Friday, November 26, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #47 - Genealogy Christmas Wish List

Amy Coffin of We Tree blog, created a 52 week challenge to help we genealogist sharpen our skill set. The series has been on-going since the beginning of the year but this is the first time I've participated.

The challenge for this week is 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.

This challenge runs from Saturday, November 20, 2010 through Friday, November 26, 2010.

My Genealogy Christmas Wish List for 2010 includes

Flip-Pal Scanner - I've wanted a portable scanner for some time but for whatever reason have not been that impressed with the wand scanners. I always thought a portable scanner would be perfect when hitting up relatives for pictures, since most are a little leery about letting such items out of their possession. Before ever seeing a demonstration of the the Flip-Pal, I knew this was what I had been looking for. Watching the demonstration of it at the 2010 Atlanta Family History Expo cemented the deal that this was the one I wanted.

Flip Camcorder - This is another item I've wanted for awhile. I know the size of regular camcorders haves been scaled down but they still aren't for me. The flip is perfect for the times when I want / need something a little extra besides a still shot or video from my digital camera. Besides I inherited a love of electronic gadgets from my dad.

Kia Soul - The current vehicle has 108,000+ miles and counting. It will probably manage to get around locally for awhile longer but I've gotten concerned with taking it on extended trips. A new vehicle would hopefully alleviate the expense of a rental car when doing research trips. And why a Soul specifically - 1) affordability, 2) MPV - so it would hopefully be more suited for taking excursions off the beaten bath, and okay the most important reason - it looks like a fun car to drive.

Family Finder DNA from Family Tree DNA for mom. I have autosomal results for her from 23andme but would also like to do the Family Finder DNA on her, too. I already have both on dad and with the continued upgrades to reporting, etc. with Family Finder, I think in the long run I will prefer the Family Finder.

A copy of Wayfarers in Walton County. I know the chances of finding any of my Walton County Georgia Ancestors in there is probably slim and none but I would still like a copy because I just might get lucky.

There are plenty other items I would like such as books, research trips, etc. but the above items are the big ones for now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - My First Research Trip

Probate Records, Walton County, GA

The picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog and was taken on 15 Nov. 2010 during my trip to Monroe, Walton, GA probate court.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What are You Thankful For?

Tonight’s assignment from Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, is

  • Make a list of Genealogy-oriented people or things that you are thankful for. Any number -- 1, 10, 100, whatever.
I am thankful for

  1. All the wonderful stories handed down to me by my mother. Not only has my mother done a wonderful job telling me about the places, people, and events in her own family, she also managed to capture a few for dad’s side of the family, also.
  2., (all versions – pilot, beta, etc.), Georgia Virtual Vault, et. al. for the multitude of databases, records, etc. provided online.
  3. Walton County, GA probate court for the assistance provided from afar during the past 20+ years and especially during this past year. I also need to thank them for the assistance provided this week during my first research trip.
  4. for enabling me to expand my genealogical library in a cost effective manner.
  5. The support of the online Genealogical Community – Afrigeneas, Twitter, Facebook, and of course all my fellow Geneabloggers.
  6. All my Ancestors who didn’t give up when they easily could have. I am because of you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 2010 Atlanta Family History Expo

Sometimes I wonder why I ever carry a camera with me seeing as I end up not taking many pictures.

Here are the whopping two pictures I took at the Atlanta Family History Expo.

Amy Coffin and Valerie Craft explaining how to set up a blog.

Linda McCauley and Drusilla Pair taking a break between sessions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2010 Atlanta Family History Expo

Today was the second day of the Family History Expo - my first day. I'm exhausted but it was great day! Day 2 of the conference began at 8:00. We didn't stay for the closing keynote, so for us, the day ended at 3:30.

The day began at breakfast where I met presenters / bloggers Angela Walton-Raji, Drusilla Pair, and Thomas MacEntee.

After breakfast, we proceeded on to the Gwinnett Center and picked up our packets. There were five class sessions, today. Mom and I attended four of the five class sessions. During the morning sessions, we both attended Breaking Down Brick Walls with Location Based Genealogy presented by Bernie Gracy of The presentation was standing room only and additional chairs were brought in. The presentation included important points to consider when doing location research such as Physical Geography, Human Geography, and Transportation Technology. Separately, we attended Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations for Family Historians by Jean Cooper and Over One Century of Treasure in Historic Plantation Records by Dr. Lisa Bratton.

During the final morning session and over lunch, I spent time at the geneabloggers table, where I met more of my fellow bloggers, Amy Coffin, Tonia Kendrick, Valerie Craft, and Linda McCauley. Due to technical difficulties (I wasn't able to log on to the Internet), I was unable to blog during this time.

During the afternoon sessions, my mother attended Beginning African American Research by Melvin J. Collier, author of Mississippi to Africa, where she learned many techniques to begin doing genealogy. What was really exciting was because of my research mom already knew a lot of the information. Even so, I think this class was by far her favorite session. She's still excitedly talking about the class. While mom was attending Melvin's class, I attended Freedman's Bank Records and Southern Claims Commission Records for African American Research by David Dilts of the FamilySearch Family History Library Staff.

Finally, we both attended Angela Walton Raji's session, Discovering an African American Community's History Through Civil War Research where we learned about how civil war records can reveal the stories to go with the names we are researching.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Week - Atlanta Family History Expo

The last couple of days of this week leading up to the Expo have been hectic and crazy to say the least.

First, on Wednesday, the check engine light came on in my car, again. Now as far as this altering my plans to attend the conference, it didn't because I am using a rental car for transport. But it did make me realize that I'm going to probably have to break down and get a new car or at least a new to me car. I just spent $800 on the car about 3 weeks ago.

Second, Thursday at 5:00 AM, the assisted living facility where my dad is staying called me to tell me that dad had a serious nose bleed. Dad's on blood thinners so anytime he starts bleeding we get concerned. Dad was transported to the emergency room. By the time, I got there the nose bleed was stopped but dad was still spitting up blood. This event almost prevented me from traveling but after calming down a bit and with everything under control for now, I decided to travel on to Duluth for the Family History Expo. My reasoning was that if anything happened, although it would take a few hours to get there, I was within driving distance of home. So, I decided to keep my plans for the weekend. The only alteration in plans is that I will probably cut the research portion of my trip short a little bit, since I need to get back and start addressing the car issue before I head back to work.

So, Duluth we made it. Looking forward to seeing my fellow bloggers / genealogist tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is a picture of me and my big cousin, Ann, who was also one of my early baby sitters. This picture was taking at our grandparents' house ca 1962.

I recently discovered Ann's been reading my blog. Partly because of that but more so because she's having health issues, I've been thinking about this picture a lot lately. Hoping that Ann gets a chance to see it and that it brings a smile to her face.

The picture used for this post is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Four More Days

I can’t believe there are only four more days until the Atlanta Family History Expo. I’m excited and nervous all rolled into one. The nervousness comes from trying to make sure I’m semi-prepared, semi-organized, etc. I’m worried that there is something I’m leaving off the list of things I need to do before leaving and things I want to get accomplished while in Georgia.

Most of the preparation things I did today have more to do with the research I’m hoping to do after the expo.

Today, I

  1. E-mailed the Walton County, Georgia Probate Court to confirm hours and days of operation.
  2. Confirmed the hours of operation for the Walton County Georgia Superior Court.
  3.  E-mailed South View Cemetery in Atlanta. If time permits, I hope to visit the graves of my Great Grand Aunt, Nuna Pierce Sims and also hope to find out more about a Jesse Pierce that is buried there. I wrote about this Jesse, who I believe to be a Great Grand Uncle, several months ago.
  4. Continued adding items to the list of things I need to take with me and also continued adding to the list of things I hope to get accomplished at each locale that I visit.
  5. Purchased extra writing instruments, etc (highlighters and mechanical pencils.

As the days are fast approaching when mom and I will be heading to GA, I’m also a little disappointed, as I had hoped to be able to surprise my mother with a visit from or to some of the other descendants of my 2nd great grandmother, Matilda Hosch. I contacted my contact last month about setting up a possible meeting and even talked to him on the phone but to date, I’ve not heard from any of the descendants of my granddad’s Uncle Augustus “Gus” Hosch. Maybe one day, it will happen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Count Down To the Atlanta Family History Expo - Getting Ready

The Atlanta Family History Expo is less than a week away, which also means I'm a week away from my first research trip. I've decided in this week leading up to both event(s) that I would tell something that I've done each day to prepare for both.

First, even though I did this several weeks ago, I finally created some genealogy business cards.

(In real life, it's not crooked. I just can't seem to scan anything where it comes out straight.)

Today, I went through the schedule of events, again, and made decisions on which workshops / lectures I would really like to attend. I quickly realized that many of the sessions I am interested in attending were being given at the same time. So, I did what any resourceful genealogist would do, I registered my mother for the Family History Expo, also. Although my mother is traveling with me, she hadn't really planned to attend the FHE, but I need her to go to some of the sessions, so she'll be attending and taking notes, too.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF)

The assignment from Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is as follows:

  1. If you found a bottle on the shore, and it had a genea-genie in it, and rubbed it and you had ONE WISH to make about your genealogy and family history research, what would it be?
  2. Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment or note on Facebook
My One Wish would be that in this week leading up to the Atlanta Family History Expo and my first research trip that I would find something, anything, that proves or disproves Jesse F. Pierce being the owner of my 2nd great grandparents, Jane and Jasper Pierce. For a man whose name appears frequently in other's wills / probate proceedings, it's a bit ironic that there appear to be no probate records or any documentation for his holdings. I know I've probably not used all resources and techniques in order to find out more about Jesse F. Pierce but for now I'm out of ideas. I keep looking back through notes, census records, vital records, etc. looking for, hoping for, some little nugget of information that I've missed on previous passes that will show me the way, but to date, no nuggets have jumped out. So, I just need Genea-Genie to show it to me and while you're at it, I've got 2 other lines (paternal side) that require the same special treatment.

Genea-Genie, if you granted this wish, I would be forever grateful.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review of Genealogical Goals for September / October 2010

While I still have several goals from September / October that need to be started on and / or completed, I actually managed to get a few things accomplished.

Goals I attained are as follows:


  1. As I will be doing my first research trip this month to ancestral counties, I decided not to resubmit my request to RAOGK to obtain a transcription / photograph of my great grandfather's, Cornelius Pierce, probate records. One of my goals while on the research trip is to obtain this myself.
  2. I did order and receive microfilm through the Family History Center. Films ordered were: Index to records, 1790 - 1942, Greene County, GA and Original Wills, ca 1663 - 1978. Unfortunately, there was no apparent documentation to assist me in the continued search for my Pierce Ancestors prior to 1870.
Blogging / Writing
  1. While only 2 of the posts during the month of October actually had anything to do with my research, I did manage to get seven posts in during October.
  1. I did decide on a location to hold the reunion for the descendants of my grandfather, LC Hosch, my great Uncle, Will Hosch, and their cousin, Eli Hush. (Now I just need to put down a deposit and get to the real planning part).
  2. I did help my friend Leonard with the genealogy part of his grad school project. Given the short time frame in which I had to work and the fact that I didn't have a lot to go off of, I think we got a lot accomplished. He at least now has names of some great grandparents and all of his grandparents.