Quick Tips


Summer is almost here, School is almost out, and life gets busy~

But don’t forget to document little times,as well as the big times:

Here is my Family Genealogy page on Pinterest:


Great ideas by many people!

No April Fool’s Joke


Blog 1 April, 2015

No April Fool’s Joke

I saw a great idea to pass on to my grandchildren and keep our family history easy and fun:

What I am going to do is copy and paste each week into MSWord and substitute Sarah’s name and info with my name and info. I will do this same concept for each consecutive week. Then each week I can mail a page to my grandchildren and at the end of 1 year they will have a history of their grandmother and have their current information in it too!.

52 Weeks of Genealogy – Week 1 – How Did You Get Your Name?

52 weeks of Genealogy. Join the fun!! 

Week 1:  How did you get your name? What does your name mean?
I was named after my beautiful great grandmother, Thelma Sarah Lewis. Here’s a family photo of her parents and 12 siblings; she was the 5th of 15 children. She’s on the bottom right in the photograph.

Sarah means Princess.

Now it’s your turn. How did you get your name? What does your name mean?

Keep it short and simple and it becomes easy.


On Death Blog 28March2015


We have been mourning the loss of a dear friend of ours, more like a brother. It was very sudden, a vehicle accident, and his wife just recently came home from the hospital, still needing care. This man’s life touched so many all around the world. He will truly be missed by thousands. I am sure a year from now, there will be those who will hear of his passing for the first time and their shock and sorrow will be as deep as those of ours who received the news within the first day. I am thankful for a recitation I heard a few years back, by Charlie Daniels, Long Leaf Pines album – no singing, just two friends talking – Psalms 23, you can hear it on you tube: (open in ‘new tab’ or ‘window’  so you can keep reading this) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSIuvM6YTww

glenjoy GlenJoy

Sometimes researching can be very revealing and very emotional. As we are researching our ancestors, mourning over those who passed the month or year before we found them, even over those who passed on many years ago that we are just finding out about, let us not forget those that are living still.

We all have a beginning and an ending. We will all meet our maker in the end.

Whether we are first time genealogists, or long time genealogists, or professional genealogists, we are all searching for where we came from and where we are going, how we got to where we are and where do we go from here, and where will our descendants go from here.

May we pause for just a moment and thing about what death was for our ancestors? What did it mean to them? Did they celebrate it?, did they ignore it?, did they try to avoid it? Perhaps there is nothing revealing to us today about how our great, great, great, great, great grandparents or aunts and uncles did or did not confront the dead and death while they were living.

What about you? Are you singing the song., “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through”?
I was surprised to find that just on YouTube, of about 24,900,000 results, even in Navajo, surprising, right?

but I found this one on Vimeo, it comes straight from her heart  https://vimeo.com/5739427 (you can right click and click on new tab or new window to continue reading this while listening)


Talk about dancing and singing!, I had never even heard of this next song, but it celebrated our friends life, one other family member put this up:  (This should put a smile on your face)  (you can right click and click on new tab or new window to continue reading this while listening)     Your first day in heaven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UciPFZHkJHo

What do you believe about eternity, or do you? Are you rejoicing while you are living that one day you will be in heaven, without a shadow of a doubt? Are you afraid that there is no after life?, afraid to die?

Only a quarter of my ancestors were Quakers, only part of them mentioned affiliation to church or religion.

I don’t know about the dead, it is not my place to judge the dead or the living, nor would I ever want that responsibility and I am so very grateful that I don’t have to know a person’s heart.

I do have to be accountable for my own heart though, my own soul. One day death will come, and I will have to be accountable for my life. As each one of us will have to be.

GlenRiddle   If you would like to help out my friends family – Thank You and you can help out here:

Researching is not easy, that is why it is called a journey


First, have you visited the library-of-congress-logo

We have a family reunion photo of my grandfather and others, and on the back it states, Family Reunion, Illinois.

Many of my family are from Nebraska and Idaho, so this is a ‘clue’ to do some more searching.

I went to: usagov_logo1

and clicked on Illinois.

The genealogical website that opened was: Illinois

It gave the hours and the many subjects to research, alas, no how to contact info. What to do?

The link at the top, went to a site with a phone number, and a link to Archives, which opened another page to a form to fill out. This is great, forms that are sent can help tremendously. Today, however, I was looking for something that would not take 4 days – it is Friday and by the time a person on the other end would be able to do anything would be Monday, most likely.

There were three links at the bottom of the Illinois page, so I clicked on each of them.

  1. The first was a similar, but more in-depth page to the contact page I just mentioned.
  2. The second was “The Sangamon Valley Collection (SVC), located on the third floor of Lincoln Library, provides in-depth resources for the study of Springfield, Illinois, Sangamon County and the eleven adjacent counties. The collection, established in 1970, contains materials from the past and present. The Sangamon Valley Collection closes at 1 p.m. on Fridays. Regular library hours are observed all other days.” Did you see they close at 1p.m. on Friday and I am sure that is not Pacific time ~ always keep time zones in mind when calling or emailing.
  3. The third link was a 404, page not found, but I was able to click on the icon at the top and got to the website for the Lincoln Library.

What I do next, depends on what I am searching for. In this instance I am going to search for a link between my grandfather and other family members in Illinois. I have no idea what town or county to narrow it down to, so now what?

What do I know already? This is the question to ask when you have a proverbial fork in the road, always ask what do I know already.

I know that my grandfather was born in Lincoln county, Illinois. (Still don’t know how his family got to Illinois, but that is separate journey from this one, or so I think at the moment).

For now I won’t use link #3

I will use link #1 to gather more information. I have found that forms may take some time for a reply back, which is okay. Sometimes the person doing the research looks in other places than where you will look and this gives you another resource to either check off the list as a dead end right now, or as a found it! and can follow that lead.

Link #2 is what I am going to follow today, because link #1 is now in the hands of someone local . Since I have started this journey, I can go on to more research.

(about filling out forms, avoid words like ‘he’ or ‘she’ or ‘they’ or ‘him’ or ‘her’ of ‘them’, use names in all instances. for example:

We have a photo of my grandfather and others on the back it states Clarke Family Reunion, Illinois.

We (think that we) know that my grandfather [insert name here] was born in Illinois.  Logan, Illinois, or Champaign Illinois. His {insert name here] dad was [insert name here] and his mother was [insert name here] pronounced [this is good to do, if you think the pronunciation is usually different than the spelling), on 22 April ****. [insert name here] (called by his middle name Frank) and Lenora were married in Illinois on ** October (yes spell out the month’s name to avoid any confusion by the reader, their eyes get tired too) **** in Logan County, Illinois – (uh oh, that is something I never paid attention to before. Oct to April is only 6 months. Do I have the dates correct? I will double check). No it must be 1882, because his first wife [insert name here] died in Jul 1882 and they were not living together for some time already-but that is a whole different story.

In the meantime – We know grandpa [insert name here] had a [insert name here] as a cousin, and that they all called (this is where you can put nick names or variations of names a relative may have been called), and [insert name here] [yes, again, so they know if you are talking about the grandfather or the uncle] was born ** Jul **** either in Mercer County, New Jersey or in Illinois, we have not confirmed the birth place.

>>>Here I added more info about the cousins dad and mom, marriage date, birth dates and places, so the research can make sure he/she is following the correct people<<<

Next I put the reason for finding this information: We want to find our families connection to Illinois.”

You may notice that IRAD had a link and so I followed that and it took me to a contact for the specific county for my family, I had copied and pasted the above info into the contact form for that county. Cover as many avenues as you can to find what you are after, there may be more than one way to get to the information you are looking for.

On to Link #2, and after a few phone calls to Logan county researching and a few emails I will have to wait for them to do some researching and email me back.

Note on emails– I have an email that is simple to write when someone hears it. I always spell it after I say it, that makes less confusion and assures that a typo or misspelling is averted and I am not waiting for an email that will never get to me. When you can leave more than an email, leave a phone number or two so that if one way of contacting you doesn’t work, the person you are talking with or contacting can have an alternative to get back to you. Some research can take quite a bit of time, so if you forget, or you wonder why you haven’t received any information, perhaps it was a misunderstanding of your email address and that could be frustrating.

Now I wait and do some more online looking as much as I can and then take a break. Stand up and stretch, walk around the room, get a drink of water, have a bite to eat, refresh yourself before you sit down and continue on your amazing journey to connect with your ancestors.

More to help you find who or what you are looking for


More Help for your Search


Genealogy Raodshow on PBS, the webpage has a lot of helpful links for you.

Just one more resource to help you find your own family discoveries.

One Mistake After Another


One Mistake After Another

mistake 1 – very little preparation before the week

mistake 2 – pack the morning of the flight, leaving slippers at home

mistake 3 – pack chargers in a separate bag from the electronics

mistake 4- change seats on plane, now you have an aisle seat and can’t see out the window or get to visit with your spouse

mistake 5 – don’t make hard copies [written down on paper] of phone numbers or addresses or itinerary

mistake 6 – don’t set time and meet up place with spouse – rely on cell phones to be working

mistake 7 – don’t stay put at cousins, so if dying phone battery dies, you at least have a meeting place

mistake 8 – don’t have anyone’s phone numbers memorized

mistake 9 – drive in the general direction of where you think you should go, but can’t see out because the fog has set in and the night is getting dark early because of the fog

mistake 10 – don’t take photos of cousins while together

mistake 11 – again, later in the day, don’t take photos of other cousin while together

mistake 12 – don’t bring medicine for dry air conditions while sleeping

One Joy After Another

Joy 1 – have a really great time with grandchildren over the weekend for 3 Kings Day early

Joy 2 – know that the homestead will be cared for by reliable neighbor while visiting family

Joy 3 – instead of spouse leaving on business trip, you get to go and get to visit relatives while there

Joy 4 – get to ride on a twin prop airplane, fly through the clouds and have a beautiful view over the clouds

Joy 5 – good weather – no rain or snowing or ice on takeoff or arrival

Joy 6 – change seats and sit next to a wonderful young man making it a very enjoyable flight

Joy 7 – separate rental cars so one has the freedom to visit relatives and places during the week

Joy 8 – being able to drive a pretty blue vehicle to visit family and be in a place I love and enjoy

Joy 9 – finding and visiting relatives and spending time together in person

Joy 10 – driving back to the airport area and being able to use a phone book with a map to locate where I was and which direction to go from there

Joy 11 – driving to a gas station to get a map and use a phone and the 20 year old at the counter being so helpful and courteous and letting me use his own personal cell phone to call long distance to the only number I have written down. Then when no answer there, letting me make a long distance phone call again to the only number I could remember.

Joy 12 – our daughter answering her phone with an unknown number calling her

Joy 13 – our daughter being able to call her dad to tell him where I am

Joy 14 – the young 20 year old letting me call my daughter again to know she got in contact with her dad

Joy 15 – my spouse knowing where I was

Joy 16 – realizing I had packed all that I needed

Joy 17 – comfortable, warm, clean place to stay

Joy 18 – meeting another cousin and spending time together

Joy 19 – discovering a new historical site to visit

Joy 20 – kindness of strangers

Joy 21 – being able to return kindness to other strangers

Joy 22 – electricity, for warmth and light and refrigeration and plug-ins for all those electronic devices.

Joy 23 – honey and lemon tea to soothe a dry throat and nose [steam from the tea as you sip/drink it]

Joy 24 – having dinner with my spouse and breakfast and getting to spend the work week together

Joy 25 – taking a short evening stroll with my spouse

Joy 26 – Being Thankful 1- that I can trust in God so no matter what happens He will take care of me 2- for a really great day and all that I have to look forward to.