Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I! Have Made Fire!!

As of this morning, I now know where all sixteen of my great-great grandparents are buried, city and cemetery.

(Obviously my grandparents and great grandparents, too.)


Monday, December 12, 2011

Hee. "Graves R Us."

It's funny.

But guess what? I LOVE IT!!! This is the kind of website I've been waiting for, a site with lists of people buried in cemeteries of Montana and northern Wyoming! It's like they had my Smiths and Keithlers and all their kin and my inability to locate all of them in mind!

And it has an awesome name, to boot.

It's been a sweet, sweet day. I decided to mess around with my PAF and see if there were any superfluous families I needed to prune out of my tree, such as the parents of aunts, uncles, or cousins who married into my family. Not that we don't love them or that they're not important, but we can only keep track of so many people.

I was just about to pare down my Vanderpauwert relatives - like, why? How many Vanderpauwerts does anyone ever have, and I'm about to get rid of them? - when I decided to keep Uncle John's first family, the one he had with his first wife before she died and he married my aunt Verne Keithler. I wasn't really going to get rid of them, I was just going to put them in his notes/sources.

But I don't know, they did something to me and I ended up searching their census records and their son Claude's World War I draft card (he died in the influenza epidemic before he ever left Fort Lewis - that was probably a blessing) and pretty soon I was adding his information, which I found at Graves R Us (hee), to Findagrave. And there I found that some nice man had added Aunt Verne and Uncle John to their cemetery, which was awesome, because I didn't even have a death date for Uncle John! Perfect.

So. Thanks, Graves R Us... and way to go with that name.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Dear Walla Walla Union-Bulletin,

You suck.

My aunt Genevieve died in July of this year. Unfortunately I didn't think to look up her obituary online (I don't want to bug my mother for a copy, if she even has one) until today.

I looked it up today. Since she died in July and not sometime this week, you want me to pay to subscribe to your dumb newspaper - either online or in real life or both - to view all of her obituary, instead of just the stuff I already knew about her.

I don't live in Walla Walla. I did live in Walla Walla for about three months twenty years ago, and got out of there as soon as I could find my way out. I have no desire to ever live there again (not that it isn't lovely).

I don't want to subscribe to your newspaper, since all I'd be doing it for is to check the obituary section when my other two aunts die. Which is kind of a morbid reason to subscribe to anything.

That, and I'm not interested in Walla Walla news. Sorry.

I just want to look at my aunt's obituary. I don't want to pay to do it.

It would take less than five minutes for me to read it, and probably copy and paste it to my genealogy computer program. That's not worth a subscription.

It would be more cost-efficient to drive to Walla Walla and visit either your public library and view their archives (provided they don't also suck) or your local hoarder population, risking my life and health as I rifle through their dysfunction to locate the newspaper copy in question.

So, you suck.

Thanks for hearing me.

It is my sincere hope that you will suck considerably less in the future -


Monday, July 18, 2011

Awesome Cousin Sooze

... found this, cemetery records from Washington county, Nebraska, which contain a record belonging to my great-great grandfather's first wife: SARAH C. "KATE" DOLAN.

I added Kate to Findagrave, then peeked around in Findagrave records for that cemetery and found some Hetricks buried there too. After Kate died in 1883, my great-great grandfather Thomas married Hattie Ellen Duggan. Hattie's mother is a Hetrick.

Sooze has mad research skills. I love it when she throws great records my way! Thanks!! :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

WDYTYA: Kim Cattrall

Watch it here.

This was an incredibly hard one for me to watch. If I ever meet her grandfather in the hereafter, I will have a hard time not kneeing him somewhere painful.

To quote John Mayer: "Fathers, be good to your daughters..."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"I'm so glad you're here, Related-To-Everyone Man!"

"... just for a frame of reference," says Captain Obvious.

One of my fellow staff members at the Family History Center is a lovely retired gentleman who has such enthusiasm for family history, teaching, and people in general, that several patrons show up weekly to have him help them with their pursuits. We all enjoy working with him.

When I met him in November, we started comparing notes on our family trees - where our people come from, what famous people we're related to, the kinds of research we like. I discovered that Gene has an uncanny ability to track down living relatives in everyday places, like at church or in his neighborhood. Whenever he finds a new cousin, he tells us the next time we're together. I used to tease him that he's related to everybody.

Last Wednesday I joked, "We should see if you're related to me."

We plugged our jump drives into the same computer's USB ports, started up FamilyInsight (found in all FHCs, and available for purchase for home use), clicked on the command that would review both our databases and find matches, and...

We're related.

We share two sets of common ancestors: Philippe Cazier and Marie Taine (my paternal grandmother's line); and Jacob French and Susan Warren (my maternal grandmother's line).

Amazingly, my grandmothers are (so far) not related.

Yesterday, as we again looked through our respective data and found these ancestors, Gene excitedly scribbled down my information (this was before we both had the brilliant idea of creating GEDCOMS and copying and pasting them to each other's jump drives - he was that excited). He called me last night with his findings.

"We're ninth cousins, three times removed," he said.

I don't have much information on these people; I found them in the IGI, which is a great place to start but shouldn't be depended on for accurate information. Some submitters are meticulous record-keepers who can back up every fact; others, not so much. I'm motivated now to more deeply research these families and see what I can come up with.

Our ancestors come from the 16th and 17th centuries, so there's nothing obvious to distinguish us as relatives, but it's fun to work with him every week and to now have this added bond.

The same thing happened to my grandparents while they worked at their FHC in the Boise area - one of their fellow staff members shared a line with Gran. Then we discovered that this staff member's sister lives here and is in MY congregation. She and I keep saying we need to get together and compare notes, but it hasn't happened yet. I should get cracking.

It's always fun to find a new cousin.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are?

I'm so excited that this great show was picked up for another season, with a new group of celebrities finding out about their family trees.

Here's a video preview.

The premiere is Friday, February 4! Tune in! I'm strangely excited to see Rosie O'Donnell's episode. :)