Tag Archives: books

Monthly Update – March 2016

It is hard to believe that March is almost over. I have so much I am trying to accomplish right now. I am currently on spring break from school, and I am hoping to get a long list of things done by the end of the week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get through the top few items on my list.

The WWII Project

Hollinger boxesThe Letters

During last month I have published many letters that were not written by Roscoe and Gladys. These letters were written between June 1944 and August 1945. Over this fourteenth month period, Roscoe, Gladys and the boys were living together in Liberty, Missouri. Roscoe was attached to William Jewell College’s Naval Flight Preparatory School.  His responsibilities included treating the officers and their families, as well as the soldiers attending the flight school. In August 1945, he was given orders to report to a new assignment on the west coast. To put this change of duty into historical perspective, Roscoe traveled to San Francisco days after the bombs were dropped on Japan and their inevitable surrender. Look for the letters between Roscoe and Gladys to resume the first week in April.

I have taken the next step in my preservation process. I have purchased some Hollinger boxes and heavy weight archival folders. Once I knock a few things off the top of my to-do list, I plan on moving the letters out of their plastic sheets and three ring binders. While working on the blog and books, it was definitely easier to store the letters in binders. However, this is not necessarily the best method for conserving them. I will start with the letters already published in Dear Mother, Love Daddy. I already have a basic finding aid prepared for cataloging the letters.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy

Unfortunately, I was not chosen as one of the local authors to participate in the Local Author Festival at the Sacramento library in April. I am definitely disappointed but not discouraged. If you have read the book, please leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon. The more reviews the book gets, the higher ranking it gets (and more likely it is to be highlighted by Amazon’s algorithms).

Lots of Love, Daddy coverLots of Love, Daddy

This month has been a huge push for me to get the manuscript prepared to turn over to my copy editor. I finally finished the index, and am currently working on the glossary of people. Then all that I have left is to write my author’s notes and acknowledgements, a list of illustrations and my biography. My father FINALLY found a envelope with many of the original photographs that I intend to use in this volume. Just in the nick of time! I need to sort through the envelope and re-scan some of these photographs as well as add some new unseen pictures to the book.

This month the preliminary cover for the book was designed! Many, many thanks to Dan Young for doing a stellar job. And so, dear readers, you get the first look!

Genealogy booksSacramento Library

Last weekend I enjoyed meeting with more patrons to assist them with their genealogy puzzles. Although a couple of my appointments were cancelled (we think because people did not realize it was Easter weekend), there were some walk-ins who filled up the empty spots in my schedule. I love exploring other people’s ancestry and seeing what we can find. If you are interested in booking an appointment, contact the Franklin branch.

My next lecture is scheduled for May 7th. I will be talking about some of my favorite free genealogy sites that are available on the Internet. One of those sites is Chronicling America on the Library of Congress’ website. This is a wonderful site for finding free digitized newspapers as well as an awesome finding aid for locating newspapers in repositories around the country.

Certification

I haven’t necessarily done much towards certification this month. However, I did discover that the Holmes County Library has digitized some of the local newspapers, including the Holmes County Farmer. Within minutes of discovering this resource, I located the obituary of an ancestor I am hoping to highlight in my KDP (Kinship-Determination Project). The KDP is usually one of the more extensive requirements of the certification portfolio. The requirement is to “submit a narrative genealogy, narrative lineage, or narrative pedigree that documents and explains linkages among three ancestral generations.”

I have also been thinking a lot about what sources I have and what sources I need to locate. One of my next tasks is to list and analyze the sources I have already accumulated so I can see where some of my gaps might be.  Writing up a research plan for locating the missing documents is also on part of this step.

Alfred M. Dicks and Achilles Dicks affidavit

Alfred M. Dicks affidavit (Image courtesy of FamilySearch.org)

I have been thinking about what a “reasonably exhaustive search” may be for this project, and the other elements of the portfolio. This last month I have made some amazing discoveries in my own research. I have unearthed two documents related to my ancestor Alfred M. Dicks. The main reason I have found these documents now (after 20 years!) is that the collections have recently become available online. Neither document was in an indexed database. I had to search for hours in order to find them. I wonder what other documents I could find, if only, I could make it to the courthouse or local library myself. I have been unable to find a reliable researcher willing to take on this research for me, nor would my bank account be able to support the hourly fees. This rural county has a population of less than 20,000 people. My own small city has more than 7 times that amount. So when is a “reasonably exhaustive search” complete? I don’t have a good answer to this question. I worry that I won’t have done enough when it is time to submit my portfolio. The converse is, if you don’t stop at some point to write down what you have found, no one will know what you have discovered, and it may be lost again.

Jamboree

It is a little over two months before Jamboree. I was really hoping to see one of the sample BCG portfolios last year in the exhibition hall. There wasn’t even BCG booth! Because I am so much closer to wanting to start the certification process, I emailed the BCG this week. I received confirmation that the sample portfolios will be there. Have you checked out a BCG portfolio at a genealogy conference? I can’t wait to see one (to see whether my work is at that level or not).

Until next month! Happy hunting!

© 2016 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/03/30/monthly-update-march-2016/

Monthly Update – May 14, 2015

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverDear Mother, Love Daddy

I have not set up a book giveaway this month so I am trying something new. I figured out how to offer discounts directly through the Create Space publishing website.  For a limited time, using coupon code: 6AVMLLGB, Dear Mother, Love Daddy will be $12.99. The purchase must be through the Create Space store (not Amazon). Use the link to go directly to the book: https://www.createspace.com/4935415 Please let me know if you encounter any difficulties using this method.

My newest shipment of books has arrived. Exclusively through me, I am offering autographed copies of the book for $20. Priority mail shipping is included. Send me a message through the contact form on the website. For anyone attending Jamboree in southern California in June, I will have a few copies for sale for $15.

I have contacted a few World War II museums including the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. Since Roscoe served in the Pacific, this museum was responsive to receiving a donated copy of the book for their archives. The number of museums and libraries I have contacted who have not responded has been slightly disheartening.  If you are aware of any museums, libraries, veterans’ groups, or military organizations who might be interested in receiving a donated copy of Dear Mother, Love Daddy, please leave a comment below or send me a message through the contact form.

Alfred M. Dicks Cover #3 (front)Alfred M. Dicks of Crawford County, Illinois

I have not done much to market my first book as I felt the audience was very small. The book’s target audience is the descendants of Alfred and his extended family (his siblings, their descendants, etc). Since very few records about Alfred exist and he was a migrant, his descendants have been trying to break through the brick wall of his ancestry for over a generation. The book provides a good example of a proof argument for anyone looking to expand their genealogical writing skills. Since I am trying to reach a specific target audience, I donated a few copies to several genealogy libraries, including the National Genealogical Society’s library in St. Louis. As a thank you to their members for donating books, the National Genealogical Society publishes brief synopses of donated books in their quarterly magazine, the NGS Magazine. The latest issue (April-June 2015) features a synopsis of Alfred M. Dicks of Crawford County, Illinois (p. 9). As a result, I am seeing a slight increase in sales of this book (which is a completely unexpected benefit of the donation).

Professional Learning

I have been told that my ProGen certificate is in the process of being signed by all my mentors. Angela McGhie has passed on the certificates to Barbara Mathews, C.G. Rest assured, I will be posting a copy of the certificate when it finally arrives on my doorstep!

I still haven’t decided what new coursework to take on yet. It’s been rather nice not having to worry about a homework assignment though.

Genealogy Programs Summer Sac LibraryLocal News

This last weekend I met with the volunteer coordinator at my library branch. Hopefully, by the end of the month, we will have our own Ask A Genealogist program up and running. Tentatively, I will be volunteering one Saturday afternoon a month to help mentor people with their genealogy problems. The library will handle booking the time slots and the advertising.

This summer one of my BU classmates, Jim Walton, will be giving a presentation at the main branch of the Sacramento Library. Jim’s lecture will be based (I think) upon some of the research he did on his Walton line. His article “John Walton, English Immigrant, New Hampshire Native, or Phantom?” was published in the December 2014 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Pinterest

Painted by Deborah Sweeney

Painted by Deborah Sweeney

I continue to pin clothing from the 19th and early 20th century on Pinterest. Each board covers clothing from one decade, beginning with the 1820s through the 1920s. Future boards will be for the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. I have published two articles in my series “Identifying Everyday Clues in Photographs.” The next article will begin to put together period silhouettes and timelines of individuals. My newest Pinterest board is Genealogy and Fashion. Links to all the articles in the Identifying Everyday Clues series are pinned there.

https://www.pinterest.com/GenealogyLadyCA/genealogy-and-fashion/

 Book Review

I am continuing to work on this part of the blog, but it is one of the most time consuming aspects! While I love to read, finding the time can be hard. Many of you may not know that I am a die hard bookworm. I love mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, YA/teen literature and historical fiction. For the past few years, I have participated in an annual book challenge. One of my college friends is a children’s librarian in Massachusetts and her library runs the challenge. Previously, the contest was all about how many books could one read in a year. The goal was 50. Some years I made it while others I did not. This year the challenge has evolved to categories instead of a book count. I am currently working on my “Trilogy” requirement. I am on the last book in Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches series. While I am enjoying the series very much, I will not be reviewing on my blog. The next book I am in the process of reading for a book review is Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War by Cheryl Anne Stapp. The book focuses on six women who lived in the Sacramento area during the Gold Rush years. The author has used many historical resources to build and tell their stories. I am hoping to finish reading this book in the next few weeks.

Looking Ahead

Hobert, Nathaniel - gravestone

Gravestone of Nathaniel Hobert. Future subject of a Register article?

I am contemplating writing an article for the “new” New England Historical and Genealogical Register. The Register was been published for 170 years and is one of the top journals of genealogy scholarship in the country. I have many New England stories I want to tell and the journal would be a perfect place to see them published. I have a couple ancestors that I used in my ProGen research and assignments so I can not really use them for my BCG portfolio (as they have already been reviewed).

And of course, I am counting down the days until Jamboree. I have started looking at the schedules to see which lectures I am interested in attending. Some lectures will be live-streamed so I could watch them later when I get home. For a list of speakers and the schedule, check out the Jamboree website:

 http://genealogyjamboree.com/

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©2015 copyright by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/05/14/monthly-update-may-14-2015/

Weekly Update – March 15, 2015

I thought I would try writing about some events, happenings, accomplishments, etc., that are occurring in my little portion of the genealogy world this week.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverIn the world of Dear Mother, Love Daddy:

Currently, there is a book giveaway running on Goodreads which will last until the end of the month. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25099832-dear-mother-love-daddy

If you are interested in purchasing an autographed copy of the book, I am selling copies. The cost is $21. The price includes one book, one autograph, and priority mail shipping within the U.S. Please contact me through the contact page/form tab if you are interested. The book is still available on Amazon.com. Follow the link on the right hand side of the blog to purchase directly from Amazon.

Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills

In my professional learning:

This month is the last month of the Professional Genealogy (ProGen) program for me. I have spent the last 19 months working hard to better my genealogy skills. I recommend the program highly to anyone who is interested in taking the next step in their own learning. New groups form every few months. Study groups have roughly 6-10 members with a credentialed genealogist mentoring each group. After 19 months, I have made some wonderful friends and increased my network in this small professional community.

I’m looking forward to taking a “small” break and then I’m thinking of signing up for a couple home study courses through the National Genealogy Society. The online course titled Researching Your American Revolution Ancestor sounds interesting. I have many Revolutionary War ancestors and I want to make sure I am finding all the relevant documents.

Pinterest:

I’m continuing to pin some boards related to my research and specific blog posts. Since I no longer have my archives listed on the right side of the blog page screen, Pinterest is a great way to see some of the older posts. I’ve also created boards for a couple of the Indiana counties where my ancestors lived, a board with links to my ancestors’ graves, and a board with photographs of locations that are featured in the book Dear Mother, Love Daddy. Two boards that get the most traffic are Lena’s Postcards and 19th Century Fashion. My first career was in theatrical costume design. I loved researching historical costumes. In genealogy, this has been a very helpful skill for researching and dating old photographs.
https://www.pinterest.com/GenealogyLadyCA/lenas-postcards/

Upcoming Events:

Next weekend, I am attending the spring seminar of my local genealogy society, the Sacramento Root Cellar. D. Joshua Taylor, who is probably best known at present for his work on Genealogy Road Show, will be the keynote speaker.

In June, I will be attending my first official genealogy conference, the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree.  I have signed up for two workshops with Dr. Thomas W. Jones and Judy G. Russell. I am pretty excited that I will finally be able to meet these two genealogy rock stars in person. You may have noticed that there is a new badge on the side of the blog. By displaying the Jamboree blogger badge, I will be an honorary blogger for this event.

Until next week!

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©2015 copyright by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/03/15/weekly-update-march-15-2015/

Book Update – Book Giveaway!

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverThe book will officially be published on March 3rd so I am counting down the days until it’s release.

What I’m doing:
Now that the proof has arrived I have to go over it to make sure the manuscript printed correctly. I’ve already noticed that some of my page numbers are not the right font. I’ve noticed a couple errors on the cover and have submitted those to my cover artist.

What you can do:
Enter the giveaway contest! Here are the rules:
1. Go to the Dear Mother, Love Daddy Event page (on Facebook see link below) and check off that you are “attending.”
2. Leave a comment on the Event page. You can say hi, or you can tell me why you think you should get a free, autographed copy of the book.
3. Share the Event page on your Facebook page! (This is the most important step!)

On March 3rd, I will chose three random people to win an autographed copy of the book. I will announce the winners throughout the day on March 3rd! Disclosure: It will take a few weeks for your copy to arrive so be patient!

Progress – September 27th

Well, this update is not about the book because I am on book hiatus until the end of October. [Insert crying face emoticon here] I have too many other projects on the stove cooking at the moment to devote time to the book. I am frustrated by this lack of time. I want to be able to focus on the book completely instead of stealing a moment here or there. But the time just is not there at the moment, and I have to be realistic.

My main focus is writing my proof argument for my ProGen Study Group. The first draft was due September 25th which I turned in a few days early. After I wrote mine, I had to review the four papers of my group mates. We have such different writing styles and research problems. It is great to see what we are all working on. This next month we have to take the comments and suggestions of our group mates and polish up our first drafts into the final arguments.

I chose a research problem which I have been working on for 20 years, since I first starting working on Gladys’ family. One branch of her family has Quaker ancestry which stretches back to the early days of Pennsylvania and William Penn. Due to all the various migrations across the eastern part of the United States in the early years of the nineteenth century, some records are non-existent. The purpose of a proof argument is to gather indirect and direct evidence together in one place, and to write an argument “proving” whether or not events occurred. In my case, I have been searching for the parents of Alfred M. Dicks, Gladys’ great grandfather.

I believe I have a very solid argument. My first draft was 18 pages long, and over 6,000 words. I received some good feedback from some of my study group mates, and now I am beginning to make some corrections and additions. It is also my plan to publish the argument as an eBook when I am done in October.

In my genetic genealogy work, my father’s mtDNA results came in last week. I have two exact matches, but I think they are several generations too far away to help me at present. Mitochondrial DNA is the type of DNA which was used to prove that the bones buried under a parking lot in England belonged to Richard III. My goals are a little less lofty, but no less important to me. I am hoping to prove the connection between Sarah Ann (Jewell) Rea and her parents with mitochondrial DNA. The most plausible candidates are John P. Jewell and his wife Mary (Hoagland) Jewell. My father’s haplogroup is H1g1. This haplogroup appears to be more common in Germany and the Northern European countries. If Sarah’s mother was Mary Hoagland (who was of German ancestry), and I can find another of Mary’s descendants who matches, then I may have solved this mystery.

Last night, as I was searching for more information about Crawford and Clark counties (in Illinois) where Gladys’ family lived, I discovered that the Marshall Public library has begun digitizing the local county newspapers, back to the 1850s. This is AMAZING news! I have been stymied by the lack of records access in these two counties for the last two decades. I finally had to step away from the computer at midnight, but I could have gone on for hours more. The website says that they are still scanning and adding more newspapers, so patrons should check back often! [Can you see me doing Snoopy’s happy dance?] I was able to find the obituary of Gladys’ great grandmother, Belinda C. Foster, which previously I had only been able to find in a transcription, and many other little tidbits of gossip about my ancestors.

I will leave you with a small sample from the weekly news gossip column of West York, Illinois, from March 1896, announcing the marriage of Gladys’ parents.

Foster-Lawhead Marriage Announcement, 1896

Clark County Herald (Marshall, Illinois), 11 March 1896, p. 5, col. 2.

©2014 Deborah Sweeney.

Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/09/27/progess-september-27/

The Book: Progress report – September 6

World War II letter book coverIt has been two weeks since my last progress report, and sadly, I have very little to report. I haven’t been able to do a thing on the book. Work and family have taken every spare minute. Oh, and my ProGen assignment for September and October has expended every other remaining moment of time. I have to write a proof argument; the first draft is due September 25th. Knowing that I am very busy at work this month, I tried to get a head start on this assignment. I spent a good portion of the three day Labor Day weekend working on the proof argument.

I am fairly excited about writing this proof argument. Genealogical writing is an area where I would like to focus my genealogy work in the next couple of years. I chose one ancestor who has been rather elusive in the direct evidence department so I think he is a good candidate to write about. After I submit the assignment this month, my ProGen Study group mates will edit and critique it. I then get to rewrite the report for October and submit it for a second round of evaluation. I have also enlisted the aid of my co-worker to do some additional editing. I am hoping to publish the report at the end of October/early November. I may even try to use CreateSpace’s ebook publishing software and directly market my work on Amazon. When it comes to my eventual goal of becoming a certified genealogist, I want to have several published works on my resume.

imageOne absolutely, amazing genealogical thing finally happened this week. I received my grandfather’s World War II Naval military file from the National Archives. Because he served in the Navy, his records were not burned in the big fire in the 1970s which destroyed most of the Army’s service records. The process took about five months from my initial request to having the documents in hand. I am not my grandfather’s next of kin; I had to enlist my father’s aid in acquiring the file. Since it has been less than 72 years since Roscoe retired from the Navy, his records are not available to the public. There must be at least 100+ pages in his file, and the envelope I received was easily an inch and a half thick. The file gives me additional background documentation for the book.

Many of the documents in the file are copies of originals that I already possess. Roscoe and Gladys (surprise, surprise!) kept copies of all of Roscoe’s orders and military paperwork. There are some documents in the file that are new to me, including: character references from people in Kentland when Roscoe made his original application in 1942; a copy of his county birth certificate; reviews by senior officers of Roscoe’s performance; and a copy of Roscoe’s commission. If you ever have the opportunity to find an ancestor’s military file, it is completely worth it. I am fairly tempted to go back and reorder the complete military file for some of my Civil War ancestors. I have purchased several pension files in the past, but never the complete file.

 

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/09/06/the-book-progress-report-september-6/

The Book: Progress report – August 23

World War II letter book coverThis week went rather slowly, and I feel like I did not accomplish much at all. My eldest child had her first full week of school so we are working on getting back into our daily routine. Plus three nights this week were occupied with activities outside the house. That really cuts into my book time.

I received the sample book from CreateSpace at the end of last week. It is really great to feel the texture of the cover and pages, and to see what they actually look like. These types of things are hard to visualize on a computer screen. I chose white paper instead of cream, and I like it. I can just imagine my grandparents’ words on the clean, crisp white pages.

I did progress some on the first edit. I am now halfway through the fourth chapter of letters: September 1942. There are three more to go (October, November, and December). I do foresee the next few weeks being slow as well. My youngest starts swim lessons in the late afternoon for the next two weeks. A book launch of Thanksgiving seems unlikely at this point as I am in the middle of my busy season at work. The next two months I will also need to spend considerable time working on a proof argument for my ProGen study group. I had thought of using my ancestor Nathaniel Hobart. I have spent the last few ProGen assignments focused on him, but I have pretty strong direct evidence of who he was, where he lived, etc. I think I will be doing myself a disservice if I try to write a proof argument about him. I need to pick an ancestor whose evidence is less direct. Sigh….

Another positive note is that my “editor” returned my first two chapters to me yesterday. At some point this weekend, I will spend some time going over her notes. Of course, the real priority for this weekend is the premier of the eighth season of Doctor Who and the book is just going to have to wait!

To do list:
Continue first edit
Write mini bios

CreateSpace sample book

My CreateSpace sample book

© 2014 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/08/23/the-book-progress-report-august-23/