Tag Archives: Genealogy Research

Day 2 of my Who Do You Think You Are trip

The start of Day Two started differently than the first day. One of the things I vowed to do on this trip was to have some fun. It’s not every day I am in Missouri so I wanted to play tourist and do touristy things, see the sights and have delicious food. In researching some of the tourist spots, I found that I wanted to see the Gateway Arch. I not only wanted to see it but I wanted to go up to the top and see St. Louis from that vantage point. In researching visiting the Arch, I found that due to the construction and the sprucing up of the Gateway Arch for their 50th Anniversary, each person who goes to the top must have a timed ticket. I also found through reviews from others who have visited already, that going in the morning was better than later in a possibly hot day. So, I purchased my ticket for 9:10am on Tuesday, May 12th. When I drove, I didn’t realize that traffic would be so bad, it made me late to my assigned time, but they let me up. It was so AWESOME!

Here are the pictures I took from my visit to the Gateway Arch:

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I also visited the Old Courthouse. I love old buildings and this one didn’t disappoint. I love the paintings and decorations on the domed ceiling. Here are the pictures:

 

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By this time, I had bags of souviners for my family back home and was getting hungry. I headed to a sushi place called the Drunken Fish. Their sushi was really good and the service was top notch. My waiter, David, was the best too! The Drunken Fish was in the entertainment center that was next door to the Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals baseball team. Now, I am a born and bred Dodger fan, but their stadium was a really nice one. I loved the look of the black wrought iron and red brick. I really tied in with the teams colors and was just pretty to look at! Here are the pictures I took of Busch Stadium.

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After all of this walking, I decided to head to my very last cemetery that I had planned to visit.  Then it happened.  On the way to the parking structure where I had my rental car parked, I tripped on some uneven sidewalk and sprained my ankle.  In the process I also broke the handle off a coffee mug that I purchased, but we were able to repair it.  Now, I have sprained both of my ankles several times in my lifetime but this time was the worse I have ever sprained it and it was the most painful.

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At Urgent Care, waiting for the Dr. to come in and see me and my ankle.

 

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In the hotel after I was done at Urgent Care.

 

Now, do you think that this stopped me from going to the last cemetery of this trip? Heck No, I am a hard-core genealogist to the bone! I did go to the last cemetery on my list, Valhalla Cemetery.  Here I found my husband’s paternal grandfather and his paternal great Aunt who past away at 13. When I went to the office, the kind lady behind the desk was very helpful in helping me locate the burial plots. She did tell me that the records show that both the grandfather and great Aunt had no markers, but she told me the last name of the person they were buried next to. She was so detailed in her instructions that I found them in no time. I did search the other tombstones surrounding my husband’s grandfather and great Aunt and I found a few more family members. I came to Missouri to find a list of family member’s burial plots, couldn’t find one, but found three new ones! It was a great trip. Here are the pictures from Vahalla Cemetery:

 

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All in all, it was a fun trip. I found most of what I was looking for and although I sprained my ankle; I had a great time in Missouri!

Up next, an recap on the NGS Convention!

TriciaSignature

I’m so ready for #NGS2015GEN – Part 2

I am so ReadyPic

Welcome to My Genealogy Obsession blog.  This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  If you want to read part 1, you can find it here.

I also included the addresses that I was able to obtain from some of the census records, but I ended up handwriting that list.  Here is my list of residential addresses.

MOResidentialAddressesOn the left, I have the source of the address and on the right of the addresses are the names of the couple that lived at that address.  After making this list, I then Google mapped the addresses.  The Highlighted ones are the addresses that are still homes.  The  ones not highlighted are homes that have been demolished and replaced with parking lots, medical buildings or freeway overpasses.  I was a bit dissapointed when I found out that two of my addresses were demolished for a freeway overpass.  These two addresses were for my husband’s grandmother.  One house was the house she lived in when she was 1 year old and the second house was the last house I could find her living in before she showed up in California.  I was hoping to be able to visit these houses, take pictures, talk to the owners/occupants and possibly take pictures of the inside in hopes of bringing all of these photos home to my husband.  However, since I am not able to do that, my other idea was to speak to the St. Louis Genealogical societies that will be in attendance at the conference and see if there is any history on the area or the houses.  I will be crossing my fingers.

Now all I need for this adventure is a travel companion.  I have read several articles about planning genealogy research trips and they mostly say that I shouldn’t be alone.  That should be the last thing I need to do with this adventure.

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I’m so ready for #NGS2015GEN – Part 1

I am so ReadyPicI am so ready for the National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) annual conference (#NGS2015GEN).  It is held this year in St. Charles, Missouri and starts in 3 1/2 weeks.  I wish I could attend this conference every year, but that is just not financially feasible for our family.  So, I decided that unless this conference was close to me (within 1 state away, i.e. Las Vegas, NV 2013), then I won’t go unless its in a state where either my husband or I have ancestors in.  This conference, I will be concentrating on my husband’s family who are from Missouri.

I plan on getting there three days before the conference starts.  Well I will have Sunday the 10th for the flight.  This is a non-stop flight but I won’t get in until after 4pm so my Sunday will be spent just getting use to the hotel and nearby food places as I scope out my dinner options.  Monday, however, will be an exciting adventure.  I am renting a car for Monday and Tuesday (Wednesday is the start of the conference) and on Monday I will visit two cemeteries.  These two cemeteries are at the furthest 3 1/2 hours away so it will be mostly an all day adventure.

To get ready for my NGS conference trip, I went through my database and searched for anyone who was born, lived in, or died/buried in Missouri.  Then I whittled the list down to those that I have or could find documents that would show the addresses that they were living at the time.  I first started with the death certificates that I had and found after some research.  The death certificates listed the place of residence at the time of the death and most of them also listed the place of burial.  I made a list of these addresses on this form.

ListofMOCemetaries

On the left is the list of cemeteries where some of my husband’s ancestors were buried.  There are three cemeteries, Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookfield, MO, Pollock Cemetery in Pollock, MO, and Valhalla Cemetary in St. Louis, MO.  Pollock Cemetery is the farthest at 3 1/2 hours away.  It will be the first one I go to but it has no physical address.  The only location information I could find is the GPS coordinates and that it is .5 miles south of Pollock, MO.  This is in a rural area and the cemetery doesn’t have an office.  I am thinking as I drive into town, stop at a gas station and get directions.  Hopefully I will meet someone with some interesting information about the family or cemetery.  After Pollock Cemetary, I plan on visiting Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookfield, MO which is only about 1 hour away from St. Charles, MO.  This cemetery will be much easier to find and navigate.  It’s in town and has an office at the City Hall building.  Depending on how I am feeling after visiting these two cemeteries, I might save the last cemetery for Tuesday morning.  Either way, the last cemetery I will visit will be Valhalla Cemetery.  This is also in a major town, St. Louis, so it would be very easy to find and navigate.  I am planning after my visit to Valhalla Cemetery, to visit some of the touristy places in St. Louis, MO.  I am really excited to be able to visit the Arch!

Do you have any ideas for spots to eat or things to see on the way?  If so, please comment and let me know.  Now if you want to read part 2, you can read it here.

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This time next week…

Jamboree Graphic 2014This time next week, I will be at the SCGS Jamboree which is being held at the Burbank Airport Marriott, June 6-8, 2014.  It is a great source of genealogical education and it is a whole lot of fun too!  I am very excited to attend and can’t wait.

A good friend is joining me at the conference this year.  She asked me what tips I could give her as a first-time attendee.  I started thinking about it and came up with a few so I decided to post my tips here and hopefully it could help others besides my friend.

#1     You will see this on most tips for attending a genealogy conference.  Bring comfortable shoes, dress is layers and drink water.  You will do a lot of walking and being comfortable and well hydrated is very important.  The temperature in each room varies and you won’t know what the temperature will be like until you get the room.  It is best to dress in layers or bring a sweater for when the room is either too hot or too cold.

#2     If the genealogical conference has an app, USE IT!  Its a great tool to help you keep track of not only your first & second choice in classes.  The app is also good for when you have friends at the conference.  Within the app, you can send a friend request to your friends and if they accept your request, you can communicate with them in getting a group together for lunch.  If you are really close with your friend or if you have family attending and you can also share your schedule with each other.  This helps you to see where this person might be at in case you need to get a hold of them or if you want to attend the same class together.  I love using this feature of the app with my daughter so that I can keep track of what classes she might be in and possibly sit with her in a class.

#3     This next tip really depends on your note taking habits.  Usually you get a syllabus book/binder free with your registration but if the organization putting on the conference is trying to cut down on costs, you might just get a CD copy instead.  I like to obtain the syllabus and mark my first and second choice in classes, then when I attend the classes, I write on the syllabus for each class itself.  It helps me to keep up with what the speaker is saying and to keep the appropriate notes  and what the speaker is saying together.  HERE IS MY TIP: If you are not able to get a printed copy of the syllabus, go into the app and on each of the classes you want to take, if there is a PDF symbol, you can email the handout to yourself, then print them before attending the conference.  You still get the syllabus for each class and to write on each of the appropriate speakers outline.  You also are helping  by not printing out every single page of the syllabus.

#4     Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with the people sitting around you.  You might find a cousin sitting right next to you!

#5  Don’t be afraid to network with other genealogists outside of the classroom.  There are some genealogists that do get paid for the research they do, but if you meet others who are researching the same area as you, they might be helpful when you have hit a brick wall.  It is also a good idea to keep their contact information handy too.

I hope that these tips have helped you and my good friend as well.  If you have any other tips for first-time attendees to a genealogical conference, please list them in the comment section so that others can use your tips.

Happy Ancestry Hunting!

Tricia

 

What lectures are you looking forward to attending at #NGS2013?

As time flies by and the NGS Family History Conference gets closer and closer, what lectures are you looking foreward to attending?

This is my first time at NGS Family History Conference and I am very excited for all of the lectures I plan on attending.  However, there are a few speakers that I am looking forward to.

Elizabeth Shown Mills – I know, she is a well-renowned speaker on genealogical things.  I have become a stalker, er, fan of her work and I am excited to hear a few of her lectures.

Lisa Louise Cooke –  I have been looking to learn how to use Evernote with my genealogy research and when I saw that Ms. Cooke will be conducting a lecture on it, I knew that I wanted to attend it!

Thomas W. Jones –  Even before they announced his new upcoming book to be published soon, I had a few of his lectures highlighted.  I had heard from other genealogist that he was an excelent speaker.  I am looking forward to his methodology lectures.

These are just a few of the speakers that I am looking forward to attending their lectures next week.  Who are you looking foward to hear speak next week at NGS Family History Conference?  If your not going, who would you like to see if you were able to go?  Let me know!

Tricia