26 November 2007

Thanks Giving & Family

It's the time of year when you think about your ancestors and wonder what their holidays were like. Some were spent in despair, others grateful for what they had, and still others seemed to have it all.

While we are looking for and finding our ancestors, let's not forget about those who will carry on our legacies long after we are gone and hopefully not forgotten.

My brother started a round of "What are you thankful for?" at our family table this Thanksgiving. Mine was more a reflection on this past year that has been very hard on us and I just said that I grateful that we have made it this far and still have a roof over our heads and food on the table. But it was my oldest son who gave the one that made me want to cry. He said he was grateful that he had such loving parents. Wow! Some days I wonder how he can say that when I feel I'm coming unglued, but children love you through it all.

I'm thankful that I have three beautiful and loving children and a husband I love and cherish dearly, for our health and that we have made it another year.

So what are you thankful for?

24 November 2007

Case Study: Daisy Riddle Part III

But all of this really leads me no closer to finding out Daisy's identity and family before she married Sam. So did I every find out her maiden name and who she was? Maybe. I guess you'll have to come back again to see what else I found..........

Like I promised I would continue this story next time.

The added information I have found is that her father is of mixed blood born in MO or IL, and her mother is Pottawatomie Indian born in OK. I have no maiden name since there is no record of her marriage to Sam, at least none I know of in about 1908. Oklahoma was barely a state let alone keeping records at that time.

From what I understand from the family they were not religious and being Native American that could go either way, but I don't believe that there will be an church records of a marriage.

So am I stuck? Maybe not. I actually did a search in the 1900 census for a Daisy born about 1890, so she should have been about 10 years old. Bingo! Well maybe. Only one Daisy showed up in OK as a 10 year old of Native American heritage born in OK.

She was enumerated the 7 June 1900 as a pupil of the Fort Sill Boarding School on the Apache, Kiowa, Comanche Reservation. They listed all the children as Comanche, but I feel that was a short cut as they probably didn't know or care about their true tribe. This Daisy is Daisy Blackwolf. So is this my husband's Great Grandmother Daisy? I don't know. I've never found anymore. It's time to pick up the file again. I will continue to research Daisy Blackwolf and see if she continues to fit with our Daisy Riddle.

It's just another case to show you to think outside the box. I didn't know her maiden name so how else was I going to find a Native American girl in OK in the census with out it. By searching using only her first name. Now sometimes that doesn't work because it gives you more hits than you can handle. But in this case it gave me a few dozen, but only one of them really fit the criteria of the girl I was looking for. However, if you do get a few hits, it's worth the time to research two of three girls that may fit and find out everything about them in order to determine who they married, where they moved on to, and anything else that will tell you if they are a perfect fit. I also helps give you a maiden name to search for any marriage records between that surname and the husband's surname that your known ancestor married. It's a lot of work, but if that is how you solve the puzzle of a female ancestor and find her maiden name then it's well worth it.

Happy Hunting.

17 November 2007

Daisy D Unknown Riddle Part II

Yesterday I post what I originally knew about Daisy D (unknown) Riddle and what I first uncovered about her and the family. Is it possible that her and Sam had a daughter the family knew nothing about? Well let's continue.

I continued my search by trying to find them in 1920 with no luck. They were no where to be found. Actually I did find them, but I'll explain later. I'm getting ahead of myself.

After spending a great deal of time in 1920 I give up and move ahead to 1910. Again I find them quickly in Wilson Twp, Atoka, OK. This gets a little strange though. First I know from Bertha's age in 1930 that she wouldn't have been born yet, so no surprise that I don't find her, which further confirms her approximate age in 1930. However Daisy, if it is Daisy, goes by Dollie here. She has been married one year and was married at 18 years old. This fits! Again she is born in OK. Also if I go back to 1930 her name was listed as Daisy D. Could her name really be Daisy Dollie and for some reason she used each at different times?

Unfortunately 1910 doesn't tell me anymore about Daisy. But it sure gives me more of a glimpse into Sam's family. But that's another family for another day. However, one note: Daisy is Sam's second marriage, but they were married here already. I do believe that Daisy and Dollie are the same woman and that Bertha who I found in 1930 was in fact Daisy's daughter and not Sam's from the first marriage.

At this point I couldn't find anything else, so I decide to use a tool That has been useful many times. I posted a message on GenForum on our Riddle family requesting any information found. A very generous and wonderful lady responded. She wasn't related to us, but just wanted to help. She found a missing pieces for me, the 1920 Census of the Riddle family!

Now I see why I was unable to find them. Just another case of misspelled names. The surname was spelled as Riddile! So when looking for your own, make sure to use every possible spelling and search using different criteria including searching only by first name in a certain location.

This time they are in Coal Co, Jackson Twp., OK. This time I am almost certain that Bertha is Daisy's daughter. I also have no doubts this is the family as the baby's name is Clifton, Sam's middle name. I'm sure they called him by his middle name since his first was the same as his father. Clifton isn't a very common name.

But all of this really leads me no closer to finding out Daisy's identity and family before she married Sam. So did I every find out her maiden name and who she was? Maybe. I guess you'll have to come back again to see what else I found.

Until next time Happy Hunting!

15 November 2007

Case Study: Daisy Unknown Riddle

The following is a case study of my husband's great grandmother, Daisy Riddle. Her husband Sam Riddle is a bit of a mystery to me, but she is one of my biggest mysteries.

Let's first start with what I do know. We knew her as Daisy Riddle. Till this day her maiden name is unknown. According to the CA death Index she was born 2 Oct 1890 somewhere in OK and died 27 April 1966 in Modesto, Stanislaus Co., CA. She was married to Sam D Riddle and they had four known children; Jewel, Willie, Earl and Sam Clifton Riddle (my husbands grandfather).

I first find Sam and Daisy in 1930 in Ponca City, Kay Co., OK. Also listed with them are their four known children, so I knew I had the right couple. But wait what is this a fifth child the family did not know about?

Riddle, Sam D, Head, M, In, 53, M, 30, Kentucky, Mixed blood
Choctaw, South Carolina
Daisy, Wife, F, In, 40, M, 18,
Oklahoma, Mixed
blood, Pottawatomie
Jewel, daughter, F, In,12, S, Oklahoma,
Mixed blood,
Samuel C, son, M, In, 10, S, Oklahoma, Mixed blood,
Willie F, son, M, In, Oklahoma, Mixed blood, Potawamie
Earl E,
M, In, Oklahoma, Mixed blood, Potawamie

The 1930 Census confirms that Daisy was born about 1890 in OK. This also confirms that she is of mixed blood/Native American. It is recorded that her father is mixed blood, but that her mother is Pottawatomie. It also tells me that they were married when Daisy was 18 years old which would put their marriage about 1908.

The amazing thing is I discovered that Daisy had a daughter before Jewel that no one in the family knew about! Bertha Keith is listed as Sam's daughter. She was married the year before at age 18 as she is 19 in 1930. So we have another question. Is she Daisy's daughter or Sam's from a previous marriage.

I will continue this with another post later. I also found the 1920 and 1910 census, but I will take you through that process on my next post. For now I have to get back to work.

Happy Hunting!

11 November 2007

Honing Your Genealogy Skills

I just read an article tonight that I couldn't help sharing, Three Genealogical Exercises by George G Morgan. Take the time to read this. This is a great idea. In some ways I do this myself.

For about a year now I have asked to research families of friends or volunteered my skills to associates I know would like to find their ancestors. It was my way of keeping my skills sharp. In many areas of mine and my husbands families I have reached brick walls. But I didn't want to just set back and not do anything while waiting to make a break through. Since I have set aside my family I have learned of new websites, databases, and places to search. I have even learned of new techniques to help in my search. I have applied those little techniques from time to time on my family just to see if I can make a break through. In a couple cases I would get one more little piece of information to add to the mystery.

George write about his three areas of training and keeping his skills sharp. The first is reading obits. He then dissects the obits to find every piece of information about that persons life he can glean from the obit by underlining the information. Then he writes a list of events and where he might find records pertaining to the events in that life, and proceeds to do some research. The second area is to continually check the message boards. This is a great one to use. Not only will you have the satisfaction of helping others, but you may stumble across a distant cousin. It has happened to me. The last thing he does is visiting cemeteries. He then writes down the name and dates off of a random tombstone and then uses electronic databases online to find as much as he can about that person's life.

I would add one more thing to that list, one I have been bad about, Blogging. Write about your experiances, things you read, techniques you discover, and most importantly about your genealogy. Countless times distant cousins have contacted me because of an article they have read on my blog about a common ancestor. Also sharing and teaching through your blog keeps your skills share by making you think about them in order to teach others. Those who learn best often teach much.

04 November 2007

I'm still here

I'm sure my regular readers are wondering what has happened to me. Well I'm still here and still very interested and working on my genealogy. Unfortunately life has dealt me a hand that has forced me to go back to work. I'm sure you know what the means.......less time for my passion.

I'm sorry I have not been posting anything new or updating anything. It has been bugging me to no end, but what could I do. I am constantly thinking of ideas for new posts, even when I'm working. The problem has been the time to set down and pull my material together and type it up for all of you to read. With my new job I am working nights. I'm also taking the kids to school near my parents house 20 minutes away so that my mom can watch the kids and it's easy for her to pick them up from school (actually the oldest stays with them unless my husband has a night off). So I'm lucky if I can get enough sleep and then still have a few hours in the morning. Those few hours are filled with feeding, clothing and packing the kids stuff up for grandma's house. Then we are off. It has taken me a while to get this rhythm down. Now I think I'm on the verge of being able to find a few minutes every now and then to set down at my computer and stay in touch with not only my readers, distant relatives, but myself as well.

So stay tuned I hope to be able to take some of my notes on future posts and start making something of them and put them up for you to read.

Don't forget I am still working on the website I host for Genealogy Trails for Kootenai County. If there is anyone that can provide help by transcribing records related to this area for me I could sure use the help!

30 September 2007

Time flies even when you are not having fun.

I just noticed it's been a couple weeks since I did a post. I hope to change that in the future, but for now it's because my brain is complete mush. I've just started a new job working nights. It doesn't require much brain power but it completely exhausts me because of the physical demands. Let's just say I better loose some wight after working this job.

Until I get use to this rhythm of taking the boys to school, daughter to mom's and going to work with my dad it'll be a while before I can think straight enough to do one of my posts. I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.

I have been taking my Family Tree Magazines to work and reading when I have time and jotting down notes in my note book for future posts. So I'll get a few organized soon and I'll be back up and running.

Until you see me again take care and happy hunting.

12 September 2007

One more off my list

As some of you may know I have been transcribing and posting records related to Kootenai County Idaho on Genealogy Trails where I am a host.

As of last night 1870 census when Idaho was nothing more than a Territory has been completed and posted. 1880 census was already done a while ago. Please feel free to let me know if there are any mistakes. I tried to scan it and look, but I'm good at not catching my own errors.

I also found some time to go through some old Spokesman Review obituaries and transcribe and post them here.

I do currently have one cemetery transcribed and posted. It was the old Paupers Cemetery. It has always intrigued me since the day I moved up here. This little cemetery up on the hill over looking Seltice way. It's nestled under the trees. Though there is much progress and modern buildings going up in the area, it's still a little piece of history that looks almost untouched other than the occasional clean up and care by different groups including the 4-H. When I find the time I would like to do much more research on the residence of this grave. Many of them were buried here by the county because they were poor and had no estate to cover the cost. So this plot of land was set aside for such burials. Many of the graves have a white cross, but the names are unknown who is buried there. Only a few are marked.

Don't forget I am always looking for more volunteers to find records and help transcribe them to post on Genealogy Trails. At his points I'm flying solo which will become more difficult to do as I will soon be going back to work. So if you are interested in contributing, take a look at the site and see what records are needed and then email me.

11 September 2007

Remembering 9/11

My dear Miriam Midkiff of AnceStories2 shares with us her thoughts on 9/11. She also asks a series of questions to get you thinks, so I thought I'd paste them in here and share my experience.

*How did you hear about the attacks of 9/11?

I was just getting up for work that morning and had gone over to turn on the TV while my coffee brewed just in time to see the second plane hit the second tower. I was horrified. I remember just standing there with my fingers up to my mouth. My husband had already gone to work and our son was still asleep. So I just stood there in silence and watched. Wow I hadn't thought of that in a long time. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.

*What did you do that day? Did you go to work or school, or stay home?

I did go to work. I had the privilege of a big screen TV to watch the news all day. At that time I was a portrait studio consultant. So we showed the images on a big screen TV which I sometimes watched the news on when I had nothing better to do. September really starts the slow time for about a couple months till it picks up for Christmas. So I really had almost no customers that day. Instead I set at my viewing room desk with a few projects going on the computer and watched the news all day.

*What were your feelings?

Mostly sadness. Especially when we began to find out the magnitude of the lives lost that day. I was horrified as I witness the plans hit the building. I can't say I was really scared. I mostly considered myself blessed that I lived in a part of the US that I didn't think they would really be interested in destroying. There isn't much significant that would affect the whole country on that magnitude her in Idaho.

*How has what happened that day changed your life in some way?

I'm not sure my life has really changed too much. Expect that maybe now I realize how important it is to write about my life and chronicle my story and that of my family just in case, God forbid, that some tragedy takes me away from my children. I really realized that tonight when I watched the children on Oprah today talking about the parents they lost and in some cases barely knew because they were so young. Even if I'm not here someday and my children are young, I at least have the peace of mind that they will know me and their father because of the stories I have done and the ones I'm still working on.

*What are your hopes for the future, in connection with this tragedy?

You know these days I'm just focusing on keeping my head above water with my own life and family. I don't think much about the future of the world. My life is enough to worry about. However, I will say that I would like to see our military men and women begin to come home. I feel they are fighting a loosing battle over there. They've have done a noble job and deserve all of our support, but I feel it is a loosing battle they are being forced to fight. It's time they come home.

Well there are my thought to Miriam's questions. So what are yours. Share with us how you felt, what you still feel, and what your future hopes and prayers are in relation to the 9/11 tragedy.

Genealogy Brick Walls

I just noticed tonight that one of the chat rooms I enjoy so much is hosting a special session this Thursday Sept 13th on Brick Walls. Check out their calendar here.

You will need an MSN passport or hotmail account to get in, but that's easy to sign up for if you don't already have one.

Genealogy Experience invites you to join their group on Thursday night Sept 13th at 8PM CST. Bring your brick walls and there will be many people there to help you! Let's see if we can help a few people get past their brick walls. I plan to try and make it if my husband is working that night.

Hopefully I'll see you there!

07 September 2007

Finding Your Ancestors, Part I

Now the fun begins! Now that you have filled and organized your photos and documents putting together what you do know about your ancestors will be a great deal easier.

So lets get started. The first thing you will need to do is download and print several charts and forms for compiling your information. You need to write down everything you know about your family in an organized set of forms that will help you to start searching. Here are all the forms you will need:

Pedigree Charts

Family Group Sheet

These are the two main forms to get started. Grab a package of sharpened pencils and set down and fill in as much information as you can using the photos, documents and your memory. Now for some of you this will be easy and you will have a great deal of information to start off with. For others this may be more difficult.

Here are two more pieces to add to your arsenal of information gathering.

Family Interview Also on this site you will find other related articles to help you learn how to interview your family members in order to efficiently unlock the clues of the past.

Very Detailed Family Interview!

Interview as many relatives as you can about themselves and what they remember of the family. It's important to keep in mind that unless they are speaking of themselves consider the information just clues. Second hand accounts may be inaccurate.

Keep a log of your interviews and interview attempts. You may have some relatives resistant at this time, but when they realize the rest of the family is really getting into what you are doing and it gets exciting they may be willing to get involved later. So keep a log that you can go back to and try to revisit those relatives.

Correspondence Log This link will take you to a great article about maintaining a correspondence log. Also included in this article is another link to many other useful forms such as the ones above.

Keep in mind that you need to gather as much information as possible before you start your search. Your search will be a great deal easier if you gather information about relatives living in the 1930's and before. For me that was my grandparents, but where I had information on great grandparents my search became much easier.

The title of this page will take you to a website of someone I consider to be very helpful for the beginner. Emily Ann Croom is the author of Unpuzzling Your Past, a wonderful book. I bought her book of worksheets a while back and it has helped me to be even more efficient in my search. Take a moment to read some of her articles as well.

06 September 2007

Tibetan Personality Test

I know this blog is suppose to be genealogy, but this is amazing. Take this Personality Test you will be amazed at what it tells you about your personality. I was really amazed about what it told me about myself. It all fit right in place with my life.

I don't want to give any of it away, so with out doing that I can tell you that I found out the Family is the most important thing in my life, I have a Buddy personality, my hubby is cuddly (usually when he wants something....hehehe), my life is relaxing (usually the case except for right now), my true life friend is my best friend Dez, someone i really love is my mom, someone I will never forget is my brother, the person who is my twin soul is my mother-in-law and I can really see that, someone I will always remember for the rest of my life is my dad, now all of that about made me cry.

So go take your test and see what it tells you about your life and personality. Then please let us know (with out revealing the questions).

28 August 2007

Ancestry.com More details!!

Here is a great post that I had to share with my readers about the whole Ancestry.com theft issue. This was posted by Susan at Family Oral History Using Digital Tools.

I'm not going to say much more as Susan really says it very well and I don't need to add much. So check it out on her site, and thanks Susan for giving PERMISSION for those of us on the same team to use your illustration. I love it. She also covers, for those of you interested, how to block Ancestry.com from spidering your website in the future. It won't remove what they already have, but it will stop them in the future from stealing your hard work to charge other people to have access to it.

Others who weighed in on the situation were: Genealogue, Cow Hampshire, Kimberly Powell of About.com, Genea-Musings, Kinexxions (a great time log of how she found out and what has transpired since) and of course Ancestories, who already had some of these links to me when I got a chance to set down at the computer today.

Well as of this afternoon Ancestry.com has announced......(which I received through the grapevine).....that they will now make the collection available for Free, but members still have to register. Meaning "hehehehe we'll tease you with this free piece of cheese until you walk into our trap and still pay." I still think they are pushing the limit. At least stepping on the line, if not over it. Our sites should be available for free, they are anyway.

If they want to link to our sites that's fine with me, but they shouldn't even use our sites as a teaser to get their customers. Hell I'd love to make more money at what I do too, but I'm not sick, demented, cruel, rude and just plain unethical enough to take advantage of others and step on who ever necessary to make that almighty dollar. Hell I'd love to be able to pay my mortgage on time, but I'm not about to use others in getting that goal. It's still not good enough! If you want to help us get traffic that's fine, but not at your gain for our hard work. I believe that's where all of us have a problem with this. Heck we link to each others blog and help get each other exposure and hits on our sites because we all have something in common. "We want people to have access to information so they can find and trace their ancestors at little or no cost, preferably free." This reminds me of old cartons I've seen where the big corporate dog is stepping on the little guy and crushing them.

27 August 2007

Ancestry.com Nothing but Theifs

I pulled the link off of my blog to Ancestry.com after what has transpired today. I will no longer promote them! They are thieves.

I have been working hard to transcribe and place information on Genealogy Trails, Kootenai
County, Idaho website, which I'm hosting. Only to find out today that Ancestry is spidering our websites that we offer for free and gladly put up to share with other researches to put on theirsubscription based, pay to view site! This is BS! THEY ARE CHARGING OTHER PEOPLE TO FIND OUR FREE WEBPAGES!!!!!

I friend was telling me how they were so quick to sue someone for placing one copy of a census page on their website that pertained to their research that came from Ancestry.com's database. But they think they have the right to steal our work for their paid subscription users.

Well I just needed to vent. Now I'm back to putting more information on my site and finding out a way that I can put on my site that our information is on the internet for FREE. So when our pages show up on Ancestry's subscription pages people will see they are being charged in part for information they can see for free. I'm sure they will now be charging more for this added feature too! Jerks!

26 August 2007

The Organized Genealogist, Part II

Now it's time to get started on that huge pile of photos. You know the one that keeps getting stuffed into drawers, in boxes and thrown in the basement. No more! You want to start organizing and preserving your history so that not only can future generations know who you were, but so they can also see you, and the rest of the family.

To me the most rewarding part of my search for my ancestor are the photos I find and that others so graciously share. When you can put a face to the name and see that they really did exist it's indescribable the way you feel.

There are several different ways you can organize and preserve your photos. You can chose one or a combination of methods.
  • Scrapbooks This method is fun. It is also a great way to show off your photos and include information about the people and events in the photos. However be careful when scrapbooking to make sure that all material is acid free. Also as much as you want to do not cut your photos. What may not be important to you now may be invaluable to a genealogist in the future. Such as a car with a license plate, or a picture of the family in front of the house that 10 years later is torn down, these items can help to date a photo. If you would like to do scrapbooking you can check it out by searching the internet, there are too many sites to list, check out your arts and crafts store, photos shop, or even Wal Mart carries a good selection of scrapbooking material, though read every label to make sure it is archival safe.
  • Boxes Okay I know I told you to get your photos out of the boxes, but you can still use boxes, but they just need to be organized and labeled in some fashion that will make it easy for future generations to search through and view your life. There is a large variety of boxes out there for photo storage, Clamshell boxes, crafted removable lid boxes, photo frame boxes, wooden, plastic or cardboard. It doesn't matter what style you use, what you need to make sure is that it is archival safe and organized. Now you can organize them by surname if your purpose if for mostly family research, or by events in chronological order, or a combination. Maybe you want a tab with a surname behind that tab are all pictures that pertain to that surname, but then maybe behind that you want a tab for weddings with those pictures, anniversaries, reunions, graduations, and so forth.
  • Photo Albums These are the great old time favorites of most families. I'm sure some of your photos are already in a few. These are also just as great as scrapbooking, though not as decorative. However, they are still a great way to create a book with pictures and captions talking about the people in the photos so that you can share them with others. Some people find photo albums a little easier to do the scrapbooks. There are also many beautiful photo albums out there to use. Again make sure that the pages are archival safe.

What ever method you choose to use, here is what you must consider.

  1. Is is archival safe? I can't stress that enough. You don't want your great granddaughter to come across you wedding photo some day in an album and not be able to see your face because the photo has faded beyond recognition.
  2. Is it simple enough that you will continue to use it? Don't choose scrapbooking as your only method if you are only going to get one book started and then throw everything back in a boxes and give it back to the dark, dreary basement again. That doesn't serve the purpose. If you don't have a lot of time then simply choose the box method. Make tabs and then organize your photo in the boxes. Make sure to write information on the back with a soft pencil as you go.
  3. Will future generations be able to view and understand the people and events when you are gone? Make sure to label all photos either on the back or with a caption below it. Include name, dates, places, and events.
  4. Last but not least make copies and give to other family members. This way in the event something catastrophic happens to your home and contents those photos will not be lost forever. I'm sure they will be gracious enough to make copies and give back to you.

The last thing to think about is what will happen with your photos and heirlooms when you are gone. Make sure that you have a data base or a file somewhere that expresses who is to get what item when you pass away. This way there is no question to your intentions. The best method is to have a will with every precious item listed and the recipient. Then to further enforce it find a way to put that person's name on the item, or on the container it is stored in. If each generation the item is passed down to continues to do this then it will also serve as a record of each person who has owned the item.

If you have any other methods that you and your family use to preserve, label and designate the next heir of your precious heirlooms and photo please share them with us. I'm sure there are many other methods out there. What ever works for you just make sure it will preserve and be very clear for the next generation to come.

25 August 2007

The Organized Genealogist, Getting Started, Part I

I think I posted something similar to this several month ago, but since I am going to start this blog over as a genealogy blog I will start here again. Of course I've learned a lot more about getting organized since then. It creates fewer headaches if you are organized as a genealogist. The disorganized genealogist doesn't get as far as the organized one. Of course I had to learn this the hard way!

The first part of your family search is gathering information. Where do I start gathering information? In your own home. Go through you attic, basement, chests, and hutches. You will want to gather up all of your photos, certificates, letters, heirlooms (or at least a list of the items), diaries, and books about your family.

Okay, now what do you do with that pill in the living room floor!!? Don't panic, but do pick a place where you can spread everything out for a few days while you work on this. Preferably where the dog won't get it, your hubby won't trip over it, and the kids won't get their sticky paws on it.

Now start separating all of that into piles. One for photos, one for letters, one for heirlooms, another for books and diaries and so forth. Now the books and diaries are the easiest, start there. These are either yours or they have been passed down in the family. What you don't want is for them to deteriorate, so you can pass them on for the next several generations. Air and sunlight are their enemy. As much as I'm sure you would love to display them on a shelf with pride, DON'T. What you need to get are some book boxes to put them in. They need to be archival safe boxes. Here is a list of websites you can visit that offer many types of archival safe products.
  • Creative Memories at www.creativememories.com
  • Demco Inc at www.demco.com
  • Hollinger Corporation at www.hollingercorp.com
  • Light Impressions at www.lightimpressionsdirect.com

  • Check out these websites to get an idea of the types of boxes you want and will need to preserve your books. Gravity is also another enemy of books, especially heavy ones. So once you get your boxes, label them on one side so you can see what book(s) you placed in them and then lay the box flat on the shelf, not on it's end.

    If this is not an option for you then what you can do won't be as good, but can help to prolong the life of you families books. Find a dark and dry room with very little dust and a moderate temperature, and put your shelf there. Then place your books on that shelf again laying flat, this will save the spin for years to come.

    Now the books are out of your way. It's just a dent, but your making progress. Now lets set down and work on the family heirlooms. Some may be very large, others may be small like rings. As much as possible you want to set down at your computer and type up information that you will then attach to each family heirloom.

    The information should include the first ancestor to first own it and how it was passed down in the family, and if there is any certain pattern to be followed for the future generations. The date if know when it was first purchased or given as a gift to the first ancestor, and by whom the gift was given. Also include any special story that tells if it was given for an event in that persons life or just because great grandpa cherished and loved great grandma.

    Now find acid free labels to print the information on. You may want sheet size so you can cut it to whatever size is needed. Then attach it in a very inconspicuous place. For example on great grandma's oak table attach the label on the underside of the table, you may also want to put a smaller one on each of the chairs so it is understood those chairs stay with that table. But then you will have many items that do not have that kind of room or that you do not want to attach a label to such as a purse or quilt. If it is cloth you could consider making or having made an embroidered label and attach it so that it does not distract from the heirloom.

    The only reason I say label each item if possible is if for some reason it is stolen or if you pass away and the rest of the family doesn't pay attention, they may see this label later and realize what they have, or someone else may find it and make an effort to reunite it with your family. But no mater if you use labels or not, you most definitely should create a data sheet of your heirlooms, listing the items, a description, who was the first ancestor, how it was passed down, the dates and places as well as the story behind each item. Then put it in a safe place, like a fire safe, make several copies and give to your children or other family member, and then just cross your fingers that nothing bad ever happens. But if God forbid you have a fire, robbery, flood or any other disaster hopefully you will be able to recover the items or at least prove to you insurance, though anything they pay you in restitution would not even compare to it's real value to you. Also include photos of each item.

    Next lets tackle the pictures. Some of them you treasure and hang on your wall. I do too, but are they safe from their natural enemies, sunlight and moisture. Yes the ones on your walls are just as important to organize as the big old box from you basement. Check through these steps for each wall photo

    Photo preservation:

    1. Get it OUT of SUNLIGHT! If you want to show off your photo then consider a low watt spot light in a darker room.
    2. Get the GLASS OFF the PHOTO! If you want glass over the photo to protect it from dust, flies, and scratches you can. The only safe way to do that is with a matting around the photo, or if it is in a frame you can't part with then consider taking the photo out and placing thin strips of card board between the glass and the photo, but where the frame will hide it this will put space so that the glass does not touch the photo. But be careful when removing. Move slowly because it may already be too late. If your photo has stuck to the glass, stop don't go any further. Consult a professional framer or photographer. They may or may not be able to help you depending on the damage.
    3. Make sure that you label the back of the photos. Use a soft pencil to write down the names of all in the photo, as well as the place and date it was taken and by whom.
    4. Last find a nice place as described in 1 to display your wall portraits with pride and place your spot lights on them if you choose.

    Then the fun begins. But I'm going to stop here. I will continue this later. The next thing we will go over is that pile of loose photos. So for now work on your heirlooms, those books, and your wall portraits. Believe it or not this is just as important to find and preserving you family history as the hunt that will follow later, but if you don't organize first the hunt may become too daunting later.

    18 August 2007

    The Race Begins

    As if I didn't have enough to do in my life.......I volunteered to host the Kootenai County, ID Genealogy Trails website. So I'm asking.....no I'm BEGGING all my fellow genealogy and blogger pals to help me out. I need records that I can transcribe and place on our website. If you have the time and would like to transcribe please let me know. I could certainly use all the help I can get. I'm not foolish enough to think I can do this on my own, but I'm going to try and make this work.

    At this point I need any and all records, biographies, census, cemetery, school, military, and vital records that I can get my hands on. If you have only the records of your family, please consider sending me the information so that it can be added.

    Thanks in advance for anyone who can help out!

    16 August 2007

    Looking for Volunteers

    Well there is a new kid on the block. Genealogy Trails has celebrated it's first year of providing free data to researchers. They expanded from their original site of Illinois Trails which was started in March of 2000.

    I found myself volunteering today to transcribe data and host Kootenai County, Idaho. But they need many more volunteers. Here is the Genealogy Trails Volunteer information. They need volunteers to host the states and especially to host counties. Take the time to look and see if a county you have information on or access to data is available to be hosted. Then seriously consider it.

    If you are like me you do a lot of research from home on the computer. I do because I have three small children. I try to go to the library and Family History Center every Wednesday, but that's not always possible, not to mention I don't get a whole heck of a lot accomplished when I'm trying to keep the kids quiet in the library...haha! The more we can work together and make records available online, the more we can all add to the history and genealogy of our families. I truly support access to free information online.

    I know there are sites that charge for their data, and I understand they are providing a valuable service, but it's not always easy for those of us living on a shoe string budget to obtain information when we have to pay for it. So if you have access to information, consider sharing it so that the stay at home mom can write the history of her family for her children to cherish for generations to come, or the adopted individual can reconnect with lost loved ones.....and the list of reasons why go on. But don't forget about yourself. Do it because it feels good and you will reap the rewards of it....I guarantee it!

    14 August 2007

    Find A Grave

    I think I may have done a post about this site before. Find A Grave I have found to be a wonderful site when looking to find your ancestors. Especially old graves or graves not in your area.

    You can find graves to famous people as well as submit searches for your ancestors. This is also a great community. There are many volunteers on this site willing to take still photos of graves. All you have to do is make a request for a still photo.

    A really unique aspect of this site that sets them apart from all the other grave search sites it that you can leave a memorial for anyone. You have flowers and other items available that you can leave and then type a little message to them. I used this feature for the ggggg grandfather of my children, Jesse Chisholm. I was able to leave a message about the wonderful man he was and flowers as well. This is just really nice when you don't live near by.

    The reason I am posting about this site tonight is it ties in with my series of posts about forums. I just discovered tonight that this site has a forum. Which is great for others interested in cemeteries, their history, preservation, residence, and more. So I joined the forum tonight. I will most likely spend a lot of time there. Every since I was a child cemeteries have always fascinated me. The history that is there. The lives that were lived and lost. It was never a scary place to me, but intrigued me. I've also volunteered to do still photos for cemeteries in my area of Kootenai County, ID.

    12 August 2007

    Life Balance Meme

    If this is any indication of how unbalanced my life has been, Miriam of AnceStories tagged me back on the April 6, 2007 to write an article about balancing my life. Little did she know how hairy my life, even scary, it was at that time. Now I am getting back on track enough to set down and write this.

    She tagged me and four other to join in this Life Balance Meme. The instuctions are to answer any, all of the questions or simply share your thoughts on balancing life. The questions are:

    1. How do you achieve balance in your life? hmmmm good question. My family would say I don't. My parents would tell you they are afraid I am addicted to my computer, my husband for once in his life would probably agree with them on this one thing only. I'm not saying they are wrong. I do have a passion for what I do. What can I say genealogy makes me happy. If I play my cards right I might just be able to make a living at it. I can't say my life has ever been balanced. I'm a very passionate person. I never do anything half way. I always go all out, especially when it's something I'm passionate about.

    2. What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life? My biggest challenge in spending enough time with my children and getting the project around the house and the house cleaning done. I do spend more time with my children now then I did when I was working, but still they play with each other and with the neighborhood kids alot. However I don't let them veg out in front of the TV. But then again growing up I can't say my mother spent time doting over my brother and I either. We spent a lot of time just playing, the two of us.

    3. What are your priorities? First it's my family, followed by a very close second with my genealogy. I spend parts of my day making sure my house stays clean and if I have time and the energy I'll do a project like painting or organizing the house. But then nap time and at night are spent at my computer doing my genealogy. On Wednesdays I am now taking the kids with me to the library and Family History Center (at least till school starts). It's good for them to learn to go somewhere where they have to be quiet and encourage them more to enjoy books.

    4. How have your priorities changed over time and why? The biggest change was when our daughter was born. I became a stay at home mom. It was time to put my family first. I use to put my career in sales first. I would work all day, then come home and spend time on the computer, reading books, and finding ways to improve my skills as a sales person. I think my husband in some ways has learned to live with the fact that my passions control me more than I control them. I've really had to learn to put them in check. Especially with the genealogy. Otherwise the house and kids would be neglected completely. There have even been points that I've had to put myself in check by making a schedule only allowing myself so much time on the computer in order to get back to my family and the home. I always slide, but someone always thumps me on the head and wakes me up. It's a battle for me to stay in balance.

    5. What advice can you share to help all of us balance our own lives? I can say I do best when I make a schedule. When I make is a priority to put my family and home first. Of course I've got a dear wonderful husband who often reminds me when I'm sliding. It's never a pleasant moment when he does, but I know it's for the good of our whole family and I love him for it. You really need to know what is important in your life and make sure you have it at the top of your list, but it never hurts to have someone at your side that can help you realize when your life has fallen out of balance.

    Wow after that I'd almost say that was also a tribute to my dear husband. It was a sore subject last week. When he was last home and off the road we of course had a day long discussion about how he was out earning a living for his family and I wasn't getting the house painted, or exactly clean and the kids (of course he was wrong on this note) were raising themselves. If that were the case my kids would be at every other neighbors house instead of all the darn kids at my house driving me crazy. I do keep my kids close, always where I can see them. But my husband was right about the house. I've not gotten back on track and getting projects done. You know it feels good when you can cross another item off your list.

    Speaking of items to finish on my list I guess it's a toss up between filing that stack of bills and other papers or going out back, turning on the porch light and doing some more painting while its cool.

    I'm suppose to tag five others to write about and pass along the meme. My victims are:

    He was born 142 years later.

    I decided to spend a little time on one of my major brick walls today. William Grant "Billy" Woolsey was born 13 Dec 1863 (or 1865 depending on the record) in Iowa. That's really all we know of his life before he married my gg grandmother, Lillie Ann Graham in Montague Co., TX on 8 Dec 1889. Other than the story he sometimes told.

    According to family tradition he told this story: His mother died when he was a small boy. He had an abusive Irish step-mother. As a young lad to stowed away on a wagon train headed west. By the time they discovered him it was too late to turn back and so he continued on with them and that's how he ended up in TX. Then he would add "and that's all I'm going to say about that." If he was anything like his grandson, my grandfather Albert Woolsey, I can just see that character that was stated with.

    But through all the typing of record searches it suddenly hit me that my daughter was born on his birth day about 142 later. We always thought that my mother was the person of honor when our daughter was born a day before my mother's birthday and then we gave her my grandmother's (mom's mom) middle name as her middle name. But it just suddenly hit me today that William Grant "Billy" Woolsey has the honor of his ggg granddaughter being born on his birthday.

    I wonder how many ancestors we can find in our lineage that we share a special day with. It's just one of those interesting things you often don't think about, but somewhere along the way you will suddenly realize that you share something more than just your heritage and genes.

    09 August 2007

    Google Your Ancestors

    Okay call me silly. But I was doing this all wrong. I remember my Aunt kept telling me to Google my ancestors. Well I would be found that to be useless since the only thing I would find it reference to them in Roots sometimes or maybe and individuals family website. Usually it was in places I had already discovered. So I gave up on that method of research.

    Then I visited the Family History Center in Hayden, ID yesterday and ran in to a great bunch of ladies. One of them suggested that if I am going to Google my ancestors I need to put there name in " " and then anything else like the wife or location outside of the quotes.

    I was so excited when I got home I couldn't wait to try it. I was working on the MILLARD family, descendants of Ben MILLARD, "The Father of the Badlands" of SD. So I first tried it in searching for Ben MILLARD. It worked! I found so many articles about him! Now I'm off to try it on some of my family.

    I also had a great time at the Hayden Lake Library yesterday too. Wednesday afternoon is Genealogy day at the Library. There is always a volunteer from the society there to help. I had a great time visiting and talking to others there researching even though I didn't find anything for the families I'm working on.

    Now my plan it to visit the Library and probably the Family History Center in Hayden every Wednesday. Also I'll try to make it to the next society meeting on September 20th at the museum in Coeur d'Alene at 7PM.

    05 August 2007

    Walking in Lewis and Clark's foot steps

    This isn't my usual post, but it does reflect on history. So here we go. On Friday my husband had three local loads of touch freight. The first was in Spokane, WA at 7:00 in the morning. There was no way I would be able to get the kids up, shop for the supplies he needed me to get and meet him there. So he was on his own there. However, at around 8:00 the kids and I were out the door with out breakfast or my coffee. He better know that he's loved! So we ran to Wal-Mart and got some food to restock his fridge and a few other supplies. Ate breakfast on the way. By 9:00 he was at his drop off in Coeur d'Alene, ID. I meet him there not long after. Our oldest son got the privilege of getting in the trailer and helping his dad unload while I cleaned up his cab and stocked his supplies and then I also joined them to finish unloading the trailer.

    Our oldest truly enjoyed the experience with his dad and was so disappointed that they were done. I made a last minute decision, it wasn't like there was anything really keeping me at home for the day. So I asked my hubby if the Blazer would make it all the way to Lewiston. He said sure, just check the oil. So I told him that I need to go get gas, diapers (since I had left our daughter's diaper bag at home) and I'd be right back. So he pulled over to do his paper work until I got back. When I got back he refilled my oil and we were off.

    It was a long hot drive from Coeur d'Alene to Lewiston. We went through the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. I've been through there before, but it never gets old. It's just as beautiful to me as Coeur d'Alene is. All the beautiful trees and the rolling hills of wheat and hay in the mix. The little old towns along state hwy 95 have that old rustic nostalgic look to them. Though I also feel for the people there. You can tell many of them barely hold onto what they have. Then the complete opposite along the way is the Coeur d'Alene Casino that boasts of money. Standing tall, beautiful and so rich looking. It really does look so out of place out there. But I have to admit it's a fun casino. I've been there a couple times since I moved here about 10 years ago.

    Then we went through Moscow, a college town. The main Idaho college is there. What can I say it's quaint and neat, but too crowded for me. I hate living in Post Falls as it is. I truly wished I could afford to live out in the middle of no where. Still not a bad looking area with it's rolling hills through out town and even out of town covered with trees and old farm houses outside of town.

    After Moscow though the scenery changed. I didn't mind the rolling hills of wheat with no trees around so much. I did enjoy the cute little farm houses I saw along the way, and then there was the scattered one that you could tell a farmer was still living in but barely as you saw the barns and even the house was falling apart around them. My heart goes out to those farmers. I know some of them hold on till the bitter end. Farming is not a profession that makes you wealthy anymore, but I find that it's a life style that make those who live it so much richer in so many other ways. Someday I would like to be one of them. Of course I'd rather have cattle then fields, but either way to be out in country, living off the land, would be a treasure to me.

    Anyway when we got close to Lewiston it got really ugly. There were hills, but they weren't rolling with wheat. They were dead, nothing growing, no life, just hills of dry dead weeds and dirt. Very unattractive to me. The river that ran through it though looked crisp, clean and beautiful. Before you get into Lewiston you come down off of a very steep hill. As you are coming down you can see the river snake through town and dotted along the river are large plants with vats of water. I found out later from my husband that those were the pulp plants. Not only did the area look God forsaken ugly, but the smell. Oh my the smell made my nose curl. Again I found out later that was because of the pulp plants.

    Lewiston, ID though has a wonderful history to boast, and boy do they know how to brag about it. Apparently this was one of the locations that Lewis and Clark discovered on their exploration of the inland northwest in October 1805. The town wasn't founded though until 1861 during the gold rush of the area and it was named after Lewis. You can read more on the history here. Lewiston has statues and bronze figures honoring them and the Nez Perce Indians along the main highways as you enter town. As much as they have a fabulous history to boast about I still could never get over the smell and the ugly look of the area. To me the only thing beautiful was the river that ran through it.

    That afternoon we finally stopped to eat after unloading the truck at the Pier 1 in Lewiston. Of course the topic of conversation for my husband and I were how rude the employees at the dock were to us. In Spokane they weren't rude, and in Coeur d'Alene they were very friendly, but in Lewiston was a different story. The gals on the dock started to give me lip as I pulled up in our Blazer beside my husbands truck there by the dock. Of course I couldn't hear what they were saying, but the looks two of them gave me said it all. If looks could kill, yikes. Apparently they were upset about us getting there late. My husband didn't appreciate the attitude so he didn't even bother to tell them that we really got stuck and delayed by some road construction in Moscow. But why explain something to jerks. Then receiving manager's response was "I hope you can get this unloaded by 3:00 because that's when my unloaders go home." So let's just say that one comment set us off on the wrong foot with them. There was nothing friendly about our interaction there. The openly sexual innuendos and teasing amongst the employees I also didn't appreciate in front of my 10 year old son. There were a couple times I asked him to go back by the Blazer and check on his brother and sister (who I could see for my self, it was just an excuse). It just shows their maturity level.

    I don't know how my hubby managed it, but he talked me into staying the night. Mind you this was a spur of the moment decision for me. I didn't pack for it. I had diapers now, but no clothes, tooth brushes, combs, nothing. But I take every opportunity I can to let the kids spend more time with their dad and I know he enjoys it too, because he misses them on the road. So I got out there and washed all of our clothes that night by hand (yes my luck a small pair of sweat shorts of my husband's were in his drawer and one of his T-shirts I changed into) and hung them up to dry in the front of the cab. Talk about feeling like I was a woman in the old west again. Out there with a bucket, soapy water and rubbing our shirts to get spots out, rinsing and then wringing them out. I didn't sleep much that night. It was rather difficult to sleep two adults on a bunk made for one, our daughter was on the floor (which is nicely padded really) and the boys on the top bunk. Later polls with the kids said no one slept very well, but they were glad we did it.

    The next morning we went across the street to the flying J where I got coffee (hubby being a non coffee drinker doesn't keep it on hand) and some breakfast (cookies, I didn't say it was a healthy breakfast) and chocolate milk for the kids. It was that morning that the smell of the town was the worst. You'd think in the heat of the afternoon it would have been, but no it was that morning that just yuk. I know I would never want to live there. We said goodbye to hubby and got on the road. He didn't know where they were sending him next, so he waited there. Little did I know he wouldn't be far behind us and came home for the night. He has another load to pick up in Spokane today and have to Portland by Monday morning.

    It was a great experience and I'm so glad we did it. The next time he has another drop with in a few hours of home like that I may just pick up and do it again.

    01 August 2007

    Genealogy Chat & Forums Part III, DragonFlaire

    Okay I have another one for you. Now this one isn't really genealogy, but it's scrapbooking. All of you know that we work so hard to gather all of our information about our family history, but what do we do with it?

    Scrapbooking or digital scrapbooking are a great way to preserve the history we have found. So here is a new forum for you. DragonFlarie Studios is a great place to go and discuss ideas on scrapbooking. Learn to use photo shop, digital scrapbooking techniques, and if you are still the old fashion scrapbooker it's a great place for you. This forum accommodates all of us who have the desire to preserve what we have discovered about our family for future generations to cherish. Hence Heritage Makers' tag line DISCOVER*PRESERVE*CHERISH.

    I've joined the forum, but I haven't had a lot of time to play around with it, but I will. So come on and join us. Let's discover all the ways we can preserve our memories. Even if you haven't discovered the memories of past generations you should still make the effort to preserve your memories for future generations to cherish. We must all start somewhere.

    Don't forget you don't have to make a mess on the dinning room table to preserve your memories. If you are like Heritage Makers is a great way to use your computer to make beautiful books that will last through the generations. Visit my website at Untangled Family Roots.

    26 July 2007

    Genealogy Chat & Forums, Part II Scan Fest

    Not only does this go with my series on Genealogy Chat rooms, but this also ties in with my series on getting organized. Through my genealogy research and blogging about it I have actually had the wonderful privilege of meeting a great lady, Miriam who blogs AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors. She started up a great idea with a chat room. I have joined them on a few occasions, but lately my time has been spread thin, but I'll try my best to join them again this Sunday, July 29 at 11AM-2PM Pacific Time. Although no promise that you will see me here. My hubby may actually be home this weekend after being on the road for three weeks!

    Scan Fest is a great way to chat with other fellow genealogist, family historians, or just the average mom looking to get her photos and documents organized. At the same time they encourage you to scan your photos and documents into your computer. I highly recommend that you do this. You should always have a back up scanned copy of all your documents and photos. There is nothing like the original, but if God forbid something happened to your originals in a disaster at least you would still have a back up. Not only that but you can then organize your photos and documents with the appropriate ancestor in your genealogy software. It makes life so much easier when your information, documents and photos are all in one place. Then again I'm a computer nut, can you tell.

    Go here for detail on how to join Scan Fest.

    25 July 2007

    George Scott, Oops!

    Well I do this from time to time. All researchers have those "oops I missed it" moments! I was sharing my research with a cousin last night. Well this morning she wrote back to let me know that George Scott was infact on the 1885 Nebraska State Census. He was on the previous page, but since I couldn't see the document and was relying on an index, I had no way of seeing that. She knew from her grandfather that Aner died before George did.

    While I have more information today on George and Aner than I did a week ago, I'm still no closer to finding his date or place of death. So it's back to work.

    George Scott, Almost Found

    It was one in the morning again before I got to bed last night. I had the time last night to get online with one of my favorite genealogy chat rooms, Genealogy.com/chat. Usually I'm in there asking for suggestions and help. But last night I think they were my good luck charm.

    It was about 11:00PM when I came across the first record. Now remember a couple nights ago I did find Aner SCOTT in the Nebraska State census in 1885, but George wasn't with them. So last night I found them in 1880! George was still alive in 1880! They were living in Plum Creek, Pawnee, Nebraska. That brings me closer to pin pointing a place of death for George, since that is my current goal. So today I will look in Pawnee Co., Nebraska for his grave. When I found the 1885 Nebraska Census I did look in Gage county where Aner was and didn't find anything. So now I have a new place to look.

    I also found two other censuses last night of them. One was 1850. They were living in Center, Marion Co., IN. This was the first record that I have seen with my gggg grandmother in it. She was indeed their oldest and is two at this point. I now also have a middle initial of "M" for George. And there is a Nancy Sackett living with them. Now I don't believe the was Aner's mother. I believe Aner's mother was Isabel, unless my Sackett research is wrong. So she may be an aunt. She was 62.

    Then I found the family in the 1856 Iowa Census. This time it is George, Aner, Emily and two more children, A.F.(Alexanders) and M.E. (Mary). Now if I could just find the family in the 1860 and 1870 censuses I'll have a complete trail. But so far no luck.

    So I'm back at it again today. I'll eventually get up and go sweep, mop and do some laundry, but for the most part I'm lost in the past in my office looking for my ancestors. I'm sure I will find more on them today.

    20 July 2007

    George Scott husband of Aner Scakett Scott

    I was planning on expanding on my post from yesterday about Genealogy Forums and Chat rooms. But I've changed my mind for today. I have an ancestor who has been calling my name for weeks you might say. I've have been working feverishly for the last weeks to finish up this genealogy report on the QUINN/SCHWIMMER/SPEISMAN family for their reunion. Well as of yesterday afternoon I am done!

    While I was spending on this time on someone else research I had numerous occasions where the name SCOTT and even George SCOTT would pop up while I was researching this other family. I've also recently gotten an email from a distant cousin I haven't talked to in over a year about specifically George SCOTT. So I think it's time I look into him further. None of us have ever been able to move on the SCOTT line. We do know that he married Aner SACKETT and we have all the research on her line (thank goodness she was a part of the SACKETT's used as inspiration in the Louis L'Amour novels).

    This morning I got started looking at a forum I was going to write about today, when once again, you guessed it, I see someone requesting information on a Mary SCOTT. I've looked further. I don't believe she is the Mary SCOTT, daughter of George and Aner, but it just got me looking at him again. So I'm setting aside that blog post for today to work on George Scott.

    I did find something interesting though. I've known through bits and pieces that the family was in IN, MO, OH and KS. But now apparently in 1885 they may have also been in Island Grove Precinct, Gage, Nebraska. It appear that George may have already been dead by this point as he was not listed with Aner and her two sons Alexander and John. I'll keep digging and see what else I find under the rocks I turn over.

    19 July 2007

    Genealogy Chats & Forums, Part 1

    I am going to start a series of posts discussing genealogy chat rooms and forums. Today I will list a few that I know about, but if any of you know about any I'm missing please let me know so I can add them to the list.

    It's always helpful to have a place to go and bounce ideas off of other people. It's amazing at the little suggestions people have given me when I'm stumped that have opened the flood gates once again on a family with so much more to find.

    A Genealogy Experience
    "It's not just genealogy its an Experience!"

    Boy isn't that true. I think many of us started doing genealogy for a reason. Maybe it was for medical history, to find adopted parents, curiosity, because it was your duty, and so many more reason. But in the end I think we keep doing it because of the experience. It's a one of a kind experience. It's addicting. Once you find one piece of the puzzle you can't stop looking for more pieces. It's like a computer game that you just can't quit playing until you've beat it.

    This group helps make that experience great. In the evening the room actually gets quite full with lots of people looking for information, but even more willing to help you find it and share information with you. I was in there one night when two gals discovered they were cousins. It's a great feeling.

    This group also has scheduled chats based on geographical location or topic. Just check out their calendar and write it on yours. Then come join the chat.

    You will need a passport account to get it, but if you don't have one the site will walk you through it to get signed up.

    Come join. This is a great group of fellow researchers.

    Genealogy.com Chat

    This is another big group. Again it gets busiest in the evening, but you might also find some of us on during the day. Pretty much a great group just like the group above. They are always willing to help each other out.

    One night I was on there really late. I think it was about midnight for me. Since my hubby drives truck for a living that isn't unusual. I had been researching a part of a friends family in the south. I don't remember the state now. I had no luck finding anything more. So the group started asking me what I had search, websites and records. They knew that I was a stay at home mom and just unable to travel. So after we talked for a while they started throwing websites my way that I could search for more records. Low and behold if I didn't find more records on the family in land records.

    You will need to create an account at Genealogy.com, but you don't need to purchase a subscription. If you have trouble with getting in the room there is a drop down box to choose your preferred chat client. It has a default, but sometimes may not be right for your computer. I always have to set mine to JavaLite.


    This one is often empty in the main room through the middle of the day. But what I really like about this room is their different rooms of chat topics. You can join rooms that are based on Irish, Canadian, Main, General Genealogy and so much more. If you have another topic to add, I'm sure you can contact them and schedule another time for your subject.


    This one is rather new and a bit slow for the moment, but maybe we can get them up and going. Again if you have family you want to chat with on all your research to compare your notes. Drag them all here. Chat live about your family.

    Or maybe you are a part of a genealogy society and all of you want is a way to chat and discuss genealogy online. Come here. Others will start to join and before you know it we'll have a full room!

    I'm sure there are many other chat rooms and live forums out there that I don't know about. So please post them here so I can add them to the list and even check them out myself.