Friday, December 31, 2010

Ancestor Approved

The Ancestor Approved Award is still going around and I've been fortunate enough to receive it again from:

Cheri Daniels of Journeys Past
Lazylover at Slowly Being Driven Mad by the Ancestors
Dee-Burris from Shakin' the Family Tree

I can't thank them enough for thinking enough of The Turning of Generations to include it in their Ancestor Approved Award.

The Ancestor Approved Award asks that the recipient list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlighted you and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.


My great grandfather, John Eugene Roos, established the Cheney Bakery in the young town of Cheney, Washington where my grandfather and father grew up. I have many fond memories of the time our family spent there on visits during my childhood.

My great great grandfather, Jean Nicolas Georger, had a saloon in Cheney called Nick's Place.

My great grandmother, Hulda Haun Mitchell committed suicide in Tum Tum, Washington by throwing herself in the Spokane River when her youngest child was only 10 months old.

The extended family who settled in Stillwater County, Montana during the late 1800's, is more extensive than I ever could have imagined and I am still discovering more.

Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel Donelson is my 1st cousin six times removed.

Daniel A. Robinson, my great great grandfather, was an early settler and community leader in Boulder, Colorado. He continued service to his community when he moved to Columbus, Montana for the last few years of his life.


My grandfather, Richard Roos, served overseas during World War I. He reported for duty just a few months after the death of his mother.

Elizabeth Haun, my great great grandmother, emigrated from Germany with her husband and young family which included my great grandmother, Hulda Haun, who was just an infant. That had to have been a challenging and difficult trip.


There are so many ancestors in my tree who were farmers. They contributed to the settlement of our great country by moving west and making a living off the land.

By the same token, there are also quite a few ancestors who were businessmen, leaders and contributors to their communities in a variety of ways. This includes my parents. I can't help but feel that they passed on a belief of and commitment to community service to each succeeding generation all the way down to my children. I tip my hat to them.

Here are my 10 choices for the Ancestor Approved Award.

  1. Kerry at Clue Wagon
  2. Cynthia of Heritage Zen:
  3. Tonia's Roots
  4. Donna from What's Past is Prologue
  5. Linda of Documenting the Details
  6. Carol at Reflections From The Fence
  7. Gini of Ginisology
  8. Barbara of Life From The Roots
  9. Susan at Nolichucky Roots
  10. Nancy from Sassy Jane Genealogy
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, December 30, 2010

101st Carnival of Genealogy - Genealogy Research/Writing Plan for 2011

The topic for the 101st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: My genealogy research/writing plan for 2011. Figure out what you think you can accomplish in 2011 and write it up on your blog.

Thanks to fM for the poster.

My plan is to find and prove the identify of the parents of my gg grandfather, William H. Ballinger, who was living with his wife Lucinda and their children in Black Oak, Mahaska County, Iowa in 1856.

I've been struggling with this for several years now and I've finally got enough information together to come up with a hypothesis. So 2011 is going to be the year I answer the question. Here's the plan.

Condensed version of known facts
  1. Living in Adams Twp., Mahaska Co, IA 1854 (IA State Census).
  2. Living in Black Oak, Mahaska Co., IA 1856 (IA State Census).
  3. Associated with John F., Samuel and Jeremiah Ballinger by proximity and business/land transactions (deeds, land maps, census records).
This is quite literally the kindergarten condensed version. I have lots more specific information and sources. if you are researching this line, please contact me.

Working Hypothesis

John F. and Catherine Ballinger were William's parents.

Research Strategy

  1. Investigate Ballingers in Mahaska County, Iowa will and probate records. I will be pulling all Ballingers that show up in order to identify or eliminate people.
  2. Finish transcribing, plotting and analyzing land records for Ballingers in Mahaska County.
Identified Sources

I have prepared a list of films that will need to be ordered from the Family History Library in order to carry out my research strategy.

This should keep me busy for quite a while. Thanks Jasia for prompting me to come up with a formal plan to accomplish this goal that has been in the works for a long time!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday - Desert Botanical Garden's Luminarias

    An annual holiday event at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden is Las Noches de Las Luminarias. We had the good fortune to enjoy the evening stroll while enjoying the lights and music.

    I didn't feel like dragging my tripod along so I was pretty happy to get these two photos with semi steady hands.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    There's Still Time To Win A Ticket To The Arizona Family History Expo

    That's right you still have time to enter my drawing for one of two tickets to the Arizona Family History Expo.

    Send an email to turningofgenerations at cox dot net with your name and email address and tell me why you want to attend the Arizona Family History Expo. Then if you are a winner, all you have to do is come say hi to me at the Expo. Easy!

    Two winners will be drawn at random on January 3rd so you need to get your entry in by January 2nd to be eligible. See you at the Expo!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Advent Calendar - December 24 – Christmas Eve

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum  Our favorite Christmas Eve activity actually started several days ahead. When our kids were little, we were boarding our horses at a friend's place so we would pile the kids and some of their friends in the car and go down to visit the horses. While we were there, we would get a small amount of grain and hay to leave out as a snack for Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve.

    Shortly before the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve, we would go out front and leave the reindeer their snack in the front yard. Then after they were asleep, Husband would go out and clean most of it up but he would always leave some scraps. Since the reindeer were in a hurry, they left quite a trail of hay across the front yard, on the garden wall, the bushes next to the house, and even several strands hanging from the edge of the roof.

    In the morning, usually after we opened presents, we would go outside and those little girls were absolutely enthralled with the trail of hay Santa's reindeer left behind!

    Photo by jonseidman1988

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Win a free registration to the Arizona Family History Expo!

    Are you up for learning some new tricks? This ol' dog sure is!

    I've got two tickets for free registrations at the Arizona Family History Expo in Mesa and I'm itching to give them away. Send an email to turningofgenerations at cox dot net with your name and email address and tell me why you want to attend the Arizona Family History Expo. Then if you are a winner, all you have to do is come say hi to me at the Expo. Easy!

    Two winners will be drawn at random on January 3rd so you need to get your entry in by January 2nd to be eligible. See you at the Expo!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    There's Still Time To Vote For Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs

    There's still time to vote for Family Tree Magazine's 2011 Best Genealogy Blogs. You have until Monday, December 20 at 11:59 p.m. To see the complete list of nominees, click here.

    The Turning of Generations is honored to have been nominated in the New Blogs cagetory! There are many really awesome new blogs out there, so I truly do appreciate the nomination.

    Get out and excercise your right to vote. If you've already voted, do it again. You can vote as many times as you like. Oh yes, and if you like this blog, please check the box next to The Turning of Generations!

    Good luck to all of the nominees. There are some fantastic blogs that have been nominated.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Advent Calendar - December 19 – Christmas Shopping

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum  Christmas shopping has really changed in our family the past few years. I can remember getting up early on Black Friday to hit the stores and get the good deals. Husband even stood in line at 4 AM one year to get a screaming deal on a ping pong table for the kids. Now Youngest Child is the one getting up at oh dark thirty to get the good deals and stretch her limited budget. This year, I must say she did quite well, from what I've seen that is...

    I am another story. I love to shop online and find that perfect gift for those hard to shop for people (and we have several in our family). If I work it right, I sometimes manage to find a deal or at least free shipping. I still spent plenty of time in the stores but online shopping has been a real Godsend and has made the holidays a little less frantic.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    A Digital Genealogical Disaster Plan or What's the Minimal Amount of Family HIstory to Pass On?

    For a while now I've had something nagging at me. After reading Michael John Neill's Rootdig post titled Cleaning Mother's House, it's really been niggling at me; especially as it relates to digital files. Today we seem to accumulate more and more digital documents through continuing research as well as by scanning our paper documents. Don't get me wrong, we should be digitizing, backing up, and migrating our files as technology changes. But I also think about who is going to be left with these files that could be wiped out with the stroke of a few keys. If that statement made your skin crawl, it should!

    If you have family members who aren't as enthusiastic about family history research as you are, you have a potential digital nightmare on your hands should you die or become incapacitated. None of us wants our hard work to be wiped out by disaster or deliberate act but that's exactly what could happen.

    I've been toying with a "Digital Genealogical Disaster Plan" of sorts. It's along the same lines as a natural disaster plan: if you have 3 minutes to get out of your house, what are you going to grab? If you die or are incapacitated tomorrow, what do you want your family to know is important?

    I've started a file called "1IMPORTANT-DONT THROW AWAY-THIS MEANS YOU" (the title starts with a 1 so it sorts to the top). In it go copies of only the most important genealogy and family history files. I'm hoping to make my family understand that if they don't/can't save everything, at least they need to save these items. If I use the KISS method (Keep It Simple Silly), I'm hoping to have some success.

    This file folder will contain things like:
    • A backup copy of my database with all of its cited information.
    • A pdf "dump" of the contents of my database.
    • Copies of really super critical original documents.
    • One of a kind copies of ancestral photos.
    • A copy of the Heirloom Book.
    • Notes of interviews with family members (including notes about my own life).
    The trick is in deciding what is so important that it just can't be thrown away. I'm hoping, if I keep it really, really simple, maybe this file folder will have a better chance of surviving into the future where someone will realize the valuable treasure they have on their hands.

    Surely there will be more to say on this in future posts. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts too.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Advent Calendar - December 18 - Christmas Stockings

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum Oh, how Christmas stockings have changed since I was a child! Like food portions in our society, the stocking sizes have grown! A few years ago, Mom gave me my childhood stocking thinking I might like to hang it over the fireplace on Christmas Eve. Actually, I would have loved to but it would have been about half the size of everyone else's!

    As a kid, we would find our stockings stuffed, on Christmas morning, with Santa's gifts wrapped in the same paper Mom used for everything else. I never could understand that but also never thought to ask.

    I looked forward to the chocolate coins Santa would leave every year. In the bottom of the stocking there was always a navel orange which made for a good mid-morning snack. As an adult, I found out Santa always left Dad a navel orange in his stocking when he was growing up. It seems that it was a good way to make sure the stocking was full during the Depression and WWII years. My parents continued the tradition. I have been known on an occassion to put those scrumptious Cutie oranges in my family's stocking as well.

    Photo by melalouise

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Advent Calendar - December 17th - Favorite Holiday Shows

    With only 3 major TV networks to choose from when I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, our television holiday choices were somewhat limited, unlike today with cable TV and dozens of channels to choose from. It seems like we mostly watched the same shows in December year after year: A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frost the Snowman, and my favorite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (For a trip down memory lane check out the list of US Christmas specials on wikipedia.)

    I have to admit, however, the second half of Rudolph, after he ran away and came across the Abominable Snowman, was a bit more than I could take. I had to leave and hide my head under a pillow in another room until it was safe to come out. Admittedly, I missed quite a bit of Rudolph in those days. Fortunately, I outgrew my fear of the Abominable Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer remains one of my favorite holiday TV shows.

    Photo by foggydave
    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Treasure Chest Thursday - Or - It Takes a Thief

    When I was a kid I remember a "safe" sitting in my grandparents extra bedroom. It was more of a file cabinet with a combination lock on the bottom compartment. We used to sit and twirl the dial trying to open it up.

    After my grandparents passed, the "safe" was moved to Dad's office where it sat for many years. Recently another family member expressed interest in having the "safe." Suddenly there was a need to open it and see what was inside. But how? No one alive seems to know the combination or where it might have been written down.

    Enter Husband with his common sense ingenuity; and a butter knife. Yep, he popped that baby open like it a pro! While there was no family fortune waiting inside, there was a family historian's delight: old photos, letters and other documents. Some of which are both valuable and helpful. Others have left me with questions but no answers.

    Check back over the next couple of weeks and I'll share a few items. You might even be able to answer some questions for me.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum
    Photo by Marcin Wichary

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday - ZooLights

    This tree was one of our favorites this year at The Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs Nominees

    I've been travelling for a few days without normal conveniences like internet or TV. What a nice surprise to return and see The Turning of Generations has been nominated for Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs! You can go here to see the entire list and vote.

    Thank you genealogy blogging community for the nomination!!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Arizona Family History Expo Blogger of Honor

    I am pleased and very honored to be able to announce that I have been named as a Blogger of Honor for the 2011 Arizona Family History Expo in Mesa, Arizona.

    For a complete list of Bloggers of Honor as well as other bloggers who will be in attendance, you can check out Family History Expo's latest blog post.

    I'll have more info, news and a freebie so stay tuned...

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    An Adventure In The Cemetery

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum Recently I wrote about stumbling across my grgr grandmother, Elisabeth Georger's tombstone on Findagrave. Right before Thanksgiving, my family went to a softball tournament in southern California not far from where Elisabeth is buried. The tournament was rained out so we had time on our hands. Softball Player went to Disneyland with her teammates and Husband and I headed to Calvary Cemetery with our raincoats and umbrella.

    I had called ahead to get the burial location for Elisabeth and also asked if her husband, Jean Nicolas Georger, was by chance buried there as well. He was!

    First we stopped at the office to get an idea of just where in this humongous cemetery we should be looking. Apparently this is the New Calvary Cemetery. The original cemetery was located near downtown Los Angeles and that is where Elisabeth was originally buried. A school was built on the site and all of the remains were moved to the current location. Unfortunately, many records have been lost and the very nice people in the office were unable to tell me her burial location.

    After getting our bearings on the location of Nicolas Georger's burial site, and that of another relative, we headed out into the rain. We did find Nicolas but were not as lucky with the other relative. However, we did find other family members in the same area.

    Husband and I ended up soaking wet but nonetheless very satisfied at having found my gr gr grandfather's Jean Nicolas Georger's marker.

    We are befuddled about Elisabeth, however. We know her stone is in that cemetery somewhere! Right now I am feeling like I went for a virtual walk in the cemetery, tripped over the exact tombstone I was looking for, but when I turned around to see the tombstone, it had vanished! AAAGGGHHH!

    My very smart cousin has made a suggestion as to how we might proceed.  So, it looks like I have a little project on my hands. I will keep you posted.

    To read the rest of the story:
    To cite this article:
    Goodrum, Michelle. “An Adventure In The Cemetery.”The Turning of Generations, 9 December 2010. : accessed [access date].

    Artwork by wackystuff

    Advent Calendar - December 9 – Grab Bag

    When I was a child, my parents would put presents under the tree in the days leading up to Christmas, as the presents were wrapped. Crawling around under the tree to discover any new packages was great fun. It was even more fun to try and guess what was in the package!

    When Santa came Christmas Eve, he would stuff our stocking with wrapped gifts and leave "the big gift" unwrapped under the tree. I was always perplexed though. Santa used the same wrapping paper as my parents. I just didn't get it.

    When we had a family of our own, I was determined not to leave any question whatsoever as to the genuineness of Santa Claus. Special wrapping or tissue paper was purchased and hidden. Any gifts that went into the stockings must have different wrapping paper from presents under the tree. We laugh about it now but apparently I was successful.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday - ZooLights

    This desert display at The Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights reminded me of the Harry Potter series.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Advent Calendar - Santa Claus

    Do I believe in Santa Claus? You bet!

    There's nothing like seeing the wonderment in a child's eyes and hearing squeals (or screams) of joy on Christmas morning when they see what Santa brought.  Even playing Santa Claus through various charitable programs leaves me feeling really good even though I never see the faces of the children and their families.

    Preserving that spirit is not without challenges however. One year the neighbor kids told our kids that it's Mom or Dad who writes the thank you note Santa leaves next to his milk and cookies. We had to go though handwriting analysis to prove it really was Santa who was writing those notes. A little nerve wracking but we passed.

    I don't know exactly when Oldest Child figured out the truth about Santa Claus. We knew that she knew but she wasn't about to come clean. It turns out she was afraid she wouldn't get any more gifts from Santa if she let on to what she knew.

    Youngest Child came home from school in 6th grade and sat me down for "the talk." Her best friend's mom had given her daughter "the talk" and now Youngest Child needed to know what was really going on. It was a traumatic conversation for the both of us, tears and all.

    Our conversation ended with this: everyone is Santa Claus. This is the season of giving and it's as much fun, if not more, to play Santa by giving as it is to receive. Santa is not going away. With that, we started a new tradition in our family; Santa still stuffs the stockings Christmas Eve, only now there are several Santas doing the stocking stuffing in our house.

    We also do at least one Christmas Angel every year, which the kids immensely enjoy assisting in selecting the gifts. I just wish we could be flies on the wall and see the wonderment and hear the sounds of joy from those children for whom we were able to play Santa.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Advent Calendar - Outdoor Decorations

    One of our family's favorite ways of enjoying outdoor holiday decorations over the years has been to visit the annual ZooLights display at the Phoenix Zoo. We have taken many out of town guests to ZooLights and have seen immense changes as it has grown. Visiting the zoo at night has also been a great way to see some of the nocturnal animals when they are more active.

    The constantly changing colored ball over the lake is a new addition since our last visit to ZooLights.

    Every few minutes a new piece of holiday music is played and the lights in this avenue of trees change in time to the music. It attracts quite a crowd.

    This is the first year we went with no children (they had other plans). I have to say, it's just not the same without kids. However, I was able to be my geeky self by bringing my camera bag and tripod along without having to embarass any teens!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    December 4 – Christmas Cards

    The tradition of sending Christmas cards seems to have changed over the last hundred years. This year, I'm going to focus on my great grandparents generation. They seemed to like to send postcards like these.

    I am really thankful to have them because this line would have been a dead end for us otherwise. We have literally pieced the family together through clues left in their correspondence. Unfortunately for me, much of it is in French, which I do not speak, so translating has been slow!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #48

    This week Amy over at The We Tree Genealogy Blog asks us to:

    Week 48: Examine different online tools for cataloging your personal genealogy library and keeping track of the books you read.
    Several weeks ago, I set up a LibraryThing account to begin inputting all of my genealogy and family history related books. I was very surprised at how easy it was to input the books and add them to my account! For the most part, all I had to do was enter the book title. Then LibraryThing would do it's thing by finding the book and its relevant information. Now I am beginning to play around with the tags.

    A feature I like is that you can print out your book list, if you feel the need. I plan on doing this before the next conference I go to so I don't make any duplicate purchases.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    There's One In Every Family - 100th Edition of COG

    Every family has that someone who is "special." We all define special in slightly different ways. In my case the special someone was my dad. He played many roles including that of teacher, the one who always made time for those he loved, a maker of memories, a recorder of memories, and a keeper of memories.

    We are all teachers. We teach by just doing what we do every day. Someone is always watching and learning, especially children. Dad had this concept dialed in. When I was about nine, Dad was building a deck on our place. I was hanging around watching him lay the boards and nail them down. So he showed me how to hammer nails and straighten out the ones that were a little bent so they could still be used. I spent quite a bit of time straightening out my bent nails so occasionally he had me straighten out the ones he had bent a little too.

    Not only did Dad teach me a skill and how to solve a problem, he did it in such a way that he was able to continue with his project and actually make some progress while keeping a little kid busy at the same time! Looking back, I think he knew exactly what he was doing. The deck got built and I helped.

    Dad was the same way with his grandkids too. Dad loved to garden and when it was time to weed, he would take the grandkids kids along to "help".

    He would give them their own can to put weeds in. Then he would go along, pull weeds and leave them for the kids to pick up. The grandkids would even pull a few weeds themselves, until they got bored...

    When it was time to pull carrots, he taught them how to break the tops off and rinse them. Then it would be snack time. I'm sure there were  a lot of carrots that never made it into the house.

    To this day my children have fond memories of gardening with Grandpa. I even recently found out that one day he decided to take a nap under his tomato plants!

    Dad would also make time for just about anything. On one visit, Husband and I decided to take the kids to Port Townsend for a picnic. I was looking for a place called Chetzamoka Park. It was one of those spur of the moment "just because" types of adventures. We asked Dad if he wanted to come along even though he had mentioned earlier he was going to fix something around the house. Being one not to miss out on something potentially fun, he jumped at the chance. We found the park and had a lovely picnic. At one point he asked what the point was in coming all the way to Port Townsend for a picnic so I reminded him of the ferry we used to ride when we were little kids named the Chetzamoka. I just wanted to find the park with the same name.

    Being an avid photographer, Dad was also a recorder of memories. Unfortunately, that meant he was behind the camera way more often than he was in front of it. Now it's hard to find him in any pictures.

    As it turns out, Dad wasn't just the maker and recorder of memories; he was also the keeper of memories. I mostly have him to thank for all of the family history we have right at our fingertips. I suspect there are a number of our family lines that essentially would have turned out to be dead ends if it wasn't for the various letters, postcard, photos, and other documents that he saved.

    Thank you Jasia for this opportunity to share my someone special in the 100th Carnival of Genealogy and congratulations on making it to 100! I’m looking forward to many more.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Advent Calendar - The Christmas Tree

    Growing up we always had a real Christmas tree. It seemed like it was huge but as an adult, when I stand in our family's living room, I realize it wasn't all that tall because we didn't have tall ceilings! I was just small. We would all decorate the tree every year.

    After Husband and I were living in Arizona and had a family of our own, we continued to purchase a real tree every year. It was quite the production with the entire family driving around town to all the Christmas tree lots to find the very best tree. The kids thought it was great fun and they would come home tired so it worked out wonderfully!

    Over time, we realized we were waiting until closer and closer to Christmas to buy our real tree so that it wouldn't be all dried out by the time Christmas Day rolled around. We tried to do all the right things to keep our trees from drying out but the dry Arizona environment just isn't conducive to real Christmas trees. Finally, we gave in and bought a huge, beautiful, but fake tree. Now we buy a nice smelling "real" wreath to make up for the lack of a real tree.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wordless Wednesday - Javelina Alert

    Teenager walked in the family room earlier this week and said she thought she saw a javelina disappear behind a bush out back of  the house. I grabbed my camera and headed up on the deck. It turns out there was a whole family out for a late afternoon walk! Javelina are regulars around here although this particular family is usually seen very early in the morning.

    This one seemed to be watching over...

    Mom and her two babies.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Tech Tuesday - ScanSnap

    Several months ago, I requested recommendations for a new scanner. I was basically looking for a scanner that would do everything, including sing and dance. After evaluating my needs, what the equipment I presently own can do, and shopping around, I ended up with the Fujitsu Scansnap S1300. It arrived on Friday.

    What convinced me to purchase this little gem were recommendations from Becky Wiseman over at Kinnexions and Denise Barrett Olson of Moultrie Creek Gazette. While the ScanSnap doesn't "do it all", it does a lot and it does it fast. It will scan any size document up to legal size, 2 sides in one pass, turn it into a searchable PDF and it's portable.

    There is a document management program called Rack2-Filer that comes with the ScanSnap that looks like it could be pretty helpful. I just need some time to figure it out. If anyone has had any experience with Rack2-Filer, I'd love to hear from you.

    We are hopeful here in the Goodrum household that the ScanSnap can help us tame the paper tigers - genealogy and other! So far I am pleased. I'll keep you posted.

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated or in any way associated with Fujitsu. I purchased the ScanSnap with my own money. These opinions are solely my own.

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Thanksgiving Leftovers

    OK folks, it's time for a little post Thanksgiving fun. We were blessed this holiday with a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast and did not go hungry. There are lots of leftovers. So, this week we are playing a game. It's called, How Many Ways Can You Prepare Potatoes. I got a little carried away when I was shopping...

    We started with Mashed Potatoes (of course). Then we remembered the 1975 Veg-O-Matic we found in the Family Home. 

    Since we never make french fries (slicing potatoes is way too much work), we thought it might be fun to use the Veg-O-Matic.

    It was incredibly fast and easy to slice a potato into beautiful fries. Husband pan fried them in canola oil and we had a nice steak dinner.

    Next we will try Turkey Potato Soup.

    And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    There's Still Time to Nominate Your Favorite Blogs For The 2011 Family Tree 40

    You can still nominate your favorite genealogy blogs for Family Tree Magazine's 2011 Family Tree 40 through Tuesday, November 30. Here's the link for the nomination form. I've still got a few I plan on nominating!

    If you like this blog, it would fit really nicely into "Category 8 - New Blogs". Just saying...

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Mesa Family History Expo Registration

    You still have time to get in on early registration for the Mesa Family History Expo, January 21 and 22, 2011, at the Mesa Convention Center. The deadline for the $55 early bird registration is November 30th. I just submitted mine and I can't wait!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Sorting Saturday - What To Do With Ancestors Who Aren't Your Ancestors

    Sometimes in our research we come across multiple individuals with the same name, born about the same time in the same area. It becomes necessary to be able to distinguish between these people in order to sort out "our" ancestor from the rest. It's also necessary to keep those records organized and available for future reference when we inevitably need to refer to them once again.

    When I was analyzing Bessie Passmore's birth certificate, I discovered 3 Thomas Passmore's (Bessie's father) who were born in Ohio in the same time frame as "my" Thomas Passmore. According to Bessie's birth certificate, her father was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

    I noticed on several of Ancestry's Family Trees that various people have connected the Thomas who is in my line with the families of these other Thomas's. Also, I've already been asked by one relative what I thought about Thomas being in one of those lines.

    Just to be sure of my logic, I followed these other men through the federal census where it quickly became obvious they couldn't be a match into my family line. It occurs to me that, sometime in the future, I may need to explain my logic in detail. So I've saved my worksheets in order to be able to review them with an interested researcher.

    But now where to store this information? Do I keep it with "my" Thomas Passmore? Or store it separately in a "Not My Passmore" file? I'm leaning toward storing digitized copies only in a separate "Not My Passmore" file.

    What do you do with similar information?

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge 47 - Genealogy Gift List

    This week's challenge:

    Make your genealogy gift list. The holidays are coming! Prepare a list of genealogy-related gifts you’d like to receive: books, magazine subscriptions, software, electronics, society memberships or anything else that might look good with a bow on it. If you’re blessed to already have everything you could possibly want, consider charitable donations and in-kind gifts to societies, libraries and preservation groups. If you have a genealogy blog, you can share your list and give gift ideas to your readers as well.
    My kids have been bugging me for a Christmas list and since I am addicted to genealogy, my list naturally contains lots of genealogy and family history related items. In fact, they are out shopping the Black Friday sales as I write this. Here's a sampling of the top genealogy items on my list:

    1. Flip Pal Mobile Scanner.
    2. Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. This is probably the closest thing to a genealogy assistant that I will ever hope to get!
    3. Google Earth For Genealogists DVDs (Volume 2 in particular).
    4. NGS Home Study Course with the graded option.
    5. Personal trainer package. If I am going to live long enough to accomplish my "bucket list", genealogy related or not, I've got to get back into the routine of excercising so this ol' body will stay healthy!
    6. New slippers for doing genealogy research at home. I've worn our my current pair!
    7. There are several books:
      • Eat, Pray, Love  by Elizabeth Gilbert
      • The Accidental Anarchist by Byrna Kranzler
      • The Journey Takers by Leslie Albrecht Huber
      • If This Land Could Talk, Homesteading on the Northern Plains by Judy R. Cook 

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday - Boulder, Colorado Hike

    Last summer while we were in Boulder, I took a photo of the famous flatirons that overlook the town.

    Here's the view from somewhere "up there." We took a wrong turn on our way to do a nice little hike near the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) facility and ended up on Flagstaff Mountain. If you're going to take a wrong turn, it was a great place to end up as the views are spectacular. Too bad we didn't pack a picnic lunch!

    We did finally find NCAR and went on a very nice hike, although we made it a shorter hike than originally planned.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    There's one in every family! - 100th Carnival of Genealogy

    When Husband was growing up, his mother used to make Sweet Potato Casserole for the holidays. It was a dish he savored. So after we were married, his mother gave him the recipe and we continued the family tradition of making the Sweet Potato Casserole.

    When I was growing up, I was not particularly fond of sweet potato anything but I must admit to being quickly converted into a sweet potato lover; or at least a lover of this particular dish.

    One year, after moving to Arizona, some friends invited us over for Thanksgiving. Everyone was to bring a dish so Husband brought his sweet potatoes. This was a fairly large gathering and several in attendance were not fans of sweet potatoes. After everyone made their first pass through the buffet style line, the word started to get around that those sweet potatoes were delicious. Even some of the non-believers, who had taken a very small helping to be polite, were commenting on how good they were. People started going back for seconds.

    This family has become a second family of sorts to us. We often join them for holiday meals and Husband is always asked to bring his Sweet Potato Casserole. If we aren't able to attend, someone else is assigned the duty of making it but everyone says it's just not the same as Husband's.

    Within our own immediate family, this dish is always on the table for the holidays and Oldest Child makes a point of requesting Dad's Sweet Potato Casserole.

    I hope you will try and enjoy this dish sometime during your holiday season. Bon app├ętit!

    Sweet Potato Casserole

    2 cans sweet potatoes (drained)
      As an alternate you can use fresh sweet potatoes or fresh yams. Cook, peel and mash them first.
    1 c. sugar- with fresh sweet potatoes (use only ½ cup with canned sweet potatoes)
    ½ c. butter melted
    2 eggs beaten
    1 t. vanilla
    1/3 c. milk

    Mash the potatoes. Mix in sugar. Next mix in melted butter. Separately mix the eggs, vanilla and milk. Add these to the potato mix.

    Meanwhile to prepare topping, combine the following and spread over the casserole:

    ½ packed light brown sugar
    ¼ c. flour
    2 ½ T. melted butter
    ½ c. chopped pecans

    Cook casserole at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wordless Wednesday - Fall Along Boulder Creek

    Boulder, Colorado
    October 2010

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - Can You Stumble Over Someone on Find A Grave? I Did

    Artwork by wackystuff

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum I feel like I tripped right over something - virtually. It's like I was wandering around the cemetery and a hand reached up and grabbed my ankle.

    You see recently I sent off for my great grandmother's sister's death certificate. When it arrived, I noticed it said she was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles and a little light went off in my head. Her father, (my gr gr grandfather) is buried in Los Angeles, according to his death certificate. But we don't know where.

    I decided to take a perusal through Find A Grave and see if anything turned up. Since we have quite a few family surnames in Southern California, many of them Catholic and potential candidates for burial in a Catholic Cemetery like Calvary, I decided to scroll through the list of internments. Imagine my surprise when I got to the Gs and there was the name of my great great grandmother, Elisabeth Georger, with the same birth and death date that we had from her funeral card! (Well, almost, the death year on the tombstone is 1891).

    Printed with permission. Original, privately held by Cousin, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]
    I felt like I had been walking along and literally fell over her tombstone! We have been looking for Elisabeth's place of death/burial for many years now. Elisabeth arrived in New Orleans from Antwerp on 20 June 1890 with 4 of her 5 children where her husband was waiting for her. A family story says that they left New Orleans because something really awful happened.

    We have a photo taken of Elisabeth in Mexico City on some unknown date.

    Printed with permission. Original, privately held by Cousin, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]
    Finally, her husband Jean Nicolas was naturalized in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County 29 April 1892.

    We really weren't sure where Elisabeth died but at least now we know where she is buried. I requested Elisabeth's death certificate from Los Angeles County but they were unable to locate it. So, I still don't know for sure where she actually died or the cause of death. Drat.

    Here's the best part of the story. I contacted the Find A Grave submitter to see if there is any relationship between her and Elisabeth Georger. There isn't. When she visits a cemetery, this wonderful volunteer takes photos of the tombstones around her ancestors and adds them to Find A Grave! Wow! How's that for a volunteer? She offered to transfer the memorial over to me and return sometime and take a photo of the tombstone (she didn't have a camera when she initially transcribed the headstone).

    Now, I have a Find A Grave account with one memorial - Elisabeth's. I'm looking forward to contributing the handful of headstones I have photographed to Find A Grave in the near future. And the next time I visit a cemetery you can be sure that I'll be photographing the graves surrounding my ancestors and contributing them to Find A Grave. Hopefully, someday I can "pay it forward."

    To read the rest of the story:
    To cite this article:
    Goodrum, Michelle. “Tombstone Tuesday - Can You Stumble Over Someone on Find A Grave? I Did.” The Turning of Generations, 16 November 2010. : accessed [access date].


    Elisabeth Georger age 45, departed Antwerp, Belgium and arrived New Orleans, Louisiana; Marseille Passenger List, 20 June 1890. New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2006. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902. Microfilm publication M259. 93 rolls. Record Group 36.

    Jean Nicolas Georger naturalized in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County 29 April 1892. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.;Naturalization Index of the Superior Court for Los Angeles County, California, 1852-1915 (M1608); Microfilm Serial: M1608; Microfilm Roll: 1.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Family Tree Magazine Is Doing It Again!

    Family Tree Magazine is taking your nominations for your favorite genealogy blogs now through November 30th. For details, read today's post at the Genealogy Insider.

    To nominate your favorite blogs, go to Nominate a Genealogy Blog for the Family Tree 40, or click on the Nominate a Blog emblem at the top right of my blog.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Sorting Saturday - You've Got Mail!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum Most of us have heard the saying, "You've Got Mail!" As genealogists and family historians that saying takes on a whole new meaning. In our endeavors to document our work, we collect not only photos, letters, birth certificates, and all sorts of other paper documents but also the electronic kind. That includes email.

    Mine is out of control. Mainly it's because I haven't been able to decide what to do with it. You see, several years ago, I had this system. All of my mail came into Outlook Express. I would save the email, along with any attachments, as an Outlook Express file in whatever family folder on my computer was appropriate. That worked pretty well although I did worry that someday I might not be able to open the Outlook Express file due to changes in technology. So I would also save it as a .txt file. There was a problem with that however, in that if there had been an attachment to the email neither the attachment nor the name of the attached file was saved in the .txt format. I figured between the 2 systems I was probably OK. And I was. Until my hard drive crashed...

    Most of my stuff was backed up so it was just a big hassle. However, we decided going forward to leave our email "in the cloud" with our Internet Service Provider. It's easier that way since we access our email from different computers. But what to do with the genealogy email? I really prefer to save those with the rest of my genealogy files.

    In the last several years since that hard drive crash, I've just been accumulating those genealogy related emails in a family folder "in the cloud" that is my ISP. Ugh! I need to do something, anything!

    Recently, someone (I'm sorry I can't remember who) suggested saving emails as PDF files. That way, the file can be saved with the rest of my genealogy files and if there were any attachments, the file name for the attachment is preserved within the body of the email. PDF has become so standard that it, hopefully, is unlikely to go away. At least not anytime soon... The best part is that it should be E-A-S-Y to do.

    Just to be safe, maybe I'll save them as .txt files too...

    I'm curious, how do you handle your genealogy related email files?

    Photo by Nieve44/La Luz

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Veterans Day - WWI Service in Russia

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum Roy Bindon's US military service during WWI was a bit unusual. He was inducted into the Army 30 April 1918 in Chicago, Illinois and shipped out to Siberia, Russia on 2 September of that same year. Roy was trained as a sniper and served with the Machine Gun 31st Infantry and later the 27th Infantry.

    Roy Bindon, sitting, in Khaborovsk,
    Siberia 1918. Original privately held
    by Carol Fuller, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE].

    The American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia were charged with keeping the Trans-Siberian Railroad open and out of the hands of the Bolshevicks. Roy and his comrads arrived in Vladivostok and went to work. As Roy's daughter told me the story:
    One day the troops had gone up past Volodevestock (?) and Verteneudinks (?). She thinks it was beyond Verteneudinks. The troops were out guarding the Trans-Siberian Railroad and Roy, being a machine gun sniper, was sent out in the woods by his commandant.
    While he was out, the Bolshevicks camped below the tree that he [Roy] was stationed in, where he had set up his machine gun sniper position. They [the Bolsheviks] spent the night below him and he had to stay up in that tree all night long. He hung on for dear life until they got up early the next morning and moved out.
    When Roy thought the Bolsheviks were sufficiently gone, he reported back their position to his commandant. The commandant, had a canvas tent or some other temporary structure that was somehow heated. As Roy reported in to the commandant, the warm air hit his cold eardrums, and his eardrums burst. He slowly started going deaf from that point on.
    It really is a rather extraordinary story. I was able to confirm it by obtaining Roy's military records (see sources below). According to these records, Roy was treated in December of 1918 at an Army hospital in Khabarovsk, Siberia.

    Roy came back from Russia and spent many years in Hines hospital because he was slowly going deaf and the ringing in his ears just about drove him crazy. After reading Roy's military records, I can only imagine the frustration he and the family went through trying to get him the medical help that he needed.


    Roy's Military Records obtained from the Department of Veteran's Affairs in Chicago, Illinois. More specifically, his Honorable Discharge Certificate, various Requests for Army Information and Applications for Disability Compensation.

    Carol Fuller Interview, 24 February 1994.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Sorting Saturday - Resource Files

    Somewhere back in my early days of genealogy research someone, or more likely several some ones, advised me to set up resource files for places and special interest topics. This would have been before the days when there was much available on the internet to "bookmark" or download, which is what I do now as opposed to saving paper. Still, I have all these files full of old paper resources.

    Last night I was filing a couple of things (specifically my French and German Word Lists from the Family History Library) when it became apparent the Resources Section of the file drawer desperately needed to be cleaned out. OK, it's True Confession Time: the drawer was so full I couldn't stuff those two documents into the France and Germany folders!

    I really didn't want to spend my evening cleaning out a file drawer; I was just trying to file 2 little words lists for crying out loud! I remembered an organizing tip I learned a while back. It goes something like this: when the file drawer gets too full, pick the fattest file and clean it out right then.

    The fattest file was about 4 inches thick: the Forms file, blank ones. Most of these forms, or ones similar, can be found online and downloaded. So, I kept a few favorite forms that I use regularly, kept one copy of the others that I might use, and recycled the rest. When I am so inclined, I will scan the master of those forms I really think I will use and recycle the paper. I love forms but how many iterations of a Research Log does a genealogist need? I mean I designed my own a long time ago!

    The French and German word lists are now filed but there are still some other pretty fat files in that drawer. I suspect many of those paper resources can now be found online so even more real estate could be freed up in this particular file drawer. What’s hiding in your paper files?

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday

    Out for an evening workout on the Willamette River.

    Corvallis, Oregon
    October 2010

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Genea-Angel Award

    Susan Peterson of  Long Lost Relatives wrote the following on her blog several weeks ago:
    I've noticed that many blogs carry a variety of awards and recognitions, so I thought it might be fun to provide a Genea-Angel award. It's a simple way of paying it forward - to recognize those people who have aided in your research, provided insight or otherwise given you inspiration and guidance in your family history journey. The recipient of the Genea-Angel award may display the image on their blog or web site if they choose.
    Barbara Poole, of Life From The Roots and Flowers From My Area was the first recipient of the Genea-Angel award, if I'm not mistaken. Early in October, I was one of the recipients of her award. It's so nice to be thought of as an angel by someone :)

    There are 3 people I would like to recognize as my Genea-Angels:

    Amy Coffin at We Tree gave me that little bit of encouragement I needed to start a blog when I met her at Thomas MacEntee's "Become A Genealogy Blog User" presentation at the Mesa Family History Expo in January. I had been thinking about it for quite some time and after my conversation with Amy I went home and took the plunge. Blogging has been a life changing experience for me. Thank you Amy!

    Carol at Reflections From the Fence,  and Reflections Flora and Fauna is another of my Genea-Angels. She has been a very encouraging blogger but more importantly she loves photography as I do. Not only does she write about genealogy but she posts her beautiful photographs of whatever tickles her fancy. I have found myself doing the same. The really cool thing is that not only am I taking more photographs in general but I am looking for those photo ops whenever I am out and about. Better yet, I am getting to know my camera better because I have been messing with the settings to see how it affects my pictures. All the better for making family memories or whatever happens to tickle my fancy. Thanks Carol for the inspiration!

    Miriam over at Ancestories is another of my Genea-Angels. She wrote one of her Follow Friday posts about this blog. It couldn't have come at a better time. After about nine months of blogging, I'd been thinking that it might be time to try some new and different things. So it was rejuvenating to have that post come out. Once things settle down with our crazy fall activities here at home, I'm looking forward to trying some new things here at Turning of Generations.

    Tell us who are your Genea-Angels.

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Practical Archivist Free WebChat Friday October 29

    I received an email the other day from Sally Jacobs, The Practical Archivist. She is having a free WebChat tomorrow Friday, October 29th from noon to 1pm (Chicago Time). You can ask her questions regarding how to organize, preserve, and share your family photo treasures. All you have to do is go to:

    I took her Joy of Organizing Photos class last summer. Sally is incredibly knowledgable and helpful not only with photos but with any of your archiving questions. She has gave me quite a bit of invaluable advice with the Time Capsule project, the Archival Closet and my massive photo and slides project. The best part is that she presents and explains in a way that is easy to understand. Her solutions are very practical for the family historian. That's why she's the Practical Archivist!

    © 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010