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Saturday, August 10, 2013

We've Gone Our Separate Ways...

Beautiful Temple Square, Salt Lake City
Now that I've got your attention, we have gone our separate ways, but only for two weeks.   Roger has gone to Indiana for a little work.  Don't feel too badly for him, though; not only does he get to stay with our friends Jay and Nancy in their beautiful home, but his social calendar has been booked solid.

One highlight of his Indiana visit was to attend the Hamilton Southeastern Middle School staff reunion.  These folks were like family to Roger back when he served as their principal.  I know the laughs they had in the 1980s and 1990s, so I'm sure there were a lot of laughs at the reunion!  It tells you what a special group they are that they would plan this get-together, now that most of them have moved on to other schools or retired.

 The very next day Roger was able to attend his 45th class reunion in Pendleton, Indiana.  I've talked to him daily, and every day he's been meeting friends and former colleagues for either lunch or dinner.  This weekend he is going to Jay and Nancy's lake cottage with them for more fun, and better yet, his brother and sister-in-law are driving down there to be with them.  Roger will fly back here to Salt Lake City on Wednesday, and I think he'll need a rest!

We parked the motor home here in Salt Lake City for a reason.  Since December 1st, I've been working on family trees on Ancestry.com for both Roger and I.  The Family History Library here in Salt Lake City, run by the LDS church, is THE place to go for family research.  I wish I could tell you I've seen a lot of the local sites here, but other than a delightful visit with a girlfriend from high school in Park City, I've spent every day at the library.  (In fact, that visit was on a Sunday, when the library was closed).   Roger can tell you that when I get involved in a project, I kind of get immersed in it, if you know what I mean.

 I did take a walk around Temple Square this morning before hitting the book stacks, and here are a few pictures of the beautiful gardens and buildings:





There is a LDS church in Fishers, Indiana where we lived while our daughters went through school, and some of Robyn's mormon girlfriends did travel to the Temple here for their weddings.  One day when I walked through the square there were at least three brides and wedding parties having their pictures taken near the beautiful gardens.  None today, though, when I had my camera.




Temple Square is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city.   Just off the west side of Temple Square sits the Church History Museum...

And next door to that is my home-away-from-home, the Family History Library...

Between the two buildings is a small plaza, at the rear of which stands a pioneer log cabin:

Hmmm...15 x 20 feet; that's not much bigger than our little coach house in Texas.  Here's a peek inside:

After my quick walking tour, I went back to the books on the third floor of the library.  
You would think two weeks would be more than enough time to do research.  I have so many things that I want to look up here that I've been playing "beat the clock" every day!  I only have three days left and I'll just barely get through my to-do list.

Here's my plan of attack:

While doing research the past eight months, I tore up an old atlas and as I was making my tree on Ancestry.com, I also wrote family names in the counties in the states where they lived, color-coding the outline by family group (Roger's, mine,  mother's and father's branches of each).
 Those counties outlined in several colors were the ones I focused on this week, meaning they had lots of different family groups from there.  Today was "Look up Massachusetts" day for me.  I started with Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, just because I was interested in the ancestors from there (sea captains).
 Since I had already written the surnames on the map, it was easy for me to look them up on my family tree the night before and make lists of their full names and dates (next to counties and towns). 
I could check the indexes in books from those counties to see if my ancestors were in the books.  Oh, and did I mention this place is huge?

This is just one of dozens of rows of books from every county in every state in the United States (and that's just the U.S.; international collections are on other floors).  Census, births, deaths, marriages, history, etc. etc.   I was more interested in the local history of each county.  It makes the names on a chart a lot more meaningful after you've read a bit about their day-to-day lives.


Time and again, what was once just a nondescript random name on my family tree turned into a fascinating character after just a little research.

Once I found a reference to an ancestor in a book, I marked it gently with a paper clip (paper tabs would have been better), then I made copies for later reference.  


Notice the card?  The copy machines here use cards to pay for the copies.  At 5 cents for each  copy, it's a steal.  I bought that $20 card the first day and today I used up the last copies on it and bought another card for $5.  They sell them in vending machines in all denominations:

There are also dozens of computer terminals for on-line research.  I didn't use those; I figure I can do that from home.  I wanted to focus on things that I wouldn't be able to find on line.

When I come across an item that is on microfilm, I spend time on the second floor at the microfilm machines.
I especially enjoyed looking up Quaker meeting minutes that included people from my grandmother's family in Parke County, Indiana in the 1800s, and reading about them in the flowery script of the time. 

 The overriding theme of my family tree seems to be "The Puritans vs. the Quakers."  I am proud to be descended from Mary Dyer, who was hung on Boston Common in 1660 for espousing her Quaker beliefs, even after the Puritans in Massachusetts told her to go home to her husband in Rhode Island and stay there.  This week I discovered that in addition to Mary Dyer (who I already knew about), I also have several other Quaker "rebel rousers" in my tree (father's side).  I also discovered several Puritans in my tree (mother's side) who were harassing the Quakers in Massachusetts.  

We've discovered that most of my ancestors landed in New England, whereas most of Roger's ancestors landed in Virginia.  He even has ancestors who landed in Jamestown Colony, although not in the first group, of which all but 60 of 500 died.  His ancestors landed there shortly thereafter, though.  (Note to our friends Bill and Nancy:  The name "Mills" keeps cropping up in Roger's tree from the Carolinas -- wonder if you're related?)  Anyway, enough family stuff.  I realize nobody is interested in our family tree except possibly our cousins.

The pet picture of the day shows Bandido and Charlie taking a late afternoon rest.  I think Bandido is daydreaming about the Oregon beaches; he sure doesn't like Salt Lake City!!  More likely, he's probably wondering when his dad will come home.



4 comments:

Bill and Nancy said...

Wouldn't surprise us at all if Bill and Roger were related;o)) However, Bill's grandfather was a Quaker from Pennsylvania. So there could also be a family connection to Diane:o))) It is a small world!!!

Traveling Along said...

Hey Dianne,
We re related. Experience Blss was the brother of my ancester,
Jonathan Bliss. Good luck with the research. Are you getting a lot of good information?

Travelwithwhippets said...

Hey Linda! That's really cool that we share an ancestor. With an unusual name like Experience Bliss, there's no doubt it's the same family! There were a LOT of Blisses in the books. They seem to have been a prominent family in Rehoboth. Hope you guys are doing well.

Margie and Roger said...

Enjoyed reading about your family research. We didn't stop in SLC, but I wish I would have had spent a lot of time there. I've been using Ancestry.com for quite awhile. It's a fun hobby.