Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Resolutions Reviewed

 2010 was a pretty good genealogy year for me. I didn't complete all my goals, but I was able to do somethings I never imagined. Let's see how well I did on my written 2010 resolutions:

  • Finish fixing source citations in database and organize digital files (just my grandma's line to go, too bad it's half the database). Totally got this done. Database is all sourced (except for a few things that got skipped) and digital files are all organized.
  • Finally order some film from FHL. I ordered around 6 films from FHL this year. I have found some great information about my ancestors and most importantly, obtained original sources.
  • Gather more original sources and find more ancestors and their stories. Lots more original sources were added to my tree and I found tons of more ancestors. My favorite newly found ancestors are the parents of my brick wall ancestor, George E. Hillis. Finding his family gave me 5 generations in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.
  • Visit a cemetery or local library for information on my ancestors. Thanks to my dad not wanting to do everything on my list on his trip to central Pennsylvania to visit his family, I was able to tag along and visit two cemeteries and the local library. It was a great trip that finally extended my lines into Germany.
  • Write up some of my research as ancestor narratives to give to family. (I would like to do one a month, but I'll say that I want 6 done by the end of the year since I don't know how easily I will be able to put them together.) This is the one thing I totally let slip away. Even though I had stories to write, I just never did them. I think I did 3.
  • Finish Vevay Newspaper Index (18 years to go). Finished this in March. It is now available on my website as well as a members-only database for the Indiana Genealogical Society.
  • Attend genealogy conferences (should be attending Indiana Genealogical Society conference in Fort Wayne, Ohio Genealogical conference in Toledo and hopefully FGS in Knoxville, Tennessee). I was able to attend all of these conferences. Can't wait for more next year!
  • Attend Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana meetings. I attended most of their meetings. Love the speakers they are able to get.
  • Attend other genealogy events at the Allen County Public Library. Apparently spent too much time doing that as Curt Witcher decided to put my time to use. (More on that later this year.)
  • Continue working on National Institute of Genealogical Studies courses. I have been doing this, but I am in need of some motivation to finish the last intermediate course. I started it in April and have one year to finish it. And I just am not feeling it. Hopefully I will finish it in January (of course I have said that since October.)
  • Attend monthly NGSQ study group chats. I started these and then decided they weren't for me. Too much nit-picking of the articles and not enough discussion of what made them good.
  • Figure out exactly where I want this blog to go. I did that, but then I think I decided to change it again.
  • Continue my monthly to-do lists and get others to participate. Dropped them around the end of the year and made seasonal goals instead. Hope to get back to them again.
  • Write more about my own research findings and family memories. Although I have done this, I really should have done more. Nobody knows about tracing my Eiswerth ancestors to Germany or all the wills that I found on microfilm. Need to work on this some more.
  • Comment on other genealogy blogs more. I have commented more, but reading genealogy blogs on my iphone makes it harder to comment. So depending on if I read something on my phone or my computer determines if I leave a comment.
  • Continue to gather family stories, photos and memorabilia. Done!
  • Convert grandfather's 8mm movies to DVD. Done! Except my family is taking too long to tell me what is on each reel so that I can make an insert to explain the videos.
  • Get husband to work on his own family tree some more. Does taking him to genealogy conferences and making him attend beginner's courses count? Also does giving up on him ever doing it and doing it myself count? Cause then I totally accomplished this.
I did better than I though this year. Of course I let the blog drop off at the end of the year. It was supposed to make me finish somethings, but I ended up just finding more to do. Hopefully 2011 will be even better!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Viola and Benjamin STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Viola A (Deitrick) ECK
Raymond L ECK

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Greetings from The Aleutian Islands 1944

Another post in my series of my grandfather's WWII photos from Alaska.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Miranda and Benjamin STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Miranda Steppe

Benjamin Steppe

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Margaret and Edward STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Margaret V
Edward C

Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Blogs - Voting Time!

I was delightfully surprised to find that my blog "Gen Wish List" had been nominated for Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Blogs. That you to everyone and anyone who nominated me. There are so many wonderful blogs on the list that just being a part of it is an honor.

This blog is in the cemetery category, which is a little weird. But I think it has to do with my lack of blog posts besides Tombstone Tuesdays that I set up in January. It doesn't feel right to be in that category when I don't intend to so as many tombstone posts in the next year. But then I kind of think we should just vote for the 40 best blogs across all categories and then Family Tree Magazine can categorize them in their post. But maybe that is just me.

Please take some time and visit all the blogs that were nominated and then vote for your favorites.
Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20.

1. Please choose FIVE Blogs from the EVERYTHING category.

Clue Wagon,
Creative Gene,
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter,
Elyse's Genealogy Blog,
Family History Tracing,
Greta's Genealogy Bog,
Olive Tree Genealogy,
Relatively Curious About Genealogy,
Roots and Rambles,,
The Educated Genealogist,
The We Tree Genealogy Blog,
You Go Genealogy Girls,

2. Please choose FIVE blogs from the CEMETERIES category.

Cemetery Explorers
Digital Cemetery Walk,
Escape to the Silent Cities,
Gen Wish List,
Granite in My Blood,
Over Thy Dead Body,
The Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal,
Tombstone Territory,

3. Please choose FIVE blogs from the TECHNOLOGY category.

Ancestry Insider,
Dienekes' Anthropology Blog,
Family Oral History Using Digital Tools,
Genealogy's Star,
GeneaNet Genealogy Blog,
Moultrie Creek Gazette,
Renee's Genealogy Blog,

4. Please choose FIVE Blogs from the HERITAGE GROUPS category.

Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home,
Anglo-Celtic Connections,
Black and Red Journal, http://www,
Donna's Ireland blog,
George Geder Evangelist for African Ancestored Genealogy,
Georgia Black Crackers,
Help! The Faerie Folk Hid My Ancestors,
Luxegen Genealogy,
Of Trolls And Lemons,
Scottish GENES,
The French Genealogy Blog,
The Knowles Collection,
The Scottish Emigration Blog,
Tracing the Tribe,
Wandering and wondering (a'spaidsearachd agus a'me├▓rachadh),

5. Please choose FIVE Blogs from the RESEARCH ADVICE/HOW-TO category.

Family History Research Tips,
Gena's Genealogy,
Genealogy Tip of the Day,
NARAtions: The Blog of the United States National Archives,
Paula's Genealogical Eclectica,
Personal Past Meditations,
Shades of the Departed,
The Armchair Genealogist,
The Family Curator,

6. Please choose FIVE blogs from the LOCAL/REGIONAL RESEARCH category.

Alberta Family Histories Society Blog
Brooklyn Historical Society Blog,
California Genealogical Society and Library Blog ,
Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Blog,
Grey County Historical Society,
Itawamba History Review,
Midwestern Microhistory,
MoSGA Messenger,
My Ancestor's Name,
New York History,
Sandusky History,
St. Vincent Memories,
Utah Genealogical Association Blog,
Virginia Historical Society Blog,
Williams County, Ohio Genealogy,

7. Please choose FIVE blogs from the NEW BLOGS category.

Adventures in Genealogy Education,
Climbing My Family Tree,
Have You Seen My Roots?
Heritage Zen,
Journey to the Past,
My Tangled Vine,
Nolichucky Roots,
Old Stones Undeciphered,
Pursuits of a Desperate Genie,
Roots Traveler,
Sassy Jane Genealogy,
The Faces of my Family,
The Family Recorder,
The Mashburn Collection,
The Scottish Emigration Blog,
The Turning of Generations,

8. Please choose FIVE Blogs from the MY FAMILY HISTORY category.

Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors,
AtlasFamily.Org Blog,
Begin With Craft,
Everything's Relative,
Finding Josephine,
Finding Our Ancestors,
Gene notes,
Greta's Genealogy Blog,
Little Bytes of Life,
Mississippi Memories,
My Channel Island History,
Nutfield Genealogy,
Reflections From the Fence,
Slovak Yankee,
Tangled Trees,
The Accidental Genealogist,
The Internet Genealogist,
TJLGenes: Preserving Our Family History,
Tonia's Roots,
West in New England,
What's Past is Prologue,

Monday, December 13, 2010

FGS back in Fort Wayne for 2013 and 2017

So I learned about the FGS conference being held in Fort Wayne again way back in September of 2009. But then I never saw any official announcement. Last week at the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana's monthly meeting, this article was shared about how the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center is boosting Fort Wayne's tourism industry.

I missed out on FGS the last time it was in Fort Wayne in 2007 because I started my genealogy research in the spring of 2008. So I'm really looking forward to not having to travel far to participate in a national conference. FGS has already booked the Grand Wayne Center for its 2013 and 2017 conferences.

The other great part of the article is that it calls Curt Witcher as "rock star".

Thomas MacEntee Joins FGS Voice Team

I was happy to hear recently that Federation of Genealogical Societies added Thomas MacEntee as their team. He will be writing on the FGS Voice blog about marketing and technology strategies for genealogy societies. Here is the FGS press release.

He has already written two posts:
Data Backups for Genealogical Societies
The TechSoup's On: Do You Have Your Bowl?

I look forward to more ideas from Thomas about how genealogy societies can improve. You'll find his posts on the FGS Voice blog under the tag "Gen Soc(k) Hop".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Helena and John STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Helena M
John T

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

There's one in every family! - Opposites - COG 100

It's the final day for submissions to the 100th Carnival of Genealogy. Congratulations and a big thank you to Jasia for being a leader in the genealogy blogging community and coming up with 100 topics for everyone to write and read.

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about until yesterday while driving to work. I thought about the video my aunt gave me this summer of my grandparents' wedding day in the fall of 1946. My favorite part of the video is when my grandparents are standing for formal photos with my great-grandparents. On the one side are my Oma's parents. Her father is doing a jig, while his wife looks on slightly embarrassed, but laughing none the less. Now I thought about how we all have one member of our family who is goofy and doing weird things. But then I realized that that describes my entire family.

So then I thought about the other side of that video, my Opa's parents. While my great grandfather, Eugene Eck, is dancing and having a good time. Edward Eiswerth is standing straight and I'm pretty sure he's wondering what his son was thinking marrying into this crazy family. Don't we all have that one serious relative who refuses to join in the fun?

There's one set of opposites in every family. Enjoy the video below of the two sides of my family tree. (The fun starts at the 2 minute mark.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Genevieve and Frank STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Genevieve M

Frank A.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Elizabeth and John STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Mary and Joseph STEPPE

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

A. Mary

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Lawrence EISWIRTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Lawrence Eiswirth
Born May 7, 1814
Died: Oct 8, 1888

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Peter EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Peter A. Eiswerth

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween tour of Lindenwood Cemetery

This morning I had the pleasure of going on a tour of Lindenwood Cemetery here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jim Cox led the tour. Jim goes around the area making transcriptions of cemeteries and is currently working with others to photograph every tombstone in Lindenwood. It was a great tour and a wonderful way to end ACPL's Family History Month activities.

Here are a few highlights from the morning:

 Plus there is a sale on lots:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Margaret EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Wife of Geo. Eiswerth
Died Nov. 2, 1905

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Howard EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Howard G. Eiswerth

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Gladys A EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Gladys A Eiswerth

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Charles EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Charles J. Eiswerth

Friday, October 1, 2010

Follow Friday - Good to Know

My recommendation for this week's Follow Friday is Heather H. Doherty's Good to Know: A Genealogist's Guide. Heather's blog gives genealogists a look into other fields of study and sees how knowing them can help you find your family.

Heather has only 4 posts are her blog so far but they are all packed full of information. I love how she encourages genealogists to think differently about their research.
Part I - Historical Events
Part II - Terminology & Abbreviations
Part III - Sociology and Behavorism
Part IV - Get to Know Another Occupation

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Anna and Francis EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Anna V.
Francis C.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Follow Friday - Of Trolls and Lemons

Astrid's blog Of Trolls and Lemons is this week's Follow Friday recommendation. I love her tag line: "You don't really know where you're going until you know where where you've been..."

Here is a small selection of her posts to get you started:

Also check out her great posts about her trip to Sweden and Norway.

Take some time and explore Astrid's blog.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 38 - Second Life

Challenge 38 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy written by Amy Coffin is:

Week 38: Investigate Second Life: a 3D virtual world community. Check out the presentation What is Second Life? This learning tool has all the appearances of a video game, but there actually are vibrant genealogy social communities and discussions within the network. Genealogy Wise maintains a group of Second Life genealogists and a calendar of upcoming discussions. You do not have to join Second Life for this challenge. The goal is just to give genealogists exposure to this type of genealogy learning tool. If you have a blog, you may jot down your impressions of Second Life if you wish.

So I have been spending time in Second Life for a year and a half now. I love the genealogy community there and how people from all over the world come together to discuss genealogy. I've learned a lot in the various presentations that have been made. I've helped others work at solving their brick walls. I have found a cousin. Check out the Union of Genealogy Groups calendar to find out all the genealogy events that are happening in Second Life.

Also new in the Second Life genealogy community is the new Second Life Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. I was one of the members that helped to get this chapter off the ground. I am currently serving as the chapter's secretary. We meet the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 SLT (Second Life Time) or 8:30 ET.

Try out Second Life for yourself. It does have a learning curve and requires a good (but not the newest, most expensive) computer, but once you spend some time there you will see what a wonderful community has been formed. Be sure to friend my avatar, Tina Ubble, and let me know you need any help learning about Second Life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Ambrose P EISWERTH

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Ambrose P Eiswerth
Born Nov. 2, 1900
Died Jan. 21, 1909

Friday, September 17, 2010

Follow Friday - Greg Lamberson's Genealogy Blog

This week I'm pointing you to Greg Lamberson's Genealogy Blog for Follow Friday.

Here is a small selection of Greg's posts:
Family Recipe Friday: Grandma's Devil Food Cake - Sounds wonderful (and fattening)!
Wedding Wednesday: Unknown Wedding ca. 1918 - What a great theme!
Genealogy Goals For The Fall
Treasure Chest Thursday: Hair Wreath
The Genealogical Proof Standard - Why Isn't this Incorporated into my genealogy software?

Take some time and stop by Greg's blog.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 37 - Roots Television

The challenge for week 37 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy written by Amy Coffin is:

Watch Roots Television. This is a wonderful web site that has the look and feel of a genealogy television channel online. You can watch episodes on various genealogy topics right on your computer. Your challenge this week is quite easy. Watch Roots Television and enjoy. The goal is to practice continuing genealogy education through video. If you’re a blogger, write about one or more of the episodes. What did you learn? Did the video touch on an aspect of your own genealogy research?

See my previous post about Roots Television. I love watching the conference sessions there and wish more were available.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Rose and Walter EISWERT

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Rose M.
Walter J

Friday, September 10, 2010

Follow Friday - Elsie says...

For Follow Friday this week, I suggest you take a look at the Elsie says... blog. This is a blog created by Dear Myrtle to record the stories of her friend Elsie Naylor. This blog is a wonderful way to start recording to stories of others. Once you get all the stories down in the order that they are told, they can be reconstructed into a chronological book.

Please take some time to read Elsie's stories:
Climbing Mt. Fuji
Get it in notes
I remember when I saw Tojo

You can learn more about the project on Dear Myrtle's blog:
Tender Times
Revised Plan
Plan C
Friends come to call

Thursday, September 9, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 36 - FHL Catalog

Amy Coffin's 36th challenge for 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy is:

Check out the Family History Library catalog. In terms of its library collections, there are no rivals. From this web page, you can search by place, surname, keyword, title, film/fiche, author, subject, and call number. Try all of them. Don’t do actual research with this exercise. Instead just click links and see all the catalog has to offer. Many of these items can be rented for a small fee and viewed at your local Family History Center. You do not have to be a member of the LDS Church to utilize this service. If you write a genealogy blog, tell readers what you found during this exercise, or describe the types of materials you’ve received through this genealogy tool.

Place search is my favorite way to search the FHL catalog. It's the easiest way to find all the material available for a particular county. Make sure to click on the "View Related Places" button in the top right corner after you do your search. If you search for a county, then it will show the towns in that county. The towns will have new and different records than the county as a whole.

The other way I like to use the catalog is through the film search. If you use the Family Search Pilot or Beta sites, often the transcriptions you find there will reference a film number. Enter that number into the catalog and you can find out where the information was taken from and then you are able to order it for yourself.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jeanetta Bascom - The Lost Daughter

Carley H Bascom is my 4th great grandfather. He had 6 children:
  1. Robert Bruce Bascom married Olive Bovard. (My 3rd great grandparents.)
  2. Cynthia A Bascom died at the age of 22 unmarried.
  3. Azora Ann Bascom married Lewis Downey.
  4. Margaret Bascom married Taylor Smith.
  5. Jeanetta Bascom
  6. Melissa Ellen Bascom married Marion Thomas Cole.
Notice how I don't have any information on Jeanetta? That was true until I received an email from a cousin last week.

The last thing I knew about Jeanetta was that her father, Carley, had given her all his land in his will. None of the other children were mentioned (except Robert Bruce as executor). The other children were all married at the time of Carley's death in 1889 and had probably all received land or money at the time of their weddings.

So what happened to Jeanetta? My newly found cousin's email told me that Jeanetta had married a Dr. William McCarty and sent me the entry for her tombstone on Find A Grave in Jefferson County, Indiana. Her birth date on Find A Grave was incorrect by about 10 years and no death date was given. Was this the correct Jeanetta?

I looked at some online trees for Dr. William W McCarty and found mentions of Jeanetta Bascom McCarty. But they had all placed her as his daughter instead of his wife. Was it his daughter or his second wife on his tombstone?

I found the Jefferson County (Indiana) Public Library has a website called History Rescue full of genealogical indexes. There I was able to find the marriage of Geanette Bascom and William W McCarty on 9 February 1896.

I searched census records for Jeanetta. I found her and William living together in the 1900 and 1910 censuses in Shelby Township, Jefferson County, Indiana. Then I found her as a widow in the 1920 census and 1930 census in Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana. Her ages in the censuses matched her age in the censuses when she lived with her parents, giving a birth date around 1853. So we had found the correct Jeanetta.

Jeanetta probably met William while visiting or living with her sisters, Melissa and Margaret. Both of them lived in Jefferson County. According to an index of church records, Jeanetta died in 1943. Her death was never recorded on the tombstone of her husband and his first wife. Jeanetta did not have any children and her step children (who were her age) might not have wanted to spend the money on her death.

But what about the wrong dates on her tombstone? Well it appears to be a transcription error on Find A Grave. A look at other transcriptions of the cemetery show her birth as 29 August 1853.

Now I have found the last of Carley's children. But I forgot to mention one other thing my new cousin sent me. A picture of Jeanetta Bascom McCarty.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall Genealogy Goals

After an exciting summer, it's time for the temperatures to start cooling off and the days to get shorter. Fall means that I have to go back to work, so there will be less genealogy research. But I do have a lot of things I want to get done. Here are my genealogy goals for this fall:
  • Make DVDs of my grandfather's 8mm films for the family. (I finished making copies of them and now I need to do some editing and production work.)
  • Finish National Institute of Genealogical Studies course - Analysis and Skills - Part 2
  • Write some ancestor profiles. I have 3 or 4 that are ready to go if I would just write them.
  • Participate in Family History Month at ACPL.
  • Read genealogy books
  • Enter information found on trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania into my database.
  • Finish work in Toledo City Directories for husband's line.
So there is my list. What's on yours?

Family History Month at Allen County Public Library

October is my favorite month for genealogy. That's because October is Family History Month and it brings a genealogy event to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana every day of the month.

This year they have broken the month into themed weeks. The first week is General Genealogy Week. It ends with the 3rd Annual Military Symposium. This year Amy Johnson Crow will be speaking about civil war research.

The second week is Preservation Week. Then it's Technology Week.

The final week is Dead Week. It ends with Start Sharing The News! A Celebration of Collaboration. Friday night is dinner and Curt Witcher presenting "How The Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne Became a National Tourist Attraction". Saturday is filled with sessions about collaborating with others and sharing your genealogy.

Bonus features of the month include Tuesday consultations and the library being open until midnight on Friday the 29th.

Check out all the genealogy programs offered by the Genealogy Center on their website. I'm definitely attending the Military Symposium and Start Sharing the News! events. My work schedule will determine what else I am able to attend.

Tombstone Tuesday: Peter EISWERT

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Peter A. Eiswert
June 24, 1867
Aged 77 years

Friday, September 3, 2010

Follow Friday - Food.Family.Ephemera

This week I'm featuring a new blog for Follow Friday. It's called Food.Family.Ephemera and it's written by Gena Philibert Ortega. This blog is a look into the genealogy of community cookbooks. What a great way to explore the culture and time period of your ancestors!

So far there are only 3 posts:
Welcome to Food.Family.Ephemera
Cookbooks Reflecting Our Religion
Introduction: Community Cookbook Detective - This is a series of guest blog posts from Madaleine J. Laird. I met Madaleine at FGS and am very excited to read her series about identifying the people in community cookbooks.

Take a look at Food.Family.Ephemera and I hope to see a lot more from them in the future.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 35 DAR

It's week 35 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy. Here is this week's challenge from Amy Coffin:

Examine the Daughters of the American Revolution® Genealogical Research System (GRS). Even if you aren’t a member of DAR, you can benefit from this wonderful database. Look at the page and enter some test searches. If you know of a Patriot in your line, try that name in the search box. If you don’t have a Patriot name, use John Smith. Explore the results and see the type of information you uncover. Bloggers are encouraged to share their knowledge of this great research tool with their readers.

I have used this site before and found that it can give you some great information to learn more about your soldier ancestor. I found my ancestor John Shepherd (hopefully the link works). I just wish that you could order the record copies online instead of by mail. I searched for a few more of my ancestors and found them in the database. Eventually I might apply to the DAR, but at least for now I can find some sources for my family tree through their records.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Shout Outs

Thanks to all who commented on this blog last month.

To be on the list you must link to your genealogy blog in your comment.

Ginger at Genealogy By Ginger's Blog
Lorine at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
Barbara at Life From The Roots
Linda at Documenting The Details
Amy at Amy's Genealogy, etc. Blog
Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog
Michelle at The Turning of Generations
Tonia at Tonia's Roots
Elyse at Elyse's Genealogy Blog
Amy at The We Tree Genealogy Blog
Joanne at Keeper of the Records
Jenni at Berry in My Family Tree
Missy at Bayside Blog
Kathy at I Will Remember
A Rootdigger
Jennifer at Jennifer's Genealogy Blog
Kathleen at a3Genealogy
Heather at Nutfield Genealogy
Madeleine at KInfoLit
Jenna at Desperately Seeking Surnames
Caroline at Family Stories
Drew at Social Networking for Genealogists
Carol at iPentimento - Genealogy and History
Kerry at Clue Wagon

Thanks again everyone!

Summer Genealogy Goals Reviewed

Summer officially ended for me on Monday when I got called into work. So it's time to review what my summer goals were and see how I did.

So here are some of my goals:
  • Order FHL films for wills and probate records of my Indiana ancestors. I plan to order the first one this week. I got through all the will books on microfilm. Of course one was on the page that they forgot to scan, so I guess a court house adventure is in my future. I'll start working on the probate records soon.
  • Order death certificates for my ancestors. I read somewhere (unfortunately I don't remember where) that vital records are in lots of danger from laws that keep them hidden. So I am going to attempt to get as many death records as I can this summer just in case laws change. I got through all the Indiana death certificates that I needed for my direct line. Still waiting on the one I ordered from Pennsylvania. I'm probably going to have to complain about it.
  • Read my genealogy books. I read some, but not much.
  • Work on National Institute of Genealogical Studies course. I will be working on the Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 2. I started it, but haven't really dived in yet. It is my last course in the intermediate course set. I did the first part of it, now for the second part.
  • Write at least 3 ancestor profiles. This is part of my 2010 resolutions. Did not even attempt these. But I do have a few coming up soon (I hope).
  • Visit my ancestor's graves in the Cincinnati area. Done!
  • Borrow more photos from my grandma's house to scan. I never did get anything new from my grandma. But I did get through making copies of the 8mm film that I borrowed from her house a while ago. Plus I was able to get more home movies, photos and more from the other side of the family when I visited them.
  • And the big finale for the summer will be attending the 2010 FGS conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. BEST TIME EVER!
So I didn't get everything done. But as always happens in summer, I found some other opportunities that I couldn't pass. Plus I had to work on my tan. Now to figure out what I need to get done before the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Lawrence and Catherine EISWERT

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Catherine M. His Wife

Friday, August 27, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Syllabus

I forgot about my thoughts on the FGS 2010 syllabus when I wrote up my assessment of the conference.

First, I love being able to download the syllabus materials online before I left for the conference. The syllabus can persuade or dissuade me from attending a particular session. It is really helpful when you can't decide between two sessions. I liked how the FGS syllabus put each session into it's own PDF file. This made it very easy to find the session you want and not have to page through the entire thing. But I do wish they had made a zip file of all the PDFs so that I could just download one file instead of 100.

Second, I think that the CD syllabus given out at the conference is so much better than the printed edition. I only noticed a few people using the printed version. (Unlike when I went to the Ohio Genealogical Society's conference and everyone but me had the printed syllabus.) But I do have a problem with the CD syllabus. How many people bring a CD drive to the conference with them? I personally brought my netbook which does not have a CD drive. So if I had needed to look at the syllabus on CD, I would not have been able to. I had already planned for this and put all the syllabus files on my netbook in case I made a last minute schedule change.

So here is my question/idea: Would it be better to put the syllabus on a flash drive instead of a CD? Of course the CD is cheaper. But why not get a sponsor for the flash drive. Instead of FamilySearch sponsoring the conference bag (because how many people really need another bag and wouldn't it be better to have your own bag that you can tell apart from everyone else's?), have them sponsor a flash drive. After the conference, you can delete the syllabus materials from the drive (and back them up on your computer) and have a flash drive to use. Plus every time you use it you see the sponsor's logo.

What do you think about having the syllabus on a flash drive instead of a CD?

Follow Friday - Jennifer's Genealogy Blog

Last week I was able to meet and spend lots of time with Jennifer Trahan. It was great to be able to talk genealogy with someone born the same decades as me. Jennifer blogs at Jennifer's Genealogy Blog.

Here are some of her posts to check out:
Report on FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part I and Part II
Getting Settled in North Carolina
MERTENA Conundrum - Part I, Part II and Part III

Also check out Jennifer's take on Wordless Wednesdays where she posts photos of her cousins.

Hopefully I'll get to meet up with Jennifer again next year at FGS. Until then take a look at her blog.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 34 - Flickr

Amy Coffin's challenge for week 34 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy is:

Browse Flickr. This is a photo-sharing web site allowing users to upload their photos, tag them with specific keywords and share them with the public if desired. Images pertaining to your genealogy research interests may be on this site. For example, one user has photographed and compiled a set of Texas Historical Markers. Experiment with Flickr for this week’s challenge. Use different search terms related to locations, surnames and cemeteries. Notice how people label their photos. If you have a genealogy blog, describe what you find, or how this tool can benefit genealogy researchers.

Here is what I think is the best thing about Flickr for genealogists: You can find photos of your ancestor's homeland without having to travel. I searched for Terrington St. Clement in Norfolk, England and found some beautiful photos. I searched for Switzerland County, Indiana and found they had a Flickr stream from the tourist agency. And of course I had to search for photos of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Assessment

I took a few days off from blogging about FGS 2010. I had to catch up on sleep and unpack everything. By the way, finding a fruit cake in your conference bag is disturbing. (Thanks, Dad.) Now it's time to write up some of my thoughts about the conference.

First, it is so nice to be around other geneabloggers and geneatweeps. It's great to talk to people who get social networking and use it. It's also nice to be around so many other genealogists, including many under the age of 80. When you are the youngest member of your local society by at least half, it's nice to see people only a few decades older than you into genealogy.

I liked that the opening session was about fun. It wasn't a rant about the future of genealogy or a lecture on how you should do family history. It was a great way to bring enthusiasm to the conference right from the start.

One of the class tracks made announcements that Twittering was against the conference policy. I don't want to get into whether twittering a session is good or bad, but where was this conference policy? I never saw it in the conference materials. Was this the policy of the entire conference or was it just for this track? Did it have to do with the recording of sessions and recording company's policy? Another lecturer said there was no blogging about the session. This seemed to be her own policy. A defined social media statement from the conference organizers would have told attendees what they could use and how they should use it.

The conference materials should have been more specific in identifying the level of the lectures. A simple "beginner, intermediate or advanced" label would have helped many in choosing which sessions to attend. Although the different tracks help, you have to know about the sponsor of the track to identify the level.

Even within the sponsoring tracks, sessions were put together oddly. I took one session on English wills that was in the ICAPGEN track, but would have been better in the English track. Another was in the BCG skillbuilding track and shouldn't have been. Both lecturers stated that at the beginning of their talks.

I really enjoyed most of the sessions I attended. There is definitely a learning curve when attending conferences. You have to figure out which speakers are must see and which are must miss. When to skip a session and spend time in the exhibit hall. When to schedule a nap into the day. I think the only way to do that is to keep attending conferences.

I also thought that the location of the conference was great. Although it was downtown, it was not in an overly crowded city. Knoxville has a lot of culture and great restaurants within walking distance of the conference center. All the hotels were close enough that you could walk. I also liked that my hotel (Holiday Inn) was literally one block away from the highway. It made it simple to find.

I've pretty much decided that I will be attending FGS 2011 in Springfield, Illinois. I just wish that it was in August again instead of September. One of the main reasons that I chose to go to FGS this year was that it didn't interfere with the school year and I didn't have to take off work to attend. Now of course I need to get back to working so that I can save some money for next year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Barbara EISWERT ECK

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Wife of
Henry C. Eck
& Daug. of Geo. & M. Eiswert
Died Sept. 4, 1888
28 y'rs. 1 m. & 25 d.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

FGS 2010 - The End

Today was the last day of the FGS conference. I started the morning with "Prostitution in the Wild West" with Jana Sloan Broglin. I really liked how Jana talked about the history and culture of prostitution instead of focusing on the sources. You eventually get tired of hearing that the sources for anything you want to research are census, newspapers, court, etc.

Then I went to Linda Woodward Geiger's "Preparing a Proposal". Since my long term genealogy goal is to start lecturing, I wanted to learn more about it. Linda's presentation was a great look at submitting proposals from both a lecturer's prospective and from a program chair's prospective. I also met Madaleine Laird. This completed my meeting all of the geneatweeps at FGS.

Next I attended "My Father's War: A Case Study in World War II Research" by Diane VanSkiver Gagel. Of course my father wasn't in WWII, but both my grandfathers were. She gave a lot of the typical sources, but some new ones for me as well.

Then the geneabloggers headed out to lunch. I sat with Linda McCauley, Greta Koehl, Greta's husband and my husband.

I skipped the first session after lunch to hang out in the exhibit hall. I purchased the next package of NIGS classes since the price is going up and there was a conference discount.

Finally I took "The Story of John Doe: Case Studies and Teaching Tools" with Diana Crisman Smith. We made blogger row again with Madaleine, Missy Corley and Tonia Kendrick. We also met Jean Hibben.

I didn't attend the last session of classes since husband and I needed to start heading back. Now we are on another layover in Cincinnati. I had such a good time hanging out with all the other bloggers. I can't wait to do it again.

Although FGS is over, I still have a few more posts coming about my time in Knoxville.

Friday, August 20, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Longest Day

Today was the longest day of the conference.

First I attended "Essential Skills for Transcribing and Abstracting" by Linda Woodward Geiger. (While most of the other bloggers slept.) She taught us to collect information efficiently, accurately, dispassionately, and scrupulously acknowledge it.

Then I gave my WWI pension file for William Francis Elvey Suckling to Ancestry's Scanning Station.

Next I sat by Jennifer Trahan and attended "Paying the Nation's Veterans in the Nineteenth Century: Pension Agents, Examining Surgeons, and Pension Office Employees" by Kenneth W. Heger. I really enjoyed this talk because he discussed some of the new records they been finding in the National Archives. The Pension Bureau (part of the Department of the Interior) handled pension appeals for fraud and financial need. These files are not included in the regular pension files. Hopefully they can get an index to these online someday.

Then I attended another session. I'd tell you about it but we were told not to blog. But I can tell you that I talked to the lady in front of me and found out that we both have ancestors in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky!

Finally it was time for a break. I had lunch with Tonia Kendrick, Linda McCauley and Jennifer Trahan. Afterward we spent some time in the exhibit hall giving out our door prize tickets.

In the afternoon a bunch of us bloggers attended the BCG skillbuilding sessions. Amy Coffin, Tonia, Linda, Jennifer and Greta Koehl were a part of the "blogger's row" for at least one class. First up was Pamela Boyer Sayre's "Murder at the Sawmill". What a case study about a murder and all the relations involved. Then it was time for Elizabeth Shown Mills to test our minds with "The Genealogical Proof Standard in ACTION!" She was wonderful and I think I have a much better understanding of the GPS now. The final session I can't tell you about because we were told not to blog it.

In a break, I picked up my WWI file and a 2GB USB stick that should have it all digitized. Now I won't have cut off images.

It was great to spend some time talking with Linda and Greta today since they are always commenting on this blog. (Even if someone thought Linda was my mom.) Greta told me that her daughters think that she loves Elyse and me more than them since she is always talking about us!

Then it was time to hear if we won any of the big door prizes. Greta won something. A bunch of us sat at one table with this great, hilarious lady. We encouraged her to start her own blog since we would all read anything she wrote and gave her all our business cards to get her started with genealogy blogs. Then it was time for cupcakes for the 1812 reception and to see if we won the grand prize of a trip to Salt Lake (We didn't.)

Now it is time for sleeping before the last day of FGS and another layover in Cincinnati.

Follow Friday - Bayside Blog

Since I'm attending FGS this week, I am writing my Follow Friday post in advance. But let's just assume that I have met Missy Corley from Bayside Blog and that she is awesome and has blogged or will blog about her experiences at FGS.

Whether or not Missy has posted about FGS, make sure to take a look at her blog. Here are just a few of her posts:
It Always Pays to Re-Search
Treasure Chest Thursday: A Stitch In Time
Tombstone Tuesday: Hambleton House Edition
Scrappy Saturday: Wall Prints
History of the Hambleton House/Bartlett Pear Inn
Census Searching: Ancestor Not Home? Ask the Neighbors

I'm looking forward to meeting Missy (or having met her). I hope you will take some time to check out her blog.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Opening

Today was the first real day of the FGS conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. It started with the keynote session by J. Mark Lowe and Kent Wentworth. They were hilarious fighting over which was better, Kentucky or Tennessee.

Then the exhibit hall opened. Except it didn't open right away and everyone piled up at the bottom of the escalator while they let the exhibitors in first. I talked to Missy Corley and Kimberly Powell while waiting to enter. Then we had a brief blogger meetup. Thomas McEntee passed out beads and Geneablogger ribbons. Amy Coffin has the picture. (She wouldn't let anyone else use their cameras. But luckily Greta Koehl got one and has it already up on her blog!) Here's who I remember in the photo: Thomas MacEntee, Amy Coffin, Missy Corley, Tonia Kendrick, Greta Koehl, Linda McCauley, Jennifer Trahan, Paula Stuart-Warren and Kimberly Powell.

Then we all split up and spent some time in the exhibit hall. There is so much great stuff there and I plan to spend some more time (and money) there in the next few days.

Then it was time for the first session. I went with Amy to Tom Jones' "Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor". He is a great speaker. So good that he ended at exactly 12:00.

Then I had lunch with Tonia, Missy, Amy and my husband. We all had club sandwiches at the Hilton hotel because it had started sprinkling (even though there was nothing on the weather map.)

In the afternoon, I sat by Tonia at "Advanced Web Methods and Sources" by Karen Clifford. For people who actually use the internet, it wasn't advanced. But maybe the second half of her lecture that she didn't even get to covered the hard stuff.

Then I attended Amy Harris' "Tracing Ancestors in Pre-1858 English and Welsch Probates". I really enjoyed Amy's style and learned more about what I need to do to find probate records for my ancestors. One source she mentioned was David Pratt's "Discovering English Ancestors" website. Click on the Probate section to figure out the jurisdiction that would have your ancestor's probate records. (And you'll need that when there are 300 jurisdictions before 1858.)

I was going to go to the live Genealogy Guys Podcast, but I was getting tired. So I went back to the hotel and took a nap. Then the husband and I went to the university district for dinner. He asked me if I ever thought about going back to school. I asked him what he thought I was doing this week and my online National Institute of Genealogical Studies classes. Then I told him I missed not having to go to work or wake up early or do chores. And he told me that I didn't do those things now.

Then we took a walk around downtown Knoxville. We went shopping at the Mast General Store and found some neat gifts for the family. Then we went back to the hotel to rest before another big day. Tomorrow will be a long day of classes, late night at the exhibit hall and the 1812 Reception. Husband says he is going to Gatlinburg to get moonshine and hang out in the woods.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 33 - Twitter

Amy Coffin has written another great challenge for week 33 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy:

Monitor genealogy information on Twitter at least twice a day for seven days. To do this, go to and type #genealogy in the search box. Examine the information being shared and exchanged. Twitter is a web site for sharing information in a format that allows only 140 typewritten characters. Much of the information on Twitter is useless (kind of like television). The trick is to control the information coming to you and ignore the rest. By indicating that you are interested in genealogy, you’ll get only information that contains the word genealogy. Check this #genealogy Twitter feed (not the regular Twitter feed) for a week. Notice the genealogy “tweets” that are posted. What type of information is being shared? Authors of genealogy blogs can write about their impressions of using Twitter for genealogy. Active Twitter-using bloggers can describe the benefits/drawbacks of the micro-blogging service to their readers.

I love using Twitter for genealogy. It's amazing how many great conversations can happen in 140 characters or less. I've even found a cousin while using Twitter. Have a question about your genealogy? Get a quick answer from everyone on Twitter.

This is a great week to check out the power of Twitter during a genealogy conference. Search on Twitter for "#fgs10" and find out what everyone is doing during the FGS conference in Knoxville. I'll be tweeting away there letting everyone know about lectures I attend, exhibitors that I visit and new friends that I meet.

Once you join Twitter, make sure to follow me @genwishlist. And make sure to balance your research time and Twitter time or you'll spend all day tweeting and not get any work done.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Arrival

After our 20 hour layover in Cincinnati, it was time to head to Knoxville. But first dad had to make breakfast. He made me pancakes and chocolate milk. But then he was sad that my husband only wanted toast and not an omelet. (Husband said something about how he usually doesn't eat breakfast because his wife won't wake up to make him any. But I don't know anything about that!)

Before I even got out of bed Dad had made us sandwiches for the road. Unfortunately he put mustard on them. This meant that I got two bun tops so that husband didn't have to eat mustard. But it worked out because then I also go two slices of provolone cheese instead of the American cheese.

We waited until the traffic cams on the news showed that rush hour traffic was gone and hit the road. It was a very pleasant trip once we crossed the Ohio River and got away from the city. (The Ohio River where my HILLIS and MORSE families made their money as fishermen.)

Then we got to Lexington and it poured down rain until just north of Knoxville. I'm sure were were driving past mountains, but all we could see was a wall of white. Plus there were waterfalls where the mountains had been cut to make room for the roads. When we could see the mountains, they looked like they were smoky due to all the fog. I guess that's why they call them the Great Smoky Mountains.

We stopped at the first rest area in Tennessee, had lunch, and took a break from driving in the rain. But there was no cell service there, which I found odd. So I couldn't tweet our Tennessee arrival or lunches (with juice boxes!)

We finally arrived in Knoxville. Checked into the hotel. Then went across the street and I registered for the conference. We went walking around the conference center and discovered Curt Witcher and Amy Johnson Crow. Curt said that I am the future of ACPL. That must be because I'm the only one under 80 he sees on a regular basis at the library. Or that I am funding them when I attend all their events.

I decided to sit in on Drew Smith's lecture "Social Networking for Societies". Before hand I talked to some people about blogs. A few minutes into the lecture, the lady next to me leans over and says she is glad that I finally made it. Which I thought was odd until she said she reads my blog and Twitter. After the talk I found out that she was Joanne from Keeper of the Records. I was so happy to meet my first real life blog reader.

Later I met Thomas MacEntee, Amy Coffin, Missy Corley and Tonia Kendrick at the bar. (I know, shocking!) Then dinner with husband and back to hotel to get my door prize tickets ready (easy with labels) and rest for the big, full day of sessions tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Layover

This morning my husband and I started our trip to Knoxville, Tennesse for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Annual Conference. We arrived in Cincinnati for a 20 hour layover. This part of the trip is the bribe for getting my husband to let me go to the conference.

We unloaded the car (with what looks like everything we own) at my parents' house. Then my dad and husband went to the ham radio store and my husband got some antennas and other stuff I don't understand (aka his bribe). Then it was nap time!

We had El Rancho Grande for dinner (the best, fastest Mexican around), took a trip to Jungle Jim's and then got ice cream.

When we got back, I tried to share the DVDs I made from the video tapes my aunt had loaned me on our trip at the beginning of the month. But my dad got distracted by my husband's radio. Eventually he came back and we all got a good laugh at what appears to be a very drunken Christmas of 1987.

We'll be heading to Knoxville in the morning (after the Cincinnati rush hour traffic clears up). I can't wait to meet up with the other genealogy bloggers and let the party begin!

Tombstone Tuesday: William and Barbara ECK

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

William A. Eck
His Wife

Monday, August 16, 2010

Society Membership Incentive - Free Research Hour

In preparing for my trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to visit family, I made a list of graves to find, books to check and repositories to find. I knew I would not have time for all the possible archives. Although half of my family comes from the Lycoming county area (actually all my grandparents have ties to the region, but that's another story), I had not joined the Lycoming County Genealogical Society. One of the main reasons was that their membership runs from January to December and I always think to join in the summer.

Many societies run their membership on a yearly basis. I really dislike this way. If I join 6 months into the society's membership year, I shouldn't have to pay the full membership fee. I understand why small societies need to have a membership year; it's so much easier for accounting purposes. But that doesn't mean that I find it fair. Usually I will just wait until the next membership year starts to join the society (or just forget about it because most of my memberships start in January and that's a lot of money to drop at one time).

But the Lycoming County Genealogical Society did something that I think is great. Although they have a membership year of January to December, they found a way to make their membership attractive to prospective members in the summer months. This summer they are offering one FREE research hour. That makes me feel like I'm getting a much better deal from joining a society at full price for just 4 months.

Since I knew I wouldn't be able to visit their genealogy library on my trip, I decided to join the society and make use of my free research hour. I found on their site a list of naturalization records that they hold. (So far they only have it updated with the first half of the alphabet, but that is okay because that's where my Lycoming ancestors are.) And guess who I found on that list? My Valentine!!!

So I placed my membership order online and sent the society an email with my request. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. I had to wait a whole 5 hours. Then I received an email with scanned images of all the naturalization records that I requested. Great service!

Here is the Declaration of Intent for Valentine Blitz:

If your society uses the membership year to make keeping track of member dues easier, consider doing something to entice prospective members who find your society late in the year. I'm glad that I joined this new society and found my ancestors.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Follow Friday - Documenting The Details

For Follow Friday this week, I'm highlighting Linda McCauley's blog Documenting The Details. I'm looking forward to meeting Linda next week at FGS and I hope that she will be blogging about her FGS experience too.

Here are some of Linda's great posts to get you started:
Treasure Chest Thursday: Newspapers Part 1 and Part 2 - I love how Linda uses newspapers to add to and verify her family stories.
A Documented Source Isn't Always A Valid Source - Even those online trees with sources can be incorrect.
Is This John & Martha Bennett's Son?
David and Winefred Owens Divorced in 1820 - Who Knew?
Preserving Your Research for Posterity

Along with her Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday posts (and many others), Linda has a wonderful blog that I hope you will all check out.