Tuesday, January 2, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 1: Start

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’sSouthern 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 first week is about “Starting.” How did I get started in this ever addicting activity? Susan Swindell, who was my two daughter’s babysitter, took a yearly trip to Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. I couldn’t understand how she could spend six days in a library doing genealogy research from the time it opened until it closed.

So she took me to Sutro Library in San Francisco. This library is part of the California State Library but has resources that are great for genealogists. At the time it was in its own building, but now it is on a floor of the library at San Francisco State University.

There she showed me how to look up census records on microfilm. I started with the 1920 census, as it was the latest census we could view at the time. This was in the 1990s; we didn’t have online census images yet.

I scrolled through the images on the microfilm of the soundex, and suddenly I found my grandfather, William Cyril Hork. He was listed as Cyril Hork but I just knew that was him living with his mother, a brother, and a sister. I got the census roll next and made a copy of the actual census page, as you can see here.

1920 U.S. federal census, Ravalli Co, Montana, Hamilton, ED 182, sht 12b, family 315, Julia Hork.
I next looked for him in the 1910 soundex and then census records until I found him living with his mother, and brother and sisters. 
1910 U.S. federal census, Ravalli Co, Montana, Hamilton, ED 86, sht 19b, family 405, Julia A. Hork.

At the end of the day, I told Susan that I wanted to go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City next year. That was like 25 years ago and I'm still deep into this. I manage to spend some part of every day working on genealogy.

I really loved the research, especially the hunt. It was always the part of research l liked in college: finding the information, but I was never good at writing the paper. Doing this year-long mean will change that.

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


  1. Nice to see what triggered you to start researching Lisa. I am also doing the 52 Ancestors and hope I manage to do all 52 posts. Good Luck. I am looking forward to seeing what others write for this.

    1. Thank you, Hilary! I think it's a good project that will get a lot of people writing about their families.


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