thegenealogygirl


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Photograph Showcase: The First Image From A Precious Collection

costello08 - cropped, lightened - 2x, and sharpened - smaller 6000

This beautiful family portrait was given to me by my Grandma several years ago.  It is an 11×17″ photo of my Grandma, my mother, and my mother’s siblings.  My darling Mom is wearing the blue striped dress.

This portrait was one of many in a large Kodak envelope.  All of the photos were taken by my Great-Grandmother Estelle Duval at her studio – Duval Portraits in Spokane, Washington.  Most of the photos in this envelope were hand colored with oil paints by Grandma Duval.  She was remarkably talented.

For the past several years – maybe 7 or so – these photos have been patiently waiting for some attention.  Well, two weeks ago when I scanned the Telesphore Brouillette book, I also scanned all 28 of the 11×17″ portraits.

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It felt pretty fantastic to finally get these treasures scanned.  I just needed some time and access to a large, high-quality flat-bed scanner.  Thank you, BYU for helping me out!

The only bummer, and it is a very slight bummer, is that many of these precious photos were printed on textured paper.  The scans exaggerate the texture and the photos come out much darker than they really are.  Here is the original scan:

costello08 - cropped - smaller

And here it is lightened up a bit:

costello08 - cropped, lightened - smaller

And here it is with a little bit of sharpening:

costello08 - cropped, lightened, and sharpened - smaller

And then finally, with some more sharpening and another layer of lightening:

costello08 - cropped, lightened - 2x, and sharpened - smaller 6000

Which version appeals most to you?

 

I am sooooo happy to have finally scanned these treasures!

 

 

Happy Thursday, I will be enjoying lots of family time next week for Thanksgiving.  I’ll be taking the week off.  If you are also celebrating Thanksgiving, may I suggest that you spend some time preserving memories?  The FamilySearch Memories app is free and a fantastic way to record audio.  It can record segments up to 15-minutes in length.  Get your family talking about their favorite memories of loved ones now gone and record those gems.  Have the Google PhotoScan app ready to go so you can scan any photos that catch your eye.  Remember, the app isn’t nearly as good as a scanner, but sometimes, it’s the only thing you’ve got.  I hope you have a blessed and thankful week!  I am thankful for each of you who make my genealogy experience so much richer.  xoxo

 

 


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Tuesday’s Tip: What to do when your FS change log presents you with a tangled mess.

FS change log mess

 

This video is most applicable to FamilySearch users who participate in the Family Tree.  But it also contains some gems that may help FamilySearch users who do not participate in the tree.  Here are the items covered in this video:

  • FamilySearch watch lists.
  • The change log in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.
  • Command/Control click – which I wrote about here.
  • Reviewing record attachments in FamilySearch’s Family Tree, detaching records, changing the focus person in the attachments screen and then attaching the record to the correct person.
  • Ancestry’s FamilySearch button.  Using it to link people in your Ancestry Tree to the same individual in FamilySearch.  Using it to add someone new to the Family Tree on FamilySearch.  Using it to compare the version of a person in your Ancestry Tree with the version of a person in the Family Tree on FamilySearch, and sending data between the two websites.
  • The FamilySearch internal messaging system.  Making a plan with another user.
  • FamilySearch record hints.

 

 

Remember to click the ‘HD’ button on the bottom right of the video.

 

I went on to spend some time updating both Annas.  If you are interested in viewing each woman in the Family Tree on FamilySearch, Anna Graf can be found here, and Anna Evelyn Shoffer can be found here.

 

Confusing changes and tangled messes are part of working in the Family Tree on FamilySearch.  Frankly, that is why many genealogists stay away.  If you choose to participate the Family Tree, I hope this was helpful for you.  If it was, please feel free pass it on to other Family Tree users.

 

Happy Tuesday, I hope you don’t come across any tangled messes on your genealogy adventures today!  😉

 

 


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A New Toy at the Library

 

tb book 0011

The first page of text from the Telesphore Brouillette book, exactly as it scanned, saved as a jpeg.  Looks pretty good!

 

On Friday I went on a little adventure with my favorite 5-year-old pal.  I picked him up from Kindergarten, had a quick lunch, and then we were off to BYU for some important work.  I had reserved an overhead scanner so that I could scan the Telesphore Brouillette book my cousin Margaret mailed to me.

Now you might be wondering about my taking a 5-year-old to a Family History Library.  (You aren’t the only one.  A certain well-known genealogist who has strong opinions about who should and should not work on genealogy doesn’t think he belongs there either.  And yet, he is always there when I show up with my kiddo.  Haha!)  I swear, my kid is the best 5-year-old ever.  A few new Kindergarten apps on my phone, and the promise of a “pink cookie” after we are done and that kid is an angel.  Well.  He is always an angel.

We arrived and I went to the desk because I wasn’t sure which scanner was the one I had reserved, when low and behold I spotted this brand new beauty.

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It was love at first sight.  I bailed on my scheduled scanner and used this brand-spankin’ new toy.  Okay.  I don’t actually know how new it really is.  It’s new since the last time I went to BYU.

It can’t be reserved, but I lucked out and it was free.  I scanned the Telesphore Brouillette book – all 185ish pages – in 45 minutes.

FORTY-FIVE MINUTES!

 

Do you know how long it would have taken me on a flat-bed scanner?!

Me neither.  But a reeeeeeally long time.  Like a few weeks.  Maybe even two months.

(Insert an explanation here about patrons at the center and not having lots of time and getting bored if I scan for too long.  etc.  etc.)

The best part was that I was way less worried about damaging the book.  It is so simple to just turn the page and hit scan.  Way less wear and tear on the spine and binding.

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You can see a bit of the fancy scanning tech in this photo.  Also the books on Japanese something or other that were the perfect plain black to use as my “weights” to hold the pages open.

I will definitely be using this scanner again.  In fact, I did a few test pages of a different item I have been scanning, the painfully slow way, that I am going to compare and see if I like the quality well enough to switch to this scanner.

So for those who may wonder… this scanner can scan at 600 dpi, save to a thumb-drive or upload to the cloud (and maybe email…?  I think there were four save options).  The available formats include jpeg, pdf, searchable pdf – which is FABULOUSLY accurate by the way, and a few others I ignored.  There is no tiff setting.  You can save as one set of images or as individual images.  You can save in one format and then save again in another format, over and over until you have everything you want.  As you are scanning, if you notice a scan isn’t what you want – not straight enough or something – you can select those images and delete them, rescan those pages, and then keep scanning.

I am in love!

My cute little pumpkin was an angel as always.  He definitely earned his “pink cookie” after a nice leisurely stroll across campus.  He insisted on stomping on crunchy leaves and then throwing them up in the air by the handsful while I took some pictures.

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Isn’t he adorable?  ❤️❤️❤️

 

Happy Monday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery this week!

 

 

ps – I have been very absent the last two months.  I have some serious catching up to do.  Thank you for hanging with me.  xoxo

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: Who on Earth is Albert?

We humans are, well, human.

Recently, my human-ness reared its head.

See that photo up there?  The one labeled Albert?  I actually have a few more photos from a similar time period labeled Albert that are clearly photos of this same person.  But guess what my mind saw?

Arthur.

Hmmmmm…

The Hyde family has several brothers.  Not a one of them is named Albert, at least, not that I know of.  There is an Arthur.  But each of the photos in question is clearly labeled “Albert”.

The “Albert” appears to be consistent with having been written at or near the taking of the photograph while the notes on the back were clearly written later by my own Grandma who never met Arthur or the Mystery “Albert”.

Who on earth is Albert?!

I guess I better try to figure it out.

 

 


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One Last Tether

Rulon and Naomi family, from original

The Family of Rulon Powell Peterson & Naomi Skeen; back l-r: Marilyn Peterson, Ronald Skeen Peterson, Janice Peterson; front l-r: Lowell Skeen Peterson, Rulon Powell Peterson, Wayne Skeen Peterson, Naomi Skeen, Darrell Skeen Peterson.

 

From this wonderful family, only one remains.  One last tether to my Grandpa, his siblings, and his parents.  To living memories of growing up on a cattle ranch, working hard, serving others, helping strengthen a community, and serving God.

We lost Darrell first in 1947 at the tender age of 14.

Naomi followed in 1957.

Rulon in 1985.

Ronald in 1997.

Marilyn in 2013.

Janice in 2016.

And then last Sunday, on the 29th of October, Lowell slipped from this life.

I imagine that was a joyful reunion for this precious family that I love.

On Saturday we honored Uncle Lowell’s remarkable life.  As I sat there mourning with my family, listening to the accomplishments of a life well lived, I was in awe.  Uncle Lowell was a humble and kind man.  For me, he was a gentle reminder of the Grandpa I lost when I was just 20.  His voice, his manner, his movements, echoed those of his oldest brother.  I sat with him many times, sharing family stories, listening to him talk about the Grandpa that I love and miss.  But in all of those conversations, he never spoke about himself.  I always knew he was remarkable, simply for being him.  What I didn’t know was the impact he had on so many.  I could rattle off a list of accomplishments that would impress you, but I think the only one that really matters is that his entire life’s work and love focused on his wife, his 7 children, his 33 grandchildren, and his 12 great-grandchildren.  But for me personally, I will forever be grateful that he always made me feel loved and reminded me of my Grandpa.

And now, there is one last tether to this beloved family.  My Grandpa’s youngest brother, Uncle Wayne.  Like Uncle Lowell, he has a way of making me feel the warmth and love of my Grandpa.  I hope he stays with us for many years to come.

But it must feel so lonely to be the last.

 

 

This beautiful song is one that I have loved for many years.  It also happens to be one of the seven songs Uncle Lowell requested for his funeral.  Very fitting for a farmer and cattle rancher.  It was sung by his lovely granddaughters.  I hope you will enjoy it and be touched by his love for inspiring music.

 

Lyrics:

In the quiet misty morning

When the moon has gone to bed,

When the sparrows stop their singing

And the sky is clear and red,

When the summer’s ceased its gleaming

When the corn is past its prime,

When adventure’s lost its meaning –

I’ll be homeward bound in time

Bind me not to the pasture

Chain me not to the plow

Set me free to find my calling

And I’ll return to you somehow

If you find it’s me you’re missing

If you’re hoping I’ll return,

To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening,

And in the road I’ll stop and turn

Then the wind will set me racing

As my journey nears its end

And the path I’ll be retracing

When I’m homeward bound again

Bind me not to the pasture

Chain me not to the plow

Set me free to find my calling

And I’ll return to you somehow

In the quiet misty morning

When the moon has gone to bed,

When the sparrows stop their singing

I’ll be homeward bound again.

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: A Sneaky Photo for a son in the Army

 

COTELLO, John, 1940s, sent to Dan in the Army

John Costello, 1940s, photo sent to son Dan who was serving in the Army.

 

This photo of my great grandfather, John Costello, was sent to his son Dan while Dan was serving in the Army during WWII.  John didn’t like to have his photo taken.  Apparently, he also didn’t like his photo shared.

There are two notes on the back of this photo written by two different women at two different times.

COTELLO, John, 1940s, sent to Dan in the Army - photo back

The first note was written by John’s wife, Mary Brown Young, and reads:

“Dad would Have a fit if he knew I was sending you this picture.  But it was the best of Him.  see your Garage?”

The second note was written later by Dan’s wife, my Grand Aunt Barbara, and reads:

“194+

Dan asked for pictures of his Mom & Dad, when he was in the army”

 

I so am glad that Uncle Dan asked for photos!  That request meant that this photo stayed with Dan & Barbara and made its way to me.  It is one of so very few photos of John Costello.  I treasure each one.

 

ps – I love the hat!  How about you?

 

 


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Book, Book, & Book – Plus a Wee Glimpse of a Tale of Using Indirect Evidence

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I have loved books for as long as I can remember.  I probably even loved them before that.  When I was a teenager there was a certain book I checked out from the library several times.  I loved it so much that I asked my mom if I could say that I “lost it” and pay the lost book fee so I could keep it.  I was only joking.  Mostly.  You see, it was out of print and I really wanted my own copy.

That is definitely not the only time I have longed for an out of print book.

A few years ago I solved a long-standing brick wall using indirect evidence.  It was a lot of work.  I was nervous to call my conclusion solid.  The whole concept of indirect evidence was new to me.  I didn’t even know that phrase until well after I had drawn my conclusions.

Then I took an excellent class taught by Tom Jones at RootsTech in 2016 and realized I was, in fact, solid.  I had already done the very things he was teaching us, but I was uncertain until I watched him masterfully lay out how to use direct, indirect, and negative evidence.

But before taking that class and learning the phrase “indirect evidence”, I was scouring the web searching for more information to help solidify my conclusions.  I came across the book pictured above – Reminiscences of My Life and Times by, Telesphore Brouillette.

I could find it in only one location in the world – The University of Washington.

Telesphore was the brother of my previous brick wall.  I wanted desperately to get my hands on that book and see if my conclusions were correct.  Would he mention his sister in that 183 page volume and confirm my conclusions?

So onto the genealogy to-do list that book went.  I tried getting inter-library loan privileges, I considered asking my brother to go visit the library (but there is noooooo way he would scan all 183 pages for me), and I thought about going to Seattle myself and scanning away.

But I was definitely more thought than action on this to-do list item.  There were just other projects that were simpler to tackle.

Can any of you relate to that?  😉

Well, this past summer I connected with a newly found cousin, Margaret.  Margaret happens to own a copy of that prized book.  She generously offered to loan it to me to scan.  It arrived on Friday!

❤️  ❤️  ❤️

Can you feel my pure genealogy joy pouring off your screen right now?  Because it is like the mighty Mississippi in both volume and current – lots and lots of joy!

So now I will interrupt my current and equally joyful scanning project (My Grandpa’s journals from his LDS mission to New Zealand in the late 1940s with a recap of his time in the Marine Corps during WWII) so that I can scan and return this precious book to Margaret.

Who needs chocolate when you can have rare books?

Thank you, Margaret!

 

 

Now for a very quick bit about two additional books written by dear genealogy friends.

Last Wednesday I completed reading Kin Types by, Luanne Castle.

kin types

Oh!  Be still my heart and soul.  This slim, but powerfully moving chapbook (44 pages) of poetry, prose, and flash non-fiction is the perfect read for anyone who loves language, history, and genealogy.  You will be drawn into so many different compelling events in Luanne’s family tree.  Please read it and tell your friends about it.  You will love it!

I know exactly who needs to receive a copy of this book from me for Christmas.

Read Luanne’s own words describing the project here, and purchase this lovely book here.

 

In June, I finished reading Pacific Street by, Amy Cohen.

pacific street

Why haven’t I told you all about this book sooner?  Life, I suppose.  😉  Amy has created a beautiful historical fiction account of her own grandparent’s early lives.  It is lovely, moving, and so eye-opening.  Amy brings to life the experience of first-generation immigrants in America, of the challenging process for families to save and work to slowly bring everyone safely to America, and the persecution Jewish families have experienced pre-WWII.  It was especially meaningful to me to know that she wove this story using facts.  It felt like being invited into Amy’s home to listen to her tell you all about her Grandparents youth and how they met and I loved every minute of the tale.

You can read Amy’s own words about the project here, and you can purchase her wonderful novel here.

 

 

Ahhhh, books.  My love for you just never ends.  ❤️

 

 

Do you love books like you love air?  What is your favorite?

 

 

ps – Nobody take away my chocolate, please.  I may have been exaggerating a tiny bit about rare books replacing chocolate.  😉