Wednesday, July 2, 2014

See you in San Antonio!

Good news! I get to go to the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2014 conference in San Antonio!

Even though I only live 3 hours away, it wasn't a done deal. I have a husband who works out of state and a child without a driver's license. Someone had to play taxi that week. My husband will be working from home so I can make this trip.

I signed up for Librarians' Day and I'm really looking forward to it. I really want to stay current on collection development, especially for genealogy resources. 

I did not sign up for any ticketed lunches. I realize that's the figurative bread and butter for many genealogy groups, but I think I'll use lunch time to explore the city. I also didn't sign up for the big ticketed events. I know, I'm sorry. It's just that I'm not a big fan of....people. There, now you know.

There are many conference sessions that look so good to me:

"Have You Really Done the Dawes?" by Linda Woodward Geiger
Well, I thought so....but maybe not? My Chickasaw ancestors are all up in those records, but maybe I don't know what I don't know.

"Davy Crockett: Following the Trail From Limestone to Texas" by J. Mark Lowe
This session discusses Southern families who migrated to the Republic of Texas. I have those. I love hearing Mark speak. Win/win.

"Finding Your Ancestors in the Republic of Texas" by Teri E. Flack
I have a few documents for my Bourlands in the Republic of Texas. I want more. Hopefully this session shows me how to get more.

Ugh, there are so many good sessions. Some at the same time of others. This will be a difficult choice.

Since I am attending Librarians' Day, I'll arrive in San Antonio Monday afternoon. Anyone else getting there that early?

San Antonio is a wonderful setting for a conference. Walking distance to the Alamo (it's small!), Riverwalk and numerous restaurants. The convention center is nice, too. You'll like it.

Will I see you there?


Researching Public Records Class, July 24 in Missouri City, Texas

LEARN HOW TO RESEARCH PUBLIC RECORDS AT SIENNA BRANCH LIBRARY PROGRAM

Whether researching property for purchase or tracing family histories, one can find many public records online that are available to the public, free of charge. Fort Bend County Libraries' Sienna Branch Library will present the program, "Public Records at Your Fingertips," on July 24, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the Computer Lab of the library, located at 8411 Sienna Springs Blvd in Missouri City.

Learn how to search online for public records such as property records, court records, property-tax records, and much more, with minimal effort.

The program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. To register online at the library's website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on "Calendar," select "Sienna Branch," and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library at 281-238-2952, or by visiting the library.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 2014 Genealogy Classes in Fort Bend County, Texas

LIBRARY'S FAMILY-HISTORY CLASSES HELP RESEARCHERS DISCOVER PAST

Have you ever wondered where your ancestors came from? Are you curious about their military service or medical history? Begin your family-history research at Fort Bend County Libraries' Local History and Genealogy Department at George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond. Library staff will present two programs in July to help the family-history researcher begin their genealogy search.

On Tuesday, July 22, learn how to use U.S. Census Records for family-history research. Library staff will demonstrate how to trace family history by using census records from 1790 to 1940, which may contain such information as family members' names, birthplace of parents, professions, military service, and other details that were significant during different periods. Learn how and where to search for these records using databases and microfilm. Special census records such as the 1890 Veteran Census, Slave, Mortality, and Indian schedules will also be discussed. This class will begin at 10:00 a.m., in the Computer Lab.

Researching African-American family histories may present special challenges for the genealogical researcher. An introductory program, "African-American Genealogy 101," will take place on Saturday, July 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the Computer Lab. Those attending will receive a basic introduction to many of the resources that are available to the beginning family-history researcher, with special focus on tools to help individuals who are researching African-American family histories. Learn about online resources, such as the Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest USA databases, items that are available on microfilm, and print resources.

The programs are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. To register online at the library's website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on "Calendar," select "George Memorial," and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library's Local History and Genealogy Department at 281-341-2608, or by visiting the department at the library.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

100

Today would have been my paternal grandfather's 100th birthday.

He was born in Oklahoma City on June 18, 1914.


Jack was an only child. He grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where his father was a lawyer for an oil company. His father must have traveled a lot for his job, because I have several photos of my grandpa as a child posing in front of courthouses.

Jack and his mother in front of a courthouse.

Jack and his father in front of a courthouse.

Jack, his mother (r), aunt (l) and grandmother (top) at a courthouse.

By the photos in my possession, it appears my grandpa had a good childhood.

He played sports...
Shorty on the right. YMCA Tumbling 1924
...and went to camp.
Bottom right

This is a photo of my grandpa in 1932. He went from Oklahoma to Los Angeles with his mom to visit his aunt and grandmother. The Olympics were going on in Los Angeles then and my grandpa told me how he found his way into the Coliseum to watch them. This photo came from that summer.

Los Angeles, 1932

As the Depression set in, Jack's parents' took a financial hit. I don't know if that played a factor in the early deaths of both of his parents. Jack lost his mother when he was 21 and lost his father when he was 23. Since he was an only child, he was pretty much alone. He had a grandmother and aunt in California, and another aunt elsewhere.

Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) in Stillwater

My grandparents got married in Duncan, Oklahoma in 1937. My grandma's family was also affected by the Depression. I think this may have been the motivation for them to move to Los Angeles, which they did shortly after marriage.

Jack and family built a house on 117th street in Los Angeles. The neighborhood is a little rough now, but back then it was filled with new families.

My grandpa owned and operated South Vermont Feed and Seed in the area surrounding the University of Southern California. At some point he left the store in preparation for World War II, but he was never drafted.

Now a man without a feed store, he moved the family to Pomona where he spent time as a chicken rancher and a realtor.

People who know my grandpa remember him at the proprietor of the Western Home & Auto in Rubidoux, California. He worked there until he retired and handed the store over to his sons. Some of my earliest memories are of that store. 

My grandpa died May 28, 2001 while eating a bowl of blackberries he'd just picked out of his garden. After the initial shock, I decided that's the best way to go. We should all die that quickly, eating something we love. 

Jack never talked about his parents. There is suspicion that his mother committed suicide (she died on Christmas Eve). His dad remarried 3 months later. I started researching them after he died. I wonder if he would have approved of my research abilities and uncovering some of the mystery of his parents. I doubt it, but I have no regrets.

So happy birthday, grandpa. I hope there are plenty of fresh blackberries where you are.

My dad, my son and my grandpa. Mother's Day 2001.




Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hotel Reservations Now Open for FGS2015 and RootsTech

Below is a press release regarding the availability of hotel rooms for FGS 2015 and RootsTech 2015.

In case you haven't heard, both of these conferences are being held concurrently in Salt Lake City in February 2015.

I have no idea how this 2-conference thing is going to go. Do we need to register for both conferences? Will they be in different parts of the convention center? So many questions...

If you're planning on attending FGS2015 and/or RootsTech, you probably shouldn't wait for answers before reserving your hotel room. These will be well-attended conferences and the hotel rooms will be reserved quickly.

Are you planning to attend? Will I see you there? I can't answer questions about either conference, but I may be able to answer questions about the hotels. All are within walking distance to the convention center and Family History Library.

Anyway, here's the press release:

HOTEL RESERVATIONS OPEN FOR 2015 FGS and RootsTech Conferences
Book Your Room Today

Four Salt Lake City hotels are now taking reservations for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech conferences, which will be held February 11–14, 2015 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
The Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown, Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, and Hilton Salt Lake City Center will offer reduced rates to attendees of both conferences. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Salt Palace Convention Center.Conference rates will be honored for reservation dates February 7 – 19, 2015. Reservations must be made by January 13, 2015 to receive the conference rates.
Rooms will be in high demand. Reserve yours now through the FGS conference website at http://www.fgsconference.org/2015/lodging.

Registration for both conferences will open in late August 2014. For additional information about the FGS conference visit www.FGSconference.org/2015.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forummagazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.


Monday, June 2, 2014

RootsTech 2015 Content Committee Now Accepting Presentation Proposals

 
The RootsTech Content Committee is calling for dynamic presentations for RootsTech 2015 that inform and educate both those seeking to begin and those continuing to discover their family story through technology.  

The presentation portal on RootsTech.org will be open from June 2 to June 27, 2014.

Presentations will be accepted for both RootsTech and Innovator Summit.  

  • RootsTech is a three day family history conference offering over two hundred classes for beginners, avid hobbyists and experienced researchers.
  • Innovator Summit starts with a pre-RootsTech event onWednesday, February 11, and is a unique opportunity for software developers, entrepreneurs and technology business leaders to explore and influence technology solutions in the family history industry.  Classes will continue throughout the RootsTech conference.
In 2015, RootsTech and The Federation of Genealogical Societies are teaming up to offer two great conferences in one venue. Speakers interested in presenting at FGS can visit their website for more information about the FGS National Conference and their call for presentations. 
Youth Header

Presentations submissions are requested for all family history and technology skill levels in the following categories:
RootsTech

  • Finding and Organizing: search tactics, resources, specialized tools, methodologies, solutions, metadata, apps and software 
  • Preserving Your Work And Legacy: family trees, digital migration, audio and video solutions 
  • Sharing: social media, tools for collaboration, wikis, crowd sourcing, community building, blogs
  • Stories and Photos: storytelling and interviewing, capturing stories, preserving stories, enhancing stories with photos, photo restoration, movies and presentations, photo editing, oral histories
  • Tools: technology introductions, gadgets, genetic research, DNA, breaking down barriers, 
  • General:  family history topics in general including geographic research, time-period research, inspirations, market trends, research trends, adjacent industries, record types. (Please note, there is still an expectation in this category that technology is a part of the presented topic.)
  • Family Traditions And Lifestyle: cultural arts, handicrafts, food, influential historical events, everyday living standards, social customs, pastimes, artifacts. (Please note there is still an expectation in this category that this knowledge assists the learner in family history and that technology is a part of the presented topic.) 
RootsTech Innovator Summit
  • Developer: standards and API's, mobile app development, social applications, record imaging and visualizations, apps for youth, software and tools that enable the work of family history.
  • Business: funding and investment, startups- success stories and tips, opportunities and market trends, networking and partnerships, insights and entertainment 
For more information, download the complete Call for Presentations document. It includes presentation and evaluation criteria, the submission timeline, and process details.

Questions regarding the RootsTech 2015 call for presentations can be emailed to the Content Committee at info@rootstech.org.

Do you know someone who would be a great presenter for RootsTech 2015? Please share this message with them. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

50 Ways to Index Your Ancestors or Why You Can't Find Them in the Census

The simplest surnames are sometimes the hardest to find.

I learned this as I was working on my MENOU collateral lines. My great-great grandmother was Emelie Menou. Her brother was Jules Menou. They, their siblings and parents came to Louisiana from France in the 1880s. They lived in what is now Iota in Acadia Parish.

Today I did some research on Jules Menou and his family. It wasn't hard stuff. I just wanted to get their census enumerations into my RootsMagic database.

I did a quick and dirty census search for Jules Menou at Ancestry.com and no results were returned. I did the same search by limiting the record pool to just those in Iota, Acadia, Louisiana. Zero hits.

Well I knew they were in Iota, so it was time for a page-by-page search of the 1920 census. Luckily for me, there are only 16 images in the set for Iota.

I found the Jules Menou family on image 5, but they were indexed as MERSON.


Does that look like MERSON to you? I can see MENON. That's a common transcription error, but Merson? Look at the small "r" in Marcelle. Look at the closed "s" in Rosa. These are different than what the indexer thought he/she saw in the surname. I don't know, these are the things I notice when I'm indexing.

Anyway, I decided to do a page-by-page search of the 1900-1940 censuses for the Jules Menou family. I found them in Iota in each census, their name incorrectly indexed in every single one.

1900 - Manow
1910 - Manne
1920 - Merson
1930 - Menon
1940 - Menoce

Then I got curious. How was the Jules Menou crew indexed at FamilySearch?

1900 - Menow
1910 - Manne
1920 - Menon
1930 - Menon
1940 - Mansee

Now to be fair, MENON is a common misspelling for MENOU, so it's one I always search. A cursive "u" often looks like a cursive "n." The same can be said for mixing up "u" and "w" in MENOW. Some of the others though, I just don't see it.

This isn't a complaint about indexing. It's more of a pause for thought if you can't find someone in a census.

Search page-by-page if you can. Lucky for me, the Iota section was tiny so it was an easy task on Ancestry.com. Some census districts make this difficult. I feel your pain as I've done this task in Los Angeles.

Search for the family using the most unusual name in the group. At FamilySearch, it's not easy to browse page-by-page like I did at Ancestry. Instead, I searched for everyone named Jules in Iota, Acadia, Louisiana who was also born in France. My man Jules was always in the first few names.

Look at the neighbors. If you find a family in one census but not another and you're sure they're there, search for the neighbors' names and see if you can find them that way.

Thanks for listening. I just wanted to point out the large differences in indexing the same name. If you can't find someone in a census, maybe they're just hiding in plain sight.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bad Machines and Unfair Genealogy: A Library Visit

Yesterday was another long day at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. I still have the same client-issued task: find all I can about a guy named Henry within the parameters of a specified deadline.

I've had some success in the microfilm section. Mainly in the 18th century order books. My previous library visits were spent looking at microfilm frame by frame. There are a ton of machines that read film, and two machines that capture film. Etiquette says that you use a reader first to search so you don't hog the image capturing machines. When I found a "hit" I'd write it down so I could capture an image of the record at a later date.

Yesterday was that date. I got to the library a minute after opening and marched right up to the second floor. I was a lady on a mission. I had a list of films with page numbers and I was going to use the microfilm reader that took pictures and put them on my flash drive.

The machine had other plans.


It didn't recognize my flash drive. When it did, I could only scan one image, then it wouldn't recognize it again. I had to take the flash drive out when I was preparing to capture an image then put it back in and wait for the machine to recognize it. Cumbersome, but not a big deal. This was a quirk I discovered on my own. I wonder how many patrons just gave up?

Also, I could only capture one page at a time, each an individual file. It would be nice to gather multi-page records as a single file. This machine said NO, though the instructions implied otherwise. After many failed attempts, I just saved a page at a time, each its own file. Cue sad trombone.

This machine also gave a generic name to each file. I prefer to change the file names asap so I don't forget where the images came from. This machine again said NO. Now I have a bunch of files labeled scan01, scan02, etc. and I have to figure out which is which.

The whole process of scanning and capturing an image was long, and I had to do it over and over again. The silver lining is that I've finally mastered all of this machine's quirks. It did not defeat me.

The good news is that this machine is on borrowed time. The library staff are currently shopping for new machines. Yay!

When I was done with the bad machine, I browsed the surname books. I am really envious of those that have their own books of genealogical information for their given names. There is no Lenertz surname book. No Baerecke. No Menou. No Joszt. These are my surnames. They have no books.

You know who does have books? These people:


You should know that the only surname I don't research is the one I married. Why? Because everyone else has already done so. Look at all the surname books they have!

Genealogy is not fair, and microfilm machines are mean. These are the lessons I learned at the library.



Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2014 Events at Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

Hispanic Heritage Day
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Hispanic Heritage Day marks a partnership with Clayton Library and the Hispanic Genealogical Society (website located at http://www.hispanicgs.org/ ) for an all-day workshop featuring topics associated with Hispanic genealogical research. Register for any or all of the sessions listed below.

How Do You Get Started in Genealogical Research?
Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:15AM-11:00AM
Are you interested in researching your family but are not sure where to begin? Topics to be covered include organizing your known information. Inexpensive resources to try and more advanced resources will also be summarized. Participants who have started their research will be encouraged to share their experiences in order to help guide others. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

Tracing your Hispanic Heritage with Genealogy
Saturday, May 17th, 2014 11:15AM-12:00PM
Presentation will outline use of various resources such as genealogical websites, family interviews, civil and Church records, census records, and more helpful information to assist you in tracing your Hispanic heritage. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

Immigration Records with Focus on the Texas/Mexico Border
Saturday, May 17, 2014 12:35PM-1:15PM
What type of information is found in immigrat ion documents? We will explore records to reveal some valuable research clues. Documents include place of birth, description of person, destination, etc. Many of these clues will solve mysteries, some of which you didn't know existed . Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

How to Break Down Your Brick Walls
Saturday, May 17, 2014 1:30PM-2:30PM
Have you been researching your family only to hit a brick wall that you have not been able to break down?  We will present different ways to break down these brick walls.  Tips and techniques with examples from members’ own trees will be the entire focus of this presentation. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

Other Events in May:

Quick Start your Genealogy!
Saturday, May 3, 2014 1:00PM-3:00PM
Overview of genealogical research tools:
1:00-1:30PM HPL Catalog
1:40-2:20PM Ancestry Library Edition; FamilySearch
2:30-3:00PM Ordering microprint from Salt Lake City
Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.


Clayton Library Friends General Meeting
Saturday, May 10, 2014 10:15AM-12:00PM
Sue Kaufman, Clayton Library Manager, will present her annual “State of the Library” report. Registration starts at 10:15AM in the Carriage House and the meeting will begin at 10:30AM.

Library Orientation 
Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:30AM-11:45AM
Learn about the vast resources and how to efficiently utilize genealogical research materials housed at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research.  No reservations needed, meet at the Information Desk in the library.  Adults/Teens.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Day at the Clayton Genealogy Library

I'm knee deep in a difficult project for a fabulous client. The task is pretty much to find all I can about a guy named Henry in 1700's Virginia, and do so on a pre-determined deadline. I've been going to the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research lately in an attempt to poach all I can from their extensive collection.

Today was another Clayton day. I'm going through the microfilms right now. This was what I saw on the first film I put on the machine this morning:


Yeah.

Luckily the records got a little bit clearer later on.

I did find Henry's baptism date and place. Then I found some records that I believe belong to Henry's father, Henry Sr. The problem is that I don't know which Henry paid a fine for not attending church.

Much, much more time is needed at the Clayton Library. I sense several more trips in my immediate future.

I know I haven't been blogging much lately. Henry and his crew are the reason why. I'm here. I'm just researching genealogy for someone else instead of writing about it for me.


Monday, April 21, 2014

RootsTech 2015 Content Committee Issues a Call for Presentations


The RootsTech Content Committee is calling for dynamic presentations for RootsTech 2015 that inform and educate both those seeking to begin and those continuing to discover their family story through technology.  

Presentation submissions will be accepted June 2 to June 27, 2014, through the Call for Presentations portal on RootsTech.org.

Presentations will be accepted for both RootsTech and Innovator Summit.  
  • RootsTech is a three day family history conference offering over two hundred classes for beginners, avid hobbyists and experienced researchers.
  • Innovator Summit starts with a pre-RootsTech event onWednesday, February 11, and is a unique opportunity for software developers, entrepreneurs and technology business leaders to explore and influence technology solutions in the family history industry.  Classes will continue throughout the RootsTech conference.
In 2015, RootsTech and The Federation of Genealogical Societies are teaming up to offer two great conferences in one venue. Speakers interested in presenting at FGS can visit their website for more information about the FGS National Conference and their call for presentations. 
Youth Header

Presentations submissions are requested for all family history and technology skill levels in the following categories:
RootsTech
  • Finding and Organizing: search tactics, resources, specialized tools, methodologies, solutions, metadata, apps and software 
  • Preserving Your Work And Legacy: family trees, digital migration, audio and video solutions 
  • Sharing: social media, tools for collaboration, wikis, crowd sourcing, community building, blogs
  • Stories and Photos: storytelling and interviewing, capturing stories, preserving stories, enhancing stories with photos, photo restoration, movies and presentations, photo editing, oral histories
  • Tools: technology introductions, gadgets, genetic research, DNA, breaking down barriers, 
  • General:  family history topics in general including geographic research, time-period research, inspirations, market trends, research trends, adjacent industries, record types. (Please note, there is still an expectation in this category that technology is a part of the presented topic.)
  • Family Traditions And Lifestyle: cultural arts, handicrafts, food, influential historical events, everyday living standards, social customs, pastimes, artifacts. (Please note there is still an expectation in this category that this knowledge assists the learner in family history and that technology is a part of the presented topic.) 
RootsTech Innovator Summit
  • Developer: standards and API's, mobile app development, social applications, record imaging and visualizations, apps for youth, software and tools that enable the work of family history.
  • Business: funding and investment, startups- success stories and tips, opportunities and market trends, networking and partnerships, insights and entertainment 
For more information, download the complete Call for Presentations document. It includes presentation and evaluation criteria, the submission timeline, and process details.

Questions regarding the RootsTech 2015 call for presentations can be emailed to the Content Committee at info@rootstech.org.

Do you know someone who would be a great presenter for RootsTech 2015? Please share this with them. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fold3 Civil War Collection free until April 30

Hey gang, here's a nifty freebie from Fold3. They are opening up their Civil War Collection for everyone until April 30. This is a great deal, and for much longer than most "free" access we get from genealogy databases.

I've found several of my own ancestors in the Fold3 Civil War Collection.

Here is the info straight from them:

Access the Civil War Collection

To remember the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, Fold3 invites you to explore all records in its Civil War Collection for free April 14–30.

Explore Civil War documents featuring everything from military records to personal accounts and historic writings. Soldier records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates, Army registers, and much more. Other record types include photographs, original war maps, court investigations, slave records, and beyond. Items such as the Lincoln Assassination Papers, Sultana Disaster documents, letters to the Adjutant General and Commission Branch, and the 1860 census are also contained in the Civil War Collection.

Confederate-specific records include Confederate service records, amnesty papers, casualty reports, and citizens files, as well as Confederate Navy subject files and Southern Claims Commission documents.

Join Fold3 in its commemoration of the Civil War. Discover information on famous participants as well as your own Civil War ancestors through documents, photos, and images that capture the experiences and vital information of those involved in America’s deadliest conflict. Then commemorate your ancestors by creating or expanding memorial pages for them on Fold3’s Honor Wall. Get started searching the Civil War Collection here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fort Bend County (TX) Library Genealogy Events for April 2014

LIBRARY'S FAMILY-HISTORY CLASSES HELP RESEARCHERS DISCOVER PAST

Have you ever wondered where your ancestors came from?  Are you curious about their military service or medical history? Begin your family-history research at Fort Bend County Libraries' Local History and Genealogy Department at George Memorial Library1001 Golfview in Richmond. Library staff will present two programs in April to help the beginning family-history researcher start their genealogy search.

"Family-History Research: Find Your Ancestors in Deed Records" will take place on April 15, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the Computer Lab. Learn about the various types of land and property deed records that are available online, on microfilm at the library, or that are filed at the courthouse. Deeds were recorded and kept before other types of records were required. These records may include genealogical information that is not available through other sources, or that may confirm uncertain information, such as names of spouses, children and their spouses, or neighbors.

An introduction to the FamilySearch International Online Genealogy Website will take place on April 22, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the Computer Lab. This resource contains information compiled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide for more than 100 years, and is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Those attending this class will learn how to navigate through the FamilySearch website and make the most effective use of the information it provides.


The programs are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. To register online at the library's website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on "Calendar," select "George Memorial," and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library's Local History and Genealogy Department at 281-341-2608, or by visiting the department at the library.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Uncle Roy

Uncle Roy was my great-great uncle by marriage. I knew there was a little bit more to the story, but anyone who could tell me the details had already passed. Here is how I found the connection. I wrote it here in case anyone in my family was interested. --A

My immediate family on my dad's side is pretty small and there wasn't much history that trickled down to the kids. Much of what I have--genealogically speaking--is what I've found on my own.

My paternal grandfather (known as Buster to us) was an only child. His parents' siblings had no children either so he had no first cousins.

Buster lost both of his parents while he was in college. He had one grandmother known as Mollie. She was widowed twice before marrying her third husband, John Fraser Sutherland. He was Scottish and worked for a railroad doing masonry-type stuff.

Mollie had a daughter with her first husband. This girl was Buster's mom. Mollie had a daughter with her second husband. This girl was Violet, the same Aunt Violet my family knows.

Aunt Violet had a first marriage that ended in divorce. I don't know much about that. Aunt Violet's second marriage was to Robert Roy Vaughn, who is known in my family as "Uncle Roy."

Uncle Roy and Aunt Violet with their plane.
Why didn't I know they had a plane?

Knowing Buster's history as I do now, I understand why Aunt Violet and Uncle Roy were so important to him. That was all the family he had. Also, I'm pretty sure Violet is the one who convinced Buster and his new bride Doris (my grandma) to leave Oklahoma and start fresh in California.

Time passed and all this branch of my family died. Eventually I got curious about family history and started ordering death certificates. I noticed on Uncle Roy's death certificate, it said his mother's maiden name was Sutherland. Was that a coincidence? Or was he related to his mother-in-law's third husband?

I've tried to answer this question for years, but John Sutherland is a pretty common name. Also, Uncle Roy was in the Merchant Marines, which made tracking him difficult.

Finally, this week I found some online information that led me to the parents of John Fraser Sutherland. That led me to his siblings as well. I checked to see if any of his sisters married someone named Vaughn. Sure enough, Jennie Sutherland married Gus Vaughn. These were Uncle Roy's parents. John Sutherland was his uncle.

Sadly, it appears both of Roy's parents died when he was young. He lived with his grandmother in Winslow, Arizona. Roy also had a sister, Ruth Vaughn Hammerton, who married and lived a long life in the Los Angeles area. Did we know this, family?

So now I know how Uncle Roy fits in the family puzzle. I knew there was a connection, it just took a while to find it. Roy--like Buster--didn't have parents and relied on aunts and uncles for family bonding. He must have visited his uncle John Fraser Sutherland and Buster's grandmother Mollie in Los Angeles and met Violet that way.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fun with Search Terms

It's been a while, but it's time for another round of "Fun with Search Terms!" People type certain words or phrases into search engines. If the combination is right, my blog turns up in the search results. Sometimes the searches are funny. Sometimes I can provide more information to users, if only they'd comment on my blog. Either way, I enjoy the process. Please note that these searches are anonymous so I don't know who is stumbling on my blog. I just comment in the hope that they find it again.

Now on with the show. Actual search phrases are in bold.

Houston Genealogical Conference
You're probably looking for the Houston FamilySearch Conference on April 26, 2014. This all-day event is FREE and open to the public. Register soon to reserve your seat. The event is in Houston, in the part known as Summerwood. This is my neck of the woods, so if you have any questions about the area, let me know.

cameron parish louisiana courthouse civil war vietnam memorial
My blog came up in the search results because I wrote about my own ancestor's name on that military memorial. I have photos of all the names from all the wars as they were included on that memorial. If you contact me I will send you the photos.

do you have to join geneabloggers to blog your genealogy
Absolutely not. You are free to set up your blog and write about whatever you want without connecting with anyone. Geneabloggers.com is a great website for blogging resources. It also has a fantastic index which connects blogs with readers and peers. I love it, but you don't have to.

cyndi ingle cracked up
I love this one so much. Cyndi Ingle is Cyndi's List, in case you didn't know. I wrote about her FGS 2013 plenary session, "Is Your Genealogy Society Web Site All It's Cracked Up to Be?" but it's funny to think she done snapped.

iota jules menou history
jules menou iota louisiana
jule menou iota la
jules menou iota
You. Are. Killing. Me. All these searches put you on my blog and you never even contacted me? Jules Menou is my people. The Menou family in Lousiana is MINE. There's only one and if it is yours too then why not exchange information?

Notre Dame 1910 yearbook
My great-grandfather is in this book. You can access it through Ancestry.com's U.S. Yearbook Collection (use Notre Dame as the city name in Indiana).

genealogy as therapy
Don't I know it, man. Don't I know it.


Thanks for playing and have a great weekend!