Monday, November 20, 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.

Sunday, November 12, 2017.  Most of the day was spent at the computer. I worked hard with my KDP, writing the story of the first generation and working on the introduction. I also wrote and published my homework for the DearMyrtle Mastering Genealogical Documentation Hangout on Wednesday.

Monday, November 13, 2017.  The second Monday of the month is our Monday Morning Meeting at Susan’s house where fellow genealogists meet to discuss their genealogy finds or to ask questions. Several members had great things to share that they had found. Peggy had the best stuff—her great-uncle had  been a fireman in Santa Cruz. I shared some photos of me at the National archives.
Shooting Civil War pension files
Completed a client’s report before going off to German class. Enjoyed the grammar session we had today. It was a nice review of the subjunctive case. There were lots of examples in our reading.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Amtrak ride to Sacramento and then the 30 bus down J Street, in order to be part of the planning meeting for the 2018 International German Genealogy Conference being held at the Sacramento Turn Verein. We had people from several California genealogy societies in attendance: San Diego, Burbank, and Sacramento. It was a good meeting with several teams getting started already. Too bad we don’t have a venue or date yet—but hopefully before the end of the year. Dinner was at the La Trattoria Bohemia was wonderful. We had a choice of three dishes: most ordered the Schnitzel or Goulash.
Worked on some homework on the way up

Wednesday, November 15, 2017.  The DearMyrtle hangout on the Mastering Genealogical Documentation went well. Everyone had great examples of off-line records. I showed a sheet from William C. Gleeson’s homestead papers I got from the National Archives last month.

Inside this box was the file for William C. Gleeson's Homestead

I hadn’t been to Pickleball in a while and it was great seeing people and playing a few games. I’m a bit rusty but have been busy on M-W-F. Hopefully I can go again next week.

I’m a member of the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) Writers SIG.  Out monthly meeting was tonight and I’m secretary, so I keep the minutes. Our speaker was Janice Lovelace and she spoke about writing for the commercial market. She had some great ideas on how to get started. Might have to buy a new Writers Guide.

Thursday, November 16, 2017It rained all night—our first good rain storm. It sounded really nice. Most of the day was in rain and I didn’t go to the meadow to do phenology. I spent most of the day working on researching and writing for one of my clients. It was a good day to be inside, keeping warm, and working. I only took one break to go to guitar class—still working on three Christmas songs, which are getting along better. Maybe I’ll have them down by Christmas this year.

I also got an email from Australian blogger, Jill Ball, saying I was the winner of her RootsTech 2018 give-a-way contest. The announcement is here. I am very excited to be going to my first RootsTech. I hadn’t thought of going before because this conference is so BIG! I’m not a fan of big crowds. However, my fellow panelist from DearMyrtle handouts, Hillary Gadsby, will be coming to RootsTech and I’ll get to meet her in person! I will also get to meet Jill as well.

Friday, November 17, 2017Up early this morning for a BART ride into Oakland and a day of Desk Duty at the California Genealogical Society’s library. I had more customers come in today and a few who called by phone. One was interested in going on the Salt Lake City Trip.
The Library before researchers started coming in

Saturday, November 18, 2017. A good stay-at-home day, just like when I used to work. Got some laundry done and clothes put away. But mostly worked at the computer and reading genealogy journals. A very relaxing day. I did do Randy Seaver's "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" and you can see it here.


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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Expanded "Ancestors Geneameme"

Our assignment from Randy Seaver today is:

1)  Jill Ball created a 40 question "Ancestors Geneameme" in 2011, and Linda Stufflebean recently expanded it to 70 questions on her Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog. 

2)  Let's do Linda's expanded list this week for SNGF.

3)  Copy and paste the list of questions below and replace my answers with your own.

4)  Share your answers as a comment on this b;og post, in your own blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.   Please leave a comment and al ink to your answer in a comment on this blog post.

Here are mine:
  1. Can name my 16 great-great grandparents.   YES
  2. Can name my 32 great great great grandparents   No.  10 of my paternal, 8 of my maternal
  3. Can name over 50 direct ancestors  YES
  4. Have photos or portraits of my 8 great grandparents  YES, seven of them
  5. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times No
  6. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist   NO, not that I know of
  7. Met all four of my grandparents  NO, not my paternal grandfather
  8. Met one or more of my great grandparents  YES, though I was 3 years old
  9. Bear an ancestor’s given name/s  NO
  10. Named a child after an ancestor  Not really, but there are many Elizabeth and Margaret names in my tree
  11. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland  YES
  12. Have an ancestor from Asia  NO
  13. Have an ancestor from continental Europe   YES
  14. Have an ancestor from Africa  NO
  15. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural laborer  YES
  16. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings   No
  17. Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi   YES, several
  18. Have an ancestor who was a midwife  NO, don't know for sure
  19. Have an ancestor who was an author    NO
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng    NO
  21. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones   YES, Jones
  22. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X  NO
  23. Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z  NO
  24. Have an ancestor born on 25th December  YES, Maria Catharine Trösster
  25. Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day   Not a direct ancestor
  26. Have an ancestor who shares your day and month of birth  Not a direct ancestor, but a cousin
  27. Have blue blood in your family lines  No
  28. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth    NO
  29. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth  NO
  30. Can trace a direct family line back to the 18th century  YES
  31. Can trace a direct family line back to the 17th century  YES
  32. Can trace a direct family line back to the 16th century  No
  33. Have seen signatures of some of my great grandparents  YES
  34. Have ancestors who signed with an X (or other mark)  YES
  35. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university   Yes, my grandmother went to Normal School
  36. Have an ancestor convicted of a criminal offense    NO, don't know for sure
  37. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime  NO, don't know for sure
  38. Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine/periodical  YES
  39. Have published a family history online or in print  YES
  40. Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries  No
  41. Have a family Bible from the 19th century  YES
  42. Have a family Bible from the 18th century or earlier  NO
  43. Have an ancestor who was part of a multiple birth (twins, etc.)  No
  44. Have a family member who closely resembles an ancestor  NO
  45. Have an ancestor who owned their own business  YES
  46. Have an ancestor who belonged to a trade guild  Yes
  47. Have an ancestor who moved more than 100 miles away from his/her birth home, EXCLUDING emigration to another country  YES
  48. Have an ancestor who gave birth to twelve or more children  YES
  49. Have an ancestor with a rare/unusual/uncommon forename  YES
  50. Have an ancestral family who changed their surname  No, but my husband has one
  51. Have a passenger list or travel manifest for an ancestor  YES
  52. Have an ancestor who was adopted  Not that I know of
  53. Have an ancestor who adopted a child   Not that I know of
  54. Have a naturalization record for an ancestor  YES
  55. Have an ancestor who received a military pension  No
  56. Have a school record or school census for an ancestor  YES
  57. Have an ancestor with a gravestone still in existence from the 18th century  No
  58. Have an ancestor with a gravestone still in existence from the 17th century or earlier  No
  59. Have an ancestor who had only one child who survived to adulthood  No
  60. Are descended twice from one couple  No
  61. Are descended three times or more from one couple  No
  62. Are descended from an American president or other political figure  Not that I know of
  63. Are descended from a person famous in history, other than in politics  No
  64. Have an ancestor with a rare/unusual/unique surname  No
  65. Have an ancestor who you have found mentioned in a pre-1870 newspaper  YES
  66. Can name the ship on which at least one ancestor emigrated  YES
  67. Have a female ancestor who worked outside the home pre-World War II  YES
  68. Know of at least one ancestor who returned to the ancestral home after emigration  No
  69. Know of at least one ancestor who permanently returned to the ancestral home after emigration   No
  70. Have an ancestor who was survived by 50 or more grandchildren  No



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

Monday, November 13, 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.

Sunday, November 5, 2017.  I worked most of the day at the computer, catching up on a variety of projects, such as completing my Mastering Genealogical Documentation homework for the DearMyrtle Hangout on Monday. I also helped my husband pick the rest of the pomegranates on our tree. We have gathered four bags this year to give to our neighbors.

Monday, November 6, 2017.  I got into a cleaning state today (actually it had started the day before). I recycled some things and took some things to Goodwill. Feels great to have some more space. German class was fun because everyone was there.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Spent several hours with fellow board members of the Contra Costa County Historical Society discussing how to conduct fund-raising. After a quick lunch, I went to the History Center and worked on some genealogy queries. We often get queries asking for obituaries. We have a pretty good collection of clipped obits.          

Wednesday, November 8, 2017.  I had a big day. Left Martinez Amtrak Station at 8:36 on the San Joaquin train for Merced for a day of on-site researching. During the ride down, I listened to the Mastering Genealogical Documentation on the DearMyrtle hangout. The wifi worked great on the train. The ride was just over two hours. I walked from the station to the area where the county government buildings were.
Martinez & Merced Amtrak Stations
First stop was the Merced County Historical Society’s archives, located in the old courthouse. What a wonderful place! The society has the entire old courthouse building where they have both a museum and an archive. The archive had some interesting records: original voter applications and I photographed the ones from Hilmar precinct for the Nilsen and Lundquist families. There was also a book listing men who served during WWI however, the entry for John E Lundquist gave no details. I still don’t know where he served.
One view of the archives. Those books on the nearest shelves
are original voter applications
Next, I headed for the Superior Court building and stopped at the civil records division. The clerk found three records for me, but I have to order them by mail. The downloading of the files is time-consuming and they couldn’t guarantee that it would be done that day.

The last stop was at the county administration building where the County Recorder’s office was. I ordered a death certificate and then spent an hour or so reading deed indexes. I copied nearly two pages of index records for Lundquist and Nilsen. Again, I need to order these by mail. The copies come from microfilm and the clerk was busy with another order.

I got done earlier than I expected and was able to ride the 4:36 train back, in time to attend the Contra Costa County Historical Society’s board of directors meeting.

Thursday, November 9, 2017. After a nice rain overnight, the Strenztel Meadow was all damp this morning. Luckily I have rubber boots to wear for doing our weekly phenology survey. The sun came out for a moment and I got a few lovely shots of the hillside of Mount Wanda. Here is Shirley inputting the data into an iPad.


Friday, November 10, 2017.  This was a pseudo holiday--most government workers were off today, so the BART ride into Oakland was great--seats for all. I worked Desk Duty today at the California Genealogical Society's library, located in the basement of the Breuner Building. It was a quiet day--only one customer, who wanted to know how to best preserve his family papers. I also got to have an online chat with my BCG-Peer Group. The ride home on BART was also nice, with few standees.

Saturday, November 11, 2017. Happy Veteran's Day. I posted a blog post I had written a couple of years ago listing all of the ancestors who served in the Armed Services. I worked most of the day writing about the first generation of my KDP. I feel I made some good progress!

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

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Make an Ancestor's Timeline

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another great activity tonight.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1) Have you created a Timeline for one of your ancestors using a genealogy software program (e.g., Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, Legacy, Reunion, etc.) or an online family Tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree, FamilySearch Family Tree, Geni, MyHeritage, etc.), or in a spreadsheet (e.g., Excel)?

2)  If not, try to create a timeline using the program/website of your choice.  If so, create another one for the ancestor of your choice!

3)  Show us your Timeline creation, and tell us how you did it.  Which program/website, the process you used, and how you captured the images to display your timeline.

4)  Share your Timeline creation on your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook or Google+.

I’m working on writing up a story about Per Alfred Lundquist, the great-grandfather of my husband. 

I created it the same way that Randy did, using RootsMagic and printing out the Timeline (Chronology) List. I rarely use the timeline view, as in the Edit Person view, every event is in chronological order.


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

Ancestors Who Were Veterans: Revisited

This is republished from 2015.

Today is November 11, a day we honor veterans who served in the Armed Forces. I do not have many direct ancestors who were veterans, but I still want to honor those who were. This list includes those ancestors of my husband (in blue) and mine (in red).

World War II
Tom J. Johnston Jr.
Tom J. Johnston Jr., U.S. Navy. He served just a short time and was discharged due to a medical disability. He had been stationed in Idaho.












George J Gorrell
George Joseph Gorrell, U.S. Army. He was a staff sergeant with the 913th Air Engineering Squadron. He served in England and Germany.












World War I
William Cyril Hork
William Cyril Hork, U.S. Navy. He served in submarine service and was last stationed in Long Beach aboard the submarine tender, USS Alert.












Civil War
Amos Gorrell Jr.
Amos Gorrell, Jr., Union Army. Co A, 18th Ohio.

George Wilson Lancaster, Confederate. He served with the 6th Texas Cavalry as a corporal.

Reuben Mack Johnston, Confederate. He served with the 8th Mississippi Cavalry, Co. A.

Benjamin W. Jones, Confederate. He served as a physician and died during service.




War of 1812
John Coor. Served in 13th Regiment (Nixon's) of Mississippi Militia as a corporal.

Revolutionary War
David C. Shotts. Served in Pennsylvania.

Phillip Wagoner. Served in Pennsylvania.

Thank you for your service!

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

Monday, November 6, 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.

Sunday, October 29, 2017. My husband, Norman, and I drove up to Sebastopol to visit our daughter, Elizabeth, to purchase some local apples, and to eat at Lowell’s where Elizabeth works. We have an electric car (Nissan Leaf) and stopped in Vallejo to charge it up to 90%. We had thought the trip wasn’t going to happen and so had not fully charged the car overnight. On a full charge, the car can make it to Sebastopol with no problem. There are chargers at a parking lot downtown where we usually charge the car for the trip home. It takes two and a half hours and we usually eat dinner while charging the car. We learned on this trip that two more charging stations had been installed since our last trip: a level 2 charger at CVS and a high-speed charger at Lucky market. Yeah, more choices! With the high speed charger, we can make short trip further toward the coast or go wine-tasting.


        Had a nice visit with our daughter. We bought local apples and a pumpkin. Later we had dinner at Lowell’s, which was fantastic as usual. It’s always a treat to eat there as the menu changes weekly, so it’s interesting to see what the chef has created with locally raised meats and veggies.

Monday, October 30, 2017. I take a conversational German class weekly in Oakland. We have six regular students, some who have been in the class at least five years. This week, only Terry, Peter, and I were in class and we spent most of the 75 minutes speaking about our respective vacations we had recently completed. Peter had gone to Greece and London. Terry went to Michigan, especially for homecoming at Michigan State. I spoke about my trip to D.C., New York City, and Boston. It was a great class.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017. After an online meeting with the publicity team for the 2019 International German Genealogy Conference (hosted by the Sacramento German Genealogy Society), I started my volunteer shift at the History Center (Contra Costa County Historical Society’s archive). I am one of the people who answer queries and do genealogy research. I also keep track of the work that is done by volunteers. Lastly, I’m working on creating a finding aid for our collections. I’m so thankful that another volunteer, Maxine, has experience in this and is helping me.

        I left early because I wanted to go to the genealogy library owned by the Genealogy Society of Vallejo. They are only open on Tuesdays from 1 to 3:30 pm. I’m doing some client work and thought they might have records that could help me. The library is one room of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Society’s building. This society also had lots of interesting materials that I was allowed to see. I may need to go back to read some newspapers. There was an index for the Weekly Vallejo Chronicle and Weekly Vallejo Recorder 1867--1879 but I need to look at papers in the 1880s.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017.  I am participating in the study group “Mastering Genealogical Proof” with DearMyrtle on a Google Hangout. This is weekly until the middle of December. I enjoy writing citations, so this has been fun so far. We read each chapter and then discuss some examples of citations from our own genealogy research.

Thursday, November 2, 2017.  Spent some time learning about Trello, a web-based project management program that we will use with the IGGC committee. After my guitar lesson, where I played some Christmas music, Norman and I met my sister, Sabrina and her husband, Steve, for dinner at La Sen, a French restaurant in Concord. It was great hearing all about their trip to London and Paris this fall and our food was all so delicious.

Friday, November 3, 2017. Just worked all day writing and researching on my KDP.

Saturday, November 4, 2017. Carpooled to the San Mateo County Genealogical Society’s fall seminar, where Rick and Pam Sayre spoke. It was a great presentation about maps, National Archives records, Library of Congress website, and Bureau of Land Management land records.

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

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Genealogy Resource Are You Thankful For?

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Elizabeth Swanay O'Neal has a monthly blog party for geneabloggers to write about a certain topic.  This month the topic is "What genealogy 'resource' are you thankful for this year?"

2)  Please join the blog party and write about your response on your own blog post, in a comment on this post and/or Elizabeth's post, or on Facebook. 

I am most thankful for the website FamilySearch.


Each day, more and more records have been digitized and put online. These are not just indexes, but actual images of original documents! It has made researching so much easier. I can either find records from my own home, or if the image is locked, go the eight miles to the local Family History Center and view the images on their computers.

So now there are three ways to view records at FamilySearch:

Microfilm, not yet digitized. Must view at the Family History Library

Digitized microfilm, available at all computers!

Digitized microfilm but locked, can only be viewed at a Family History Center or Library
Even though some images are not available to me from home, I am thankful that they can be viewed digitally at the Family History Center or Library.

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

Follow Friday: "The Value of Daily Research" with Janine Adams


I have been reading Janine Adams' blog "Organize Your Family History" and she conducted a 30 x 30 challenge in August. What she did was take thirty minutes every single day for a month to conduct genealogy research.

She is doing the challenge again and are asking others to join her. In today's blog post titled, "The Value of Daily Research," she gave 6 reasons to do some genealogy every day. Check out her post here.

I have not joined her challenge, but I try to do some genealogy task everyday. Sometimes I'm finding documents on Ancestry or FamilySearch. Other times I'm entering data from my "To Be Filed" folder on my computer.

Mostly, though, I have been focused on my portfolio for BCG certification. I am currently working on my Kinship Determination Project (KDP) and in the process of writing the biographies/stories of the three generations, I end up researching to find missing documents, new interesting tidbits of their lives, or background information about the times and places where they lived.

So give the 30 x 30 challenge a try. You might make great progress just like Janine did!

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