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. http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com : accessed [access date].


Elisabeth Georger age 45, departed Antwerp, Belgium and arrived New Orleans, Louisiana; Marseille Passenger List, 20 June 1890. Ancestry.com. New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com 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. Ancestry.com. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com 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

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