Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Enjoying fall conferences

My goodness, it's been a very long time since I posted anything. What have I been doing?

I was at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the first part of September. Wonderful speakers and convention center. It was a bit of a walk, but I needed the exercise!

I was able to enjoy some dirt-track racing (yep, I'm a fan!) in west-central Ohio before visiting the Allen County, Ohio, chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. They have such a great group. On October 25th I'll be back again giving two lectures on beginning research.

The Fulton Chapter, OGS, is having a beginners day at the Metamora/Evergreen Public Library in Metamora, Ohio. Stop by early and sign up for the event.

On November 8th, I'll be at the Montgomery Chapter, OGS. Check all these chapter websites for more information regarding events.

November 14 and 15th is the Florida State Genealogical Society. I have the great honor of being there, too.

As you can see, the fall is a great time to go to genealogical events. What a great way to enhance your knowledge about this fantastic hobby. Okay, maybe it is an addiction! It certainly is for me.

Enjoy the fall and I hope to see you at a seminar or conference.

--Aunt Merle

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Aunt Merle here, after a great vacation to Alaska on Royal Caribbean's "Rhapsody of the Seas" with hubby. Yep. Everything you've heard about Alaskan cruises is true. The scenery, excursions, and FOOD was fantastic.

The first port of call was Juneau, Alaska. Although misty and a bit foggy, in the early morning, the day was still great. A salmon bake and panning for gold made the day. Salmon was great and we found gold. (Even though it was "seeded" in the soil, it was still fun).

The next stop was the little village of Skagway. Naturally I had to visit the Red Onion Saloon as it was a haunted brothel. The tour guide of the town, all dressed up as a working girl, was "Annie Whichways." She was very animated in her presentation and gave lots of information.

Skagway also included a tour of the town in a 1927 tour bus. That was fun!

On to Dawes Glacier. That's were the sights really began with seals sunning themselves on the ice, the magnificent glacier, whales, and American Bald Eagles. Wow.

On the ship we met some lovely ladies from a neighboring town in Ohio. Talk about a small world.

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, provided another excursion. This time to an old salmon cannery. That was interesting, but kinda yukky to find out in the old days when "gutting" the fish and rinsing them, they only changed the water once a day. {{shudder}}}. Glad all that has changed!

Sailing the inside passage gave us an upclose view of two orca swimming beside the ship. Absolutely amazing. We don't have creatures like that in Lake Erie.

Back to Seattle and a flight back home. I'm still trying to catch up on laundry, email, and of course, getting ready for the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia.

Oh, for more information regarding the conference, check www.fgs.org. See ya there.

Aunt Merle

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My goodness, what a long time it's been since I've posted!

Since I last commented, I've been to the Southern California Jamboree. The people there sure do know how to put on a conference! Each year the attendance has risen. Great job to all. Especially Paula Hinkle, Charlotte Bocage, and Leo Myers.

If I have not answered any email from you, it is because my email has been lost. Yep. Everything I have received is gone...over 500 emails from people contacting me about research, speaking, or just friendly notes. Please don't think I'm neglecting you -- I just can't contact you! Please do a "resend" of your message.

Have you seen Facebook? What a neat place. There are a bunch of genealogists online and Beau has added tons of pictures from conferences. If ya see Beau with a camera, run!

I'll post again soon.
-- Aunt Merle

Saturday, June 7, 2008

On the road again

Aunt Merle will be on the road again -- this time at the Southern California Jamboree.

If you are in Burbank, California, June 27-29, plan on attending the greatest conference in the west. Follow this link to their website and jamboree information: www.scgsgenealogy.com

See ya at the Jamboree

-- Aunt Merle

Time flies

My goodness, it's been a month since I've posted.

I've been busy with a lot of client research trips -- plus reports to those wonderful people. It may be a bit discouraging when hiring a researcher. Results are not guaranteed. I wish I could always tell my clients I'll find the missing link, but many times, the information just isn't there.

I was lucky for one client. The information was there in huge amounts. The Ross County Courthouse and Probate Annex in Chillicothe, Ohio, is an amazing place to research. Not only was the staff courteous and helpful, but Janet in the archives went "above and beyond" to help locate the Kilgores and Jamisons. I must have a stack of copies two inches high with all the deeds, wills, estates, inventories, and vouchers/receipts I located there.

The trip also took me to Gallipolis in Gallia County, Ohio. Again, the staff was great as was meeting Henny Evans, the president of the Gallia Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society. She opened the doors of the library on Court Street and was so very helpful.

From Gallia and Ross, my next stop was in London, Madison County. Again, the help at the courthouse was outstanding. I asked for copies and they were made quickly and courteously. I was even given the number for the Madison County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. After the courthouse work, I found my way to the library and lots of great sources there. The two wonderful volunteers helped me locate the materials needed on not only Madison County but also Fayette County.

To the hotel for a good night's sleep, then on to Columbus in Franklin County.

It was not to be. This was the night of all the thunderstorms rolling across the southern part of the state. Hail, wind, and rain were on tap for the night. It seemed to go all the places I'd been during the past few days. Hard hit was Chillicothe in Ross County.

Next day, I didn't start quite as early as I had hoped due to more rain. Finally getting out of London, I made my way to Columbus, only a little more than half an hour away. My great little Tom-Tom (GPS) helped tremendously on the trip. However, it helps to have correct addresses! I found that out as I tried to locate the Franklin County Courthouse. Again, a very kind lady at the local laundramat got the phone book and address...even dialed the number since I left my glasses in the car. Once I had the correct address (note to self, be sure I have the right addresses before leaving home) I was on my way.

Franklin County Recorder's Office was a wonderful place. Again, such helpful staff. As in researching different counties, I needed to learn a new indexing system for the deeds. Just a quick lookover and I was ready to go. I didn't find the missing link, but did supply a bit of extra information for the client.

Back home and reports written to the clients with all the copies.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. Tiring, but fun.

Have you planned a research trip? Even though gas prices may be high, it is still a great time to plan research vacations.

Til next time
-- Aunt Merle

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An evening with Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs, author of the bestselling Temperance Brennan books and Technical Advisor to the TV show "Bones" was in the area last evening. Thinking about her work in forensic anthropology and our own genealogy can draw a number of comparisons.

  1. We want answers to the unknown
  2. We want to know who the person was
  3. We want to know the cause of death
  4. We want to know the ethnicity of the person
  5. We want to know where they lived

But, as genealogists, we also want to know about the person's family. What was their life like? Who was their family, siblings and extended family? And naturally, we want the vital statistics: birth and marriage along with land records and probate.

Both fields encompass the use of deduction and reasoning. If we find one clue to a person's life, what other items should we search? We analyze the information for the validity, incorporate it in our research, obtain another clue, and continue with the analysis and validity. Each is a circle borne of the need to get accurate information. Both fields cite sources. Where was the information obtained? Is it a legitimate find and raises no doubt as to the veracity of the information?

Both fields rely upon photographs. With the forensic field, photos may be used in showing the location of the body or bodies, the cleansing of the bones, and the reconstruction of the person. We use the camera too. Only our photos may be of tombstones, documents, homes, and land marks pertinent to our ancestor.

Yes, we have a lot in common. Now if ol' Aunt Merle could just get a TV series!

--Aunt Merle

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Conference Time is HERE!

I just love this time of year! Not only are the flowers blooming, but genealogical conferences are too!

Last weekend was the Ohio Genealogical Society's annual conference. Over 600 attendees and vendors made for a great 3-day event in the Cincinnati area. Conference Chair, Kenny Burck, did an outstanding job as ever. A big thanks to him and his crew for a job well done.

Now it's off to Kansas City for the National Genealogical Society's conference May 14-17. See details at </">www.ngsgenealogy.org>. Four days of conference for this one. Not only are there fantastic speakers, but the range of items in the vendor hall is overwhelming. As a few examples, WillowBend Books, Maia's Books, the Ohio Genealogical Society, Dick Eastman, RootsMagic, plus many, many others. The vendor hall is open to the public, so stop by and see what's available in genealogical programs and books.

If you have never been to a conference, it would be one of the best learning experiences for you. Topics vary from beginners to the advanced and all areas in between.

So get the comfy shoes and "get out there!"

-- Aunt Merle