Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lesson Learned (Again)

I'm in the process of filling in holes in my research by looking up census records. One of those holes was the 1940 census for my great-grandfather, Hiram Currey. It didn't really surprise me that I didn't have that record since he moved had moved quite a bit. However, I was surprised when I found the index record for him in the census on Ancestry.

Not only was he listed, but he is identified as 'father-in-law'. How did I miss that? Was he living with Aunt Myrtle? Since I already had my grandparent's record for the 1940 census, he couldn't be living with them. Or, could he?

 When I checked the page, he was the top entry on the page and there was a note that it was continued from the previous page.

Guess who I found on the previous page? My grandparents and family.
I had previously found them in the 1940 census. I obviously did not click to check the next page!

Lesson learned -- CLICK TO SEE THE NEXT PAGE (and the previous one)

SUCCESS! Retrieving Old Files

As I devote more time to genealogy, I'm also wanting to rescue the work I did for the Nemaha County Genealogical Society and add it to the re-created web site.

A lot of that work was done with Microsoft Works in the database portion of the software. Even though I had a current version of MS Works installed on my computer, I was not able to load these old files.

Thus, I was on a search for a way to get them open and export the data so it could be opened with today's software, namely Excel. I tried Zamzar and other cloud file conversion options. None of those I tried would convert the *.wdb files.

Thankfully, we haven't done a good job of discarding software because I found a copy of MS Works 7. I had to uninstall my current software in order to install version 7. I cringed a little when it said it required Internet Explorer 6 but, fortunately, the software installed without also installing IE6.

Armed with MS Works 7, I am now able to open those old *.wdb files. I've been able to save them as *.csv files which I can then open in Excel.

The only downside is that the column headings are not present. That's a simple problem to resolve by simply re-opening the file in MS Works to identify the headings.

A new column can be added to the top of the *.csv file where the headings can be inserted.

 Ironically, the *.wps files created at the same time won't open with MS Works 7. These can be opened in MS Word -- but some 'junk' comes along.

However, the files are fairly easy to clean up by simply deleting the 'junk'.

Now for the next software issue *.epd files -- EXPRESS PUBLISHER! I have a feeling this one will be more of a challenge.

Friday, March 18, 2016

My First Proof Argument

One of this week's 'Finally Get Organized' tasks involved sources, information and evidence. Ever since making the transition from PAF to The Master Genealogist, I've been working with sources. Although many of my source citations pre-date Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, I have tried to document each piece of information tied to the individuals in my database.

I may also have written a 'genealogical proof argument' during the early days of my research when I wrote the post, 'Untangling the James Crawfords'. Even though I believe what I wrote about the various James Crawford families is accurate, I doubt it would stand up to today's standards.

Thus, when challenged to look at sources, information and evidence this week, I took that as a challenge to improve my skills in hopes of bringing them up to the levels of today's genealogical standards.

With that in mind, I elected to investigate a place instead of a person. The place, Elwood Cemetery (Elwood, Kansas), is tied to one of my ancestors, Albert Hutchinson, in that Find a Grave has Albert Hutchinson buried in this cemetery.

In two separate blog posts, Elwood Cemetery: What is the Evidence and Elwood, Kansas and the Mighty Mo, I believe I've compiled sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that there wasn't a cemetery on the north edge of Elwood, Kansas in 1896.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Honoring My Female Ancestors

One of this week's Finally Get Organized tasks was to celebrate women's history month by entering data for the female ancestors in the first four generations of my tree.

I'm very fortunate in that I know who all of these women are. Since family was important to both of my grandmothers, they kept almost anything related to the family. I was fortunate to be able to discuss these things with them -- even though I wish I had asked even more questions during their lifetimes.

Josie & Nellie Hammond
These women left a legacy that is hard to live up to.
  • My mother left college when she got married but went back after I graduated from college to finish her degree.
  • My mother's mother left the family farm and boarded in Yates Center so she could finish high school.
  • My father's mother lost her mother at the age of 10 and was placed in a children's home for several years. She managed to keep track of her younger siblings who were placed in homes and made sure they knew about their family heritage.
  • Two of my great-grandmothers migrated from the midwest (Illinois and Indiana) to Kansas as young girls.

Putting My Phone to Work

I've tried several scanning apps with my phone. Lately, I've been working with Photomyne. This app allowed me to quickly scan photos from an old photo album of my grandmothers.

The app did a good job capturing both the older black and white photos and 'newer' color photos.

I also used the Photo Transfer App to quickly move the photos off of my phone and into dropbox for use on my computer.

Even though this is a quick easy way to convert these photos to a digital format, there is a downside: all of my images are in jpeg format and not .tiff format.

Cemetery Bust

Spring break just started and it is gorgeous out! Since it was too nice to be stuck inside scanning, I decided to try and fulfill some photo requests at the Seneca City Cemetery.

Armed with a list of 16 requests from Find a Grave, I stopped by the City of Seneca office to pick up a cemetery map. From there, I went to the Seneca Free Public Library to check for lot numbers since some of the memorials were missing the lot number. [Nemaha County is very lucky since a native living in Ohio has indexed all of the cemeteries and placed copies of those indexes in the library.]

My quest for pictures started in the older part of the cemetery, looking for Ridgway stones in lot 180. Unfortunately, no stones remain in the area of this lot.

From there, I ventured to the Wells plot (lot 147) in search of Adolphus Wells (1832-1903). Several Wells family members are buried in this plot, but there isn't a stone for Adolphus.

While in the older part of the cemetery, I also looked for Sally Campbell (1842-1891). The index has her in lot 1890-4. However, there aren't that many lots in the cemetery. Assuming a typo, I figured it could be either lot 180 (the Ridgway plot) or lot 189 (or even 190). I didn't find a stone for a Sally Campbell in any of  those locations.

Next on my list was Naoma Hanes who was listed as Naoma Haines (b1842)  in lot 261-7. Again, I found no stone in the area of lot 261 for a Hanes or a Haines.

I then went in search of Joseph Ford (1840-1921) in lot 341. I found the Ford family plot but there wasn't a stone for a Joseph in that plot.

From the Ford plot, I ventured West to lot 269 in search of Victoria Pike (1872-1952). Again, there is no stone marking this grave.

My last search was for the Magees in lot 329. Even though most plots in this area have a large family stone, I could not find a Magee stone. Nor could I find individual stones for Thomas (1835-1915), Margaret (1836-1913) ir Iva (1870-1927) Magee.

While walking around, I did take pictures of some BLAND stones in hopes that I could connect them with my BLAND line that lived in Platte County, Missouri.

Even though taking pictures of stones proved to be a bust, it was a nice to be outdoors taking advantage of the great weather!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Finding Ways to Share

The tasks for Feb.28th thru March 5th centered around sharing -- sharing daily. I confess, I didn't meet the standard of daily sharing. However, I did get several family stories published on my blog.

My blog is the newest way in which I'm trying to share my research with my family. Over the years, I have shared my work in a variety of ways, including my Heartland Genealogy web site with my sourced genealogy. Other ways in which I have shared with my immediate family:
  • Photo album of family pictures
  • CD containing copies of pictures
  • Scrapbook pages covering key events
  • Shared pictures in a Google folder

This past summer, I started using Facebook groups to share photos. As I've been scanning the photo albums from both sides of my family, I've been able to make the digital copies of those photos available to distant cousins quickly and inexpensively.

I recently created a group for the alumni of the local high school. Since the yearbooks were recently scanned, those photos were added to the group. With Facebook, we've been able to make over 40 years of yearbooks available to members of the group.

Sharing stories and pictures online or in a digital format can be relatively quick, easy and inexpensive.  However, I have a concern about the longevity of this format. For this reason, I may end up creating a notebook of the family stories posted on my blog. Either way, I will continue sharing in the future.

Finally Get Organized

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Week 3 Genealogy Do Over (July 2015)

July 17, 2015 #Wk3GenealogyDoOver
This is the end of week 2 and I don't feel like I've made much progress, so let's review:
  • Cleaned off desk - my husband even noticed (now to keep it fairly clean)
  • Wrote (at least started) interview of self
  • Selected 'questions' for relatives and sent off to 'cousins' - Even received two back already!
  • Switched focus of scanning - pulled out my scrapbook and started working from me back thru the family notebooks
    • Discovered my baptism certificate - I hadn't had this info in my genealogy data before
  • Investigated TNG software / configured site at
    • Want to be able to let cousin(s) have access to full research - this will meet that goal
    • Still need to upload the media
    • Need to check permissions - not sure they are set correctly
  • Tried to create a wiki-tree - gedcom didn't go up
  • Focused on using Roots Magic for genealogy software
  • Began going thru documentation for myself and updating the source citations to EE standards
  • Watched webinars / read blogs
  • Read blog on effectiveness of a blog
    • Started blogging 'stories' based on 52Ancestors Challenge
    • Added image to header of wordpress blog
    • Changed theme / added header to this site
    • Trying to get everything accessible from one location
  • Established File Management procedure in OneNote
    • Moved RootsMagic database to dropbox
    • Moved media files (jpegs) for Roots Magic to Dropbox
  • Created goals (list of question for mom) in OneNote
    • Learned to attach media to a source citation in RootsMagic
    • Selected Thomas MacEntee's Research log template for my research log
    • Configured this Google site to have the form for the research log so I could easily enter the data
  • Took time out to do summer book order for NCHS library
  • Continuing to scan
Guess I made more progress than I thought!


This week I've been transcribing the audio from one of the interviews I did with my father who passed away almost ten years ago. As I was marveling at the family stories contained in one recording I realized that I owed a BIG THANK YOU to two people: Thomas MacEntee and Pat Richley-Erickson (Dear Myrtle).
Without them I would be doing sometimes genealogy and never going back thru what I already had. Genealogy Do-Over on Facebook. I 'officially' started the do-over in July claiming I was doing a go-over. However, I spent most of my time taking advantage of all of the prompts, resources and tools to re-connect with the genealogy world and bring my skills up to current standards. Unfortunately, I'm still not consistent about using a research log -- even though that was a skill I learned in the early days of my research and I have my original log to prove it.
That changed last spring when I discovered the

The Genealogy Do-Over provided a chance to rediscover skills and techniques that I had let slide for several years. For me, one of the best things that came out of participating in the Genealogy Do-Over was the encouragement to seek out learning opportunities. Since them I have watched numerous webinars and participated live when my schedule would allow. I even was able to watch some of the live feed from RootsTech earlier this year.

From that push to find learning opportunities, I started watching Mondays with Myrt and Whacky Wednesdays. Viewing those webinars encouraged me to participate in the year-long Finally Get Organized project sponsored by Dear Myrtle. As I've been organizing my notebooks, I've found letters and other documents I hadn't read in a long time and didn't remember having.

Dear Myrtle's assignment for this week was to spend each day telling the stories. For the first two days, I wrote blog posts pulling the content from my memory, from a letter from my mother and from my father's military record. However, on Thursday, I decided to see what was on the interviews with my dad (and mom). Thus, I've been spending my time transcribing one of the audio files. This file is full of stories -- some I'd heard over and over, some providing more detail to the old stories and some I'd never heard until the interview and since forgotten. Today, I hope to finish the transcription of the first file and begin the sharing process.

Thanks again to Thomas MacEntee and Pat Richely-Erikson for the push (kick in the butt) to get me to stay connected to the genealogy world, to re-visit my files and to share the pictures and stories with others!