About ready for a Great Adventure

January 30, 2012

Clothes are packed, techie stuff gathered, emails and blog post caught up, now to try to get some sleep.

After staying home but watching all of the events, and blog posts from RootsTech 2011, I decided that I wasn’t going to miss the 2012 event. I signed up as soon as we were able to register. It’s almost an overwhelming event.

But, I have had a couple of warm up events. Wouldn’t have missed them either, but this is a “biggie” for me.


Why go to such an event?

I could answer that by saying “It’s in Utah”. That is true, but my granddaughters live there, does that count? So, this time tomorrow, I should be having dinner with them. Can’t wait.

Why THIS event, specifically? Three reasons, I think.

1) Genealogy

2) Technology

3) Meet Genea-Bloggers

Not necessarily in that order. Not that I am a Techis person, but I have my toys. Been in on some leading edge techie stuff over the years, but a place where Genealogy and Technology gather in one place, sounds like where I’d like to spend three days. Certainly from everything from last year, there was no way to miss it this year.

But the third item is the real reason for going. Over the past several years, I have met, talked to, read many blog posts from each of the Official List of Genea-Bloggers, and most of the 90+ Genea-Bloggers that will be there in their blog posts. I will NOT be able to connect Genea-Blogger to Blog, but I have checked, and I don’t think that I don’t follow any of the Bloggers that will be there.

Why Blog? Cousin Bait.

But, the Genea-Bloggers is a community of wonderful people. For example, a group gathers for Genea-Blogger Talk Radio on Friday nights. Who listens to Radio ??? It’s not the AM / FM / Stereo Radio, but a Talk show, none the less, Show Host Thomas MacEntee lines of topic specific shows each week for about an hour and a half. While we listen to the “radio” there is a very active Chat going on, while the show is progressing. A couple of shows, there have been over 100 people in the Chat Room.

It’s those folk, and the Bloggers that I am hoping to meet, hang out with, go to class with, but to Learn FROM.  As I understand it, Genea-Blogger Talk Radio will be Live from the Family History Center in SLC. Guess where I will be. But wait, isn’t that the opening of Season 3 of Who Do You Think You Are? What a better place to be, then at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

I have to say, that I have been there twice before. Totally overwhelmed by what is there. But this time, I will have follow and learn from others. I know I should have a goal for a visit to the FHL, but I don’t. I will have my research on my iPad, the ability to take notes, take pictures, just in case I find what I am not looking for.

Will post as I am able.


Mayflower Descendant in the Family

November 22, 2011

Some of my Genea-Blogging friends are posting their Mayflower descendants in the blogs. Midge Frazel, of Granite in My Blood posted her proven lines today. Our Proven Mayflower Lines. After looking at her names, I had to look at my database, as the names were familiar to me.

When I looked at the names, I saw some strange relationships between myself and John Alden, which would mean that I might not have a direct line back to him. Then I realized what the connection is to this Mayflower Ancestor. My Son-In-Law is the descendant of John Alden.

John Alden to Patrick

Veterans Day Tribute 2011

November 11, 2011

I posted something on Facebook that may have made no sense to anyone on Facebook. So, I thought I would expand on it here.

I said:

Veterans Day 2011– To all of those US Coast Guard crew members of CG Ron 3, as we prepared to get underway for our tours in Vietnam. I thank the crew of the CGC Halfmoon (WHEC-378) that we each did our duty to return home and for making a difference for those who we supported, especially the Soldiers and Marines who we provided cover for and the Navy ships that provided us with what we needed to do our assigned tasks.


The above is the Coast Guard Squadron 3 outboard of the USS Jason.

I was in the Coast Guard from 1964 to 1968 with most of my time on board the Coast Guard Cutter Halfmoon (WHEC378). In April 1967 we left Staten Island, New York for “an extended cruise”. After joining 2 other Coast Guard Cutters from the east coast, we journeyed to Hawaii. There we joined two other cutters.

There has not been two many times when 5 Coast Guard Cutters are in convoy across the Pacific from Hawaii to the Philippines.

From there we spread out to various assignments off of the Vietnam coast.

I wanted to Thank the crew of the CGC Halfmoon for all of the tasks that each of us had to do just to keep this “old” ship, some would have called it a rust bucket, running.

But our task was at least two-fold, 1) to do off shore support for the troops on the land, and 2) small boats, or river boats providing them with Fuel, Food, Films, Mail so that they could do their job.

TheCGC Halfmoon was 311 feet long. This let us get closer to the shore then the much larger navy ships.


This was a “82 footer” coming alongside for fuel. This cutter was running up and down the nearby river.

Now, the CGC Halfmoon doesn’t carry that much extra supplies, so we went further off shore to catch up with the Navy to take on Fuel, for ourselves and for sharing, for Ammo, for us and for sharing, Food, mail, and of course Movies.


We could pull up next to a Navy vessel, in this case the USS Arlington, to take on supplies. Some times it included transferring of people.


After taking on our supplies, we would return to the our positions off the coast of Vietnam.


I wanted to send Thanks to all of the crews of these ships for being away from families and friends, to work together to help keep our freedom.


The above was our traditional military warship returning from a WAR on January 22, 1968, fireboats and all.

To the Officers and Crew of the USCGC Halfmoon. Thank you. Job Well Done

HR Worthington – RM1

Grandfather’s Place of work in 1916

November 9, 2011

I attend many Genealogy Webinars, online, hosted by Legacy Family Tree. http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/Webinars.asp. I have learned much from attending these Webinar’s and want to thank Geoff Rasmussen for making these available.

Today, Thomas MacEntee, of http://hidefgen.com/ did a webinar today called: It Is Well With My Soul: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble of Disaster and Misfortune.

He was going through a list of resources for “other” places to look if the normal resources don’t provide the information that you want. One very common website to visit in Cyndis List. A Great Website. But today he was very specific for Medical Disasters. I went to that website, http://www.cyndislist.com/medical/hospitals/ and found the Sanatorium where my grandfather Worthington managed the farm for Dr. Miller.

I have been looking for the Name of it, as I knew the name Dr. Miller.

NEWBURGH:  Newburgh Tuberculosis Sanatorium. Est'd 1910.  
Capacity.35.Private. Med. Staff. Supt. R.A.Miller, M.D.

The above picture is all that was left of this Sanatorium in September 2003 when I took my parents to where my Dad was taken when he was 1 week old.

My grandfather moved there after he was married on 17 June 1915. So the Sanatorium had been around for 5 years. My grandparents, and my Dad returned to West Chester on Armistice Day.


I have a letter written by my Great  Aunt Anna (my grandmother’s sister) who helped my grandmother take my Dad, by train, from Philadelphia to Brewster, NY and this farm.

Don’t know much about this place, but at least I now have the Name of Dr. Millers Sanatorium.

Time with a Cousin

November 6, 2011

Over the last couple of years, I have run into a “new” cousin. It started when I had time to listen to Genealogy PodCasts. A PodCast is like a radio show, but on an iPod. I would listen to these PodCasts going to and from work on the train. One of those PodCasts was Dear MYRTLE.

I had met her a couple of times over the past couple of years. She talked about Second Life (2nd Life), so I tried it out a couple of times, but then finally learned a little more and found the “virtual” meetings were very interesting, so I became a little more active. Later she and I did a joint meeting where we shared our genealogy screens. We soon realized that we might be related.

Dear MRYTLE was to give the talk at Lunch for the Family History Day this past weekend, so my wife, Patti and I left on Thursday to meet up with Dear MYRTLE and Mr. Myrt. We had a great time.


One of the things we wanted to do was to see the house where my grandparents lived and the house that my Dad built. We did that.

Mr Myrt and I mentioned that Valley Forge was not that far away, so se took a run over there. Clearly the Visitors Center had changed since the last time we have been there, so we went in to “look around”. Mr Myrt had an ancestor who was at Valley Forge so we wanted to check that out. Then Dear MYRTLE mentioned a name from her ancestry who was there as well. That was the same family name that she and I shared in a presentation, so then I remembered that I had two ancestors that were in Valley Forge that winter.


Dear MYRTLE’s ancestor and one of mine (same family) were from Maryland, so we looked him up and where the Monument was, and Mr Myrt mentioned his, and he was from Maine, which is where my other ancestor was from.


What a beautiful day to spend time with “family” looked and finding Monuments for our ancestors.


We wanted to visit the Chapel at Valley Forge, so we did.


When we pulled in the driveway to park, the bells were ringing. Not a normal thing to happen on a Friday afternoon. Here a couple were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at the chapel, with the kids and grandchildren all there.

That family were able to “relive” the wedding day of that couple, 60 years later, but will be able to tell the story of last Friday, as a new chapter for them, but another chapter for the happy couple with their family.

Valley forge was just out side of the door and all of the history that took place there, but they will remember the story of the 60th Wedding Anniversary of the lovely couple.

Family History Day with Ancestry.com – Exton PA

November 6, 2011

Just returned from the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania’s Family History Day with Ancestry.com in Exton, PA. More can be found on their website http://genpa.org/.

This was certainly a very special “weekend away” to spend some time listening to talks about genealogy. Perhaps another blog will be about what I learned, but this one is about the Luncheon Talk by Dear MYRTLE. Her talk was “Let them eat Jam”.

I won’t go into her talk, as I hope that if you get a chance to hear her speak, you will take that opportunity to do so. But her point, for me at least, was to remember that not everyone thinks about what we do as family history researchers, is interesting, at least the way we do. It’s not about the names, dates, locations, and events that we find, but others remember family history through stories or returning to a place where an event took place, or going to a place that we have heard about and the story that went along with that place.

Earlier I have spoken about the Flight 93 Memorial, about returning to Gettysburg, where I had a “cousin” shot in the battle at Culps Hill. Heard about those stories, read about the people, but then to physically go there to experience the place and let the stories flash before our eyes.

Exton, was a miss-named place for this conference. I know where Exton is, I grew up a couple of miles from Exton.

What a surprise when my GPS landed me about a mile from where I really grew up. It was Lionville, PA, not Exton. The hotel was 1/4 of a mile from the bus stop that took my to High School. I walked to and from that bus stop for a number of years. (Not quite up hill both ways), but I could see the bus stop from the hotel.

Over the past number of years, through email, I kept in touch with the current owners of the house that my Grand-Parents lived in and my Dad and his brothers and sisters grew up in. Patti and I had made arrangements to meet with them Friday night, just to “see the place”. He was very interested in hearing about the family who lived in the house. His wife wasn’t there when I first met him, but he relayed to me that she was sorry that she hadn’t met the family who stopped by a number of years ago to take pictures of the house.

I created a small family history for the family, complete with some pictures of the family, including pictures of the kitchen wood burning stove, the wood barrel where wood for the stove was kept, and a few other pictures of the house.

It was a small token of thanks for allowing us to visit.

Dear MYRTLE reminded us, that not everyone one thinks about Family History the way that we do.

For me, it’s like sending Family Group Sheets, with some data, lots of missing data, request to help fill in the blanks, a self addressed, stamped envelope, repeatedly, and getting nothing in return.

But, from this experience, I  was greeted with “you’re holding out on me” because I didn’t have enough of the stories for our host and hostess. They wanted more.

Dear MYRTLE talked about the ‘next’ generation’s reaction to Family Group Sheets, but the young adults of this family were very interested in the stories. In fact the son, a high school senior, listened to all of the stories. Didn’t have the glazed over eyes that Dear MYRTLE talked about. Oh, I know those looks from young adults.

I was prepared for the reaction the Dear MYRTLE talked about, but was greeted with a completely different response. I had put some of my genealogy information in the back of my car. Why, I am not sure, but I did. That still wasn’t enough.

Clearly, the family who currently lives in my Grandparents home, wanted to hear the story about the family. They had experienced some of that when my Dad and his cousins visited the house just after the current owners bought the house. We’re talking days after they bought the house. My Dad told the stories about the house, and they still remembered them and wanted more.

We’ll make a return trip soon, but I am posting this as a reminder that we may find folks interesting, not in the Names, Dates, Places, Events, but the Stories about the People. In this specific case, the Jam for this family was the stories of those who lived in that house at an earlier time.

Learning: Be ready to tell the Story, not the facts.

A walk into the past

August 24, 2011

In a couple of days, we will be traveling into New England to meet up with some Genea—Bloggers.

New England Geneabloggers Bash

This past April, I decided to visit a Genealogy Conference and decided to visit the New England Regional Genealogy Conference in Springfield, MA. I met up with some Facebook and Genea-Bloggers for the first time and walked away with many more.

The Genea-Blogging community is always talking about how the “west coast” has these gatherings and the reports in Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook all sound like they are having a wonderful time.

A group of New England Bloggers will gather this weekend for a Bash. To say “can’t wait” is an understatement. Just to be able to sit down, face to face to chat will be wonderful.

As Patti and I are preparing for this trip (a first for her), Patti has been gathering the information she needs to join the Mayflower Society. She should have an opportunity to chat with other Mayflower Society members with hopes that she will be encouraged to continue with the “paper work” involved with that effort.

The drive will be between 5 and 6 hours, so now that we have made the drive, what do we do. Just come home, or make a vacation out of it. It’s funny, two retired people and a vacation. A new concept for me. Aren’t we already on vacation?

The choices were Maine or Cape Cod. I have ancestors from Maine, and Patti from New England and Cape Cod. As they say “six of one, a dozen of another”.

Earlier in my research, I had met up with a gentleman who was the grandson of a place I had been researching. Through Facebook, I had made “friends” with a couple of folks with the same Surname. They were from Maine, and this gentleman said he had living relatives in Maine. I was reminded of that, so I reached out to that FB friend, only to find out that I was not the first person who tried to make the connection between this gentleman and this FB friend. Not a connection.

HOWEVER, in a response, this Facebook friend sent me a ‘hint’ of a museum, in Maine, with the her Surname. Checking that museum out, online, I found that it was located at the Acadia National Park. That just happened to be the destination, for us, when / if we went to Maine. My maternal Grandmother had deep roots in that area, my family growing up would visit there in the summer, and my grandparents went there every summer to spend the summer.

A couple of years ago, we visited my grandmother’s “hang outs”. One of which was the Carroll Homestead at Acadia National Park.

Getting more information about the Museum, I had emailed the National Park Service, through the website, for the Museum and was forwarded to the Ranger in charge of programs for the Museum. In the email from the Ranger, it turns out that the Carroll Homestead is open on Tuesday’s and a descendent of John Carroll is part of the Open House to “tell stories” about the family.

With any luck, on Tuesday, I will meet a cousin to hear stories about our ancestors and to walk into the past, in the home of my 3rd Great-Grandfather.

With any luck, and a good internet connection, I’ll be able to blog about this “Great Adventure” and this Walk into the Past.


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