Monday, December 31, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of December 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
After Christmas, I decided to work on family research by taking care of some back-logged items, entering them into RootsMagic, and renaming the files as appropriate. I worked for three days entering nearly 200 deed records from Kaufman and Rockwall Counties in Texas that I had obtained from the Family History Library back in 2015. These deeds are for the Lancaster family, with Polly and Butler families thrown in. I discovered some interesting information on George W. Lancaster by transcribing the deeds. More on that in a separate blog post.

Blog Writing: I wrote the following blog posts this week:

 Cert Support Group: We did not meet and have no plans to meet until February, due to a multitude of commitments in January. Some of us will get together during SLIG in Salt Lake City.

Other Activities
My daughter, Elizabeth, came to stay with us on Christmas Eve and stayed through to Thursday. It was such a nice visit with her. We made potato soup (the recipe from the Swedish cookbook) on Christmas Eve and played Yam-Slam again. We “called” our younger daughter, Margaret, who lives in New York City, and video-chatted with her while playing our game. It was already Christmas there!

On Christmas, we opened some presents and ate pancakes and sausage. Later, we took in a movie (the really late show) of Mary Poppins Returns, which we all enjoyed very much. And then at home we watched the first episode of Crown. It was nearly 3 am when we got to bed!

We did a little shopping on Wednesday and Thursday, tried a new Mexican restaurant, and then Elizabeth was on her way home after my ukulele lesson. It was a very nice visit.

I also set up and filled the bird feeders on my porch and am enjoying the arrival of finches, nuthatches, titmouses, Nutall’s Woodpeckers, and warblers. Even a jay was trying to get some of the peanuts but the feeder is not designed for them.



 Happy New Year!

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

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Make One Genealogy-Related Resolution/Goal for 2019


Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has his yearly resolution challenge:

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

1)  Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions, or state Goals and Objectives, for genealogy and family history research in 2019?  If so, tell us about them.

2)  If not, then make ONE resolution, or state one goal, for your genealogy research that you are determined to keep during 2019.  We'll check on progress toward that resolution/goal during the year in SNGF (if I remember!).

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a Comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook status post.  Leave a link in Comments to any post you make.

My 2018 Resolution
I did make a resolution last year and it was to submit my portfolio to the Board for Certification of Genealogists and I did fulfill the goal. Not only that, I was certified as well.

My 2019 Resolution
My goal for this year is to work on the book about my father’s ancestors, including Hork, Sievert, Sullivan, Gleeson, and Tierney families. I wrote about it in my last 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks post. The previous book took a couple of years, so unless I work on it daily, it might not be complete before the end of the year, but I’m going to make the effort.

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

Thursday, December 27, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 52: Resolution – “My Goals for 2019”

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.

Now that my energy is no longer focused on finishing my BCG portfolio, I need a new project to work on. In these past three months I have been in a fog, wandering from one genealogy activity to another, trying to find something to occupy my time.

I should organize my files. I have a lot of old paper notes and photocopies that could be scanned or tossed. I have files from a book I wrote about my husband’s family that should be culled and donated along with the files put together by Aunt Bernice and cousin Terry to the California State Archives. I also have slides from early vacations that should be scanned and had started that process, but scanning slides is very time-consuming. It takes much longer to scan than photos because of the need to do it at a higher resolution.

This past week, we had a celebration for my brother’s birthday, and I was sitting with my nephew describing the newspaper articles I found about my mother’s activity with the Junior Woman’s Club in Pittsburg. I showed him the blog post showing my mother pictured with Louis Armstrong. Link to the post is here. He got all excited about the articles and said I should write up a book about the family. He was even willing to put money towards it. I was touched by that. Finally someone who was genuinely interested in the family and the family stories!

So my goal this year will to be putting together the story of the ancestors of my father, William Joseph Hork. I’m starting with him because I had written an earlier book about some of his Sullivan and Gleeson relatives. I have collected a lot more information about those families and wanted to update the book anyway, so I’ll take on a different focus so it’ll be a totally new book. In the meantime, preparing for the book, I’ll be organizing the files for those families—so two projects in one!

2019 Goals
**Organize the Nilsen family files to donate
**Organize Hork, Sullivan, Gleeson, & Tierney files to prepare for writing
**Work on a book about William J Hork’s ancestors

I think these are very doable goals!

Entrance to 2019 Goals!

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

Monday, December 24, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of December 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
The long, almost three month wait is over. I heard on the 22nd of December from the Board for Certification of Genealogists that I have become a Certified Genealogist®. It was the best Christmas present this year. I’ve written all about the certification process here.

I was ill with the flu part of the week and so did not work on genealogy much. I continued working on my own family research by the continuation of the Johnston line.

Blog Writing: I wrote the following blog posts this week:
  • Week 51: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks about Muriel Gleeson putting together a photo album for the Gleeson & Tierney families for the theme of Nice.

Cert Peer Group: Again we had five of us getting caught up on what we’d been doing this past week. We also discussed the chapter in the new ProGen book on Crafting Family Histories. We all wished there had been more substantive examples in this chapter, especially for further reading.

Webinars: I attended the following webinars:
  • Melissa Barker: “Disaster Planning for the Genealogist: Safeguarding Your Genealogical Records”
  • Nancy Peters: “Proving Identity and Kinship Using the GPS: Finding a Freedman's Family”
  • Michael Strauss: “That Splendid Little War: Researching Your Spanish American War Ancestors”

Other Activities

Christmas party with my German classmates at our instructor, Nancy Grabow’s house. We had potluck and then spent nearly two hours speaking German with two native Germans! It was great fun. I brought two dishes: Rouladen and cooked purple cabbage, so Terry would have a vegetarian dish to eat.


I was supposed to attend two other parties, one with the Friends of Alhambra Creek at Jane’s house and the other at the Oakland Family History Center, but I was sick with the flu. I am sorry to have missed both. I had enough energy by Friday to work my desk duty day at the California Genealogical Society’s library, however no one came in.

Sunday, Elaine and I, along with Jamie and her father, took in the performance at Armando’s in Martinez by the Lowell Ensemble. The four musicians played piano, flute, cello, and oboe. I volunteered to play bells during Sleigh Ride. What fun! It was a lovely time listening to classical and Christmas music with other like-minded people.



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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Becoming a Certified Genealogist

I became a Certified Genealogist® officially on December 22, 2018 and will hold the certification for five years. I was so excited when I got the news. I submitted on October 5 and waited (not so patiently) over two and half months. What helped, was I started working on another project: looking for the father of Samuel Johnston.

To become certified, I had to submit a seven-part portfolio to the Board for the Certification of Genealogists that demonstrated my ability to follow the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).[1] It really was the culmination of many years of research practice, several years of education, and then putting together the portfolio. This portfolio was then judged by three competent genealogists who use a rubrics to determine whether I have met the standards of the GPS.

Education was a major factor in helping me prepare for certification. I had started conducting genealogy research as a self-taught researcher. I read The Source and attended presentations by top speakers such as Elizabeth Shown Mills and Thomas W. Jones. Next, I participated in an 18-week study group called ProGen. We studied the book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills,[2] and were given monthly assignments, which we then turned in and were critiqued by our fellow classmates.[3] This was the real beginning for me. It showed me that I could work at the professional level.

Then I began to take week-long courses at genealogy institutes. There are several and I have attended classes at three of them:
  • Salt Lake Institutes of Genealogy (SLIG)[4]
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)[5]
  • Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)[6]

These week-long institutes allow for deep study in a single topic. I took classes in researching at archives, advanced German research, reading German handwriting, using the law in genealogy research, and studying women and children. But the two courses that helped most were two held at SLIG: the "Advanced Genealogical Methods," coordinated by Thomas W. Jones, and "You Be the Judge," coordinated by Jeanne Bloom.

In the Jones class, I worked at solving tough genealogical problems, and although I did not always have the right answer the next day, I learned a lot about to approach the different problems.  In Bloom’s course, we studied the Genealogy Standards and each of the rubrics by which the judges grade the portfolio. The main point I learn was I did not have to be perfect. The rubrics really helped hone in what the product should look like.

I went on the clock two months after the You Be the Judge class. “On the clock” means that I submitted an application to the BCG and paid the application fee. I would have one year to submit my portfolio. I went on the clock at the same time as two other friends, who had just completed their ProGen course. Later they invited me to participate with their cert-peer study group, where they discussed their progress over the week. It was what I needed to be accountable.

Still, when the year was up, I was not finished. I had to submit an extension and pay another fee.

What helped next was taking the Certification Discussion Group (CDG) presented by Jill Morelli, CG.[7] It was a seven week online course that broke down the certification process by breaking down each requirement. Seeing portfolio elements along with judges’ comments was the most helpful. Following this course, I felt I could do this. I just needed to do the work.

Six months later, I submitted.

I want to thank the following board-certified genealogists for their assistance in my education. Their instruction is much appreciated.
  • Thomas W. Jones, CG
  • Judy G. Russell, CG
  • Jeanne Bloom, CG
  • Warren Bittner, CG
  • Barbara Mathews, CG
  • Jill Morelli, CG

I do hope to live up to being a Certified Genealogist.

Lisa S. Gorrell, CG




[1] Board for the Certification of Genealogists, https://bcgcertification.org/process/portfolio/
[2] Elizabeth Shown Mills, ed., Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001.
[3] For the ProGen Study Group, see: https://www.progenstudy.org/.
[4] For SLIG, see: https://ugagenealogy.org/eventListings.php?nm=484#er50
[5] For GRIP, see: http://www.gripitt.org/
[6] For IGHR, see: https://ighr.gagensociety.org/
[7] The Certification Discussion Group, https://thecdgseries.wordpress.com/the-series/

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

Friday, December 21, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 51: Nice: Muriel Put Together the Wonderful Photo Album

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.

When I think of someone in my family who was nice, the one who was the nicest was my first cousin twice removed, Muriel Gilbert. If it hadn't been for her, I wouldn’t have this wonderful photo album of the Gleeson family that was so nicely labeled.



Now, the album has no out-right mention that she put it together, but there are clues. For one, in the table of contents, she references people by the relationship to her. Photo no. 9 has three young women: “Mother, Aunt Kate Whalen, Aunt Anna.”  [See photo below]



Secondly, the way she created the “M” letters is consistent with another booklet I have that she made, called the Birthday Book. In that book, she kept track of important birth, marriage, and death dates by month. In January, it’s very clear that she made the “M” in the same manner as the photo album.



I loved that she described the relationship of each person to her. It helped me sort out who the people were. I had not heard of many of them and began researching in Carleton County, Ontario, Canada census and church records for them.



I received the photobook very early in my genealogy research of the family and it might have come from my aunt, Virginia, or it came from my dad’s cousin, Margaret, who received it after Muriel’s death. I'm very sorry that I didn't document it's source completely. Anyway, it was such a joy to receive and I’ve bought an archival box for it, so it will be kept safe.

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of December 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
Family Research. I was too busy this week to very much of my own genealogy. I am still working on documenting Samuel Johnston’s live in Mississippi and Texas.

Blog Writing: I wrote three blog posts this week:

Cert Support Group: Five of us caught up on what we’d been doing and then discussed the chapter in the new ProGen book on writing proof arguments and case studies.

Monday Morning Meeting: A small group met this week and I was able to share the photocopies of my mother in newspaper articles about the Pittsburg Junior Woman’s Club.

Webinars: I attended the following webinars:
  • Citations for Beginners
  • 101 Ways to Design a Genealogy Chart

For Client Work, I’ve had a few record retrievals at the County Recorder’s office and the Superior Court Clerk’s office.

Other Activities

History Center: I continued uploading items from our special collections to the Online Archive of California. We have 76 collections entered so far. I’m in the “Rs.”

Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society: The annual meeting was Friday and I was elected to the position of Secretary. I jumped right into the fire by taking minutes at the Board Meeting following the regular meeting. It will be interesting, as they do things differently than they did 18 years ago, the last time I was a member and held the job.

Family: We had two celebrations this weekend. On Saturday night, my sister, Sabrina, hosted a “sister” birthday party for our sister, Renee and my daughter, Elizabeth. It’s always a fun time together with my sisters and their nieces. On Sunday, we celebrated my brother, Jonathan’s 60th birthday at The Spaghetti Factory in Concord, planned by my sister, Danna. It was a joyous weekend of family fun. Unfortunately, no photos were taken at the restaurant.



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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 50: Naughty

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.

This week we are to write about the theme “naughty.” I had a hard time thinking of someone who had broken the law or done something wrong. I then thought about Frederick Henry Davey, my husband’s great-great-grandfather. He was married three times. His first marriage to Matilda “Tillie” Wollenweber produced four children in five years, and then Tillie died in 1885 of malarial fever.[1]

He married a second time to Tillie’s sister, Julia Wollenweber probably soon after Matilda’s death.[2] He was not found in any records with Julia, however, their son, George T. Davey, named them as his parents in 1920 on his marriage application. By 1892, she married Jacob Ettel.[3] George was the only child named Davey in the 1900 household.[4]

Fred married a third time to Angeline McDonald on 16 Mar 1898.[5]  However, he was not living with the family in 1900. Angeline was living with her children from a previous marriage and Edward Davey, her step-son. Angeline stated she was married.

No other records of Fred have been found until his death in 1915 in Los Angeles, California. He is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in an unmarked grave.[6]

He was a good pattern-maker, but also liked the drink too much to hold a job and keep a marriage. Few online records have been found for him after 1880. It might be possible to search in newspapers for any reference, or if actually localities are known, court or police records.

His daughter, Pearl, was very active in the Women’s Temperance Union (WTU) probably because of her father’s drinking problem. She and her brothers had unhappy childhoods, being shuttle from family member to family member, and also spending time in a children’s home.





[1] Evening News, Nov 4, 1885, p.4, c.3.
[2] The marriage record has not been found. They had one son, George T., born 14 July 1889. He named his parents Fred Davey and Julia Willemweber.
[3] Clark County, Indiana, Marriages, Bk P, p. 415, Julia Davey to Jacob Ettle, 1892.
[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Indiana, Clark Co, ED 8, sht 16, line 20, Jacob Ettel, digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com), NARA T623.
[5] Jasper County, Missouri, Marriage License, Jefferson City, MO, USA, p. 267, Davey-Grace, 1898, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 27 Apr 2012).
[6] State of California, Dept. of Health Services, Death Certificate, Frederick Henry Davey, 15-001219. Also 2009 letter from the Odd Fellows Cemetery stating there was no tombstone, but he was buried in Grave Number 12, Lot 4, Avenue 17.

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

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.