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.