Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blogging Prompt #11

The blogging prompt for week 11 is ~

"Have a unique record filing system? Share your secrets! Every genealogist has a stack of paper and an individual way of organizing the pile. Share your way of tackling the record mountain and help others get organized!"

Wow, this can be a long subject! Let me think, I believe I have tried three different procedures, and refiled each time. Between online classes, a classroom instructor, and everything you read about on how to file, I think you have to try and find what works best for you.

I feel I am much more organized with my computer files. I have color coded files for each surname and folders inside each to break down, census, photos, etc. I really like this setup, it has worked well for me so far, although I do have some filing to do there!

My home files are set up similar to the computer files. I have matching (to my computer files) color coded binders with each surname. I have sectioned the binders with an area for census, vitals, etc. I generally let a stack of paper pile up all together for a month or so, and then go through quickly and file. I first separate by surname and then work on each surname by filing either in the binders or in hanging folders I have in a file drawer. Anything that I don't want in the binder, goes under the surname file in the drawer. It really doesn't take me long to file. And, as of this very minute, I have everything filed!

There is one thing I do that I haven't heard much about. I decided that all the certificates I have are to important to keep in my binders and or file cabinet. Most cost good money and time to achieve. I have recently put them in my home safe. I feel much better having them there. Just knowing they aren't prone to possible fire, water or whatever other hazard there may be, is a soothing feeling! Hum...this has me thinking, I don't have them in archival protectors, I wonder if they should be? One thing I do know for sure is that I plan to open the safe every couple weeks or so to let fresh air in.

As time goes by and I discover new and inventive ways to file, I am sure I will try them out. Anything that will help with organization and making it simple, I am game for! But for now, there you filing system!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Applying for a Delayed Birth Certificate

Some of you may remember that I had finally sent all the paperwork to hopefully find that my grandmother had a delayed birth certificate. I was so excited to get it done! I made copies of everything they asked for and went down to get the form notarized. Dropped in the mail and hoped I would get a pleasant surprise back.

The delayed birth certificate that I sent for is in North Dakota. I received an envelope back in the mail this past week. I opened to find everything was sent back to me except for one piece of paper, and a letter.

When I originally went to get the notarization, the Notary explained to me that the area in which her stamp was suppose to go was way to small and she couldn't use it. She then showed me a form and said she could use that. So I said ok, we will give it a go. Of course the form wasn't accepted, and that is what they didn't send back to me. The letter stated they HAD to have the stamp where it is requested.

Ok, so I went back to the notary and showed her the letter. I asked her please, can't she put the stamp where they want it? She again told me no. She told me it is against the law in California to put the stamp there because there isn't enough room and it would stamp over other writing, that was why we used the form the first time. OK, now what?

Feeling rejected, I went back home and set the letter aside for now. Again, I am on hold. My only thought at this point is to try to call back to North Dakota, explain the situation and see what they say.

In the meantime, I found a census record that shows her maiden name may have been something different than what I thought all of these years. I have tried to find more with that name, but to no avail so far. I am thinking it was a transcription error on the census. However, I am open to the possibility of either name being correct. More digging, and maybe a phone call.

Any thoughts or ideas are welcome!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success with all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blogging Prompt #10

Week 10's blogging prompt is~

"Attend a National Conference and blog about it! Genealogists who can't make the conference will appreciate the first person account of the action. Exercise the same copyright caution as mentioned in #9."

"Genealogists who can't make the conference will appreciate the first person account of the action." This would include me! Since I have never attended a National Conference, I will be looking to read what others wrote!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Wordless Wednesday - Marta Brita Lundberg

Marta Brita Lundberg. Date unknown. Location California. Digital Image February 26, 2006 by Cheryl. Privately held by Cheryl [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Grandson's baby afghan. Date February 23, 2009. Location California. Digital image by Cheryl. Privately held by Cheryl [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The 2010 Census and It's Challenges

As with many other factors now a days, the economy has affected the preparations for the country's 2010 Census.

Preparations and testing have been an ongoing process. Many changes have been made for the upcoming count next year. Last year there were funding issues for the Census Department as the budget for the department nearly doubled getting ready for 2010.

There are new hand held computers and data capturing operations that needed a full test prior to the official counts. Some of the smaller tests, that normally would have been tested, weren't going to be tested this time if they worked well for prior censuses, in order to cut costs. The new system will supposedly enhance, help with efficiency, quality and costs of the census. I wonder how the testing has gone and how prepared the Bureau is coming along.

Last April started "Dress Rehearsals" for the official census. Some communities received questionnaires to fill out to make sure there will be a correct count in the official census. I understand San Joaquin County in California and Fayetteville, North Carolina were going to be given these questionnaires. Hopefully people in these areas did their duty and everyone filled out their forms!

Another challenge for the 2010 Census is the count for Latinos in the United States. Like other minorities, it is understandable that this group of people have been under counted over the years. The fears over immigration has a major affect on the count. Although the Latino population has doubled since 1990, will we get an accurate count next year? With the economic meltdown, laid off renters, and foreclosed homeowners many are moving around. Also, many immigrants aren't sure what a census is and are reluctant to reply.

Thousands of census takers are needed for the official census. Those who are bilingual would be a big plus for areas where people speak a language other than English. Census takers play a big role in making sure everyone is counted. Have you thought of being a census taker? I hear the pay is good and you can work in your local area. Although it is a temporary job, think of how important this job would be. Your name would go down in history!

With budget cuts, the complexity of our country and it's immigrants, the 2010 census will be a challenge!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Monday, March 16, 2009

More of "The Best of The Genea-Blogs!"

Recently I blogged about Randy Seaver and his column "The Best of The Genea-Blogs." He had chosen one of my posts as a weekly "best" -

One of My Posts Makes the Best of the Genea-Bloggers List.

I hope if you hadn't checked out his blog, you have by now!

Thought I would share, Randy chose:

A Mini Bloggers' Summit at CGS

as one of his favorites for March 8-14 2009! He loves to promote his fellow bloggers! Thanks Randy, I certainly hope to meet more bloggers soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Cheryl (aka Msteri)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What's On Your Mind? See What's on Mine!

This is the phrase Facebook asks when you log in to the home page. What's on your mind? I thought I would embellish on this in my blog today! What’s on my mind?

To start, I had the great pleasure of attending my first California Genealogy Society meeting this afternoon. It was a last minute decision, and I did have to rearrange my schedule in order to attend.

The guest speaker was a local Bay Area author, Francis Dinkelspiel. She is the author of “Towers of Gold: How one Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California.” Francis spoke of the research she entailed in writing the book and some of the stories she learned along the way about her great great grandfather Isaias, a financier. The book is a portrait of his life in Los Angeles and San Francisco. It relates well with today’s times of financial crisis. His life covers, the 1906 earthquake, stagecoach robberies, an assassination attempt and explains wonderfully where the “Tower of Gold” title developed. She was a compelling speaker, and the story is quite intriguing! Of course I bought her autographed book! I can’t wait to read it!

Next, I wanted to share with you that I was honored to meet a few of my fellow bloggers today at this meeting! Kathryn Doyle, Jennifer Jones Regan and Sheri Fenley were all in attendance! What great fun to meet them! To put a face with a name! Which leads me to…

What is on my mind?

In the past I have been asked numerous times, when was I going to give Msteri’s true identity? I never really felt there was a need for this, but today told me different. Kathryn, Jennifer, Sheri and myself had our picture taken together. I know a picture will be posted for all to see. I was asked what blog should be posted with this picture, and if I was going to ever “open up.”

Well, some of you who I have communicated with know who I am, but most of you don’t. When meeting fellow bloggers and attending genealogy events, I don’t want to be untruthful as to what I do or who I am! I also don’t want my readers or anyone else worrying about “uncovering me.”

So…I am unveiling myself to you today! (And no, I am not Gustave Anjou!) My name is Cheryl Palmer. I also author the blog “Graveyard Rabbit of South Alameda County.” When I started this blog, I really wasn’t sure if I would follow through with it. I needed to learn the blogging world, and I wasn’t sure if I was capable of the technological end of things. Bottom line, I didn’t want to embarrass myself with errors.

In the meantime, Facebook became all the rage, and I felt I then needed to have two Facebook accounts, one for each name and each blog. Now there is Twitter…what will be next? I decided the Facebook “Msteri” account will be going in limbo and will eventually be deleted. I will only continue with my “Cheryl Palmer” account. As you can see, having a pen name has added a lot of work, so simplifying will be wonderful.

My advice to any new bloggers ~ Don’t be afraid to just do it! With the Geneabloggers Group on Facebook (oh, how I wish it was there when I first started), you can get and or ask for all the help you may need! Or, you may leave comments here, and if I can help you I will. If I can’t personally help you, I will strive to find the help you may need.

(Before I could post this, I see the picture is up, you can see it here. Enjoy! In the next few days or so I will update my photo and information on this blog.)

I really enjoyed meeting Francis, Kathryn, Jennifer, and Sheri! You are all wonderful and fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Cheryl :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blogging Prompt #9

Week #9: Attend a local genealogy presentation and talk about the experience. How was the speaker? How was the venue? How did the event help your personal research? Talk about the day, but use caution when discussing the subject matter in detail. The information presented belongs to the speaker(s). Posting part or all of the presentation would violate copyright.

Since I recently posted on the last presentation I attended, I am going to refer you to that post! It was a presentation by Lisa Louise Cooke on podcasts. My post is here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Your Family Tree - Part 3

It has been awhile since I have updated you on this book by Daniel M. Lynch, so I thought it was about time to do so again!

Chapter five is all about Google Books, exploring, searching, and results. Again, there is a special relevance section to genealogists, along with a special note for family history research. Now, I have to admit that I had heard about Google Books, but not used the actual search myself. I know, shame on me! This chapter has given me the encouragement and desire to research this area of Google. Recently, I was sent some information regarding one of my ancestors that came through a Google book search. This has also intensified my desire to explore Google Books!

Chapter six covers the Google News Archive. This was a very interesting chapter as it gave me many ideas I may never have thought about before, in regards to searching for articles about my ancestors. Advanced news archive search should be getting easier and convenient by now, if you have read the book to this point. A results page explanation is given to help you understand the results of your search. Actually, there is a lot of information coverage regarding your results! Fee based content and free content are also covered. Mr. Lynch has a section explaining how to use the news archive to explore a family history. What a great section this is!

Remember to use those carefully thought out queries, and if you haven't read this book, it is full of wonderful information for those of us who are novices using Google.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Quilt by Msteri's grandmother. Date unknown. Photo by Msteri. Privately held by Msteri [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blogging Prompt #8

Blogging Prompt Week 8 -Talk about highlights and events from your local genealogy society. Most genealogy bloggers are members of several historical societies and love to hear about the events in other organizations. This is also a great way to attract new members.

I would like to share with you a special event one society participates in.

When it is County Fair time, this genealogy society hosts a booth! The fair runs approximately two and a half weeks. Volunteers man the booth the full time of the fair. With hundreds of people going through the fair, what a great way to introduce genealogy!

The "booth" is actually set up in a building with several computers. A greeter talks with anyone who may be interested in seeing what the booth is about. A couple years ago I was a greeter and it was lots of fun. At that time we had a large world map posted and guests could put a colored push pin in the map showing where their family originated.

The greeter would speak with the guest about their heritage and ask if there is a descendant they would like to know more about. Upon enticing someone with these questions, they would then be guided to the computers with another volunteer. This volunteer would then try to find some sort of information on a relative for this person.

It is so exciting to see the amazement people would have when information of their relative was found on the computer! Along with a printed copy of this information from the computer, we would give the guest a list of websites and links they could use at home. Finally, we would of course, give out the information regarding the genealogy society.

There are 225 time slots to be filled with volunteers for the duration of the fair. Each volunteer's time slot is three hours. I have to admit the time flies by! Many volunteers take more than one shift, some may take five, six, seven or more shifts! There are other genealogy society's, DAR groups, historical society's and Family History Center's who now participate as volunteers at the fair.

Last year the society provided volunteer training prior to the fair. They plan to hold these training workshops and drop in sessions again this year. Actually, now it is time to sign up as a volunteer. I was unable to volunteer last year, and I sure missed out on the fun. I am back for this year!

There is one story in particular I would like to share with you from a couple years ago. A couple came by interested in our booth. It seems this couple was engaged to be married! Congratulations were in order! Then, the reason they stopped by the booth.

This couple had the same last name. She was confident that they were somehow related! She needed to know the truth before she married. Our computer volunteer assisted them in finding some information to get her started, but I will never know what the final outcome was. Were they related? Did they get married? Stories such as this come about when working the booth, they are fascinating and interesting.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


DearMYRTLE'S Get Organized-March 2009

I am a week or so behind with this, but wanted to make sure you were aware that DearMYRTLE's "Finally Get Organized" March 2009 post is here!

How are we all doing, getting organized? I really need to work on this month's organization and I have already lost a week. Keep in mind, even a little bit of organization is better then nothing at all!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


One of My Posts Makes The "Best of the Genea-Blogs" List!

I am so very honored (and still blushing) that Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings chose my article A Light That Still Shines as an article worthy of his "Best of the Genea-Blogs" column!

Each week Randy picks several articles that he feels are the best articles written from the genea-bloggers. This is a monumental task in my opinion! There are hundreds of genea-bloggers and articles written each week. So many great articles and great bloggers! Many of these bloggers have been blogging for years and have wonderful formats, stories, articles and information. Other's are new to the blogging world, and bring fresh ideas. To go through the posts and pick a few to make his list would be very tough indeed to do.

I ALWAYS read Randy's "Best of the Genea-Blogs" column as the articles he chooses are articles I don't want to miss! As I was reading his most recent column for the week of March 1-7, maybe you can understand my surprise when I ran across one of my own articles! Wow, was I stunned...

The most recent "Best of the Genea-Blogs" column is posted here. If you don't already, be sure to follow this column every week as Randy chooses what he feels is the "Best." They are articles you won't want to miss!

Randy, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking my article was worthy of your column! With the multitude of articles and bloggers I am indeed beyond words having found one of my posts on your list! I am truly honored!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Flood. 1955 or 1956. Weaverville, California. Scanned photo. Original held by RLF. Scanned photo privately held by Msteri, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] California. 2009.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Light That Still Shines!

How much have you reminisced about the lighting your decendants used? I have to admit that this hasn't been one of my priorities in my genealogical research, until now. Last week I was finally able to view the world's longest burning lightbulb! I will share some pictures of it with you, but first let's review a bit of history involving lighting our ancestors used.

Candles made by beeswax were used by the Egyptians as early as 3000 BC. Oil lamps were used in the eighteenth century with the glass chimney or kerosene model lamps being developed in 1783. In 1792 William Murdock used the first commerical gas lighting in his house. A "thermolamp" was patented in 1799, using gas distilled from wood. In 1804 coal gas lighting was patented by Freidrich Winzor (Winsor). David Melville received the first U.S. gas light patent in 1810. By the early nineteenth century most United States and European streets were gas lit. At the turn of the nineteenth century gas lighting was replaced in most homes by electrical lighting. Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb in 1879. You can read more about these inventions here, and the inventors here.

The world's longest burning light bulb is located at the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Station, Station 6, at 4550 East Avenue in Livermore, California. This light bulb was originally donated to the fire department in 1901 by William Bernal, the owner of the Livermore Power and Light Company. It was first installed at the fire department hose house on L Street but was moved to the main firehouse on second street very shortly after. The new fire station in 1903 on First Street and McLeod was the next home for this light bulb. A police and fire truck escort moved this bulb in 1976 to it's present site. This approximate four watt bulb has served it's existence solely in Livermore, California.

The bulb currently hangs high above, where it can't be damaged, sharing space with the fire engines. I visited the firehouse and took these pictures on Friday, February 27th, 2009. if you notice, there is a webcam on the lightbulb 24/7.

There are many awards and plaques hanging below the bulb. This is a centennial poster showing the bulb's 100 year anniversary of being lit.

The lightbulb has it's own website here. The web cam you saw in the first picture is connected to the web so you can see this bulb shining bright here.

A true story children's book has been written about the light bulb, "The Little Light Shines Bright" by Juliette Goodrich. I will need to buy this for my grandson!

This poster gives a timeline of the life of this lightbulb.

A poem and congratulations to the fire chief.

There are many awards such as the above posted on the wall below the bulb.

I signed the guest book at the fire station and took many pictures of the plaques. You too can sign a guestbook at the online site.

The home page of the lightbulb can been found here, enjoy reading more!

I wonder how long this bulb will stay lit? Plans for the bulb if and when it goes out is uncertain, although Ripley's has asked to have it for their museum. The bulb has been declared the oldest known working light bulb by Guinness Book of World Records and also by Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not in 1972.

This bulb has been burning for 108 years and counting!

Oh, what changes lighting has gone through, and to think one light bulb has been burning longer than most people live!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!