Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sounds of the Revolution!

Back on the last Friday in April, the 27th to be exact, Rob Lowe was featured on Who Do You Think You Are. I had jotted down some thoughts about the show and set them aside because I knew during the following week I would be busy getting ready for the NGS Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, and some research in nearby Clermont County. That all seems so long ago now as I sit down at my computer and get ready to take up where I left off almost three weeks ago when my world came to a complete standstill.

Rob Lowe's adventure into his mother's family history took an interesting turn when it came to finding a Revolutionary War soldier he had only a few clues about. He found the name John Christopher East in his mother's scrapbook. In true WDYTYA fashion, he headed to Washington D. C. and the headquarters of the Daughters of The Revolution. Don't worry though, you won't have to make a trip to the nation's capitol to research your patriot! (More about that later.)

Rob's Revolutionary soldier turned out to be a German Hessian soldier. I have some ancestors yet to be seriously researched who were in this country at the time of the Revolution. For some reason they just don't seem to want to make themselves known in any Revolutionary War indexes or county histories so far. Maybe I am missing something here. Maybe it is time to go hunting for a Hessian or two!

However, I do have a Revolutionary War soldier in my family tree. His name is Philip Rice and I found an amazing amount of information about him from his pension records. Pension records are not that difficult to find, but they can be hard to read. Just have patience because you may have to read them several times before you start to recognize the words. Don't let that scare you though, eventually you will begin to see the story unfold before your very eyes.

From the pension papers: Philip Rice was born in 1760 in Virginia. He first served as a fifer with the Militia of King William Co, Virginia. Actually Philip served 6 different times during the war. He volunteered twice, was drafted twice, was a substitue for William Hancock, and a substitute for James Rice. At one point he served under Col. Robert Radford carrying a cannon and supplies on a vessel from Cumberland to Taylor's Ferry, Hancock Co., Virginia. He was 73 years old when he applied for his pension and had been living in Bracken Co. Kentucky since 1774 or 1775. I found the names of several of his neighbors and a clergyman named Robert Elrod. Philip married Martha Vaughn in Goochland Co. Virginia on January 28,1791.(to be continued)

Next: I discovered a bit of information about Philip Rice at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati which let to a huge surprise about my patriot ancestor.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Things change ever so suddenly.

A week ago I was working on a post about Mothers Day. I wanted to include the fact that we should not only honor our mothers, but also all our grandmothers who survived childbirth so we could all be here today. I wanted to say something about our pioneer women ancestors who crossed the oceans, the mountains, the deserts, and wilderness in order to make new homes and better lives for their families. And then I remembered that my own mother passed away on Mothers Day. So I got up and walked outside. At that point in my day last Sunday my husband had a heart attack and later passed away in the emergency room.

Now my focus is on all those death certificates we collect. The cause of death of our ancestors is an important fact that many genealogists ignore because it doesn't give us a date or a name. But, it could save your life. It could give you a head start, a head's up, on a medical condition that runs in your family. So I am encouraging you to set aside a period of time this week, get out all those death certificates you have, and see what runs in you family. Then pass this information on to the younger members of your family.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Special Notice.

We have had a death in the family which is going to take me away from my computer for a few days. I should be back to posting by this weekend. Til then -- don't forget to watch Who Do You Think You Are on Friday.

Friday, May 11, 2012

What's left to do?

Watch the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are. 8pm, Friday night.

Saturday morning: Exhibit Hall closes at 3pm

Visit the FamilySearch booth. Get your Fun Pass stamped for a chance to win an Apple iPad. Drawing at 1pm.

Visit the NGS booth #231. Purchase a conference pin and a membership pin. $5 each. How-to Sessions: 12pm - Family Tree Maker;  1:30pm - Stump the Genealogist; Raffle Drawing and Winner Announced.

Youth Kamp. 8:30am - 12noon. Say hello to our future genealogists.

Visit the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives booth#533. Great handouts for those researching Kentucky ancestors.

Visit the NGS booth #231 - Extra copies of the  print syllabus for sale $25 for members; $30 for non-members.

UPS will be available in the Exhibit Hall to ship your packages.

NGS Annual Meeting. 5:15pm

Enjoy the rest of the conference.

Conference + meals + hotel + gas = $$

Tomorrow is the last conference day and, if you are like me, you are starting to tally up your conference expenses. I bought only one book this year. I picked up a membership pin and a conference pin for $5 each at the NGS booth. And, I splurged on a hot pretzel! So overall I was only a few dollars over budget. However, this was not my first conference and I have learned over the years that I don't need everything in the Exhibit Hall! (Actually I already have most of that stuff from my first few conferences.) Oh, yes, I also came home with two free grocery bags compliments of NGS and the Bureau of Land Management - Eastern States!

My next conference will be the 2013 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference at the Millennium Hotel in beautiful downtown Cincinnati. This is a must for me since I hope to have my research approved for First Families of Ohio and the Cincinnati area is where it all began. In order to afford this, next week I will begin visiting garage sales and thrift stores. I have one very popular item that I sell on eBay during the holiday season and I make more than enough $$$ to cover my genealogy expenses for the year. That includes one conference, all of my society dues and my membership. 

If this conference was your first, you now have a really good idea of the expense and you also have a pretty good idea about what not to do next year! Now you have a year to find a way to come up with the extra $$$ for next year's conference. Good luck to all.

As for me I intend to include dinner at the Banks: and a Riverboat Cruise: in next year's conference budget.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some sights worth seeing in the Cincinnati area.

When I first arrived in Cincinnati on Monday, I sent my husband out in search of parking and restaurant information while I was at a meeting for NGS Conference volunteers. After he finished his assignment, he took off for Covington, Kentucky to find the Kenton Library. Instead he found MainStrasse Village and Drees Pavilon. 

If you are looking for a place to take a break from genealogy after the conference activities on Friday or Saturday, I recommend that you head across the Ohio River to Covington for a trip back into the mid nineteenth century. The MainStrasse Village is a mixture of shopping, sidewalk cafes, pubs, and sightseeing. There are some beautiful homes on Riverside Dr. which runs along the Ohio River. To be on the safe side so that you don't get lost in Kentucky, I suggest you ask someone at the Information Booth in the conference center for a map and directions. For the walking tour:

Drees Pavilon is at the top of the hill we always see on the right as we cross the Ohio River on I-75 headed for Florida. There is an overlook with a breathtaking view of Cincinnati and a golf course that defies the imagination. The Pavilon is a wedding venue, but its website is the best place to go for information and directions to the top of the hill. Click on About Us for directions.

Rise and shine! It's Friday!

Only two days of conference left! It seems like only yesterday that I was packing the car for the trip. I actually walked the soles off of a pair of shoes this year. Yes, I had to throw them away! The good news is that, due to the size of the Duke Energy Center, I have inadvertently started a walking program which I plan to continue at home.

I know from experience that some of you are starting to slow down a bit, but don't worry. Saturday will bring a new burst of energy! In the mean time, allow me to offer some assistance in the decision-making department. For what it is worth, here are my personal favorites for the Friday lectures: 

8:00 am. F302: Printed Legends and Missing Footnotes: Dissecting 19th and 20th Century Compiled Genealogies,  D. Joshua Taylor. If you are a fan of Who Do You Think You Are, you may recognize this speaker as the genealogist who helped Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashley Judd, Reba McEntire, and Rob Lowe. Don't hesitate to ask him about some behind the scenes stories. Also the topic is a must if you have relatives who show up in these local "history" books.

9:30am. F315: Pursuing your Genealogical Research in the Library of Congress without traveling to Washington, DC, James Sweany. Anything that saves a road trip is a good thing!

11:00am. F324:  In Search of your Civil War Ancestry, Stephen J. Buffat. Good subject since we are observing the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.

2:30pm. F348: Topographic and Other Maps for Genealogists, Rick Sayre. Important subject and a great speaker. Be prepared though to absorb a lot of information. 

4:00am. F355: The Ohio Genealogical Society: Your Best Ohio Genealogical Resource, William J. Priest. OGS is the largest state genealogical society in the United States. The reason: Ohio is the cross roads of America and chances are good that your ancestors left some records here. Bill is a great speaker and an OGS trustee.

*Tip: Remember, the morning expressway travel in Cincinnati is brutal, so allow at least an extra half hour driving time. Also, the parking lots around the conference center fill up in a hurry.

Cincinnati is the place to be this week!

Rumor has it that there were over two thousand people at the opening day of the NGS conference. Actual numbers won't be released until later this week. All I know is there were a lot of people walking around with green tote bags both on the streets of Cincinnati and inside the conference center. 

If you visited the Bureau of Land Management -- Eastern States booth (#637 on the Exhibit Hall map), you also have a red tote bag. If you haven't made it there yet, make it a priority. They have a bunch of really nice handouts and  someone mentioned they are also printing land records.

Tonight the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is extending its hours for those attending the conference. You will need to show your conference badge in order to enter the library. There is no need to register and the event runs from 6:30pm til 11:30pm. The library is within walking distance from the conference center hotels. *Tip: Just remember that what seemed like a relaxing walk through downtown Cincinnati at 6:30 might not seem like such a good idea at 11:30 after a whole day of conference activites.

For those of you who missed the memo about Cincinnati traffic jams and missed the opening conference session yesterday, you can visit the Virtual Library at and explore the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848. If you enter downtown Cinci from the south across the I-471 bridge you will recognize the hill to the right in the photograph when you cross the Ohio River. 

*Tip: I found several good books about teaching genealogy to children at the Family Roots Publishing booth (#203, 205, 302, 304). Also, for you grandparents, there is a really cute baby at this booth.

*Tip: Bring your own water! Unless you want to pay $3 for a bottle at the conference center. You can refill your bottle at the water stations on the second floor.

Also scheduled for tonight is the Evening at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. (see earlier post about this event)

Hope everyone is having fun and meeting new cousins. It has been a great conference so far.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good Morning Cincinnati!

I spent the day researching my family in Batavia in nearby Clermont County. The clerks at the Probate Court are very friendly and helpful. Record books are located on shelves in 2 rooms with plenty of work space. Microfilm and index books are also easily accessible. Over all it is extremely user friendly. I found more than I was looking for. The clerks said they have had a lot of traffic recently, but were not aware of the NGS Conference in Cincinnati. I gave them a heads up and they took it in stride!

Tomorrow the conference begins with the opening session in the ball room on the third floor at 8am. The Exhibit Hall on the first floor opens at 9:30am and there are ten morning sessions scheduled for 11am. These rooms are located on the second floor. 

Luncheons are scheduled on the third floor at 12:15pm. If you are not attending a luncheon, there will be lunch buffets at the three conference hotels. These are designed to get you in and out quickly. Also there is a small coffee shop on the first floor by the entrance and concessions in the Exhibit Hall

The afternoon sessions are scheduled at 2:30pm and 4pm. The Exhibit Hall will close at 5:30pm. You will need your badge to enter the lecture rooms, but the Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public. 

*Tip: The area behind the last row of seats in each lecture room is reserved for scooters and wheelchairs. If you want to sit up front, please arrive 30 minutes early so the room monitor can arrange a place for you.

*Tip: Morning expressway traffic in the Cincinnati area (includes northern Kentucky) can be crazy, so allow yourself some extra driving time.

See you there!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Live From Downtown Cincinnati!!

Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk! The Duke Energy Convention Center is huge. The NGS Conference volunteers met this morning at the Center for a tour and some last minute instructions before the conference begins tomorrow with Librarians' Day. The main entrance to the building is on the corner of Fifth and Elm Streets. As soon as you enter you will see an Information Booth and the Check In Booths for those who have preregistered. The layout for the Conference is simple: Exhibit hall, Check-in, and Syllabus Print-out Stations on the first floor. Conference sessions on the second floor, luncheons and dinners on the third floor.

Tip: Check the room number of the lecture you want to attend. Room numbers 201, 204, 207 and 211 are small rooms and you might want to get there early in order to find a seat. No one will be allowed to stand or sit on the floor in a lecture room. Rooms 205, 230, 232, 233 are medium sized rooms and rooms 206 and 200 are the largest.

The Convention Center is very easy to find -- only a few short blocks off of I-71 and I-75. I sent my husband out in search of parking info. He found a couple of lots that are only $4. One is on the northwest corner of Eighth & Elm; the other on the northwest corner of Seventh & Plum. The lot at Elm & Eighth has an Early Bird special: Parking is $5 if you arrive before 9am and leave between 2-6pm. Also, many of the streets in downtown Cincinnati are one way.

Coming Soon: Went sightseeing and found some sights worth seeing in Covington, Kentucky.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Genealogy Youth Camp at the NGS Conference

On Saturday, May 12, 2012, the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio will be offering a Youth Kamp for 8-16 year old future genealogists. This is a great opportunity for parents and grandparents to "back up their research" by bringing their future family historians to a quality program designed to get youngsters interested in genealogy. My aunt made sure that I was aware of the personal rewards and benefits associated with knowing my family history. I have passed this on to my children and grandchildren. It is a great feeling to know that you will be able to pass on your research to family members who will appreciate all your hard work. This event is free and runs from 9am-12pm. You will need to register at

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Indexing The US 1940 Census

Family Search has reported that the US 1940 Census is a little over 25% complete. Colordao and Delaware are complete and available for searching.The following states are 100% complete and should be available for searching shortly: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. Over 91,000 indexers are currently working on the census. If you have not yet volunteered, give it a try. It is not that difficult. 

The most interesting thing that I have noticed in the census is the number of multiple families living together. That is one thing that I remember from the 1940's -- there were a lot of young couples living in their parents basement. 

Ohio is only about 9% complete. So if you are from Ohio, let's get going! We are way behind the other states. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NGS Conference

I am going to be an Official Blogger at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio
next week. I will be there on Monday for a meeting and tour of the Conference Center. I will begin  posting that afternoon.