Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Events and Unexpected Challenges

Being a genealogist brings amazing experiences to one's life. This past week there were some wonderful events that help me to appreciate our family and friends. We share our lives with many people, not unlike our ancestors in every generation. Coming to know their stories can help us to face the events of our lives, good and bad.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Italian Families in America, Little Italy, the Furia Family

Yesterday, as I was working in the family search center for our local area, one of the students from my class came in for help in locating her Italian ancestors in the old country. It is interesting that often when I am working with someone we do not find a major document until they are about to leave. She shared with me the records that she found. I encouraged her to fill out a pedigree chart so we could have a road map for the research. She had one document that showed her grandfather living in a certain town. Then on we found a WWI draft registration card, he actually had two different ones, but the one named the same town as his place of birth. We then looked for online records for that locality and found that has microfilms of the vital records and church records available for ordering.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Statistics at One Year for Gopher Genealogy Blog

I am a statistics person, so for the one-year blogiversary I want to share some of the information provided for this blog through This is another way for me to record this data and track the history of who is reading the posts, where they are located, what types of search engines they use, what browsers they use, what referring sites they are coming from, and what types of posts and pages they are most interested in. While this blog has a small following, it averages about 25 hits a day, with the highest hits being about 100 for a day. For this year there have been over 8630 hits as of today.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Change is Difficult, One Must Adapt

This coming week I will celebrate my one-year blogiversary. This has been a most amazing journey. When you mix in other activities of this week it is difficult to comprehend the amount of knowledge and growth my current projects require. So, tonight I go to my blog site and discover that it has been totally revamped.  I was not ready for this, and yet in a few minutes I began to navigate my way around the new format. One of the most frustrating things about using the Internet is nothing ever stays the same.

Monday, April 16, 2012

National Volunteer Week Genealogy Style

Most genealogists that I am acquainted with volunteer generously of their time, so it is very appropriate that they be recognized during national volunteer week. 
A quote from one of my friend's facebook posts this morning recognizes the importance of volunteers:

National Volunteer Week is April 15 - 21, 2012.
 "Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in." ~Author Unknown
By: Elders in Action

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Public Libraries Serendipity Moments from the Past, Present and Future

Throughout my life I have enjoyed the privilege of access to public libraries, even having a library card as a young child. When I think of the book mobile that came down our street and allowed everyone the opportunity to check out some books for a couple of weeks, I can envision the entire experience. There were two public libraries some distance from our home and we often walked, rode our bikes or our mothers took us to utilize the treasures located there. At the time I was clueless to the true investment being made by our community in financing these facilities.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

1940 Census Indexing a Phenomenal Project

As of today the Oregon 1940 Census is 70% completed and we are unable to download any other data for indexing. Who would have imagined that this could be done in six days? Delaware is 100%, Kansas is 80% and Colorado is 85%, with no more downloads available for any of them. There are a total of seventeen States available at for browsing. At the present time thirteen states are available for indexing, with less than 5% completed for any of them except New Hampshire with 13%. I realize this may seem slow to some, but I can assure you this is phenomenal. I expect the current top three, after Delaware, will be finished sometime this week.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Unraveling the Story of the Mystery Urn in Oregon - Serendipity Moments

Last Saturday night, April 1, I glanced at my emails and discovered one from my friend Janice Healy. We often bounce genealogy projects off on each other for advice and input. This time she was asking for my help in locating records online about the man whose name was on the newly discovered urn at the Oregon Coast. A young man found the urn while exploring the rocky ocean shores and decided that somehow it should be returned to the family of this man. In pursuing his quest, he contacted Tom Preston at a local funeral home in Astoria. Later the next day I would see the follow-up newscast on KATU.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

1940 Census - A New Toy for Genealogists

Are you having fun yet? Yesterday was a banner day for the field of genealogy. If you were not doing something with the newly released 1940 Census records, you missed out on a celebrated event. With the release of the records at of the entire census in the morning their website could hardly keep up.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Search the 1940 Census

Search the 1940 Census - 1940 Census
I am in, but going nowhere. Maybe later today things will move better.

Tips on Indexing

  • Take your time getting started.

  • Avoid peak usage times (Saturday evening through Monday evening).

  • Only download as much work as you think you’ll do in an hour or two.

  • Work offline.