver lessons in becoming the ideal family.

So with such a great start, what the hell happened? I am pretty sure that I am not the daughter my mother always dreamed of having. But in all fairness to me, there were warning signs that mummy dahling obviously failed to recognize. I present to you my evidence:

1962 - My first party hat

2002 - My umpteenth party hat

1968 - I traded in this veil

For this veil in 2008


1959 - I went from riding this

To this in 2009


And behavior like this

Will surely lead me to this

26 November 2010

It Was A Geek-Girl's Dream Come True

The Northern California Chapter of APG met last Saturday for an extra special field trip. Tim Cox (who must have used a primo juice card) made arrangements for our group to have a behind the scenes tour of The National Archives Pacific Regional Facility. Since it was a Saturday, it was closed to the public and we had the entire place to ourselves. I was beside myself with geeky, bookwormish delight!

The first order of business was filling out paperwork so that we could be issued a NARA researcher ID card.

Seated at the desk is NARA's Rose Mary Kennedy issuing a researcher's ID card to me (Sheri Fenley). Next in line from left to right is: Kay Ingalls, Suzy Miller, Ginny Meadowcroft , Mr. Rose (who drives Miss Christine) and Jeffrey Vaillant

With our researcher ID cards in hand, we gathered for a short introduction to the archives and Marisa Louie gave us an itinerary of the tour.

From left to right: Lisa Lee, Shelia Prada, Kay Germain Ingalls, Suzy Miller,Ginny Meadowcroft, Dave Fong, Christine Rose, Mr. Rose (who drives Miss Christine), Carolyn Ybara, Ron Cannon, me



In the accessions room are from left to right: Steve Danko, Kathryn Cannon, Ron Cannon, Marisa Louie (the archivist), Lisa Lee

After the tour, it was into the classroom for some mini-lectures about each of the record groups that are of the most use for a genealogist.

The record groups covered in class were:

RG 21 - Records of US District Courts: Naturalizations; bankruptcy, civil, criminal and other cases. Admiralty cases for coastal regions. San Francisco dates—1850-1970s. A major genealogical source.

RG 49 - Bureau of Land Management/General Land Office: homestead, mining claim, and other Federal public lands (only) transactions case files, tract serial register books and other registers; survey plats, and land entry and patent case files. San Francisco dates—1850s-1960s. SF has CA and NV State offices.

From left to right: me, Steve Danko, Suzy Miller, Ginny Meadowcroft , Christine Rose, Sharon Hoyt, Jeffrey Vaillant (standing), Kay Germain Ingalls, Janice Sellers, Lisa Lee and Marisa Louie (the archivist)

RG 85 - Immigration and Naturalization Service: Massive collection of immigration investigation case files, 1884-1950s, for Honolulu and San Francisco relating mostly to Chinese and other Asian immigrants. Some regions have INS compilations of naturalization records created by county superior courts.

RG 15 - Veterans Administration: c1918-1920s, World War I era only, programs for veterans rehabilitation, employment and training of disabled vets.

From left to right: Ron Cannon, Kathryn Cannon, Cath Trindle and Carolyn Ybarra

RG 147 - Selective Service System World War II: WWII SSS draft registration records are now available in most regional archives, but the master index is held by the National Personnel Records Archives for Military Records, in St. Louis. By mid-2011, WWII SSS records are scheduled to be centralized at MPRA-St. Louis.

RG 163 - Selective Service System World War I: Draftee lists and records of delinquents and deserters.

After the mini classes, we moved to the reading room where Marisa and Rose Mary had pulled some original records from each of the record groups that had been discussed in class for our viewing enjoyment.

Kay Ingalls and Carolyn Ybarra carefully study a case file from RG 21 that includes Deceased & Deserted Seaman Case Files.

Petition for Naturalization from RG 21 - U.S. District Courts

Many, Many thanks to Tim Cox for arranging this outing for our group. Extra special thanks to Marisa Louie and Rose Mary Kennedy for sharing their knowledge and expertise with us.

For anyone interested in conducting research at the NARA facility in San Bruno, California, here are a couple of tips that will make your trip a more productive one.

Use these online finding aids before your visit:

NARA's Online Microfilm Catalog allows researchers to determine the microfilm publications held by the San Bruno facility.

Use the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) to search for records in San Bruno

Call or email the archivists ahead of time to let them know the scope of your research project and when you plan to visit. Records can be pulled, ready for you to start in on when you get there. A heads up to one of the archivists and they can schedule some time to assist you with you project. Contact Rose Mary Kennedy or Marisa Louie.

San Francisco Federal Records Center

National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Region

1000 Commodore Drive

San Bruno, CA 94066-2350

Phone: (650) 238-3501
Fax: (650) 238-3507

email: sanbruno.archives@nara.gov

Another view of the stacks. I could spend days in here without coming up for air.

All photos taken by Tim Cox and used here with his permission.

25 November 2010

It Isn't Thanksgiving Unless You Watch The Parade

You all know what I'm talking about. The Big Ta-Do in New York City. Yeah, yeah - they also have the Easter Parade where one wears their Easter Bonnet and sashays down 5th Avenue.
This is even better than wearing funny hats. This parade has huge character balloons and best of all? Santa is always there, bring up the rear in his HUGE float. Although I have never understood why he rides in a clam shell / swan chair , I thought the red sleigh rocked.
Anyhoo, since it's Thanksgiving, I am going to share some of my all time favorite balloons with you cause that's the kind of girl I am.

Woody the Woodpecker is a favorite of mine from way, way back.

Well there is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and then we have Popye and Olive Oyl.

I adore Bullwinkle - "Watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat"

"Here he comes to save the day . . . Underdog!"

There he is! It's Santa. Watching this particular parade is kind of like comfort food for me. I know , that no matter what else is going on in the world, Santa will be there each and every year, bringing up the rear at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade. Waving to me like an old and dear friend.

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours!

24 November 2010

A Little Of This, A Little Of That and More Of That Over There!

Amy Coffin over at WeTree likes to see what people are searching for when they end up on her blog because of that search. The search phrases or words seem pretty sane and to the point. In the examples she shows, it is very obvious that they are looking for her in particular.
I should only be so lucky.

I have, on occasion, conducted the same exercise as Amy. My results are a little different. Here are the Top 10 search words or phrases (according to Google Analytics) that real people have used and ended up on my blog whether they wanted to be there or not :

#10 - "Name that means educated"

#9 - "Baby your Santa"

#8 - "A Girl can only dream"

#7 - "Rabbit Cartoon"

#6 - "Week day name creator"

#5 - "Polish dance heel toe and away we go"

#4 - "Slurpee Outfit"

#3 - "A Catholic Nun thing"

#2 - "Fairy and Hillbilly games"

#1 - "Nuns with guns"

Not even close to my name or the name of my blog. Sigh.

The May 2010 Family Tree Magazine celebrated this phenomenon with the Family Tree 40, forty genealogy blogs that you all nominated and voted on as the best genealogy blogs. (You can see the 2010 Family Tree 40 list in our free online article.)

They are doing it again for 2011. You can nominate your favorite genealogy blogs using our online form now through Tuesday, Nov. 30.

When you nominate a blog, you’ll give them the title and URL, optionally tell them why you’re nominating it, and put it into one of these eight categories (a few have changed from last year’s Family Tree 40):

  • Local/regional history and genealogy: blogs focusing on research in a specific county, state or region. Most library and archive blogs, as well as many local historical and genealogical society blogs, would go here.
  • Heritage groups: Blogs focusing on the family history of a specific ethnic, religious or national background (such as African-American, Jewish, Polish, etc.)
  • Research advice and how-to: Blogs that primarily explain how to research, analyze photos or perform various family history tasks. The blogger offers tips, strategies and examples; explains genealogical concepts; and writes about how to use new resources.
  • Cemeteries: These blogs feature content primarily about cemetery research and visiting cemeteries. Many feature tombstone photos and transcriptions, with information about those interred.
  • “My Family History”: Blogs about the blogger’s own roots, including accounts of personal research, their own family photos and heirlooms, stories, recipes, etc.
  • “Everything” blogs: Blogs that cover it all—genealogy news, research advice, opinions, local history, family stories, etc.—go here.
  • New blogs: Was the blog you’re nominating launched during the past year? Categorize it here, even if it would also fit into another category.
  • Technology: Blogs focusing on genealogy websites, software, DNA testing or other aspects of technology as it relates to genealogy.

Visit The Genealogy Insider to get all the details.

Last year I was voted one of the "Fab 40." Still love me? Then get over to the Blog Nomination Form and let them know!

Family Bible Digitization Project

The California State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (CSSDAR) State Regent’s Genealogical Bible Records Project is a statewide effort to Preserve Our Past – Our Gift to the Future.

We are looking for pre-World War II Bibles that contain family records. Neither you, nor the family described in the Bible records, need to be from, nor presently living in, California. You do not need to have the actual Bible in your possession, but you must be able to provide scanned, digitized or photocopied prints of the Bible's title page, copyright page, and genealogical record pages in the order they appear in the original Bible.

Here is an opportunity to have those records photocopied, indexed, and submitted to the National Society’s genealogy library in Washington, DC.

After the pages in your family bible have been photocopied or scanned we will make a transcription of each page which will be included with the images. Compiled volumes will be bound for presentation to designated California libraries. An unbound copy of each volume will be sent to the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. to be digitized and made available to researchers. An Information Release Form must also be signed.

As an extra bonus, if you have a clear photograph or image of the original owners of the family Bible or photographs of members of their immediate family then these will be included with the rest of the information. Please contact me if you would like more information or have a pre World War II bible. sherifenley@gmail.com

If you live around the central coastal area of California, my DAR sister - Elizabeth O'Neal from
Little Bytes of Life can make sure your family bible is included in the project. Her chapter is also participating in the great project.
Heck, you can contact any California member of DAR to be included in this project!

Become A Part Of History In The 100th Carnival of Genealogy

If you get into the Wayback Machine and dial into June 2006, you would be reading the first ever COG. Jasia from CreativeGene is the lady who started the Carnival of Genealogy and wants to celebrate the 100th edition in a special way. A Family Reunion of everyone who ever submitted an article to the COG and those who are contributing for the first time.. The goal is to have 100 submissions for the 100th edition.

The theme for this special COG is - "There's one in every family!"
Bring your stories of colorful characters, unique heirlooms, mouth-watering recipes, most dearly beloved pets, whatever! Interpret as you like. Every family has "special" individuals, you know, the ones with a green thumb, the black sheep, the lone wolf, the blue-ribbon cook, the storyteller, the geek! I know you have treasured recipes and amazing heirlooms you've yet to share! Tell us about them and become a part of history in the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy! The deadline for submissions is December 1st.

Submit your blog article to the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Past posts

What is the COG (Carnival of Genealogy) you ask? Jasia has a great
FAQ page that should answer any question you may have.

What Makes You Feel All Warm and Fuzzy?

Volunteering my time and skills to get records online that are free and available to all. No, it's not the only thing that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but that's a whole different post.

There are indexing projects going on all over the place. I have volunteered my time to huge projects like the World Archive Project and the FamilySearch Indexing Project. I have also worked on smaller, more record specific endeavors like the Missouri State Archives Online Death Certificates 1910 to 1959 and Brigham Young University's Immigrant Ancestor Project.

Currently, all my volunteer time has been devoted to a very special and unique project - Restore The Ancestors Project. Working with the records of this project has opened a whole new world to me. The world of colonial South Carolina covering the years 1732 to 1872. Not having any ancestors of my own from this area, I had never explored or conducted research in this area of the United States. These estate inventory records are so fascinating and many of them recorded in such detail I felt like I was almost there back in time. It is also a bit emotionally disturbing indexing the names of enslaved men, women and children who have a dollar value attached to them along with pieces of furniture and livestock.

Some of the records tell you a story. One that I came across involved a female slave that had appeared in an estate inventory. She apparently ran away but was caught and detained until someone came for her. The entries following the inventory are detailed expenses that have been presented to the court for payment by the estate. Expenses such as room and board for the slave during the time she was incarcerated. Travel time and expenses for the party sent to pick her up and the bounty money for capturing her.

Another record shows the estate inventory of John Carmille, butcher, of Charleston Neck which lists the names of Carmille's enslaved wife Henrietta and their children. Further research reveals that Carmille had petitioned the South Carolina Senate in 1823, seeking to emancipate Henrietta and her children. The case eventually reached the South Carolina Supreme Court and Henrietta and her children were allowed to live as free people.

This project is a collaboration of four organizations:

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History - They hold the original records and have provided access to them and permission to place them on the Internet.

FamilySearch donated the copies of the microfilms to be digitized.

Footnote.com contributed the time and expense to digitize the films and host the collection on their site which is free to search and view.

Lowcountry Africana coordinates the volunteers who index the records and has created individual pages for each plantation indexed. These pages contain information about the owners and the names of all the slaves and provide a link to the actual image of the estate record

Why are these records unique and important?

This collection of records includes every surviving estate inventory for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872, as well as selected Bills of Sale for the same period. Because of Charleston’s role as a port of entry during the Atlantic Slave Trade many thousands of African Americans may have ancestors who came from, or through, South Carolina. For anyone conducting African American genealogy research the names of the slaves from these records will assist in forming a seamless paper trail from Emancipation back to the 1700s.

The call went out asking for volunteers to index just 10 pages. No long time commitment here, just 10 pages. A few of you answered the call, but more volunteers are needed. Toni Carrier, who is the volunteer coordinator, told me that only about 1/3 of the records have been indexed and annotated. 4600 pages have been indexed and 184,000 annotations are now searchable.

So how about it? There is no pressure on how long it takes you. Depending on the information contained on the pages you are assigned, 10 pages will probably take about 30 minutes of your time. Give back to the genealogical community the gift of your time. To volunteer click HERE.

Have I done my 10 pages? I have. In fact of those 4600 pages and 184,000 annotations, I have done over 400 pages and 10,550 annotations!

21 November 2010

Client Work - A Love/Hate Relationship?

So . Long time no blog.

I have truly missed blogging. Not the writing part. I am doing enough of that writing clients reports. I miss the informality, spontaneity and camaraderie of blogging. With Christmas coming soon, I have almost doubled my client work. Seems giving "family" to a family member is a hot gift this year. I am not complaining, after all this is why I spent the last 7 years attending classes, conferences, discussion groups, etc. - To become a professional and take clients, right? It has become painfully obvious to me the need for more instruction in how to achieve a better balance of work time versus me time.

Speaking of time management: The hardest part of doing client work, being a professional genealogist? Staying within the parameters of a project timewise. Here is a prime example:

Let's say a client contracts 4 hours of time for research which includes a written, documented report of your research plan,findings , analysis of said findings and recommendations for further research.

At the 3 1/2 hour mark (the other 1/2 is used to write report), you say to yourself, "I just know that if I search that one more ______(fill in the blank), I will have twice as much information for the client."

We all know the math:

Twice as much info for client = You now have Rockstar status with client

So now you are 6 hours into the project and still need to write the report which will now take you way longer than 1/2 hour because you added all that extra information.

End result: I did twice the amount of work for the contracted fee. Sure, the client was extremely pleased and maybe more work will come from client or referrals . . but what has really happened?

The client thinks that you did all that work in 4 hours and will expect that level of performance for that same fee in any future research. And if you take a look at your ledger book, you and your business took it in the shorts.

Everyday I learn something new . . .

14 November 2010

The Big Show Is Coming To Town

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society will be hosting the California Genealogical Society's Roadshow when they bring it to Stockton this Thursday, November 18th.

1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Have You Been to the California Genealogical Society Library?

Past-President Jane Lindsey will present an overview of the outstanding resources at the CGS Library and share information about upcoming events and programs.

1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Break. Refreshments will be served!

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Some Brick Walls Are of Our Own Making

Lavinia Schwarz’s spell-binding talk will help you look at your own brick walls with new openness, ideas, strategies and historical insight.

"On the Road" get-togethers are a fun way to meet members in the target locale and are designed to help link neighbors who share an interest in genealogy. The program is open to the public and free of charge!

Please join us for an afternoon of genealogy delight!

DATE: Thursday, November 18th
TIME: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
PLACE: R.E.I. Community Room
Stone Creek Shopping Center
5757 Pacific Avenue, Stockton

From CGS' own Kathryn Doyle, here are the GPS coordinates for the R.E.I. Community Room:
38° .124' N
121° 19.023' W

21 October 2010

A Halloween Gift Just For You

Time for some video fun starring Kerry Scott from Clue Wagon as Frankenstein's Bride, Randy Seaver from GeneaMusings as Frankenstein, Bill West from West In New England as the mummy, Craig Manson from Geneablogie returns again this year as the vampire and Me of , well . . .um here.

08 October 2010

Familiar Faces at the Family History Expo

Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee, Kathryn Doyle, Elizabeth O'Neal and Lisa Alzo are just a few of the Geneabloggers here at the Family History Expo in Pleasanton, California.

I have to tell you the crowd here today is fantastic and I am having a wonderful time with many old friends.

More to come . . .

06 October 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its Off To The Expo I Go!

I have been waiting for this event for almost a year now. Not only will I be attending this 2 day genealogical extravaganza, I have been asked to participate!

That's right, me - a Blogger of Honor for the California Family History Expo! I am not sure exactly what is expected of me, but you can be sure I'll give it all I got! I am in geneablogger heaven when it comes to the company I will have.

Elizabeth O’Neal
Little Bytes of Life

Leah Allen
The Internet Genealogist

Lisa Alzo
The Accidental Genealogist

Bruce Buzbee
Roots Magic Blog

Amy Coffin

Lisa Louise Cooke
Genealogy Gems

Kathryn M. Doyle
California Genealogical Society and Library

Becky Wiseman

Gena Philibert Ortega
Gena's Genealogy Blog

Leland Meitzler

Craig Manson

Thomas MacEntee

Nancy Loe
Sassy Jane Genealogy

A. C. Ivory
Find My Ancestor

Janet Hovorka
The Chart Chick

Paula Hinkel
It Just Never Came Up

Jean Wilcox Hibben

Holly Hansen
Family History Expos Blog

Arlene Eakle
Arlene H Eakle's Genealogy Blog

And the Stealth Blogger - Darling Denise Levenick aka The Family Curator

And best of all????? It is only 30 minutes from my home, but I am staying the weekend shacked up with the rest of the geneabloggers in Pleasanton. I will be driving and am delirious with the knowledge I can bring as many outfits and pairs of shoes my little heart desires. I splurged on a few new outfits and if I have to change my clothes 3 times a day to get to wear them all this weekend, then so be it.

I'll be blogging live from from the Expo so stay tuned.

I Know You're Wearing Them

I know you're wearing them - your shades.

It's a good thing too because the new issue of the award winning "Shades of the Departed Magazine" has been published and is waiting just for you to read.

110 pages of Awesome-ness. What are you waiting for?

05 October 2010

If You Really Knew Them

It is not often something touches my heart so very deeply, but there have been two discussions recently in the world of Geneabloggers that have done just that.

George Morgan graciously opened his life experience to everyone in a post at Facebook and now Ruth Coker Burkes, author of
last2cu, has done the same with "If You Really Knew Me" . I encourage you to read about their experiences.

02 October 2010

Re-Living A Little Bit of History

Today I will be re-living a bit of history. 87 years ago, El Toyon Chapter NSDAR placed a bronze plaque on a tree marking the spot that Captain John C. Fremont and the members of his expedition made camp on 26 March 1844. The spot was on the property of the "Dodge House", home to founding members of El Toyon Chapter Emily Dodge and her sister Anna Dodge. Several years ago the tree was removed and the plaque was given to the San Joaquin Historical Museum for safe-keeping.

Today, 87 years later, the plaque will be installed on the restored Dodge House during a re-dedication ceremony.

In 1923 El Toyon Chapter NSDAR placed a bronze plaque marking the spot where John C. Fremont and the members of his expedition made camp in 1844

28 September 2010

Friday Night Extravaganza & Dessert Buffet

That's right - an Extravaganza and Dessert Buffet. It's all happening at the Family History Expo in Pleasanton, California on Friday, October 8th at 6:30 PM.

Lisa Louise Cooke will be hosting her show
"Genealogy Gems" live and in person. Among her guests for the evening will be Craig Manson, the outstanding author of GeneaBlogie, and yours truly. Yes, Me! Craig and I will be discussing the columns we write for the phenomenal publication "Shades of the Departed" magazine. The illustrious footnoteMaven is the editor and publisher of this wonderful magazine. She's not able to take the stage with us, but I know she'll be there in spirit.

Lisa tells me that prizes will be given away throughout the show. So clear your calendar and come join in the fun. It will be a Friday night to remember!

27 September 2010

The Expo Is Coming!

Learn the tech to trace your roots at the California Family History Expo, October 8-9 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton, California.

“Family History Expos can be a beacon in a dark sea of confusing documents and information,” founder and president Holly Hansen said. “We want to be a guiding light.”

The Expo begins at 8 a.m. on Friday with a keynote address by Beau Sharbrough. Houston native and graduate of Texas A&M, Beau is presently self‐employed, maintains the RootsWorks.com website and is the author of Gene’s Anniversary Scrapbook. He was the founder of the FGS and GENTECH web sites, former president of GENTECH, Product Manager at Ancestry.com and VP of Content at Footnote.com. “He is an amazing speaker and we can’t wait for him to open the show,” Hansen said.

The Expo will feature almost 100 classes and demonstrations on techniques and technology to conduct family history research. The classes and demonstrations are taught by professional genealogists and industry experts from throughout the country. The cost of registration for the event, $75, allows participants to select from a variety of classes being taught throughout the two day Expo. “We have something to offer everyone from those who are just curious about family history to those who are performing genealogy research professionally,” Hansen said.

The exhibit hall, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 9a.m. to 4p.m. on Saturday, will feature companies focused on families and family history research. The event is sponsored by FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Generation Maps, Flip Pal, California Genealogy Society, and Criminal Research Press.

Butch and Jean Wilcox Hibben of Sawdust and Strings will be the highlight of the luncheon both days. Hibben plays multiple instruments and is frequently accompanied by her husband, Butch, on the saw. Hibben is a board certified genealogist and president of the Corona Genealogical Society and the Southern California Chapter of APG. Hibben has a doctorate in folklore and an MA in speech communication. She is a national speaker and staff trainer for the Corona California Family History Center.

Our Friday evening event features genealogy podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke who will be chatting with the audience and a captivating line-up of guests including Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie and Sheri Fenley of The Educated Genealogist blog. Attendees can partake in a delicious dessert bar and see first-hand a podcast production in action.

At the door registration for the Expo begins at 7 a.m. on Friday, and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. Register in advance online at http://www.fhexpos.com/. Contact Family History Expos by telephone at 801-829-3295.

25 September 2010

SNGF - It's All In The Blood Line or Why I Get To Be Czarina of Stockton.

It's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Randy Seaver's place. This weeks fun and games allows me a perfect opportunity to show the naysayers why I get to be Czarina of Stockton and they don't. Here is the task for the game this week:

1) Pick one of your ancestral lines - any one - patrilineal, matrilineal, zigzag, from a famous ancestor, etc. Pick a long one if you can.

2) Tell us which position in the birth order that your ancestor was in each generation. For example "third child, first son." Also list how many children were born to these parents.

3) Share your Birth Order work with us on your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a comment on Facebook, etc.

I am going to zigzag through my maternal ancestral lines.

1. Me - 1st child - Only daughter - 6 children

2. My Mother - 1st child - 1st daughter of Darrell Kenneth Skillman & Mary Ellen Harris (3 children)

3. Mary Ellen Harris (1916-1995) - Only child of Hillery T. Harris and Hazel Berry

4. Hillery T. Harris (1894-1959) - 4th child - 4th son of George Wesley Harris and Minda Ellen Wallace (5 children)

5. George Wesley Harris (1864-1949) - 2nd child - 1st son of Hillery Taylor Asbeth Harris and Mary Ann Frances Bess (10 children)

6. Mary Ann Frances Bess (1841-1900) - 1st child - 1st daughter of Peter Bess and Sarah H. Beam (7 children)

7. Sarah H. Beam (1823-1915) - 3rd child - 2nd daughter of David Beam and Mary Ann Wacaster (8 children)

8. David Beam (1797-1852) - 4th child - 3rd son of John Derrick Beam and Mary Hoyle (10 children)

9. John Derrick Beam (1765-1822) - 1st child - 1st son of John Teeter Beam and Rebecca Raynolds (15 children)

10. John Teeter Beam (1732-1807) - 1st child - 1st son of Michael Beam and Sarah Rudolph

11. Michael Beam (1702-1801) - Unknown

Now the explanation of my blue blood. Tradition has it that my 8th great grandmother, Sarah Rudolph, was a daughter of Rudolph, once Emperor of Germany as handed down by S. G. Goodrich, a German writer. Rudolph, once Emperor of Germany, had seven beautiful daughters who contracted alliances that proved to be happy ones. Sarah Rudolph was a member of the ruling family of Germany. Rudolph I of Hapsburg (1218-1291) Emperor of Germany, founder of the Imperial House of Austria, was the eldest son of Albert IV, Count of Hapsburg and Landgrave of Alsace. Elected Emperor in 1273. He defeated Ottokar, king of Bohemia and gave the latter's territories to his sons Albert and Rudolph. (see "Winston's Cumulative Loose-Leaf Encyclopedia" by Thomas E. Finegan, copyright 1926). The Rudolphs ruled Germany until 1830.

So that about says it all, no? I more than qualify for the Czarina seeing as how I have Emperor blood running through my veins. Thanks Seaver for the opportunity to clear this issue up.

02 September 2010

How I Overcame Writer's Block In Less Than 24 Hours

So. Yesterday I could not write my own name, much less a sentence or the 3 client reports that I need to have done by Saturday. I tried my usual block breakers. Mood music such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy and old Motown did nothing for me. I extended my ice cream breaks from 5 minutes to 20 minutes - Nada.

Then it occurred to me that what I needed was an instant gratification fix. Now I know what you're thinking and I am not "that" kind of girl. Not on a weekday anyway. No, I am talking about seeing the results of one's hard work immediately. A job worth doing, is worth doing well and I am ever so pleased with myself when I work hard and the end result is better than expected.

My youngest son recently moved out (again) and I have the room for my office (again). I decided to pull up the nasty carpet and low and behold, there is a beautiful wood floor beneath 5 layers of old varnish and shellac. Aha! this could be my project - refinish the wood floor in my office. I run down the hall and open the door and Gasped! OMG the walls are PURPLE!

I forgot that right after son moved out, I painted the room purple. My thought at the time was - surely son will never move back home again and live in a purple room.

[note: I have since been medicated and realize how silly that thought was. Hah, the room has to be purple AND paint the trim fuchsia pink in order for son not to move back home. ]

[note to self: need to buy fuchsia pink paint ASAP]

So I figure a couple of hours and I will have the floor done in no time at all! Hahahaha.

Heee, Haahaahaa. The photo above is the fruit of six hours of my labor. Instant gratification FAIL.

Not. Even. Close.
This little diversion will now set me back at least another month before I can move my office in.

Oh well, I mustn't worry my pretty little head about such things. I will think about it another day and with that, I closed the door to the purple room. And then POOF! Just like that - like magic - I am ready to write again.

Oh and an unexpected bonus? Completely by accident, I made this scientific discovery - Jasco brand wood floor stripper works better than Nair at removing the hair from your legs. Awesome.

28 August 2010

Hey Seaver! Here I Am.

Randy Seaver over at GeneaMusings is having his regular Saturday Night Genealogy Fun party. He really means to have fun this week. I don't want to spoil it so head on over and check it out yourself.

Seaver also asks where I've been lately. How nice to be missed. Not missed enough to call out the National Guard or put my face on milk cartons though. What's up with that?

I haven't blogged in some time and I feel just awful about it. The reason, I am thrilled to say, is that business has picked up and I have been working my tail off. I will share what a typical day has been like for me in a future post. The post I wrote about starting a new genealogy business was so well received so I have more on the way.

I also took a week (an entire 7 days) and went to Rio del Mar. For those who are not familiar with California, Rio del Mar is a little town on the northern California coast about 8 miles south of Santa Cruz and about 40 miles south of San Francisco.

I spent 7 days doing absolutely NOTHING! It was heaven.

I am also participating in what I feel is a very worthwhile and interesting project. LowCountry Africana has partnered with Footnote.com to index estate inventories from South Carolina for the years 1732 to 1872. This database is a free one at Footnote. Some of the inventories are so detailed it makes you feel like you are there. They have put out a call for volunteers to index just 10 pages. If enough people did 10 pages each, the project would be finished in no time at all. AND there is a reward! On top of feeling good for giving back to the genealogical community you will get this groovy badge to place on your blog.

And finally, here is someone who is truly showing me some love!

12 August 2010

The Graveyard Rabbit Doth Hath Charm

If I had one word to describe Terry Thornton it would have to be CHARMING. He was a true Southern Gentleman and Scholar. It was almost two years ago that Terry first approached me with the notion of The Graveyard Rabbit Association. I was flattered beyond belief that he thought me worthy to be a charter member.

In September 2008, one of the best blogging memes by far was created by Terry - "Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About ____". Genealogy bloggers were growing in numbers very quickly and Terry felt that if we all got to know one another a little better it would help solidify us as a community. We were to showcase 3 of you best posts: The Brightest, The Breeziest and the Most Beautiful. It was in writing
that post I felt that I was becoming a better writer. Not the best, but better and it finally gave me the confidence in myself to keep writing.

I will never forget Terry's own post to the meme. He opened it with an audio file. He sang (a Capella no less!) "Getting To Know You" from musical "The King and I." What I wouldn't give to hear it one more time.

The world is a better and more beautiful place because of Terry Thornton. I am thankful he touched my life.

06 August 2010

But I Feel So Much Older Than 2!


I am 2 years old! My children tell me I act like a 2 years old as well. Those mean boys are constantly telling me to "Grow Up."

Well I think that I have done alot of growing in the last 2 years. I have a network of absolutely the grooviest people who encourage and support me in everything I do. I am speaking of course of the group of humans called the "Geneabloggers."

You people have given me the cajones (that's Spanish for courage y'all) to accomplish anything I set my mind to do.

So celebrate with me - take a few minutes and just do something silly. Like next time you are in the frozen food section of the grocery store, do a little dance. Or get out that lawn mower, put on your bathing suit and rock on. Whatever you do, I want to hear about it. "Get Out of Hell Free" cards will be sent upon request - no questions asked.

I am a genealogist, a historical researcher and I do spend alot of time being serious. But I always reward myself with moments like this:

The Genie is in the house!
(that just cost me 5 "Get Out of Hell Free" cards.)

29 July 2010

I Just Indexed The President of the United States!

So here it is, 1:00 AM. I cannot sleep so I decide to put in some time at one of many volunteer jobs I do indexing and transcribing. This morning's choice was the San Francisco funeral home records over at sfgenealogy. The funeral homes we are doing this time are: D.I. Kenny (1906-1929), Ganter Felder Kenny (1895-1906), Ganter Maison Domergue (1916-1975) and N. Gray & Co. (1921-1932). I had done about 50 of them and decided to do just 1 more then call it a night.

Does the name: WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING ring a bell? It should, he was our 29th President. I may be a little more intimate with President Harding since
I wrote about him back in September 2009 for "Shades of the Departed Magazine."

I have to tell you, it felt a little creepy, yet a little exciting to see his name pop up like that. Especially in a funeral home record. Especially after I wrote an article about him. Especially since is was 1:00 AM and it was dark and quiet. Bwahahahaha!

So have you gotten around to volunteering for one of the many indexing projects that are going on? Even if all you can do is 1 entry per day, that is 1 more record than before.

11 July 2010

Free Slurpee Day!

That's right, I said FREE SLURPEE DAY! We have been overlooking a very important holiday that is celebrated every year - 7-Eleven Day. This is the day that 7-Eleven stores across the country have a gift for you - free Slurpees. From their website:

"Happy 7-Eleven Day! Real holiday or not, you're getting a present! Stop by a participating 7-Eleven store today for a free 7.11 oz Slurpee drink. It's the official way to celebrate 7-Eleven Day. It's easier than getting a costume, and way less weird."

So take a break from your research and get yourself to a 7-Eleven for a Slurpee. Me? You should know by now, I never miss an opportunity to celebrate. Even though a costume is not required I believe that I will don the genie outfit anyway. It will make the day all the more special to me.

05 July 2010

Perhaps I Can Join The Circus In My Next Life

A reader of this blog asked me recently if I would share some of my experiences I have had in starting a new business as a genealogist and historical researcher.

Hanging out my shingle and taking on clients. I have worked long and hard to be prepared for this transition in my life. However, no amount of time in the classroom or attending conferences, seminars and week-long institutes can teach you how to be your own boss until you experience it in real time. Self-discipline is torture for the procrastinator in me. Staying within the time limit set by the client is something I really need to work on if I ever want to see black in my accounting ledger.

When we do research for ourselves, we really do not think about time. How many times have you found yourself at your computer and all the sudden looked up at the clock and thought "Jeez Loueeze, is it really 3:00 AM?" We will write and rewrite our findings, print out records and documents and put them on the ever growing stack we already have to file away. Jot down a citation on a sticky note to enter into your database later.

When you are working on a client project, you simply do not have the time to be unorganized. I can tell you from experience that having to go back and locate a source for a page that you copied
(from a book that you neglected to copy the title page for or even make a notation of the title of the book) can eat up half of your billable hours by the time you finally locate the damn thing.

If you are researching for 2 or 3 clients at the same time in the same repository, it is so easy to get papers mixed up. I always have separate folders, each a different color. I have sticky notes in the same colors as the folders. This comes in handy when I am at the copy machine. This works well for me and is so simple.

Oh, and that research report advice seasoned pros give about "writing as you go?" The best advice EVER. When you are finished with the research portion of the project and start on the report, you will find that if you write as you go, the report is almost finished. The conclusion of a report has always been difficult for me to write for some reason. I used to think that a conclusion is simply the place where I got tired of thinking. If you write as you go, the conclusion is really a summary of your findings. And that part of the report you have already done by writing as you go.

Recently I had three different client projects going on at the same time. Two of those projects took me into geographic areas I had never done any actual research in. It ended up taking me longer to locate resources in unfamiliar territory than I had anticipated so I basically had to eat the "overtime."

One project involved several counties in southeast Texas - Coryell, Bell, Milam, Robertson, and Madison, then a little south to Fort Bend County and then east to Jefferson and Hardin Counties. Yipee Ki Yeah. The other project had me in Rapides Parish and Grant Parish Louisiana.

Eating that lost time really left a bad taste in my mouth so in case I ever find myself in those places again, as I went along, I created my own personal finding aids and a separate resource notebook for each state which I have divided by counties. It really is not very time consuming to do this and it has been one of the best presents I have ever given myself.

One last piece of advice I can give you is like the saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
When you have your office at home, you have to separate it as much as possible from the rest of the house. I have started setting the timer on my oven in the kitchen to go off when it is quitting time. When it buzzes, I make myself step away from the desk and leave the room, shutting the door firmly behind me. The "Genie" has left the building.

So there you have it. Some of the mind games I play on myself to get the job done. Some of you may think my ways are a little strange, but my motto is - "Whatever it takes to make it work"

I have just now realized that in my next life, I could join the circus with the new skills I am acquiring. I have become a quick study in the art of juggling. Dealing with clowns don't scare me anymore and I am finally learning to balance my professional life with my home life. Once I have the balancing act fine-tuned I will more than qualify for the "The Queen of the Wheel" act.

Awesome. I love happy endings.