Thursday, November 27, 2014

Those Places Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving

What does Thanksgiving Day mean? What does it mean to you?

What traditions are attached to this day and to the season that you do, that you look forward to doing? Is it family and friends? Is it the food? 

Do you gather with family and friends to play football? OR do you gather to watch football on TV? Or to run a marathon especially for charity? 

Getting together with friends for a movie? 

OR do you go away for the holiday? Maybe to the snow and skiing? Maybe to Reno or Las Vegas for a little gambling and a show or two? 

Do you give your time on Thanksgiving Day? Serving those that have less than you, helping in a shelter or soup kitchen?

We all need to remember that these holidays mean different things to each of us, and we need to respect those differences.

This is my favorite holiday...... simple. The weather cools down, the tree leaves change from one magnificent color to another, the air smells cleaner and fresher becomes all about Family and Friends. No pressures, no gift giving - just a gathering for a meal.

As long as I can remember I have always had Thanksgiving Dinner at my parents home with other family members. Of course there are always exceptions but for the most part that is what I have always done while I was single, when I got married and when I had children.

When I was married with teen age children, Thanksgiving Day started with a gathering of teenage boys and football in the outer acreage.......  it could be sunny, it could be raining or it could be wet....... didn't matter they were always out there playing football on Thanksgiving Day........... Then my children married and began having children and there were no more football games. But coming together on Thanksgiving still continues.......  now my married children have another set of parents so the holidays are split or are celebrated on different days. Does that matter? Not to me it doesn't........ I just want that eye to eye contact, share with them all the wonderful things that have happened and hear their stories. It is all about family.

You must have stories of your own, have you written them down so they won't be forgotten?

I don't really think that there are any strong traditions for this family at Thanksgiving, except to celebrate together. It is difficult some years to be together so we do the best we can,  But when we are together it is good. Any problems seem to melt away for the day and family talk about the good times in the past and for the future. But I am realizing that what held us together was my Dad......... not the day. So I need to step up and not loose those memories for my grandchildren and their children's children.

Our traditional dinner usual consists of turkey, dressing, gravy, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, green bean casserole, Mom's Jello mold, my spinach salad, cranberry sauce, rolls, relish tray of giant olives, artichoke hearts, mini sweet gherkins. And of course pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and another pie like apple or berry.  Not sure how any of us could stand up or walk after this feast but we can and we do.............  cleaning up is a group activity so it goes quickly.......... After that, we seem to go out for a walk around the neighborhood, boy does that help get you moving again.

These days Thanksgiving Day is spent out - out at a restaurant. But it is still family around the table no matter where it is........  My oldest son has a home now and has started to take on the responsibility of the holidays in place of my parents. Dad is no longer with us and Mom well, she is just trying to remember.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL - (Dad), Mom, Chuck, Mike, Jason, Ashlyn, Aden, Josh, Barb.....&                    to all my friends.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoses Places Thursday - Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference

Two Conferences 
One Location
February 11-14, 2015
Salt Lake City
FGS & RootsTech2015 Conference

........... both conferences (FGS Conference) are right around the corner. Time to start armchair planning. I love this part of the planning process because anything is possible. Reality sets in later down the line where you have to make those final decisions.

I need to sit down with the schedule of classes and see what is being offered. I am also attending the 'twin' conference, RootsTech, so I need to read about what is being offered there also. AND then somehow come out with a great schedule with back ups just in case classes I choice are full. This is going to be frustrating, because there are enough good classes to take from either conference and now I have two conference classes to choose from to whittle down into one schedule. To me it seems it is unfair to the conference goer and to the instructors too. It should not be a competitive affair. OK OK I am off my soap box now.

When I go through classes I look for anything NEW, anything to do with Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and now Massachusetts, and anything that catches my interest (that I cannot explain - it is a personal choice) .  I have my magic markers (probably several markers in different colors) handy and start marking the ones that I first think I may be interested in attending.  AND, yes I do look to see who is instructing each class also......  it does make a difference to me. I look for presenters I have not heard of, presenters I have not taken a class from yet. I like to hear about the same subject from many different people...... sometimes you connect and sometimes you don't. I look for instructors that are dedicated to certain subjects or locations. I feel I am beyond the basic classes but I am not above taking one if an instructor interests me, or the write up of the class is of interest, basic or not.

I don't think I have ever picked a class by the instructor.........  ooops, yes I have. TWICE!! In the beginning I had heard so much about Elizabeth Shown Mills and her FAN concept along with sourcing. I was not disappointed but had to 'fight' for a seat. I also attended a class several years back because Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist was speaking. I had been told that her blog was the one to follow and so I did. Now I had an opportunity to hear her and meet her. AND I did. Again, not disappointed. But normally I do not look at the instructors till after I have chosen classes and are starting to cut ones or are looking for the those back ups, then I start looking at who is speaking. You know as well as I do, that we don't connect with everyone and/or you need to hear the same information from a different view point.

Next  I will need to read about all the other activities going on, luncheons available, exhibit hall, and the LIBRARY........  along with some down time (when will that happen 2-4 AM?)  Squeezing the exhibit hall into the conference time will be the most difficult to do. I have signed up for a luncheon each day of the conference so most of the lunch break will be taken up ........... I will be able to spend the entire day and into the evening on Monday and Tuesday at the LIBRARY. Need to start going through the LIBRARY catalog to make my to-do list. Society Day is held on Wednesday, and then there are full days of conference classes and labs on Thursday, Friday & Saturday.......... with two conferences of classes to choose from I don't think I will have problems filling up my days. IF by some twist there are time frames where I didn't choose a class or it was full I will be down at the exhibit hall. I need to go through the exhibitors and see who I really want to visit and learn more about. 

So much to do and so little time..............  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Tip - FGS/ RootsTech 2015 Conferences

Two Conferences 
One Location

Salt Lake City 
February 11-14, 2015
Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 
RootsTech 2015 Conference

The one thing I do remember about my first FGS Conference is that they devoted an entire day to Societies.  Appropriately called Society Day. Classes that had meaning, that was actually helpful to Societies and their membership. Several of the sessions have a short presentation, giving a background for discussion and then it is an open forum - attendees are able to ask questions and other attendees answer. It was wonderful. It was great knowing that a small society in Wyoming has the same problems as a huge society in New York and California and Texas. Attendees exchange contact information and keep in touch, sharing information. Networking at its best.

I feel like I have been attending conferences for a long time and I have been but not FGS Conferences. I have only attended FGS Conferences for the last couple of years. I looked at their website to see where past conferences were held and it was not where I had any research. But then I attended San Antonio Texas where I have absolutely no research - but had a ball and learned a lot from the selected classes I attended. 

 2014 FGS Conference, San Antonio Texas............. 

                                                                   Boat Ride on the famous Riverwalk

View from my room on the 23rd floor of part of the RiverWalk So much green area to walk and ride....... over to the right  is a complete shopping mall hidden behind the quiet boat rides and walks..............

Society Showcase in the Exhibit Hall

Party Time San Antonio style - food entertainment, and dancing 

2013 FGS Conference - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Delegate Reception

the OTHER LIBRARY - Allen County Public Library with a fantastic Genealogy Section/Floor

                                                                                            Society Day

Party Time in Fort Wayne...............

Sounds like we will have great entertainment in Salt Lake City 2015 TOO!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Veteran's Day 2014

Where will you be today?
What will you be doing today?
Write down the stories for your family, for future grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and on and on.............  don't let those stories stop with you. 
It only takes 4 generations for those stories to be forgotten........


I come from a family of Veterans...........

Lt Col John P Gardner Jr
My father was what they call 'a lifer' He served in the US Army for over 20 years. He started before WWII in the reserve, then joined the Army as a Sgt and worked his way up to a Lt Col. During the WWII he served in the European Theater.......  He also served in Korea. He also served three tours in Germany, with short stays in Ft Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma and Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. 
Retiring from the Presidio, San Francisco, California

1st Lt Mary Jane (Little) Gardner
My mother graduated from Buffalo General Hospital and registered in the Army in the Nurse Corp. She served in many places during the war - Africa, Europe (Italy, France, Germany). Resigning her commission after the war, began a family and continued her nursing career at Burlingame Hospital, Burlingame, California

What will you be doing today?
My husband and I will be attending the services in the morning at the Sylvan Cemetery, Citrus Heights. This has become a tradition for us.

This service is organized by the  American Legion #637 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We will have special guests: Supervisor 4th District Roberta MacGlashan, Citrus Heights Mayor Mel Turner and other members of the Citrus Heights city council, Citrus Heights Police Chief Christopher Boyd, Citrus Heights Boy Scout Troop #228, the Folsom Harmony Express singers, and the Citrus Heights Police Department Honor Guard and bugler Ray Latimer.

I am so thrilled that the Boy Scouts are involved in the services and flag ceremonies. The Scouting program was a big part of my earlier life with my two boys and my step son and husband- all with Troop #228.
Small world

Enjoy your day. If you have family traditions and stories about this day, write them down. Don't let those memories get lost or forgotten. It only takes 4 generations to lose stories/memories.
Don't let this happen, start writing now.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Road Trip to the Bay Area!!!!

A Day in Court with

Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL
1 November 2014

Judy continues to look out for all of us and tries to educate us in law - knowing that the laws of the day make it possible for family history researchers to better understand the lives of their ancestors and the records they created. So go to the blog and register, keep yourself updated and learn in the process.

I attended the SMCGS 2014 Fall Seminar in Menlo Park to listen to what Judy Russell has to say. I am looking for purls (knitting term) of wisdom. When we arrived and checked in, there was a silent auction and book sales,. Yes I checked through all the books, there were a couple of tempting ones.. AND I carefully looked over the silent auction items. Boy was I Tempted!! -one was a year's subscription to

The topics today were -
 "Where There Is - OR Isn't - A Will"
"The Fair Court - Records of Chancery Courts"
"Polls, Personalty and Property- Making Sense of Tax Lists"
"From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large - How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists"

A little about Judy Russell in case someone reads this post-  With  a Bachelor'degree in journalism/political science and a law degree from Rutgers. I was curious about the letters behind her name and only found 2 out of 3......    JD= Juris Doctor/ a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.  CG= Certified Genealogist   CGL= ?(I am going to continue to look)

Judy rocks.She is approachable, what a great combination. I have always felt very comfortable walking up to Judy, saying HI and asking questions, or making comments. I really enjoy her presentations.

Several items that I learned that I may even retain............ 
What does "Last Will and Testament" mean? A Will involves real property and Testament refers to personal property.
Whatever you are researching you have to know what the laws are of that time frame and location.
Up to the mid 1800's Guardian is about the overseeing of property not child protection/care. The overseeing of a Minor's property NOT their care.

Crown Copyright - beware- United Kingdom does not republish

Look for Dockets - index to minutes/ case by case// Minutes - events that describe each case in more details // Loose papers or case files - don't forget to ask

References to try..............
Use Google Books 
Blacks Law Dictionary 1891

So now I understand why knowing the law makes us better genealogists - most records are required by law/  most records are also confusing - both the law is involved and the need to understand the law of the time and location. 
To understand the records we need to understand the law, when the record was created, where the record was created.  

I also took a peek at their Family History Center........  in a separate house on the property of the church. Lots of great information, plus books, computer, internet and microfilm readers.........and more.

Staff was very friendly and helpful. They were gearing up for the lunch time rush.

Yep!! It was raining earlier today but not during the day.........
I know these maps are everywhere but now I have a reference right on my iPhone when I am looking up area's in Ohio. I start with Stark County and work out around the county. This is a good reference for me. Probably another good reference would be a good map of Stark County.

It was a good day. Reunited with quite a number of old friends from the California Genealogical Society in Oakland, plus several from the SMCGS which was a pleasant surprise.

Big thanks to the SMCGS and to Judy Russell.

Sentimental Sunday - Special Happy Birthday to Chuck Benward

November 2 

Happy Birthday Chuck 
husband & lover, father,grandfather, uncle, friend, lover of old cars, follower of NASCAR & gardener

                             This year he enjoyed growing his own mini Pumpkin Plants all from seed
I received some Pumpkin Plant cut sticks from a friend last Halloween - she bought them from Trader Joe's.........  when the little pumpkins started to shrivel up, we opened them up, took out the seeds, dried them out and saved them till early spring. He planted every seed and here we have dozens of full grown mini Pumpkin Plants (actually they are part of the eggplant family in Africa) Beware of the leaves! They have large sharp spikes on the top and underside of the leaves. Now I know why they are sold cut from the plant first and leaves stripped off. OOOUCH!!
                                                          GREAT JOB Birthday Boy!!

Born too many years ago in Vacaville, Solano Co., California ....mentally about 25 years old 
 .... he keeps getting better as time goes on
.....reminder -you are loved

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sorting Saturday - NEW FTM SIG in town!

There is a new SIG (Special Interest Group) in town being sponsored by Root Cellar SGS

It's first meeting was October 16. I attended. I think I will attend the November meeting also.

I am completely involved with Legacy Family Tree Software but I am beginning to get a little frustrated with it. Nothing seems easy, there is always something more to learn in order to do a task. I used FTM several years ago, but then they stopped supporting it and I had to find something else to use for my family records/documents/pictures. So I picked Legacy FT. I have always liked it but as I said getting a little frustrated with it. Anyway, I attended the meeting hoping to get a little encouragement one way or the other. Lots of great discussions but none without problems.

One good thing I like about FamilyTree Maker is that you can use it whether you are a Mac user or a PC user. I am so tired hearing about there is nothing for the MAC or they don't support both platforms. So this is a very good thing. They of course are not the same program, each has its own version but they are more alike than not.

Family Tree Maker (FTM) Genealogy Software SIG  also discussed the interaction with the Family Trees on So you can register on for a family tree and then import all or part of your family tree from your FTM program. You can then sync back and forth as you add more ancestors/descendants, documents, pictures. Pretty nifty.

A lot of discussion around this sync'ing, because it was not working for many of the participants. FTM Program were locking up when trying to sync. Others were going to look into that and see if they could come up with some solutions for the next meeting in November.

I am tempted to try out FTM again ..........I am considering it. I am a Legacy user now but don't know why you couldn't use more than one program  ..... but I see you can update your family tree from anywhere using FTM with TreeSync. With TreeSync you can keep your tree up-to-date no matter where you are. Access and share your family tree from any computer- even your iPhone or iPad. AND Yes, now there is an APP to complete the entire circle. OMG technology can be so great and so overwhelming too.............  I do already have the APP where part of my family tree exists. But it is the same partial tree that I have on Ok I have that part of it and the mobility of that family tree. I am just not using FTM yet. You don't have to use FTM to use the APP. The trees on are free to use and build on, however you can not add documentation from unless you have a membership - which I do.

I am able to sync my Legacy software/family tree with a third party iPhone/iPad APP called Families. I do find it cumbersome to up date/sync. You can not add or make changes to the Families APP. It only sync's one way..........  even so, while traveling and researching I do have my entire family tree available to look at or through on my iPhone, which is a darn good benefit.

So I am not sure what I will do now. I think I would like to install FTM and upload part of my tree and work it that way right now. It doesn't do me much good to have only have access to part of a tree, DOES IT?

So here are the particulars for the FTM SIG if you are interested.
Come out, join in, ask your questions and see if this is right for you and then learn from each other.
Start at the beginning and grow with the group.

What: Family Tree Maker SIG
When: FIRST meeting 20 November  (3rd Thursday)
Time: 11:30am- 1:30pm
Where: Sylvan Community Center, 7521 Community Dr, Citrus Heights