25 February 2014

Taking stock post RootsTech

It has been two weeks since my last post. I would have thought before RootsTech I would have a lot to write about in this blog. The truth is I feel as unfocused about where to go from here as before. I really did learn a lot at the conference and came back with several good ideas.

 I mostly learned:
  1. I have been incomplete in documenting my sources.
  2. I still do not have a grasp on how I should keep a research log.
  3. I need to be keeping research notes.
  4. I need to share more while only giving spoonfuls at a time.
  5. There is more to genealogy than documents and sources.
  6. I wasn't ready for DNA and I don't think it is ready for me either.
I can't say these are hard lessons but they have made me take a step back and look at what I am doing.
  • I have 8588 people in my legacy database with over 50,000 individual source attributions or events.
  • I have 3319 people in my ancestry.com profile with 6,050 records, 219 stories, 713 photos, and 7449 shaky leaf hints.
  • I have 260 contributions to Wiki-tree.
  • I started adding sources and pictures to Family Tree and created a watch-list for 369 individuals.
  • I started five different family Facebook pages and posted information and pictures to share.
  • I started this blog, joined Google+, updated my twitter and Instagram accounts.
You can probably see why I am unfocused and can't decide what to do next. I have spent most of the last two weeks listening/watching to all of the RootsTech recorded sessions and the Legacy Family Tree Webinar, reading blogs, and catching up on my FamilySearch watch list updates. Not to mention cataloging the images and scans I got from the Furniss family before RootsTech.  I also got even more new documents and images from my Aunt Connee (about my grandparents in the Trotter and Taylor families) the weekend after RootsTech.

I feel like I am spinning my wheels.

11 February 2014

There seems to be a thread - Carpenter Seed Pt. 3

I know I have blogged about this before but I feel like I need to follow keep updating things when new information arises.

Last week, while I was attending RootsTech my favorite uncle posted another series of pictures he found from Carpenter Seed. Although he didn't narrate them I thought they contributed to the story as a whole.

This is what Carpenter Seed looked like when it opened. It still looks this way in the front when you drive by on Highway 89.

This is the fish and game section of the store. This was the back wall of the building until they opened it up for more retail space. My Uncle Darce says he can smell the leather when he looks at this picture.

This is the home and garden section of the store. The loft in the back of the room at the top of the picture was where the business office was. I remember when I was old enough to go upstairs to what my dad called the 'coffee clutch' and shoot the bull with my relatives. It made me feel important to go up there and a part of something bigger than me. I wish I could go back up there one more time and enjoy the atmosphere, and ask some questions.

This is my favorite picture of this set of pictures. It is taken from the business loft with the wall of guns on the right. My grandpa Trotter is the closest man in the white shirt behind the counter. Carpenter Seed would let you reload your shells for free if you bought the supplies from the store. These men are all reloading shells, it must be warm outside because most of them are wearing short sleeve shirts. At the top of the picture, along the south wall of the store, are the seeds. Six racks 10 rows deep of the finest seeds in the inter-mountain and south west.

My Aunt Connee discussed these photos at lunch in-between sessions of RootsTech. She mentioned in passing that she saw one of the old seed boxes online that a women had purchased for $5 at a yard sale. I asked where and she said she would try and send me a picture. I by chance googles Carpenter Seed and behold... I found the pictures on a blog called Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen.

This is the old seed box that doubled as a display box.

When closed the seeds crates could be stacked and stored. When open they looked great and helped to sell the seed.

Mrs. Olsen now uses it for holiday decorations, this is a family heirloom to drool over. Thanks again to my favorite uncle for passing on his experiences and pictures. Special thanks to Mrs. Olsen for finding this piece of family history and sharing it so we can all benefit. This chapter of our family history is writing itself and I am sure enjoying the ride. Now to document the pictures into the collection.

10 February 2014

Genealogy and Social Media - Amber Marie Bellows Butler

My mother made this Facebook post February 9, 2014.

This is not typical of the kind of genealogy information I find on social media.

I feel loss and sorrow for Amber, her husband and the rest of her family; but to be honest I am not sure how I am related to Amber. My uncle Followed up with this post.

With the information from these two posts, I opened up Legacy to see where in the family Amber fits. I quickly discovered that despite meeting these relatives at several family reunions I feel fuzzy about my knowledge of them and I have even less information in my files.

From my mother and uncle's posts, I figured out that I am looking for Edyth's granddaughter, Amber Bellows. Since my uncle Darce says she is his cousin's daughter, I know that Edythe is either my Grandfather or Grandmother's sister.

Luckily I found Edyth and Jan where I thought they would be. Amber is not in my records but based on the clues from Facebook I have found where she belongs. Now I know how I am related to Amber I want to find out more about Amber. A quick Google search turns up several photos, her Facebook page, news stories about the event, and videos of Amber base-jumping.

The news reports say she had been married to her husband Clayton for only two weeks before she died.

The blog http://dailyentertainmentnews.com posted information about Amber's wedding date and location as well as her parents names. The blog also posted links to both Amber and Clayton's Facebook pages.

After Amber and Clayton were married they jumped from their hotel room balcony in Las Vegas.

Of the many things I learned today about Amber I am sure she died doing the thing she loved with the person she loved. I wish I have know her better.

Amber Marie Bellows Butler
Born: 1986
Married: January 26, 2014
Died: February 8, 2014
Father: Boyd Kay Bellows
Mother: Jan Marie Erickson Bellows
Siblings: Zachary, Brandon, and Kelli Bellows

02 February 2014

My path to RootsTech 2014

I have been excitedly reading all of the blog posts of people who are leaving today for the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. I am excited to go also but I am afraid I am not as prepared to go as some of the official bloggers.

I live about a half an hour north of Salt Lake in Ogden, Utah. My wife and I plan on staying in Salt Lake on Wednesday and Thursday night. She will be leaving on Friday morning to help get the kids situated I will ride the train home on Friday night and drive down on Saturday morning.

I feel prepared for the weather, where to eat, how long it will take to get around, etc. But I am feeling the pressure of being unprepared for the conference. I have lived within 40 miles of Salt Lake City for my entire life and I have only been to the Family History Library three times. (Yes, I am ashamed to admit it.) On only one of these visits did I find records that I was looking for.

It is kind of like skiing for me. I have only been skiing a few times in my life and I have not been skiing since I got married. In Utah of all places, the greatest snow on earth! However unlike skiing, I have found myself in a digital world of genealogy. Not that the Internet can solve all of my genealogical problems but I have have been gathering information in an Internet age.

I have gone to the Ogden Family History Library several times. I have search through books and taken classes. The last time I went down, I was asking about finding records in the library. I really feel like I am missing the 'old school' knowledge that many of the teachers and volunteers there have. I was armed with the information from my Brick Wall ancestor and I really wanted someone to take a look and give me a suggestion of where to look for more information. As I asked around they pointed me to the best person to guide me. He is a South-Eastern United States specialist and a 'wiz' on the computer.

As we were talking, he guided me back to a computer to look for information. Each step he took was one I had done at home. I felt like I knew these files almost as well as he did. By the end of the evening I learned:
  1. I was pretty up to speed with the Internet resources that were available.
  2. That my brick wall was not going to be torn down in a evening.
  3. That the Ogden Family History Library spends a lot of time teaching people how to use a computer and how to use online sources.
  4. That the majority of people who are looking for help are either youth who are inexperienced with genealogy or people 10-20 years older than me who are inexperienced with computers.
  5. Those who are my age in the building are spending a significant amount of time teaching.
As I was leaving, one of the directors came up to me and asked if I found what I was looking for. I told him that I had learned several things that I did not know before. I suggested to him that they teach classes about non-Internet based resources that they have available. He said that they teach a class on Tuesday mornings at 10 am -- If I only were retired.

RootsTech seems right for me. A mix of technology and genealogy that I can learn form those who know more than I do. I hope I can maximize my time at the conference and learn things that will give me direction for the next year.