Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of October 8-14, 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. Since I turned in my certification portfolio, I have felt a little off course. I’m not sure what I  should focus my attention on next. Perhaps I’ll look at my southern families in preparation for the SLIG class in January on Advanced Southern Research. I do have small projects that I had started:
  • my Aunt Lorene’s civil service records need to be organized
  • finish reading the book about the 4th Engineers in WWI to learn about what my Great-uncle Jack did
  • scan some paper items
  • file some paper items
  • process many folders of images from previous research at the Family History Library

Looks like I have found plenty to do!

Blog Writing: Blog posts I wrote this week:
This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about “Sports.” I wrote about sporting activities of my father, William Hork, my grandmothers, Pansy Lancaster & Anna Sullivan, and my grandfather, Cyril Hork.

I participated in Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. He used one of my suggestions and we wrote about Sports—this time I concentrated on my sporting activities.

Volunteer Activities: I worked all day at the Contra Costa County Historical Society’s History Center. There were a lot of old queries that I filed or fulfilled. I also spent the day at the desk of the California Genealogical Society’s library. I had two researchers come—one research her Mexican roots, and the other looking for books on Maine.

Intermediate Skills 2. We had our second class about military records at the FamilySearch Library in Oakland. I’m teaching the class for the California Genealogical Society and I have 15 students! They are seem excited to be in class and participated well. We’ll cover records in lists next week.

Other Activities. My husband and I visited several homes on the 2018 Home Tour conducted for the Martinez Museum. The homes were very interesting and it's always a great pleasure to see older homes and how they are decorated. We popped in for 5 minutes at the Shell Museum and hope to go back again soon. It will be a great place for research and I'll write it up.  Afterwards, we went to one of the new brew pubs, Five Suns Brewery at 500 Estudillo. They serve beer they brewed and some food from neighboring restaurants.


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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Sporting Activities

It's Saturday Night again - time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Randy’s assignment this weeks is:

1)  What sporting activities did you participate in as a youth and as an adult?

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.

Thank you to Lisa Gorrell for suggesting this SNGF topic.

Thanks, Randy for choosing my topic. I don’t know if the timing is good or bad. This week’s 52 Ancestors category was Sports and I wrote about my two grandmothers, grandfather, father, and my sporting activities. I only wrote a little—just what I had a photo for.

My first sport I remember playing was softball. There was a field two doors down from our house called Bertinoli’s field, as the family across the street owned the land. Later, when I was older, I realized it was just a small lot. But we were little—the oldest maybe 10, and only occasionally would anyone hit the ball over the freeway fence. Of course someone would have to climb the fence to get the ball—we only had one!

I played softball/baseball (don’t remember what kind of ball we used) in 4th grade with the boys during recess. I was the only girl. I loved baseball. I collected baseball cards. I watched the Giants on television. My grandmother (Nana) and my dad loved the Giants, and so did I. I liked playing infield, probably because I didn’t have to throw the ball so far. I was pretty small and didn’t have a lot of strength.

In 7th grade, my mom signed me up for an after school softball team. I remember practices were at the local elementary school, but not much about the actual games. I did play on a real team when a senior in high school on a youth league team. I played mostly short stop.

My favorite players on the Giants were Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Chris Speier, and later Mike Krukow, Johnnie LaMaster, and Joe Morgan.. My friends and I went to Candlestick Park and we could go to Ladies Day and sit in the bleachers for 50 cents. But often we bought box seats to sit up close. We used to go early to watch batting practice and get autographs. I have a small autograph book with lots of autographs.

In the 70s when the Big Red Machine was winning championships, my friend, who was born in Cincinnati, rooted for the Reds. I would, too. It was fun supporting a winning team and Johnny Bench was my favorite. He wrote a book called Behind the Bench and I got him to autograph it for me.

In college, I tried other sports in P.E. classes: tennis, volleyball, and badminton. I played one season on the softball team my freshman year and on the badminton team on my senior year. Playing sports was hard when my science labs were in the afternoons.

I played on a women’s team in Walnut Creek one season, when I was a junior or senior in college. Our sponsor was a pest control company and we were called the Lady Bugs. I played second base mostly. I didn’t play much after I got a job with BART. I worked nights and had weekdays off—wasn’t conducive to being on a sports team. Once a bunch of mothers from my daughter’s pre-school got a team together and I played short, second, or pitched. We were pretty bad!

I’m still an avid fan of the Giants and try to go to at least a half a dozen games per year. I attend mostly with my friend, Beth, but sometimes with my husband and daughters. I’ve had season tickets (15 games) twice, the first during the year the All-Star game was at Candlestick Park (1984), and the last season at Candlestick Park (1999). That was lots of fun

My daughters like to watch baseball, too. They never played softball, but rather focused on gymnastics and soccer. My husband and I knew nothing about soccer but after going to all their games, we got pretty good following the game.


Today, my personal sporting activity is focused on yoga, walking, and occasional pickleball. The sports I follow on television are major league baseball (Giants), tennis, and women’s soccer. 

1999 at Candlestick Park with my daughters
Me and my buddy, Beth
Me and Janice at an A's game
I have many more photos (actually slides) that I should scan. 

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 41: Sports


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 thought I’d write about my immediate family who were active with sports.

I played softball in high school with the recreation department. In college at Cal State University Hayward, I played softball in Freshman year and badminton in my junior or senior year (can’t remember which). My schedule was too hectic with science labs to play much sports in college.



My dad (William J Hork) played football in high school in Napa, California, and could through the ball with either hand. He watched it actively until he died. He like to keep statistics of all the teams.


Both my grandmother’s played sports. Nana (Anna Sullivan Hork) played basketball, tennis, and volleyball in college (Montana Normal College).



Mam-ma (Pansy Lancaster Johnston) played softball with a women’s team in Erath County, Texas. Later after my grandfather died, she played tennis and was bowling into her 90s.


My grandfather (William C Hork) played baseball as a young man.
Anaconda Standard, 8 Aug 1920, p. 14
 Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of October 1-7, 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
Intermediate Skills 2. I’m teaching the class for the California Genealogical Society at the FamilySearch Library in Oakland and I have 15 students! We had our first class about cemetery and funeral home records. They seem excited to be in class and participated well. We’ll cover military records this week.

Seminar. I attended the fall seminar with the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society, where we listened to Thomas MacEntee give four great talks. I got some great websites for searching for living people and I enjoyed both the lecture on collateral and cluster searching, and the Genealogy Do Over. His tips about spreadsheets were fantastic. A group of CGS members got together to take a photo.

Thomas MacEntee at the CCCGS Seminar

Webinar. I attended a Legacy Family Tree webinar,  “Remote Research in the Databases of the Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Research System” given by Rick Sayre. It was very informative and I might investigate the possibility of having a Revolutionary patriot ancestor.

Portfolio work. I worked on the final part of the case study and finished. I then investigated how to submit the portfolio. After meeting with the Certification Peer group, I did submit and pay for my portfolio. My first feelings were dread—like I’d done something wrong. But then I felt relief that I was finally finished and could work on something else. About an hour later, I was thinking: I’m bored, what shall I do now? Time to make To Do lists.

Blog Writing: Blog posts I wrote this week:
This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about “ten.” I posted two photos the ten children of John Gleeson and Margaret Tierney.

I participated in Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and answered 20 questions that had been posed by Ellen Thompson-Jennings.


Other Activities
We visited our daughter in Sebastopol. First we shopped for apples and pumpkins, then headed for Healdsburg using the back roads. Along the way we stopped at a small winery, Foppiano Vineyards, for some tasting. In Healdsburg, we had a delicious dinner at Valette.


Pulled weeds this week at the John Muir National Historic Park at the native plant garden. Here are some photos of flowers still blooming.




Friday, I spent a couple of hours working my way along Alhambra Creek, taking photos. I tried to take one at every bridge that crosses the creek from Marina Vista to Alhambra Way, looking both north and south. In some places, the sun made dark shadows. I’ll try again on a gray day. These photos might work out for the remake of the Friends of Alhambra Creek brochure.

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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- 20 More Questions

It’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another challenge for us:


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

1)  Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote 20 More Questions About Your Ancestors and Maybe A Few About You this week and Linda Stufflebean thought it would be a great SNGF challenge.  I agree!

2)  Copy the questions from Ellen's post or from my post below, and insert your own replies.  Be sure to comment on Ellen's blog so she knows you wrote about it.

3)  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.

Q1:   Why do you love doing genealogy/family history?
A1:   I loved researching in school, learning about new things, but I never liked writing the paper. I’ve learned that writing the paper is just as important.

Q2:  How far have you traveled to research an ancestor?
A2:  This summer we went to Cornwall and I did some unplanned research there.  

Q3:  What do you think your favorite ancestor would think of our lives today?
A3:  My favorite ancestor is Anna M. Sullivan Hork, my grandmother. I think she would be amazed by the advanced technology used in schools. She taught in a one-room school house in Napa.

Q4:  What do you think that your ancestor would like/dislike?
A4:  I think that she would like that medicine has advanced quite a bit, allowing people to live longer. She would not like the decisiveness of politics today.

Q5:  What was the most unusual cause of death that you’ve found?
A5:  Martin Gleeson died from an infection due to a piece of lumber that was imbedded in his leg. If only there had been antibiotics then.

Q6:  Which ancestor had the most unusual occupation?
A6:  My husband has a collateral ancestor who was once mayor of Cincinnati and later governor of Ohio. There were also a couple of actors and actresses.

Q7:  Have you ever gone to where your ancestor lived and it felt like home even if you’ve never been there before?
A7:  Yes. I visited Conway, Arkansas, and I really loved the small town.

Q8:  Do you have a distant ancestor  (several generations back) that looks like someone in the family?
A8:  One of my great-great aunts looks like my sister. 

Q9:  What is the oldest ancestral photo that you have?
A9:  I have a couple of really old photos of either the Gleeson or Tierney family members in Canada—probably in the 1860s or 1870s.

Q10:  Did you have an ancestor that had an arranged marriage?
A10:  Not that I know of.

Q11:  If you could live in the time period of one of your ancestors what year would it be? Where would it be?
A11:  About the 1860s in Titus Co, Texas. I would like to ask my 3X great-grandparents, Samuel Johnston and Elizabeth McCormack where they was born in South Carolina, where in Alabama the children were born, and who their parents were.

Q12:  Which ancestor was married the most times?
A12:  I haven’t found anyone who was married more than two times.

Q13:  If you’ve tested your DNA what was the biggest ethnicity surprise?
A13:  That I had no Native American ancestry and neither did my grandmother.

Q14:  Did you have a female ancestor that was different or unusual from other females from that time period?
A14:  My great-great aunt, Elizabeth Gleeson, was pretty independent, who never married, but traveled a bit—even going to the gold rush in Alaska.

Q15:  Did your ancestor go through a hardship that you don’t know how they managed?
A15:  My great-grandfather lost his wife while having young children at home. He didn’t remarry until later in life. My great-aunt talked about how hard it was to grow up without a mother.

Q16:  How often do you research? Are you a genealogy addict?
A16:  I try to do some genealogy every single day—either research, reading, or writing. When I’m not at my computer, I think about genealogy.

Q17:  Do you have someone in your family that will take over the family history?
A17:  No. I might have to write lots of books.

Q18:  Have you had a genealogy surprise? What was it?
A18:  No really.

Q19:  Are you a storyteller? What’s your favorite family story?
A19:  No, I tend to be too literal and write like a technical writer. I need an editor to help make it more like a story.

Q20:  What was your greatest genealogy discovery?
A20:  There is no one great discovery. I enjoy each new discovery as I learn more about my family.  

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

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 40: Ten

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.

Ten: the number of children that John Gleeson and Margaret Tierney had, all born in Ontario, Canada. John and Margaret Gleeson are my second great-grandparents. All ten children grew to adulthood and there is no evidence that a child of theirs died in childhood. The first nine children were born about two years apart. However the last son, Francis was born five years after his sister, Margaret. It is possible there was a miscarriage or stillborn birth—just no record of any baptism.

I have no photos of the whole family together, but do have photos of the five boys and the five girls. I can identify the youngest children but not the rest for sure.


Their boys were: Martin Gleeson, John James Gleeson, Michael Peter Gleeson, William Charles Gleeson, and Francis Thomas Gleeson.


The girls were: Anna Marie Gleeson (my great-grandmother), Mary Martha Gleeson, Elizabeth M Gleeson, Helena Mary Gleeson, and Margaret Teresa Gleeson.


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

Monday, October 1, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of September 24-30, 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
I finished four out of the five lessons for the Intermediate Skills 2 course I will be teaching in October & November at the Oakland FamilySearch Library on behalf of the California Genealogical Society. I plan to work on the fifth class after getting some input from the students so I can tailor it to their wants.

I viewed only one webinar this week: “Methods For Identifying The German Origins of American Immigrants,” by Michael D. Lacopo, and participated in the DearMyrtle AmericanGen Study Group on Wednesday. We discussed researching online.

I attended the Sacramento German Genealogical Society meeting and learned about using the State Library resources. This week my volunteer work was at the Oakland Family Search Center. I sat with a young woman showing her some search techniques in Ancestry.com.

Portfolio work. I worked on the case study this week and I’m getting closer to the end. In our  certification peer group, we celebrated Faye’s successful certification and then discussed Chapter 13 in the new Pro Gen book.

Blog Writing: Blog posts I wrote this week:
This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about “on the farm.” I posted photos of my mother-in-law, Thelma and her siblings on their farm.

I participated in Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and wrote about the pets I’ve owned.

Other Activities
I  went to yoga class on Tuesday and bird watching at Heather Farm Park on Thursday. It was the first time in months that I bird watched. Saw quite a few birds and the highlight was the Black-throated Gray Warbler, though I didn't get a photo of it.

Great-blue Heron

White-breasted Nuthatch
Saturday was the Archives Crawl. I volunteered in the morning at the History Center, and then checked out the other sites: Martinez Library, Martinez Historical Society, and the County Recorder’s Office. There were also other organizations at tables in the Veteran’s Hall. I visited each one and got literature about their archives or hours so I can visit them. I hope to get a few more articles written for the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society’s newsletter.

On Sunday was the last Giants game of the season and I spent the day with my friend, Beth. This game was really tough because they lost 15-0. This has not been the best season for the team, but I enjoyed most of the games I attended this year.

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

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Family Pet Stories

Another great theme this week. Thanks, Janice, for suggesting it.

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

1) What were your family pets? What were their names? How long did they live? What stories do you have about them?

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.


I wish I had scanned images of all of the pets I had as a child. My first pet that was truly mine, was a white cat named George "Sparky" Anderson. He was a really kick, by liking to sleep at the foot of my bed under my covers.

My mother gave us a really old cat when we got married named, Patty. She wouldn't clean herself and Norman had to give her baths, which she didn't like. She had teeth problems and we had some surgery done. Then one day she disappeared and we never found her. That was our last cat.

Since then we've had dogs, all Australian Shepherds: Sebastian, Samantha, Libby, Toby, and Sidney.  Here are a few digital shots of some of the pets:

Samantha

Toby

Sidney

Right now we're between pets. It does make it easier to travel without having to worry about them. But there is a lonely spot, too. I'm sure when the right one comes along, we'll be drawn to have another pet.

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

Friday, September 28, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 39: On the Farm

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.

My husband’s mother, Thelma, grew up on a farm in Hilmar, Merced County, California. Here is a photo of her with her three older brothers (Arnold, Leonard, and Reuben) and one younger brother (Raymond). 

Left to right: Thelma, Ray, Arnold, Reuben, Leonard Nilsen
I just love this photo. It was taken about 1927-28. The boys are wearing typical clothes of children of farmers. 

Mrs. Hoover's First Grade Class, Hilmar School
Here is a typical class photo. Thelma is in 2nd row, 4th from left and her cousin, Ken Lundquist, was also in the photo, but I don't know which one is him.  

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of September 17-23, 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
This week has been primarily spent working on the five lessons I will be teaching in October & November at the Oakland FamilySearch Library on behalf of the California Genealogical Society. This is an intermediate level course, focusing on another set of records: military, tax & other lists, cemeteries, newspapers, and writing. I currently have eight (8) people signed up and there is room for more. To register, go to the CGS website here.

I also viewed several webinars this week:
  • "Using Lists to Find Proof" by Cari Taplin, who presented this on behalf of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). The recording can be found at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. This was helpful in working on one of my talks.
  •  "25 Simple Research Hacks Every Genealogist Should Know" given by Lisa Alzo at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Best tip was creating SMART goals. 
  •  “Writing for Ansearchin’ News, the Quarterly Publication of the Tennessee Genealogical Society.” by Tina Sansone. This was presented to the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG) Writers SIG. I need to see which of my ancestors lived in Tennessee. 
  • Wacky Wednesday at DearMyrtle. Cousin Russ Worthington spoke about how he dealt with Find A Grave memorials that disappeared. He had the sources but they were no longer on the site. Most of them had been merged into duplicate memorials. 
  • “But it’s all on the Internet!” by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG for the Florida State Genealogical Society. She gave great examples of records that are found in libraries, archives, and historical societies. One tip was the Ohio Genealogical Society library has old German newspapers that have not been digitized.

I also volunteered at the Contra Costa County Historical Society on Tuesday, continuing on entering the Finding Aid into PastPerfect and attending a meeting about our upcoming event: Archives Crawl, which will be on Saturday.

Portfolio work. No portfolio work last week, with my focus on the Intermediate course material.

Blog Writing: Blog posts I wrote this week:
  • This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about unusual sources and I wrote about my grandfather, Tom Johnston’s wallet and the cards found inside. 

  • I also wrote about my earliest memory for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. I had participated a quite a while due to either my vacation or repeated themes.

 Since all of my free time this past week was spent writing, I didn’t do much exercise or other activities. My back is taking the brunt of all the sitting. I’ll take more time stretching and walking this week.

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

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Is Your Earliest Memory?

Another SNGF assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing.  I haven’t participated in a long while, first being in Wales and England in August, and then when I got back, had too much catching up to do.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 
1) What is your earliest memory?  How old were you, where did you live, who are the characters in your memory?
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.
Janice Sellers suggested this topic.  Way to go!

My earliest memory is during Kindergarten. I have faint memory of being sick with scarlet fever and our house being quarantined. I remember the doctor coming to our house to check me out. I have hated tongue depressors since, as it seemed he was trying to choke/gag me with it.   

When I returned to school, I had so many cartons of milk to drink (I guess to catch up on the time I missed). I always hated milk unless there was chocolate syrup in it. Now I know why – I am lactose intolerant. It used to give me a stomach ache.

Funny, I don’t remember any of my three siblings coming to our home after me. But I gave them the childhood diseases I collected at school: measles and chicken pox. My poor sister, Danna, was just a baby.

I have my baby book and there are entries about my illnesses!



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

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of September 10-16, 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
The highlight of my genealogy week was the four-day retreat I had with three other genealogists at a vacation home in the north Tahoe area. We spent two full and two half days working on our genealogy. During meal breaks (that we took turns preparing) we had discussions about research logs, creating citations, and some other topics. I worked on creating PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and exercises for the five classes I’m teaching in October. I can proudly say that I’m 95% done on two of them and started on the third. Working in a quiet area for three plus days was a wonderful experience. We did speak to each other and asked or answered questions, but having no distractions was the best part of the experience.


Volunteered at the Contra Costa County Historical Society on Tuesday, continuing on entering the Finding Aid into PastPerfect. Our board meeting was Wednesday where we discussed some upcoming events in detail.

Portfolio work. I didn’t do much work on this during the week, instead focusing on what I would do during the retreat. I did take along material but did not get to it. Did meet with my cert peer group and we discussed Chapter 12: “Reasoning from Evidence” from the new Professional Genealogy book.

Blog Writing: Blog post I wrote this week:
  • This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about people who share my birthday and my sister who has a birthday close to mine.



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

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 37: Closest to Your Birthday

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.

My birthday is March 26, which makes me an Aries. The immediate relative with the closest birthday was my sister, Danna, who was born on April 1, just six years younger than me. Growing up we celebrated separate birthdays. Today, my sisters and nieces get together to celebrate our birthdays and Danna and I usually share the celebration together.


When I met my future husband, I learned that his paternal aunt, Ada, had the same birthday as me, though she was born some fifty years before me. One year on my birthday I was awaken early by Aunt Ada calling to wish me a Happy Birthday. This was before we were married. I was working a graveyard-like shift from 1930 to 0330 and had been in bed only a few hours. I had no idea who was calling! She didn’t know that I work such horrid hours and she was living in Illinois, so the time difference was there, too. However, after that, we always remembered each other’s birthdays with cards.


Growing up, I never knew another person whose birthday was the same as mine, or even born in the same year. As an adult, though, I’ve come across several.

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of September 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.

It has been nearly a month since my last Genea-pourri post. My husband and I went to England and Wales where we visited with a niece and her husband, toured Stonehenge, Blenheim Palace, Salisbury Cathedral, and Old Sarum before heading to Cornwall and Wales. In Wales we had dinner with online genealogy friend, Hilary Gadsby. It was a fun trip and took me nearly 5 days to recover from jetlag!

Hilary and me in Llandudno
Genealogy
On the trip, I did do some research in two facilities in Cornwall. The first in Truro was the Family History Centre. Volunteer, Vivian, helped me at the computer and I got familiar with some Cornish record sites. Now I will join the society so I have access again. I forgot to take a photo of the place though. The second place was the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth. While my husband toured the Poldark Mine, I read books about the area and made copies of some maps. We also visited the town where some of his ancestors lived: St. Agnes.

Cornish Studies Library
Volunteered at the Contra Costa County Historical Society on Tuesday, working on entering the Finding Aid into PastPerfect. It’s a challenge now that Maxine has left for a full-time job.

Also spent three hours at the Oakland Family Search Library. It was slow, so I scanned more slides, this time continuing with the England 1975 trip on one scanner and on the other, trips to Solvang, Santa Barbara, and Disneyland on another scanner.

Portfolio work. I started over with the case study by starting from a different approach. I hope this works out better. I realized I never processed the land records I got from Davison County, South Dakota last summer and spent time abstracting and entering the data into RootsMagic. I will need some of them for the case study. I have more to do from Todd County, Minnesota, to do, too.

Blog Writing: Blog post I wrote this week:
This week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about various school records I have for some of my ancestors.

I also participated in Mondays With Myrt on September 3, showcasing my research in Cornwall and the meetup with Hilary. The program hasn’t been uploaded yet.

Other
Got together on Friday with daughter, Elizabeth, in Sebastopol, visiting a couple of apple stands and winery, and eating lunch at Handline and dinner at Ramen Gaijin.

Apple selecting & wine tasting
Had lunch with Norman’s brother, Brian and wife, Linda, at Batch and Brine in Lafayette. They were on their way to the San Francisco airport to fly to Frankfort. You can see the US Open tennis match being played behind their heads, which I was keeping an eye on.

At Batch and Brine in Lafayette
I returned to twice-weekly yoga this week and will make it a habit. During our trip, we were averaging over 10,000 steps per day. Somehow, once home, we get into our old habits of sticking around the house. I will try to get in a few walks per week. This past week, I walked to Starbucks once and to get a haircut another day. I also did a couple of bird walks, one at the marina, and one at Hidden Lakes Park.

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

Thursday, September 6, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 36: Work: Lorene Hork working for the Navy & Army

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 have written previously about my paternal aunt, Lorene Hork, who went to Japan to work for the U.S. Army. She left me a collection of the letters she wrote home from Japan and from her trip across Asia and Europe on her return home. See this post and this post.

Because she worked for the federal government, I sent for her official personnel file from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. It was simple; just send a letter with the request. I received an envelope full of photocopies—a total of 110 pages! And at no charge.

A surprise was in the packet. Lorene had also worked for the U.S. Navy at the Mare Island Naval Yard during World War II. The naval base was located in Vallejo, only about twenty miles from her home in Napa. Her cousin, Margaret Patterson, already worked there.[1]

She started in January 1942 as a probationary Record Clerk, making $1260 per year.[2] Through the four years she worked there, she had several promotions and job classifications. The Trade and Record Card gives the history:[3]

The last year and a half, she worked as a photographer in the Labor Board and Employment Office, the Badge and Identification Section.[4] She must have been taking photos for identification cards. At this time she was earning $1620 per year.

There was one surprise item found in the packet. She was suspended for three days for being absent without authority.[5] Lorene was always the fun aunt. I wonder what activity she was doing to miss work for three days.

Her efficiency rating as a photographer was “very good.” She received + marks on Presentability of work, amount of acceptable work produced, and cooperativeness.[6] I’m not surprised by the presentability mark. She was always a sharp dresser.

She resigned on 20 February 1946. The reason she gave was change of residence.[7] She did move to San Francisco after the war.

The personnel file is pretty interesting. Too bad there was no photograph of my aunt. That would have been a great bonus.



[1] “Personal History Statement,”30 Jan 1942, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.
[2] “Promotional Appointment,” Navy Yard, Mare Island, Commandant’s Office, 30 Jan 1942, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.
[3] “Trade and Record Card,” 20 Feb 1946, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.
[4] “Reassignment,” United States Navy Department, 27 Oct 1944, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.
[5] “Suspension for a period of three days,” United States Navy Department, 21 Mar 1945, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.
[6] “Report of Efficiency Rating,” Navy Yard, Mare Island, 31 Mar 1945, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.
[7] “Resignation,” Navy Department, Mare Island, 25 Feb 1946, Lorene E. Hork, Official Personnel File, NARA, National Personnel Records Office.

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 35: Back to School

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.

There is so much that can be written about school. I could write about all of my ancestors who were school teachers, starting with my grandmother, Anna M. (Sullivan) Hork. Her aunts, Helena and Margaret Gleeson were also teachers in Anaconda, Montana, and in Portland, Oregon.


I could find all of the yearbook and school photos of pupils in my family (which would be mostly the people who attended school in the 20th century).

Mt. Diablo HS Yearbook, 1950
Lela Johnston, Mt. Diablo HS, 1952

Me in 1st grade
Me in 5th grade

Newspapers covered school activities and I have a few of those items to share. The first is the school lunch menu for the week. I loved western styled beans and often traded my sack lunch with someone who had lunch money. School lunches were prepared by lunch ladies and it was always hot and tasty!

Contra Costa Times, 10/18/1964
My grandmother won sports awards at her college and the newspaper had a write up.

1914, newspaper unknown
I have collected several shots of schools attended by myself and my ancestors.

Walnut Creek Grammar School


St. John's School in Napa
Lastly, one could show some report cards of years past. It is interesting to see how classes were graded and the comments made about the pupils. Also, report cards are a great place to get signatures of the parents.


My mother's report card in 1941
 
My great-aunt's report card, 1917
This exercise will help me put together the lecture on school records. I have some great images I'll be able to use to illustrate the different kinds of records to document school life.

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