Showing posts from November, 2020

Abel Mattoon's FAN Club

  [1] Genealogists are familiar with the term “FAN Club”. When working on solving a problem of identity, relationship or date, we look to the actions of friends, associates, and neighbors for clues or proof to our conclusion. Consider adding another group to “F”, extended family. Sometimes I hesitate to add the husband of my second great aunt to my family, but I have learned that it is a mistake not to add that person. FAN Club Includes "Collaterals" “Collaterals—the family members from whom one does not descend—are  just as important to research as the direct line.” [2] Think about that for a moment. How many times have you looked at a will or a deed where the signature of a witness does not match any of the names in your direct line? Upon investigation, you realize that “Joe Blow” married the sister of your ancestor “Bob Smith”. In my family, as well as in yours, that brother-in-law frequently was, or became, a trusted friend, member of the family and b

The Magic of Reaching Out

There is magic in reaching out to others! Sometimes it seems like work, so let's make it easier.  First, write a good query. We wrote about how to do that previously, so check that out.  What's a Query and Why Should I Care? #ResearchOpportunity A good query: Leads with Who When Where Asks a specific question States what resources have already been consulted Once you get a query format you like, copy it! And then plug in more people of interest and their details in a place where you can easily find it. Depending on how you store your genealogy materials, you can put all these queries in one document, or separate ones for each family.  AND.... if you have a research question and the beginning of the research report /timeline for each of these people, make your query statement part of that document and be sure to note where you send or post it and a date, so you can remember to check back and see if you have some responses. Be sure to include some contact information such as an e

Ravensdale Cemetery: Lost in Time (and Bushes)

In October of 2020, a series of posts in the South King County Genealogical Society Groups mentioned the Ravensdale Cemetery.  Some photos were posted and it got my attention. It was clear that the old cemetery was sorely neglected. It had been vandalized in the 1950’s and stones had been encased by ground cover and other underbrush. I visited the cemetery for the first time, with my husband, on Saturday, 7 November 2020.  Its state was, to say the least, sad. There was evidence that people had been there. The paths were a bit trampled and burned down candles and an empty packet of cigarettes were sitting on the side of a broken and open sarcophagus. In spite of the fact that someone up to no good had recently been there, it was a peaceful place. Restoration? I was hooked.  Two days prior to my visit, I had made the suggestion to the group that restoring the cemetery might be a good project for SKCGS and I presented a hurriedly composed proposal to the Board. I was given permission to

The Way of the Turtle

courtesy Pixabay Sheer Joy of Research  Sometimes you've got the bull by the horns and rush along researching recklessly, breathlessly. That's fun! But we all know that details are missed this way and sometimes, in your hurry, you take the wrong road, pick the wrong parents, mix the records of two people with the same name. . .we've all been there!  It's fun, but there is sometimes quite a bit of cleanup to do after the rampage.   Professional Approach Professional researchers do it differently. Time is of the essence, and getting results efficiently is what creates success. So the pros will plan their work by working out a research question or a series of questions  with the client , and then begin by  doing a literature and record set survey.  Then is it time to assess what websites will yield the information needed? What repositories will need to be visited, or contacted? After the planning stage, the professional will consult the client for any fine-tuning. Focus Mo

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

BOOK REVIEW Millard, Candice.  Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.    New York:  Anchor Books, A Division of Random House, Inc. 2012. Elizabeth Shown Mills reminds us that as genealogists we must understand the patterns of the time in which events took place. [1]   Patterns of History If you are studying ancestors in the period immediately following the Civil War, this non-fiction account of a little known event in American History may increase your understanding of the societal norms of the time.   Death of General James A. Garfield. Lithograph by Currier & Ives. From the Library of Congress President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881.   Ignoring Evidence This is a story of how one man’s stubborn refusal to let scientific medical evidence change a firmly held belief may have changed the outcome of the assassination attempt.   Rebound from Tragedy The event unified the country which was still divided aft