30 September 2011

In Which She Is Published For The Very First Time

It's been a red letter day for me here at Camp Fenley.  This morning I met a fellow geneablogger for coffee here in Stockton.  Jacqi Stevens, who is the author of A Family Tapestry, lives right here in Stockton.  How could that be?  A geneablogger living here right under my nose and I didn't catch the scent?  Well she had been flying under the radar, but now that we have met she will be  more visible.  Got her to join the San Joaquin Genealogical Society and have her hooked to become a member of DAR.  When we met at the coffee shop it was the same old story - we immediately hugged each other - felt like we'd been BFF's since forever.  We yacked and yacked and before we knew it 3 1/2 hours had passed!

As if that wasn't enough good vibes for one day, when I got home I found that my article I wrote about my SIL's family has been published!  My very first article to appear in a print magazine!  I can't stop dancing around and  whoo-hooting long enough to even tell my husband what I am so excited about.  He just shook his head and said he was going fishing and he would see me tomorrow.  He sees this kind of behaviour from me all the time  so nothing fazes him anymore.

My article entitled "David Nathan Walter:  Jewish Pioneer of San Francisco"  has been published in The California Genealogical Society's magazine "The Nugget."  Oh there are other articles in this edition also.  Amy Coffin has the cover story about RootsTech 2012.  You can read about that and others by heading over to the California Genealogical Society Blog.  Tell them the Whoo-Hooter sent you!

27 September 2011

My First Article Over At The Catholic Gene

By now I am sure that everyone has heard about the new collaborative blog called THE CATHOLIC GENE.  
From the "About Us" page of our blog:

The Catholic Gene was founded by a diverse group of friends who share two common things: a love for both genealogical research and the Roman Catholic faith.  Most of the authors were “born Catholic” and  some came to the faith later in life.  Some aren’t actually Catholic but appreciate the faith as much as the rest of us.  We hope that this blog will provide readers with useful information about the Catholic faith and genealogy.
The Catholic Gene’s mission is to present various aspects of the faith of our fathers…and mothers.  But we’re genealogists at heart, so we’ll present the faith as seen through the eyes of a family historian.  Whether it’s details about ecclesiastical archives,  our ancestors’ churches, vintage photographs, personal reflections, or lives of the saints in genealogical records, The Catholic Gene will offer something for everyone.

You may now  be excused to click on over and read my awesome tribute to St. Vincent de Paul

20 September 2011

It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing

Marian Pierre Louis over at Marian's Roots and Rambles brought up a topic that has been on my mind for a very long time  in her post "And So She Risks Everything By Being Completely Honest."

Marian was schmoozing with people in the audience before she gave a presentation on Deeds and Probates recently.  As she is working her way around the room greeting the people who had come to the  presentation, she came upon a couple of recent graduates of the Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program who questioned her qualifications to give the presentation.

Questioned her ability and knowledge BEFORE she even had a chance to give the presentation!

Well I have a couple of thoughts about this.  But first I want to make very clear that I think the B.U. program is a top notch course that was developed and is taught by some of the very best in the field of genealogical and historical research. Earning the certificate takes work and dedication.

However, that certificate doesn't give them the authority to become the Qualification Police. Kudos to those who take the course and earn the certificate.  But that is only one course. 

 I wonder how many times those recent grads have been to IGHR, SLIG or NIGR?  Have they completed the NGS Home Study Course? Have they earned a BA from BYU or post-nomials from the completion of courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies?  And while we are on the subject of post-nomials have they become a certified genealogist by BCG or an accredited genealogist from ICAPGEN?

On the other hand, there are a few genealogists out there who are just as (if not more than) qualified but their knowledge comes from many years of "on the job" experience.  The kind you don't get from books or classrooms or doing research on the internet.

Marian is a much sought after speaker because she knows her stuff.  Those recent grads with the bad manners have a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease   I mean they obviously did not stop to think about who was sitting in the audience and who had been contracted to give the presentation before they opened their mouths.

Degrees and credentials don't mean a thing if you 

don't have the experience to back it up. 

18 September 2011

You Don't Want To Miss These Northern California Genealogical Events

My calendar for the next couple of months is full of genealogical events happening all over Northern California.  October is Family History Month and here's a few places you can go celebrate:


Saturday  October 15th, 2011
8:30 am  to  4:00 pm
California State Archives
1020  O  Street, Sacramento
Visit the FHD blog HERE


October 7th and 8th
San Mateo County Event Center

Over 60 Classes and Workshops
Free Exhibit Hall
Door Prizes and Drawings

Early Bird Special of 50% off registration
offer good until September 25th
Register online HERE


Saturday September 24, 2011

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonianmagazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.

To receive your free Museum Day ticket for 2 people click HERE


Saturday October 1, 2011
11:00 am  to  4:00 pm

Start off at any of the host locations - the California State Archives (1020 O Street), California State Library (900 N Street), Center for Sacramento History(551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.), or Sacramento Public Library (828 I Street), and "crawl" to the others using the map provided in your Archives Crawl passport. At each location, you can view archival collections on display and take behind-the-scenes tours. Representatives from other archives and special collections libraries will be on hand to discuss their archival collections - historic photographs, rare books, historic artifacts - and answer your questions about how to connect with local history resources. Those who have their passports stamped by at least three of the host locations will receive a set of limited-edition collectible coasters with images from Sacramento's former Buffalo Brewing Company.  Visit the official website HERE


Saturday November 5, 2011

Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Embarcadero

To register click HERE

11 September 2011

7 Years of Blogging - Give That Man A Cigar!


For anyone who hasn't met Craig Manson, he has got to be the most interesting, smartest, talented, engaging . .   oh! and cute,  he's really kinda cute.  For anyone who hasn't read Craig's  Geneablogie I am here to tell you that you are missing some of the most exceptionally well written articles in the geneablogging world.

Recently Craig wrote a three part series on the Reliability of Oral Histories - The Forensic Approach to Evaluation.  Start with reading part one HERE

One of my favorites is Grandma For Sale: A Cautionary Tale and the follow up post  How To Sell Your Grandmother Guilt-Free because he use me and my predicament as the example.  Another post dealing with copyright issues and photographs can be found HERE

Craig and I with our serious faces

Craig and I not able to keep serious faces

Craig's life in general gives him a unique and thought-provoking dish to bring to the genea-table.  A graduate of the U.S. Airforce Academy and a Colonel in the Air National Guard, he served as a Superior Court Judge, he is an expert in law and public policy and was an adjunct professor for many years at one of the top law schools in California.

In 2001, Craig was nominated by President Bush and unanimously confirmed in January 2002 by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks making him the first African-American to serve in that position.

Craig is an "Expert Author" over at Archives.com and The Catholic News Agency recently had an article about Craig and an article he wrote about early (1606) Black Catholicism.

I am such a lucky girl to have a friend like Craig Manson and honored that he "friends" me back.

I Must Be Smarter Than A 5th Grader!

Or at least I should be.  I decided to have a look at the newest genealogy meme that is being passed around.  It's called "99 Genealogy Things."  Good thing I had a look because it isn't new at all!  Back in 2009, Becky Wiseman, the Traveling Genie and author of Kinexxions, came up with this meme as sort of a self-evaluator of one's genealogical experience.

Well, I bent the rules a little - because I am a renegade ninja - and supplemented the original meme. You're welcome.  The new title is now "103 Genealogy Things."  The writing in Large Magenta indicates things I have done, the writing in Blue Italics are things I haven't done, but really, really want to and the rest are things I don't give a crap about.

99 103 Genealogy Things  

1. Belong to a genealogical society
2. Joined a group on Genealogy Wise.
3. Transcribed records.
4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site
5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
6. Joined Facebook.
7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
9. Attended a genealogy conference.
10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society/local library’s family history group.
12. Joined the National Genealogical Society.
13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
16. Talked to dead ancestors.
17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
19. Cold called a distant relative.
20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
22. Googled my name (and those of ancestors)
23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
29. Responded to messages on a message board.
30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
32. Created family history gift items.
33. Performed a record lookup.
34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
36. Found a disturbing family secret.
37. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
38. Think genealogy is a passion and/or obsession not a hobby.
39. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person.
40. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
41. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
42. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
43. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
44. Disproved a family myth through research.
45. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
46. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
47. Translated a record from a foreign language.
48. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
49. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
50. Used microfiche.
51. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
52. Used Google+ for genealogy.
53. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
54. Taught a class in genealogy.
55. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
56. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
57. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
58. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
59. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
60. Have found many relevant and unexpected articles on internet to “put flesh on the bones”.
61. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
62. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
63. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
64. Have an ancestor who came to America as an indentured servant.
65. Have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Civil War.
66. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
67. Can “read” a church record in Latin.
68. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name, just enough to be confusing.
69. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
70. Created a family website.
71. Have a genealogy blog.
72. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
73. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
74. Done genealogy research at a court house.
75. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library
76. Found an ancestor in an online newspaper archive.
77. Have visited a NARA branch.
78. Have an ancestor who served in WWI or WWII.
79. Use maps in my genealogy research.
80. Have a blacksheep ancestor.
81. Found a bigamist amongst my ancestors.
82. Attended a genealogical institute.
83. Taken online genealogy (and local history) courses.
84. Consistently (document) and cite my sources.
85. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors.
86. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
87. Have an ancestor who was married four times.
88. Made a rubbing of an ancestor’s gravestone.
89. Followed genealogists on Twitter.
90. Published a family history book.
91. Offended a family member with my research.
92. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
93. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
94. Submitted articles for FamilySearch Wiki.
95. Organized a family reunion.
96. Converted someone new to the love of all things genealogy.
97. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
98. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
99. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
100. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
101. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
102. Visited the Library of Congress.
103. Belong to a lineage society

09 September 2011

I Knew Him When . . .

My friend Johan Mathiesen, who is the author of a cemetery blog called  Blogging A Dead Horse, is now the author of a book!  A description of the book from the Publisher:

"MAD AS THE MIST AND SNOW,"   Oregon’s cemeteries tell the stories of pioneers, Native Americans, boom towns, and ghost towns. And many of these stories have long gone unheard.

Until now.
Mad as the Mist and Snow is a traveler’s guide to Oregon's most celebrated and unique cemeteries. Organized into 18 regions and including detailed driving directions, this book profiles more than 200 cemeteries, including such legendary cemeteries as Lone Fir, Jacksonville, and Willamette National.
Author Johan Mathiesen has traveled to each and every one of these cemeteries and provides detailed profiles that highlight unique historical events, famous residents, and the evolution of headstone designs. Mathiesen also highlights which cemeteries around the state should be on every traveler's and historian’s “must visit” list — and why.

To view Johan's exceptional  photo collection of cemeteries and the most unusual headstones I've ever seen, visit his photo site on Flickr:  Dead Man Talking.

06 September 2011

San Francisco Treats!

Today I stumbled upon a great find.  Over at Internet Archive I found a huge collection that has been contributed by the San Francisco Public Library.  Everything can be viewed online or  you can download them as a PDF file all for FREE!

Application for Marriage Licenses in San Francisco for 12 December 1912 to June 1915

12 December 1912 to 14 February 1913

14 February 1913 to 24 June 1913

24 June 1913 to 15 December 1913

14 December 1913 to 15 June 1914

14 June 1914 to 14 January 1915

April 1915 to June 1915

Other Vital Records I found of particular interest to the San Francisco researcher:

Re-recorded Marriages 1860 - 1973 in the same book as Index to Marriage Certificates July 1904 - August 1905 and September 1905 - 17 April 1906

San Francisco Death Certificates 1 July 1904 to 1 December 1904
#1 to #338
#339 to #695
#696 to #1018
#1019 to #1325
#1326 to #1677
#1678 to #2030
#2031 to #2300
#2601 to #2900
#3201 to #3500

Vital Records from the Trinity Episcopal Church in San Francisco - Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1849 to 1 July 1906

Vital Records from the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin for the years 1856, 1857 and 1861

Records from Tombstones in Laurel Hill Cemetery 1853 to 1937 -  These records were complied by Five San Francisco Chapter National Society Daughter of the American Revolution.  There is a note inside the book on the title page "Where there are burials after 1900 (except for 1906, on and immediate following the earthquake) these are ashes, cremated remains"

The Great Register of Voters for San Francisco County - 1866   The Great Registers are especially valuable if you are looking for a naturalization date and place. Some years you will even find a physical description of the voter.

For those researching property in San Francisco, block books are a fantastic resource.  City block books are similar to county plat books, both give the names of the owners.  There are more San Francisco block books besides the ones I mention below.  Just do a search on "San Francisco Block Book."

The Handy Block Book of San Francisco showing size of lots and blocks and names of property owners in 1894

The San Francisco Block Book for the years 1901 and 1907

Merys Block Book  of San Francisco 1909 - maps were made from the block books of the City and County Assessor of San Francisco  

If you were wondering how they got to San Francisco and what their trip may have been like then take at look at 

The Pacific Tourist 1881illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean; containing full descriptions of railroad routes across the continent ... a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads

You will also find many of the following (too many for me to list here separately) at the Internet Archive and all are available to read online or download as a PDF file and all are FREE:

Social registers and society blue books and club rosters 
Local family histories
San Francisco and other bay area city, county and business directories
Oral histories of local residents in the San Francisco bay area

04 September 2011

The 109th Edition of the COG is Published

The 109th edition Carnival Of Genealogy has been published over at the new blog THE CATHOLIC GENE.

This month 24 bloggers submitted posts about where their ancestors worshipped.    Today is Sunday so if you didn't make it to church, you should be able to redeem yourself by clicking on over and giving it a read!

SNGF - Spin the Ancestor Roulette Wheel

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Seaver's place  always has fun tasks to complete.  Joining in the fun and completing the tasks serves another purpose for me.  It shows me where in my research that I need more work.

This week's task:

1) How old is your great-grandfather now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
 2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel (ancestor name list). Who is that person?
 3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

I have 4 great grandfathers, so I closed my eyes and pointed to one on my chart and the winner is:  Hillery T. Harris.  Born in 1894, he would be 117 years old today.  Divide that by 4 and the Roulette Spins to #29 who is one of my favorite ancestors

My 2nd great grandmother


Three Facts about Minda Ellen Wallace :  

(1)  Minda was born 20 November 1861 in Yadkin County, North Carolina, married George Wesley Harris 10 April 1883 in Poweshiek County, Iowa and died 14 March 1942 in Allen County, Kansas     

(2) Minda's brother Micager Cilvester Wallace was granted a patent for a butter churn - Patent No.  253,961  dated 21 February 1882.     

Minda & Family 1 month before death in 1942.  From L-R: daughter Elizabeth, son, John, Minda, husband George, son Fletcher, son Hillery

(3)  Three of her favorite songs were sung at her funeral - "In the Garden", "Shall We Gather at the River?" and "Will the Circle be Unbroken?" I get warm fuzzies every time I read these sentences from her obituary:  "She had a loving nature and to know her was to love her.  She was a devoted wife and a true and kindly mother who loved her children dearly."

03 September 2011

Pssst. Hey You - Yeah You!

 Last week the media world went a little crazy when Lady Gaga's First Communion photos were unleashed on the public.  Well, I know where you can find the mother lode of some well know bloggers' First Communion photos.

Bloggers like Jasia from the Creative Gene, Lisa Alzo from The Accidental Genealogist, Steve Danko from Steve's Genealogy Blog, Donna Pointkouski from What's Past is Prologue, Lisa/Smallest Leaf  from 100 Years in America and of course Me!

And if you really want to get down, there are even a couple of wedding photos of very young Craig Manson from Geneablogie and Denise Levenick from The Family Curator.

What in the world would bring this "host" (pun intended and yes I did blatantly lift it from Jasia ) of bloggers together?  Why a new blog of course!  Oh, that and the fact that they are all Catholic which brings me to the point of this post - Announcing a new blog.

The brainchild of Donna Pointkouski, THE CATHOLIC GENE is a new blog that will explore Catholic genealogy from the different viewpoints of all the authors. That's just a fancy way of saying that I haven't a clue as to what it's all about but with bloggers like we've got on the show, I know that you won't want to miss a single post!

02 September 2011

Fabulous Friday Favorites

Of all the memes out there, this is the one I really need to make more of an effort to participate in.  How very selfish of me not to share my cache of must-read blogs with you.  So in an effort to redeem myself, here is what caught my attention this week:

Brett Payne (she sighs while batting her eyelashes), better known by his blog PHOTO-SLEUTH,  is back after taking a break from blogging.  His post "Which sibling is it?" is a must read.  I am so in awe of his exceptional  knowledge of Victorian photographers and the equipment they used.   His methods of dating old photographs blows me away sometimes.  I am truly impressed that he knows so much about women's fashion for that time period, in particular the hats!

My B.F.F. Brenda Dougall Merriman made me love her all over again with her post "The Great Big Fat World Tree."  Pay particular attention to the 6th paragraph, last sentence and I know she will win your heart as well!

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend is one for the ladies.  It's unknown author describes the blog as "Where early photography meets extreme hotness."  Need I say more?  I am absolutely green with envy that I didn't come up with this idea myself.

The photo below is for my son who bet me $20 that I couldn't prove I was part Vulcan.  Hah!  Pony up cowboy.  You would think my children would know by now not to ever doubt my word!