Category Archives: Uncategorized

Packing for a Conference: Jamboree 2014 Edition

As you prepare for a conference, you need to decide what you will pack.  My preference is to make a packing list before I start, so I can plan out what will be needed – this keeps me from forgetting something important and from over packing things I don’t need.  While the exact things you will need will vary based on the conference, the region of the world the conference is in, and the time of year that the conference is happening, some things stay the same.

Here is my packing list for Jamboree 2014:

  • Comfortable Shoes.  This can’t be understated enough – you will be doing a lot of walking, so make sure your feet are comfortable.
  • Clothes.  Always make sure you are prepared to dress in layers – even though it will be in the 80s this weekend at Jamboree, the conference rooms themselves can sometimes be quite cold.  Having layers will keep you comfortable.  I’ll be wearing more professional looking attire this year since I will be presenting all three days.
  • Toiletries and Medications.  Obviously, this varies from person to person, but be sure to bring the basics like a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Tech.  Obviously, this also varies from person to person but I never go to a conference without my smart phone, my laptop (which I hop will one day be a tablet – so much easier!), my camera, and chargers.
  • Extra bag.  If you plan on doing some shopping while at the conference, an extra bag can come in handy for carrying all your goodies home.
  • Itinerary and Reservation Numbers.  Always good to take with you on any trip.

Are you going to Jamboree?  What do you pack when you go to a conference?

Share

Jamboree 2014: Planning My Sunday Classes

Here is my third and final post in my Jamboree planning series.  You can view the posts about Friday’s classes and Saturday’s classes here.

Here is my plan for Sunday:

  • 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Gena Philibert-Ortega will be presenting, “Of Elephants, Gold, and Dashed Dreams: Researching the California Gold Rush”.  Breakfast will also be served (can you say LOTS of coffee and extra concealer to hide the under-eye bags?) and the recipient of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant will be announced.
  • 8:30 – 9:30 p.m: I will probably want a break, so I will probably just make my last round in the exhibit hall and get some last minute socializing in with friends.  And I’ll be exhausted.  If I am awake and checked out of the hotel, I might head over to Josh Taylor’s talk, “Resources of the DAR: Beyond Revolutionary War Soldiers”
  • 10:00 – 11:30 p.m: I’ll be on a panel with Janet Hovorka, Crista Cowan, A.C. Ivory, Michael Melendez, and Josh Taylor.  We’ll be speaking about “Rebranding Genealogy and Engaging the Next Generation”.
  • Then it will be saying goodbyes to everyone as people leave the conference at different times for flights home.  The conference is officially over at about 4 p.m., when the grand finale drawing is done.  I keep promising myself that I will be the winner this year of the 7 Day Stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, just steps from the Family History Library.  You have to play to win!

I am so looking forward to this conference!  I can’t wait to see everyone again – it is truly like a family reunion for me.  If you will be there, come say hi!

Share

Jamboree 2014: Planning My Saturday Classes

Here is my second post in my series on planning the classes and lectures I will take at Southern California Genealogy Society’s Annual Jamboree.  You can view the post about Friday here.

Here is my plan for Saturday:

  • Spend the first part of the morning visiting with friends, drinking coffee, and doing some social media work.  Check out the exhibit hall.
  • 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Judy Russell will be speaking on “Staying Out of Trouble The Rights and Responsibilities of Today’s Genealogist”.  Judy Russell is a fabulous speaker that can make complicated topics like law, easy to understand.  She is fabulous.  I would listen to hear talk about the process of paint drying – she is that good.
  • 11:30 – 12:30 p.m.  The Blogger Summit is where you will find me.  I love supporting my blogger friends at this panel session.
  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Josh Taylor and I will be presenting “Preserving Stories: Tech that Isn’t Scary”.
  • Break time and socializing time.  Probably some exhibit hall time too.

What are your Saturday Jamboree plans?  Will you be attending or just watching from home?  If you are attending, be sure to come say hi to me!

Share

Jamboree 2014: Planning my Friday Classes

This year’s Jamboree is going to be so much fun.  Jamboree is always fun but this year is extra special – I’m speaking with Josh Taylor (yes, the Josh Taylor) twice, going to be on a really exciting panel, I’m having my bridal shower/bachelorette party with my genealogy friends, and my fiance is coming along for the first time.  So, it is going to be fun.

I am a huge believer in having a game plan when you go to conferences – what are your goals, what classes do you want to see, who do you want to see if the exhibit hall, etc.  Be ready to let the game plan change in the moment, but having an idea of where you are going with things will help you make the most of the conference.

So here is my plan for Friday:

  • 8:30-9:30: Josh and I will be teaching “Engaging the Next Generation” and discussing ways to attract new members to your society.  The lovely NextGen Genealogy Network is sponsoring this session.  It’s going to be bright and early – so come out and support us with your coffee in hand (I’ll definitely have some in my hands!)
  • 5:30-6:30 at “Proof Arguments: How and Why” by F. Warren Bitner.  This falls in my plan of always improving my methodology.

Between this, I will be enthusiastically greeting my genealogy family and friends as they arrive.  Somewhere in there, I will be eating breakfast (either in the expensive hotel restaurant or at the little Starbucks kiosk in the lounge), checking out the exhibit hall, and eating lunch somewhere.  There are lots of lunch options across the street such as Sansai Japanese Restaurant, George’s Greek Restaurant, and Denny’s.  We could also eat in the hotel restaurant but we probably won’t since it is a bit pricey for our budget.

What are your Friday Jamboree plans?

Share

I’m Back!

After 4 long months of full time student teaching and methods courses at night, I can officially say that I am done.  That’s right, D-O-N-E, done!

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy student teaching.  Despite how absolutely exhausting it is rewarding work and I love teaching.  I have learned so much in the last four months that at times, I thought my brain would explode.

Student teaching meant that I had zero time for genealogy.  And even if I did have time, I didn’t have the brain power.  I was just physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from student teaching.

Yay!

Photo: Flickr User Gwyneth Anne Bronwynn Jones and used via Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

But?  I’m done!  So it is back to genealogy I go.  This will be the summer of genealogy and my schedule is already getting exciting:

  • From June 6th – June 8th, I will be at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, California.  I will be doing two talks with D. Joshua Taylor and I’ll be on a panel moderated by Janet Horvorka.  And?  My fiance will be coming with me too.
  • On June 18th, I will be speaking at South Bay Cities Genealogical Society on Brick Wall Boot-Camp.  If you are in the area, come on down!
  • On June 21st, I am getting married!  Yay, wedding!
  • Lots of time at the library and family history center too!  I can’t wait!

In summary: Let’s go family tree climbing!

Share

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: John E. Asher

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog has created an interesting challenge to write about one ancestor each week for the entire year.  The challenge is called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and you can read all about it here.

This week’s ancestor is John E. Asher, my 3x-great grandfather.  Most of what I know about John Asher is from later in his life.  Having to write this blog post has actually added a long to-do list of resources to check but I’ll get to that later.

John Asher died sometime before June 1855.  On 4 Jun 1855, his wife, Louisa Asher, was made the Administratix of his estate.

 

On 4 Jun 1855, Louisa Asher was made the Administratix of John Asher's Estate.

On 4 Jun 1855, Louisa Asher was made the Administratix of John Asher.
(Source: “Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927,” digital images, FamilySearch, FamilySearch (www.FamilySearch.org : accessed 18 July 2013), entry for the Letters of Administration to Louisa Asher on the estate of John Asher, deceased. Johnson County, Wills 1836-1872, Vol 1, Image 66, Pg 98.)

John Asher is listed on the 1850 Census in Civil District 5, Johnson County, Tennessee and he is also listed on agricultural census for the same year.

He is also listen on the 1840 Census in Civil District 5, Johnson County, Tennessee.

But that’s where the trail stops.  Where and when did he get married?  Who are his parents?  Siblings?  What about his birth date?  There are a lot of unanswered questions.

It seems the rest of my research for John Asher will have to come from traditional not-yet-on-the-internet sources like early tax lists, Bible records, and land records.  These will help me narrow down when he came to Johnson County (or answer if he was born here) and possibly answer the parent and sibling questions.

Share

SNGF: What’s My Ancestor Score?

Every Saturday, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings challenges us to a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge.  Although it is now Monday and I am late to the party, this week’s challenge was just too much fun to pass up: What Is Your Ancestor Score?  In this challenge, you calculate how complete your genealogy is based on 10 generations, create a chart for those generations, and find our score.

I filled in the below chart by creating an Ahnentafel chart in RootsMagic and counted up each the people in each generation.

Generation Relationship Possible People Identified People
1 Me 1 1
2 Parents 2 2
3 Grandparents 4 4
4 Great Grandparents 8 8
5 2x Great Grandparents 16 16
6 3x Great Grandparents 32 29
7 4x Great Grandparents 64 49
8 5x Great Grandparents 128 69
9 6x Great Grandparents 256 51
10 7x Great Grandparents 510 5
- Totals: 1,023 234

I have identified 234 ancestors out of 1,023 possible ancestors.  My ancestor score is 23%.  Let’s see if I can raise that in 2014!  Thanks for the fun challenge, Randy!

Share

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Peter Potter

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog has created an interesting challenge to write about one ancestor each week for the entire year.  The challenge is called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks and you can read all about it here.  I’ve decided that even with my busy schedule, I am going to accept this challenge.

The first week’s ancestor will be Peter Potter.  Why?  Because I don’t know if Peter Potter picked a peck of pickled peppers.  [Go ahead and laugh, you know you want to]

Peter Potter is my 4x-great grandfather.  He was born around 1800 in Tennessee and I have yet to prove his parents although my guess is that his parents were John M. Potter and Mary/Molly Stout.

On 2 June 1821 he married Martha “Patsy” Bunton in Carter County Tennessee.   Here is his marriage record:

Peter Potter Marriage Record

Source: Tennessee County Marriages 1790-1850, , Peter Potter & Patsy Bunton, 2 June 1821; FamilySearch.org

Peter lived the rest of his life in Carter County, Tennessee.  With his wife Martha “Patsy” Bunton, he had the following children: Sarah Ellen Potter (my 3rd great grandmother), Peter H. Potter, Mary Ann Potter, Naomi Potter, Noah J. Potter, Martha C. Potter, and Mercy S.R. Potter.

After the death of his wife, Martha, Peter married Lousana Shell on 10 Oct 1870 in Carter County, Tennessee.  With Lousana, he then had Alice R. Potter, David E. Potter, and Daniel S. Potter.

I have been unable to tract down Peter’s exact date of death, although I know it was after 1880 and before 1900.

Are we related?  Drop me an email.

Share

2014 – The Year Genealogy Becomes Fun Again

There has been some talk lately in the genealogy blogosphere about how all the definitions and methodologies and good research practices can bog down a researcher – and I totally agree. If you aren’t careful, you can quickly become obsessed with all the definitions and proof arguments and lose all the fun of discovering the stories of your ancestors.

2014 The Year Genealogy Becomes Fun

Let me be clear here: I’m not saying you shouldn’t always strive to make your research the best it can be, because you should always be doing that. You should always be learning and growing and experimenting when it comes to your research. But you shouldn’t obsess over all of that so much that you forget the rush you felt on your all night research binges.

Remember the all night genealogy research binge rush? You got your favorite beverage by your side and you start opening browser window after browser window, going from Ancestry.com to FamilySearch to Fold3 and Google Books and downloading documents left and right. Your eyelids start getting heavy around 2 a.m. but you keep going, insistent on figuring out who great-great grandpa’s fourth wife’s maiden name was. And you know you are so close, right on the edge of finding it. And then you get that magical moment where you find it and you cheer, lifting your arms in the air with pride cause you did it. And then you look over at the clock and realize it is 5 a.m. and you gotta get up for work in two hours. So you go to bed, wake up feeling like something the cat dragged in, and down coffee the rest of the day until you are free to do it all over again.

Now I’m not saying all of your research should be late night binges where you download things willy-nilly and half way enter the source citation into your database program. But you should enjoy that binge every once in a while. You should enjoy that rush that comes with discovering your ancestors through the records they left behind. But at the same time, you should also regularly take a step back to re-evaluate the research you’ve done – is there something you’ve overlooked, a different way of seeing things, a new record type to discover, or a new research trick you can try?

While I spent much of 2013 trying to learn as much as I could about proper research methods, in 2014 I will learn to find a balance between the fun late night binges and the proper research methods and I challenge you to do the same. There is no reason why we can’t have fun while so producing sound research.

Share

Conquering Genealogy Clutter

Since moving into a studio apartment with my fiance, I have had to pare down my stuff.  Space is at a premium and the slightest bit of clutter makes my apartment feel messy.  Do I really need this?  Do I use it?  Do I love it?  Do I have a place for it?  If the answer was no to any of these questions, then it couldn’t stay.  It either went into storage, the dumpster, or a donation bin.

And with all the paper and stuff I am getting in this teaching credential program, I don’t have as much space for my genealogy stuff as I used to.  I have to pare down yet again.

Family pictures, heirlooms, and family furniture is being kept at my Dad’s apartment.  This means no more midnight scanning binges or photo organizing. {My dad is cool.  But not that cool}

I’ve scaled back on my genealogy clutter and gotten more creative with my storage solutions.  Here are my lessons learned and some tips so you can do it too:

  1. Think about all the stuff you have to do your genealogy – pens, highlighters, notebooks, legal pads, binders, magazines, books, etc.  Do you really need all of it?  If you’ve read the books and you don’t find yourself referring to them regularly, then get rid of it.  Donate it to a friend or a library or a genealogy society so someone else can learn from it.  And do you really need all of those pens?  Or 15 highlighters?  {My answer is yes.  I love pens and highlighters.  I am addicted.  Hope is lost for me.  Do as I say, not as I do}Contain Your Office Supplies
  2. Categorize and Containerize.  I love boxes, bins, baskets, dividers, folders, binders, and creative solutions – both for physical items and digital ones.  Little bins or baskets from the dollar store can separate office supplies in your drawers or on your desktop.  Don’t have drawers connected to your desk?  No problem – I buy plastic drawers (often the Rubbermaid brand because that’s what at Target – but any brand will do) and make your own drawers.  You can customize the size to whatever you need so you don’t waste space.  And they are on wheels so you can roll it under your desk, in a closet if company comes over, or whatever.  For your digital files, categorize things into folders and put it all away.  If a folder gets too big to find things quickly, then break it up.Go Vertical for Organization
  3. Use technology to make life easier – not harder.  Space is limited in my house but I still like to take notes by pen and paper sometimes.  But if I keep those notes, then I have to file them away and I probably won’t ever look for it in the binder I filed it away in – and that all requires space I just don’t have.  So, when I use paper to take my notes, I snap a photo of it with my phone when I am done – it is automatically backed up to Dropbox where I can sort it into the appropriate folder right from my phone.  Plus, I can put that photo into OneNote using the app so it is with all of my other notes and searchable.  Then I recycle the paper copy and I just saved myself some physical space in a few easy steps.

  4. Put. It. Back.  If you take it out, put it back.  Put it away.  Because if you leave it lying around, it will pile up and before you know it, you have a mountain of stuff and it is so  much harder to put it away!
Share