Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - Details on Ledger Books Findings

Today I made my fourth trip this month to Sherwood, Oregon, to work on the Post Office Ledger Books kept in the Sherwood Heritage Center. The findings thus far are that there are a total of eighty-five ledger books from the old Sherwood Post Office covering some years between 1899-1935. I have taken on a project that seems to have a time frame of its own. The biggest difficulty is that the Center is only open two days a week, for three hours a day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Traditions - Making the Most of Family History

                                                     Christmas 1981

I am now in the mood for Christmas, the Holidays or whatever you want to call it. This is the time of year to light up the house as we enter the darkest month of the year. With the lights put up outside our homes to welcome the guests who enter into a comfortable, warm home with delightful displays of our family traditions. In our family we have several important traditions and many of them have been passed down from mother to daughter. In my collection in ten tubs of holiday decorations, I have items from both of my grandmothers and several things that my mother gave to me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moment - Hertford, England DVD

Almost fifteen years ago I made a wonderful trip to Norway and England. It was exhausting and memorable at the same time.  We were in Oslo and Son for seven days, and traveled much of the route of my great grandfather's journey in 1914. Our relatives were very gracious and kind to us. We stayed in their family home, ate with several of the relatives and had a great time site seeing with some of them. From the moment they greeted us at the airport and to when they left us at the train station, they saw to our every need. From Oslo we went by train to Bergen and stayed there for two days. What wonderful places to visit.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving – A Debt of Gratitude

Within my stored holiday decorations I have tucked some special cards given to me by family over the years. Today I want to share a card from my father. These thoughts are always a pleasant reminder of why we celebrate these events in our lives. Some of our family will be coming to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. As we share the blessings and wonderful memories of our family we will reflect on those who are not with us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments and "The Wilsons of Wilsonville"

For this weeks serendipity moments I am including an article I wrote the year before with Vicki Bonagofski for the GFO Bulletin, published in December 2010. Vicki and I discussed using information she gathered in research on the Wilson family as a possible article. We collaborated and tried to piece together the family story. She continues to work on the family history and we discuss possible searches for information. In return she occasionally provides information about my ancestors who lived in the same town. Last week while doing some onsite research in a Heritage Center I came across some post office ledger books that contain information on our families. Imagine finding the Wilson family post office box rental record for box 23, looking across the room at the post office boxes and seeing that number. How many times in their lives did they visit this box in search of letters from loved ones? Later in the week I will share more of what we found in the ledger books, but for now I wanted to share this family story. In the pursuit of further knowledge some of the details of the article have come into question; such is the case in doing genealogy work. If you have information about the family please contact us.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Legacy Webinars and NEHGS Survey for Newsletters

We are so fortunate to have groups that provide online information and support for genealogists. This week I benefited from two very interesting learning opportunities. First, through Legacy Family Tree, Marian Pierre-Louis presented "Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents." It was fascinating to listen to Marian as she walked through the steps of researching and evaluating the ancestors of Geoff Rasmussen, the moderator of the webinar. The surprise at the end was wonderful, as he learns he is indirectly related to William Penn. The next day I found myself doing very similar research and seeing firsthand how well the process works. Since this presentation there have been two more webinars and seven more are planned. During the wintry weather ahead be sure to take advantage of these free learning opportunities.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day - A Little Info on Veterans Day in the US

When I looked out the window this morning I noticed the boy scouts had placed the US flag beside our red leaf maple, which is in full glory right now. Then I read many posts on Facebook about Veterans Day and thought just how that might apply to our family. While many of our relatives and ancestors would not meet the official designation of a veteran, they did sacrifice on our behalf. Next I turned to Wikipedia and the US Veterans Administration to better understand the formal meaning of a US Veteran. Rather than rewrite what I found, I made a sampling of the information and placed it into a format for future refereance. That is what I am sharing with you today. For more information please go to the source link.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - Finding Books in Unexpected Places

This week I am posting two serendipity moments that occurred in the last two days. First, I will start with today's find at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. I met this morning with a client to share the results of a current research project for her family. We had a pleasant meeting and it was exciting to see her appreciation of the information that was gathered. After we parted, I returned to the GFO for some reading materials I will be reviewing for our publication. Because her project intrigued me so much, I stopped to see if there were family histories in the books for two of the families.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaching Genealogy Classes

Teaching genealogy classes is always a bit challenging. While I enjoy putting together presentations, they require a lot of time and energy. PowerPoint makes it easier, but I always bring a back up print out of the slides in case there is a complication with the equipment. I so appreciate the wonderful participants who are very supportive and understanding of any glitches that arise. My worst experiences were when the computer shut down as the power cord was never plugged in and the battery was drained. Depending on the computer and place in the presentation, you either continue on or just finish the class without the visuals.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moment - Slavery

I grew up in Portland, Oregon and for the first few years of my life I had very little awareness of black people. African American might be a correct term, but the black population is from various backgrounds. Then I met my first African American friend when she joined a group of students who were integrated into our high school from another part of the city. After high school I attended a community college, in the middle of the African American community where my friend was from. I am sure others were frightened to be in "that part of town", but I felt very comfortable. When my youngest son was in second grade he asked me who were black people. We live in a community where there are very few shades of color in people. In our home we welcome people from many cultures.