Friday, October 26, 2012

Really Awesome Cousin Sooze

As much as I would like to think of myself as a genealogist extraordinaire (ha!), I am truly humbled when I read my cousin Susan's genealogy blog.

She is a master researcher. Not only does she find great, obscure, weird information about our ancestors, she reviews it deftly, creatively and charitably. In short, I love reading her stuff, and when she finds something terrible and upsetting, she frames it in the best possible way, always giving our ancestors the benefit of the doubt. Made of gold, this woman.

Her husband is my third cousin; our common ancestors are Thomas Merrill Johnson and Hattie Ellen Duggan. I haven't met her yet, but will be giving her a big squeeze when I do. I seriously can't thank her enough for all the great research she has done.

Here's to you, Sooze :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

"Bring Out Your Dead"

Can I just tell you that I love calling funeral homes, cemetery offices and county death record offices? 

Not once have I ever encountered anything other than a helpful, kind employee when I've made the effort to look up a number and get on the horn. 

One lady in South Carolina (SWEET accent) offered to go outside in the snow one January day and take a picture of my relative's headstone and email it to me.

Bless you, employees.  We geeks couldn't do it without you.

Now on to today's character - my great uncle Burt Damon Bathrick*.  Never married as far as I can see, Burt lived what must have been a colorful life.  Born in 1863 in upstate New York to Lysander and Phoebe (who died when he was seven years old), the youngest child by fifteen years - Burt made his way west with his father and landed in Great Falls, Montana.  (Lysander ended up in Wyoming.)

I'm trying not to mix him up with a Bert Bathrick, who was born five years earlier and died in 1923. 

My uncle Burt held a variety of jobs, from railway laborer to beer hall employee to novelty salesman.  Just guessing from the occupations he chose, he is an adventurous, hardworking, gregarious, people-loving soul, who loved his adopted city but wasn't much for sticking around in the same job.  He never owned a home, always lived at boarding houses, which to me says he preferred to take life one day at a time.

I'm about to call Cascade county and see if he did stick around long enough to be buried there.  What's funny is, I find myself mentally stuck in the 1980s way of genealogy-ing sometimes... "So Great Falls, huh... it would be so fun to go there, but it's so far away..."

Then I remember "when" I am.  In these days of instant access to telephone numbers listed online, help is only a few clicks and a phone call away. 

Blessings abound :)

*Why Burt today?  The 1940 Census, of course.  I did an individual search on PAF using my ancestors filter (grandparents and aunts and uncles only) and filtered them by individuals born in the 1840-1941 birth range, so I didn't miss anyone.  Three hundred and ninety-six people I'm looking up.  I've already found new family members all over the place.  Yay :)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Now, where was I?

Oh yes - I was having an awesome genealogy time.

I heard from a Keithler cousin on Findagrave today (hooray, my faith is restored!).  Her great grandparents, Ignatius and Jennie (Dragoo) Keithler, are my great-great grandparents.  We are second cousins once removed.

Yay :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012