Clarke Reminders

Franklin Whitfield Blake died on this day in 1955. Frank and I don’t share any DNA, but he does reside in a branch of my family tree. Seeing him on my Family Tree Maker calendar was a reminder to take another look at that somewhat neglected branch. Franklin Whitfield Blake married Zora Susan Clarke 05 Apr…

What I Learned at Gail Borden Library

I wrote about my visit to Gail Borden Library here. We weren’t in the library for very long, but then it didn’t take very long to find two invaluable items to add to my family history. The Elgin Newspaper and Vital Record’s Index pointed me toward an obituary for William John McBane. William was married to my…

Gail Borden Public Library

You may be surprised to learn how Elgin Illinois’ Gail Borden Public Library in got it’s name. I certainly was! According to Wikipedia, “In 1892, Samuel and Alfred Church, stepsons of [Mr. Gail] Borden and residents of Elgin, Illinois, purchased and donated the Scofield Mansion at 50 N. Spring Street to house a new library…

The Thousand Mile Journey

Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town. Husband and I recently enjoyed four fun-filled days in the Windy City. We visited with family and friends, played tourist, explored new-to-us genealogical repositories. And we photographed headstones – lots and lots of headstones. Packing for this trip was challenging. Pre-travel weather reports forecast rain and cold. We created Plans B, C and D just…

World Back Up Day

Ever lost an important computer file? Suffered a system failure? Celebrate World Back Up Day by backing up your computer files, saving those precious photographs, and storing additional copies of important documents in multiple safe places. Don’t live with regret – take a minute or two today to save something you’d really hate to lose.

Ask A Question Day

Interviewing the people in our family trees can connect them (and us) with historical events in ways that may surprise us. Years ago I asked my mother-in-law about about the day she became a citizen of the United States. “It took two trips to the courthouse.” she said. “The first ceremony was postponed because the President…

Obituaries at the Cincinnati Library

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is 700 miles away. While I wait for warm weather and time off of work I can view the library virtually here. And I can use some of the library’s many resources from the comfort of my home. I’m thankful for a service provided by the very helpful reference librarians in Cincinnati.…

Reading Foreign Language Obituaries

My third-great grandfather Nicholas Schmitt died on this day in 1876 in Cincinnati Ohio. His obituary* appeared in the German-language newspaper The Cincinnati Volksfreund: Transcription: “Todes-Anzeige. Starb am Montag, den 21. Februar 1876, Abends um 11 Uhr, unser innigst geliebter Vater: Nikolaus Schmitt, im Alter von 64 Jahren, geboren in Hellimer, Lothringen. Die Beerdigung findet…

Why I Hired a Professional Genealogy Researcher

I’ve gotten pretty good deciding where to invest my genealogy dollars. Ancestry.com World Explorer provides resources I need when researching many of my ancestors and their FANS. ArkivDigital is my go-to site for Swedish records. My Hamilton County Genealogical Society membership keeps me connected to my Cincinnati ancestors as the Batavia Historical Society connects me to…