Monday, April 24, 2017

Celebrating Six Years of Blogging

Today marks six years since the beginning of writing on gophergenealogy.blogspot.com. For the most part writing is something I enjoy doing. This blog keeps me on track with my work and new discoveries from that work. Every day is something new and remarkable in doing family history research. New databases are released from the major online sites on a daily basis. Most of the time it feels as though I am lead to the information that is needed for the family involved.

In the past several months work was done on families to compile information and locate documents and indexed information to confirm what was found. While most of the principal work is done on ancestry.com, using the categories search and exploring all options, at times the information directs me to other websites. Those websites can be a gold mine for facts about a family. We all use findagrave.com and marvel at the items published on the pages for individuals. In looking further we search the cemetery for other known family members. Recently in being directed to the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency a wonderful new resource was discovered.

While searching on ancestry.com and within a database, along the right side of the indexed information will be hints for other available records for a person. Those need to be followed carefully to evaluate if they truly apply to the person one is researching. It is tempting to continue following those bread crumbs for more hints, but in doing so one can lose the focus of the original research. It is important to back arrow to the first page and look at all the categories not yet viewed. It is much like going down a rabbit hole and strict organization in researching will lead to better results.

One key part for my research has paid big benefits lately. For one family we are looking for Native American ancestors. In finding records of an early 1900s application for benefits, the index information found was added to the personal database. When wanting to return to this database on ancestry.com it was easy to go to the information pasted to the notes of the person, copy and paste the title of the record collection and go to the ancestry.com catalog and enter the information. So many times links to pages are broken and using this information is more accurate.

This same client brought me a tote full of documents and printouts to be organized. It took a couple of weeks, but now all that information has been examined and what was good is incorporated into six notebooks. They are marked for the family lines included and have a pedigree chart representing those lines. All information was entered into a personal database, a copy provided on a flash drive in both original and gedcom formats. It always feels great to turn this over to the client. For the rest of my work the personal database is all I need to work from.

The client had already done an ancestry DNA test and we were anxious to see the results. When they came back she was at first very disappointed in that there were no Native American matches or ethnic markers. Then I went to work on the matches and found she has two second cousin matches and fifteen third cousin matches. Of those one second cousin match and ten third cousin matches have family trees posted. Between those eleven trees she has links to eight of her known family lines. In her fourth cousin matches she has 1,005 matches. There do not appear to be as many links to her family lines in the fourth cousin matches, but then I did not pursue any past the first of 500+ pages.

These findings gave further information to the work that had been done. Her brother has a public tree on ancestry.com and it had been reviewed before. In the research I found six possible incorrect links. Now four of those have been validated through the DNA testing. To help ease her mind about the Native American finding she was shown the article "Missing Matches With Mom" by Diahan Southard in familytree magazine May/June 2017.  We uploaded her gedcom database to ancestry.com and she is very pleased with the outcome. Then we went to the FTDNA website and uploaded her ancestryDNA results. Hopefully we will find even more matches for her families.

One last thought on this day of celebration and sharing of serendipity moments. Today I ordered the last two books from my genealogy book wish list. Now the list can continue to grow. My love of books and genealogy are a perfect match. Then I donated ten books to the Watts House for their collection. This world is all about sharing. Have a great day and look for those serendipity moments.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Watts House Progress - 8 months later

     Attended the library board meeting on Saturday to present our inventories of the Watts books from the original library in the Watts house. Shared the story of discovering who the third library founder was and her contribution. We also provided a list of the 20+ books that have family signatures in them. The Historical Society is hoping they will be placed in the Watts House Museum for preservation. After that I went to the house and transitioned the picture collection to smaller tubs for ease of working with them. Then all was taken down to the basement. It was great going down there and seeing the progress. From 20 open boxes there are now only eleven smaller tubs that are sorted. The notebooks are labeled for the use of anyone wishing to research their families.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Wish List
Reference Books for the Genealogist Wish List
By Susan LeBlanc, BGS/FH, AG®[i]

Genealogy books are plentiful and knowing which ones will be most beneficial in your genealogy education is important. While taking classes through BYU, I made the following list of books used in the various classes or suggested by the instructors. It is certainly not everything on my shelves, which contain over 100 reference books, but it will help to get you thinking about creating your own list. Many of my other books are for specific localities and foreign research. Of the 45 books listed, eleven are still on my wish list. An important feature of creating a list is to mark off the books that you have, so when you go to purchase books you will know which books to add to your individual library. Our local librarian requested the list, as she wants to build our library collection. To keep costs down for the home library one can purchase used books at a fraction of the original price. The most recent publication does not always provide many changes from previous versions. While you may be able to access the book online, having a hard cover copy is nice for leisure reading and ready reference. Being able to mark a book for personal use is something true book lover’s relish.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Who Was Lena Burg?



As noted in past newspaper articles Lena Berg was one of the founders of the Scappoose Public Library in 1929. She worked with Rose Watts and Caroline Dorris in establishing the library in the second floor of the Price/Watts store. There they managed to collect hundreds of books and provided hours of service making those available to the community. They were involved in the rescue of the books from that building before it was destroyed by fire in 1932. The books were moved to the Watts house where they were open to the public until a formal public library was opened in 1959, at the then fire station building. That move occurred shortly after the death of Rose Watts, who was quoted as saying, “there were four to five thousand books at that time.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Scappoose Library - Fabulous Opal Whiteley

My mother, Yvonne Olsen Barker, loved the book Opal by Opal Whiteley. She left two copies of the book in her large collection of books. The one I kept for myself is a 1976 edition arranged and adapted by Jane Boulton, with 181 pages. The cost of the book was $2.95 after being reduced from $6.95, probably found in a used book store. On the inside front page she left this inscription:

"This book reminds me so much of how your great grandmother was as a child from the stories she told me. I have this same book in my library so I thought you might enjoy reading this one.
Yvonne Olsen Barker 6/5/93."

Thursday, February 2, 2017

SLIG 2017 Forensic Genealogy Course

Tricia Oberndorf and I attended the "The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit"
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG and Amber Goodpaster Tauscher
were the lead instructors, teaching 14 sections individually and often together supporting the learning of how to use technology in the research process.

Monday, January 9, 2017

100,000 Page Views for Gopher Genealogy

At about 3:30 this afternoon the blog Gopher Genealogy reached 100,000 views. The blog began on April 24, 2011. Then in four years-time on February 28, 2015 it reached 50,000 page views. In less than two years it has now doubled the amount of page views. These views are from all around the world, but just over 59,000 come from the United States. When starting the blog it was a novelty and many other genealogists were doing the same. Geneabloggers has about 3,000 blogs listed at their website. Today the website posted an interview entitled, "May I Introduce You to Susan LeBlanc."
This is a short piece from the post:

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Samuel Reed Civil War Soldier



                Samuel Reed is my fourth great grandfather. He fought in the Civil War and died on October 6, 1864 because of dysentery. I found information about him from his burial in Little Rock National Cemetery in Arkansas. Much of the information my family has about him came from his military records. (Military Service) Learning about him helps me to understand the Civil War on a personal level. Samuel Reed is significant to me because he was willing to leave his family and fight for his beliefs.