Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter D

 I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

This week I finished the Letter D. Here were some of my finds:
  • I had 4 people with the surname Deitrich that married into my family tree. I knew that 2 of them were siblings. After looking at the census records, I was able to determine that George A Dietrich was the son of Jacob Deitrich. George married into my Dincher line and Jacob, along with his sister Anna Maria, married into the Eiswerth line.
  • Decided that when Benjamin Potter (age 62) married Polly Demaree (age 61) in 1849 he probably didn't marry a virgin. So I deleted the maiden name of Demaree for her. 
  • Found the marriage record of James Dunning and Nancy Craig in Boone County, Kentucky. They went across the river to get married. And now I'm up to 9 surnames found during the adventure!
  • While trying to track what happened to George William Dygert after his wife's death in 1932, I found that his wife lived until 1934. Grace Lavina Suckling died on 4 November 1934 (not 1932) after a car backed up over her. I found accounts of her death and marriage in the Niagara Falls Gazette, available online at Old Fulton NY Post Cards. I also discovered the Niagara Falls city directories on Ancestry and was able to track the family of Grace, her sister Hazel, and brother William Francis Elvey Suckling. Now I know when WFE Suckling moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan and I have an additional project to look him up in the city directories when I am at ACPL next.
  • Finding the Niagara Falls Gazette online made me search for all my surnames in that area. I was able to find 2 articles on the death of William Watson Suckling, Grace's father. Even though he died in St. Catharines, Ontario, his obituary ran in the NY paper. We are always told to search across borders for our ancestors, but I never think to search across country borders. Glad I did!

I made some great finds with the letter D. Now it's onto the letter E. Which is going to take forever just to get through all the Ecks and Eiswerths, not to mention the other surnames.

Other letter cleanups:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The First Ever Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup

On Saturday, March 24, I will be hosting the first ever Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Terri O'Connell and I have spent some time organizing this event and now it's time to share it with you.

Part One:
Spend the day researching at the Allen County Public Library. Their Genealogy Center has the 2nd largest collection of genealogy materials in the country. The library will be open from 9AM to 6PM on Saturday.

While there, you could even attend librarian Steve Myer's workshop on Irish research on Friday and Saturday. The workshop costs $50. (I attended part 1 a few years ago and it was great. I would be attending the second part if I thought I had a chance of finding my Irish roots in Ireland.)

Part Two:
At 4:00PM, we will start migrating the fun to my house on the north side of Fort Wayne. We will be ordering pizza for dinner. I'll also pick up some salad supplies, pop and water. You are welcome to bring a side dish, dessert or additional drinks to add the the food on hand, but it is not required. There will be a $5 fee to cover the food.
The party will run until my husband kicks us out (which might be 4:05PM).

If you want to spend the night in Fort Wayne on Friday or Saturday, Terri O'Connell has reserved some hotel rooms. The hotel is on the north side of Fort Wayne near my house, but not the library. So keep that in mind. See her blog post and contact her for the details.
For those that want additional time at the library, ACPL is open on Friday from 9AM-6PM and Sunday from Noon-5PM. 

Please email me at if you plan to attend. Also send me a link to your blog and where you are from so that I can easily make a blog post of who is attending. (I also need to warn the library of how many crazy bloggers will be coming.) I'll send you my address and other party details as we near the fun!
I can't wait see everyone. It's going to be a blast!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Great Reasons to Visit Fort Wayne This Spring

There are two great reasons to come to Fort Wayne this spring:

Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup - Saturday, March 24
Bloggers will be descending on Fort Wayne to spend a day researching at the Allen County Public Library and then in the late afternoon partying at my house. Terri O'Connell and I have been working together to put together this event. She has a teaser up on her blog and I'll have all the details for you here later this week.

Indiana Genealogical Society Conference - Saturday, April 28
Registration is open for the IGS annual conference. The conference will be held at the Allen County Public Library. One track will feature our main speaker, Debra S. Mieszala. The second track includes talks on FamilySearch from Michael Hall, searching Ancestry with Melissa Shimkus, and writing a family history from Curt Sylvester. You can also research in the library all day. Visit the IGS website for all the details.

I hope to see many of you at one or both of these great events!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FGS 2013 Conference in Fort Wayne - Request for Lecture Proposals

Below is the press release for the 2013 FGS National Conference - Request for Lecture Proposals. FGS 2013 will be held August 21-24, 2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am happy to be serving as National Publicity co-chair, along with Kerry Scott. Even if you are not a genealogy speaker, add FGS 2013 to your calendar so you remember to attend all the great events that will be happening.

For Immediate Release
January 19, 2012

Deadline for Submissions is May 15, 2012

January 19, 2012 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a Request for Lecture Proposals for the FGS 2013 Conference, “Journey Through Generations,” to be held August 21 – 24, 2013, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana and the Allen County Public Library as local hosts. Outstanding nearby research facilities and attractions will enhance the conference experience. The deadline for submission of lecture proposals is Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

The 2013 FGS Conference theme, Journey Through Generations, has dual meaning. It symbolizes the literal journey our ancestors took through America's heartland, on rivers, railroads, Indian trails, wagon roads, canals and the Underground Railroad. The theme also infers the virtual journey that genealogists take through bygone times and distant places as they explore the lives of their ancestors generation by generation.
Topics relating to the Midwest, migration patterns, technology, regional repositories, and religious and ethnic groups are encouraged. Wednesday, 21 August 2013, is an all-day "Focus on Societies" program for genealogical society officers, board members, volunteers, and other interested parties.

The program committee specifically seeks new and dynamic proposals that will provide exceptional and unique educational experiences for conference attendees. Proposals for workshops and sponsored talks are also encouraged.

Categories for submissions include:
  • Focus on Society Management
  • Methodologies and Strategies
  • Transportation (e.g. canals, Great Lakes, railroads)
  • Midwestern Records (e.g. land records, early forts and settlements)
  • Military Records
  • Repositories
  • Record Types
  • Technology
  • Religious Groups (e.g. Quakers, Amish, United Brethren)
  • Ethnic Groups (e.g. German, African American, Native American, Polish, Irish)
  • Genetics and DNA
  • Migration/Immigration
Speakers are strongly encouraged to submit multiple proposals (more than four), as most speakers will be invited to present a minimum of three lectures at the conference. There is no limit to the number of proposals a speaker may submit.

Submission Requirements

Send proposals in PDF, Microsoft Word, or RTF format. File names should include your last name, first initial, and proposal topic. (Example: SmithR - TechStrategies). Each proposal should include:
  • Speaker(s) name.
  • Speaker(s) contact information, including mailing address, phone, email, fax, and website, if applicable.
  • Prior speaking experience. Speakers who have not spoken at a national conference are encouraged to submit a video, audiotape, or CD recording of a recent lecture by mail.
  • Speaker(s) biography.
  • Speaker(s) brief brochure biography (50 word maximum).
  • Lecture title (not to exceed 10 words).
  • Lecture brochure description (40 word maximum).
  • Lecture outline/summary.
  • Lecture audio-visual requirements. FGS does NOT provide projectors, computers, or internet access for speakers.
  • Intended audience level: beginner, intermediate, advanced, any level.
Send proposals, as an email attachment, with “FGS 2013 Lecture Proposals” in the subject line, to no later than May 15, 2012. If submitting lecture recordings by mail, please email for the appropriate postal address.


Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of lectures presented. (Sponsored speakers only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships below.) Non-sponsored speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Policy at

Sponsored Lectures

Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker's costs to present the lecture. Sponsored speakers will abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials.

Additional Information

Camera-ready handouts are required for each lecture or workshop presentation and will be compiled in a syllabus distributed to conference participants. The deadline for submissions of syllabus materials is April 15, 2013.

Invitations to speak will be issued in October 2012. Syllabus format guidelines will be sent to speakers at that time. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is November 1, 2012.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter C

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

I'm moving right along with this organization project. I only have 2 main families in the Cs, so I was able to get through them quickly. Plus I had already done a lot of work on the Cleveland family when I entered the source details from the family history where I initially found most of the information on that line.

Here are some highlights from the C surname cleanup:
  • Still can't find Charles Caldwell in the 1830 and 1840 censuses. But I did find his wife, Rachel Washburn, living with possibly her husband's family in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. I had already found her in 1850. In 1870, she was listed as blind. I was also able to find her in the Athens County (Ohio) Home from 1876-1877 thanks to Julie's Genealogy website that includes an index to the records from the home.
  • Laura Cleveland and William Tubbs were in Athens County, Ohio in 1840 and 1860. Finally found them in 1850 in Illinois by searching for their daughters.
  • Deleted Henry Bruner from my tree because he never actually married Emeline Dunning. They got a license, but no marriage. I still don't have the original record for this license, but it goes to show which index you use can make a difference in your assumptions. The first index I used just named the parties and date of marriage, but the second one had notations when the marriage return was not found.
  • Found the marriages of Ruth Brown to James Ward and Elizabeth Brown to Jesse Russell in Brunswick Maine. I was able to trace my Brown family thanks to Sons of the American Revolution applications.
You might notice that half of the C clean up is actually Bs. That's because I make a notation in Evernote of items I need to find on my next trip to the Allen County Public Library. So even though I was done going through the Bs in my database, I still had some research to do.
On to the letter B!
Other letter cleanups:
Unknown surnames
Letter A

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Genealogy Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 should be an exciting genealogy year with the release of the 1940 census and Pennsylvania death certificates! I hope that 2012 is a wonderful year for everyone and many brick walls come crumbling down.

Here are my genealogy resolutions for 2012:

Indiana Deed Records - I'm currently ordering the microfilm of deed books in Switzerland, Ohio, and Dearborn Counties in Indiana. I'm hoping that by tracking my ancestors' land I will learn more about their lives and possibly find a few hidden relationships. Last year I got bored with probate records, so let's hope that land records are more exciting.

Joseph Hillis Brick Wall - When I found the parents of George Hillis, I was so excited. That was until I found out that his father gave 5 places for his place of birth. I found the obituary for Joseph Hillis this fall. He died in Boone County, Kentucky but was buried in Rising Sun, Ohio County, Indiana. I'm hoping to find another obituary for him in the Rising Sun newspapers, particularly one that names his parents. I also need to make a trip to the Ohio County Historical Society and see what is in their Hillis family file (along with a few other families).

I've already written about my organization project. The short version is that I am checking for missing sources in my tree and looking for new sources that I didn't know about or were not available when I last worked on an individual. I just need to stay on track and clean up the entries for 5 ancestors every day.

"Publish" Eiswerth surname book - I'm not sure exactly what this means yet. Do I want a hard copy made and distributed to the family? Or do I want it kept as a digital format so that I can change it as I find new details? Either way I need to add some more photos and the 1940 census before its done.

"Publish" Grandpa's military service book - Last year I put all the documents that my grandpa saved from his WWII service into a Word document. I need to add some of his WWII photos and some history and then I will be done. Again the publishing question exists.

Write Bascom surname book - It's time to spend some time on grandma's line and share those stories with her. This should tie in nicely with the deed records project.

  • Indiana Genealogical Society's Conference, April 28, Fort Wayne, Indiana - featuring Debra Mieszala (Full disclosure: I'm Vice President of IGS and on the conference committee. Details should be coming soon.)
  • National Genealogical Society's Conference, May 9-12, Cincinnati, Ohio (I'll be running the IGS booth and receiving the complimentary registration that goes with the booth fee.)
  • Summer conferences and institutes are all maybes right now. It depends on what I can con my husband into letting me get away with. I will be choosing at least one:
    • Midwestern Roots, July 20-21, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • FGS, August 29-September 1, Birmingham, Alabama
    • GRIPitt, July 22-27, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
National Institute for Genealogical Studies - I finished the American record series in 2011. I just have the Analysis and Skills advanced course to complete to finish the methodology series. Then I need to do some electives to meet the 40 course requirement for the certificate. I'm probably going to take the English record series for my electives. I hope to get most of the way complete by the end of 2012.

I didn't do too bad on my 2011 resolutions and I hope to accomplish even more this year. This fall I decided to stop being a substitute teacher. Right now, I'm a full time make breakfast, clean the house and make dinner wife. So this year I also hope to pick up a few genealogy related jobs to pay for my hobby and develop my skills for a possible future career in genealogy.

These are my resolutions. What are yours?