July 16, 2013
I didn’t want to let it go too long without saying that the second day of the Abram’s Family History Seminar was great! I attended two presentations by Dr. Thomas W. Jones (who I gushed about here). He presented “The Jones Jinx”—a case study on narrowing down ancestors with common names—which I’m still pulling great research ideas out of even though I’ve heard it before. Dr. Jones also presented on Probate Records—which I haven’t spent nearly enough time on. It was totally worth having someone walk through the steps and terminology of probate with examples of how this can help you in your research.
I also attended Dick Doherty’s “Cost Effective Research: Accessing Irish Records from North America” which gave me a nice list of records to find and tips on using them. I’m hoping to use them while further researching the Massy family as well as my Byrne/Cunningham/Dowdall lines which I’ve unfortunately been ignoring for the past few years.
And Karen Krugman’s session on sourcing offered interesting tips on sourcing for yourself—so that you can put your hands on an information source quickly should you need it again. She made a good point about the level of need for different researchers but also noted that while she had never intended to write a book she now has and that’s meant going back and having to track down source material from before she was adequately sourcing her research.
All in all, the two days were a success from my point of view.
Kudos to Kris R., the rest of the Archives of Michigan staff, and the Michigan Genealogical Council for a great seminar!
PS. Save the date for the MGC/MHF Seminar on Saturday, October 26th featuring Lou Szucs! Info forthcoming at the MGC site in August.
July 13, 2013
I am a woman of my word… Last year I posted that if the Archives of Michigan hosted a Genealogy Lock-in I’d be there in a heartbeat… and I was.
Yesterday was day one of the annual Abrams Foundation Family History Seminar. I started the afternoon delivering what I hope was a though-provoking and humorous session basically on mistakes I’ve made so other people wouldn’t have to. It was a fun and responsive group and I hope even the veteran researchers got something out of it.
After my session I dropped in on Lori Fox’s session on “Filling in the Blanks” which offered good advice about getting the stories behind the names and dates. I have a list of family stories I’m always meaning to get written down. Some of them make it into this blog, but others I haven’t written up and I know I should. I’m also one of those people that has felt that I have time to work on my part of the family story later. But we never know what will happen day to day. So I’m going to try and take Lori’s advice and get some of my stories down for my family.
And this evening I attended the Archives of Michigan’s first Genealogy Lock-In which went off great from my perspective. We had a pizza dinner down in the lounge where I got to connect with some of my fellow WMGS bus trippers and then I spent a lovely evening largely working on my Grove/Long families from Summit Co, Ohio surrounded by fun and amusing fellow researchers. I think the staff spent a lot of time running around but they were attentive and it never really felt like there were excessive backups in getting help. There probably were a few technical hitches (somehow there’s never enough plugs for all our gadgets) but it felt like a very successful evening. I hope they do it again!
And I hope everyone got some rest. We’re in for another day packed with information!
July 10, 2013
A generation ago we’d pack up the family in search of a baseball diamond. That was a suitable activity for a family party or reunion. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Grandpa Porter played, the Johnsons, Bailey’s and Trotters all played—I even periodically hear that there’s been angling for a game the last few summers. But it continues to impress me the amount of times my cousins and I end up involved in Frisbee games.
These are the latest inductees into our most recent family sport. On the opposite side of the yard were (over the course of the game) two more kids, five adults (when I came out from behind the camera) from the next two older generations. Plus five additional adults on the sidelines to yell when there was too much rough-housing, to cry, “Fore” much too late for it to be useful, and generally offer bad advice. At least four Frisbees were being used and ended up in the neighbor’s yard more times than I can count. And at least two of those landed on top of the awning or the garage. It was fabulous chaos in my parents back yard!
What’s your family sport?
July 3, 2013
It’s reunion/family-get-together season and I’ve got the photos to prove it!
This one’s from 1985. I’m not sure if this was an actual reunion or just a large family gathering.
I only really know my immediate family here. I’m with Mom in the front right and my brother is looking surly with his plate in the front left. I see Grandma and the outline of Grandpa, two of my cousins, three aunts, and three uncles, Great Aunt Lee Ellen (Trotter) Hampton, and Cousin Carol. I’m guessing there are more Hamptons in the shot?
Dad had to have been one of the photographers. How do I know? Because I was making funny faces at the photographer in the next shot and that would only happen to him and my Uncle Christopher. And Chris was in the background of both shots.
This was taken in front of my Grandparents house near the old Detroit City Airport, Detroit, Michigan.
PS. Can anyone tell me how Cousin Carol was related to the Trotters?
June 26, 2013
So, as I was running through anniversaries related to this date I came upon the fact that today is the 114 anniversary of the birth of my 1st cousin 4 times removed, Lorna Holden DeBoer. She was the daughter of Kendric Charles Holden (son of Charles and my Chapin’s youngest sibling) and Minnie Isabel Porter (George’s middle sibling). She married John DeBoer in 1921 and they had two children Gaylord and Eleanor. Eleanor in turn married my Great Uncle Darcy (my Great Grandmother Crystal’s brother).
And it seems a great time to express my thanks to the Holden and Porter family who have shown an interest in our common relatives and inspired me to continue researching. As I’ve mentioned before, Lorna penned a book on her aunt, Xantippe, which fellow researchers pointed out to me early on. In my early days as a librarian in Rockford I had the great luck to reconnect with Phyllis (Porter) Dolislager as well as take an informative life writing workshop from her. And the Porters and Holden’s have been tremendous donors to the Rockford Area Historical Museum—where I found countless bits of family memorabilia, family history, and photographs. So many of you have come forward to help with, share, or just be a great audience for my research and I really appreciate it. And that includes Carole, Janet, Uncle Aaron, Uncle Louis, Kathy and my original Porter source, Grandpa Bailey.
Thank you all!
This photo was copied from the Rockford Area Historical Museum and is a picture of Lorna Holden.
June 19, 2013
Posted by JessLibrarian under Photographs
| Tags: Grand Haven
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But really…. let’s get back to the beach.
These are the Shea sisters… My Great-Aunt June and Grandmother Ethel Shea at what looks like the base of Inner Lighthouse at Grand Haven, MI on Lake Michigan. These two instigated my search for Henry Massy and have cheered me on in my research for years.
And, as a side note on my lovely and spunky grandmother, I knew she had to be a little different when I realized none of my friends had ever seen their grandmother in a bikini. Well, there was that, the ruby red lipstick, and her exotic home decor… that’s my Gran!
Happy hunting and enjoy the sun!
June 16, 2013
Posted by JessLibrarian under Photographs
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Ye gods… They’re all so young!