Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Greetings from the Ozarks!

Maxine Reavis was a young girl of six when she gave this Thanksgiving postcard to her five year-old neighbor, Leonard Brown in 1909. Both were farm children and lived on farms near Aurora, Missouri all their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday at FGS 2013

Just a quick recap of the conference so far. I arrived on Tuesday just barely in time to attend the Family Search bloggers dinner. It was a good opportunity to learn about what's new with Family Search, to connect with friends, and to meet new people.

                                                       Me and Jennifer Holik.

                                   Terri O'Connell, Jennifer Holik, and Shelley Bishop

Wednesday was focused on societies and I got to hear D. Joshua Taylor explain how to overcome the "we have always done it that way" attitude. It was an excellent lecture about how to reach new members as well as connect and communicate in a positive way with both new and existing members. My take-away from this session--no matter what changes you propose to your society, always present a plan along with it. Change simply for the sake of change may be no more positive/negative than doing things the way they have always been done.

After lunch in downtown Ft. Wayne it was time for Tina Lyons session about social media for societies. Tina went through the list of  main social media sites and ways they can be utilized for the benefit of our societies. Another excellent session, and I was glad to have the opportunity to meet Tina since I have been following her for some time on Twitter.

Last night was the opening  social which was held in the Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory. Despite the long line,  it was a pleasant evening of food, music, and conversation.

Today I'm attending a session by Thomas Jones called "Planning and Executing Efficient and Effective Research: A Case Study." After that, I'm free for the day to do research at the Allen County Public Library and maybe even have time to explore the city and learn a bit about its history. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Packing for FGS 2013

Believe it or not, it is now less than five weeks until the FGS conference in Ft. Wayne! That means it is time for my conference planning to move into the final stages. I need to look closely at the sessions I have selected and maybe pick alternate sessions, just in case my first choices are full. Since I like to have a plan and to be prepared (even if I later decide to change my mind), a printed list of my selections, along with the times and room numbers, is on the top of my list of items to take to a genealogy conference.

Another important item to take to conference is, of course, my cell phone. Not necessarily for making calls or for sending texts, but primarily for taking pictures of friends and all the new people I hope to meet. An important component of conferences is seeing friends and making connections, and I love taking pictures so that I can capture those moments. If you plan to later blog about the conference, pictures can serve to enhance the content.

For note taking I will print a syllabus for each session I'm attending so that I can scribble anything and everything that I want to remember about the lecture that may not already be on the syllabus.  My phone will also be useful for checking my conference schedule (in case I misplace my hard copy), taking notes, or for any tidbits of information I may want to collect along the way.

Business cards are a must, as an inexpensive and convenient way to exchange information with new friends, business contacts, or potential clients.  Certainly I will be taking my laptop with me to Ft. Wayne, though I prefer to travel light, so I will probably not take it with me to conference everyday. It will be for use in the evening if I need to check my email or if I decide to blog about the days events while they are still fresh in my mind.

Don't forget to bring a sweater or jacket and to wear comfortable shoes. Temperatures can be variable at conferences and who knows how much walking will be necessary throughout the day and into the evening.

Finally, the most important things I'm taking to the conference won't fit in my suitcase and can't be entered into my smart phone. The most important thing I'm taking to FGS is enthusiasm! Enthusiasm to learn and grow and to meet people and hear about new and exciting ideas in the world of genealogy. Though it is just a few short weeks away, it is not too late to sign up for FGS 2013. I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Genealogy Conferences?

Why Genealogy Conferences? My top FOUR reasons, in no particular order, are...

1.  Education - One obvious reason for genealogists to attend conferences, and my primary  reason, is to learn. As genealogists, we never stop learning and expanding our knowledge base. Conferences are a great opportunity to learn about the availability of new records, new technology, new ideas...all these and more are found in abundance at genealogy conferences. The FGS conference in Ft. Wayne has scheduled over 150 different lecture topics within almost 25 different tracks of study, taught by some of the most knowledgeable genealogists in the world. With so many excellent classes and speakers, attendees may have to figure out a way to be in two places at once!

2.  Books - One of my favorite aspects of genealogy conferences are the books. Books, books, books everywhere! Books about genealogy, history, technology, blogging...every kind of subject a  genealogist could wish for. And not only books, but magazines, computer programs, and numerous other products are available for browsing, shopping, or just day-dreaming before, after, and between lectures. Then there are the representatives from libraries and genealogical and historical societies from across the country, happy to provide information about their organizations. It is nice to have so many vendors and exhibits in one location and to have knowledgeable representatives on hand to answer questions about their products and/or services.

3.  People - What I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to see friends and to meet new people, particularly people I have already met on social media. There are so many wonderful and interesting people that I know from Twitter and from the numerous genealogy blogs that I read, and I am really looking forward to putting faces, and voices, with all the names. The FGS conference has scheduled several special events that will be excellent opportunities to socialize with other genealogists.

4. Research - In addition to the learning opportunities at the conference, there is also the opportunity to conduct research at archives, libraries, and genealogy centers that are not available to us on a day-to-day basis. The FGS conference location is right across the street from the famous Allen County Public Library, which also houses the Genealogy Center. The ACPL is hosting one of the special events for FGS, and the Genealogy center is offering extended hours for conference attendees. This is sure to be one of the highlights of the conference.

If you have not yet registered for the conference, it is not too late, and I hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter from the Ozarks

The recipient of this Easter greeting, Miss Mae Barnett, was born in Sisson Township, Howell County, Missouri in 1889. In 1900, her father James was a farmer and the family included the mother, Sally; two siblings, Arthur and Ethyl; and one servant, Clenna Henry.

By 1910, Mae's father James no longer owned his own farm but was instead listed on the census as a  farm laborer and employee. Mae was 18 years old, living at home, as was her 15 year old sister, and had no listed occupation.

In  1920,Mae's brother, James Arthur, had married a young woman from Siloam Springs, Howell County, named Bertha E. Priddy, and had a farm of his own not far from where his parents lived. Mae was still living at home with her parents, now just the three of them.

Mae was 39 years old in the 1930 census.  She was living with her aging parents and had no occupation. Her father was now a 60 year old tenant farmer.

Mae received numerous postcards from friends all over the Ozarks and even one from Fargo, Oklahoma. She was courted for few years by a young man named Joe Russell (or Bussell), who once sent her a Valentine postcard, but apparently she never married him or anyone else.  The postcards written to her give few hints about what her life was like living on a farm with only her parents. What the postcards do reveal is that Mae was well-liked and had many friends. Not a bad  way to be remembered, is it?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year from the Ozarks!

Happy New Year from Mr. and Mrs. Locke and baby to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Love in Springfield, Missouri, 1918.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Midtown Homes Tour 2012

The Roulet/McKinney House, built in 1895 as a one-story Queen Anne and converted to Foursquare style in 1924. This was the first home, and my favorite, on the tour. It was purchased by new owners in 2007 and extensively renovated.
The beautiful doorway,  with my daughter-in-law visible in the door, along with another wonderful old house across the street!
                                        Lovely woodwork throughout the house.

The Klingner/Conn  house, a Craftsman Bungalow home built in 1907. The Klingner family have had a mortuary business in Springfield since the late 1800's.
                      A beautiful original mural in the dining room, by Oliver Corbett.
The Mayes/Thornton house began life as a typical Victorian farmhouse in 1886. It was "modernized" into an Ozarks giraffe house around 1930.
              A lovely claw-food bathtub in an otherwise thoroughly modern bathroom.
Another example of a Foursquare home, this one is the Coover/Hinch house built in 1907.
What a lovely old fireplace and desk on the right. I'm certain I would never stop writing if I had a room like this in which to work!
                        I love the rich color the owners have painted the porch floor.
The final home on the tour was the one owned by Rose O'Neill, of Kewpie doll fame, built in 1900.  It is now owned by Drury University.
                                                 A beautifully detailed dormer.

All of the information about the homes was obtained in the ticket book/guide. A couple of the  houses had costumed greeters, which was a nice touch and I'm thinking it might be fun to wear a costume myself during the tour next year. The tours were all self-guided, which is fine by me, and there were members of the Midtown Neighborhood Association on hand to answer questions. The only thing I found lacking was historical information about the original owners and their context within the city of Springfield. Otherwise, we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to tour these homes and the weather was perfect for walking through the historic neighborhood, albeit a little windy! Next year the tour will have a different set of homes opened to the public, and though I shouldn't already be looking forward to next December, I can't wait to do this again. All for the love of history!