Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Genea-pourri

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing started this meme and I loved the idea. Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week.

I took my camera to the Meadow this week and got some interesting shots. The sun was shining nicely on the wooden cows at the fence. The Baccharis (coyote bush) was in full seed dispersal mode which made everything white. The moon was setting behind Mt. Wanda and I managed to get a nice shot. Also a shot of a California Scrub Jay. Wintertime, the recording of the phenology study goes pretty quickly, as many of the plants are in dormant mode.

I also went on the first tour of John Muir’s grave site. A van took us out to the site and we learned a little about each family buried there: The Strentzels, the Muirs, and their children. We learned also about the Sierra Club coming to the site after Muir’s death. The large eucalyptus tree has significant history with the Sierra club gatherings. 

After I got back, I visited the house to see the Christmas decorations and sit a while in the cupola at the top. I love the 360° view from there.

Part of the John Muir National Historic Park

I sent several letters out to county recorder’s and court offices asking for particular records. The court office has had my request for three weeks and I wrote asking how my project was coming along. They have no email option and I had to send a blank check for the payment. I sure would like to know how much it will be so I can record it in the checkbook. It’s hard to keep it balanced if the amount is not known.

Worked on the “problems” list in RootsMagic. I had twenty-one errors. Some of them were easy to fix. I had put in the wrong century for their birth, for example. Others were not so easy to fix, due to not knowing the source of the information. These were lines I had worked on over twenty years ago when I wasn’t as careful as I am now. I got the list down to ten. These will have to be researched some more.

We had a APG Writers SIG board meeting, which we did online. I am secretary and took minutes. We had some planning to do for next year and discussed a new subgroup we’re starting for the SIG.

Viewed the following webinars: “Finding Your Roots in Catholic Records” by Lisa Toth Salinas. She did a great job explaining the laws and types of records created by the Catholic church. I also participated in the DearMyrtle Hangout for MGD. Our discussion was about the locations for offline records and I had two examples of records I found at a historical society in Merced and a genealogy society library in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

I worked on the BCG Certification element, the KDP. I’m just about done with two of the bios and about half way done with the last one. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have just under three months left on my time, or I’ll have to renew. We chatted about that on our Cert Group weekly chats. I’m okay with having to extend, though I’d rather just finish.

Played Pickleball only once this week due to other activities on Wednesday and Friday, and only one yoga class with Linda. Monday, I managed to get in over 10,000 steps due to pickleball and a walk to the mailbox. My exercise this week wasn’t as productive as previous weeks.

My sisters, Sabrina, Renee, and Danna, celebrated by daughter, Elizabeth’s 29th birthday on Wednesday at the Barndiva Restaurant in Healdsburg. We had a nice ride up but the traffic coming back during commute was horrible. We had a great lunch and a nice visit afterwards while walking about the square in Healdsburg. It was a beautiful day, clear and not too cold.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Genea-pourri

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing started this meme and I loved the idea. Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week.

The online session with the Mastering Genealogical Documentation hangout went very well. We were talking about Chapter 11, citing online sources and the exact place where the document was found. If you’re interested in the recording, check out DearMyrtle’s YouTube channel.

I worked a bit with the KDP element of my certification portfolio, using the many documents that I photographed from Norman’s cousin. It gets very tedious reading it on the computer, so I have printed out the document in order to see it in a new light. I am about three-quarters of the way done—only one more person’s story to write. Most of the docs from the cousin will help fill in this story.

The Friday chat with my certification buddies went really well. We’re reading North Carolina Genealogy by Helen Leary. Even though we all don’t have NC research to do, the chapters in part I are useful to any genealogist. These chapters talk a lot about methodology— methodology and analogy tips for all kinds of common genealogy resources: land, wills, probates, marriage records, census, tax records, etc. We all agreed that we would read many of the chapters for our discussions.

The deeds arrived from Merced County Recorder and I’ve been working on transcribing them. I’m trying to figure out which pieces of land was bought when, and who later lived in the houses. I learned from the deeds that there is a map of the Hilmar Colony, so I have ordered that now. Each time I order some documents, I have to have a money order sent—such an archaic system. Wished they would just take a credit card over the phone.  I’m still waiting for the documents from the Merced County Superior Court. These are needed for the end of the second generation and the third generation. I hope they come soon.

Played Pickleball twice this week. It is great exercise as well as lots of fun. I like this game better than badminton or tennis. Also had two yoga classes with Linda. Had a bit of an ache from both sessions—one we worked on legs and the other on hips. I got in only one walk with Norman and Sidney. He doesn’t go to the mailbox everyday.
Here are some players on the Pickleball court. I play mostly indoors.
I love the Christmas season as it becomes very busy with lots of activities.

Tuesday, we had a potluck dinner with the Friends of Alhambra Creek group, celebrating Shirley’s retirement as president. We created a quilt that Jane put together and Shirley loved it. Diane’s home was so nicely decorated with Christmas items, and everyone brought such scrumptious food. It was a wonderful gathering!
I did the hummingbird square in the lower left corner

Saturday was the annual meeting of the Contra Costa County Historical Society. We met in the newly opened Masonic building that the Concord Historical Society had saved and moved to their property. The Rotary Club was using the building after us and had the room decorated very nicely. It was a honor to be the first group to hold a function in the big main hall. Lunch was wonderful, and the two speakers gave great talks about the moving of the Masonic building and the history of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. 

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Genealogy Database Problem Report

Randy Seaver’s mission this week is to:

1)  Is your genealogy software family tree database perfect?  With no errors or inconsistencies?  Yep, mine isn't either!  Big time.  With over 49,000 persons there are bound to be some errors in my tree.  Even 1% would be 490 persons or 1,500 events!

2)  This week, find your genealogy software's "Problem Report" or something similar.  Tell us how you found it, and what it tells you about the problems in your family tree database.

3)  Share your results with us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.

I also have RootsMagic as my genealogy program and followed the same directions that Randy gave. I used the following criteria to find the errors:
Criteria I used for the error report
And my report came back with 21 errors. I have 7091 people in my database with 16,627 events. Twenty-one errors about of sixteen thousand or so events comes out to 0.126%, which is a pretty small percentage. I pat myself on the back for being pretty diligent.

Error Report
However, some of these errors can be quickly fixed. Ashley Brook Floyd was born before her parents. I must have entered her birthdate wrong. (I did. I was off by a century!). It was the same with Ramond Miller: birthdate off by a century. Augusta Fiday was not 8 years old, but rather 18 years old when she married. I had calculated the marriage based on married 13 years on the 1900 census. Bad math brought up the marriage date at 1877 instead of 1887.

Some of the events are correct, such as Stanley Stewart marrying when 73, and Mary Hester’s father being 73 years old when she was born.

Now to fix those that need corrections!

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.