Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of Jan 11-17, 2021

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 forty-four (44) weeks of semi- “lock down” due to Covid-19. I went on two neighborhood walks looking for birds.


Blog Writing:
I published four posts on both blogs this week. The first three are from my studies in the SLIG migrations class:

Using Railroad Maps and Timetables to Discover How Ebenezer Moved to Texas.

Southern Migration: How John Coor’s Family Got from North Carolina to Mississippi Territory in 1811.

Migration from Montana to California After WWI. Another post using what I learned from the Migration class. This time I analyzed how Cyril and Anna Hork, my grandparents, got to California, likely by train.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Our "Academy of Genealogy and Family History" (AGFH) Nominees. We were to list our best story, photo, series, comedy, and biography.

Online Study Groups & Meetings Attended: 
This week I attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, taking the course “From Sea to Shining Sea: Researching Our Ancestors’ Migrations in America.” This was a five-day, 7 hour class from Annette Lyttle, Steven Morrison, Paula Stuart Warren, Ari Wilkins, and Katherine Willson. I really enjoyed the course and got lots of ideas on possible lectures to do and blog posts to write. I took the course to learn more about some context to add to family history writing.

I did get a chat in with Jacqueline, and attended Gena’s book club, where we discussed The Address Book by Deirdre Mask.

Webinars Attended: I only attended one webinar this week:

  • Dowered and Bound Out: Widows & Orphans Under the Law by Judy G. Russell

Client Work/Presentations:

I have worked during my free time on creating lessons for the upcoming Adult School session in February, a deed reading class for CGS in February, and a presentation to an Oregon genealogy society.

Volunteer, Client, & Own Work:
None this week.

I finished reading:

Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker. I have ordered the next book from the library. I really enjoyed the book and want to follow Bruno in future adventures.

I am working on:

They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

Doing Grammar by Max Morenberg

Photos taken this week:
Since this week was so focused on my institute class, I only have photos from my home. Here is the set up of my computer awaiting my course to start. Also, a group photo of CGS members who were also attending SLIG. 

Copyright © 2021 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Our "Academy of Genealogy and Family History" (AGFH) Nominees

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:

It's Saturday Night again -

time for some more Genealogy Fun!!


Here is our assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing:

1)    Does anyone recall the Academy of Genealogy and Family History (AGFH) awards from back in the 2008-2012 time frame, hosted by Jasia on Creative gene?  Genea-bloggers would nominate blog entries in different categories, and Jasia would collect all of them with links to each blogger's post.  The bloggers selected their own posts for nominations.

2)  This week, let us nominate the "best" posts from 2020 that we wrote in these categories:

*  Best Picture (a photograph)

*  Best Screenplay (a story)

*  Best Documentary (a series)

*  Best Biography

*  Best Comedy

3)  Put it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link in a comment to this post.

Here’s Mine:

The best photographs posted last year were birds I photographed at my feeder (since I couldn’t go on bird watching trips any longer due to Covid.  
Monday Genea-pourri  July 13
Monday Genea-pourri June 22
Monday Genea-pourri Apr 20

The best story was about the building of a bridge over the Vesle River in France. My great-uncle was an engineer with the 8th Engineers. It was pretty scary stuff, building a bridge with bullets flying overhead.

The best series was the one on my father-in-law about his service in England during World War II in the Army Air Corps. 
Part 1: “Air: George J Gorrell Served in the Army Air Corps”
Part 2: “US Army Air Corps Base in England Where George J Gorrell Served”
Part 3: “Letters Home, Using V-Mail”
Part 4: “Service: George J Gorrell’s WWII Service”
Part 5: “VE Day in Chester”

Best biography was the story of the Thomas and Mary Davey family in Cornwall, England.

The best comedy was the one about my Aunt Bev. The photos of her posing in different outfits was a hit and received lots of comments.

Copyright © 2021 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Migration From Montana to California After WWI

This past week I attended a class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy called “From Sea to Shining Sea: Researching Our Ancestors’ Migrations in America.”[1] We learned so much about migrating families in the United States these some 400 years. We have learned about trails, roads, canals, and railroads that took them to new places. We learned about possible economic and social reasons (and push and pull of migration) that prompt their moves. Moving to a new place often were due to seeking freedom, a better life, free land, or being with family.

I started thinking about why my ancestors moved. Of course, any of the above reasons probably factored in their moves, depending on the time period and their circumstances. Specifically, what brought my Hork family to California in the early 1920s?

Cyril’s Move
Cyril Hork had married Anna Sullivan in Butte, Montana on Thanksgiving Day in 1922.[2] At the time of his marriage, he was working as a warehouseman with the Northern Pacific Railroad in Hamilton, Montana. He was dismissed on the 19th December of that year, due to reduction in force.[3] He had been there since July of that year and made 45 cents per hour.

What a sad time. He had been married only about three weeks and it was just one week before Christmas.

However, in January, he had a plan.[4] They would move to California. Why California? Weather could have been a factor. Who wouldn’t trade cold and icy weather for sunny California? Perhaps he heard there were lots of jobs to be had as the Los Angeles area was growing.

Cyril knew about Southern California. He served during World War I in San Pedro from 30 Sep 1918 to 12 Jun 1919 aboard the submarine tender USS Alert.[5] He would have remembered the nice warm days of Southern California during the winter. Perhaps he thought it was a good place to raise a family.

Even the newspaper remarked on their move.[6]

Railroad Route?

So how did they get there? Using The Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States for 1923, I can trace which railroad lines they would have traveled from Hamilton, Montana to Los Angeles, California.[7]

Since we know he worked for the Northern Pacific, he likely took a Northern Pacific train. Hamilton was on the Bitter Root Branch and Cyril could have ridden to Missoula, where he caught a mainline train west toward Portland on the Northern Pacific, changing to the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railroad at Spokane for Portland. At the Portland Union Station, he could get a train on the Southern Pacific Railroad to Oakland, and then on to Los Angeles.

Butte to Portland

There was also another route he could have taken. His Northern Pacific train to Butte, Montana. From there, he could take the Union Pacific Railroad train to Salt Lake City, and then change a train on the same railroad to Los Angeles.

The two routes the 

Both routes involved changing railroads and making overnights in Butte, Portland, or Salt Lake City. Which would he have chosen? Either the cheapest route or the shortest route. It is probably unlikely that he had a car and drove to Los Angeles, which would have taken several days. Autos in those days were not able to drive as fast as our cars do today. They also were very costly.

Santa Monica
Cyril and Anna did arrive in Santa Monica. They were listed in the Santa Monica Area city directory, living at 144 Grand Avenue in Ocean Park. I couldn’t find the address on a current map, but found it on a 1918 map.[8]

They didn’t stay here long. Their twenty years living in Southern California found them in multiple addresses. Cyril never held a job very long. In 1940, Anna would move to Napa with her four children.

[2] Silver Bow County, Marriages, A-14551, William C. Hork to Anna M. Sullivan, 30 Nov 1922.

[3] "Northern Pacific Railway Company Personnel Files, 1890-1963," digital images, Ancestry (, File 144100, Notice of Suspension, Dismissal or Resignation, 19 Dec 1922, Cyril Willis Hork.

[4] Ravalli Republic, 26 Jan 1923, p. 4.

[5] Military Enlistments (Montana), World War I, Montana Adjutant General's Office Records 1889-1959 (RS 223), Montana Historical Society Research Center, Helena, Montana., World War I (HAUGEN-JACOBSON), Cyril Willis Hork, ser. no. 173-64-55.

[6] Ravalli Republic, 26 Jan 1923, p. 4.

[7] The Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States, 1923,

[8] Sanborn Map, Santa Monica, California, Library of Congress (,0.187,1.268,0.572,0), image 26.

Copyright © 2021 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.