Monday, June 29, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of June 22-28, 2020

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.

I have completed fifteen weeks of semi- “lock down” due to Covid-19. I left the house this past week to work at the CCCHS History Center, walks to the mailbox, and a yoga class in a park. Otherwise, I met people on Zoom.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:
Blogs posted this past week:

Study Groups Attended:   
Many online meetings again this week:
  • Our Monday Morning Group met without me as I had another meeting to attend. When I got to the meeting, there were twelve people there.  
  • I met with Jacqueline for our weekly hour talk. We discussed Survey Monkey and Father’s Day.
  • I managed to remember to attend the Certification Discussion Group meeting on Wednesday and heard how the latest CG accomplished her portfolio.
  • Three of us Amigos met on Wednesday and each had some good news to share.  
  • Three of us were on for the Thursday evening discussion group. We’re looking forward to our institute class at MAAGI.
  • My Friday Cert Discussion group met with five of us. We discussed the GRIP program from that week and then discussed the Q article.

Webinars Attended:
  • Utilizing HaithiTrust by Colleen Robledo Greene (Legacy Family Tree Webinars)
  • Northern California Genealogy by Sean Conley (San Mateo County Genealogical Society)

Client Work/Presentations:
I have work to do for an upcoming project and signed the paperwork. I should be getting the beginning documents on Monday.

Volunteer Work:
I attended the Distance Learning committee meeting for CGS this week. It will be great once we have a nice number of people involved to make the work load light.

I also put in a full day at the History Center for CCCHS. I worked on entering new donations into PastPerfect and putting away what I could (clippings, postcards, photos). This coming week I will work on boxing them up and writing finding aids for them.

Own Work:
I continued working on early Beaver County tax records, writing up what I find and analyzing and comparing these records with other records such as census. I think I have discovered the correct parents for James Gorrell, instead of the father listed in a little book written in 1930. I want to do more work on it.

Other:
I dug up some California Rose plants from the Senior Center on Monday to transplant, but it looks like only one plant might make it. I think I was supposed to do it differently. My lettuce plants that came from trimmings off of store-bought lettuce is growing great in the planter box as well as some seeds I threw in. The squash plant is growing slowly.

Our 2021 NMRA convention meeting on Thursday, where I took minutes, went well. I think more things are happening and it looks positive we’ll have a convention.

I found a new beaver mural in Martinez on our walk.



Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Time Machine

It's Saturday Night - 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 


Our mission from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing is to:

1) Determine which event in your ancestral history that you would love to be a witness to via a Time Machine.  Assume that you could observe the event, but not participate in it.


2) Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post
.

Like Randy, I have many brick walls and I have written before about one of my biggest I’d like to solve. You can see here, along with more links to previous posts about my trials and tribulations.

I would love to discover the birth parents of my 3X-great-grandfather, Samuel Johnston, who was born about 1816 in South Carolina. I am hoping that in the process, I would learn which county this happened in, so I can hope to continue the line further back.

I have been stuck in Yalobusha County, Mississippi where the family appeared in the 1850 census. Most of the children had been born somewhere in Alabama. His wife, Elizabeth McCormack (1814-1891), was also born in South Carolina, and my hope is she came from the same place as Samuel.

Burned county in Texas really thwarted my research, where I might have had some clues.

So, please, Time Machine, may I go back in time to see the birth of Samuel?

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Happy 9th Blogiversary!


It’s been nine years since I started this blog. It is actually my second blog. I had started Mam-ma’s Southern Family in six months earlier, but it was too constricting writing only about one line. I needed someplace to write about my many other lines as well as my husband’s line, thus the start of My Trails into the Past.

In the past year, I have written 138 posts covering several topics:
  • Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: 38 posts. I did not always find the theme inviting.
  • 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 35 posts, with the rest on Mam-ma’s Southern Family.
  • Monday Genea-pouri: 52 posts, one for each week. I write mostly about my genealogy activities but also about other activities, and I try to post a few photos I have taken of nature during the week. This spring, this theme has been the place to record how Coronavirus has affected our activities.
  • Family stories: 12 posts about the Gorrell, Hutson, Davey, and Hork families.

I have been writing more non-themed posts this past year, focusing on research I have done. I wrote five posts this spring about my father-in-law’s service during World War II and have more planned. Quite a few of the 52 Ancestors posts are also about my research.

I do enjoy writing these posts and hope to continue at least on the same pace.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 26, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks (2020) – Week 26: Middle—Life of Olevia Jane (Jones) Johnston

This is my third year 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 have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

Olevia Jane Jones, my fourth great-grandmother, was born 22 February 1859.[1] Her parents were Benjamin W. Jones and Amanda A. Haley.[2] She was the fifth and middle child of nine.

There is no census that lists all of the children together. In 1860, she was the youngest of five.[3]

  B.W. Jones, 38, male, farmer, VA, $2842, $8323
  AA Jones, 31, F, MS 
  MF Jones, 13 F, MS
  WA Jones, 11, male, MS
  TW Jones, 9, male, MS
  EB Jones, 5, F, MS
  OJ Jones, 1, F, MS
  David Gillman, 20, male, dressier, MS

By 1870, her father is gone, having died sometime and someplace during the Civil War, and only eight children are enumerated, as the eldest, Mary, having married in 1868.[4]

   Amanda Jones, 43, F, W, keeping house, $200 personal, MS
   Walter A, 21, M, W, farm laborer, MS
   Thomas W, 19, M, W, farm laborer, MS
   Bettie E 13, F, W, at home, MS
   Oliva J, 11, F, W, at home, MS
   Columbus 9, M, W, MS
   Laura C, 7, F, W, MS
   Ellen S, 7, F, W, MS
   Mattie M, 5, F, W, MS 

The story from a Johnston grandson was about his maternal grandmother making the trek to Texas. 

“Her husband was a physician with the Confederate Army. He was stricken with an illness and died during the siege. His widow and six small children, five girls and one boy, left Tennessee by wagon, headed for Central Texas. One of the horses died enroute, leaving them stranded. Grandmother Jones cooked up provisions for the children, gave them a stern warning to stay together until she returned. She rode away on the remaining animal, hoping to find help somewhere in the country-side in order that the journey might be resumed. She met a stranger, told him her story and was cheered by his answer. He told her to go back to her children and help would be on the way. The next morning she awoke to find a horse tied to the wagon that would replace the dead animal.”[5]

It is unknown at this time when Benjamin died, but the last child was born in November 1865, making his death between nine months before the birth and the end of the war. Olevia would have been about six years old, and Amanda clearly had very young children with her on her trek to Texas.

This brings up the question of what brought her to Texas? She must have known someone who was already there. She had two older brothers, William and Thomas Jefferson Haley, one younger brother, John Haley, and one sister Mary Ann, who married John B. Thomas. Perhaps one of them had moved to Texas. The Haley family has not been researched forward yet. Something to add to the Research-To-Do list.

By 1880, Amanda and family were living in Comanche County, Texas, and Amanda was living with her son-in-law and daughter, George W. and Bettie E. Knox. Her two youngest daughters were living with her. Her other children were neighbors.[6] See this post on the 1880 census here.

Olevia married Ruben Mack Johnston on 23 December 1879.[7] She lived with him and his children from a previous marriage. They were enumerated two households from her mother, Amanda.[8]

Johnston, M. Reubin, w, m, self, 39 yrs, mar, farmer, Alabama, SC SC
J. Olevia, wife, mar, 21, keeping house, MS, VA MS
E.M. Martha, dau, female, 8, s, at home, TX, AL, TX
D Lola, dau, 6, s, at home, TX, AL, TX
C Ocia, dau, 2, s, at home, TX, AL, TX

Ruben and Olevia had thirteen children together. Here is the household from the 1900 census.[9]
Two more sons were born in 1902 and 1904.

JOHNSON, Reubin M.  H, w, m, Apr 1841, 59, mar 32 yr, TX, AR/TN, farmer, rent
                   Jane, wife, w, f, Feb 1859, 40, mar 32, 11/11, TX, TX/TX
                   Rufus A., son, w, m, Oct 1880, 19, sing, Al, SC/SC, day school,
                   Mellisa P., dau, w, f, Jul 1882, 17, sing, MS, VA/MS
                   Robert L., son, w, m, Feb 1884, 16, TX, AL/MS, day laborer,
                   Thomas M, son, w, m, Jul 1885, sing, 14, TX, AL/MS, at school,
                   Florence E., dau, w, f, Mar 1887, 13, sing, TX, AL/MS, at school,
                   Reubin H., son, w, m, Aug 1888, 11, sing, TX, AL/MS, at school,
                   Edna M., dau, w, f, Oct 1890, 9, sing, TX, AL/MS
                   Woody A., son, w, m, Oct 1892, 8, sing, TX, AL/MS
                   Lila E., dau, w, f, Dec 1894, 6, sing, TX, AL/MS
                   Annie B., dau, w, f, Jul 1896, 4, sing, TX, AL/MS
                   Orial, dau, w, f, Dec 1898, 1, TX, AL/MS

Olevia died at 55 years of age on 11 December 1914.[10] She died of apoplexy, which according to online sources, is the sudden death that began with a sudden loss of consciousness, possibly due to a stroke.[11]

No obituary was found in the Comanche Chief.[12]

She was buried at Hazel Dell cemetery.[13] Her stone reads “Olevia, wife of R. M. Johnston, born Feb. 22, 1859, died Dec. 11, 1914, Resting in hopes of a glorious resurrection.”

A photo of the family from about 1900 was printed in a later issue of the Comanche Chief.





[1] For birthdate, see Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com), Olevia Jane Jones Johnston (22 Feb 1859–11 Dec 1914), memorial no. 67319213, citing Hazeldell Cemetery, Hazeldell, Comanche Co., Texas, USA ; Maintained by Lisa Gorrell (contributor 47484703).
[2] 1860 U.S. census, Rankin Co, Mississippi, pop. sched., Brandon, p 74, household 482, fam 501, BW Jones, digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com); citing NARA M653, roll 590. For mother’s maiden name, see Rankin Co, Mississippi, Marriage Records, v. 1, p. 285, 1845, Jones-Haley; FHL film 879737.
[3] 1860 U.S. census, Rankin Co, MS, BW Jones.
[4] 1870 U.S. census, Hays Co, Texas, pop. sched., Precinct No. 2, San Marcos P.O., p. 215, dwelling 40, family 23, Amanda Jones, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com): citing NARA M593, roll 1590. For Mary’s marriage, see Hays County, Texas, Marriage Records, v. A, p. 205, 1868, Henry F Wright to Mary Frances Jones; FHL film 956,633.
[5] Jewell Dukes Huddleston, “Wagon Wheels keep on turnin’,” Comanche Chief, 29 Nov 1979, “O.D. (Pig) Johnston of Gustine,” clipping, Johnston Family Archives; privately held by Lisa Gorrell.
[6] 1880 U.S. census, Comanche Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 30, p 95a, fam 170, W. George Knox, digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com); NARA T9, roll 1297.
[7] "Texas, Comanche County Records, 1858-1955,” > Vital Records > Marriage records, vol. B-1, 1876-1880 > image 301 > RM Johnston to Miss Olevia Jones; digital images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org); citing FHL dig film 4478754.
[8] 1880 U.S. census, Comanche Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 30, p 95a, fam 172, M. Ruben Johnston, digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com); NARA T9, roll 1297.
[9] 1900 U.S. census, Comanche, Texas, Justice Prec 3, ED 30, sht 1b, household 12, fam 12, Reubin M Johnson, digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com); citing NARA T623, roll 1622.
[10] Comanche County, Texas, Death Records, Comanche County Clerk, digital images, FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org), vol. 2 (1909-1917), p. 130, 1914, Mrs. Olivia Johnston.
[11] “Aplopexy,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apoplexy).
[12] The weekly issue of The Comanche Chief & Pioneer Exponent were checked for the date of December 11. December 18 issue is missing from The Portal to Texas History website, and a letter from the Comanche Public Library said the newspaper was missing from their site.
[13] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com), memorial# 67319213, Hazel Dell Cemetery, Comanche Co Texas, Olevia J Johnston.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of June 15-21, 2020

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.

I have completed fourteen weeks of semi- “lock down” due to Covid-19. I left the house this past week to work at the CCCHS History Center, get blood work done at Kaiser, and have a heart monitor fitted. I did a couple of walks, but otherwise, I met people on Zoom.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:
Blogs posted this past week: 

Study Groups Attended:   
Many online meetings again this week:
  • Our Monday Morning Group met for ninety minutes, with twelve members. There was lots of sharing about websites, research, and good finds. We also answered questions.  
  • I met with Jacqueline for our weekly hour talk. We discussed the new class we’re taking called Government Records 101 from Paula Stewart Warren. It’s an online pre-recorded class and each lesson is opened up on Fridays.
  • I attended the NGSQ Study Group on Tuesday morning.    
  • Three of us Amigos met on Wednesday.  
  • Four of us were on for the Thursday evening discussion group.
  • My Friday Cert Discussion group met with five of us. There wasn’t much to discuss this week as some were not ready to discuss the Q article.
  • Attended the Military Discussion Group on Saturday. It is interesting to hear the stories of the other participants and offer suggestions when one can.

Webinars Attended:
  • On the Clock: Demystifying BCG Portfolio, Jill Morelli
  • 7 Proven Strategies-Identifying Slave Ownership & Reconstructing Families, Janis Minor Forte
  • Bridging the Gap: Finding Ancestors in the United States Between 1790 and 1840, D. Joshua Taylor

Client Work/Presentations:
I did no client work or presentations this week.

Volunteer Work:
I took minutes for the Contra Costa County Historical Society on Thursday, and volunteered at the History Center on Tuesday, taking care of a couple of queries.

Own Work:
This week in my searches on Ancestry and Fold3 for Government Records 101 class, I found some Draft Registrations for Norman’s Lundquist line. Some were WWI Draft and some for WWII Draft. These were for Carl O. Anderson, Carl Arnold Quist, and Henry Leonard Lundquist. I love the nice color images of the WWII Draft cards.

I am also working on the pre-work for the MAAGI (Midwest African American Genealogy Institute) class I’m taking in July. My track is IB: Methods and Strategies for Slave-Era Research. We have several podcasts to watch and documents from the Southern Claims Commission to view. There might be some articles to read, too. We had a Zoom training meeting, explaining how the class would go in Zoom and how to use Google Classroom. I also found out the class schedule, with the first class beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT (which translates to 0530 my time). Ugh, if I had known, I might have skipped the course. I will have to set the alarm at 5 am.

On Sunday, I  worked on early Beaver County tax records, preparing to write up a bio on James Gorrell and his sons, Amos, James, Samuel, Thomas, John, Joseph, and Jesse. James Gorrell doesn’t appear in deed or probate records. All I can do is speculate how the land he owned was distributed after his death based on the tax records.

Other:
I was feeling poorly this week and called the advice nurse, who had the substitute doctor call me, as my physician was on vacation. She ordered blood work, an EKG, and a 24-hour heart monitoring. By the time I got the monitor on Thursday, I was feeling better and didn’t really have the previous weird symptoms. Blood and EKG were normal. The monitor probably will be, too.  

I did some early morning walks, the first to walk up to see the progress of the John Muir Elementary School rebuild. The old school is completely gone, and is scheduled to reopen this fall (if they have school in-person).

Both daughters arranged for a video chat with their dad and we spent over an hour talking with Elizabeth and Margaret. It was nice seeing their faces and we should do this more often.

The weather was warm and breezy but birds came to the feeder as I watched from the front porch.








Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Father's Work History

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


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

1)  Sunday, 19 June, is Father's Day.  Let's celebrate by writing a blog post about our father, or another significant male ancestor (e.g., a grandfather).


2)  What was your father's occupation?  What jobs did he have throughout his life?  Do you know his work history?


3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post.

The majority of the time, my father worked in supermarkets as a produce clerk or produce manager. He worked for several different stores but the longest were for LoRay Market and Safeway.

The LoRay store in Walnut Creek was only a few blocks away, but he always drove, primarily because he started work at 5ish. This gave him time to put out all of the produce that was removed from the shelves and put into cold storage refrigerators. I think this was before they created display cases with refrigeration. Today, they are kept cool and have automatic watering systems. I remember my father using a small, narrow, hose to wash down the vegetables while in the displays.


In high school, my friend Beth and I would stop by the store to get an apple to eat for a snack. Sometimes we bought day-old donuts from the bakery for 5 cents. By this time, I think he was the produce manager.

He also brought home tired fruit and vegetables for us to eat. My mother would make jam from old strawberries. We would get the outer cuttings from lettuce and old shriveled carrots and celery to feed our goat and rabbits.

One of the things he did for the store was make the weekly ad signs that went in the front window. He had large Magic Markers in black, blue, and red, and would write up the various items that would be on sale and its price, such as Corn Flakes 4 for a $1, or Lettuce 2 for 29¢. Remember when stores all had large windows in front?

Later, he became a buyer for the store and left the house even earlier (like 3 am) to go to the produce market in Oakland to make purchases. He worked in the company office in Concord and I remember visiting there a few times. LoRay was bought out by Ralph’s Market and he worked for them for a few years and then was let go.

Once he had a fruit stand in Hayward. He would get the produce from the markets in Oakland and then sell them at his stand. When I was locked out from my job at BART in 1979, I worked some with him. I don’t know how long he had the stand.


Luckily, he was able to get a job with Safeway Stores and rejoined the Retail Clerks Union. He worked for them until his retirement in 1990. Here is a photo of my Dad from an ad for Bon Appetit, an upscale store that Safeway owned.

Bill is on the right

From an interview I did with my dad, I learned about his early jobs working at Mel’s Service Station (Flying A) in Concord, as a gofer for Fitzpatrick Chevrolet also in Concord, and on weekends as a “push starter” for midget racers at the race track in Pacheco.

I always thought that the produce displays where my dad worked always were so neat and orderly--just as he was.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Thomas N. Davey Passport Gives Confirmation About Arrival Ship

Previously I had discovered a possible ship on which the Thomas & Mary Davey family arrived to the United States. Read about it here.

The conflicting problem in the above post, was the family was recorded as Nichols and Thomas was not with them.

This past week, I discovered some new evidence. The oldest son, Thomas N. Davey, made several trips across the Atlantic to visit family and friends in England. In 1915, he obtained a passport to make the three-month travel and I found the passport application on Ancestry.[1]

These passports are great for giving valuable information about naturalized citizens. He swore he was born at Saint Agnes, England on or about 7 November 1933. He emigrated to the United States on board the Ocean Queen from London on or about 5 February 1852. He had resided in the U.S. for 43 years, and in Carthage, Missouri from 1872-1911. He also stated he was naturalized at Carthage on 26 September 1891.



At the time of his application, he was 79 years old, stood five feet nine inches tall, with a high forehead, gray eyes, large nose, gray hair, light complexion, and a full beard.



In checking back with the first ship list that was found, it turns out to be the exact ship and the date is off by one day. Here I have now direct evidence that the family came aboard the Ocean Queen in 1852. How they were listed under the Nichols name is still a mystery. I also do not know who the Mathew Nichols the family was traveling with. He was either a family member or a friend entrusted to bring Thomas’ wife and children to America. And when did Thomas Davey arrive?

The bonus: the photo on this passport is much clearer. It’s amazing that a seventy-nine-year-old would travel aboard, but what is more amazing is he did it again in 1921 when he was eighty-five!



[1] "U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database & images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), Thomas N. Davey, no. 5137, 26 July 1915; citing NARA M1490, roll 0261, Ancestry images 66 & 71.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of June 8-14, 2020

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.

I have completed thirteen weeks of semi- “lock down” due to Covid-19. I left the house this past week to work at the CCCHS History Center and to have an eye doctor appointment. I also went to the meadow to do my weekly phenology study and took walks to the mailbox with my husband. Otherwise, I’m meeting people on Zoom.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:
Blogs posted this past week: My post last week was chosen as one of the three highlighted in the 52 Ancestors weekly email. That will make three times this year!

Study Groups Attended:   
Many online meetings again this week:
  • Our Monday Morning Group met for ninety minutes, with fifteen members. There was lots of sharing about land records and we discussed Ancestry DNA and how to tag matches. It was great that Yvonne got on and could hear us.  
  • I met with Jacqueline for our weekly hour talk about the crazy wind from the weekend, the books we’re reading, and the webinars we have watched.    
  • All of us 4 Amigos met on Wednesday for more catching up. We spoke about CGS distance learning progress, Stewart’s first ProGen meeting, and locality guides.
  • Four of us were on for the Thursday evening discussion group. We spoke about a lot of topics, including getting vital and military records.
  • My Friday Cert Discussion group met with six of us. We discussed SLIG going virtual, how we’ll discuss our NGSQ article next week, and our topic the following week.

Webinars Attended:
  • “The New York Gateway: Immigration, Emigration, and Migration, by Jane E Wilcox.
  • “Finding What You Need and Making the Most of What you Find,” by Pam Vestal.

Client Work/Presentations:
I presented the Introduction to German Research to the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (LAGS) on Zoom on Monday evening. They only had about nineteen people attend. Most of the attendees though were German researchers.

I am looking at my various genealogy presentations to find places I can add examples showing people of color. I had started doing this in my most recent presentations, but I need to go back and update the older ones and add new images and database examples where appropriate.

Volunteer Work:
I attended the Sacramento German Genealogy Society board of director’s meeting on Tuesday morning. Next month I’ll be taking the minutes as I have been elected to the board and volunteered to be secretary. Rick has since sent me information about the job. Thankfully, he is letting me take on various aspects a little at a time. He is remaining on the board, so there will be two of us who can take minutes if I’m gone during one of the meetings.

I also spent three hours at the Contra Costa County Historical Society’s History Center doing my volunteer gig. We opened up for volunteers this week and there were four of us plus Priscilla. She showed me the huge collection we received from the county library that included many books on various topics of California history, subject and city files, microfilm, and maps. We have it spread out in several rooms. If we decide to keep the books, I’ll create a finding aid to put at the Online Archive of California so people will know they can use our library to research them. I also had some back-logged queries to work on.

I met with two directors from the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society to work out logistics for getting our society up to speed with online content and using Zoom for webinar program.

I attended the California Genealogical Society’s board of director’s meeting on Saturday via Zoom.

I attended my first Book Club at Gena’s House and we discussed Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini.

Own Work:
I signed up for Paula Stuart-Warren’s “Researching U.S. Government Records 101” and viewed the introduction and first lesson. Jacqueline and I will be discussing the class each week during our chats. I decided to take notes as I read the handout and checked out the exercises. It’s been helpful. I found a passport image for Thomas N. Davey in 1915 on Ancestry. This was an earlier passport, as I had found a 1921 passport previously. This application gave the ship and date he arrived in the U.S., the Ocean Queen, which I had found previously. I was not certain it was the correct family because they were listed under the name Nichols instead of Davey. This is another document to help solve the conflicting evidence.

Other:
I worked at backing up the computer to Backblaze this week. It took several days due to poor internet connection and the computer going to sleep when I walked away from it.

I went to Phenology at the meadow and it was hot! We wear nylon pants and jackets to help keep the ticks off. Saw three different species of butterflies but not photos.

We got a surprise visit from our daughter, Elizabeth, who stayed the night on Wednesday. She got a flat tire on Hwy 5 and it was too late to do more than put on the spare and stop by our house. I quickly cleaned off the bed of genealogy stuff. It was nice visiting, though we kept our distance.

We also worked in the garden, pulling weeds, cutting back on the poppy plants, and putting in the tomatoes, peppers, and squash.

Our Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society board had an online meeting to discuss some issues that needed to be taken care of. I set up the Zoom link for the meeting. It was good to see everyone and that all were well.







Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Pauleen's Crazy Month of May Pandemic Meme, Part II

It's Saturday Night -

time for more Genealogy Fun!


Our assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings is the following:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:
1)  Check out Pauleen Cass's blog post, Crazy Month of May 2020 Meme: Pandemic Experiences.  We did the first 10 prompts last week.
2)  Let's do the last 11 of the prompts this week.
3)  Tell us about your own pandemic experience in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a link to your work as a Comment to this post and also on Pauleen's post.
4)  Thank you, Pauleen!!
Here's mine:
11)  What have you found to be the strangest change to your life?  That I discovered I don’t mind staying home. I miss the chance to visit with people in-person but I really enjoy just staying home.

12)  Have you found the changes and experience stressful/anxious/worrying?  I worried at the beginning for our daughters, because they worked in restaurants. Once they stopped working, then I worried about the youngest because she lived in NYC where the cases seemed so high. But she made it through it. My worry now is whether she can afford to stay with no job or a reduced job.

13)  How have the closures affected your local community?  People have been good about ordering take-out from those restaurants that serve. There are small businesses that probably have suffered a lot more. Utilities and rent still have to be paid even if no income is coming in.

14) Have in-person meetings been replaced with virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype etc?  Finally our local genealogy societies have moved to virtual meetings. This will unfortunately leave out those without the resource or the where-with-all to connect to the virtual meetings. And with the virus, one can just go to their house to help. A special interest group has had weekly virtual meetings since the end of March and they all chipped in to purchase the Zoom subscription so we could meet. The plus to that is several members who had moved out of state are now able to re-connect with their friends.

15)  Do you enjoy the virtual meeting format?  Yes. I especially like not having to drive to meetings. Some meetings are actually shorter because there is no side conversations, people talking over people, and the business gets done. I like my German language class on Zoom because I could see everyone’s face and hear better (especially wearing headphones). It was a struggle in in-person classes sometimes.

16)  Are you working from home instead of in your usual place of work? I am retired, so I’d say I’m still working from home. I have not had client work since the lock-down because the vital records offices are closed, too. I did do some volunteer work for the local historical society from home (queries mostly that could be done online). The in-house research had to wait until we could return to the center, which we did this past week. We are not open to the public yet.

17)  Have your habits changed over the past months?  I have not had but two drinks from Starbucks, one on my birthday and one this past week. I did not want to wait in the drive-through line 45 minutes. Our local one is open for app purchases and I got a tea lemonade on my way home.

18)  Have you had to cancel travel plans for pleasure or family?  Many plans were cancelled. The Pacific Coast Region of the National Model Railroad Society’s convention in April was cancelled. We had a private car train trip planned after the PCR convention from Los Angeles to Chicago and then we were to stop in Denver on our way back to see our niece graduate from college with a masters. That trip is rescheduled for September, though I bet it won’t happen. I also had a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City planned. I was the trip leader for 14 of us from the California Genealogical Society. I had also planned to go early for the National Genealogical Society’s conference the week previous. Our 40th anniversary is in August and we were trying to decide where to go. Nowhere now.

19)  Do you think you’ll be able to travel in 2020?  Personally, I don’t think there will be traveling over the rest of the year. This virus is not going away until most of the people have had it.

20)  Have you/others been wearing masks when out and about in your area? We don’t wear the mask when we walk, but when we go into stores, we wear our masks. Mostly people have been following the rules of the establishments. All the volunteers wore masks this week at the History Center.

21)  Will you change your lifestyle after this experience?  I’m not sure I would ever take a cruise. I was already leery of taking any kind of tour that involved long trips on buses together. An airplane flight might be okay if I felt the crew cleans the planes well. Maybe take the first flight of the morning!

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks (2020) – Week 24: Handed Down—Creating a Story of Heirlooms

This is my third year 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 have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

I have written several blog posts previously about some of the heirlooms that have made their way to our home. They can be found here, here, here, and here.

It’s wonderful that I have written about these heirlooms, but that might not be enough to keep them from being tossed once my husband and I have passed on.

We didn’t talk about the old things with my daughters. Our children would treasure these things we treasure if we had talked about them as they were growing up. That way they would possibly feel a connection to them the same way that we do. It’s almost too late now—they are out of our home, so out of sight, out of mind.

But, perhaps I can remedy that. I have decided to create a Shutterfly book with photos of these heirlooms and captions explaining where each came from, the stories behind them, and their current location. Each page will have one item and its story.

It will be a work in progress at first. It may take a while to find each of these items—some are in storage, some in the basement, some scattered about the house. Fortunately, the blog posts I mentioned above can be the start.

Below is a sample page from the book. I’m not sure what order I will put the items. I might even have a Table of Contents to easily find the items and subdivide them by category.



And even if all the items are not saved by future generations, perhaps the book can become a source that documents the many treasures our ancestors had.

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of June 1-7, 2020

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.

I have completed twelve weeks of “lock down” due to Covid-19. I left the house this past week twice. Once to have blood work done and the second time to accompany my husband to Berkeley Bowl to grocery shop. I also went to the meadow to do phenology and took walks to the mailbox. Otherwise, I’m meeting people on Zoom.

Genealogy
Blog Writing:
Blogs posted this past week: My post last week was chosen as one of the three highlighted in the 52 Ancestors weekly email. That will make three times this year!

Study Groups Attended:   
Many online meetings again this week:
  • Our Monday Morning Group met for ninety minutes, with twelve members and had plenty of time to share what we had been doing and ask questions of each other.  
  • Our NGSQ study group had eighteen and we discussed Trish Hackett Nicola’s article from June 2019. It was a lively discussion and everyone enjoyed the article.
  • I met with Jacqueline for our weekly hour talk about our new books. Her book, Company Commander by Charles B MacDonald, is about a WWII infantry unit. She is reading it to get historical context. My book, AAF: The Official World War II Guide to the Army Air Forces. It was recommended to me by a friend to learn about the structure of the Army Air Forces during World War II. The chapter on maintenance will be helpful to me in adding context to my FIL’s story.   
  • All of us 4 Amigos met on Wednesday for more catching up. We don’t always stay on the topic of genealogy but it is so nice to get together.
  • Everyone was on for the Thursday evening discussion group. We spoke about lots of topics, which happens when there are five of us, mostly about NGS, CGS’s use of Zoom, and inclusion of all ethnic groups in activities and presentations.
  • My Friday Cert Discussion group met with six of us. We had a good discussion about the KDP (Kindship Determination Project) and the use of DNA evidence. We also spoke about upcoming institutes this summer and how they would be run.

Webinars Attended: I got caught up on some older webinars at the Virtual Genealogical Association as well as one from the Sacramento German Genealogical Society.
  • “Boost Your German Research: Understand Historical Jurisdictions” by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG
  • “Researching Formerly Enslaved Ancestors: It Takes a Village” by Renate Yarborough Sanders
  • “Road Trip Tips: Don’t Forget To…” by Megan Heyl
  • “Preparing Your Heritage Travel to Germany” by Ursula Krause

Client Work/Presentations:
I met with the Zoom coordinator for the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (LAGS) on Zoom to go over what we will be doing this coming Monday during the presentation I’ll be giving.

Volunteer Work:
I was the Q&A person for the Teresa Steinkamp McMillin webinar for the Sacramento German Genealogy Society. It was a very good webinar about German jurisdictions.

Own Work:
I have been pulling names from Frederick Bishop’s probate packet and put them into a table so it can be searched better. I’m thinking of sorting the images by date to see them in a timeline. I am also renaming the images and adding source citation to each. There are so many pages of receipts from this probate packet. I also found the minute book and am comparing the loose papers with the recording of the probate in the minute book.

Other:
I continued this week loading files from my old computer to the new one. I did not move everything, as many of the files can remain on the portable hard drive. I do want to move some of the photos and still need to do that.

Thursday German class had the last class. I did not sign up for the summer class, as it was twice a week. I may take it again in September if it is done online.

My gardening activity included trimming back my California Poppies and giving them a big drink—hoping for more blooms later in the year. Also helped Norman map out the garden for our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash.

I went to Phenology at the meadow and got a photo or two of a Western Tiger Swallowtail feeding on Buckeye flowers. The milkweed was blooming, too.  






Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.