Saturday, January 6, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Best Find of 2017, and Research Challenge for 2018

Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musing has another challenge for us.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
1)  What was your best research achievement in 2017?  Tell us - show us a document, or tell us a story, or display a photograph.  Brag a bit!  You've earned it!
2)  We all have elusive ancestors.  What research problem do you want to work on in 2018?  Tell us where you want to research and what you hope to find.
3)  Put the answers in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.
2017 Finds
Oh, I wished I had kept track of all of my good finds. I’ll have to do better this year!

I found good stuff on my Gleeson, Sullivan, and Lundquist families by researching from home, researching on location in South Dakota, and by having others do research or record pulls for me at recorder’s offices, historical societies, and courthouses. Since I am using this information for my certification portfolio, I don’t want to talk about the details here yet.

I did not extend my ancestry back another generation. However, I sent away for or obtained some other nice and interesting records this past year.

1.  Personnel file for my great aunt, Beryl Johnston Russell. I wrote two blog posts about what I found.  “Beryl Johnston Russell Taylor Worked for the Feds” and “Beryl Russell Worked in Greece.”

2.  I sent away for the detailed World War II draft information on my two grandfathers and my father-in-law. These were the WWII draft cards for the young men. They are now being digitized and put online, but I also got the images of the Classification record which showed when they took the physical and were drafted.  Here is the story of William C. Hork’s card. I also received the records for Tom J. Johnston and George J. Gorrell.

3.  At the National Archives in Washington, D.C., I pulled the Homestead papers for William C. Gleeson and sister, Margaret T. Gleeson. They obtained land in Harney County, Oregon. Because I took photos, I can see any color that might be on the documents. 
Notice of publication - see the blue ink?
Here's an image of his signature:
Signature of William C. Gleeson
I also got the Civil War Pension file for Joseph W. Gorrell, the brother of Amos Gorrell, our direct ancestor.  See the all the different colors on this file jacket? There are different color inks.

Jacket - Civil War Pension file for Joseph W. Gorrell
Goals for 2018
Besides turning in my certification portfolio, I want to: 
  • organize the files I have for the Lundquist and Nilsen families so I can send them to my aunt to be interspersed with the files she already has. Before I send, I want to make sure I have scanned the important documents.
  • analyze and input into RootsMagic all of the records I collected last year.
  • scan more documents and photos.

I especially would like to find the parents of Samuel Johnston (1816-1879), from somewhere in South Carolina.

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


  1. I hope you will continue to share your certification progress. It seems to always be an interesting path. As for "Best Finds," I set up a blog post dated to the end of 2017 early last year titled just that. Each time I made a fun discovery, I added a blurb about it to that post. I loved it because I didn't have to go digging back through the year to find them.

    1. I do write about the certification process in my Genea-pourri posts, but I don't write in too much detail.

      I like the idea of putting your finds into a post. I could do this with an open word doc, too. I'm working on 52 ancestors this year--may be a good place for finds, as well.


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