Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of December 3-9, 2018

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. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Family Research. I worked on a couple of different lines this week:
  • My mother, Lea Hork, was a member of the Junior Woman’s Club in Pittsburg, California, and I found several articles about her activities with the club—even two photos. Check out my blog post below about what I found. I also drove by my old home and St. Peter Martyr School, the school I attended. There appeared to be no school that day, so I was unable to check out the office to see if there were photos of our classes.

St. Peter Martyr School

  • I am also working on Samuel Johnston, writing up what I know about him, his neighbors, and his children. I do hope this analysis can help me find out where they came from in Alabama and South Carolina.

Blog Writing: I wrote three blog posts this week:
  • Week 49: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. about Amos Gorrell’s winter in Blackwater, Cooper County, Missouri in 1869, the year his son, Joseph, was born.

Cert Support Group
: We spoke most of the hour about setting fees for professional research and record retrieval. We decided to revisit this topic again in January. We didn’t have time to discuss Tom Jones’ chapter in the new ProGen book.


Webinars: I attended the following webinars:
  • DearMyrtle Wacky Wednesday
  • Legacy Family Tree Webinar, “Ins and Outs of Indexes: Keys to Unlocking County and State Records” given by Mary Kircher Roddy.


Other Activities

History Center: I continued uploading items from our special collections to the Online Archive of California. I added ten additional collections this past week.

Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society: I used to be a member and decided to go check it out again Ted gave me a tour and then we operated some trains around the layout getting ready for a birthday party the next day. I plan to go again next Friday for the annual meeting and re-join.

I also did some weed pulling at the John Muir National Historic Park’s native garden at the Visitor’s Center. After the rain, I could see that the California Poppies popping up from seed. It will be a good poppy year this spring. 




Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your 2018 Dear Genea-Santa Letter

Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musing’s post for this week:

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:  
It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!! 

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. Here's your chance to sit on Genea-Santa's lap (virtually) and tell him your Christmas genealogy-oriented wish list:

1) Write your Genea-Santa letter. Have you been a good genealogy girl or boy? What genealogy-oriented items are on your Christmas wish list? They could be family history items, technology items, or things that you want to pursue in your ancestral quest.

2) Tell us about them in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook Status  post.  Please leave a comment on this post if you write your own post.

I have been a very good genea-girl this year. I worked very hard putting together my BCG portfolio and have turned it in. I am now being very patient awaiting the results.

I also worked hard this year creating two five-part courses on intermediate genealogy records, which I taught in May and October for the California Genealogical Society and held at the Oakland FamilySearch Library. I worked the desk at the CGS library one day a month and at the FamilySearch Library two days a month. Lastly, I took a group of twelve researchers for a week of research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

This is my first letter to the Genea-Santa. My wishes for this year are:
  • First, I’d like good health for my family, including all my siblings and cousins.
  • Second, finding a hint as to where in Alabama my Samuel Johnston (1816-1869) family lived in 1840, and then a hint to where Samuel and his wife, Elizabeth McCormack (1814-1891) were from in South Carolina.
  • Third, I would like more of the digitized records at FamilySearch be available from home. Yes, I could make a list (and I do) for when I go into the Oakland FamilySearch Library, but sometimes what I need is during my “bunny slipper” time in the middle of the night.
  • Fourth, enough time in the day so I can finish all of the family history books I need to write. An extra six hours would do—to replace the hours I have to sleep.

Thank you, Santa, for taking the time to consider my requests. We have no chimney, so you’ll have to visit through the front door (I’ll leave the key in the secret place), and we no longer have a dog, so it’s completely safe from barking. Would you like cookies and milk, or perhaps something healthier like carrot sticks and grape juice? I leave both, so you can choose.


Merry Christmas!



Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mrs. William (Lea) Hork in Junior Woman’s Club

This week I visited the Pittsburg (California) Historical Society. We lived in Pittsburg from about 1956 to 1963 in a two-story house on East 9th Street. The Society runs a museum in a huge building with some really fantastic displays and I took a glance at that before asking what kind of archive records they had.

In their library, they had binders with indexes to other collections. Under the surname index, I found several references to our family surname HORK. Boy did I find some treasures. These were newspaper clippings that had been indexed by volunteers. They were located into two different binders, but both about women’s clubs.

My mother was a member of the Junior Woman’s Club, which later was known as Pittsburg Woman’s Community League. There were several articles about my mother on various committees. Here is an undated printout of the officers and chairmen of the club. My mother had two jobs: Ways and Means and Press.

There was an article about the club’s planning for the upcoming year. Although not dated, it was on the same page as another article dated Aug 29, 1961.  Mrs. William Hork was in Ways and Means and also International Affairs. Their first event on the list was a “Dollar Merchants Lunch” planned for September 27 at St. Peter Martyr Hall. My mother was in charge of meatball preparation. She was also named the chairman of the Dec 6 Christmas Brunch, that will feature unique Christmas decorations, candy, cookies, aprons and other gift ideas.

The previous month, August, there was a luau held at a member’s home and the husbands were invited. They were celebrating the 11th anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Petrini and the 12th anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. James Atchison. My mother was responsible for the main dish which consisted of ham with raisins, prepared Hawaiian style. She was also part of the group that made colorful leis. The women wore muumuus, grass skirts and sarongs and the men were in Bermuda shorts and colorful shirts. My father was listed as attending. Wish I had a photo of that! The newspaper had a photo of Mrs. Dexter Welch at the luau.

My sister’s name was also in the index. She was pictured with Mom, checking out a big stuffed teddy bear. She was just 13 months old.

But the most surprising photo was one where she was pictured standing next to Louis Armstrong, who performed a concert at the Creative Arts Building. The proceeds for the concert were used to purchase an electronically controlled bed for Pittsburg Community Hospital.





 Aren't newspapers wonderful? I remember a little of her volunteering but she cut way back when we were older and she had six children.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 49: Winter in Blackwater, Missouri

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

Joseph Norman Gorrell was born in the last days of Winter on 9 March 1869 in Blackwater, Cooper County, Missouri.

His father, Amos Gorrell, kept a daily journal and recorded the following on his birthday:

“Weather cloudy at intervals with some rain. I go up to the Clarks in the morning and grind my axes. Jimmy helps me. Geo. works in the clearing. Both of the boys work there in the P.M. Wife is unwell – (labor) takes suddenly ill at noon and a child (a boy) is soon born. Before any person gets here. I am all alone at the time go immediately for Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Hill. they come and attend to everything all right. I go and bring Mrs. Oneal. but all is over before she gets here. She stays all night. Wife appears to be doing well the babe also.”

He didn’t name the baby on that day, but when he wrote the year-end summary, he wrote:

Have also had an addition to our family of a fine boy which we call Joseph Norman ... 


According to Amos’ diary, the winter in Blackwater was pretty mild, with only a few days of snow. It was often cold and cloudy, with an occasional rain or snow. There were even some warm days in January! After reading several years of diaries, he probably enjoyed living in Missouri more than his previous home in Ohio, where the weather was more severe.

Amos & Liby Gorrell with their six children
Joseph Norman Gorrell is on the left

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of November 26-December 2, 2018

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. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Family Research. This week we received homework for our Advanced Southern Research class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). It’s about doing some cluster research and I decided to work on one of my brick walls: Who are the parents of Samuel Johnston, who was born in South Carolina, had children in Alabama, lived in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, before moving to Titus County, Texas, where he died. I have no idea where in Alabama and where in South Carolina he lived. So we have a spreadsheet to record information about what we know, and also to begin analyzing the neighbors. I had already thought about that. Which neighbors also came from Alabama? Perhaps they came with the Johnstons.

I also did a little research on Reginold Lancaster, in order to write a blog post for the 52 Ancestors. I found I hadn’t downloaded the 1940 census for him, and discovered he lived in San Luis Obispo and owned land. The county recorder’s office has the deed index online and I’ve made a list of deeds to request.

I’m continuing on filing the digital images I have collected, working especially on my southern families. This will help me have the various families in my mind while I attend the SLIG class in January. I’m working on Loveless this week. I found Little Rock newspapers on GenealogyBank.com and have been collecting various articles found there. I make a clipped copy of the article, input the information into RootsMagic program, and then file it in the appropriate surname file. Sometimes, the articles trigger me to go on Ancestry to find a bit more information that I didn’t have. I’m surprised by how many 1940 census records I had not collected for some collateral lines.

Blog Writing: I wrote two blog posts these two past weeks:
Week 48: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about the second to last, and I chose Reginold F. Lancaster, who was the second to last child of George W. Lancaster and Martha Jane Polly.

I wrote about my favorite winter activities growing up for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Cert Support Group: Five of us met this week to discuss our progress over the past week and discuss Chapter 18, Research Reports, from the new Professional Genealogy book. This chapter was fantastic and a great improvement over the previous book. We decided that with the Genealogy Standards, the chapter is more coherent. The examples in the book were “real life” ones and I found them to be very helpful.

Webinars:
I participated in the DearMyrtle AmercianGen study group, where we discussed the two chapters on census records in Val Greenwood’s book Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.

Other Activities
History Center: I continued uploading items from our special collections to the Online Archive of California. I have put up 45 collections so far. I’m very excited about this. Having descriptions of our collections on this website will bring our collections to the world at large and hopefully researchers from all over will contact us to research assistance.


NMRA Coast Division Meet: The four-times-a-year meet was held Sunday at the Boy Scout office in San Leandro. We arrived early to get set up for the auction and to put out my friend, Bill’s model train stuff to be sold. It was a big auction this time with over 500 items and lasted until after 4 pm. Instead of going to the clinics, I worked on genealogy on my laptop. I agreed to be put on the ballot for PCR Director this coming spring. The PCR convention will be in North Highlands at the McClellan Convention Center.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Favorite Winter Activity Growing Up

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another challenge for our Saturday night.  Our assignment is:

1)  Winter arrives this month all over the northern hemisphere, and the daily routines of work, education and play change along with the seasons. 

2)  What were your favorite winter activities when you were a child and teenager and young adult?

3)  Share your memories on your own blog post, in a Facebook post, or in a comment on this post.  Please leave a link as a comment on this post if you write your own blog post so that everyone can read all about it.

Living in sunny California, we had few days of really cold weather or even rainy weather, though I remember it raining a lot more when I was in elementary school than it does now. Winter days meant wearing sweaters or sweatshirts to keep warm and maybe a windbreaker to keep the rain off. We didn’t have heavy winter coats or even umbrellas. 

I do have some memories of winter activities.

Snow
Mt. Diablo sometimes gets a sprinkling of snow and once my father picked us up from school early and drove to the summit so we could play in the snow. Boy it was cold. We were probably wearing only sneakers and sweaters (and us girls probably in dresses-though I hope we had gone home to change into pants).

Fog
Every December, we would get this thick fog called “tule fog” that settled low in valleys. Sometimes it was so thick you couldn’t see the houses across the street. I always associated this thick fog with Christmas, because it settled in for days just at the holiday time, making the air cool. It was fun going to Christmas tree lots with the fog swirling around us.

Rain

We lived on a slight hill and there were gutters of dirt alongside the street. Once when it rained, my mother had us make walnut shell boats. We melted wax to put in a toothpick with a sail into the shell. Once it stopped raining, my brother and I went out to sail our boats in the stream of the gutter. Rainy days at home also meant that Mom would either find crafty things for us to do or play board or card games with us. Rainy days often meant a big pot of soup was cooking on the stove and perhaps cookies baked in the oven.


The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Mother songs: cards depicting mother and children in a field with flowers and trees, on stage, going to school, in the wind, rain and snow." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 1, 2018. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-c148-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of November 19-25, 2018

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. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Family Research. This week, I’ve been working on my Coor family, especially James Madison Coor, my 3X-great-grandfather. I have been checking the digital images I have in my folders against what events I have recorded in my genealogy program, RootsMagic. Sometimes, something gets missed. Also looking at the RootsMagic events, I could see possible missing events, so I then would go on Ancestry or FamilySearch to see if I could find them, such as a census, marriage, or cemetery record. I started with trying to figure out when James M. Coor left Mississippi and went to Texas. He owned land, so I focused on finding the land that was sold so he could move. I also discovered many other land transactions for him and others in his family. Lots more to do!

Blog Writing: I wrote two blog posts these two past weeks:
Week 47: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about what genealogical source we’re thankful for. I wrote about digital images found all over the internet. I worked on land records in Copiah County, Mississippi and used some examples in the post..

Cert Support Group: We didn’t meet this week due to the Thanksgiving weekend. However, Dennis and I emailed our case study and KDP to the others to read. I enjoyed reading Dennis’ with his use of DNA. I need to get some DNA learning in and start using it more.

Webinars: I attended several webinars this week:
  • BCG’s “Every Day Life of Our Ancestors,” by C. Ann Staley. She had so many great examples of places to learn about the lives of our ancestors. She had a four-page handout with loads of links.
  •  APG’s “Accounting Tips, Tricks and Hacks: What the Solo Genealogy Pro Needs to Know,” by Jim Beidler. Lots of great tips on running a business.
  • APG’s Writers SIG “Writing for the Record,” by Laura Murphy DeGrazia, who spoke about the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s journal called the Record. Her presentation was excellent and I wish I had New York ancestors.

 The NGS Quarterly study group met this week and we discussed Judy G. Russell’s article “George Washington Cottrell of Texas: One Man or Two?” We had a great discussion. 

Other Activities
This was a short week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I spent time at the History Center on Tuesday, working on entering records from our Finding Aid in the Online Archive of California. I have entered twenty records so far.

It finally rained this week. The air is clearer and the fire up in Butte County is almost out. More rain to come this week. I threw out wildflower seed into the garden and hope some will grow for beautiful blooms in the spring.


Daughter, Elizabeth, came for Thanksgiving dinner. We ate a simple meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetable, and stuffing. Afterwards we played Yamslam! Saturday, we went up to Norman’s brother’s house for another Thanksgiving dinner. It was nice seeing our niece, Maddy, home from college.








Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of November 12-19, 2018

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. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Family Research. My goal before the upcoming SLIG institute in Salt Lake City in January, is to clean up my files and database of my southern families. It might be more than I can do, but I worked on some Johnston lines. I found newspaper articles in J-TAC about my grandfather’s brother who played football for them. This newspaper is found on The Portal of Texas History. I also worked on lots Loveless newspaper articles from Little Rock newspapers at GenealogyBank. Examples of what I found:

5 Oct 1937, J-TAC, p 3
Toofer is my great-uncle
 
27 Jun 1954 Arkansas Democrat, p. 8c
Lovetta in the center is my 1C2R.
SLIG Virtual Practicum. Our last class in the practicum was this Saturday. We finished up a case of multiple named men in English parish records. It was probably the easiest of the five and I was happy with what I could do. Overall the course was worthwhile and I learned something about how I work. I do like to use Word and keep track of my searches there instead of creating a separate research log, though working in a spreadsheet can be useful when analyzing data.

Blog Writing: I wrote two blog posts these two past weeks:
Week 46: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about a random fact. I wrote about Luther “Toofer” Johnston who was center for the John Tarleton Agricultural College in Stephenville, Texas in the 1930s.

Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. about our favorite genealogy resource. I wrote about all of the newspaper websites that I love to use. Last year we had the same topic and I wrote about FamilySearch.

CGS Introduction to Genealogy Course.  We’re working on a new format and I was tasked with creating a class on vital records. I have worked on the slides for that class this week. Then I’ll work on the handout.

Cert Support Group: We discussed Chapter 15 in the new Professional Genealogy book on Forensic Genealogy. I’m not really interested in doing this kind of work. I don’t mind doing record pulls for forensic genealogists.

AmericanGen Study Group. We met this week and discussed Chapter 13 “Vital Records” in Val Greenwood’s The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. I haven’t found the archive of the show online yet.

Webinar: I did attend the Florida State Genealogical Society’s webinar “Medical Genealogy: A Primer of Diseases That Killed Our Ancestors” given by Michael D. Lacopo. It was a great topic which he delivered very well.

Other Activities
This past week, I mostly stayed indoors due to the Camp fire up in Butte County that is sending smoke and poor air quality to the Bay Area. Whenever I left in the car, I kept the heater/AC off and used the seat heater to keep warm. The smoky air also kept the temperature in the 50s. I love “sweater weather” but would rather not have smoke. Hopefully next week it will rain.

I attended my two German language classes. The Wednesday class has ended for the quarter and will start up again in January. We’re reading a new book in the Monday class and will meet Nancy’s boarder from Germany next week.

I also drove into Oakland to do my volunteer work at the California Genealogical Society on Friday. Since many schools were cancelled, there was not much traffic. I didn’t expect any visitors due to the air quality, but I had two.

I spent time at the History Center on Tuesday, working on the Finding Aid, on Wednesday for the Board Meeting, and then again on Saturday, to ask Maxine about starting with entering the data at the Online Archive of California. We practiced by putting up three records. I’ll be glad when we have more collections up. This may bring in more researchers.

During Phenology at the meadow on Thursday, I saw lots of birds and recorded them at eBird. I saw my first robin and first Spotted Towhee for the season. I also saw for the first time a bunch of turkeys flying. Wish I had brought my camera, but only had binoculars.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

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


Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing's mission this week is:
1)  What Genealogy Resource are you thankful for?  Is it an organization, software, websites, repositories, persons, or something else?
2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or on Facebook.  Please drop a link in a comment to this post so that every reader can read about your resource.
Here's mine:

I would echo Randy’s post of being thankful for FamilySearch. The best thing they did was put up the digital images of records even though they had not yet been digitized.

The next best site I’m thankful for are all of the newspaper sites that have digital images of newspapers. Many that I use are:

Free Sites:
Chronicling America at the Library of Congress website. There are lots of newspapers from every state that were published before 1923. There is no copyright so can be freely used in our work.

The Portal to Texas History has many newspapers useful for my research, especially in Erath County (thank you Stephenville Library for your assistance!).

Pay Sites:
Newspaper.com courtesy of Ancestry. I have found more useful newspapers here than at any of the other paid sites.

GenealogyBank is another favorite. I used to love their old interface but am still fighting the new one. I’m not a big fan of change.

Newspapers are just the best resource for filling in information about our ancestors. Not just for vital records, but for all kinds of other events that happen to them: accidents, new jobs, club meetings, visits from family, etc.

Newspapers also give you a feel and history of the time period where your ancestors lived. Search for topics besides their names. I love checking the weather or learning about election results.


Thank you to all the sources who have provided digital content!

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 46: Random Fact – Luther “Toofer” Johnston played college football

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

The college newspaper of John Tarleton College, The J-TAC, is available on the Portal to Texas History website. I have found numerous articles about my grandfather’s younger brother, Luther E. Johnston (1918-1970), playing center on the football team.

However, Luther was better known as “Toofer” and searches in the newspaper of “Luther Johnston” did not bring up matches. Yet, as "Toofer" Johnston, there are many articles about his football games and social activities in the years of 1936 through 1938.

He was first mentioned in newspaper in the fall of 1935, about his football exploits on the Yellowjackets team while still at Stephenville High School.

He played center for the junior college and was co-captain of the team in 1938. The team was referred to as Plowboys.

He was a member of the Sons of Tarleton Society (S.O.T.S.), serving as vice-president in 1937, and president in 1938.  He dated B.J. McMillan in 1938.

Also at the website was the 1938 yearbook for John Tarleton Agricultural College. 


From this photo, I can see where my brother got his curls.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Weeks of October 29-November 11, 2018

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. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Family Research. I spent most of the 11th, working on the Johnston-Couch line, picking up some 1940 U.S. census death, cemetery, and newspaper records on Ancestry, FamilySearch, and Findagrave. Two of my great-grandfather’s sisters married Couch brothers. There were a lot of Couch surnames found in the Comanche Chief newspaper of Comanche Co, Texas.

SLIG Virtual Practicum. I worked on Week 3's assignment while in New York and Week 4's when I got home. I have found that using a research log can be useful, but there is not enough space to write some analysis. I’m going back to a research report for Week 5. Week 4 was a kicker, with DNA analysis and research in English records! Thanks to Sheri for the help.

Blog Writing: I wrote two blog posts these two past weeks:
Week 44: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about “Frightening.” I posted some photos of one of the many Halloween parties my parents had. One of the photos has a “ghost” in it.

Week 45: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about “Beards.” I wrote about John Gleeson, showing him in three photos sporting his beard.

Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. About our Zig Zag ancestors. I could only go back five generations. This past week’s topic was what we collected as a child and I reposted one from two years ago.

Intermediate Skills 2. We had our last class about genealogy writing. I covered it in two parts: writing as we research (research plans, research reports, research logs), and final products (genealogies, family history, etc.). I think everyone liked the presentation very much. I forgot to take a class photo, so I have no visual record of the participants.

Cert Support Group: Dennis turned in his portfolio and now feels like I do: both relieved and sort of lost. When you work on something as hard as we did for nearly two years, you wonder what you should now do with your time. We also discussed Chapter 16 in the new Professional Genealogy book on DNA.

Other Activities
We spent eight days in New York City, traveling there to see our daughter, Margaret, in a new play called “Meg, Beth, Amy, Jo & Louisa” about Louisa May Alcott’s writing of Little Women. It was very good. They hope to take it on to the Fringe season.

We saw different things in New York City this time: Central Park, Roosevelt Island, Teddy Roosevelt’s Childhood Home, and crossing the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn. We saw two Broadway shows: The Band’s Visit and The Waitress, and ate at some very nice restaurants. We also hit Katz Diner again so Elizabeth, who arrived in NYC just after Margaret’s play, could eat there. 






I also took a trip to New Jersey, met by friend, Judy Russell, and we went down to Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge for a day of bird watching. I shot some 150 plus photos and had great conversation with Judy. All in all, a great trip.





This past week, I mostly stayed indoors due to the Camp fire up in Butte County that is sending smoke and poor air quality to the Bay Area. 

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks--Week 45: Beards

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

I wrote previously about my grandfather, Tom Johnston's beard in this blog post. For this week, I'll present my great-great-grandfather, John Gleeson's beard.

John Gleeson was born about 1835 probably in Ottawa, Canada. He married Margaret Tierney around 1858 in Carleton County, Ontario. They had ten children. In 1879, they moved to Dakota Territory to what is now Mitchell, South Dakota. Sometime after 1900, they moved to Portland, Oregon where he died in 1915.

John with 2 children c. 1860s

John, taken in Mitchell, South Dakota


John wore his beard all through his life.


Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Zigzag Ancestor Lines

Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’s assignment this week:


Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1)  What is your father's Zigzag Ancestor line (NOTE: I just made that up...}?  In other words, your father's mother's father's mother's etc. line back as far as you can go.

2)  Tell us in your own blog post (and drop a link here in a comment), or on Facebook with your response.

Here is my father’s Zigzag line:

1.  My father was William Joseph Hork (1930-2007) of Ontario, California and Walnut Creek, California.

2.  His mother was Anna Marie Sullivan (1892-1979) of Anaconda, Montana and Santa Clara, California.

3.  Her father was John H. Sullivan (1854-1931) of County Cork, Ireland and San Bernardino, California.

4.  His mother was Mary Sheehan of Ireland and Todd Co., Minnesota.

I can only go back this far with the Irish line. The records are either incomplete or they came from another place.

My mother’s Zigzag line:

1.  Lela Nell Johnston (1934-1992) of Stephenville, Texas and Walnut Creek, California.

2.  Her father was Tom J Johnston (1912-1973) of Gustine, Texas and Pleasant Hill, California.

3.  His mother was Nell Hutson (1888-1919) of Comanche Co, Texas.

4.  Her father was Peter H. Hutson (1853-1930) of Georgia and Comanche Co, Texas.

5.  His mother was Amanda Davis (1826-????) of Georgia and ????

I do not know what became of Amanda and where she was from. My mother’s lines can go back much farther in time, depending on which line I choose, however this line deadends on the female line.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 44: Frightening

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

I tend to steer away from anything that would be frightening to me. I do not watch horror movies or read horror books. I have watched a few movies that scared me, not in a frightening way, but left me scared for the people in the action. Such as the runaway train in Silver Streak and the first scenes in the Indiana Jones movies.


So this topic is a tough one for me. Instead, because it is also Halloween week, I thought I would share photos from Halloween parties my parents used to have. Some of the costumes were frightening! This was from 1993:

Sister, Sabrina & her husband, Steve
My brother, Steve and his daughter, Krissy
 
My dad as a nun with son-in-law, Mike
My aunt, Lorene and brother-in-law, Scott
 And the scariest photo, this one with a "ghost" running through it.

Whole group photo with our colonial ghost

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -


Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) Go take the Hallowe'en Personality quiz at

http://www.blogthings.com/whatsyourhalloweenpersonalityquiz/

2) Post your answers on your own blog, as a comment on this blog, or on your Facebook page.

3) Tell us if this is "right on" or not. Have fun with it!

My answers from the quiz are:
  • A bit of an introvert, you like the special occasions just as much as everyone else. You just have your own unique way of celebrating Halloween.  
  • Sneaky and devious, people should really watch out for you. You are usually underestimated and forgotten.
  • Your inner child is curious, brainy, and maybe even a little gross.
  • You fear those closest to you finding out who you really are. You dread people discovering your secrets.
  • You're logical, rational, and not easily affected. Not a lot scares you... especially when it comes to the paranormal.
  • You are unique, expressive, and a trendsetter. Your ideal Halloween costume is over the top and one of a kind.
This was just for fun. Most of their predictions are not true at all, except maybe the one I've highlighted in blue. I like quiet Halloweens, though I enjoyed making costumes for my daughters, and going Trick or Treating with them. We never get Trick or Treaters at our house.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 26, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 43: Cause of Death in My Family Tree

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

We often learn about the cause of someone’s death from a death certificate. The doctor fills out this portion, often using cursive handwriting and using medical terms that are hard to discern. I’m always happy to find a death certificate that has been typed!

Following the causes of death throughout our ancestral line can be helpful in tracing our health history.

My parents:
Father: Myocardial Infarction (10 min) and Coronary Artery Disease (30 mos). Actually he had that for 30 years. What the death certificate doesn’t say is he was found dead in his home and may have been dead a couple of days. He was found on Saturday and last seen on Wednesday evening. He was 77.

Mother: Cardiac Arrhythmia (min) due to Pulmonary hypertension (weeks) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4 yr). Also renal failure. She was 57.

Paternal grandfather, William C Hork: Suppurative Tracheobronchitis (months) and Bullous Emphysemia (months). He was 68. I never met him.

Paternal grandmother, Anna M Sullivan: This one was written in “doctor scribble” and my guess it was about the heart. There was no contributing causes. She was 86.

If you can help?
Maternal grandfather, Tom J Johnston: He was 60 years old. He died of Coronary Pulmonale from advanced pulmonary emphysema.

Maternal grandmother, Pansy L Lancaster: She was 99.99 (one month shy of 100). She died of Cardiac Arrest (sec), due to Renal failure (mos), due to Congestive heart failure (yrs) & coronary artery disease (yrs).

Paternal great-grandfather, Johan Anton Hork: from a news article, he drank carbolic acid. He was 62.

Paternal great-grandmother, Julia A Sievert: Cirrhosis of Liver. She was 73 years old.

Paternal great-grandfather, John H Sullivan: Myocarditis, coronary arteriosus. He was almost 79 years old.

Paternal great-grandmother, Anna M. Gleeson: Melancholia, contributing factor exhaustion. She was almost 52 years old.

Maternal great-grandfather, Thomas N. Johnston: Acute dilation of the heart due to hypertension. He was 65.

Maternal great-grandmother, Nell L Hutson: no death certificate was found and the obituary did not state. She was 31.

Maternal great-grandfather, George W. Lancaster: I didn’t have his death certificate, so went to FamilySearch to find it. He died of Pneumonia hypostatic, due to Ascites, undetermined origin and also due to arteriosclerosis. He was 71.

Maternal great-grandmother, Lela A. Loveless: More doctor scratch: cerebral toomborio (7 hours), due to comatous (which might be comatose) condition (9 days). She actually had Parkinson Disease, but was not mentioned here. She was 55.

Looks like most were due to heart failure, which is usually what finally kills us, even if we have some other underlying cause.



Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of October 15-21, 2018

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. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

Genealogy
Family Research. Not much went on with my own family research this week. A delayed birth certificate came from Davison County, South Dakota for my great-uncle, Jack Sullivan. I need to scan it before entering the data into RootsMagic. Because there had been no birth records in the 1880s in South Dakota, he needed affidavits to complete the certificate. That is the most interesting part of the certificate. More on it later!

SLIG Virtual Practicum. Our second session was this week, where we learned how close we were on the homework. I got the right answer but missed some resources. We then got the next research project that will be due next Friday.

Blog Writing: I wrote two blog posts this week:
  • This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about “Conflict.” This was a tough topic and finally wrote about the time my grandparents were separated for a time when my mom was two.
  •  Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun was about how we got to school from Kindergarten through High School. I added college, too, since I still lived at home.

Webinars: I watched several webinars this week. They are all available at Legacy Family Tree Webinars:
  • D. Joshua Taylor “Twenty Essential Tips for Genealogical Speakers”
  • Jeanne Larzalere Bloom “Past Conflict Repatriation: The Role of Genealogists and Methodology in Fulfilling our Nation’s Promise”
  • Elissa Scalise Powell “Deeper Analysis: Techniques for Successful Problem Solving”
  • Rebecca Whitman Koford “John Jacob Kramer: Case Study of Mistaken Identity Among Revolutionary War Soldiers”
  • Thomas W. Jones “Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Prove Unrecorded Events”
  • Judy G. Russell “Discriminating Genealogist: Telling Good Evidence From Bad”


I also participated in the DearMyrtle American Gen Study Group. We discussed Chapter 11: “Family History: Going Beyond Genealogy”

Volunteer Activities: I volunteered at the Contra Costa County Historical Society’s History Center on Tuesday and Saturday. I got a bunch of time in adding special  collection items to PastPerfect. I also trained Susan on completing an obituary query since I will be gone the next two weeks. On Saturday, I got some questions answered from Maxine about problems I encountered in PastPerfect.

I also spent the day at the desk at the California Genealogical Society & Library on Friday. I had no customers and only one phone call. Usually I get a lot of writing or research done but I watched five webinars (see above) instead.

Intermediate Skills 2. We had our third class about tax and other “list-like” items. I think they really got into tax records! Next week is newspaper research, then we’ll take a break for a week, before the last week on writing.

Other Activities
We visited our daughter, Elizabeth on Thrusday in Sebastopol. We bought apples at Hale Farm, walked around the Barrow and then hiked along a creek. Afterwards, we shopped for more apples at Whole Foods and then ate dinner at Lowell’s. We had a nice time.

Our apples from Hale Farm

Laguna de Santa Rosa at Laguna Wetlands Preserve

Worked at the John Muir National Historic Park native garden on Monday, trimming plants. At the Friends of Alhambra Creek meeting, we discussed the brochure we’re working on, thinning down the choices from the photos I took of the creek and doing some more wordsmithing. Thursday, Shirley and I did the phenology at the Strentzel Meadow. Not much is happening now in the fall—mostly waiting for the leaves to drop and some fruit to ripen.

Waiting for the Buckeye fruit to ripen

I bought some native plants on Saturday at the Watershed Nursery, most of which will need full sun. I hope I have enough space for that. Excited that I found a Western Redbud. I hope I can keep it alive.

sage, lupine, fushia, honeysuckle, fescue, rose
This was a busy week!

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Did You Get to School?

Here is our assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing:
1)  How did you get to your school(s) through high school?
2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook or Google+.  Please leave a comment on this post with a link to your post.
My first years were in Pittsburg, California, until we moved in Spring of my Third grade year.

Kindergarten. I am not completely sure how I got to school in the early years. I attended Kindergarten at the Pittsburg Primary School. It was three blocks away and my mother did not drive. My guess, we walked there. There would have been a stroller coming along, too, because I had two younger brothers, aged 3, and 1.

First through mid-Third grade. I attended St. Peter Martyr School at 560 Montezuma Street. I imagine someone drove me to school, perhaps my grandmother. I do remember walking to school with my brother, so that would have been my third grade year, as he was two years behind me. When it rained, my mother sometimes sent a taxi to pick us up. She still did not drive, nor did we have an extra car. I checked my baby book, and my mother wrote that I walked to school, and that I walked alone to the library, two blocks away. She does not say how old I am.

We moved to Walnut Creek, California in April 1963.

Third through Eighth. We  rode the bus with our neighbors, the Dannels to Parkmead Elementary and Intermediate Schools, which were adjacent to each other. We had to walk over to the next block to catch the bus. Later, when the new Olympic Blvd was built, our stop was at the bottom of the hill. Sometime before the end of Sixth grade, we started walking home. Our stop was last. That was fine in the morning but it took almost an hour to get home in the afternoons. We either walked along Olympic, cut through an empty lot to get to Magnolia and then on to the school, or jumped to creek at the other end of our street, cut through Mr. Newell’s property, and then walked along Newell Avenue to school. It didn’t work well in the winter, as the creek was too wide to jump.

My sister Sabrina waiting for the bus at the bottom of our hill

High School. I walked to high school. It took about 45 minutes. One day, it was raining so hard, I kept begging my mom to drive me (she had a car and knew how to drive by now) but she wouldn’t do it. I was soaked by the time I got to school—and late, too, because I had dawdled trying to get her to take me. After we could start wearing pants to school (my sophomore year), I sometimes rode my bike. It was not a popular thing to do until the first Earth Day, then it was more acceptable. I didn't have my licence at all in high school, so never drove myself.

College. I drove an AMC Rambler the first year to Cal State University Hayward, along Highway 580, through Crow Canyon Road, and then through Hayward. Later, BART opened and I took it from Walnut Creek to Hayward, and then rode an AC Transit bus up the hill to the school. Riding BART was great—I got a lot of homework done!

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.