Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized – Down to the wire but January is complete! Checklists for Jan 17-23rd and Jan 24th-31st

FINALLY Get Organized – Down to the wire but January is complete!
Checklists for Jan 17-23rd and Jan 24th-31st

You can join in by following Dear Mrytle’s “FINALLY Get Organized” at .

I think the whole month of January would have been a bit easier if I had two functioning legs.  I have not mastered the art of the wheelchair - that has cost me some valuable time .  I knocked over my to file box and scattered my sorted papers; I have trapped myself in my office by blocking my way out with binders, boxes, and books.  Thankfully now everything has a place.  I am hoping to get at least one of my casts off in the next ten days.  I made it through /SLIG in a wheelchair I guess making it through some organization  shouldn't kill me but boy I would love the freedom of at least one good leg.

þ     Transcribe every document you’ve collected on the first 4-four generations in your surname/maiden name file.  I am so glad I did this, I caught a few dates that I had missed.  One example of missed information is the date a marriage license was issued, date ceremony performed and the date of the return.  I did not use any programs to help with the transcriptions but I did utilize my multiple monitors!
þ      Refile each document in the binder. 
þ      Volunteer at FamilySearch indexing. 
þ       Learn to browse the collections at  This is one of my favorite methods.  I like to find out what records are available for the area I am researching.  No sense looking for marriage record from 1860 is the location and the website you are looking at does not have the record!  It is also very interesting to look through the unindexed images for a location.  I located several relatives records I was not looking for by simple browsing record collections.
þ      Create surname binders for yourself and your mother’s maiden name.
þ      Update your genealogy program to include your siblings with birth and marriage information. Transcribe and cite documents before attaching to the individuals as well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Lloyd Clark with Marine buddies

Lloyd Clark is the one seated with the cigarette, approximately 1952-1953

Monday, January 25, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized - Running behind but attempting to catch up...

Organization the perfect start for the new year.  I am running behind but here is my update on my progress for the month of January thus far.  You can join in by following Dear Mrytle’s “FINALLY Get Organized” at

þ       Back up your data!  Luckily I have been backing up my data with Backblaze for the past few years, so this was an easy task.  I also have an external drive that I use and store in our safe.  Then of course I use DropBox.  Can you ever take too many precautions to protect your genealogy?  I would rather have overkill then the possibility of losing any of my information.  That happened to me once about 10 years ago when my research was held hostage by an external drive – never to be retrieved again. 

þ      Decide on a genealogy software management program.  I am a RootsMagic girl.  

 I can always learn more to make the software work harder for me but I am confident in using the software. 
þ      Starting with yourself enter your personal data and that of the tree older generations by that surname in your chosen genealogy management program.  I have started again – brand new database.  I am entering everything in one by one and not copying anything from my previous database.  It is forcing me to examine everything again which has been enlightening.
þ        Set aside a 3-ring binder for your surname.  I think of family as a unit so I am setting up my binders by MRIN or marriage number.  It is just how I think – surname binders are too confusing for my brain waves.  I am a numbers person.
þ         Label oversized tabbed dividers and insert into the binders.  I have a tab for each MRIN #.
þ         Print out family group sheets starting with yourself for four generations on your surname.  Done!
þ         Place the 4 family group sheets behind the appropriate MRIN # dividers.
þ         Scan photos and documents relating to each of these four generations in your binders.  I am still trying to accomplish this; I am about 80% complete.
þ         Place scanned items in document top loading page protectors.
þ           Create an introduction for those that follow.  The image on the right is my “master” for every family MRIN # I create.  I also keep my template for the Avery dividers in this location.  I have been consistent so far and my binders and computer files match. My folders are further sorted by family member’s names.  For example, photographs are sorted into folders with the name of the individual or group.  Death records also contain sub-folders for individuals.  I update my MRIN list also so it is easy to locate any person in my database.   My daughter Juliana has helped me file and she is well aware of how the system works so I know I can count on her to maintain my research. My husband and my daughter Juliana know my passcode to access my computer and laptop.    I also have my passwords in my address book.  My binders are in the bookcase behind my desk – I like to keep them at arm’s reach. 
þ      Add a genealogy codicil to your will.  Luckily I married an attorney so no appointment necessary.  Out of all my children, Juliana, is the only one that will be entrusted with my research.  Unfortunately, the others do not seem overly interested in my work.  I have made my choices clear and the family knows what taking care of my work will entail and cost.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

SLIG 2016: A Learning Experience that will last forever

Leslie Carney - Deed Mapping Class
     January 1st I fell.  I broke my right ankle and dislocated my left ankle.  After passing out from the pain my first thought was SLIG.  I had been waiting forever to go and I was faced with the possibility of waiting another year to attend.  However, my roommate for the event, Leslie Carney, volunteered to help me with all my special needs and the SLIG folks agreed to accommodate me.  Peg Ivanyo worked with the hotel to get me accommodations with a roll in shower and changed the buses to accommodate my wheelchair.
Wheelchair bus access - picture by J. Paul Hawthorne
 Sue Petersen worked with me to have an allergy free meal and kept my spirits up during the event.  Many, and I mean many, wonderful people helped me with doors, rolling my wheelchair, and assisting me during the week.  Good buddy and conference hubby J. Paul Hawthorne kept Leslie and I entertained and also helped push me around.   I am still not an expert on land however I am much more confident after attending Pamela Boyer Sayre and Richard G. Sayre's land class.  I hope Rick did not notice that I was ordering books referenced in his talk while we were in class.  My library has increased with many books purchased from our source list.  I am so glad that I attended the conference.  Mobility wise is was difficult but what I learned and the people I met were worth any pain and discomfort.  My goal for SLIG 2017  - two good legs and perhaps Judy Russell's class......
Loopy!  J. Paul Hawthorne and I - picture by Leslie Carney

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: My favorite pic of my Grandmother Clara Miottel Skibbe

Cir 1928, South Dakota unknown men with two female passengers Clara Miottel from SD and Clara Miottel from Chicago, Illinois (My  Grandmother)

Monday, January 4, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized: Getting it done with DearMyrtle - Week one completed!

Technically I cheated.  I had a head start on some of the tasks Dear Myrtle had listed on her  #1 Weekly Organized Checklist.  I did need to order some supplies but I am otherwise ready for week 2.  If your interested in joining in visit  Here is my list of completed tasks:

þ  Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything.  The piles have been sorted into:
          To be Filed          Letters/Email to write          Research to do          Photos - I have temporarily boxed up my photos.

þ  Check your office supplies, and replace any missing or lost items.
            Ordered additional 3-ring binders            Ordered Document and Photo storage boxes            Flash drive            Will purchase file box – to be kept under desk for filing and paper management.  All I need to do is convince a child or husband to take me to the store.  No driving since I broke my right ankle and tore up my left ankle.

þ  Set up your computer desk and office the way you want it
            I began redoing my office this past fall.  Upgrades made before the end of the year included a new desktop computer, a new portable drive, two monitors, a new printer, organized book shelves, catalog of all books on  I have arranged my desk, equipment and shelves to be functional in my everyday life.

 þ  Designate a special red clipboard to take down notes when you run into computer problems.
            I have a dedicated notebook in my desk drawer for this purpose.

 þ  Designate a special green clipboard as the “Genealogy Challenges” clipboard.  
    I  have a specific folder for my genealogy challenges.  I take the information from the folder to start a  research log in my genealogy software RootsMagic.