Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another SCORE for the Shaking Leaf Hints

I have a confession to make and I hope it doesn’t get me thrown out of the highly selective genealogy club. I love the shaking leaf hints on Ancestry. I even wrote a blog post about them a few eons ago.

This time the shaking leaf solved a big mystery for me. I guess the thing I love so much is it’s not a mystery I was even working at.

In brief, my great-grandmother, Nelle Eickelberg was married three times. While she was born in Indiana, her family was in Colorado by the time she was two or three and she lived the rest of her life there. I have been able to find her first marriage, when she just 17, a great newspaper snippet about it, the birth of her first child, as well as the records for her subsequent divorce.

I can find her and her second husband, my great-grandfather John H Quick, in the 1910 census and I have their son, my grandfather’s birth record. I have John’s very scanty death certificate. I also have a record of Nelle's marriage to her 3rd husband as well as being able to find her in every census in Colorado from 1900 to 1940. I have her death certificate. I have her third husband’s death certificate. Shoot, I have her first husband’s death certificate.  The one thing I couldn’t find – a record of her marriage to my great-grandfather. I’ll admit after the first few attempts I haven’t tried all that hard. There is really no information I felt it would add to what I have on Nelle.

So fast forward to yesterday. Now my standard work-flow for dealing with hints is that I go through periodically and pick ‘ignore’ for all of them. Then, when I want to work on a particular person I will look at – and evaluate – all the hints I’ve ignored. As I was doing my ignore, ignore, ignore, routine I happened upon a marriage record in Iowa for J H Quick. Well clearly that’s not my guy and Quick’s a common name. I was wishing that Ancestry had another option besides ignore. Something like maybe ‘hell no’ that would put these clearly wrong things in a different category but I digress. Then I saw the next entry. Basically the same marriage record in Iowa but for Nellie Nissen (Nissen being Nelle’s first married name)! OK, that’s odd so I actually click through to the record. I wanted to jump out of my chair! There was all the correct information – her parents’ names as well as his parents’ names. This was my great-grandparents’ marriage record – IN IOWA!


As you can see here it even shows that both of them live in Denver. Why in the world they went to Council Bluffs, Iowa to be married is a mystery to me.

Of course the first thing I thought of was to check the marriage date (29-Sept-1909) and my grandfather’s birth date (03-Jul-1911) but as you can see it wasn’t that.

Here’s the cool thing – after I looked at that marriage record I realized that it gave me some real proof that the family I’d picked out for John Quick really was correct. There, plain as day, he’s listed his parents. I had placed John in this family based on a few scant clues but I knew that it wouldn’t really stand up to hard scrutiny. Now I feel much more secure in this branch of the family.

My next step is to look at Nelle's divorce from her first husband.  Maybe there are some clues there.  Oh, and laws, I need to look at laws.  Possibly it was easier for them to get married in Iowa?

No matter what we find, there's always something more to do...that's the fun of genealogy.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Family Events ~ January 31 - February 7

[Yes, I know - February 6th should be the last day...but I have a special reason for including it here!]

January 31st ~ On this day in 1901 in Edinburgh, Scotland William Hannan RITCHIE, my 2nd cousin twice removed is born. He will only live for 4 days.


February 2nd ~ On this day in 1838, marriage banns are read for David RITCHIE and Agnes GOURLAY in Ceres, Fife, Scotland. They are my 3x great-grandparents. This day in
1993 is also marked by the death of my granduncle, Windsor Benzie RITCHIE in Ohio.
February 3rd ~ This day is marked by the death of James KIRK, my 5x great-grandfather in 1829 in St. Andrews, Scotland. I am fortunate that there is a marker for him in St. Andrews, erected by his son and that I got to see and photograph it.


This day is also marked by the death of Selma EICKELBERG, my great-grandaunt in Denver, Colorado in 1913. She was just 5 days shy of her 19th birthday.
February 4th ~ On this day in 1897 Edna SAURER is born in Dalton, Wayne County, Ohio. She will become the wife of my great-granduncle Raymond GRABER. She will also cause be no end of problems early in my genealogical "career" as she was born Edna SAURER and became Edna GRABER while her sister-in-law, Raymond's sister, is born Edna GRABER and becomes on marriage Edna SAURER!!! Even when people noted names on the backs of pictures it all depended on who was doing the labeling as even after marriage both women might be noted by a maiden name.

And now for the most special days of this week:
February 6th AND February 7th ~ On these days, some years ago, right before and right after midnight my twin nephew and niece were born. My niece, the one born on the 7th used to say that the 6th was always, "the worst day of the year for me" because on that day her brother would tell her, and anyone who would listen, that HE was a year older! "I'm already x but you are NOT" I'm sure any of you with brothers can imagine. While they are grownup now, I just couldn't resist using their one-year old birthday party pictures.

Happy Birthday Twins!!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Jan 3rd-9th 2016

[If you'd like more information on Dear Myrtle's Finally Getting Organized  - click on the picture to the right]

Here are our marching order for this week along with my progress.  I'm pretty good for this week because I spent my Christmas break time cleaning my genealogy room:

1. Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything.

Done as far as clearing off my computer desk.  I don't have piles for everything instead I have project boxes where I grouped things by large category.  Sometimes it was surname, sometimes type of project.  For instance I have a box with a large number of my grandfather's negatives to scan.  These boxes are all arranged in the closet.

2. Check your office supplies, and replace any missing or lost items.

Done.  As a matter of fact I think I have enough office supplies for many years to come. I made a box to store the extras so they aren't cluttering things up.

3. Setup your computer desk and office the way you really want it! 

Done with a gold star!  My brother-in-law helped me set up my computer to accommodate a third monitor.  That's been my dream arrangement for a couple of years now and I'm so happy to have this set up.


4. Designate a special red clipboard as the "When Computer Help Arrives" clipboard.

I'm passing on this one.  I AM the computer help in my family, or, if I have an issue I can't tackle, I ask the above mentioned brother-in-law.

5. Designate a special green clipboard as the "Genealogy Challenges" clipboard.

This fits in so well with advice in the Genealogy Do-Over workbook about BSOs [Bright, Shiny Objects]  Basically it's the same concept - write it down and move on, don't follow the bunny trail.  I've found this works well in many ways.  When my mind is like that browser with waaay too many tabs open it helps me to write some things down and then I can concentrate on the one thing I should be working on.  So in this case my "green clipboard" is a note in Evernote called, "To research later."  I'm not sure right now if I'll divide that up into separate note for surnames or just use tags to do the work.  So, I'm considering this one done as well.

Pretty good for week one - but they I had a huge head-start on this one!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome 2016

It’s a bright, sparkly New Year full of resolutions that I haven’t yet broken and goals that I haven’t yet failed to meet. When it comes to goals I find I’m rather like Jane Austen’s heroine, Emma, "Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years old. I have seen a great many lists of her drawing-up at various times of books that she meant to read regularly through—and very good lists they were—very well chosen, and very neatly arranged—sometimes alphabetically, and sometimes by some other rule. The list she drew up when only fourteen—I remember thinking it did her judgment so much credit, that I preserved it some time; and I dare say she may have made out a very good list now. But I have done with expecting any course of steady reading from Emma."

I’m great at writing goals. Thanks to my current work environment, I understand all about SMART goals. (If you don’t know that that means, take a look at Amy Johnson Crow’s wonderful blog post on the subject.) My goals are set up in ways that I could achieve them, but then I don't.  I think one reason is that I like to make grand goals for the whole year. 

So, instead of my usual detailed list of the numerous things I intend to accomplish in all of 2016 I’m taking my cue from Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over and I’m slowing down. I started participating in the Do-Over last year and, as you can see by grand total of 3 related posts, I didn't get too far.  Then life intervened in various ways so I’m going to try again this year. I’m liking the idea of a monthly vs a weekly format. While I’m more of a Go-Over vs Do-Over type, that’s what I appreciate about this adventure. It’s totally customizable.

In conjunction with that I’m Finally Getting Organized with Dear Myrt. I think the two ideas go well together and after reviewing the first week’s checklist I like the additional suggestions geared toward those of us trying to be more digital.

My idea for goals this year is to look no farther than the month I’m in. For January I intend to:

  • Participate in the January portion of the Do-Over
  • Work through each of the Finally Getting Organized weekly checklists
  • Attend SLIG and learn tons of cool things about DNA
  • NOT buy any genealogy related book or product

That's it.

 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Genealogy Do-Over Part 3 – Organize



Back in December, Thomas MacEntee announced the Genealogy Do-Over. Since then the big red button above has been popping up all over! There is also a related Facebook group that has generated a ton of good ideas.

I decided to join in for a couple of reasons so I will have a post outlining a goal for each of those reasons. This is my third and final "getting ready" post.

Today – it’s all about organization & consistency! 

I remember reading something – not sure when or where, but it might have been one of those cute Facebook poster thingies – something like, “Being organized is not a goal, it’s what helps you achieve your goals.”   I want this Do-Over to get me to that point of organization.  I need to have simple, straight-forward methods that make it easy for me to stay organized so that my DIS-organization doesn't get in the way of my progress.  If I had a resolution for 2015 it would something along the lines of, "This will be the year that I DON'T re-download a record that I already have (or re-copy or re-aquired.)"  Organization should be the process that is always running in the background to make my research and writing happen more smoothly.

As a start, I took the plunge yesterday and moved all of my genealogy folders into one folder titled “!Archive_Enter_at_Your_Own_Risk.”  When we get to the research part, I will be accessing this folder to pull out documents I already have but that won't be my first stop.  I don't have much in the way of paper files, but they are currently in tubs and will stay there until I get ready to move on to researching.  For me part of this Do-Over will be to re-evaluate what I DO have.  I want to do that in an orderly and focused way - one person at a time.

What I will need the most throughout this Do-Over is discipline to avoid those BSOs - Bright, Shiny Objects.  I will also need discipline to not take short-cuts and tell myself that "I'll come back later and clean that up" because looking at my hard drive and database, clearly I won't!

In terms of not taking short-cuts, I thought this was great.  I remembered that Amy Coffin, of the We Tree Genealogy Blog, had done a Do-Over of her own a number of years ago.  So, I went back and found her first blog post about that.  My favorite quote from that post has to be, “I am so serious about this that I didn't start building the tree until I could find my own birth certificate in order to make a proper source citation.” I need that sort of dedication and commitment to my own Do-Over - Amy, you are my Do-Over hero!

The bottom line is to get started moving in the right direction and then continue on that path consistently, every time I sit down to research. Not earth-shattering but important.

The Goal: Have a “readme file” for the major areas of my data input and filing (either paper or electronic.)  At minimum, one for my “Documents” folder, one for data entry into RM or Legacy starting with place naming conventions, and one for paper filing. I’m already half way through with the first.

While my system needs to be simple it's not something I do every single day so little inconsistencies can appear if I don't take time to remind myself of the standards I put in place.   As an inducement to open that file, I'm putting in things I can cut and paste - because I' lazy and I really like to cut and paste! 

Time: By the end of the Do-Over (13 weeks)