Monday, January 30, 2012

Encounters in the Hix Family Part II - Verify the Facts

Yesterday we spent over three hours with Karen, going over our research and comparing notes. When we met at Sharis in Tualatin we asked for a large table in a far corner of the restaurant. We needed lots of room to spread out our notebooks, documents and a laptop computer. The staff was very gracious to us, as they accommodated all of our needs. Our first point of discussion was in resolving the death of Robert Hix. The previous post on this topic was posted last Wednesday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Serendipity Moments - Encounters in the Hix Family

For the past two years I worked with a new friend that I met in our family history center on the Hix family history. In the process we met several people who were willing to collaborate with us in this work. Most of our research was in the town of Milford in Iroquois County, Illinois. My friend made several telephone contacts with people of this town who were very helpful.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Genealogists - How Our Brains Assimilate Information

Each of us has a unique functioning tool in our heads. Our brains are the power tool that helps us to process thoughts, form ideas, catalog information, communicate emotions, and many other processes on a continual basis. Yes, even when we sleep and especially when we are trying to go to sleep. In genealogical research it is a critical tool. It will determine how successful we are in solving genealogical puzzles and help us to piece together the information that we gather. We are the computer system and we can impact how that system works, yet sometimes things may get out of our control.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - Received Ordered Gates Records

Today was awesome. As I headed out to work with a genealogy friend, I stopped to look in the mailbox. I have been anxiously awaiting a response from the New York State Archives about the War of 1812 records for Ardil Gates, and his brothers David and Richard. The box was empty, just as it had been on Tuesday, which was unusual after a Monday holiday. Then I just happened to look down and saw something in our newspaper box, which we never use. The night before we had snow and during the day, today, heavy rain. It just happened at the moment I was looking in the box that it was dry outside. The mail person must have dropped it off just moments before, or otherwise it would have been wet. That would have hugely disappointed me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow is a funny thing. For people like me, who prefer to watch it fall and change the landscape to a picturesque scene of ice-sicles and fluffy white powder, it is a time to slow down and enjoy the changes. Other people who prefer to interface with the white stuff in sledding, skiing, tobogganing, and other such athletic, bone chilling escapades; they are energized by the mere thought of getting outdoors. During the Olympics they are great to watch on television. Being one-quarter Norwegian and one-eighth Danish, one would think that I might find some interest in such outdoor activities. On the last day of our stay in Oslo, Norway in May, it snowed, providing us the opportunity to see this country in its very common state of being.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Genealogy Serendipity Moment - Dreams Do Come True

Last September, during what became a very crazy time in my life, I began working with someone I met in our local family history center. We found some great finds for her on that first day. Later she came to work with me at my home office. She was very anxious to break down some long time brick walls in her family history research. We discovered that one of her relatives, John L. McSweeney and his wife Eliza, had a Civil War Pension file, which she ordered and found great information for this family. Then I fell and broke my arm and could not drive for two months; this limited our contact, as she does not drive. During the holidays we never seemed to connect, but finally last week we were able to meet again.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Food, Family History and Genealogy

When I pondered on what to write for this post, I thought about how much food is tied into family history and genealogy. Yesterday we took my mother and her husband out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary, which actually was ten days ago. Since the nasty whatever bug hit most of us after Christmas we put dinner off until we felt better. Two of our sons joined us, so we had a nice family visit. We ate at McGrath's Fish and Chowder House, as they had a lobster special and my mother likes lobster. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - Paths to Discoveries

This week I have been working on the article for the War of 1812. In the process I did a thorough review of the pension file for Ardil Gates and decided to focus on his military experience. Again I don't want to give away too much of the story, but do want to share the serendipity moments involved in this research. Ardil served under Captain Rufus Tilden in the New York Militia. He volunteered at Malone on July 8, 1812 and served as a private and was released as a POW about December 1912. He includes this information in the pension applications, providing a bit more information in the second application. The U.S. Pension Office, stating that they can find no record of him being a POW, made me curious about finding such a record today. What I really wanted was a company record of the events surrounding his service.