Showing posts with label Geneabloggers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geneabloggers. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's About Time...

For those of you who have been wondering where I've wandered off to... let's see... I left Maine on the 28th of September and spent a few days in New Hampshire.

One of many lakes in northern New Hampshire, this one near Milan on Route 16.

 As it had been for much of the previous week, it was a foggy, cloudy, rainy day.

But the fall colors were gorgeous.

Then it was a quick drive through Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania to spend the first weekend of October with my Aunt and Cousin and her family in Rockville, Maryland.  It was great getting caught up on all the family happenings of the past 3 years! The kids, Connor and Melanie have gotten so big! Thank you to Carol and Eric and Aunt Shirley for their hospitality.

After leaving Rockville, I returned to Berks County, Pennsylvania for two days then headed west to Ohio. Not wanting to return exactly the same way I came into the state in early September (on US 30) and not wanting to take the Toll Road, I took US 22 from Harrisburg all the way through Pittsburg. It is a mostly 4-lane highway through some beautiful countryside. It wasn't quite as "challenging" as driving US 30 but it still had plenty of hills to get over and curves to go around.

After spending one last night in Pennsylvania (at Keystone State Park, east of Pittsburg) I made my way next morning (October 11th) to Lisbon, Ohio and stopped in at the Columbiana County Archives and Research Center. This is a wonderful resource for anyone with Columbiana County ancestors. One of the ladies that works there (both are unpaid volunteers who devote a huge amount of time organizing and indexing their material - a huge Thank You to both of them and the other volunteers) happens to have the "other" John Hoffman in her husband's lineage so we compared notes trying to figure out if or how they might be related.

The next morning, I returned to the Columbiana Archives for a few hours before heading westward once again. It was about then that I realized that I could probably make it to Fort Wayne for the Midwest Geneabloggers 2012 Fall Meetup! It was about noon on Saturday when I got to the Allen County Public Library where everyone else was already hard at work. After the library closed we all converged at the home of Tina Lyons for a Pizza Party.

I'm so glad that I was able to make it to the meetup and see "old" genealogy-friends again and meet a few new ones too. I had a great time - thanks to everyone there and thanks especially to Tina for organizing it and to her and her husband for hosting the after-research party.

So, here it is, October 23rd, and where am I? Still in Indiana, where I'll be for a little while longer until I get a few "things" resolved. And then? I'll be heading out to somewhere a bit warmer, at least for a little while...

And, because my grand-nephew, Zachariah, was born 18 years ago on this date, I want to wish him a very special birthday...

Ah, yes! We were both much younger back then! Happy Birthday, Zach.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

RootsTech :: Day Two

It was another busy and mind-boggling day at RootsTech. I didn't do much socializing since I attended presentations all day long!

As with yesterday, the keynote address was impressive with a nearly full room of attentive genealogists. Given by an enthusiastic and very dynamic speaker - Josh Coates – the topic was “Exabytes, Social Clouds, and Other Monstrosities.”

I've never tried Voice Recognition Software but after listening to Luana Darby in “Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software and Genealogy” I may just have to give it a try! Someday. (I'm not sure my little netbook is capable of effectively using the software.) I have a lot of obituaries, deeds, wills, and estate files that need transcribing and it seems it may be easier to read/dictate them into the computer rather than trying to type up the documents myself! The obits could probably be done by scanning then doing OCR on them but that always seems to require some cleaning up of the text. It seems that Voice Recognition Software has come a long way in the last 10 years or so. The software still requires “training” to your voice and your manner of speaking but she says the accuracy is quite good.

Jill Ball did a great job directing the panel in “Genealogy 2.0: International Panelists Discuss Their Use of Social Media to Connect With Cousins, Collaborate on Projects, Discuss Issues, Market and Promote Genealogy Services and Perform Acts of Genealogical Kindness.” Jill, Amy Coffin, and Audrey Collins offered up examples and opinions on the various topics listed in the title of the presentation.

I seem to be attending sessions on topics where I have limited knowledge. Kinexxions is on blogger but I went to the presentation on Understanding WordPress by Amy Johnson Crow. Each platform has it's pros and cons and since I've got five years worth of posts on blogger, I don't think I'll be switching it over to WordPress. However, I would certainly consider using WordPress for a new blog – if I ever decide to start another one!

My last presentation for today was “Google's Toolbar and Genealogy” by David Barney. I learned so much during this presentation that my head was spinning! If you get a chance, I highly recommend watching this one when it becomes available on FamilySearch. It should be available soon along with the keynote addresses and other sessions.

I didn't take any photos today other than the one below...

Elyse Doerflinger and Michele Goodrum were “caught” doing what many other genealogists did after the sessions were over for the day! Michele is holding a wand scanner that she had been using to scan pages of a book – she says it works great once you get the hang of working with it.

As you can see, the place was pretty busy. I decided not to attempt any research since I'll be staying in Salt Lake City for a while after the conference is over. I also opted to not stay for the viewing of “Who Do You Think You Are?” though I did watch the show from the comfort of my motel room!

Monday, June 06, 2011

These are The Faces of Genealogy

Henry and Susie Phend with their great grandchildren on the celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary, September 2, 1952. That's me on the left side, sitting on the ground. My brothers, Doug and Jack, are between me and Susie. Doug was 5, I was 4, and Jack was 3 years old. The other kids are first and second cousins. They are just part of the reason I “got into” genealogy.

I'm a little behind in my blog reading... and saw this post late yesterday afternoon, which explains why I'm posting this photograph, which is one of my favorites.

Due to the amazing response of the genealogy-blogging community, the offensive photo was removed from the online article.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Lunch, Flowers, and a Happy Dance (not mine)

Thursday, June 2nd - - Today Carol and I had lunch with the You Go Genealogy Girls, Cheri and Ruby. We heard research stories and were told that if they were repeated we would be endangering our lives! LOL. It was great fun and they are great story tellers.

It was a bright sunshiny day and we took our time strolling through the Temple gardens on the way back to The Library. Of course, we couldn't resist stopping to take pictures of the marvelous flowers. Such variety. So colorful.

I have no idea what kind of flower this is...

Same variety as the above but a different color.

Gorgeous white Iris. So difficult to photograph.

A close-up of the white Iris.

Purple Iris.

And, a close-up shot.

Later that afternoon, Carol found something that made her do a little jig at the microfilm reader. To be honest, I can't remember exactly what it was... but as we were walking out to the parking lot later she was still “full of it” with the dancing and smiling. It's fun to watch others with their reactions to a good find, but I'd sure like to experience it myself!

Congratulations, Carol...
And may you have many more opportunities to dance your little jig!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a Delight They Are!

Today at The Library, I met the You Go Genealogy Girls! They are delightful ladies, fun to talk with, and boy do they have some stories to tell... I saw Ruby at one of the microfilm scanner stations and thought she looked familiar (I did know they were coming here – after all, I do read their blog). So I went up to her and asked if she was one of the YGGG. (Thank goodness she was, I sure would have felt silly if she hadn't been.) We had a nice conversation then a few minutes later she brought Cheri over. To make a long story short, we snagged someone at the microfilm readers to take a photo of the four of us. The one the lady took with my camera was way out of focus but I think Carol has a good shot of all of us that she will post soon. [added May 27th - photo posted by Carol. Very good.]

Cheri Hopkins YGGG#2 and Ruby Coleman YGGG#1

Taking a tip from Carol, I decided to scan microfilm images of estate and probate records for several ancestors today. Back in the late 1980s I had taken a research trip to Ohio and had photocopied the “important” papers (those naming heirs) but that was it. I was able to find the estate records for three ancestors and scanned them. I'm hoping to get some clues from the names of the people who purchased some of the goods from the estates. And it's nice to have copies of all of the information from the estates.

There's still another week left! And I'm still hoping for that “Happy Dance” moment!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

This, That, and the Other Thing


I had a wonderful time visiting my niece and her family at Thanksgiving. Yes, I know that was a week ago but I haven't mentioned it yet... It took Valen a little while to warm up to me and he eventually did give me a big smile but it was ever so fleeting...

My great-grand nephew Valen and his mother Jasmine. Thanksgiving Day.


I arrived in Saint Augustine on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Spent that afternoon and all day Monday with Denise Olson. Yesterday I was a bum on the beach the entire day and today was mostly spent in two different auto shops for routine maintenance on the van (oil change, alignment, two tires). But Denise and her husband Dave and I got together for a farewell supper...

Dave said "I am smiling!"
He's really quite a character. And I mean that in a good way.

Thanks Denise, for giving up one of your days off and spending it with me! I've enjoyed my visit and it was great to see you both again.

And the other thing...

Sunset at Anastasia Island, Saint Augustine, Florida. November 30, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thanks, Miriam!

Sunday, September 19th - - It was a delightful day that was spent with one of my favs – Miriam Midkiff of Ancestories :: The Stories of my Ancestors. Miriam has already written about our day but I just wanted to add that it was my pleasure to be able to spend some time with her - to get to know her a little better and to meet her son and husband. Her son, being a teenager, didn't have much to say but her husband and I had several engaging conversations while Miriam was off doing something else. The pot roast was delicious. It was very nice to have a home-cooked meal for a change!

Miriam Robbins Midkiff and Becky Wiseman. Photo taken September 19, 2010 by her husband.

Even though I knew that Miriam and I probably wouldn't get together until Sunday, I arrived in Spokane about mid-day Friday. I had decided that this would be a good opportunity to have a couple of “down” days. I had to tend to some errands – get the oil changed in the van, laundry, grocery shopping – you know, things that “normal” people do on a regular basis ;-)

I also took advantage of having electricity at the RV park to work on the photos from August on the netbook. I don't normally stay at commercial RV parks (or resorts, as this one was called) because they usually resemble parking lots. But for some reason the state of Washington closed the campgrounds in some of its State Parks in mid-September so I had no alternative. This particular RV resort was actually kind of nice. There were some trees and bushes in between each parking space, which provided some degree of privacy. A rarity in an RV park! They also had wifi available but I kept getting kicked off the network after about 15 minutes online. Luckily there was a McDonalds across the street...and their wifi worked great.

My stop-over in Spokane was a nice break in my journey. Several tasks were accomplished and I got to spend some time with a friend. Thank you, Miriam! And I look forward to our next visit, someday!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Thanks Sheri...

While sitting in the auto repair shop in Oakhurst, I had contacted Sheri Fenley (The Educated Genealogist) to see if we could meet up for a day or two. She had been unable to attend the Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank earlier in the month and since I was (sort of) in the area I thought I'd stop by to see her on my way north.

It was a relatively short drive of 150 miles or so from Yosemite to Stockton and I arrived at Sheri's place about noon on Saturday (June 26th). It was non-stop talking for the next 10 hours and most of the day on Sunday! What did we talk about? Our families and Genealogy, of course!

On Sunday, I joined Sheri and a few members of her APG Chapter for lunch and a behind the scenes tour of the San Mateo Historical Museum Archives in Redwood City. It was nice to meet some of her cohorts and see the resources available in San Mateo. Sheri wrote a little about that excursion.

Monday morning photos as I was leaving.

Sheri was saying “Goodbye, Becky!”

Thank you, Sheri, for being a gracious hostess. I very much enjoyed meeting your family and spending time with you. Thank you, Thank you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

iPad Envy

Thursday evening, footnoteMaven was flaunting her tech toys: Droid phone, iPod video camera, and her iPad – I want one of those! I really, really want one!

Steve has one too. So does Dick. I want one... (photo courtesy of Cheryl Palmer)

I spent half an hour writing a query for Dick's GenQueries project in the hopes that I might win the iPad he was giving away. But alas, that didn't happen. Looks like I'll have to go out and buy one.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree :: Part Two

It had been a late night on Friday and I skipped the first session on Saturday morning opting to attend the Blogger Summit (part one and two) and then the Live Podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke.

Lisa Louise Cooke and Chris Haley during the live podcast.

I had intended to go to Cath Trindle's presentation on "How Much Proof is Enough?" but didn't make it to the room on time. The next session I went to was "Neglected History" with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak who discussed several people who have been “lost” to history – their important contributions have been pushed to the wayside with the emphasis on the more well-known people.

I was thrilled to meet Megan later and get my picture taken with her – and the photo was taken by Dick Eastman! Thanks, Dick.

At 6:15 there was a “special” session with Geoff Rasmussen titled “Brick Walls be Gone: Using Legacy's Research Guidance and To-Do List Tools” which I attended with Cheryl Palmer and several hundred other people. The Pavilion was packed with few, if any, empty seats. Most people were probably there because Legacy was giving away a netbook! I have been a user of Legacy for several years (since version 3.0) but had never really utilized the features Geoff discussed. I learned a few tips but didn't win the netbook.

Cheryl and I went to the geneablogger lounge and to our surprise found that no one was there! No geneabloggers in the lounge? We walked into the Marriott Grill and the only geneablogger we saw there was Randy Seaver and his lovely wife Linda. They invited us to join them, which we did and we had a very pleasant evening chatting with them. (Thanks, Randy.)

Me and Randy. I didn't get a picture of Randy and his wife Linda together...

On Sunday, I didn't attend any sessions!! But there was a good reason... In April of this year, when I had lunch with Craig Manson and Sheri Fenley, Craig had mentioned that he had never been to his grandmother's gravesite. She was buried in Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, which is not far from Burbank and just happens to be the largest Memorial Park in the World! I told Craig then that if we both made it to Jamboree I'd take him to the cemetery! I made good on that promise Sunday morning.

Craig and I left the Marriott at nine o'clock and breezed through the traffic, which was pretty light even for a Sunday morning. Rose Hills has an online database of interments and we had looked up his grandmother so we knew the section and plot number. Even so, I stopped at the gate, which had an attendant, and was given a drawing of the cemetery and directions to the gravesite.

After one wrong turn we made it to the right section. It was on the side of a hill so I went to locate the grave while Craig waited in the van. But I couldn't find it. I counted off the rows and spaces several times but came up with nothing except a blank space. I really didn't want to tell him that I couldn't find a grave marker but I did. We then returned to the gate attendant and asked if there was a marker for his grandmother. The response was brief and blunt – No. And I wondered why she hadn't mentioned it the first time, but I didn't ask. We returned to the site so Craig could view the area and I took a couple of pictures for him.

More than a little disappointed and with more questions than answers we returned to the Marriott in time for lunch. Craig then had an interview with Lisa Louise Cooke for a future podcast and I skipped the final session for the day.

Craig Manson and me.

To mark the end of Jamboree, a little celebration was held courtesy of Susan Kitchens who surreptitiously provided a bit of bubbly for the occasion. And then I reluctantly departed, happy to have met so many of my online friends but sad that it all had to end and hopeful that we'll meet again someday.

Having some fun! Contrary to appearances, I had only a few small sips of the bubbly... Susan is more than a little crazy – but in a good way! Thanks, Susan.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree :: Part One

It was early Thursday afternoon when I arrived in beautiful downtown Burbank (well, actually at the Ramada Inn) and met up with Cheryl Palmer who was to be my roommate for the weekend. Cheryl had originally planned to team up with Sheri Fenley again this year (they were dubbed “Thelma and Louise” last year) and they were graciously going to allow me to barge in on them! However, Sheri was unable to attend (we missed you, Sheri).

Me and Cheryl Palmer.

Later in the afternoon, Cheryl and I went over to the geneabloggers lounge at the Marriott and schmoozed with the other geneabloggers. I was going to try to keep track of everyone I met but that goal went down the tubes after the first few minutes! The excitement was palpable. Everyone was thrilled about meeting or reuniting with online friends.

A group of us went across the street to George's Greek Cuisine for supper after picking up our registration packets. There wasn't enough room inside for us and the other customers so we pushed five or six tables together in the outside dining area (on the sidewalk). There were so many conversations going on with smiles and laughter all around. Then it was back to the geneabloggers lounge for more chatting and greeting the new arrivals.

One of the highlights of the evening occurred when Elyse Doerflinger arrived. She had graduated from college earlier in the day and was on cloud nine. But Tami Glatz had a surprise for her that literally put Elyse over the top. During the NGS conference earlier this year in Salt Lake City Tami had gathered the signatures of many of the “top names” in the genealogy field. At Jamboree the geneabloggers were invited to sign the book also. Many people not only signed the autograph book but most of them also wrote a personal message of encouragement and congratulations to Elyse. It was a wonderful thing for Tami to do and Elyse was nearly speechless, at least for a few seconds! Shortly after the presentation to Elyse, Cheryl and I called it a day.

Tami Glatz presenting the genealogist autograph book to Elyse Doerflinger.

Friday morning we returned to the Marriott for some more schmoozing. Class sessions began at 1:30 and I went to “Cases that Made My Brain Hurt” by Megan Smolenyak2 wherein she described some of the more challenging characters she has had to track down.

For some reason, I skipped the second session. For the third and final session of the day, I listened to Cafi Cohen talk about the importance of “Cousin-Connection Genealogy” and the possibility that it could help you break through a brick wall. Her primary emphasis was on researching the siblings of your ancestors and locating the descendants of those siblings.

After a little more schmoozing in the geneablogger lounge, I joined footnoteMaven, Kathryn Doyle, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, and Daniel Horowitz for supper. And then it was back to the motel for a good nights sleep!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Over...

This weekend has been fantastic! I've had the bestest time ever meeting genea-bloggers as well as other genealogists and even attending a few sessions! It's been such a great time, I really didn't want it to end. I think many of us felt that way.

Thank you to the Geneabloggers Swag Bag Team of Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee, Joan Miller, and Denise Levenik for putting together a wonderful assortment of items for us. Another thank you goes to the Sponsors for providing that swag!

I'll post additional photos and more information in the very near future. Thanks to everyone for an absolutely amazing time!!!!

in front: Miriam Midkiff (AnceStories), fM (footnoteMaven and Shades of the Departed), Becky Wiseman
the others: Kathryn Doyle (California, Cheryl Palmer (Heritage Happens), Denise Levenik (The Family Curator), Elyse Doerflinger (Elyse's Genealogy Blog).

Thomas MacEntee (Destination Austin Family and Geneabloggers), Joan Miller (Luxegen Genealogy), Becky Wiseman, Randy Seaver (Genea-Musings), Miriam Midkiff (AnceStories), Craig Manson (GeneaBlogie), and Susan Kitchens (Family Oral History).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Double the Pleasure, Times Two

Easter Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting, in person, a gentleman whom I have admired from a distance for over three years. I first met Stephen Danko via his blog in late 2006 and then when we learned that we had the same personality type a few months later, we both thought it would be neat to meet each other sometime. It's hard to believe that we finally have! Thanks to Kathryn Doyle (whom I had met last August) and her husband, we had a delicious Easter dinner and a wonderful afternoon talking and discussing all manner of things. Thank you, Steve and Kathryn for a most pleasant time!

Kathryn Doyle, Stephen Danko and Becky Wiseman. April 4, 2010.

The weather on Easter Sunday was miserable. It was chilly and rainy with occasional torrential downpours. I was so glad that it was Steve that drove to meet us! I was even more pleased on Monday morning when I awoke to sunshine. It made the drive to Stockton to pick up Sheri Fenley (The Educated Genealogist) much nicer. After a big hug from Sheri, we drove on to Sacramento to have lunch with Craig Manson (Geneablogie), another of the early geneabloggers whom I've wanted to meet, like forever. (Craig has been blogging his genealogy since September 2004!! and I found him in the fall of 2006.) There was no awkwardness in meeting, it was as though we had all known each other for a long time, and in essence we have. But there is nothing quite like meeting for the first time someone you have “known” online. I really didn't want our time together to end, it was so much fun! Thank you, Sheri and Craig, for an incredibly pleasant day.

Craig Manson and Becky Wiseman. April 5, 2010.

Becky Wiseman and Sheri Fenley, slightly out of focus but happy! April 5, 2010.

Craig has written his impressions of our get-together, as has Sheri (who also has more photos).

For some more fun, check out Randy's post for another recent GeneaBlogger Meetup in Australia! Cool, Randy!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Genea-Bloggers Meet in Pensacola!

I've been enjoying my stay here in Pensacola amidst a little sunshine and lots of rain, but at least the temperature has been bearable.

One day as I was perusing the never-ending list of blogs that I subscribe too I remembered that there was someone staying nearby. So I sent off an email and was pleased to learn that Carol of Reflections From the Fence was indeed nearby and willing to meet up for lunch. After a little hitch in the plans (her hubby, aka "Man" was sick and had to pay a visit to a clinic for meds) we met at the Vallarta Restaurant and spent a very pleasant couple of hours visiting and talking about a lot of different things. Good company, good food. Nothing's better than that. Thanks Carol.

Carol wrote about our visit and posted a photo taken by Man while in the restaurant. I had left my camera in the van and when we came outside it was raining, so I didn't get any photos of us.

But I can't have a post about my trip without including a photo ;-) ... these were taken on February 3rd at Big Lagoon State Park, southwest of Pensacola.

At 2:20 p.m. there were blue skies and sunshine.

An hour later the clouds had moved in.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Visit to Moultrie Creek

As I waited in the dark parking lot I wondered if we would get along, if we would like each other, if we would have anything to talk about... I shouldn't have been the least bit anxious though. When Denise stepped out of her car to greet me with a hug and a big smile it was like being reunited with an old friend rather than meeting someone for the first time. In a way we had come to know each other, through our blogs (she at Moultrie Creek and Family Matters), but now we have actually met, face-to-face, and I'm delighted and honored to say that we are truly friends.

It was Friday evening (December 11th) when I met Denise and her husband for supper. It's hard to believe it was 10 days ago. Good golly, how the time does fly!

Saturday morning (12/12) Denise and I attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Cemetery in St. Augustine. It was impressive, especially with the Florida Patriot Guard Riders in attendance. It had been raining all morning but as the ceremony was about to begin the skies opened up and it just poured. Denise had loaned me her umbrella since she had worn a jacket with a hood and the sound of the rain on the umbrella pretty much drowned out the voices of the speakers.

After the official ceremony was over, Denise and I were honored to lay a wreath at the grave of Emily Kennedy – the only female veteran buried in that cemetery. Emily served in the Army Nurse Corp from 1905-1907 and in the Navy 1909-1912. She also enlisted in 1917 the Army Nurse Corp, when in her 30s, serving during WWI. On facebook, Denise linked to the online article but here's the link for those who missed it or don't “do” facebook...

Since it was raining, we just “hung out” at Denise's place Saturday afternoon. Talking. Army, Navy, National Guard, Travel. Family. With a little bit of internet, checking email and reading blogs. But mostly talking. After a supper of Denise's own chili and rice, which was quite good, I departed for the night (I stayed at Anastasia State Park).

Sunday morning saw warmer weather and sunshine! And that meant sightseeing in St. Augustine and the Historic District. Denise was the best tour guide, ever. Very knowledgeable about the history of the area, the buildings, and the various ethnic groups who have lived in St. Augustine. It was, quite simply, delightful. It was a beautiful day, weather and otherwise.

We got together again for a “farewell” supper Tuesday evening at the neighborhood Mexican restaurant, about two blocks from Denise's house. I certainly enjoyed the time I spent at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine but the time I spent with Denise and her husband was enjoyable as well, but moreso. Their friendliness and hospitality was greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Denise Olson and Becky Wiseman - December 15, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Greetings from New York :: Thanks, Apple!

Yes, I'm still here. Or somewhere! I haven't been posting as much as I would like to – it's a lot harder than I thought it would be to find the time (or just take the time) to write while traveling.

I'm in New York, southeast of Snowville, after spending last night and this morning with Apple and her husband. We had a great visit - it was so nice to be able to meet her in person. And I certainly appreciated their warm hospitality. Thanks so much Apple, for putting me up for the night.

More later on the meandering route taken through Ohio on the way to New York... soon, I promise!