Saturday, January 29, 2011

Home-52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History-Week 4

I was born and raised in the same home. The same home I so often described in my posts about cleaning out the family home. After so many years in the same home, I have a lot of memories, so I'll just focus on three.

When I was really little, our house had exposed hardwood floors. The living room connected to the hallway the bedrooms were off of. As little kids, we loved to slide on the hardwood floors. We would get a running start across the living room and then hit the floor and try to slide all the way down the hall to the end. If we did it just right, we'd stop just as we were hitting the closet door at the far end. It was so much fun! Then my parents went carpeted floors which put an end to our fun. Today when I walk into the house, I have a hard time imagining myself running across the living room and sliding down the hallway. I mean how did I keep my long legs and arms from hitting the walls? It's hard to believe but I was that small and it just wasn't a problem.

One of Dad’s traits was that he could make just about anything. We had a huge backyard, so Dad built us a sailing ship of sorts out of two giant wooden spools and completed it with a sail. He knocked some of the boards out of the center part of each spool to make too little rooms. Since the spools were sitting right next to each other, he built a little platform to connect them. It made for great place to hang out with our friends and we would even take our lunch out there to eat.

For the sails dad took a long metal pole, a long piece of wood for the boom, and a huge piece of netting cut in the shape of a sail. He even rigged up ropes and pulleys so we could run the sail up and down. It was great fun on summer afternoons.
One thing about Western Washington is that few homes, had air conditioning. Those rare hot summer afternoons could be brutal. Our house had a great natural solution to the problem: an underground basement. We didn't need air conditioning on a hot afternoon. We just headed for the basement where it was naturally very cool. Not having cable TV back in those days, our choices for television were very limited to the three major networks, PBS, and a local reruns station. Often on those hot afternoons Sesame Street was one of the few or only choices. For the most part that was just fine by us and the neighborhood kids because we had a cool place to hang out until ice cream truck came by.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts in 2011to encourage you to record memories and insights about your life.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, January 28, 2011

Arizona Family History Expo Wrapup

Now that I've had a few days to recover and reflect on the Arizona Family History Expo, I'd like to share with you which lectures I attended and something I learned from each. I hope you find this helpful.

Friday began with Nancy Loe's, Organize Your Genealogical Research, where I learned it's perfectly OK to arrange your digital and paper files differently. In fact, that's what she recommends. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I heard this. The other organizing presentations I have attended and reading I have done on this topic have all recomended organizing paper and digital files the same way. Unfortunately, I realized, after I had re-organized my digital files several months ago, that I had done them each differently. I am having absolutely no problem finding anything, so based on Nancy's recommendation, I am not going to worry about it. Whew!

Since I am not particularly familiar with tax records, I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended Leiland Meitzler's, Using Tax Records to Extend Your Genealogy. Here I learned you can figure out how old a man was depending on when he began appearing in the local tax records, if you also familarize yourself with the local laws, for that time period. The laws of the time tell when a man had to begin paying a tax.

Next up, Arlene Eakle speaking on, Track Hard-to-Find Southern Ancestors in Land and Property Records: State by State. My ears perked up when Arlene explained there is a relatively new resource available that will allow researchers to connect their Tennessee ancestor to North Caroline during and after the Revolutionary War, if he claims military service from North Carolina. Maybe I can finally make some progress on my Low ancestors from Knox County, Tennessee!

I ended Friday with Pat Richley, aka Dear Myrtle, and her talk 7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists. She compiled her list based upon the recommendations of her genealogist colleagues over in Second Life. Pat spent some time talking about Gensmarts and how it can help you research more efficiently. I like efficiency!

Over the course of the weekend, I attended Bridget Cook's talks which you can read about in Post 1 of the FHE.

Lisa Louise Cooke started my Saturday off with How to Create Awesome Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth which I wrote about in Post 3.

The last presentation I attended was Dear Myrtle's, How Ancestry Trees Can Jumpstart Your Research. She did a live demo for us so we were able to see just how quickly those "shaky leaves" begin appearing once you upload your tree. I was glad I heard this presentation since Pat had some great tips and explained the difference between the shaky leaf (quick and easy data base results) and the magnifying glass which gives the results of a deeper search.

I hope this information is of help to you in your research. If you have the opportunity the listen to any of these presenters in the future, I recommend each and every one of them.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Disclaimer: As a Blogger of Honor for the Arizona Family History Expo, I did receive a free registration and dinner. This in no way influenced my opinions expressed herein. In fact I would have attended the Expo even if I would have had to pay.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Annual iGene Awards on the 102nd Edition of CoG

I vaguely remember the iGene Awards last year as they were going on about the time The Turning of Generations was born. I had no idea what a Carnival of Genealogy was much less who was giving out these iGene Awards! The timing for the iGene Awards is perfect however. Since starting The Turning of Generations last January, I now have nearly a full year of posts to choose from.

Best Picture: This one is easy. While it is not genealogy related, there is no doubt this award goes to A National Geographic Moment where I managed to catch an osprey flying along with a fresh catch in his talons. Taking a photograph like this has been a dream of mine for many, many years.

Best Screen Play:  This would be about Roy Bindon's WWI service in Russia. The casting committee has selected Liam Neeson to play Roy, Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show) to play Roy's wife Caroline, and Katharine Hepburn to play his daughter.

Best Documentary: The Time Capsule series is the winner of the Best Documentary award. Now if I can just get Ken Burns to make it into a film!

Best Biography: In March, one of the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges was to feature an ancestor on WDYTYA. My subject was my great grandfather the baker, John Eugene Roos and the recipient of the Best Biography award.

Best Comedy: I can't help but chuckle when I think of the conversation with Teenager over the Emergency Drinking Water. It highlights the generational differences we often experience.

Before signing off for the 2011 iGene Awards, I would like to thank Jasia of the Academy of Genealogy and Family History for her tireless work in putting on the annual iGene Awards and for graciously allowing participants to include her graphic.

Well that's it for this year, here at The Turning of Generations. It's time to roll up the red carpet until next year.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Happy One Year Blogoversary!

One year ago today, I started this blog. Hard to believe it's been that long. When I first started out on this adventure I was hoping to improve my writing and researching skills by sharing experiences with turning over the contents of the family home to the next generation. I was also hoping to learn a thing or two about getting that job done.

What I didn't realize was that there was this huge and truly supportive community of geneabloggers out there. I knew about GeneaBloggers but truly didn't grasp the strength of the community. You all have changed my genealogy life! It is possible to network and develop friendships out there in "cyberspace." Thank you, I'm looking forward to the next year and more. I thank each and every one of you who read my blog and whoever nominated me The Turning of Generations for Family Tree Magazine's 2011 Best Genealogy Blogs!!

Cupcake from
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, January 23, 2011

AZ Family History Expo - Part 4 - Out of the Comfort Zone

Yesterday afternoon I decided to try something new to me. Whenever I go to a conference or expo, I like to go to all of the classes. That's what conferences are for aren't they? Saturday, after lunch I decided to try something new. Play hookey! I hung around the exhibitors' hall, wrote a blog post, visited with attendees, hit some of the booths I hadn't yet had a chance to stop by (yes I made some purchases), and talk to vendors. Generally I just "went with the flow."

One of the unexpected benefits was the opportunity to visit with Dear Myrtle. We talked genealogy, of course, and about some things we have in common and then got off on Second Life. Something Ol' Myrt refers to often and a "place" I've been very intrigued by but really didn't understand conceptually. I basically got a personal tutorial on Second Life and how many genealogist interact there. It was fascinating!

My lesson learned for the afternoon: sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. You never know what wonderful opportunities might present themselves!

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, January 22, 2011

AZ Family History Expo - Part 3 - Interactive Family History Tours

This morning I was surprised and honored to once again be in the audience for Lisa Louise Cooke's first presentation of a brand new talk. This one was "How to Create Awesome Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth." Lisa has a way of envisioning how one can apply a "non genealogy" program in unique and interesting ways for family historians.

I walked out of her presentation with the basic knowledge of how I can put together a mini project for a couple of my relatives. One of which will satisfy my 2011 writing goal,  if I define writing broadly! I am excited.

If you are interested in what Lisa can teach you about Google Earth, check out her Genealogy Gems website.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, January 21, 2011

AZ Family History Expo - Part 2 - Cool New Tool

Today in my blogger bag was this super cute, cool USB hub. You can plug 4 items with USBs into it and it's super compact. Perfect for mobile computing. This ol' dog can't wait to try out her new tool!

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Disclaimer: As a Blogger of Honor, I did receive free registration to the FHE and this USB hub.

AZ Family History Expo - Part 1 - M. Bridget Cook

Today at the Arizona Family History Expo, I had the opportunity and honor of attending national bestselling author, M. Bridget Cook’s keynote banquet presentation, “Handling and Healing the Skeletons In Your Genealogical Closet” and her class, “Juicy Family History: 25 Ways to Write Compelling True Stories.” Bridget is an incredibly talented and passionate speaker. I left today with some new tools and the determination to move my own writing in a direction that will help me to tell not only my stories but those of my family in a way that truly draws the reader into the experience.

Two things I took away from Bridget’s talks today:

  1. Don’t just write a story in such a way that you only bring out the subject’s accolades thereby putting the person (or yourself on a pedestal). Include stories describing how you (or your subject) were faced with a challenge (good or bad) and what you did to overcome it. It will give your reader a better perspective and maybe even change their life.
  2. The other thing I l found extremely intriguing is that sometimes, when telling your story, in order to avoid presenting yourself as “holier than thou”, you can have someone you know tell a story about you or a portion of a story. It gives a completely different perspective.
As a thank you for attending this evening’s dinner, each of the attendees received an autographed copy of Bridget’s book, Shattered Silence, The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter. I can’t wait to get started reading it, so I’m off to do just that.

First a picture from our table this evening.

My friend Lynn, myself, blogger Amy Urman, and blogger and speaker Colleen McHugh.
Also joining us at our table tonight were Katherine from Tempe who is returning to genealogy after a 30 year break, and Diane from Ellensburg, Washington.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Disclaimer: As a Blogger of Honor, I did receive free FHE registration and a ticket to tonight's banquet. All observations and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Handling and Healing the Skeletons in Your Genealogical Closet - M. Bridget Cook

I am extremely excited to hear M. Bridget Cook give the keynote presentation,  "Handling and Healing the Skeletons in Your Genealogical Closet" at the Arizona Family History Expo's Friday night banquet. I just found out she has an inspiring video presentation over on YouTube. After viewing it, I'm even more excited.

Tickets are $33 and include dinner, dessert and a signed copy of Bridget's book.

To view the PDF brochure on Bridget'spresentation, click here. You can also read Holly Hansen's blog post.

To register, click here. Please note registration ends Thursday at 10am MST.

In the interest of full disclosure, as a Blogger of Honor, my dinner has been compensated by Family History Expos. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and not influenced by Family History Expos. In other words, I'd be going even if I had to pay for it!
© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Green 1964 Chevy Impala - Cars For 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Photo by Roys World
My first car! What warm memories it brings back! It was a green, 1964, Chevrolet Impala with four doors. The way I got this card was actually rather sad. It belonged to my grandparents and after they passed away, my parents let me drive it. So while this 16-year-old was very excited to have a car. It was also tinged with sorrow.

The Impala only had about 12,000 miles and was in mint condition. Since it came from Eastern Washington, where got hot in the summer, my grandparents had installed an air conditioner. That was a big plus and rare on vehicles in Western Washington in the mid to late 1970s. I also remember it had an AM/FM radio which I loved. My parents' cars only had AM radios.

I came into this car at the end of my sophomore year in high school, after spending the entire year in humiliation riding the bus to school. Oh, the freedom that car brought me! I was able to drive to work after school, attend after school events, and meet up with my friends at Herfy's for an evening snack or milkshake.

At one point we boarded one of my horses over in Woodinville. This required driving on Interstate 405, nearly every day so that I could go exercise him. I can remember my mom being very reluctant to allow me to drive on the freeway alone. So when she finally gave me the go ahead, I was incredibly excited. More freedom!

Having a car to drive also brought responsibilities like running errands for Mom and taking a sibling places. Like most teenagers, I was often happy to oblige her. She did keep tabs on me though. I can remember one summer when my parents went out of town for a few days, Mom wrote down the mileage on the odometer to make sure I didn't do too much driving while they were gone. I thought I had the perfect workaround. I figured if I put the car in reverse and drove backwards for a while it would run the miles back down. We tried this on our back road, but discovered, much to our chagrin that the miles on the odometer just kept going up!

My senior year in high school, I was on the yearbook staff. One of the responsibilities of every staff member was to bring in ads for the yearbook. Nobody really wanted to do this. But there was one perk. Mr. Fortin, the yearbook teacher, would give his students a pass to leave campus and try to procure yearbook adds. My friends and I took advantage of the opportunity to leave campus during the school day whenever we could. We spent a lot of time going to Herfy's for lunch, down to the beach at Picnic Point, and Haine's Wharf, among other local destinations. We managed to stay out of trouble for effectively playing hooky by actually obtaining more yearbook ads than anybody else on the yearbook staff. Oh, the fun we had on those rare beautiful sunny Pacific Northwest winter and spring days!

After graduating from high school, I went off to college and was not allowed to take a car with me. The green Chevy Impala was passed down to the next sibling in the family and I'm sure there's a lot more stories to be had there.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, January 15, 2011

KISS - Keep It Short Silly on Sorting Saturday

Photo adapted from original by ImageLink

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum. Part of my monthly backup plan includes automating the backup process on MyBookWorld. Previously I've been doing it manually which works fine as long as you remember to do it. After doing my first automatic backup, I reviewed the error report. Most of the errors had to do with the file or the pathnames being too long. It looks like I've been busted by the filename police.

Out of curiosity, I checked Backblaze, the online backup service I use, and noticed that those same files are not backed up there. I don't seem to be able to find any kind of an error report on that however. So I’m not sure how I would ever discover a problem if I don’t go looking for one. Now I'm going through the process of shortening the problematic filenames and paths.

However, another challenge has arisen. While Backblaze is picking up these new filenames, MyBookWorld backup is not. Once I get these names corrected, I may just end up redoing the MyBookWorld backup.

There is a lesson learned in this: Keep It Short Silly. I knew that. But somewhere along the way, I fell off the wagon. Now I'm wondering what other files have fallen off the wagon along the trail because their names were too long.

Oh yeah, there’s the other lesson here too. Don’t just assume because you’ve “automatically” backed up “everything” that it’s being done properly the way you want. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Genealogist's Shopping Paradise - A Conference Exhibitor's Hall

With the Arizona Family History Expo little over a week away, I'm beginning to look at who the vendors are in the Exhibitor's Hall. It looks like there's around three dozen exhibitors. Last year I had a great time wandering the among the booths during the 30 minute break between classes. This year I plan on bringing an extra bag with me for my purchases. There's a couple of booths that I plan on making a beeline for first thing when the Exhibitor Hall opens. Check back next week and see what goodies I find.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - How Do They Do That?

You would think they would float off!
 Eugene, Oregon
October 2010
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, January 10, 2011

M. Bridget Cook - AZ Family History Expo Banquet Speaker

The Friday evening dinner speaker at the upcoming Arizona Family History Expo is M. Bridget Cook. Her talk is, “Handling and Healing the Skeletons in Your Genealogical Closet.” I remember seeing her listed as a speaker at the Atlanta Family History Expo and wishing I could have attended. So I am particularly excited to be able to hear her speak on Friday evening.

If you haven't signed up for Friday's dinner event, you still can. Tickets are $33.00. In addition to the dinner and presentation, you will receive a free, signed copy of her book, Shattered Silence, the Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance to guarantee your seat and copy of the book. You can register here or call 801-829-3295.

I hope to see you there!

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holiday Greeting Cards - Sorting Saturday

Photo by Michelle Goodrum
© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum One of the last things to be put away from the holidays are the greeting cards. I've decided it's time to become brutally selective about which ones we save.  You see, I still haven't finished sorting through the years and years of greeting cards my parents received and I don't want to have to go through this again in future years with our holiday cards. Or put my children through this.

Using lessons learned from sorting Mom and Dad's cards, here's my criteria for becoming a candidate for the Goodrum Greeting Card Archives:

  • It's from family.
  • There is a photo.
  • There is a note or holiday letter.
  • It's from close family friends (especially those my children know).
  • If it meets more than one of the above criteria, the item has a far better chance of being retained.
It's hard to do. I mean, for years I too just kept all of our holiday cards but no more. After all, sooner or later someone has to sort through and toss them. The cards, letters and photos that truly are gems have a greater chance of standing out and being saved by future generations if the pile being sorted is smaller.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Desert Botanical Garden's Luminarias

I have no idea what plant this is or how they got it to look so sparkly but it was a favorite of the photographers during our evening at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden's Las Noches de las Luminarias.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lisa Louise Cooke - Keynote Speaker at AZ Family History Expo

The Arizona Family History Expo is is about two and a half weeks away and will be upon us before we know it. In reviewing the agenda, which is online now, I was particularly excited to see one of my favorite genealogists, Lisa Louise Cooke of The Genealogy Gems Podcast, is the keynote speaker. Lisa is partially responsible for my starting this blog and has had a huge impact on me the past few years by teaching this 'ol dog more than a few new tricks!

For her keynote address, Lisa will be talking about, "Looking to the Past for the Future of Your Family History Research." Just as I anxiously await every single podcast episode Lisa puts out, I can hardly wait to hear her keynote speech.

Lisa will also be giving several lectures during the Expo including:

Ultimate Google Search StrategiesGoogle Earth for Genealogy – Rock Your Ancestor’s World
How to Create Awesome Interactive Family History Tours with Google Earth
Private Eye Techniques for the Genealogist: 8 Strategies You Need to Find Living Relatives
I consider Lisa to be on the "cutting edge" of genealogy in her thinking and always find useful information in her talks and podcasts. I know you will too. I hope you can listen to at least one of her lectures, in addition to the keynote address.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Disclaimer: As a Blogger of Honor for the Arizona Family History Expo, I have been given a complimentary ticket to the Friday evening dinner and a "Tweet" pass.

AZ Family History Expo Winners of Free Tickets

Oldest child has done the honors of drawing the names of the two winners of the Arizona Family History Expo tickets. They are:

Mary Warren of Mary's Musings


Lynn Frame-Wright of Chandler

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, January 3, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #1 – New Year’s Memories

Clip art courtesy of
New Year's Day was always parade day in our home. In particular the Rose Parade. My senior year in high school was very special as we attended the Rose Parade before going to the Rose Bowl to watch my parents' beloved University of Washington Huskies beat Michigan.

After moving to Arizona and starting our family, we would often attend the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix. One particularly warm year as the marching band from one of the schools was passing our position, a flute player passed our right in front of Husband. So there he was in the middle of the parade helping to shade the poor girl until help arrived.

The funnest New Year's Eve tradition was something we started when our kids were small. We would head for downtown Tempe in the middle of the afternoon on New Year's Eve for the Tempe Block Party. We all have fond memories of having an early dinner at The Spagetti Company (this was in the years before they moved from downtown Tempe).  Often, if we arrived early enough, we would even be seated in the coveted Trolley Car. Then we would wander the streets watching jugglers, musicians, dancers, and other street performers until two little children were worn out. Then we would head home. Sometimes Husband and I would watch the New Year ring in around the world on TV and other times we would fall asleep well before midnight.

We talked about attending this year's Tempe Block Party, however, the temperatures were near freezing and the wind was blowing. That idea died a silent death...maybe next year.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts in 2011to encourage you to record memories and insights about your life.
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Genealogy Resolutions

Setting goals is truly a balancing act. We want them to be challenging but not too difficult. Usually we have a time frame in which we need to accomplish our goals so we must define them with that in mind.
Photo by Pascal Blachier

Recently Amy (The We Tree Blog) and Denise (The Family Curator) got together and came up with their genealogy goals for 2011. I really, really like their approach. It's concise, simple and doable and fits in perfectly with where I'm at right now. In other words, it's well balanced. They came up with:

One Research Goal
One Organizational Goal
One Writing Goal

So here are my three genealogy goals for 2011:

Research Goal

2011 is the year I am going to answer the question I set out in my 101st Carnival of Genealogy post:

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.

Organizational Goal

Organize the Archival Closet. This is a biggie since the Archival Closet houses the Roos Family Papers and needs to make room for the Lowe Family Papers as well as the Family Papers from Husband's side of the family. I think it can be done although I may need an Archival Room in the end.  We'll see.

Writing Goal

Put together a "draft" of the story of Mrs. Robinson's Homestead to share with family members. I've had several older family members who have expressed interest in her homestead file when I tell them a synopsis of the story. I'd really like to share it with them.  This will turn into a huge project, if I am going to do it right but time is a factor here as people aren't getting any younger. Something is better than nothing so I'm settling for some sort of "draft" in 2011.

There's my well balanced set of genealogy resolutions for 2011. Hopefully, I will be able to maintain the balancing act all year. I'll keep you posted.

Updates can be found at:
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum