Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The 92nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is Dance!

My mother, Colleen, started dancing in the 1930's when she was in third grade. She had problems with her feet so her doctor recommended to her parents that she take dancing lessons, particularly ballet, to help strengthen them.

Initially, she took lessons in the basement of a lady's home and eventually started taking ballet, tap, acrobatics and baton at Ruth Doherty's School of Dance located at the corner of Broadway and East Pine in Seattle. Ruth Doherty's was in the Odd Fellows Temple.

They were a one car family so there was no toting and fetching to and from activities like there is today.  When the family lived in Ballard and later Victory Heights, Colleen's mother would take Colleen and her brother to the studio for lessons on a trolley car (from Ballard) or take the bus. Afterward, they might ride the bus to downtown Seattle and go to the Bon or Frederick and Nelson's. Other days they would go to the Security Market (a farmer's market) and buy groceries and maybe some lunch. Then they would walk to the Yellow Cab Company where Colleen's dad worked as a mechanic and he would take them home.

At Christmas, the dance studio would put on a program for the Shriners at their Shrine Temple. In later years, the Christmas program was held in the Civic Auditorium at what is now the Seattle Center (later the auditorium was remodeled and named the Seattle Opera House and after a more recent renovation Marion Oliver McCaw Hall). The first year their dance program was in their new location, at Civic Auditorium, ended up being a bit of a slippery slope! The dance floor having just been waxed was like ice. The girls had to dance the Can Can and perform cartwheels and flips. They were slipping and sliding all over!

Ruth Doherty's studio also did a program for the Moose Lodge every year. One year they had a horse in the program of which Colleen was the front. She and her partner wore tap shoes and danced a sort of comedy routine.

During World War II, Ruth Doherty would get requests to do programs for service men. Ruth would always give the girls a talk, in front of their parents, that they were not to dance and socialize with the servicemen.  The men loved the programs, especially the little kids, as many had children of their own and were missing them.
Colleen danced and assisted with Ruth's classes until her second year in college. Working for Ruth Doherty's School of Dance was Colleen's first job and was how she earned her dance lessons. She would help keep the little girls in their lines, work one on one with some of them in learning their steps and work the front desk.

All those years of dancing while growing up had a significant impact on Colleen. After she enrolled at the University of Washington, Colleen was accepted into Orchesis (a dance honorary) where she did Interpretive Dance. She chose Physical Education as her major and went on to teach PE at West Seattle High School and other schools.

I don't recall my parents going out to dance on Friday or Saturday nights but ever since I can remember, they had season tickets to the Seattle Repertory Theatre. It was always a big deal because they would get all dressed up and we kids got to have a babysitter and sometimes even TV Dinners. Mom and Dad would have seen many fabulous performances by top artists at Seattle Rep over the years.

As a child, I had no interest in dancing and took no dance lessons. However, once disco dancing became popular all that changed. I took my first dance class with a high school friend where we learned The Hustle. Once I was in college, I signed up for Ballroom Dancing. Mom was really happy about that. I can remember her telling me that you never know when it will come in handy. She was right, of course, and the class was so much fun that the next semester I signed up for another dance class. I don't remember what it was called but we learned all the really popular disco type dances of the time.

So in the end, somehow, either Mom passed on her love of dancing to me or I came down with Disco Fever.

[Mom]. Interviews by Michelle Goodrum. 19 July 1997 and March 2010. Notes. Privately held by Goodrum, [address for private use].

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tombstone Tuesday - John Ballinger

Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado taken June 2007

You can read more about John in John Ballinger Part 1 and Part 2.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, March 29, 2010

Madness Monday - John H. Ballinger - Part 2

Last week I discussed the dilemas regarding John's birth.  This week the topic, is the spelling of the Ballinger name which I have mentioned previously.

John served with Company D of the 3rd Colorado Cavalry in 1864.  You can see from the Company Muster-in and Descriptive Roll below and on the left that his name was spelled Ballanger.  The copies are rather light but on the right is the Company Muster-out Roll.  His name was spelled Ballenger. 

John's tombstone which stands in Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado has the surname Ballinger engraved on it.  You can see a picture of it tomorrow in the Tombstone Tuesday post.

This inconsistency in spelling caused problems for the Ballinger family years after John's death when his father, William Ballinger attempted to collect John's military pension as a dependent father.

William's daughter, Nancy, was still encountering problems with this in 1916, several years after her father's death, as illustrated below.

Many decades later, the spelling of this family's surname continues to cause confusion and problems. 

Check back next week for part 3 of John Ballinger's life.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sorting Saturday - Photo Album Archiving & Digital Sorting - Part 2

Last week we took a look at Mom's old family photo album containing pictures from her early childhood up through about the time I was born.  I explained how I had digitized the album.  This week we are going to look at the next step.

I wanted to leave a trail of the digitizing project and the provenance of the album.  So the next step was to create a Word document in which I described the provenance and included a picture of the front cover.  Mom and I had gone through her album in detail in 1998 with me sketching out the layout of each page and Mom providing whatever identification and dating information that she could for each picture.  Those details were written directly onto the sketched pages and left inside the album between the pages they applied to.  The fact that we had done this was also included in the provenance. 

I felt it was important to include an inventory of the digital file names but didn't want to spent a lot of time doing it.  So I simply pulled up the folder listing the files in Mom's album and took screen images which were then pasted right into the Word document.

Now that I had a complete inventory and provenance, I saved the Word document into the file folder with the digital images and printed off 3 copies.
  • One to put with the physical album.
  • One for my Heirloom Book.  After all, it is an heirloom.
  • One for the notebook I keep documenting all of the papers and photos I have gone through and inventoried.
Next week we'll wrap up this project by tackling the physical storage and preservation part.

To read the other installations in this series:
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, March 26, 2010

Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Friday

Today is the final day of Genealogy Spring Cleaning.  Here's what The Family Curator suggests doing today:

Bring in a bouquet of fresh flowers.
Clear off your desk and give your genealogy workspace a place to display a framed ancestor photograph or treasure. Some family treasures are best used and enjoyed. Can you repurpose your grandmother’s ironstone pitcher as a flower vase or pencil cup for your desk? Write a post about any family artifacts you see or use daily. Be sure to give a statement of provenance telling who owned it and how it came in your possession.

This year, January 11th was National Clean Off Your Desk Day.  It took all day to get it done then.  Fortunately, this time around it only took about an hour.  Surprise!  Look what turned up.

On the top is Dad's letter holder.  On the bottom is his 3 x 5 card file.  I like to put outgoing letters in the box as well as my checkbook.  I brought these 2 items home in 1999.  The letter holder has taken a couple of spills requiring some repairs with the wood glue to make it as good as new.  Unfortunately, I don't know where Dad got them.

That's it for Genealogy Spring Cleaning Week.  I want to thank The Family Curator for coming up with a weeks worth of activities.  Things are a little brighter around here now and the To Do List is a little bit longer but isn't that what genealogy is all about?

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, March 25, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #12

The 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge was written by Amy Coffin over at We Tree and is hosted each week by GeneaBloggers.  This week's challenge:

Check out the web sites for the Society of American Archivists (http://www.archivists.org/), ARMA International (http://www.arma.org/), and the American Library Association (http://ala.org/).  Genealogists can benefit from the educational opportunities and publications of other information-based organizations. You may not be an archivist, records manager or librarian, but you share the same interests. Look at the events these associations hold. Find the books they publish and see if you can request them through your library via Inter-Library Loan. You may also want to check out your state’s (or country’s) library association. If you’re a genealogy blogger, write about your impressions of one or more of these organizations.
This is a great activity since I am working on my own personal archive right now.  I primarily spent time on the Society of American Archivists website where I found a couple of really interesting things.

The first were back issues of Archival Outlook Newsletter. I randomly selected the September/October 2009 issue for a look and saw an article titled, "The Business of Archives:  Managing Time, People and Collections in the 21st Century," by Colleen McFarland and Courtney Yevich.  The point I took away from this article is that an archivist needs to do the best he or she can with what they've got available.  As an individual with my own small archive I took away that if I don't have the resources - either time or money - to do a perfect job, at least do something.  It will be better than doing nothing.  And it will be OK.

The other interesting item I found was under Publications (ePublications to be exact).  There is a Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology which looked like it could be handy for someone like me who isn't an archivist.

I hope you find something useful on one of these sites like I did.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Wednesday

I'm following along this week with The Family Curator's spring cleaning activities. Wednesday's activity is to repair or restore damaged items.  The Family Curator writes:
Archivists and doctors have the same rule: “Do no harm,” but torn documents and damaged photos can be repaired with digital restoration. Scan damaged items and make a note to send out for restoration or to do it yourself. Evaluate broken artifacts such as china, picture frames, or textiles. If you intend to have the item repaired, place all fragments in an archival box or tissue, or wrap in a clean cotton pillowcase. If you don’t plan to repair the damage, decide if you really want to keep the piece. Maybe a photograph would serve as well. Write about the item and why it is special to you or someone in your family.
Last week for Treasure Chest Thursday, I wrote about my mother's and grandmother's baby dolls.  Mom and I are both concerned about them as they are very old and fragile.  She has them displayed on her guest bed right now but wants to have a safe place for them to live long term.  I've ordered two archival boxes for them to live in when Mom has company or just needs them to be safely out of the way for a time.  It was a bit of a challenge as grandma's baby doll has human hair and as I understand from what I've read, should be stored in an unbuffered box.  I sure hope I've got that right!  Anyway, the appropriately sized boxes have been ordered and the babies will soon have a comfy new home.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Tuesday

The Family Curator has come up with a week's worth of Genealogy Spring Cleaning Activities. For Tuesday, The Curator says:
Shake the rugs for dust and lost things.
We once found a long-lost wedding band hidden in the depths of a flokati rug. Family documents, photos, and treasures have a way of drifting around a house when they are pulled out to show a relative or to be examined more closely. Gather together any items that have misplaced and return to their archival home. Add any others discovered in the search. Photograph or scan any newly found items to share.
Today I found 2 old photos that were never returned to their homes.  The first is a photo of my great grandfather John Eugene Roos in The Cheney Bakery, which he owned in Cheney, Washington. My second cousin once removed (don't you just love the cousin titles?) examined the wall calendar to date the picture around May 1919.  I had pulled the picture out to scan and send to the Cheney Historical Museum and apparently forgot to put it away.  This is one of my favorite pictures because there is a lot going on even though there is only one person in the picture.  Check out the food in the display cases (yum) and on the wall, the old stove, the wall calendar, wall paper and of course great grandpa.

The other photo I had pulled out of my unidentified photos box because the same cousin wrote me to saying she had identified one of the individuals in the picture.  So now I need to make some notes and put that photo in its new home.

A very successful activity for today!

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, March 22, 2010

Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Air Out the Archives

The Family Curator has come up with a weeks worth of Genealogy Spring Cleaning activities. Here's today's mission:

Monday – Air out the archives.

Open storage closet and remove all archival boxes to check for damp, mildew, or any signs of moisture. Consolidate storage materials as much as possible. Inventory contents of closet and keep with genealogy files; include a snapshot of the storage closet. Write a blog post about how you started your family archive, and where you keep everything. Post the photo of your family archive.

The family archive started over 10 years ago when I realized the boxes in my parent's garage contained pictures and papers from my grandparent's house.  Some of the contents of the boxes are originally from my great grandfather's home.  Slowly I have been bringing boxes over to my house.  Most of it is stored in an interior closet in our home.  As luck would have it, it's the one room that seems to stay at a pretty constant temperature year round. It's also easy to keep it relatively dark since the room isn't used much.  Most of the overflow is in another cabinet but there is more coming in all of the time and I'm running out of room to put things.

While I have organized and scanned a good many of the items, I have come to realize that it would be better to get the remaining items out of the cardboard boxes and into something that is archivally safe before attempting to scan them all.  It just takes too long to organize and scan at the same time.  This way I can consolidate things and make more room for new items.

Here is a very high level inventory of the archive which is composed of photos, various papers and albums.
17 boxes/crates of slides
2 Extra large flat boxes
12 small boxes
18 medium boxes
9 large boxes

In addition, there are 6 large cardboard boxes, from my grandparents house, that need attention sooner than later.  Last week, I ordered archival boxes for the contents which is primarily composed of photos, business papers, correspondence and postcards.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Madness Monday

Since I'm busy doing Genealogy Spring Cleaning this week, Part 2 on John H. Ballinger will return next week.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sorting Saturday-Photo Album Archiving & Digital Sorting Part 1

This is Mom's family photo album complete with the highly acidic black pages and glued down photos.  They sure don't make glue like that anymore! The album covers the time period from prior to Mom's birth up to about the time I was born.

Recently while making a photo gift book, I scanned some of the photos in this album and realized that there were some serious archiving and preservation steps that needed to be taken.  Many of these pictures are one of a kind and I would like my children and grandchildren to enjoy them some day.

I broke the project down into 2 parts:  digital and physical.


Fortunately, the album binding is held together with screws.  So I was able to completely disassemble the album for scanning and then reassemble it.  I scanned the photos as TIFF at 600 dpi.  Sometime after completing the project, it was suggested to me that all photos should be scanned at an output size of 8 x 10 regardless of the original photo's size.  Seems like new information is always surfacing to consider.  Does anyone out there have any opinions or experience with that?  Just curious.

My scanner will scan multiple photos, placed on the scanner glass, to individual files.  By using this feature, I was able to get all of the 6 - 12 pictures on each page scanned with 2 or 3 passes. 

I felt it was important to preserve the order the photos were placed in the album. If the album were ever lost or if someone were to view the digital files with no access to the album, they could still determine the order the pictures were in.  The order of the photos does to some extent tell a story.  So I came up with the following naming convention:


By using 2 digit page and photo numbers, the files will sort in the same order as in the album.  In some cases, I also included a very short description of the photo at the end of the file name.

While writing this article I realized I haven't included tags or captions with these files.  That would be a good idea!  That's what I love about blogging, it causes one to reflect and do a more complete or better job!

To be continued next Saturday...

To read the other installments in this series:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Baby Dolls and a Baby

I have memories from a very early age of my mother's and her mother's baby dolls.  I knew she really cherished them because she always kept them carefully wrapped up.  Occassionally, she would get them out and I could look at them but as much as I begged, she wouldn't let me play with the baby dolls.

The one lying on the left was my mother's.  The one sitting up on the right was her mother's.  Grandma's had real hair and a ceramic(?) head which had been broken and glued back together.  Oh yes, and the baby lying in the middle - that's me at about 2 months of age!  This is definitely one for the Heirloom Book.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, March 15, 2010

Madness Monday - John H. Ballinger

John was the oldest child of William and Lucinda Ballinger.  While he has turned out to be an immense source of information about the family, he is also a brick wall unto himself.  This week, I will discuss the dilemas surrounding John's birth.

1856 Census for Black Oak, Mahaska Co, Iowa lists the family as follows:

Given Name     Surname          Age     Est Birth Year     Years Resident in State     Birthplace

William H           Ballinger              35      Abt 1821                                  8                          Ohio
Lucinda              Ballinger              25      Abt 1831                                  8                           Ills
John H               Ballinger                8      Abt 1848                                  8                           Ills
Nancy A            Ballinger                7      Abt 1849                                  7                           Ills
Mary A              Ballinger                1      Abt 1855                                  0                           Iowa

John's discharge papers (dated 30 December 1864), for his service with the 3rd Colorady Cavalry, state he was 18 years old which puts his birth year at about 1846.

The Columbia Cemetery Burial Index (Boulder, Colorado) lists John's age when he died as 21 putting his birth year about 1850.

Complicating matters further is the fact that according to the copy of the marriage register that I have, William and Lucinda were married 29 October 1849.  You do the math.

It gets even more confusing when I start analyzing Nancy's birth year conflicts.  But that is another topic.

I have 2 pieces of information that say John was born in Illinois.  The 1856 Iowa census listed above and John's discharge papers.  Illinois appears to be a reasonable birthplace. 

As for John's birth year, my theory is that he lied about his age in order to be able to serve with the 3rd Colorado Calvary.  He was probably born in the 1848 - 1850 time period.  I suppose he could have been born before his parents were married.  I'm still looking for a chink in the brick wall.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sorting Saturday - Boxes and Boxes of Really Old Bills

What do you do with this kind of stuff when you're the family historian?  For a few brief seconds my thought was throw them out!  But as I flipped through them I realized that they could provide an interesting snapshot of my parents lives.  Besides I found a stack of bills from the Milk Man and I was hooked!

As it turns out, it wasn't just bills, there were receipts, bank statements, cancelled checks and check stubs from employers.  Since they were sorted by payee and date, it was easy to flip through and pull out ones that were what I'll call milestones: 
  • The first and last bill/stub at an address or from an employer.
  • Checks made out to the City of ______ which is an indication of just when my parents relocated while in the service.
  • A check made out to one of my grandfathers.  It's the only document I have ever seen with his signature!
  • Receipts for dues payed to the "Community Club" in the neighborhood where I grew up.  I didn't know there ever was a "Community Club."  I wonder what that's about?
  • Gas receipts from Union 76.  Cost of a gallon of gas in December 1959 was 31 cents.
  • My favorite:  bills from the Milk Man.  See below.
Here's what I did with the samples I pulled out.  I got a small 3 ring binder, used some of the archival photo pages for 4 x 6 photos and a few 8.5 x 11 Avery sheet protectors and slid groups of the receipts, checks, bills or whatever into the slots.  It provided a quick and somewhat archival method of preserving and presenting a portion of my parents early years together.

How it has helped. 
When putting together a couple of photo books of my parents lives, it helped me to place them in a particular location or job at a certain point in time thereby helping to more closely date some of their photos and provide a more interesting narrative or caption.

Here's a copy of one of the Milk Man bills.  Do you remember the Milk Man?

My husband and I both have memories of the Milk Man but very different ones since we grew up in different parts of the country.  Husband remembers him coming very early in the morning before daylight so it wasn't so hot.  I lived in a much cooler part of the country and remember sitting in the living room window and watching him drive up and make his delivery.

Of course, Teenager couldn't understand why we didn't just go to the store and get our milk and dairy products.....

I hope this give you some ideas of possible uses for old family records that you might run across.
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

GeneaBloggers Article - Resources for Linking

Thomas MacEntee over at GeneaBloggers recently posted a short article titled, Resources for Linking.  There are some great resources packed into this short article.  I am especially excited about Give Good Link Karma which tells you step by step how to have your links open in a new window.  I have been wondering how to do this but hadn't made the time to look into it.  It's quick.  It's easy.  And it will make it easier for your readers to read your article while browsing the links in your article.

I'm looking forward to checking out a couple other suggestions as well.  Check out the article for some great tips.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, March 12, 2010

Inaugural Edition of Carnival of Genealogical Societies Published

The First Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies came out yesterday at the California Genealogical Society & Library

The topic for this edition is:
Doin' Things Right!
Shine a spotlight on a specific program, project, or publication at a genealogical society and tell us why it worked. Tell an anecdote about how you benefited from a particular genealogical society service.
Share a success story and be specific!
I am particularly excited about this one as it is the first time I have participated in  "Carnival."
I hope you enjoy the articles!

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandma & Grandpa

Don't they make a cute couple?

My parents bought these guys in Mexico in 1968.  Apparently they brought them home and boxed them up for safekeeping.  Back in 1968, the knowledge of archiving wasn't what it is today but I am utterly amazed at the condition this couple is in!  They look like they are brand new.  They are made of wax.  The colors and details are amazing.  The fabric in their clothing looks brand new.

You are going to cringe when you hear how they were stored.  I sure did!  They were in a cardboard box in a garage cabinet.  The first layer I removed was newspaper!  Mom said they used it to keep the bugs out.  I had never heard of that but there is no evidence of bugs anywhere so maybe there's something to it.  Next, I ran into a thick layer of very discolored tissue paper that was stapled around the edges.  This seems to have actually saved them from the acidic newspaper as the outer tissue paper was discolored but the innermost layers were not. 

They have been wrapped up for over 40 years! 

My attitude is, they need to be displayed or find a new home.  My questions is how should 40+ year old wax figures be displayed but still be protected?  I am concerned not only about dust but fading of the wax as well as the fabric.  Any ideas?

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Scanner Recommendations Anyone?

I could really use a new scanner.  Or maybe I just want something newer with more bells and whistles.  I don't know.  I've been asking around for recommendations and good ol' Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers had a great idea:  write a blog post asking for recommendations.  So here goes. 

I'm looking for a scanner that will:
  • Scan documents (up to 8.5 X 14 would be nice but is not absolutely necessary).
  • Scan photos.
  • Scan slides (I have lots and lots of slides so I would like something that will scan more than 4 at a time which is what mine does now).
  • Scan negatives in various sizes. So I will need appropriate templates.
  • Oh yes, and I need OCR
Maybe I need more than one device - like a flatbed and one of those fast little negative scanners.  I'm pretty much open to and would appreciate any suggestions!  I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Madness - Flora J. Ballinger

Flora was probably born 27 February 1859 (or 1857).  So far, no evidence of her marrying has been uncovered.  Her death date and place are unknown.

Here is a timeline of what I have been able to find out about Flora:

27 February 1857 or 1859 - Flora is born.  In the 3 census records I have for Flora (CO State census 1885, Federal MT 1900 & 1910), she is listed as being forn in Iowa.  Between the census records and the Declaration for an Original Pension of a Father, listed below in sources, there is a discrepancy in Flora's birth year.

1860s - Flora and her siblings Nancy, John and Mary Ann are listed as attendees in the first school house built in Colorado (see sources below).

1880 - Living in Boulder, Colorado, with Joseph Wolff, are his wife Eliza J, Flora Ballinger and several hired men.  Flora is doing housework. (1880 Federal CO census).

1892 - in the Directory of Farmers in Boulder County for 1892, Flora is listed as a farmer.  From the property description, it appears she is farming on her father's former homestead.

1900 - In 1900 in the Township of Stillwater, Carbon County, Montana, Flora J. Ballinger was enumerated with Charles Williams, his wife Georgie L., and their family, a servant and a boarder. Flora is listed as Aunt. She is the aunt of Georgie L. (nee Robinson). Flora’s sister, Nancy Robinson (nee Ballenger) was Georgie’s mother.

1910 - Flora is enumerated in the Town of Joliet, School District No 7, Carbon County, Montana with the Henry family.  Oddly she is listed un the relationship column as a patient.  Although it is very difficult to read.

After the 1910 census Flora appears to disappear.  I am waiting for something else to turn up.

Sources not listed above:
  • Ed Hubbard's article from The Daily Camera 17 November 1909 as extracted and appearing in the Boulder Genealogical Society Quarterly February 2002.
  • Declaration for an Original Pension of a Father, Military Pension file for John H. Ballenger, file number 630269, National Archives and Records Administration.  William H. Ballinger is the informant and made the declaration on 8 February 1896 in Boulder, Colorado.  Further he states in the document that he is a resident of Nye City, Montana.
Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - WDYTYA - John Eugene Roos

This is my first time participating in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  The mission:

1) Pretend that you are one of the subjects on the Who Do You Think You Are? show on NBC TV.
2) Which of your ancestors (maximum of two) would be featured on your hour-long show? What stories would be told, and what places would you visit?
3) Tell us about it on your own blog, in comments to this blog post, or in a Note or Comment on Facebook.

My great grandfather John Eugene Roos would be the subject  of my WDYTYA episode.  Eugene was born in February 1858, allegedly, in the Alsace region of France.  We know from family photos and letters that he had siblings and other family members in the Colmar area so I would begin there hoping to locate family records.
Since Eugene came to America as a child and was taken to live with sisters in St. Louis, that would be my next stop.  I would like to visit some of their homes and the cemeteries where they are buried. 
Next as a young man, Eugene went to live in Naperville, Illinois which is there he was living for the 1880 census and where he obtained his US citizenship that same year.  As the story goes, he attended Northwestern University for a time.  Whether or not he graduated is unknown.  So that is something I would love to look into. 
In 1885, Eugene supposedly went back to St. Louis for a time and moved to Los Angeles around 1887.  The family story is that he owned a bakery in what is now downtown LA on some really prime real estate.  Family members have for years pointed out that had he stayed there, we would now all be rich!  Eugene definitely was a baker but I have yet to find any evidence that he actually owned a bakery.  I like to point out to family members that had Eugene stayed in LA, none of us would be around to discuss this bakery story because grandpa never would have met grandma! Anyway, this is an intriguing story that I have always wanted to get to the bottom of.
While living in Los Angeles, Eugene met and married Eugenie Georger.  They were married in June of 1893.  Their first 3 children were born in Los Angeles before they moved to Cheney, Washington to open a bakery in the young town.  It was here that the family spent the rest of their lives and it is this town that would be my last stop.  Since it has been many years since I've been to Cheney, I would like to see the homes where various family members lived, visit the Cheney Historical Museum where there is an exhibit regarding the Cheney Bakery and visit the graves of the various Roos family members at Riverside Memorial Park in Spokane.  Finally, I would want to meet face to face, and take her to lunch, a lady who has been helping me with my Roos and Georger families in Cheney for a number of years. Barb Curtis has been sending me little newspaper tidbits for probably 10 years now.  Maybe longer.  Genealogists are such wonderful people!
So that's my WDYTYA adventure and after watching the real show last night, I believe my episode or any other genealogist's episode would be every bit as exciting as Sarah Jessica Parker's.

Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum

Sorting Saturday - Treasures in the Cabinet

Last week I wrote about some of the "sorting tools" I used in a recent sorting session with my mother.  This week you'll see how the session went.

This particular session, we chose a couple of cabinets in the dining room to work on.  There was a lot of the usual household decorating items like candles and napkins that were quickly dispensed with - as in keep that, get rid of that, so and so might like this.  Occassionally an item would appear that would incite a story.  That's when I would reach over and quickly push the record button on my little audio recorder that I kept on the dining room table. 

There were also a couple of items that belonged to my grandparents.  Had I not been made aware of that, I probably would have chosen to give those items away without much thought.  Now that I know, the items have been labelled as to who they belonged to.  They will make nice mementos.  One is a pie server with an interesting handle.  The other is a southwestern pottery mug. 

The mug represents something rather cool in that I have my grandparents slides and travel journal from their trip to Arizona where they no doubt bought this mug.

Here's what I took away from this session:

1.  Some family stories.  Some of which were downright hilarious!
2.  A couple of cleaned out cabinets.
3.  Mementos for various family members.
4.  A better sense of what's important to my mother.
5.  A really fun afternoon.

Next week I'm sorting through some really old bills.

Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, March 4, 2010

52 Weeks Challenge 9 - Blogs

I have accepted  this week's Challenge which is to read 5 new blogs every day and write about them. 

The first blog I found is a new one to the GeneaBloggers group - The Clue Wagon.  Kerry Scott has been blogging for a while on another topic and has just switched over to genealogy.  The first post I read, "Organizing Your Family Photos - Part 1" caught my eye because that is a favorite topic of mine.  She has since posted Parts 2 and 3. I have thousands of photos that are in the process of being organized (and probably will be forever) and I'm always looking for ideas.

Then I read some older posts.  I like her style.  It's light, witty and humorous and I want to keep reading more.  I encourage you to check it out!

GeneaBlogie is new to me but not new to the blogging scene. Even if the blog is on a brief haitus, there is plenty of material to read every day for quite a while.  I particularly like The Best of GeneaBlogie and noticed he has an entire section about the law as it relates to genealogy.  The copyright articles look particularly interesting since, as a new blogger, the last thing I want to do is unwittingly violate copyright or someone's privacy.

I have been reading The Family Curator for a few weeks now but decided to go back to the beginning and read all of her entries.  Since my great grandparents, grandparents, parents and now myself are the "Savers of Everything," I need to get back to organizing all of this stuff I have been schlepping over to my house for the last 10 or 15 years.  I have a real archive here and I think Denise's blog can help get me back on track.

Gen Wish List initially attracted me because of Tina's monthly Genealogy To Do List and her follow up at the end of the month.  I am a list person but putting one's To Do List out for all the world to see and then following up to say what she did/didn't accomplish - well that's gutsy!  At least for me it would be! It's also something I need to start doing!!!  Maybe I'll try it privately for a month and then work up the courage to post my monthly to do list.  Thanks Tina for a great idea!

Finally, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a look at The Genetic Genealogist.  Genetics really does interest me but for some reason I get a bit intimidated by the thought of delving into this topic.  Anyway, my next course at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies is on genetics so it's time to get going on this topic.

In summary, this was a really good activity and I found some ideas for activities.  I also found some other great blogs that are new to me by reading some of the other blogger's entries for this week's 52 Weeks Challenge.

Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum

Treasure Chest Thursday - A Real Treasure?

I'm not sure this one will go in my Heirloom Book but it's a great conversation piece!  We found 2 boxes of these in the basement.  As near as I can tell, from my quick Google searching, these water cans are from the Korean War and/or Vietnam War era.  They still have water in them.

It made for a great family conversation that went something like this:

Teenager:  Is there really water in that?? 
Answer: Yes.
Teenager: Didn't they have water back then? 
Answer:  Of course they did but these were water rations for troops and emergencies.
Teenager:  Why did they drink water from a can? [This one was my personal favorite!]
Answer:  Because they didn't have plastic bottles back then! 

You get the idea.  It was a fun conversation.

One family member has turned one into a pencil holder for his desk at work.  I'm sure we will come up with some other fun uses for these!

Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum

Monday, March 1, 2010

Madness Monday - Landon W. Ballinger

This week's Madness Monday post is a short one.  Unfortunately, the number 4 child of William and Lucinda Ballinger, lived a short life and appears to have left behind very few clues.

The timeline is this:
  • Circa 1858 Landon is born.  The place is unknown although quite possibly was it in Boulder as that is allegedly the year the family moved to Boulder.  See the February 26th post - Timeline William Harrison Ballinger.
  • 26 November 1870 - Landon dies near Boulder and is buried in Columbia Cemetery at the age of 12.
Landon was the second Ballinger child to pass away in November of 1870.  More on that in a future post.

Here is where I wish there was federal census data available on this family, hope that something will eventually turn up and wonder why and how William Ballinger managed to evade the federal census taker every year that William was considered a head of household (1850 through 1900).