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 Twitter.com 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.

Family History Trip - Day Three - Family Artifacts

On our first day in Williamsport, our first stop was to St. Boniface Cemetery. On our second day, our first stop was to Mount Carmel Cemetery. So where was our first stop on our third day? It was another stop at the library.

Since I was staying at my aunt's house, I had to make fun of her checking her email on her ancient iMac when she had a brand new computer upstairs. So I spent Monday night and Tuesday morning doing tech support for her (and convincing her she needed high speed internet). While doing tech support, we got talking and she started pulling things out of her house that her parents had given her.

First she gave me a box of VHS tapes to digitize. One of them was a copy of a distant relatives' home movies. It contains my Oma's graduation and my Oma and Opa's wedding in 1946. I uploaded it to Youtube to share with my family.

Then she pulled out his little notebook that was my great grandfather's. In it he recorded lists of the average monthly temperatures, when Indian summers occurred each years, what shows he had seen, and what towns he had visited. It also had newspaper clippings of his first four children's births (there must be another book for the others.) I'm going to start transcribing them and make them into a blog series soon.

Then she pulled out an oval painting of her other grandfather. Edward Charles Eiswerth had died the month before my dad was born. His daughter, Agnes, had this painting in a nice frame. But one day sent the frame to relatives in Florida. But at least we still have the painting in our family.
After doing tech support and scanning the notebook, my parents picked me up and we went back to the library. I got images of the pages that I had skipped the day before and found a few new books to view.
Then we had a birthday lunch with my Oma, her sister and her brother. They were all born on the same day. My great grandfather always said he had great timing.

Then it was nap time. For dinner we took my uncle to the Chinese buffet to see how much he could eat. I think he used to stack his plates higher. Then we spent the evening at my grandparents' house with lots of family. I got to sleep in an extra hour before we left at 5 in the morning on Wednesday.

I'm glad my parents took me on this trip. I'm already making a new list of graves to find on our next trip.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 32 - RSS Feeds

The challenge for week 32 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy written by Amy Coffin is:

Learn about RSS feeds. You don’t have to understand how RSS feeds work to reap their benefits. However, if you want to know, here are articles from Wikipedia and What is RSS? Basically, without utilizing RSS feeds, you would need to visit web sites and blogs individually to see if they have been updated. If you subscribe to RSS feeds using a feed reader, the latest updates come to you. Two of the bigger names in feed readers are Bloglines and Google Reader. You do not have to sign up for either of these, the task is just to read about them and know they exist. If you are familiar with RSS feeds, then this is an easy challenge. Genealogy bloggers are encouraged to share their experiences. If you use a particular feed reader, discuss it and you organize your feeds.

RSS feeds are the way to go if you follow a lot of blogs, news sites, comics and more. I have been using Google Reader for years now and just love it. It is an easy way to read all the lastest updates on your favorite sites without having to remember what you have already read or go to each individual site. I also love that I can check my Google Reader from my computer or my phone and it all stays up to date on what I still need to read.

I sort my feeds into categories. There's one for genealogy blogs, one for genealogy updates (like when there are new books posted to Internet Archive), one for comics, one for news and more. By organizing all my feeds, I can just look at the most important ones or the ones that won't take a lot of time if I'm in a hurry.

Family History Trip - Day Two - Another Cemetery Trip

On day one of our trip, my parents and I stopped first at a cemetery and I found my favorite ancestor, Valentine Blitz. The next morning my parents, two of my aunts and I set out to find more ancestors and my Oma's birthday present. My aunt told her we were going "grave shopping". Who knows what went through her mind!

Our first stop once again was to a cemetery. This time it was Mount Carmel Cemetery in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This cemetery is literally on the side of a mountain. Here we found my great great grandparents John J Eck and Theresa Bank, along with their daughter Irene, son Clyde and his first wife Margaret. (And I mean first wife Margaret because his second wife was also named Margaret).

Here's a photo of my aunts discussing when they went to Clyde's funeral. Notice how steep it is.
My family really got into this cemetery and we could have spent the entire day here discovering interesting gravestones. We saw this one below the Eck graves and had to take a closer look. We thought it was a log on top, but then we noticed the pieces on the ground fit together to make a cross.
Then my dad spotted this one above and we navigated the winding paths to find it.
Next we did our shopping, had lunch and took naps. Then we went to the library were I pulled out my digital camera and got lots of weird looks. But I got lots of information about my ancestors who attended Immaculate Conception Church in Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania.

We were in Williamsport for one more day before heading home. Guess where our first stop was on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Week to FGS in Knoxville

A week from today, I will be headed to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Federation of Genealogical Society's annual conference. This will be my first national conference and I am looking forward to meeting lots of genealogists, learning new research techniques and hanging with other genealogy bloggers.

I'm making my first national conference a cost effective one. I'm arriving in the afternoon of the first day to avoid an extra night at the hotel. (And because I'm not that interested in their Focus on Societies Day.) I would have liked to attend the Association of Professional Genealogists' Professional Management Conference, but it would have doubled my registration fees and added two extra nights in the hotel. I'm not attending the banquet or luncheons, partially to save money and partially because I am bringing the husband and don't want to leave him all alone for 3 days. (Which also means that a side trip to Gatlinburg to buy him some moonshine might be in order.)

If anyone wants to get together at FGS, let me know. I'd love to meet you. If you're not going, make sure to check out all the posts from bloggers who will be in attendance. Thomas MacEntee has a list of bloggers who will be there on his website. Also make sure to check out the FGS conference blog to learn the latest news about the event. I'm bringing my netbook and will try to post while I'm there (in between all the fun).

Family History Trip - Day One - I Found My Valentine!

Last week I went with my parents to visit my dad's hometown for my Oma's birthday. When my dad told me that he and my mom were going on this trip, I told him I had a list of things for him to look up for me while he was there. He must have figured it was easier to just bring me with him, so I got invited too.

We left at 4:00 AM on Sunday. (Yes, we always leave early when my dad is around. Now my husband knows why I like to leave early, but not that early on our trips.) We arrived in Williamsport, Pennsylvania around 12:30 and our first stop was the St. Boniface Cemetery. That's right, my dad stopped at the cemetery before he visited his family.

But my dad knew this was the most important stop on my list. I had to find my favorite ancestor, Valentine BLITZ.
First I found his wife Margaret.
And then I found my Valentine!

Also at St. Boniface, we found my second great grandparents, Frank Haefner and Katherine Blitz.

My aunt had previously taken photos at this cemetery, but missed the giant stones of our ancestors. With the cemetery transcription book that my husband gave me for my birthday, I know have a complete set of photos of my ancestors' gravestones at St. Boniface Cemetery.

That night we had dinner with all of my aunts and uncles. All 7 of my grandparents' children were all together for the meal. It was nice to be around everyone again since I hadn't seen most of them in over 10 years.

In my next post, I'll write about day two. Guess what our first stop of the day was.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Stephen and Theresa ECK

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania


Stephen E

Theresa M

Friday, August 6, 2010

Follow Friday - Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question

This week for Follow Friday I have chosen Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question. This blog from Lorine McGinnis Schulze takes one reader question and answers it. There is a large variety of questions from resources to church records to immigration records to probate records to much more.

Here are just a few of the questions that have been answered:
A Dictionary Can Be Your Best Friend
Copyright Issues
Finding a Missing Grandma after 1958
Resolving Discrepancies in Census Records
Proving Statements in Obituaries

You can also follow along as Olive asks for help reuniting dog tags from a solider who died in WW2 with his family.
WW2 American Solider's Dog Tags Found
Photo of American Lieutenant MIA, Dog Tags Found
Update: Reuniting a MIA American Solider's dog tags with family

Check out Lorine's question blog and also check out her Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 31 - Podcasts

Amy Coffin's 31st challenge for 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy is:

Listen to a podcast. A podcast is a digital media file that you can download and listen to any time. There are some wonderful genealogy podcasts including Genealogy Gems and Genealogy Guys (click the POD on either site to listen). You can find many other podcasts on iTunes (free, but you need to sign up). Your task this week is to listen to a podcast and experience this form of media for learning. If you are familiar with podcasts, pick a new one in a different subject such as history, business or anything else that may fit with your genealogy interests.

I love podcasts and listen to all the genealogy ones and many others too.

Be sure to check out the UK National Archives Podcast series. It is usually a recorded lecture about UK research. Also take a listen to A History of the World in 100 Objects. This is a radio show from the BBC where the host describes an object in the British museum and discusses the history of it.

What is your favorite podcast to listen to? I'd love to give it a listen and add it to my list.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: ECK child

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania

Son of
H.W. & Mary
July 1, 1903-July 19, 1904

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Genealogy Goals - August Update

I can't believe that July is gone. I'm not ready for summer to be over and work to start again. But I've done lots with my genealogy this summer. I've met some of the goals that I have set and worked on other goals too. Here's an update on my summer genealogy to do list.

Here were my summer goals:
  • Order FHL films for wills and probate records of my Indiana ancestors. I have found lots of my ancestors' wills in the first batch of microfilm that I received. I'm still waiting on the next batch. I hope to get through all the wills by the end of the month and slowly work on the probate records throughout the fall.
  • Order death certificates for my ancestors. I have received 3 death certificates from Indiana and have another one in the mail. Still waiting on the one I ordered from Pennsylvania.
  • Read my genealogy books. I did read a little bit more, but I wasn't in a good reading mood in July.
  • Work on National Institute of Genealogical Studies course. I will be working on the Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 2. I turned in my third assignment and will do my first consultation later this month.
  • Write at least 3 ancestor profiles. This is part of my 2010 resolutions. Expect to see these in August (because I haven't worked on them yet).
  • Visit my ancestor's graves in the Cincinnati area. I did this at the beginning of July.
  • Borrow more photos from my grandma's house to scan. I haven't gotten any new photos, but I did start going through my grandfather's 8mm films. I've posted some of these on Youtube.
  • And the big finale for the summer will be attending the 2010 FGS conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. So excited to go! But first I am off this week with my parents to visit my grandparents in central Pennsylvania. 
Not all of my summer goals will be met by the end of August, but I've gotten a lot done on my husband's genealogy, spent lots of time at ACPL and enjoyed some time in the sun.

August Shout Outs

Once again it is time to thank everyone who left a comment on my blog in the month of July. Thanks for giving me the encouragement to blog and opening my mind to new ideas.

Judy from Judy Webster's Genealogy Advice for Australia, mostly Queensland
Linda from Flipside
Kathryn from California Genealogical Society and Library Blog
Heather from Nutfield Genealogy
Barbara from Life From The Roots
Kathleen from a3Genealogy
hummer from Branching Out Through The Years
A Rootdigger
Greta from Greta's Genealogy Bog
Lisa from Old Stones Undeciphered
Karen from Karen About Geneaology