Sunday, October 30, 2011

Celebrating Fifty Years of Marriage in 1976

                                   Carl and Zella Olsen November 6, 1926

While I was living out of the country my grandparents Carl and Zella Olsen celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Since I wrote about Zella earlier this week I thought I would include notes from a speech given in their behalf at that event. It is especially endearing to me, as I could not be there. Special invitations were ordered, dinner was held at a favorite restaurant and family and friends gathered to honor this special couple. Next week on November 6 they would have been married eighty-five years. They were married at the home of her cousin Annie Hosmer Sherk in Sherwood, Oregon. So, for all those who love to read the details involving our ancestors, I am sharing this story with you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - The Moment I Knew and Grandma Zella

Earlier this week there was a post by Lynn Palermo, of The Armchair Genealogist blog, about "The Moment I Knew", with regards to her getting started in Genealogy. Then she challenged fellow genealogists to post their experience in getting started. This is a thought that had crossed my mind during that same time period, so I decided to accept the challenge. This moment was certainly a defining occurence in my life, as I was all of fourteen years old. Now over forty years later, I feel very contented with the path that I have taken in genealogical research. Many experiences lead me to be a better genealogist.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blog Anniversary - Six Months

Today I celebrate the six months Blog Anniversary of Gopher Genealogy. This has been an amazing adventure. Sharing my experiences of forty years from genealogy research is very helpful in my own journey. There have been almost 4300 page views, 50 google friend followers (my good friend JoAnne is the 50th), 4 networked followers, almost 300 out of 443 facebook connections, 122 googlo+ connections and 80 out of 128 linkendium connections.
Your comments, personal blogs and social connections enhance the feelings I have for genealogical research. Thank you so much for your encouragement, appreciation and support. I do this purely for the enjoyment it brings and that continues to grow each time I write. My broken wing is healing, I can use my right hand in typing and this blog was certainly a great contributor during my time of recovery. Again, genealogy is the best and sharing it with each of you makes it even better.

Genealogy - One Thing Leads to Another, sharing with others

Twice in the same week the posts by Ancestry Insider lead me to important information about my ancestors. On Saturday, after a very busy week preparing for and giving four lectures in a one-day event, I was very ready to relax and recover. When I work on presentations it can get rather intense. Last week a good genealogy friend contacted me in a bit of a panic. She was due to give the lectures for a one-day event, and there had been a death in the family and she would not be able to attend the event. As I was on my way out the door to present at another event some distance from my home, I looked at my calendar, which just happened to be open for that day. She was very relieved that I was willing to take her place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moment - Pedigree Resource File Submission

Whenever I work with a client I encourage them to share their personal database in the Pedigree Resource File available at The free genealogy database is available for any one, not just members of the church. In my morning e-mail reading today I read a post by the Ancestry Insider titled "New Pedigree Resource File: Sources and Notes". This is something I had to check out as I submitted a file of my own to this collection several years ago.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Genealogy - Weekend Getaway at the Oregon Coast

This is the view from our motel room at Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast.

A few months ago I was asked to participate at a Family History Fair at the Tillamook, Oregon Family History Center. It is about a two hour drive from our home, so I asked my husband David to come with me as I don't like to travel too far from home alone. We wanted to spend the night, so I searched for a motel that would allow us to be right on the beach and had a good view. Due to my recent injury, I did not feel up to walking on the beach. This motel was a wonderful find. There were motels in Tillamook, but there were not any with a view of the beach.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Genealogy Education - Enhance Your Research

Genealogy education is one of my past blog topics and in it I refer to the three nationally respected institutes. The opportunity to enter a contest for a free tuition to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in 2012 is a perfect opportunity for anyone wanting to attend one of the tracks. This is a very popular Institute and usually there is a race for a spot in the tracks. Several of the current tracks are filled and others have limited spots available. For further information visit their website at:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - Columbus Day Storm 1962

Friday, October 12, 1962 was an event that will long be remembered by those who were living in Portland, Oregon. Being only eight years old, my perspective of the event is still very clear, but limited. So, I called my mother to ask her a few questions. For her the event was more traumatic, being a young mother of four children ages 8,7,5 and 1. We lived in a small two-story house, with a living room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms and a garage downstairs. Upstairs there were two dormer type rooms, where we children usually slept. We lived in a neighborhood of similar type homes, built as though from the same cookie cutter.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - What a Genealogy Week

Yesterday my blog reached the 4,000 mark in views. On October 21, I will have been blogging for six months. Now this might not seem like much to some of you, but for me it is wonderful. This will be my 53rd  post and I have 52 followers. Many of you have commented and shared your enjoyment of reading the posts. Thank you for taking the time to comment. For me the greatest benefit is that I am writing, on a consistent basis, about what I love doing most. Sharing stories that are stored in my memories is as important as any of the research that I do. So, for this week I am going to share some of my highlights, as I have finally been spending time with others.

Genealogy - Supporting Your Local Society

We are blessed to have a wonderful local genealogy research facility named the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, which was established in 1946. The change of membership is ongoing and this past month we experienced a unique opportunity for growth. When the local transit authority decided to demolish the building we were using, they assisted our group in locating a new facility and then provided some financial assistance in making the move. The old building was a wood structure and I always had a fear the place would go up in flames and we would loose a very valuable collection. With the move to the old Ford Building, a concrete structure built to withstand any natural disaster, our collection is better protected. It is located at S.E. 11th and Division in Portland, Oregon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Genealogy - My Son's Story About Grandma Helen

In the collection found within the tub of Grandma Helen was a story written by my son Daniel for his high school history class December 7, 1998 entitled, "My Great Grandmother's Life During the Depression, Helen Haynes." In preparing to write the story he conferred with me for information and then interviewed Grandma Helen. Today I am retyping the story, as it is no longer found in my computer files. Somewhere in the change over of one of our early computers some things mysteriously disappeared. Just as mysteriously they sometimes show up, as I freely shared copies at the time of the things that were written.