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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RootsTech is coming soon!

RootsTech will be here before you know it!

And trust me, you don't want a reason not to go.

Two years ago, Julie Cahill Tarr hosted a RootsTech giveaway, and it was awarded to ME!  It was my first year to go, and I walked away vowing to be an even better genealogist.

Just drop me a line and let me know why you would like to know, and what you expect to take away from attending such an event.

The winner will be announced on February 1.

Come on!  You know you want it.

OGS - A Treasure Trove Close to Home

I live real close to the headquarters of the Ohio Genealogical Society.  Real close.
Ohio Genealogical Society
Taken Jun 2014

So today, I ventured out to finish up some client work at the library.  The first place I went was into a back room where Al and Julia Hoffman are serving a Family History Mission.  They are scanning all of the obituaries that are in card catalogs.  The first estimation was at 500,000.  But, that estimate was not taking into account that many are on both sides of the index card.

As of today, they have done over 570,000.  There are 51 boxes for the letter "S", and they are on box 48.  When that is complete, they will do some from Crawford County, and Ohio obituaries from Florida.
Al and Julia Hoffman
FamilySearch Missionaries

After finding what I came looking for, I chatted with the staff for awhile.  Then, just before leaving, I noticed some activity going on in one of the conference rooms.  Newspapers were spread out everywhere.

Old, old newspapers.  Just look at some of the things I got to see today!
A great little map showing how our county was formed from so many others.

 A man lost his Pocket Book in 1848.

 Section 16 was set aside for schools in each township.  However no one paid the taxes on this land in 1848, so it was being sold.

 I really liked this one.  It's a land indenture from 1823.  The village of Perrysville is still a village 192 years later.
 At the bottom of the land indenture, it states that Mary and Nancy, wives of the two involved in the transaction, were "examined separately and apart from their said husbands".
A petition for divorce, based on "adultery and more than three years wilful absence".

I love to go to different facilities to do research.  But sometimes, we can find a treasure trove right in our own neck of the woods.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's almost here! You could attend RootsTech for free!

Yes, you certainly could!

If you have even once hesitated about attending, think again.  During this next week, let me know what you think you can learn at RootsTech.  Then, you can do any of the following:
1.  Send me an email at:,
2.  Contact me on Facebook:
3.  Get the word to me somehow.

If you have already paid for a three-day registration, directions will be given for reimbursement.

Remember, this is a wonderful opportunity to advance your genealogy research skills.  Go to this link: Why attend RootsTech?

I will announce the winner on February 1.  So, be thinking about what you would like to concentrate on in your learning experience at RootsTech.

And, remember!!!  It's a three-day pass!!

The last gift

Son Peter passed away just over five years ago.

When Mr. Kerry and son Jordan drove to retrieve his belongings shortly after his death, they remained in our basement for awhile.  There were two suitcases, and three or four plastic see-through tubs.

Try as I might, I could not go through them.  Each time I would open up one of the suitcases, his "scent" would come wafting out.  I would close the lid and make a note to try another day.

Mr. Kerry has slowly been going through some of the tubs.  There were miscellaneous papers which probably didn't have much meaning.  Nevertheless, he still went through them.

Once, he asked me if I felt I could look through some, too.  I did.  One of the things that slid out into my lap was a gift card for International Diamonds in the amount of $50.  Since it had been so long, I didn't even know if it was still valid.  I looked the company up online, and it directed me to Kay Jewelers.

This past week, sister Betty and I were shopping at a mall near her home when I spotted Kay Jewelers.  I wandered in, explained my story, and had them check the card.  Sure enough, there was the correct amount showing on the card.  I asked what they had in the store that could help me remember him for about that amount.

I had just received a beautiful bracelet from friend Lucie Consentino's daughter with a family tree on it.  We went to the bead showcase, and low and behold, I saw the perfect item.

It was a diamond letter "P".  It's his initial...and mine.

I won't receive anything else from this son, but I now have an everlasting memory that will bring his memory to me each time I wear it.

Love you, dear Peter...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Fresh New Year For Research

I know that the year 2014 was not a good year for many of us.  But, there were some high points in all of our lives, if we choose to find them.

It's a new year for researching family members, I am going to continue to use the wonderful web sites that are available to us to research from home.  Some of my favorites include:

I can't say enough about FamilySearch.  I know that there have been many frustrations expressed as people muddle through FamilyTree, but hopefully the administrators are listening.

Aside from that, the records that have digitized and indexed have saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in travel and cost of documents.


Ancestry has also been a wonderful resource for my research.  I have used the Family Trees, but am still more inclined to use the records that I am able to access.

I love the shaking green leaves!  They have alerted me to sources that give me the opportunity to accept or reject them.

I discovered USGenWeb many years ago, and have actively used it ever since.  It's one of the top sites I recommend in my classes.

God bless the coordinators that are diligently uploading information to the county and state pages.  I have discovered ancestors I never knew about in the hills of eastern Kentucky.

I just live a few minutes from the Ohio Genealogical Society headquarters!  They are one of the largest state genealogy societies in the United States.  As a member, I am able to access their databases from home.  And, when I walk into their library, I am always astounded at the state-of-the-art facilities.

Their annual conference is a "must-do" for anyone researching in Ohio and many of the surrounding states.  Even if you don't have Ohio ancestors, there are classes in methodology, technology, and ethnicity that will hold anyone's interest.  They bring in some of the best of the best as speakers.

This is my absolute favorite web site!  I use it nearly every day, and have added hundreds of grave sites to my database, as well as contributed dozens more.  I have looked for name, or simply browsed through cemeteries and their listings.

I haven't even begun to list all of the sites I use from home every day.  These are the ones I frequent the most. These are the ones that keep me up into the wee hours of night.  These are the ones that have led me to records I may never have known about, or even thought of.

For seasoned genealogists, there may be a sigh as you read through these.  But, my job is inspiring those that are of any age, any degree of research, and of any means.

And, I take that job seriously.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Family Dopplegangers

Sometimes family resemblances are just too strong not to notice.

Harmony licking sap from sugar cane

Angel munching a delicious apple


His grandfather, Kerry

Peter, our son
His grandfather, Orson

And, last but not least...
Jordan, our son

And me, Peggy!

When I hung up my picture in the cherry tree, son Jordan walked by and asked when he was ever in a cherry tree!

A Perfect Combination

Right in the middle of winter, when we all have the dreary doldrums, a dazzling marriage of two conferences is taking place.

We can't help but win!

The Federation of Genealogical Societies and RootsTech have combined forces to hold the largest conference yet.  And, I will be there!

I am already prepared to both attend this conference, and be one of the speakers.  The FGS conferences have always been worthwhile to attend, and this one will be no different.  My attendance at a previous RootsTech conference left me longing to increase my technology skills even more.

I can't wait!  Though there will be thousands of attendees, I expect no problem in finding fellow bloggers, Facebook friends, and genealogy colleagues.  We just always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Having been to the Salt Palace for a previous RootsTech conference, I know:

  •  This is a large venue that will require the most comfortable shoes I own.  We are staying just a stone's throw away at the Marriot, and it doesn't sound far.  BUT, this is Salt Lake City, and the streets are wide and the blocks are long.  Brigham Young said the streets must be designed to be able to turn a wagon pulled by four horses around.  I only have two legs, so I must accomodate.
  •  I must bring the right glasses.  All of them.  I will need my trifocals, my readers, and sunglasses. Bright sun on snow reflects into my eyes, rendering me useless.
  • I must learn to condense.  A cross-body bag forces me to weed out what I don't need to lug around.  My hands are free to look over products in the Exhibit Hall.  My arms will be free for plenty of hugging.
  • I look forward to all of the address labels that will be arriving for the holidays.  They are great for filling in entry slips in the Exhibit Hall.
  • Business cards are a must!  It's even better when you remember to bring them.
  • I get hot.  I get cold.  Therefore, I love clothing that doesn't wrinkle.  I have a light jacket I just bought that can easily be wadded up and put into that cross-body bag.
  • I take pictures.  I use a camera, a real one.  I just don't like to fill up my phone.
  • My Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 goes with me, too.  I love being able to take notes on Evernote.  That is just one of the most wonderful techy-things ever!  
  • The Family History Library is across the street!!!!!!
I love attending conferences.  And, I love the networking and the camaraderie that happens when meeting friends that I have only known "virtually".  But, even more important to me, I am there to learn.

Yes, I am there to speak.  But, I am also there to learn.  I have been involved in family history all of my life.  I have spoken to thousands of people in hundreds of venues.

But, I need to learn.

Prepare to attend this combined conference, either in person or through live-streaming.  You will learn things that you didn't know that you didn't know.

That, I know.