Archive for the ‘Carnival of Genealogy’ Category

Carnival of Genealogy – Our Family Business Was a Wheat and Dairy Farm

My first thought when I read the  Carnival of Genealogy Challenge for August was “we didn’t have a family business, we had a farm…”

And then I re-thought, realizing that a farm always was (and still is, no matter the size) a business also, though some might say that  farming is more of a calling than a career, and for those of us who grew up on a farm, it’s more a part of our hearts than most brick or mortar businesses could ever be.

One of the sayings that I grew up hearing was “You can take the boy off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.” (Same goes for many of us farm girls, too!)

When my oldest brother was just a toddler, our folks bought the farm where dad grew up with his seven (living) brothers and sisters, and dad’s parent’s, Elmer and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking.  My grandparents moved to the nearby town of Mayfield, Kansas with their youngest children and my grandfather Elmer continued his work as a mail carrier until his untimely early death from a heart attack.

Mom, Dad, and my brother Fred moved back to the Mayfield area from Arkansas City (“Ark City”) after they purchased the farm.  All of this happened before I was born, or as my brother Harold, Jr. “Fred” would say “before you were even a twinkle in Dad’s eye.”

Farmers then, and farmers now, wear many hats.  They must be amateur weathermen/women, watching the weather with an eye to scheduling their work.  Their planning, planting, fertilizing, field work, harvesting, and even praying for rain circles around what the farm land needs and when it needs it.

Farmers also need to be bookkeepers, grain marketers, have the ability to supervise their family as workers, as well hired hands if they have some, and during the summer, they often have to put in 60 to 80 hour weeks as well.  It wasn’t just sun up till sun down at our farm, it was before the sun came up till the job got done, especially during harvest.

I have always felt that I was one of the luckiest kids in the world, growing up on my folk’s wheat and dairy farm, with 160 acres running room for a back yard!  I grew up collecting tadpoles from the buffalo wallows in the pasture (yes, I said buffalo wallows!), chasing crawdads along the creek, roping calves I wasn’t supposed to, and dodging cow pies in the pasture while playing cowboys and Indians, or Yankees and Confederate soldiers with my nephews, who were not much younger than I was.

I also learned to drive a tractor, an old blue Chevy farm truck with a stick shift that my mom nicknamed “WobbleKnees,” and milk a cow by hand as well as with a milking machine.

I was responsible for watering the chickens, gathering the eggs, spoiling our purebred collie puppies and making sure the cats and dogs had food and water.

I loved helping feed the baby calves, and always, always fell in love with one or two each year, wishing they could be my very own pet.  I learned to back up straight (after I learned to drive a stick) by backing several hundred feet along a lane, and dumping a half-full milk can of water (about 70 pounds if they were full!) into the calves’ water tank to make sure they had enough water.

I helped hoe the garden, and helped preserve its bounty, enjoying the fresh tasting frozen sweet corn and the better than store-bought canned green beans all winter.

And, lucky me, with my work-at-home folks, I usually either had both my parents home with me, or I was in the field where they were working!

I loved growing up on the farm!

 

 

Carnival of Genealogy – Carrie Breneman Jones

I love this photograph of my Grandma and Grandpa Jones.  Although this was taken before I was born (as my grandfather was in it) this is how I remember my grandmother looking.  Round-faced and smiling, and just a bit plump. Comfortable to snuggle up against. (Grandma’s are supposed to be plump, right?  I hope so, because I’m working on being a good Gramma.)

I wish that my grandfather had lived long enough for me to meet (and remember him), but this Carnival of Genealogy post is about my Grandma Carrie Breneman Jones, who died when I was eight years old.

Warner & Carrie Breneman Jones

Warner LaRue and Carrie Esther (Breneman) Jones

 

When I was just a little bitty girl, my mama told me that her mama was really unhappy that they had named me “Sherry”.  She said that Sherry is also the name of an alcoholic beverage, and her mama just wasn’t happy with her for giving me that name.

So I guess it’s no wonder when I went to grade school and I really didn’t know what my Grandma’s last name was, that when the teacher began talking about Kansas’ Carrie Nation going into bars with an axe to fight for temperance I kind of wondered for a short time if that was my Grandma Carrie that did that.  I don’t know why I didn’t run home and ask my mom about it, but I didn’t, but I did figure out, after awhile, that my Grandma Carrie wasn’t the infamous axe wielding Carrie in my history book.  (The above doesn’t look like the picture of an axe-wielding Grandma, does it?)

My Grandma Carrie was a very crafty lady.  Her hands were always busy making something.  She loved to crochet, from the very tiny delicate flower shaped earrings to the beautiful heirloom bedspread that she made for my mother, and that my mother later gave to me.

She crocheted doll clothes for my dolls and when my new favorite plastic horse needed a rider and there were none to be bought in the correct size, she created one.  My Grandma Carrie created an Indian, excuse me, a Native American brave complete with tiny leather fringed breeches and shirt, and bendable legs so he could sit a horse.  I still have him, tucked away (somewhere) and when I find him, I’ll try to add the picture here.

And as I write this, I just realized that she may have fashioned the brave after the Native Americans that came to their cabin in Nebraska asking for food when she was just a very small girl, and they lived on the Nebraska prairie where my Grandma herded cattle on horseback by herself on the prairie during the day.

When she was older, Grandma Carrie taught herself to paint and she loved the National Geographic magazine for its beautiful photographs that often inspired her painting.  She also painted a picture of my brother’s 4-H Dairy Cow “Jenny,” too, for him, and “Jenny” hung on our kitchen wall while I was growing up.

I wish my Grandma had lived long enough for me to get to know her as an adult, because I think I inherited many of my interests and talents from her.  Like my Grandma, I’m crafty, though I’ve not had much time to do it lately, and if I can see something, particularly a fabric something, I can often make a pattern for it or create it from one I find.  Also like my Grandma and my mom, I painted for several years till I learned I was sensitive to the oil and turpentine smells, and like my Grandma and my mother I love a good book!

And, I wish she had lived long enough to ask her all those many genealogy questions that I now wish I had the answers to!

 

Other Links:

 Wordless Wednesday: Stocking & Jones Family
http://www.familytreewriter.com/2010/10/wordless-wednesday-stocking-jones-family/

Wordless Wednesday: Constantine Breneman & Carrie Breneman Jones & family
http://www.familytreewriter.com/2010/04/wordless-wednesday-constantine-breneman-carrie-breneman-jones-families/

 

Carnival of Genealogy – My Favorite Technology – I Love My Droid

 by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 28, 2011

I love the “Favorite Current Technology” Carnival Challenge, and can’t wait to read everyone’s posts. I know I will learn about some cool new technology to add to my gotta-have-it list!

 The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: Favorite Current Technology, and you can read more about it at Creative Gene and post your own blog post at Blog Carnival.

What’s your favorite technology of the moment? Do you love your iPad? Do you find yourself spending a lot of time on the site of a newly discovered database?

Do you have a handy new cell phone app you’d like to share with others? Are you learning a new piece of genealogy software? Got a new digital camera?

Tell us all about your latest and greatest technology and how it benefits your genealogy research or the recording of your family history. 

Deadline for submission is May 1st. 

After seeing all the ads on the television, doing research, reading reviews, and even tweeting “how do you like your Incredible?”,  I bought a Droid HTC Incredible. (iPhone wasn’t an option in my rural area at the time.) 

Now I understand why everyone who tweeted me back said “I love my Droid” because I think this phone is one of the handiest little gadgets to come along in a long time.

How do I love my Droid? Let me count the ways.

1.  First, I love that it ‘connects’ with my G-mail/Google account. When I update my G-mail contacts on my computer they’re immediately on my phone.  When I update my phone’s contacts, they’re immediately on my computer. Woo Hoo!   It’s all searchable and it’s all backed up on-line. (No more drowning the phone in cherry Coke and losing my friends & family!)

I love that when my friends and family call me, their photo flashes on the screen before I have time to read the Caller ID.  (After uploading the photos to my Google contacts.) It’s like a warm and fuzzy ‘hello’ from my favorite people!

I’m Gonna Love Having my Family History info in My Pocket!

2.  I can’t remember how many times that I’ve wished I had my family tree with me when I’ve gotten an unexpected research opportunity. Now, I’ve got my choice of one of the new genealogy family tree apps in the Android Market, such as “Gedstar Pro,” “Family Bee” family tree viewer, or “Families” by TelGen Limited.  I just have to choose which one to try and which one to buy.

3.  I just downloaded (haven’t tried everything out yet) the “Quickoffice” app. It was reasonable and I will be able to take Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF files with me, and tweak them if I want to.  I think that’s going to be handy; I have a lot of Word files that contain family history.  The website states that it will sync with Google Docs, and Dropbox, (I need to go to Legacy Family Tree and listen to Thomas MacEntee’s webinar Dropbox for Genealogists again and create my own Dropbox), as well as Sugar Sync, Box, and MobileMe. (I sure hope I can figure that all out!)  

4.  Speaking of webinars, I don’t want to miss one, so I use the Google calendar included with the Droid.   I can add events to the Google calendar from my phone or my computer, and set it to e-mail me, open up a pop-up, and have the phone beep at me when it’s time.

GPS Your Tombstones?

5. A while back, I downloaded “GPS Status.”  Now  I need to go back to the cemeteries, and get the latitude and longitude of family tombstones and add them to my Tombstone Tuesday posts and from now on, when possible, I will include the latitude and longitude coordinates along with my photograph.

Not only will that make it easier for others to find the stones, it will make it easier for me to go back and find them again as well.

6.  And speaking of posting on my blog, there are both WordPress and Blogger apps for the Droid, so if I wanted to (and I don’t) I could update my blog on the run.

7.  I also love that when I get an unexpected opportunity to stop at the library and do some genealogy research the Droid actually does a fair job of snapping a readable photo of the book that I can’t quite squeeze into the photocopy machine. And then, it lets me e-mail it home to be added to my genealogy files.

8.   I also like it that when I’m sitting in the courthouse trying to read the fine print in my ancestor’s will that my Droid has a magnifying glass app. (Yes, there’s an app for that!)  And actually, there’s more than one app, several of them are free, and most not only magnify, but they also shed more light on the subject while doing it.

9.  Did I mention that the Droid’s have “mobile hotspots?” For a few bucks more a month, your Droid can be the hotspot that your laptop needs to access the internet.  Pretty handy!
 

 Patience is Not One of my Virtues…

10.  And number 10 on my list, but not in my heart, I love my Droid because patience is not one of my virtues. I hate to wait in lines, in doctor’s offices, or even in the fast food line.  I can pull my Droid out of my pocket, check my e-mail, text a friend, open up my Kindle or Nook app, my New International Version Bible app, or even my Bubble Breaker app, and the time passes a lot more quickly.

Did I mention I love my Droid?  

 I do.  Not just because it’s a fun little gadget, but because it makes my life easier, keeps me in touch with the people I love, keeps track of where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing, and I didn’t even mention the “Find a Grave”, Tweet Deck, Facebook, or Grocery List (handy to text your grocery list to your kids to pick up what you need!) apps that are also pretty nifty to use!

 

 

Carnival of Genealogy – Nancy Jane and Other Cars that we Loved…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 1, 2011

Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church

My mom and two brothers, Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church, with "Nancy Jane" before I was born.

Cars were an important part of our lives on the farm. They took me to school, helped herd dairy cows, took us to town for groceries, to the elevator for supplies and nickel pepsi’s, and  made ‘blood runs’ (high speed trips) to the parts store when the combine or tractors broke down.

Nancy Jane…

Our cars had personalities (some more ‘congenial’ than others) and Mom always, always,  named them “Nancy Jane.”

“Nancy Jane, you start now, we need to get to church,” she might say as we hurried off to church on a cold morning.

“Nancy Jane, don’t you dare get stuck,” she’d say as we slid sideways down slippery, muddy unpaved roads to and from our home.

It always seemed to me, growing up, that after Mom called the car Nancy Jane in a firm, encouraging, and sometimes scolding voice that the car made an extra effort to do exactly what Mom asked.

After she spoke to it,  ‘Nancy Jane’ nearly always came through for us.

Do I talk to my vehicles?

Surely you jest!  Of course I do!  How else are they going to know what’s expected of them!

“Come on, Baby,  we gotta go pick up the granddaughters from school….”

 

Carnival of Genealogy – The J. H. Stocking Bible

by Sherry Stocking Kline
December 1, 2010

It was really hard to decide what to write about, one of our one-of-a-kind family ‘characters’ or a one-of-a-kind family heirloom.  But sorting through the ever increasing number of digital photographs and scanned pictures on my hard drive, I saw the snapshot that I took of  “THE” family Bible.

On the front, it says “Holy Bible” and then inscribed below that “Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking”.

Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking Family Bible

Was it a Wedding Gift?

And until I wrote the words above, I hadn’t stopped to wonder at the circumstances that led to the purchase of the Bible.  Was it a wedding gift from one of their parents?  Did they purchase it themselves?  Which Mrs. J. H. Stocking does the inscription pertain to?

Whatever the circumstances were, the Bible was thumbed through, and the births, marriages, and deaths were added, one by one, in different colors ink, in different hands, down through time.

Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking Bible

John Hurlburt Stocking was born in Sullivan Twp, Madison Co., N.Y., on 15, July 1821.  He married Betsy Jane Ames, who was born on 10 Jun 1820, in West Chenanco, Chenango Park, N.Y..

Betsy died on 15 Oct 1856 at the age of 36, just ten days after giving birth to her second son, Bishop Ames.  Bishop died not long after his mother, leaving John a young widower with a three-year-old son, my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking.

J. H. married Caroline Gates in 1860.  J. H. died on 14 Oct 1894, in Illinois, and I was fortunate to locate a small town history that stated that he was visiting friends in Illinois when he fell down the stairs and died so I hope to be able to verify that with a newspaper article or obituary at some future date.

The J. H. Stocking Family Bible was handed down from John Hurlburt to his son, Roderick Remine, and Roderick gave it to his son, John Lester and his wife Velma.  Velma was very interested in family history.  John and Velma had no children, so after John’s death, Great-Aunt Velma gave the Bible to my uncle, a son of Elmer L. and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking, and he was kind enough to loan me the Bible so that I might look through it and snap a few photographs, for which I am very grateful.  (The Bible was too frail to put on a photocopy machine, or my scanner.)

Adding One More Thing to My Bucket List…

Looking at the pages in this treasured family heirloom reminds me that I have not filled out the family tree pages in my own Bibles, so that is one more thing I need to add to my “Family History Bucket List,”  and I am well equipped with the acid-free pens that would be safest to use, and that would (should) last the longest with the least fading.

Carnival Of Genealogy – Scrapbooking my Family History One Page at a Time

by Sherry Stocking Kline
01 August 2010

Off and on for several years, I’ve tried to get started scrapbooking and journaling my photographs.  But it takes a lot of room to gather it all up, and spread it all out.

And I seem to be one of those people who have to change background papers and photographs over and over (and over) till I finally find the combination that I like.  Takes hours. (And usually two more trips to the scrapbook store!)

Then I found digital scrapbooking with a Twitter friend on-line.

So, instead of cutting up my photographs, and then wishing they were a different shape and size, or worse yet, wishing I had never cut them up at all,  now I can digitize photos, crop, re-size, and re-shape to my heart’s content, leaving the originals alone.

I love it!

Below are some of the 12 x 12 scrapbook pages for my family history book that I’ve created.  First, is the page for my great-grandparents, Roderick Remine and Frances “Fanny” (Hitchcock) Stocking and their four sons.

My grandfather is standing on the far right, Elmer Leverett. He passed away before I was born, and I never got to meet him.  (I sooo wish that I had been able to get to know him.)

Roderick Remine and Frances (Hitchcock) Stocking with their children, left to right: Ralph Hurlburt, Roderick Porter, Elmer Leverett and their youngest between them, John.

The Roderick Remine and Frances (Hitchcock) Stocking Family

The photo below here is my great-grandmother, Maggie (Corson) McGinnis and her daughter and son-in-law, Maud and Elmer Stocking.

It looks to me like they are sitting on the east side of  Maud and Elmer’s home near Mayfield, Kansas.  Maud and Elmer’s home was on their farm on the NW 1/4 of 18-32-2W, where they had a quarter section of land. (160 acres).  Later, my parents bought this farm from Maud and Elmer and I grew up here as well.  The house burned down several years ago.

Maggie McGinnis and Maud (McGinnis) & Elmer Stocking

Maggie McGinnis with daughter Maud Stocking & husband Elmer Stocking

The photograph below is of my dad’s parents and his siblings.  What a great photograph! (I wish I knew when it was taken!!)  I really like the burnt sienna colored paper below with it’s hints of other shades, and I added just a few “starbursts” to it to ‘gussy’ it up a little.

My grandfather is seated on the left and my grandmother is seated on the right. My father, Harold Stocking, Sr., is standing on the back row, third from the left.

The Elmer Leverett and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking Family

The Elmer Leverett and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking Family. Standing: Frank, Carl, Harold, Sr., and Alma; Seated, Father Elmer Leverett, Herbert, Frances, Peggy, Mary, and Mother Maud.

While researching and preserving history is very important to me, my scrapbooking is not all about preserving the past, it’s also about preserving and enjoying the present, too, and being able to enjoy it again and again for the future.

Below is the cover from “Giggles”, an 8 x 8 scrapbook that I created this summer for my two darling little granddaughters.  There are several of my favorite photos and fun times that we’ve had in the past few years, and the book is a favorite with the girls as well.  I also think it will help them remember all the fun times that we’ve had!

Savvy and Chloy star in their own "Giggles" book

Jordyn Savannah "Savvy" & Chloy Celyse star in their own Book created especially for them.

Below is a photo of the girls reading their very own Storybook Scrapbook!

Jordyn reads their storybook to her younger sister, Chloy.

Jordyn reads their Storybook to her younger sister, Chloy.

Currently I am using a Family Photo Tree template at www.TurnMemoriesIntoBooks.com to create a 12 x 12 scrapbook page of our family tree. I am  also working on a Storybook for my mother, who is nearly 99 years old, so I’m working with some really neat old photographs, and preserving some fun stories!

The Third Annual iGene Awards – The Best of my Best

Sherry Stocking Kline
February 15, 2010

iGeneAwardBest Picture – Deciding which photograph I liked best in 2009 was extremely difficult!

Was it the  photograph of new-found cousin Nancy and my husband looking over the Glasgow, KY cemetery?  Or was it the  photo of my brother Gary with his street rod?   In the end, I chose the photograph of my Great-grandma Margaret “Maggie” Corson McGinnis holding little baby me on her 100th birthday.

Not everyone has a great-grandmother who lives to be 100, so this is a special photograph, and I’m glad my parents captured the moment on film.

Best Screen Play – I’m not sure that any of my stories would make a great screen play -  unless it would be the part of the Christmas Gifts story that involves myself and my two oldest nephews playing Cowboys and Indians in the pasture on our stick horses!   Even my patient collie dog Lassie wasn’t safe if we had a lasso!

I’d have to cast John Wayne as my dad.   First, I always thought there was a resemblance, and second, my dad had that same kind of confidence that the Duke projected on film.

My mom, well, she might be a cross of Maureen O’Hara and the Beav’s mom, June Cleaver, though she never wore dresses, pearls, and heels everyday,  those were church clothes.

Because she worked in the field she was more likely to be in jeans, flannel shirts, and maybe even overalls.

And the casting for  my nephews and I, well, lets just say “The Little Rascals” would be the best cast for us…

Best Documentary – My blog post about the Burchfiel Cemetery, the church and the church history connected with it holds a special place in my heart.

Best Biography – This post about my brother, Gary “Sox” Stocking is probably my favorite biography.  It doesn’t tell when he was born, nor whom he was born to, but it does capture just a bit of the essence of who he was, what kind of man he was, and you get an idea of why other street rodder friends came from three states in their street rods to honor him one last time.

Best Comedy – The funniest thing that I blogged about in 2009 was when we crazy high school kids used to drag main singing the top hit at the time “Hey There Little Red Riding Hood” at the top of our lungs!

It was fun then, and it gives me a chuckle now to remember it…

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

By Sherry Stocking Kline
February 1, 2010

Smith, Hawley, Laird, Breneman, Stocking & Jones, too
Also McGinnis, Ames, Crabb, Corson
, and other names it’s true.
What inspired these ancestors and led them to leave home
To go far from their homeland and bravely roam?

Who are these brave people who came before?
Oh, How I love it whenever I learn a bit more.
I’m curious about what they sold or they bought,
About their lives and beliefs, even what they thought.

What brought them to America?  Why and when did they come?
What ship did they sail on, where exactly are they from?
All these questions I have, about each and every one,
I love finding clues, solving puzzles is such fun!

Was my Laird ancestor a highland Scots’ ‘prince’ or a pauper’s son?
It’s the hunt and the challenge that makes genealogy such fun!
Each answer brings new questions, then those answers I seek
To answer just one question, solve one clue sometimes takes weeks.

Who was this man, my Jones grandfather so elusive?
Must I dig deeper into the life of his mother and yes -  get intrusive?
Was she un-married/ widowed/ divorced when she married a ‘Crabb’
What was she like, how did she dress? Fashion plate? Or drab?

For religious freedom, in the 1630’s my Stockings sailed
To America on the Griffith, ‘twas from England they hailed.
Part of the history books they became, & helped found a new town
It was Hartford, Connecticut, with Thomas Hooker’s party they founded.

An Anabaptist, our Breneman ancestor left a dungeon deep,
Walked across castle floors and out of the castle keep,
His life spared, he came to America where freedom to worship would be
And down through the centuries, many have fought to keep America free.

In the Revolutionary War, 1812, and World Wars One and Two
Korea, Vietnam, and the Civil War, too.
My ancestors were there, along with many others who served
For keeping our land free, it’s our thanks they deserve.

Great-Grandma (Corson) McGinnis lived to be a whole century old,
My brother still remembers the story she told
About singing for then campaigning Abe Lincoln as a wee child,
When he promised her statehood for Kansas, a territory wild.

My ancestors were farmers, blacksmiths, merchants and more,
Teachers who taught, and those who owned stores
As we build for the future, on their shoulders’ we stand
And our family still has teachers, and farmers who farm the land.

There are plane builders, engineers, and more than one preacher,
There are programmers, a writer, and an NASA astronaut once a teacher
So many different folks now make up our family tree,
As we live here in America, land of the brave and the free…

I tried to intersperse some of the stories and legends that come along with my family.  I can’t prove that my Great-grandmother McGinnis (she would have been a Corson then) did sing for Abraham Lincoln as a child when Lincoln was campaigning, but she did live in the Springfield, Illinois area, did have a famous photograph that became part of the family story, and that is the story that she told her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, so I believe it to be true.

My Stocking ancestor, George Stocking’s name is on the founding father’s stone in Hartford, CT, and there are many documents on-line (and off) about George and the Thomas Hooker party that founded Hartford.  It’s a small world when I found out years later that my Junior High Latin teacher was a descendant of the Hart family that Hartford was named for.

My cousin has been to the castle in Switzerland and even down in the dungeon where my Breneman ancestor was kept a prisoner.  She said that it gave her goosebumps…

Volunteering – Carnival of Genealogy

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 14th, 2009

Yes, I’d be glad to…?

When someone asks for my help I tend to say “yes, I’d be glad to…” though frankly in the last couple of years I’ve had to learn how to say “I’d love to, but I just can’t.”  With only 24 hours in a day, no matter how I try to stretch it there needs to be time to sleep in there somewhere.

Possibly the most important ‘job’ I volunteer to do as Vice President of the Sumner County (Kansas) Historical and Genealogical Society is to find speakers that are interesting, informative, and that reflect county, state, national, and sometimes international history. And an important part of that is to try to find speakers that will attract new people into our group so that it will grow.

The Lord provides…

Finding fascinating people who will ‘speak for their dinner,’ even at a steak house, isn’t always easy but when our members ask me how I do it I usually answer “The Lord provides…”  Once, during a casual conversation standing in line at Wal-mart I met a talented woman who just happened to be a Native American speaker. Several months later she brought us a very interesting informative program.

In November 2009, Tuskegee Airman Major George Boyd shared his fascinating story with us, and this week I will connect with our speaker, Jim Baumgardner, author of the historical children’s fiction “Sarah” books, interview him, write a press release, and send it out to eight newspapers, two cable television stations, one radio station, and so many people by e-mail that my internet provider threatens to shut me down for spamming.

This summer, on June 19th in Wellington, Kansas, our county will host the Kansas Council of Genealogical Society meeting, (you’re invited!) and we’re working to prepare and promote that already.

Video-Tape the Gen Society meetings….

About a year ago, I started video-taping the SCHGS programs with my camcorder and our city’s cable station re-plays most of our programs on the local channel in the months following.  My goal is to have a library of DVD’s that members can check out and re-watch, and that we can share with elderly members who can no longer attend meetings.  (this is something that I think other societies might be interested in trying to do!)

Transcribed Cemetery Information…

In 2003, my husband and I walked a (small?) cemetery of several hundred people, transcribed the stone information, entered it into a database, and shared the information locally with the SCHGS Center as well as published it in “Mayfield: Then & Now” a small-town history book that I co-authored with Elaine Clark. I plan to re-walk the cemetery this year to make new additions, and take photographs of some or all of the stones while there. And I try (but fail miserably) to share all the tombstone photographs that I take with www.deadFred.com.

Because my name is in the paper often, and because I like to help others research and preserve their family history I get phone calls out of the blue asking for help.

I get to meet fascinating people…

How many hours do I volunteer each month?  It varies, but more than I have time for and less than I’d like to. But when we get photographs and memorabilia back where it belongs, locate tombstone(s), farmsteads, historic bridges, or the reporter finds info about the old one-room schoolhouse that he needs to polish up an article, it’s all worthwhile.

The most rewarding part for me is that I get to meet, interview, and get acquainted with some very interesting people and hear some fascinating and little-known family and historical stories. I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped preserve (and possibly share) another small piece of history.

As someone I interviewed a few years back about photograph preservation told me:

“The best you can do is to preserve it so the next generation can preserve it again…”

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