Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Another cutie without a name. She looks a lot like the mischief maker in my March 17th post. What do you think, is it the same girl?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #12

Week 12: Check out the web sites for the Society of American Archivists (, ARMA International (, and the American Library Association ( Genealogists can benefit from the educational opportunities and publications of other information-based organizations. You may not be an archivist, records manager or librarian, but you share the same interests. Look at the events these associations hold. Find the books they publish and see if you can request them through your library via Inter-Library Loan. You may also want to check out your state’s (or country’s) library association. If you’re a genealogy blogger, write about your impressions of one or more of these organizations.

This challenge brought me completely new exposure to the SAA and ARMA associations, I am familiar with the ALA. This challenge brought to the surface, again, my love/hate relationship with education in a genealogy related field.

I have always had a curiosity about the educational and experience background of people. It's always surprising how varied the backgrounds of are people that are in the same field. I have a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and work in the marketing field. Not a big stretch, I took plenty of marketing classes during my education and now have 11 years in the marketing field. People in my field can pick just about any university (state or private) and receive a business degree. We are lucky to have a program that is so accessible, other degree seekers do not fair so well as this challenge points out.

The first site I visited was the Society of American Archivists. I immediately clicked on the Education and Events tab and looked at the Directory of Archival Education. There are only fourteen states listed that have university's that offer degrees relating to this field and my state isn't one of them.

I next visited ARMA, The Authority on Managing Records and Information. This organization is offering professional development and continuing education type of courses, most look to be available online. The online options make these programs easily accessible to all and generally I would not expect to find these courses offered at a university.

Finally, I visited the ALA, American Library Association site and selected the education tab. While their appears to be many options for education in librarianship, the options for an ALA accredited program are fewer. There are currently 62 ALA accredited master's degree programs across the United States with four options in my state! But there are several states with zero options. What does it take to offer this type of program? A library?

All three of these organizations hold an annual conference, which I am a big fan of. The ability to meet and network with others in your field is always a positive. These organizations appear to be very active and I hope they are working on expanding the educational opportunities to include all states.

Friday, March 19, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge 11

This week's challenge has created a delima for me. I want to participate in all of the challenges, that's my goal. However, I want to keep my blog on a positive note and not give negative or bad reviews. On the other hand, my blog is my blog and I should feel free to say what I think about subjects. Are you curious now as to what the challenge is and why I'm making a big deal of this?

Week 11: Read the back posts from the Transitional Genealogists Forum ( This is a message board for genealogists who are taking the steps needed to become professional genealogists. Even if you aren’t interested in that goal, you will benefit from the questions and answers provided on this excellent discussion list. If you have a genealogy blog, write about a question or subject from this board that was helpful for you.

I was a subscriber to the Transitional Genealogists Form (TGF) for several months. I was a "lurker" hoping to pick up on a few tips that would give my research a little more polish. I am not to the point that I am even considering becoming a professional...I just want to KNOW what the pros know!

First thing, the TGF is in the old-fashioned mailing list format. You can also sign up to receive the digest version, which is what I did. I received multiple posts to the mailing list in one email, rather than an email every time somebody posted. The digest is extremely cluttered and hard to follow sometimes. The subject lines do not always make sense, some leave the email they are replying to in their reply and I notice that a lot of listers do not sign their email. So, right off the bat I did not like the TGF due to this format.

Secondly, things were going along somewhat well on the list until a person voiced an opinion on genealogy education and certifications. You've heard the term "then all hell broke loose"? That quote describes my opinion of what followed. Emails became very opinionated, divisive and rude to the point of ridiculous. At that point I decided I would unsubscribe and look for information in other areas.

I understand that people have very deep opinions on education, certifications and accreditation in genealogy. I too have a very definite opinion on this subject, however, I'm not going to cut my nose off to spite my face. The genealogy community needs to get along and work together to promote all avenues of education in this subject. Getting on a soap box and preaching "my way or the highway" is not the way to do this.

Happy Birthday Dad 3/19/1922 - 9/6/2001

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Dad & I around 1972

Saturday, March 13, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #10

Investigate Family Search Pilot, which is part of This is a wonderful collection of records which literally grows every day.

This is yet another great challenge presented on the Geneabloggers site.

I have used Family Search Pilot in the past although not as much lately. I tend to get into the habit of relying on too much. With all the wonderful resources available online, both free and subscription sites, it pays to use them all. As each of these sites are continually updating images, adding new images and indexes, rechecking the information is a must.

At Family Search Pilot I particularly like the German records. The main line I focus so much of my research time on is Baudermann. This surname is rare in the United States as well as in Germany. I have a difficult time finding information on this family outside of church records. Family Search Pilot contains German baptism, marriage and burial records, some from the 1500's to the 1900's. While not all of these collections contain the images, some do have images you can browse through. I look forward to more indexes and images being added to this site.

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, 18th Edition

My contribution to the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture is a narrative from my mother-in-law, Sally Conlin. The year 2009 was the 150th anniversary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Brookfield, Missouri. A beautiful book was published that is rich in family history stories. Here is Sally's story:

"My Catholic roots begin in Roscommon, Ireland. This is where my great-grandfather, Martin John Conlin was born in 1828 and also my great-grandmother, Ellen McGowan in 1837. They both came to America by boat in the early 1850's, Ellen with her parents. Martin and Ellen met and were married in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1856. They started their journey to Missouri in 1858 and during this time their first son, John was born. In 1860 they had made their way to Mexico, Missouri where Martin became a U.S. citizen. The family arrived in Brookfield around 1861 so Martin could work on the railroad. Martin and Ellen had 3 more children born in Brookfield. Thomas, who they called "Jersey" was born in 1862. Thomas left to work on the Panama Canal, contracted yellow fever and died there. Mary, born in 1869, married Edward Stephens and lived next door to her parents. Michael, my grandfather, was born in 1866 and married Sarah Golden in 1899 at the Immaculate Conception Church.

Ellen, my great-grandmother, had four sisters and one brother all born in Ireland. They too all settled in Brookfield around 1867 and were all members of the Immaculate Conception Church.

Martin John Conlin died in 1896 and is buried in the front row on the south side of St. Michaels Cemetery, next to Father Tormey. There is an old tale about Martin's tombstone. The story is that Martin brought his hitching post with him from Ireland and that it is in the tombstone. This maybe just "Irish Blarney" or maybe it isn't."

I have posted about this family before. My focus has been to try and find any siblings for Martin John in the hopes of identifying his parents and a starting point for them in Roscommon. The search continues.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Follow Friday Poetry

One of my most favorite Twitter friends is Caroline Pointer of the Family Stories blog. Caroline is truly a gifted writer and quite the poet! She is a constant source of information, details, specific points-of-view and amusement, with an occasional *snort* thrown in here and there!

Fridays in the Twitterverse are filled with tweets of #FF! Those that tweet are basically sending out recommendations of those that they follow, on Twitter, to other Tweeters. A lot of lingo there, I know, but it is a lot of fun. Occasionally, to break up the monotonous #FF tweets, Caroline will begin sending out her Follow Friday recommendations with cleverly crafted rhymes. Below is a #FF tweet that Caroline posted for me. I love it!

@FamilyStories: Both the gents and dames, one-by-one their story she reclaims; #followfriday @SeekingSurnames

This is my #FF recommendation for the week, so #FollowFriday @FamilyStories!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Smile for the Camera - 21st Edition

Give Their Face A Place

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This is an unknown woman from my father's photo collection. I believe/best guess is this is Mary Evingham, my great-great grandmother. I've put the photo up next to photos of my grandmother and there is definitely a resemblance, at least I've convinced myself their is. I have very little information on Mary. She was widowed by 1910 and was a land owner in Amherst, Nebraska. Mary is one of those "challenging" ancestors who has hidden their tracks well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #9

Week nine has been the most challenging of the challenges to date! Select five blogs and read them everyday. While the challenge suggests we get out of our comfort zone and select blogs that may be on topics other than genealogy, I chose not to. There are so many wonderful genealogy blogs that I never have time to read. If I am going to devote five days to reading, I definitely wanted them to be genealogy related. I randomly chose five blogs that I follow and they are:

Bits and Pieces

Everything's Relative

Georgia Black Crackers

Kinfolk News

Life From the Roots

I enjoyed catching up on these blogs this week. There was a wide range of topics and all were very interesting!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inter-library Loan Magic!

I have been participating in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenges. The challenge for week 4 was to use the inter-library loan system at our local library. The book I requested through ILL was History & Families Oldham County, Kentucky: the first century, 1824-1924. I had a photo of a house with Westport, KY written on it and simply took a stab in the dark by requesting a book for that area.

The first photo, to the left, was a photo I had, the second photo was IN THE BOOK!! I started thumbing through the book as soon as I picked it up. I saw the house and said "wait a minute I've seen this house before". To say I was surprised and excited would be putting it mildly! The caption below the photo says at the time the photo was taken the house was owned by Clyde Gaines. I also have photos identified as Clyde Gaines, Jr., Connie Gaines and J.S. Gaines. Gaines is not one of my direct surnames, however, my Grandfather's sister was named Ora Gaines Allen and she lived in Clark County, Kentucky. Clark County and Oldham County are not adjoining counties. I have called the Oldham County Historical Society in hopes of finding out if the house is still standing and any information on the Gaines family. The book states the house is called Hurricane Hall and was built on a bluff above the Ohio River one mile north of Westport. I hope to hear something back tomorrow.

I will keep you posted!

I spoke with the Oldham County Kentucky Historical Society...this house burned to the ground in the 1930's. :(