20 April 2010

Conference Week - Why One Pair of Shoes Does NOT Work For Me

I am beside myself - actually I am frothing at the mouth, horrified by why I just read over at Dick Eastman's blog. Here I was, casually browsing through blogs and stopped at his because he promised to share some packing tips. What started out as very useful information, took a hard left turn and became ugly when he says:

"I also take only one pair of shoes; namely, the shoes that I am wearing. I then pack clothes to match those shoes. Carrying an extra pair of shoes consumes a lot of space in your suitcase! You only need one pair."

Heretic! Blasphemer! I only need ONE pair of shoes??????? AND I should match my clothing to that one pair????

Jayzuzz, Mary and Joseph - this is not humanly possible. How can anyone expect me to wear lime green sandals with my orange and magenta dress? Or my lemon yellow wedgies with the cute red capris and matching top?

Fashionista sacrifice? I think not.

Then, just when I thought mankind had lost all sense of reasoning - salvation arrives in the form of
The You Go Genealogy Girls blog. Girl #2 writes about Girl #1:

" . . . she packs an outfit to match each little purse, and shoes too."

What a relief! I feel so much better! I'm off to begin the practice packing. Tune in tomorrow for lessons on this lost art form.

ps. umm, perhaps maybe we shouldn't mention my little meltdown to Mr. Eastman. There are only so many places I can hide.

Conference Week - What Others Are Saying

There is so much going on in Salt Lake City during the NGS Conference, I couldn't begin to even tell you all about it. So lucky for you there are some great geneabloggers who can give you loads of different information:

The Ancestry Insider -
Conference Week on a Budget - The title of this post says it all.

Janet Hovorka -
The Chart Chick - Has a series of fantastic posts all about Salt Lake City.

Michelle Goodrum -
The Turning of Generations - Shares her packing list for the conference.

Renee Zamora -
Renee's Genealogy Blog - Information on activities for Family History Consultants.

Musings of MidwestAncesTree - Has a game plan for her trip to Salt Lake City.

A.C. Ivory -
Find My Ancestor - Tells us about the event "A Celebration of Family History."

Dick Eastman offers up a most interesting
podcast interview with David Rencher who is the Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch. David talks about the number of attendees expected, the exhibits, the presentations, the Thursday evening events, the keynote speeches, and especially about the GENTECH events.

Of course, for all the details, the
2010 NGS Conference has its very own blog. Here you can read all about the scheduled speakers, special events and registration information.

Knowledge is power. Educating yourself before you arrive will ensure a stress-free experience.

Ruth Himan over at Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me must have been reading my mind. As soon as I posted this, she posted hers. Please don't miss Ruth's take on conference-going.

18 April 2010

Special Event for the San Joaquin Genealogical Society

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society is hosting an afternoon with Daniel Horowitz. Daniel is the Genealogy and Translation Manager of MyHeritage.com, one of the largest sites in the social networking and genealogy field.

Daniel will be showing us how to effectively do online searches and how to use Genealogy Super Search Engines, an advanced tool for online genealogical research. It searches across more than 12 billion records to provide the most extensive genealogy search available on the Internet.

This event is open to the public and free of charge. Everyone who attends will receive "Family Tree Builder" a great genealogy software program.

Wednesday April 21st
1:00 PM
Cesar Chavez Central Library
Stewart Hazelton Room
605 North El Dorado Street, Stockton

17 April 2010

Follow Friday : Climbing My Family Tree

I know, I am late with this but I want to make sure you don't miss out on this wonderful blog. Jennifer who is the author of Climbing My Family Tree is an old classmate and friend of mine.
You'll feel right at home over at Jennifer's place, so give yourself a treat and tell her I sent you!

16 April 2010

Conference Week - How To Survive A Week Away From Home

Awhile back I promised to share some tips on how to make your trip to a conference more enjoyable. If this is your first time away from home for any length of time, first and foremost relax - people and pets will manage to get themselves fed and the house will still be standing when you get back. Well ok, 99% of the time it will happen. See you are feeling better already!

8 hours is a long time to be totally immersed in genealogy and new people. It's even harder to try and relax when the day is done in an unfamiliar place. Do yourself a favor and make sure you bring some "comfort items" along with you. For me it is the three C's - coffee, cigarettes and cookies. Ooohh and bubble bath stuff. And my bunny slippers and toe nail polish. Oooohh and if it's been a really long day a shot of tequila certainly doesn't hurt, and . . . well you get the idea.

You can easily fit your comfort items in your suitcase when you toss out the things you won't need. Like a hairdryer. Most places you stay at provide one in your room. You can leave the ironing boards and irons at home as well as your coffee pot and TV because these are usually provided as well. I didn't know about this stuff the first time I left home, um, I mean stayed at a place other than my home for longer than a day.

Well I know already many of you are rushing to re-pack your suitcases after reading this so I won't keep you. Back again soon with more help hints to make your trip the best ever!

11 April 2010

How I Spent My Sunday Evening And So Should You!

Here it is Sunday evening and I have many projects that I need to finish. So what am I doing? I have spent the last four hours looking for fun things to do instead of working. You know what they say - "All work and no play makes me very cranky" - or something like that.

As you will see, it really doesn't take much to entertain me. Some of the sites I visited could actually be put to use in a genealogical way. Um, well I am sure that one could find a use if one thought very hard about it.

Anyhoo, over at a place called
Anymaking, you can upload any photo - FOR FREE - and spend a good hour or two playing with all their tools. I turned myself into a jigsaw puzzle.

Other fun effects are: Wanted posters, flames, sepia, it'll even put fur on a photo you upload. As if this wasn't enough, Anymaking also has an easy online photo editing gadget (also FREE) that let's you do all kinds of things with photos.

Image Chef is a place (also a FREE site) one can get lost in for days. there is soooo many thing you can play with here. There is a gadget called "sketch pad" that let's you use photos, symbols and text to make a kind of scrapbook page. Another fun thing is to use one of over 500 templates and add your own text to it. Like this:

And yet another tool that let's you upload any photo and insert it into one of hundreds of templates like this:

If all those don't float your boat, then how about making some money? There is a site called Personalized Money (very clever, no?) which lets you upload a photo and just like magic, you have a cash asset all your own:

They have currency from all over the world in different denominations. The other feature they offer is to put your face on a playing card. Both are Free!
And last but not least, there is a FREE software program that let's you have all kinds of fun with photos. MAGIX FunPix Maker let you stretch noses, make your dog smile or in their words:

"MAGIX FunPix Maker lets you tug on the ears and noses of crabby colleagues, melt away a friend’s beer belly, or give your boss goggle eyes"

Here are a couple of examples:

So go have some fun and show us what you come up with!

08 April 2010

Ancestor Approved - A Stamp of Recognition

Well here I am, at the end of the Conga Line once again. It seems like some days I'll never get caught up.

I wanted to thank the sharp dressed gentleman from
Walking the Berkshires - Tim Abbott and three Ladies : Lisa Swanson Ellam - The Faces Of My Family , IrishEyes - 'On a flesh and bone foundation': An Irish History and Dee Akard Welborn - Funeral Cards & Genealogy who all passed this wonderfully named award on to me.

The Ancestor Approved Award asks that the recipient list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, intrigued, or enlightened you and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.

I am passing the award on to these 10 blogs, but will have to come back and do the essay portion later tonight.

Cathy H Paris -
Is Meets Was
Stephanie Lincecum -
Lincecum Lineage
Gale Wall -
Digital Cemetery Walk
Brett Payne -
Photo Sleuth
Amy Coffin -
Steve Danko -
Steve's Genealogy Blog
Janet Hovorka -
The Chart Chick
Brenda -
Journey to the Past
Alex -
Winging It
Michelle Lefebvre -
Girl of the Random Leaf

07 April 2010

Red Light District?

Well maybe not an entire district, just a hotel. The one I will be staying at when I go to the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City in a few weeks. I feel it is so appropriate that I am staying at the only place lit up in red neon lights at night.

"Where are you bunking up at Sheri?" "Oh me? Why I am at the one that leaves a light on. Alot of lights. Neon Red to be exact. A huge red beacon calling out - Come to the dark side Luke. All the cool kids do it."

I am so looking forward to all the trouble I can get the fun my roommate, Donna Pointkouski, and me will have while we are there. During the day, we are of course just your average mild mannered Catholic school girl types. After 5:00 PM though . . .

In the next few weeks, I will be sharing some tips you may find useful when attending a conference, how to make traveling a little easier, etc. but most of all, how to have FUN and still get an education.

A Family Member Found

Over the last 10 years, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have posted to genealogical message boards and mailing lists. Very rarely has anyone responded to my messages or queries.

For a few family lines, I never really expected to get a response. For example : Everyone out there who is a BORGSTADTER (my grandmother's line) Come on people, raise your hand if you are a BORGSTADTER! OK then, how about BEFORT (my father's family)? HOBROCK? THRON? ERK? See what I mean?

So imagine me getting an email from a descendant of my Grandad Befort's oldest sister who not only sends greetings, but 4 pages of genealogical information and (BE STILL MY HEART) a photo of my great grandmother Befort!

Meet Elizabeth Ernst Befort my great grandmother. Elizabeth, the daughter of Johan Adam Ernst and Anna Marie Kemper, was born in Obermonjou, Samara, which is located in the Volga River Valley in Russia. She married John Befort in Munjor, Ellis County, Kansas at St. Francis Catholic Church in 1891.

Elizabeth and John had 10 children. The eldest is Angela Befort whose granddaughter sent me the information and photos. My grandfather Edmund Befort is 21 years younger than his sister.

I was also sent this photo of the 2 eldest Befort girls :

This was taken in 1918. The girl on the right is Angela Befort (born 1892) and on the left, Susan Befort (born 1899).

This is my grandfather Edmund Befort. Having a face to go with your ancestors name is so incredibly awesome. When you spend years researching, you start to feel as if you know these people. When I finally do get a photo of an ancestor very rarely am I surprised by their looks - I already had a picture in my head of what I envisioned them to look like and haven't been too far off the mark yet.

05 April 2010

The Best Monday Ever ! Part Dos (That's Spanish for two ya'll))

Wow. All I can say is Wow. Meeting up with Becky and Craig has been the highlight of my year.

I was so excited to meet Becky, I was outside my house waiting for her to drive up. When I saw her vehicle drive up, I opened up the car door and hopped inside and gave her a big hug. The connection with her was immediate. I don't think we stopped talking until she dropped me back at home later in the day! Yack, Yack Yackety Yack! My mouth hurts from talking and laughing so much today.

I had met Craig at Jamboree last summer but today got some quality time. I know I already told you how simply charming this man is but he is also a bone fide Brain-ee-ack. Today though, all formalities were out the window.

The three of us - it was like we had known each other for years, finishing each others sentences I think we discussed every topic known to mankind.

After vowing to meet again at Jamboree this summer, we headed to the parking lot to rumble with the local gang take photos.

Craig and I posed for Becky first with our "seriously, we mean business" faces

Then we had a giggle fit

Becky and Craig get it right the first time

Craig, what the hell are you doing?

OK Funny Guy, cut it out!

Ah here's the one we wanted!

04 April 2010

The Best Monday Ever! Part Uno

Mondays are known to be synonymous with the likes of Bad Hair Days. But not this Monday. I feel like my Fairy Godmother has rocked my wish list!

Yes, it is unseasonably cold and rainy today but I am sharing the day with a couple of people who I admire, respect and am in such awe of all their accomplishments.

Becky Wiseman, author of
Kinexxions, will be here shortly to pick me up and then we are taking a short drive North to Sacramento to have lunch with the one of the most charming men I know - Craig Manson. Craig is the author of GeneaBlogie as well as a fellow columnist for Shades - The Magazine.

Becky is the Geneablogger from Indiana who has been traveling all over the United States and sharing her trip with us through her stunning photography which she posts regularly on her blog.

Craig is (amongst a whole lot of other things) a Distinguished Professor and Lecturer in Law at the Capital Center for Public Law and Policy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Don't let the fancy title and words fool you, stuffy this man is NOT!

When I return, I promise photos and details of the day.

03 April 2010

Comments Left On Germans From Russia

Awhile back I wrote a little article about my German-Russian heritage. I was pleasantly surprised at the interest in Germans from Russia and even more amazed that a few of the people who left comments were actually from Munjor, Kansas!

I want to discuss this topic further and follow up with those who left comments but I have no way to reach them. Please contact me either through this blog or email - sherifenley@gmail.com

Joanne Gartner - left a comment that she actually grew up in Munjor, Kansas and said that her dad had loads of stuff on the town and of genealogical interest and would LOVE TO SHARE. Joanne - don't leave me drooling and twisting in the wind!

YoungSmith - also left a comment that she was from Munjor . I mean what are the odds - the population is only about 10 people. Youngsmith - come back and talk to me!

Joanna from San Francisco - her people are Lutherans but are from the Saratov region.

Don't make me have to get all "Mother Superior" on you people!

02 April 2010

Well No Wonder I Couldn't Find It !

I can remember clearly my grandmother telling me (on more than one occasion) that her wedding anniversary was the same day as her parents - November 4th.

When I requested a marriage certificate from the State of Kansas for my grandparents, I was told "Sorry but it didn't happen in this state on that date."

Well today look what I found hiding between the pages of an old bible that no one in the family claimed as belonging to them:

Back dating their marriage to August puts my mother's birth at just about the nine month mark. Good thing someone had an "In" with the press. It's easier to swallow a "Secret Marriage" story than having to explain a 9 pound baby who was 3 months premature!