Friday, September 30, 2011

A Tribute to My Father-in-Law

Today is the anniversary of the birth of my father-in-law, Orson William Lauritzen.  He would have been 93 years old today.

What a good and gentle man he was! 

I loved him the first time I met him just over 34 years ago.  He treated me with such respect and was interested in everything I had to say. 

Through the years, I've learned a lot about this great man.  He was the grandson of the immigrant Peder Lauritzen, who came from Denmark to America after several years of teaching from LDS (Mormon) missionaries.  He brought his family on the ship "Monarch of the Sea".
The Monarch of the Sea brought them to the processing center at Castle Garden.

After making their way to Florence, Nebraska, they walked the rest of the way with their handcart.
Peder Lauritzen, the immigrant.

They lived a pioneer life in central Utah, raised their family in the gospel, and left quite a legacy for others to pattern their lives after.

His son, Peter, was Orson's father.  His name, and that of his wife, Mary Loanna Terry, were people that others came to rely on for their great personal strength.
Peter and Mary Loanna Terry Lauritzen

They raised twelve children, and son Orson and was number ten.  He and his good wife, Shirley Elma Rhoades, raised eleven children of their own, burying two after they had been raised to adulthood.  Mr. Kerry is number five.

Orson and Shirley Rhoades Lauritzen

Kerry has often told me stories from his childhood.  Mom, of course, was the choreographer of the family and of the home.  Her job was full-time, day and night, as she sought for the best for her children.

Orson was that quiet force in the background.  I never heard him raise his voice or act impatiently.  He nearly always had one, or two, or more grandchildren on his lap.  He took time for each one of them, and for each person who wanted to talk with him.

Kerry has always shown great respect for womanhood.  After nearly 34 years of marriage, he still holds the door open for me, pulls my chair out and helps me on with my coat.  When we had our own four children, he always had the baby at the end of the dinner table, patiently feed them. 

All of these things were examples from his own childhood.  Before Kerry was of the age to date, his dad took him aside and talked with him about how to respect and treat a young lady.  I would loved to have heard his words of counsel!

Orson has been gone since 2004.  He was such a valiant man.  He stayed true to his beliefs all of his life, having served as a patriarch in the church since the early 1960's.  He was a CPA, owned a dairy ranch, served in the Manti Temple, and taught the truths of the gospel at every opportunity.  When anyone wanted an answer to a scriptural question, they would seek out Orson.

But, most of all, he was a husband and a father.  He raised the boy who would grow and become my husband.

What an honor to have had this man in my life!

Orson and Shirley Lauritzen on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Noble Ancestor

One of my ancestors could be considered a stellar man.

His name is Zachariah Johnson/Johnston.  Born in the Augusta Co., VA in the year 1742, he was a prosperous farmer by the time the Revolutionary War began.  He served as a captain in the county militia, patrolled against Indian uprisings, and participated in the Virginia campaign that led to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.  After moving to Rockbridge Co., VA, he served in the House of Delegates.  Apparently, he knew both Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry quite well.

He owned three plantations in Rockbridge county, one in Augusta county, and lands in Kentucky.  He married Ann Robertson, daughter of James, and together they had eleven children.

His parents, William and Ann Jackson Johnson/Johnston, were charter members of the Tinkling Spring Church, presenting son Zachariah for baptism on 26 Sep 1742. 

Tinkling Spring Church

When "Committees of Safety" were appointed in every district, he was made a member with high recommendations from his neighbors.  In this office he discovered so much good sense, and such ability to express his opinions with clearness and force, that he was persuaded to become a candidate for a seat in the Virginia legislature...

A religious man, he represented the area Presbyterians when Thomas Jefferson formulated his bill for establishing reigious freedom, which became law in 1786.  He states:
-"Mr. Chairman, I am a Presbyterian, a rigid Presbyterian as we are called; my parents before me were of the same profession; I was educated in that line. Since I became a man, I have examined for myself; and I have seen no cause to dissent. But, sir, the very day that the Presbyterians shall be established by law, and become a body politic, the same day Zachariah JOHNSTON will be a dissenter. Dissent from that religion I cannot in honesty, but from that establishement I will."

I recently had the opportunity to do some research in Virginia, and decided to visit his grave.  The only real information I had was that he was buried at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, VA.  Off we went.

My husband and I had no trouble finding the cemetery, but finding the grave was a different matter.  When we drove in, we saw a statue of Stonewall Jackson.  It was in the middle of an area similar to a traffic circle.  It was quite stately, but the ground was covered with lemons.
Stonewall Jackson Monument
There were lemons everywhere!

For some reason, it just struck my funnybone!  I asked husband Kerry, who is a walking encylopedia of American History why they put lemons there.  He actually didn't know.  It wasn't until I got home and looked it up that I found out - he just like lemons!  Apparently, he like to suck on them when going into battle.  The lemons around his monument, and around his original grave (before he was moved) were all fresh.  Perhaps they are placed there by VMI, located nearby.

The cemetery was old, and we began going up and down every row.  They were very, very hard to read.

View of the oldest part of the cemetery.

When we had nearly given up, my husband suggested "one more time".  Sure enough, just as luck would have it, we found the grave of Zachariah and of his wife, dear Ann.
There were many other family members buried nearby.  Some of the tombstones were so old and weathered, I could only tell what the names were by tracing my finger along the engraving.

A real treat was yet to await me.  At the historical society in town, a dear woman suggested we drive out to look at his house.  HIS HOUSE??!!  Oh, my!  Where exactly was it located?

We located it by doing a GOOGLE search, and found it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The asking price is $1.5 million.  I want it.  Here is the web site:

Zachariah Johnston house, built circa 1797

This house took my breath away.  Even the drive back to see it was beautiful.  We actually drove right up to the front porch.  I could just imagine stepping out of a buggy right onto the first step.

Some of my ancestors were not quite as prominent as Zachariah.  As a matter of fact, most weren't.  But, chasing them down through court records, moonshine happenstances, brawls, murders, adultery, delinquent taxes, etc. makes them a bit easier to find!

Zachariah and Ann left quite a legacy.  The Library of Virginia in Richmond houses hundreds of his papers, period records and writings.  But, I think the following statement is the best one I've read concerning this ancestor.

We do certify that Capt. Zh Johnston, his wife Ann, his sons John and Zh and his daughter Elizth are in full communion, and free from moral blot known to us: The remainder of his juniors are of fair and unblemished standing in this place. Signed by advice of Session this 21st May, 1792. J. McCue

Free from moral blot.  I like that.  I also like his house.  I want it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lost In A Sea of Faces

Lost in a Sea of Faces!
I was six years old, and I was lost.

Quite often, my parents and sometimes my sisters would travel to Palmyra, New York to view the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  It is the one of the largest outdoor pageants in America, and quite possibly the world, with a cast of 700.  Nightly attendance averages 10,000 and more.  Our family had the opportunity to be in the cast on several occasions.  It was one of the highlights of our lives.

When I was about six, my parents and I were there with sister Ferne.  I can't remember if any other of my sisters were there or not.  I just know that we had been sitting in our seats for a long time and were waiting for the time when the pageant would begin. 

Since I was young and a bit squirrelly, I was hopping up and down and trying to convince my mom that I needed to go to the bathroom.  She was hesitant, for she really didn't want to leave her seat.  Ferne said to just go ahead and let me go, and told me the exact route to take up through all of the people to get to the restrooms.  It really wasn't very complicated.  But, I was six.

I came back out, looked around and couldn't remember the route.  It was really just a straight walk down an aisle, but I was six.

I began to cry.  There was a light rain that was threatening us.  I had on a blue and red plaid raincoat.  As more time went by, I began to get terrified.  I saw a sea of faces and knew I'd never see my mom again! 

I cried more.  Soon, a man picked me up and dried my eyes and helped me blow my nose.  He had me stand on one of the benches and helped me look out over the crowd.

I soon spotted my mom!!!  She had begun to worry and was going up and down the aisles looking for me.  When she saw me standing on that bench, she pushed through the crowd, thanked the man, and held my hand tightly back to our seats.

I felt so safe and secure.  Relief just swept over me.  Mom later told me I looked so forlorn when she saw me - and I was just as cold and blue as the blue in my raincoat.
Peggy at age 6 - about the time this incident happened.

I guess as a result of that experience, I worried that the same thing would happen when I began to have my own little family.  I thought the best way to help prevent this was to have something identifiable on us so that we could see each other better.  Shirts were the best idea.   

My good friend, Waunita, told me that when she and her husband took their boys to Sea World, they did that very thing.  Except - there were lots of school children there that day and they all had the same color of shirts on!

So, when we went to Disneyland, I had all of us wear red shirts.  Sure enough, there was a sea of red shirts there that day!  But, there was one man in a yellow t-shirt that I could spot anywhere in the park.  (Yellow stands out particularly well for our eyes.  That's why we have black on yellow for our "warning" road signs - Merge, Railroad, etc.)

Also, when we dressed alike, not only was it easier to spot my kids, but it was easy for them to spot us, too!  They could tell a cop or an information person or a store clerk exactly what their parents were wearing...
I might add that we don't all dress alike now.  They're on their own.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mom's First-Hand Memories of the Flu Pandemic of 1918

Mom was nearly five years old when she and brother Thearl noticed a smoky haze that smelled like burnt leaves that came rolling through their area of Kentucky.

Soon, people were sick and dying. 

Her father, Corb Stevens, was busy making caskets for everyone that died.  He was soon overrun with requests.  Mom said that eventually she and her mother, Bertha Gearheart Stevens were taken sick.  She didn't know if she would live or not.  After several days in bed, she was able to lean up from her bed and look out the window.  In the valley below the house, the caskets were lined up in rows.  There was no one well enough to bury the dead.

There was hardly a family that was not affected by this terrible flu.  Mom was the oldest in her family, and she lost two little brothers.  Her mom's sister, Aunt Harriett, lost three children during 1918. 

It's getting more and more difficult to find those that lived through and survived this flu pandemic of 1918.  I'm fortunate that my mom lived, and so did her mother. 

But, I think of the mothers that buried children and the children that buried mothers.  I've seen the graveyards where the tombstones tell the stories of grief, of losing several family members within just a couple of months.

Their feelings would be no different than ours today...
Little Zearl Stevens, brother of my mom, Ida.  He would have been 3 years old during the pandemic.  He is buried in the Brown Cemetery, Lawton, Carter, Kentucky.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Offill Dilemma!

When I was a younger and less experienced genealogist, I had an interesting situation concerning one of my ancestors, the brother of one of my grandmothers who lived in the mid-1800's.  Grandmother's name was Martha Patsy Everman Offill. Her brother's name was John.

Or, was it her sister?

I was puzzled about this every time I saw the entry on the various census records.  In 1850, John E. is listed as a 2 year old female living in the household of Elzaphan and Martha Everman in Carter Co.,KY.  He/she is the seventh daughter in the family.

But, just 10 years later, John E. is listed as an 11 year old male!

Good grief!!!  I just didn't know what to think.  

Life went on, and I didn't really pursue the situation, because John was not really a direct ancestor.  He/she was the brother/sister of a direct-line grandmother.  I was raising a young family (4 children under 5!), and did the best I could in just getting a pedigree chart maintained and extended.

I listed my Offill family with the old Family Registry (remember those at the Family History Centers?).  It appeared on subsequent microfiche, and I went on to other families.

Then, out of the blue, I received a small package in the mail from a man in California that I'd never heard of.  He had seen my entry on the Family Registry, and enclosed a note saying, "I bet you're wondering about my g-g-grandmother, John Ellen Offill."

John was a woman!  I'd seen her listed as John Allen, John Ellen, John everything.  He even enclosed a picture of her.
John Ellen Offill Campbell
What a handsome and stylish woman! 

There were a couple of other pictures that even showed her cooking at an old cookstove.  John married a man named John Andrew Campbell, and the two Johns appear on the 1925 Linton Co., Iowa State Census as husband and wife.

I'm not quite sure how she acquired the name of John.  My best guess is that this family was "daughtered out", and had always wanted a son.  John was the name of both of her grandfathers.  They feminized it by adding Ellen to it. Some recorded it as "Allen".  Then, she married a man by the name of John. 

Sometimes, things are just not as they appear.  I have now learned to include all of the siblings of my grandparents.  This is how "genealogy"  becomes "family history".

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Little Jordan's Prayer

Little Jordan’s Prayer
Jordan, our third child, was an absolute doll.  He was cuddly, bright, charming, and could worm his way into just about anyone's heart.  To see him was to love him.

One of the things I remember took place around our dinner table.  It was a place of a lot of festivity and talking.  We would ask about each other's day, about the best part of their day, Kerry would ask questions about US History, the Gospel, give them math problems, etc.

But, each meal began with a prayer - asking the Lord's blessing on the food and showing our gratitude for it.

One day, it was Jordan's turn to say the blessing on the food.  Like many little children are prone to do, he folded his arms on the table, plopped his head down on them, and proceeded to pray.  The problem was that his mouth and voice were pointed toward the floor.

No one could hear or understand anything.

At the end of it, he raised his head up and looked around.  I had one eye open, so I knew the prayer was over.  Everyone said "Amen" except me.

I told him, "Jordan, I'm not going to say amen because I didn't hear a word you said."

He looked at me and said, "I wasn't talking to you!"

Jordan.  You gotta love him...
He was an easy little boy to love.
He grew into a fine young man.
He served his country.  He is pictured here with sister Harmony.
And now he has a fine family of his own!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ready to Ignite!

Ready to Ignite!
One time, long ago, I felt like my grandmother was beating me to death.

During my early teenage years, my dad built a beautiful addition onto our house.  He truly was an engineer that was never trained as one.  It comes through his genes, for his grandfather Ambrose was renown for being able to build a house just like someone wanted with barely a splinter left over.

When my grandmother was living as a widow in rural Kentucky, my mom always worried about her going out to get the coal for the stove during the wintertime.  She could easily have fallen on icy steps, snow, etc. and it may have been awhile before anyone found her.  So, each October we would make the trip to eastern Kentucky to bring her to Ohio so she could spend the winter until "plantin' time" in March.

She loved sitting by the fireplace in the room my dad built.  The fire helped to warm her knees, which were extremely arthritic.  I will always have memories of her sitting by that fire in her special chair with her rusty green bean can that she spit her tobacco juice in.

One evening, I had taken a bath, washed my hair and put on my flannel nightgown to get ready to warm myself and dry my hair by the fire.  Mama (MawMaw) loved to watch me brush my long hair by the fire.  Hers was long, too - but she always wore it in a bun.

I was standing in front of the fire talking to her and just loving the warm fire when all of a sudden she flew out of her chair (arthritic knees and all!), knocked me to the floor, and began beating me with the little broom we always kept on the hearth to sweep up with.  I was so astounded!  I didn't know what I'd said to offend her, but I was trying to think of it so I wouldn't say it again!

Actually, she had seen my nightgown smoldering and ready to ignite.  It was flannel, and it wouldn't have taken much to set it on fire. 

I have her to thank for the quick reaction to an inevitable tragedy that could have meant the end of me.  Many women of her era saw terrible things happen to their children, their friends, their loved ones and themselves because of open fireplaces, cookstoves, etc.  She knew what she saw, and she took care of it rapidly.
The house where she lived in eastern Kentucky.  It was built by my grandfather and still stands.  My uncle, Dick Stevens and wife Betty live there today.
Bertha Agnes Gearheart Stevens, sitting on the porch of the house in Olive Hill, Kentucky.
My grandmother, Bertha and my mom, Ida.  This is about what my grandmother looked like when this incident happened.  My mother - always full of spunk!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Batter Up!

Batter Up!
As a young girl, I collected baseball cards.  Well, I guess I did.  I don't really remember collecting them, but as you'll see, there's evidence that I did...

In 1976, my parents were called to work in the Washington DC temple.  This was a very humbling experience for both them and their daughters.  They were prepared to spend the rest of their lives working there, and made the necessary arrangements to sell their home and its contents.  Some things were sold at garage sales and some things were stored at my sister, Betty's home.

Sister Betty had a huge attic that was about the size of their home they were selling.

Fast forward several years.  My mother had passed away.  My dad had returned to Washington to work as long as he was able. 

Kerry and I had moved to our current home and were raising our children.  Money was tight on several occasions, but we always seemed to make it through with lots of prayers and hanging on with faith.

But one day, things got serious.

I had made Cream of Wheat for breakfast for the kids before they left for school.  Instead of doing the breakfast dishes right away, I decided to wait until later. 

Big mistake.

I noticed that the water in the toilets seemed a bit oily, but I didn't think too much about it and left to run some errands.  When I returned, I began to do the dishes, but the water came out of the spigot with an oily film.  Then...there was no water at all.

Our water pump had gone out.

I called the people that had installed the original pump and they came to our house to confirm it and give us an estimate.  It would be approximately $2500.  Oh, my goodness!  How in the world would we ever have enough money for that???

But, for some reason, we felt we should tell him to go ahead and install the new one.  I was a bit apprehensive, but Kerry felt good about it.

The Cream of Wheat on the dishes had turned to concrete.  I took everything out to the deck and let the rainwater fill do the job of softening it up.  As I stood out there arranging the dishes, my tears matched the number of raindrops.  We went into emergency mode and used paper/plastic plates and utensils, took "spit baths" with water storage, and made do.

They came to replace the pump the next morning, giving us ten days to pay for it.

As I watched them, I just didn't know how it was all going to work out.  Meanwhile, my sisters became aware of the dilemma.  Sister Betty told me to hang on and not ask for any loans.  I told her we would probably have to - but she was adamant that we not do that.

She had noticed something in the attic where my parents' belongings were stored.  She went back to look for it, and took it to a friends' business.

It was an entire shoebox full of baseball cards from the 1960's - the kind you get a big stick of gum with.  She took the box to her friend, and was given an estimate.

The estimated value of the pump was $2500.  The value of the baseball cards was $2498!  We would have enough - with $2 left over!!

I don't have any memory at all of collecting those baseball cards - yet they were mine.  They were saved all of these many years.  Mom and dad could have easily thrown them out. 

But, the Lord knows the end from the beginning.  He knew that someday down the road, Miss Peggy and her little family would have need for those cards, and that they would have value.  And because of that, the pump was installed, water was restored, there was no debt incurred, and our faith was strengthened.

He does look out for us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mothers Protect Their Young!

Most of the time it seems like I have been posting stories and memories of my dad, Chester Clemens.  Today, it is time to reflect on my mom, Ida Stevens Clemens.

Mom was a force to be reckoned with!  I was a menopausal baby, being born when my three older sisters were ages 16, 19 and 21.  People just couldn't believe my mother was expecting a baby at her age, and some drove from Kentucky to Ohio to make sure she wasn't "funnin' with them".

Mom didn't know she was pregnant until she was nearly six months along, when the doctor told her she had "Cupid's tumor", and that she would be having a baby in the next three months.  She was mortified with having to tell my dad, for people at that age just didn't do that!!
This is my mom just four days before I was born.  It was July 4, 1955, and after enjoying themselves at a church picnic, they were going to transcribe some tombstones in a local cemetery.

For the rest of this post, I'm going to relate a story from my journal...

Mothers Protect Their Young

My mother was a force to be reckoned with!  You just didn't mess with mom - or one of her babies.

One night, she and I were on our way home from church, where I had attended my weekly youth meeting.  I needed some notebook paper, and we didn't have Walmarts or anything like that in those days.  We did have a little corner grocery store, where one could buy penny candy, shoelaces, etc.

She happened to miss the driveway, but it didn't matter, for the next drive also connected to the little store.  There was a bit of a grassy field between the parking lot and the store.  I walked through the little field and headed for the front door.

Before reaching the door, there was a wall of decorative concrete block.  As I rounded that wall, I happened upon 3-4 teenage boys who were circling around on their bikes.  I squared up, went through them, went into the store and bought my paper.

When I came back out, those boys were still there.  They were off their bikes, and now they circled around me, calling me names and poking me in the chest.  I was mortified, for I was sure they were going to do terrible things to me.  I was also sure mom couldn't see me because of the decorative wall.

In the blink of an eye, I heard something akin to a bull crashing through the field and headed toward me.  It was my mom!  Smoke was coming from her nostrils and her ears, and her boobs were swinging back and forth something fierce with her arms pumping away.  (You get the picture!)  When those boys turned around to see what it was, they saw the look on her face and knew they were dead meat if they didn't get out of there quick.  Mom grew up being the oldest of a family that had SIX BOYS, plus a little sister that died at 3 years old.  To mom, taking on these boys were nothing compared to what she had grown up with.

I was never so relieved to see my mom in my whole life.  I don't know what those boys would have done.  But, as long as my mom was nearby, those boys were close to being ground down into a greasy spot!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Once A Kid...Always A Kid

Once A Kid, Always A Kid

You just never stop being a kid when you're around your parents.

A few years before he died, my dad lived in our home.  I set up the first floor bedroom just for him.  It had his bed, a recliner, his desk, a television, his clothing, etc.  Everything he could possibly need was in that room.  His big oxygen unit was around the corner in the living room, and its long lead could stretch all the way into the kitchen and throughout the house.

Peter was on his mission, so we only had the three younger children at home. 

Dad could and did prepare his own lunches, but I made sure he had a good breakfast (usually cracked wheat fixed in the crock pot and cooked overnight), and a good dinner.  It was a challenge blending a young family and an older man, but we did the best we could.  He was usually ready for bed about 8:30 pm and watched television until he fell asleep just after 9:00 pm.

One evening, all of our kids were out somewhere.  Between marching band, working, etc., they all had somewhere to go.  So, Kerry and I decided to go out for a bit and see a movie.  Everything in the house was taken care of, including dad.  He had no problem being left alone, so it was a perfect night.  We got ready to go, and I went in to tell him we'd be gone for awhile.

He asked me how long we would be gone.  I told him the movie was over just before 11:pm. so it would be after that.

He replied, "Don't you think that's a little bit too late for you two to be out?"

I was stunned.  I said, "Dad, I'm a big girl now.  I'm 45 years old.  It's okay."

Again, he said, "Well, you just both be careful and don't stay out too late."

Kerry and I both smiled and talked about it on the way to the theater. 

But, when we got home at 11:30 pm, there was dad sitting up in his recliner, waiting for us to come home.  He didn't say anything.  He just looked at his watch, looked at us, and made preparations for bed.

Dad.  You never stop being a parent.  And, you never stop being a kid...

Dad looked an awful lot like Colonel Sanders, especially after he grew a white goatee a few years after this picture was taken.

I miss him...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 99+ Genealogy Things Meme

I just think this is the coolest thing!!  With permission, I have copied and pasted this to share...


The 99+ Genealogy Things Meme

Things you have already done or found – bold type
Things you would like to do or find – italics 
Things you have not done or found /don’t care to – (or that I know hasn’t happened in my family). 
  1. Belong to a genealogical society (four, but want to add to it)
  2. Joined a group on Genealogy Wise.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site (Flickr).
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference. Thinking about it.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society/local library’s family history group.
  12. Joined the National Genealogical Society.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society (I am the Chair of the Publicity Committee for UGA).
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery. (And in the cemetery too!) 
  16. Talked to dead ancestors. (All the time, so far they ain’t talkin!)
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name (and those of ancestors – it turns up great info sometimes)
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion. Not doing this!
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme. Yay! I just got this one.
  32. Created family history gift items:check out my recent post about this here.
  33. Performed a record lookup.
  34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise. Now that would be heaven!
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret (but not all of the secrets).
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking). My. Favorite. Thing. EVER! Stay tune for future post about a new project and oh! it’s good!
  39. Think genealogy is a passion obsession not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person. (Unclaimed Persons)
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.(back-up back-up back-up!)
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology –sometimes it’s borderline but it’s a great way to learn. I find learning new things exciting, but I do get overwhelmed after a day or two of conferences and brain doesn’t fit in my head anymore.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher (married my 6th cousin!).
  45. Disproved a family myth through research. (Oh how they love me!)
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language. (Japanese ancestry is my professional specialty).
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Use to work there!
  53. Used Google+ for genealogy (join my circle!)
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy. I am a trainer for all the Family History Center consultants in my area.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
  60. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer (isn’t that what the computer is for?)
  61. Have found many relevant and unexpected articles on internet to “put flesh on the bones”.
  62. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  63. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  64. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC – so going there someday soon.
  65. Have an ancestor who came to America as an indentured servant.
  66. Have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Civil War. Yes to all 3!
  67. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  68. Can “read” a church record in Latin. (have managed to decipher some, but only with a dictionary, reference book or Google)
  69. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name, just enough to be confusing.
  70. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  71. Created a family website.
  72. Have a genealogy blog.
  73. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone. I am willing to suffer this problem…anyone?
  74. Have broken through at least one brick wall (but someone keeps putting up more).
  75. Done genealogy research at a court house.
  76. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center(s) (Glad I live close enough to go to the one in Salt Lake now!)
  77. Found an ancestor in an online newspaper archive. Just last night found new articles about my bootleggin’ grandpa!
  78. Have visited a NARA branch.
  79. Have an ancestor who served in WWI or WWII.
  80. Use maps in my genealogy research (how can one not?).
  81. Have a blacksheep ancestor.
  82. Found a bigamist amongst my ancestors. But have one who was the mistress of her sister’s husband.
  83. Attended a genealogical institute. Been to SLIG, will go again in Jan. and wish to attend IGHR next June.
  84. Taken online genealogy (and local history) courses. Taking a class fromNational Institute for Genealogical Studies now
  85. Consistently (document) and cite my sources.
  86. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors. So doing this!
  87. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes (how many is a “few”?)
  88. Have an ancestor who was married four times. Hey grandpa!
  89. Made a rubbing of an ancestor’s gravestone.
  90. Followed genealogists on Twitter. Follow me @elkinsvalerie!
  91. Published a family history book. Working on it, read about getting startedhere!
  92. Learned of a death of a fairly close family relative through research.
  93. Offended a family member with my research, my mother-in-law didn’t believe anyone but family can know about family.
  94. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
  95. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database. And paid, and paid…I think I need a grant!
  96. Submitted articles for FamilySearch Wiki. See Japan articles.
  97. Organized a family reunion. But, I am on a committee now for the next Mossman Reunion in Hawaii!
  98. Used Archives in countries where my ancestors originated.
  99. Converted someone new to the love of all things genealogy. Guilty as charged!
  100. Encourage a youth to begin their family history.