Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Serendipity Gift for Christmas

Our mother knew that she was going to die soon and she started giving items to people or sharing information about her collections that would guide us as we go through her belongings. Like the comments to both my sister and I that we would have to fight over the glass bowl in the cupboard above the refrigerator. We have not had ready access to her belongings, but through the process of creating a list of items of sentimental value to be removed at this time we received some of them.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Highlights from Facebook Posts 2013

I am compiling the facebook posts about Christmas I wrote this month and a few from last month. There are still three days to go. Those will be added after Christmas, so please check back on December 26. For me this is a way to remember the great things that occurred during this time. It may be more than you want to know about our family, but the comments and likes on facebook have been very positive. Several of my family and friends do not do facebook, but do read this blog. Please think about your own experiences and record them for future reference for your family.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

An Open Your Presents Early Christmas

That is the statement that my six year old granddaughter made this week. In the past two plus weeks we have been blessed with some amazing gifts and memories. These are not all physical gifts and some are amazingly simple. In between the gifts directly for our family, there have been some gifts given to others in search of their ancestors.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

In glancing at my past post on Thanksgiving I found it was written a year ago today. We are two days away from the big family Thanksgiving gathering, but it has already started with my youngest daughter's family arrival yesterday. Unfortunately some of them had the flu before coming and our daughter has it now. We are all grateful that they are here and she can take some time to recover while we watch our grandsons. Hopefully none of the rest of us comes down with it. It seems to last 24 hours. On Saturday, four days away, we have scheduled a short train ride on the Holiday Express and the tickets are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. Dinner can be postponed, but not this event.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

36 Classes, Time for a Break

Last Saturday was my final class of thirty six total for the year and there is now a two month break. There are already ten classes scheduled for next year. That day my presentation was at Portland State University, in the Cramer building. After searching online to figure out the best on-street spots for parking, onward I went with a prayer that there would be one close to the building. There on the street corner was a wonderful spot and I was very grateful to only have a couple of blocks to walk.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sharing Personal Details in Family History and Life

Time, what a precious commodity. As humans we know that after we are born there are finite amounts of years, months, weeks, days, minutes and yes, even seconds in which to live. As the years pass it becomes apparent that this time is fleeting. Within those time periods we pass through various types of stressful situations. The mental or physical ailments of our own and others often are the most draining types of stress. When these times occur in my life there is a tendency to shut down and retreat from normal activities.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Utah Genealogical Association: WINNER OF THE JIMMY B. PARKER SCHOLARSHIP FOR SLIG...: The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is pleased to announce Susan LeBlanc as the winner of the Jimmy B. Parker Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy...

When the call came on Monday it was thrilling to learn that I was awarded the Jimmy B. Parker SLIG scholarship for 2013. My husband could hear my exclamation of joy in another room of the house. It was all I could do to keep from emailing or phoning all of my friends. There were a few trusted souls that helped me wait until now to proclaim the great joy this has added to my life. Just the honor of being recognized by fellow esteemed genealogists is such a wonderful surprise.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Weird Stuff on for Halloween

Recently a friend of mine asked for some help in understanding her family tree. She was adopted at birth and is diligently trying to follow several of her family lines. In having her DNA examined she has been matched with several people in these lines, mostly distant cousins. While searching she researched the family trees on, and The trees on in my opinion are easier to follow and usually contain more information about the people in the trees.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to Break the Daily Reading of the Newspaper Habit

Some months ago our local newspaper, the Oregonian, announced they were changing the format of their delivery of the news. This was rather disconcerting to those of us who enjoy the daily habit of kicking back in our easy chairs and vegging while we read about the news and local items of interest.

Monday, October 14, 2013

German Ancestors and More Serendipity Moments

Over two years ago my first post on the Neppl family presented what was known about them. One great grandmother, Maria Schaffer Neppl, in particular was eluding me. About eighteen months ago my post shared how a distant cousin named Lee had encountered the first blog post about our common Neppl ancestors. At the time he offered to send me a funeral card for Maria's husband Franz Neppl. It is truly a family treasure.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Counting Up to the 30,000 Pageview of Gopher Genealogy

Four more pageviews to go and this blog will reach 30,000 pageviews in two and a half years. The ride has been fun, sharing with family, friends and fellow genealogists. This week included teaching a class at the senior center and one at the local genealogical center, the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, to the Virginia Interest Group.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

German Ancestors Serendipity Moments

For over forty years my genealogy contained my elusive ancestor, Mary Schaffer. She is my grandmother's grandmother. The family history has been known for years, as her husband's line was traced by two family members, Catholic Priests, who traveled to Germany to document the male line. Her husband Frank/Franz Neppl was born in Arnbruck, Germany in 1852. He and his seven siblings all immigrated to the United States between 1860 and 1880. Their parents died in Germany.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Celebrating the Lives of our Ancestors

Today would have been my mother's 79th birthday and a few of us gathered to celebrate her life. My niece Stephanie whose birthday is this week as well and my sister in law Teri joined me for lunch, along with my youngest granddaughter who was primarily there for entertainment. So far this week I have been out to eat four times doing the same thing. On Monday for lunch I was with two of my favorite friends both named Cindy, and on Tuesday for lunch I was with Mariruth a cousin of my father and Karen another relative from that side of the family. Tuesday evening I took my husband out to eat. As you can probably guess I like to eat out and I don't cook much anymore. The same was true of my mother.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Using Local Records and Indexes

This past week my research took me to the Multnomah County Library to use the Oregon Vital Records Divorce Index. Before going, online research was done in the Oregon Marriage Indexes 1906-1924 and 1946-2008 at It does seem odd that twenty-two years of marriages are missing in the index, but the index did cover the years of interest in the research. There are other indexes by counties that might provide the missing years information.

The library copy of the Divorce Index is by husband for the years 1961-2008 and they are on microfiche. A similar index is available at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, on microfilm for the years 1946-1955, 1956-1960 and 1966-1970 and on microfiche for the years 1971-1989. So by using indexes from both of the resources one can cover the years from 1946-2008. By calling prior to making the trip I was able to confirm that they still had the index and exactly where in this very large library they were located.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Genealogy Connections on Facebook

Lately in conversation the amount of contacts with my friends on Facebook has come up. At the current time I have 621 friends, many of whom are genealogists. Every day there are many comments from these friends relating to the work they are doing and situations arising from their contacts with other genealogists. For my family contacts I maintain a separate list so they are my first read of the day. When time allows I like to take a moment to read the comments of others, many of them funny, entertaining and occasionally sharing challenges in their lives.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Telling the Truth or Lying and the Gray Area In Between

As genealogist's we explore the worlds of people sometimes known to us and others who are complete strangers. In the process we are given bits of information about people's lives and must discern the accuracy of the clues found within. Unfortunately there are people in this world who will lie to us in an attempt to thwart our investigative process.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Lovely if Surreal Visit

Last night my friend invited us to join her family in a farewell barbeque at her home for the family of her birth daughter who had come to visit her from the east coast. I wrote about the experience of finding her birth daughter in a blog post on September 30, 2012. Since that time she and her husband made a trip east to become acquainted with her daughter and her family.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to the Blog

It has been twenty-four days since my last post, or almost three weeks. Where did the time go? People are wondering why the lapse of posts and the one word explanation is, vacation. We left for Rock Springs, Wyoming on the 29th of July and returned home on August 12th. Two weeks of sleeping in motel rooms, eating motel breakfasts, roughly 913 miles each way, made us grateful to come home to our beds and routines.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Serendipity Happenings

Tonight the blog views reached 26666, and tomorrow is my birthday on July 26. The past couple of weeks reading the book, Psychic Roots, Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy, by Henry Z. Jones Jr. has helped to ease my mind in accepting the passing on of my mother. This Saturday it will have been a month and yet it still seems so surreal. For this post I would like to share some serendipity moments that occurred during this time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Steps in Planning a Funeral

Following along last week's post on the passing of a loved one, this week the post is about the steps in planning a funeral. With recent experience in being involved in organizing a celebration of the life of my wonderful mother, it felt so important to honor her life and share the highlights of it with those who would be attending.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Passing of a Loved One - Life Goes On

Two weeks ago I wrote my last post on blogging fun and other time commitments. Little did I even think that my mother would pass away unexpectedly two days later. So for the past two weeks I have been naviating through funeral arrangements and estate processing, not having a clue where we as a family really stand legally. For as many wills, probates, funeral homes and cemeteries we deal with as genealogists this is certainly another aspect of how we handle the affairs of our lives.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blogging Fun and Other Time Commitments

Today's review of my blog views shows 25,555. When it reached 25,000 views last week that was amazing, but this was the serendipity moment as the numbers all lined up. Lately things seem to be picking up again. There were two days in a row this month that were 120 and 110. In April 2013 I reached 1764 views for the all-time high of monthly views. May was 1708 and so far for the month of June it is 1423.

Friday, June 21, 2013

PAF No Longer Provided or Supported by Familysearch

With sadness we are losing access to one of the greatest personal genealogy databases ever created. As of July 15, 2013 PAF will no longer be available to download or install on your computer via the website. Lately it has become increasingly more difficult to find. Along with this announcement is the termination of on June 30, 2013.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Serendipity Within the Gates Family

Now, how would you feel if this email arrived in your inbox as this did in mine yesterday?

It was my good fortune last evening to have Googled my 3rd great grandfather's name and run into your blog! I knew very little about "Ardell" prior to that. I suspected he was an 1812 vet and had inklings he was down near Mankato at one time. A big issue for me was that I had 2 different death dates for him. Turns out he lived much longer than I imagined.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Serendipity Finds in Familysearch Record Search Browse

Yesterday was a day of interesting phone calls, especially those requesting me to speak for various groups. Most of the current requests are looking for someone to guide attendees in learning how to research with the recent changes. While the browse section on the record search page has been there for some time, very few people are comfortable using the digitized records that are so valuable in searching for our ancestors.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pedigree Charts and Family Group Records

Long the standard forms for recording genealogy information, pedigree charts and family group records took a mighty leap forward this week when they became printable on Randy Seaver wrote a post about this today and early in the day after reading his post it was time to test the newest updates to the website.

The first test was for my husband's and my pedigree charts. The first four generations for each of us is pretty much filled in, but there were some missing pieces of information. Some of the dates and places for events were entered long ago when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1978 encouraged members to submit four generations of family data.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon Special Interest Groups

Today the Genealogical Forum of Oregon was a beehive of activity. A wide variety of genealogical researchers were present the entire time, from 10 am to 3 pm. For the first two hours the Virginia Interest Group held the attention of the fifteen attendees. Two, Dawn and Linda, made the two hour drive from Eugene to attend. Judi Scott presented information on Revolutionary War ancestors and locating their military and land records. It was my first time attending this group and even though I do not have Virginia ancestors, many people that I work for do.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - Remembering Our Family Members Who Served

This is a day for quiet reflection of the people in our family who have given military service for our country. They are one of the important reasons for creating a family history and not just a genealogy for our families. Their stories are told through pictures, text and sometimes videos. One large notebook for an honored man, Ben Homer Davis, sits in my office waiting for me to finish scanning the pages documenting his military service in the Marines and later the Navy, including World War II. His story waits to be compiled and written.

Monday, May 20, 2013

PowerPoint Presentations and Webinars

In 2002, right after graduating from BYU, I presented my first genealogy class on how to do Cemetery Research at our local Family History Center. Since that time my list of classes has grown to twenty, with presentations to about twenty four groups. For some groups I presented numerous times in the past eleven years and to a few only once. Usually the number of classes is one to two at a time, but there were a couple of all day seminars of three or four classes.  Most of the groups are here in Oregon, but some classes were in Washington and at BYU in Utah.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gathering Cemetery Information for My Mother-In-Law's Late Present

So, my husband talks with his mother on Sunday and she mentions that she is going to Missouri and may visit some family gravesites. Then I of course print out a list of people in his family buried there. Looking online for information I come across several of them in with lots of data and pictures. She will be getting a late Mother's Day present.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why Researchers Need to Search all Available Websites

Last week at the end of one of my genealogy classes an attendee approached me about an ancestor by the name of Ami who fought and died in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Being the curious researcher that I am, I decided to look for someone by that name in online records about that battle. Known as Custer's Last Stand, there is a large monument erected to the memory of the soldiers that died in this battle.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hunting for Family Burial Information and Serendipity

For the past month I have been searching for information for a client who is looking to find information on her mother's grandfather's brother's family. The project entailed contacting various cemeteries, funeral homes and public libraries, while also doing some online searching for obituaries and newspaper articles related to the family. Out of those eighteen contacts made, there were several that provided valuable material about this family.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Surprising Serendipity Moments through the Portal

In honor of the blogiversary of
I want to share two wonderful articles about two of my great grandmothers. Two weeks ago while working at the local Family Search (History) Center we were not busy, so I took some time to explore our premium websites.  The premium websites are accessible on the computers in Family Search Centers and then through the Portal provided through the website.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

GopherGenealogy Two Year Blogiversary

I am a statistics person, so for the two-year blogiversary I want to again share some of the information provided for this blog through and compare it to the first year. This is a 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.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ole A. Brown - Finally the Serendipity Moment

Today while working on the family of Ole A. Brown there was a serendipity moment just waiting to happen. Back in 2005 I wrote about Ole A. for the writing contest for the Genealogical Forum of Oregon and was honored to receive an honorable mention. With this recognition came the joy of having my story published in their March 2006 issue of the Bulletin, their quarterly publication. It can be found on this blog as a page from the bar across the top.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Annie's Ghosts, Helping Us to Understand Our Own

There are surely ghosts in everyone's family and often we don't encounter them or share them with others. In the book, Annie's Ghosts, A Journey into a Family Secret, author Steve Luxenberg shares the ghosts his family encountered when they tried to understand a secret their mother kept from them. In his journalistic trained character he explores records many of us will never see. He was determined to peel away the layers to understand his mother's reasoning for maintaining the secret of her sister who had been committed to a mental institution.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Family Discoveries in Cambridge Cameos

Earlier this week I finished reading the book "Cambridge Cameos" by Roger Thompson. He is the author of several books about New England towns and people. Previously I shared comments about his book "From Death to Defiance" a book about Charlestown, Massachusetts. While my ancestors, the Tidd family, were principally in Charlestown, Lexington, New Town, Cambridge Farms and Woburn prior to the Revolutionary War, they were most likely caught up in changing boundaries as these towns evolved. This family was not found in Cambridge Cameos, but the Stedman family was.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

RootsTech 2013 Live Streaming Classes Part 2

The classes shown through live streaming are listed in my previous post. Here is a brief overview of each of the ten classes.

Friday March 22
Researching Ancestors Online by Laura G. Prescott
Genealogy Research Online – Sites and Strategies That May Surprise You
This class should be a must see for any serious genealogist. Laura first covered some positives and then some negatives of genealogy research on the Internet. She discussed, How to be a responsible contributor and user of online genealogical information.
Her list of Usage Rules includes: Share, Be accurate, Double check data received, Respect copyrights, Ask Permission, Cite Your Sources, Respect privacy, Take your time, explore, get wonderfully lost and have fun.
The syllabus includes a list of eleven commonly used websites many of which require subscriptions. She also referenced 101 Best Genealogy Websites for 2012 and Professionally Preferred Websites for Family History.
Some of the free websites that she demonstrated included: Cyndi’s List, The US GenWeb Project, DoHistory, Library of Congress, NUCMC, Academic Archives, Dead Fred, One-Step Webpages, Find A Grave, Bureau of Land Management, LibraryThing, and HistoryLady.

Rootstech 2013 Live Streaming Classes Part 1

RootsTech 2013 Live Streaming Classes
The classes shown through live streaming are listed in my previous post. Here is a brief overview of each of the ten classes.

Thursday March 21
The Future of Genealogy – Moderated by Thomas MacEntee, panel: Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems Podcast), Dick Eastman (Eastman’s Online Newsletter), Daniel Horowitz (My Heritage), Alan Phillips (Unlock the Past), Dear Myrtle (Dear Myrtle Podcast), D. Joshua Taylor (

Monday, March 25, 2013

RootsTech 2014 Live Streaming Key Note Presentations

For my own benefit this is a quick review of what I learned and discovered watching the three keynote sessions. My next blog will be about the ten classes.

First I want to note the great emcee Shipley Munson. It felt almost like he was introducing a game show and he did a fine job covering the basics each day. As head of marketing for FamilySearch, one can feel the enthusiasm he has for the family history audience.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RootsTech Conference Oregon Style

Tomorrow begins the first of three days of RootsTech Conference classes in Salt Lake City. For those of us not able to attend in person there is the wonderful option of viewing some of the classes through live streaming on the Internet.  The live streaming offers the keynote address and four classes each day, except Saturday when there are only two classes. My family understands that for these three days they will not see very much of me. To sign up and download or print the syllabus material for classes go to

Saturday, March 16, 2013

20,000 Page Views and 200 Posts in Two Years

In a little over a month I will be celebrating two years of writing posts for this blog. It has been a journey of sharing important moments and thoughts about genealogy. Today marks 20,000 page views and this is the 200th post. Similar to writing a diary, this will be a keepsake for my family and friends. After posting, the content is saved to my computer and printed, then put into notebooks.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Serendipity - The Essence of Genealogy, the Discoveries Continue -

For the past week the research on my relative's ancestors has unveiled some very interesting unknown pieces of information. Yesterday we worked for four hours sorting a collection of family documents and assimilating the information into her database. As of today we have identified seventy-three individuals, twenty-three marriages, seven families in her direct line and then some collateral families. These are large families that involve inter-family adoptions and several divorces.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mt. Hood Family History Conference and Serendipity

This past Friday and Saturday the Mt. Hood Family History Center held it's first conference, opening the doors to about 400 people each day. Literally, as one stepped up to the doors there were greeters there welcoming each person to the most fantastic genealogy event to be held in Oregon for some time. Patti Paxton took on the challenge of putting together this wonderful opportunity and she did an excellent job. It was apparent that her local leaders were in full support of the event.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rogue Valley Genealogical Society Library Serendipity

Almost a year ago I wrote a post about solving a mystery for the Taylor family of Ashland, Oregon. Two days later I was in Medford, Oregon teaching three classes for an all day seminar for the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society. Unfortunately there was not enough time to visit their research library. Since that time they moved into a new facility which provides a wonderful place to conduct family history research. It was likely they might have information about the Taylor family that we need.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Serendipity Day

This morning my first stop was reading emails, while forestalling the plan to go out of the house. The cloudy gray skies were not very inviting. My plan was to take a friend to the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, in Portland, about ten miles from where we live. While reading, there was a post shared by Randy Seaver that mentioned a blog post written by Dawn Watson entitled, "Perfecting Society Publications." As one of the editors for the GFO publication, The Bulletin, this intrigued me. The article is impressive, and it really speaks to the heart of an editor. Many editors not only compile publications, but also write articles or columns. This is a serendipity moment for me, as it validates the volunteer work that we do. The article can be found at:
Digging in the Roots - A Genealogical Odyssey

Friday, February 22, 2013

Animals in Our Family History

It is a rare person who has never had an animal play some part in their family history. Animals can bring us comfort and peace in our hectic lives. Other animals are raised for the purpose of providing food products to sustain our lives. In our family we have had both types of animals and they become a part of our family story. While we may not place them in our database as a family member, though some may very well have done so, we should include them in the stories that we write.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Understanding Family Relationships

A good friend of mine brought back some information on the Riggs Family when she visited NEHGS in April of 2011. You might wonder what has taken me so long to actually focus on the two files for this family. First of all, it is not one of my ancestral families and the clients I worked with moved out of state over a year ago. They are currently visiting here and wanted to have an update on their family database. So, for the last four days I worked to clean up the files with updated information from

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day for our Families

Today we celebrate the love of couples everywhere and this is often extended to other family members. My husband bought me some of my favorite flowers, a beautiful box of chocolates (on the one a day diet), a lovely card and took me out to lunch with my mother and her husband, our daughter and two granddaughters. We invited our three sons to come, but they had other plans and just wanted leftovers. They each have a box of chocolates waiting for them. Lunch was at Olive Garden, one of my top restaurants. We had a delightful time visiting and entertaining the two little girls.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sleep Deprivation and Genealogy

Oh, it feels so good to sleep and the more we age the more important that shut-eye time is to us. As genealogists we often get involved in a research project and when we are on a roll of success in our work it is very hard to stop. This might mean that we end up working almost through the night until we come to a point where we can take a break without losing the momentum in the search. A late night person who is semi-retired can usually sleep in as needed, but others have obligations in the morning that require them to be alert and functioning adults.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Life As a Genealogy Instructor

I love teaching, especially genealogy classes. It is stressful, time consuming, unpredictable and very rewarding. The hours just to put together a presentation and then having to update before every lecture can never be truly measured. Unlike other presenters, I do not practice the presentations out loud. Every class with me is unique, open to questions and sometimes sidetracked as those are answered. Somehow the time is magically consumed, but we manage to end pretty much on schedule.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Serendipity Moments Highlights of This Week

This week has been full of serendipity moments for me. What brings this about probably is my trying to recover from the potent viral infection that seems to be attacking everyone that I know. With teaching classes on Tuesday the 15th, Saturday the 19th, and Tuesday the 22nd, by Tuesday my voice had pretty much played out. I think that I pushed my limits and by Tuesday evening felt pretty miserable.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hall Family Published Letters and Stories

My friend Teena came to me just over a year ago for help in organizing her family history. This I agreed to do, as she is very willing to be involved in the research. We have had such a great time exploring her ancestors. Some of this I have blogged about before, like going to two local cemeteries in search of information on the Hall and Uno families. Her Hall family is from New Zealand and they are related to John Hall who was Prime Minister from 1879-1882. She has made some amazing connections to people related to this line and they made her aware of three books about the family.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Charlestown, MA - Multiple Births Review 1663-1850

While there were earlier births in the town of Charlestown, MA., multiple births did not appear in the records until 1663. At that point there were still Tidd family members living in the town, but no multiple births are listed for them. While looking for possible family records within the books, Charlestown, MA Vital Records to 1850, Vol. I and Vol. II - Parts 1 and 2, I became intrigued by the occurrences of multiple births. Book I stops with the births of 1797 on page 446, and then they continue in Vol. II Part 1. The birth records are interspersed with Marriages and Deaths, and sometimes are given for the entire family in group format. Most are listed as having been born in Charlestown, while others it is another place or not identified.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Helping Others Find Answers by Writing Articles

In 2009 I joined the editorial team of The Bulletin, the quarterly for the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. This is a way that I can contribute as a volunteer and work mostly from my home. One of the best benefits is that I have access to a large library with check out privileges for material for the articles that I write.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Art of Communication for Genealogists

How we communicate whether in person, through snail mail, over the phone or through online messages can quickly determine the results that we do or do not receive. Like playing the game Telephone, where one person passes on a message and then it continues to be passed to all the participants until the last person reveals the message they heard. Usually after the message has passed through several people it bears little similarity to the original message.