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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Search for Isaac’s Will

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Part of my declared mission while here in SLC is to get digital copies of a number of documents, wills, birth, death and marriage records, deeds, etc.

One item on my to do list was to get a digital copy of Isaac Basye’s will, which is in Northumberland County VA, signed 8th of 8th Month, 1739. OKKKKK, no problem, as I know I have a hard copy of this (not yet scanned) at the stick built and I want to see if I can get a better copy, cause, believe me, the copy I have, well, nicely stated, it STINKS!

So, I go to FamilySearch.org and look in the new catalog. Since being here in SLC, I have sorta figured out the new catalog (that said there is one huge problem with it, maybe I’ll chat about it later, Becky found it and brought it to my attention.)

ANYWHOOOOOOO, I searched the new catalog, and cannot come up with what looks like a film that will have the Will.  See, I was hoping to skip right to the Will Book, so as to, mmmm, save time.  HAHA.  OK, off to the old catalog, with YIKES, the same results. This just is not making sense to me, I know I have looked at this will on film, and have that stinking copy.  My brain just is rejecting all these film numbers and such, so I fall back to plan “R”, as in "plan research", which is to look at the index and see what Book and Page this Will is recorded in (nope, I don’t have that recorded, blame it on my newbie days, a LONG LONG LONG time ago, when I wrote this to do list item, sighhh).

Pull the index film, and that is when the fun began. OH, can you hear the groans?? NO, well, I am surprised.

First thing up is this letter index thingy,  see, there should be names beginning with "B" on page 1.  (This is presuming I remember how these index thingys work, and after this experience, I am not sure I do. SIGH)

I jot down ALL the “B” pages, cause there are apparently a LOT of pages that have names that begin with "B".  Below, my messy notes, I am not looking forward to looking at all these pages, but, I will, oh, yes, I will.

Then, I start looking at the pages, page 1, nope, all "A" names there and no "B's".  Ohh, here we go, page 2, lots of "B" names. No matter that page 2 does not appear in the prior letter index thingy.

So, below you will see a page of "B's".  Note it is page 72, and mmm, I don't have page 72 jotted down on my list above, but, what the hay, don't look a "B" in the face, eh??  Notice anything else?

So, we have one deed from 1752, and another from 1757, and then, ooops, here is one from 1756, and my goodness, all the way down at the end of the list we even had one from 1906.  The names indexed are all over the place too, yep, they all start with the letter "B", but we have Ball, Blackwell, Byrd, not exactly alpha here are we??  OK, those of us that have been researching a while are not one bit surprised by this non-alpha within an alpha list.  It is just one of those things we deal with.  But, most indexes sorta keep the years together and most don't jump from 1752 to 1906 in one page.  (Many pages are arranged this way, start at an early year, jump quickly to a later year, I really don't quite get this, but, that is the way it is.)

And, then, we have pages that have "J" names and then way down at the bottom one sole lonely "S" name.  How special is this?  Again, this is not that out of the ordinary, it is frustrating, but happens more than any researcher in their right mind wants to see.

This particular index is starting to look like one of the worst I have dealt with in many years and my gut told me I would be hours and hours of searching, and maybe still not find Isaac.  SOOOO, I jumped to another plan.  The plan ended up involving books, printed on paper and bound books, books with the basic data extracted and done at another time from these handwritten nightmares on film.  It did not take me long at all to find this extraction of Isaac's will.

And with the help of this extraction I was able to retrieve a digital copy.  I think it is better than what I have at home, that said, as you can see it is still lacking.

This one item on my to do list took me nearly 2.5 hours to find.  But, I got my man, err, my Will.

No, I am not sure that was time well spent, but ya know how something just bothers you to no end, and you just have to figure it out.  Ya, that happened here.  SIGHHH  Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Now I need to transcribe the whole thing, GULP!

* Page 232 of the handwritten index has names that begin with "W", page 233 names begin with "H", page 234 more names beginning with "H", and page 235, names that begin with "Y". Page 240 we find both "I" and "J" names. Page 241, more "J" and one lonely "H" name. You can find two "Z" names at the bottom of page 288, along with 5 "L" names at the top of same.  Yep, I'll bet you heard my groans!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Salt Lake City, Oscar and Snow

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Yes, the FHC library was open today, and since the weather prediction was for rain and icky, Becky and I decided we would rather be IN the library than in Tana or her van (which by the way, has a new name thanks to today's research, but you will have to read it on her blog - - )

It poured last night, rain, hard, for hours, and then it rained more.  But, it also snowed on the surrounding mountains.  Man reported to me that he had heard that it had snowed down to about 500 feet above the main valley floor around here.  Ok, it was not a lot of snow that low, but, it did dust around a bit.

The Capital Building and a dusting of snow on the hills behind it.
In the library Becky and I researched, we found stuff, a deed here or there, a probate here or there, wait till you read about Becky's probate find of the day.  (I'll be right back, I have to go smother my continuing snickers - - Ah hem, OK, I'm back.)

I found a deed indexed that read something like, "list of heirs of Mr. J".  I went, wahhoooo, before I went to find the deed, thinking I would have a nice document actually listing all the heirs.  Hope went springing thru the library.  And, hopes were dashed when I found the deed and found that one heir signed for all, but there was NO listing of the rest of the heirs.  Disappointment did a flat walk to the printer.  SIGHHH

Anyway, on the way out of the library, on the way back to the campground, Becky spied, well, look:

Thanks to the nice lady walking by that offered to take our photo, or you would only
be looking at Becky!  LOL
Well, I will say this, it has been a very different kind of Memorial Day for this gal.


Memorial Day, a Day to Remember.

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This the flag presented to Man and his mother when his father, Arthur Norman Stevens died.  Art served his country during World War II.  I don't have my own father's flag, as it was given to my half-sister at the time of his death.  Donald Eugene Bowen, I, my dad, also served during World War II.

Art's memorial at Find A Grave is here, Don's is here.

On this day, we remember our veterans and all those many many others who have served their country, willingly.

Thank you!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guess Who That Is At The Beach - -

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The 4th Annual Swimsuit Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is here, hosted by our hostess with the mostess, Jasia.  Thanks to footnoteMaven for the great poster.  (Actually I think her poster is the bestest part of this post.  LOL)

Taken at the Outer Banks of North Carolina, back a few years ago.  And, catch that cute little carryall.  Not sure any sun screen would fit in there, but, it is the height of fashion, don't you think??

Ah, them was the days!


More Numbers, Or the Easy Way To Find Your Way Back to Your Microfilm Reader

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Salt Lake City, the Family History Center, the mecca for family researchers, the home of SOOOO much microfilm.  Lots of researchers come here.  The library have lots of every thing, lots of books, lots of scanner/printers, lots of film, lots of computers, and LOTS AND LOTS of microfilm readers!  The other day, I realized, one could actually get turned around in here and get lost amongst the readers.

See LOTS and LOTS of readers, there are LOTS of rows like this.
Above, and what have we here??
Yes, indeedy, they have the rows of the readers numbered!
And, what have we here, on the back of my  little cubicle/microfilm reader desk??
AH HA, a number and a letter!
Actually, I did not try to figure out the letter part.
I sorta figured if I remembered just the row number, I could eventually
wander up and down that row and find my station, I mean,
that is my computer, eh??
They sure are clever, aren't they??  Love the numbers!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

THE Trip, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

One very special part of our day in Sedona Arizona was spent visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

The Chapel is a very special place, the building is narrow, but has plenty of emotion and meaning packed into that space. The Chapel as seen from below as you drive up.  It really belongs there, doesn't it?

Even the walkway from the parking area to the Chapel is built in such a way as to blend with nature.

As this was a special holy place I did not take a lot of photos inside, but this piece was so lovely, I just could not resist.

Looking out over the alter, towards the red beauty of the Sedona Arizona landscape.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a charming peaceful place, Man and I enjoyed our short visit there.


Friday, May 27, 2011

I Edit, Sometimes Sony Just Needs a Bit of Assistance.

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

In an attempt to be truthful, honest and transparent, I will remind my readers and followers that I DO edit photos.

I edit for many reasons, including, but not limited to:

1.)  What I see in my minds eye when I take a photo, is not always what Sony takes a photo of.  Sometimes I only want what is in the middle of the photo, but Sony takes more on each edge.  CROP!!!
2.)  One major downfall that Sony has, is that I cannot put on any filters.  Therefore, sometimes I have to edit to correct.  EDIT!

3.)  Sometimes the photos are just too dark or too light. EDIT!

4.)   Taking photos at 55 MPH was a challenge, taking them at 65 and more, is even more of a challenge.  That is why sometimes you see blurs at the bottom of the photos, those blurs are bushes and trees speeding by.  Sometimes by sharpening the photo a bit I can salvage one that is not up to snuff but that I really want to share due to subject matter.  EDIT! (And, let's be really truthful here, mmmm, sometimes I don't exactly hold the camera real still, between trying to balance bunches of other stuff and excitement, well, sometimes I jiggle Sony.  Bad me.  EDIT!)

So, yes, my friends, I do edit.  I use auto correct, brighten, darken, change the contrast, crop, and sharpen and/or sharpen edges.  Once in a blue moon (ok, sick humor there), I will change the tints or colors a bit, usually to make them closer to reality.  I do not necessarily use all these tricks, err, edits, on every photo I share with you, but, I will if I feel the end product is more of what my mind's eye saw when I took the photo.  Oh, I won't necessarily tell you each and every time I edit a photo, but sometimes I might.

For me, photography is the challenge of capturing the image, the bird, the flower, the scenery, something unusual.  And, it is also a artistic outlet for me, when I load the photo into the editor and see what I can do with it.

I hope you enjoy the results, a little bit Sony, a little bit photo editing software.

*Clip art of courtesy of freeclipartnow.com.

Alfred and the Experts

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Some of you may remember my series of posts on Alfred T. Darden, along with his many monikers, written for Bill West's Civil War challenge.

For those of you interested in Civil War and Alfred's story, you might want to revisit the threads, there has been quite a bit of activity over there the last few days.  The Civil War experts are debating, some of the debate is going on here at Reflections.

They know their subject, I am still sorta confused by it, but, it has been an interesting exchange, and I suspect they will get to the bottom of this and I will have some fascinating stuff to add to my data base.

So, you just might wanna surf over and see what they are saying.


Bloggers DO Salt Lake City

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

How fun is this??  Of course, it's not a huge surprise, genie-bloggers that do research, mmmm, ending up in Salt Lake City, the genie-mecca.  So, even as large as this place is, Becky and I have been running into other researchers and bloggers that we know or know of.  Last week it was a group from California, Becky knew quite a few of them, and now I have been introduced.  Thursday it was The You Go Genealogy Girls.

So, we met, we were instant best friends, we told lies, err, research stories.  The only thing that slowed down the telling of the lies, err, research stories was the fact that we all had research to do!

And, the event demanded a photo op, thanks to a researcher who was sitting near by.

From left:  Cheri and Ruby, the You Go Genealogy Girls, Moi and Becky of Kinexxions.

*I'm hoping maybe we can pull off a lunch together, let the lies, err, the research stories flow!  We barely scratched the surface this afternoon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

THE Trip, Sedona Arizona, Red Rock Heaven

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I promised you I would get back to THE Trip reports, slowly they will keep appearing.  Because I take a few too many photos (you think?), it does take me a while to preview them, choose which ones I want to share and prepare them.  Takes a while to write the posts and post the photos.  I hope you will enjoy them and feel they are worth waiting for.)

I have yet to decide if sunny days or cloudy days provide better photo fodder.  It is probably a bit of a mix.  Trouble is, when Mother Nature decides to be sunny, she is sunny, if she decides she is in a bit of a snit, well, you get what she dishes out.  The day we first visited the Sedona area, she was in a bit of a snit, so, Sony got what Sony could do.  Sony got sunshine, dark moisture laden clouds, and interesting shadows.

That said, my eyes could not take it in fast enough, nor could I take enough photos.  The day involved a ride from I 17 on 179 to Sedona, included lunch at the Tlaquepaque area, a drive to the airport for some awesome views, a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, lots of gawking on our parts, and ended up with a drive up Oak Creek Canyon.  Our ride topped out at about 7,000 feet elevation with a few sleet/snow flakes mixed in.

Sony and I were busy, as we shot somewhere between 340 and 400 photos.  OMG!  Don't panic, won't be sharing them all with you here on Reflections.

I will be making several posts out of this very long overwhelming day, but, lets start with the Red Rock Heaven, shots in and around Sedona Arizona.  I won't be making any attempt to identify the rock formations even though a number of them do have names.

I wrote on my Facebook wall when we returned to Tana, the simple words:

Sedona Arizona, Rocks.  Red.

But there is also white, and layers of each color, some look worn, others look sharp, some look like the crumbles on top of a good crumble cake, yum!

I have processed about 20 photos taken in the immediate Sedona area, and they all ended up in this slideshow.

We drove through this area another afternoon making sure to drive the other way, from Sedona out towards I 17.   Our thoughts were that we would see the rock formations from a different angle.  It was a good plan, the lighting was also different.  None of those photos are included in today's post.

Sedona was our first introduction to the vibrant red rock we would be experiencing for the next 6 weeks or so, what a great intro it was!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Easy Way To Refile Film, Salt Lake City

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

(Thanks to Linda McCauley of Documenting the Details, for the idea for this post.  Here is the answer to your question, Linda!)

I mentioned the other day that I had discovered a little trick to help speed up my refiling of film.  See here in the genie-mecca, you have to refile your own film.  And, I found it was taking a hunk of time to do so.  I mean, there is a mega bunch of film here!  Well that is why we come to the genie-mecca, for mega bunches of film.

Bank after bank, row after row, microfilm storage units, a LOT of storage units, as far as the eye can see!
Above: Looking down only PART of only ONE row, look at all those cabinets,
look at all those drawers, FULL of film!  Be still the researchers little beating heart!
Pull open a drawer, there ya go, the gold mine!  FILMS!  But, look at how many in just ONE drawer.
So, after you have found your film, taken it to your reader, found (hopefully) your person of interest and the record you desire, have obtained a copy of said record, you now have to return the film to the proper drawer, filed numerically, thank you very much.

First couple of hours, it is pretty easy, you are not tired, your eyes still focus.  No problem, find the film numbers on the end of the cabinets.

OK, got the right row??  Now, wander down the row and try to find the right drawer.  Where DID that film come from??

Which drawer??  Brain is starting to fog over, which drawer???
So, here is the little trick I discovered late the first afternoon.  It made the refiling almost painless.

Above:  Look real close, there is a second set of number/letters on these drawers.  See that 389??  That is the number assigned to this particular film cabinet.  Now, see the letters, A, B, C, D, E, F, G??  Those letters are assigned to a drawer.  So, when I take my film out of the drawer, before I close it, I jot down the number 389 and the drawer letter, say, F.  I have been writing the number right on my printed copy of my to do list.  It takes about 6 seconds to write down those key numbers and letters.  It saves me many times that when it is time to refile.  With that number I can walk right to the correct cabinet and with the letter I can pull open the right drawer in just a few seconds, no complicated thinking going on, zip, zap, fast!

I happened to meet a volunteer in the middle of a row, he was moving films, I was refiling.   He asked if he could be of assistance, I said, no, I just have to find the cabinet number I need.  He asked me, how did you learn that trick, someone show you??  I replied, nope, figured it out myself today.  He snickered a little and told me about a gal that had been coming to the library for 40 years and had never discovered this little trick.

Gotta say, I sure am glad it did not take me 40 years to figure it out, in 3 days of research it has already saved me a nice hunk of time.  Refiling - - not a big issue.

What film do I need next?  Lets think, hmmmm, how bout vital records from the state of Washington, ya, lets have a lookie see.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Elusive Ella, NOW I Know Why We Cannot Find Her

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Elusive Ella, she is hiding under this guy's hand, I just know it!

Photo taken of my microfilm reader at the LDS FHC, Salt Lake City, loaded with a roll of film.  I found this as one of the images on that roll.  I guess the dude who was filming these records had a trigger finger, or, what I call the fat finger, and took a photo of his own hand.


No editing was available for microfilm, and so his hand, wedding ring, and that little pointing finger cover thingy will live on in this film for eternity.

You will note, his hand covers a lot of the record, I just know that there are more of these hand images on all the films that we need to solve the mysteries and lies of our Elusive Ella.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Juggling THE Trip

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

(This post was inspired ?? from watching other Rvers during our visits to some of America’s most beautiful National Parks. They are in and out of campgrounds in 2 to 3 days, in an area where we stay for a minimum of 7 nights. We barely “see” the area in our allotted time, and we cannot figure out how others manage to “see” these areas in 2 or 3 days. What are we doing differently?? Have no idea, but, after contemplating our way, we are happy to report we wouldn’t change a thing! LOL)

THE Trip has truly become a trip of a lifetime for us, New Mexico, Arizona, California, now Utah. New experiences, new trails to hike (most of which are now measured against Silly Mountain”. Red rock, Sedona Arizona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Moab area - Arches and Canyonland, Bryce and Zion and Capital Reef. Totally get the “rock” in Rocky Mountains.

Life becomes a juggling act, how much can we do, what will we miss.

We juggle the needs of the fur kids against our travel plans for the day. Lately, that means, if the day is expected to be more than 6 hours away from Tana, the fur kids go with us. That means balancing the weather and temps too, will it be cool enough for them to stay in Big Butt? If, it is going to be much about 65 they cannot stay in Big Butt, so, what else can we do? Maybe another sightseeing opportunity where we won’t be gone more than 6 hours. Some days Gallagher gets to accompany us no matter how long we will be gone, his health situation demands constant monitoring. No, it is not time for the Rainbow Bridge for Gallagher, it might be a tad bit inconvenient having to “baby” him this way, but, it is not time for the Rainbow Bridge. He does not mind that he gets to go, the other day he even got to go on a short hike with us, partly under his own steam, partly in the “yorkie purse”.

We juggle our own health against what we can do for the day. The Demon (diabetes) requires frequent meals for me.  Man has his own issues. We pay attention to these issues. Going out driving around where there are no restaurants?? No problem, picnic lunches, pack the cooler. We have had lunch in some very beautiful places lately, red rocks towering over us, entertaining little creatures scurrying about, even on the tailgate of Big Butt at 6970 feet and 51 degrees (wind speed unknown, lets just say, breezy! LOL) Views amazing, food good, Demon satisfied, and onward we go!

Tail gate lunch at almost 7,000 feet, not a bad view, eh?
Energy levels come into play, after a really long day of sightseeing or brisk hikes, we both feel the need to take a day off, rest, and regroup. Those days we spend working on the computers, managing photos, blogging, laundry, sometimes a grocery run or other errands. We pay the bills, handle correspondence (not all comes via email, snail mail brings stuff that must be managed as well.) Managing time and energy is tricky sometimes, cause lets face it, when we head out of here sightseeing, we never are quite sure what we will find, how much time will be spent, or how much energy will be required.

Then, we have Mother Nature to contend with. Somehow, for us, stomping around in rain and snow squalls just is not the most enjoyable way to experience our national wonders. That said, we did get caught in a snow event recently at Bryce, and I got some interesting photos of the vis dropping from thousands of feet to almost nothing in 3 minutes flat. Very interesting experience, but, once was enough! LOL So, we try to pay close attention to the weather forecasts, that said, the ole gal (Mother Nature) has a mind of her own, and can change that mind pretty quickly. That is what happened in our snow squall event, it was sunny and beautiful when we left camp, about 30 minutes later, no vis!

We seem to have found a system that works fairly well for us, we juggle the weather, the fur kids, our own health issues, sightseeing time, rest time, work time. We do long day trips, pack the lunch, pack the fur kids and their meds and food, leave sorta early for us (9 AM is sorta early, right?? ) and return late, exhausted and totally overwhelmed by the sights, so totally fulfilled! Sometimes we know we can do the “to do list” for the day in just a few hours, like a nice walk up Silly Mountain, that was all we planned for the day, a couple of hour hike. So, the day begins slow, some good German coffee in our pot, have a substantial breakfast, grab Sony, power bars, water, the hiking sticks, hats, sunscreen, several layers of sweaters or jackets, and away we go. Sometimes we have lunch out before the event of the day, a leisurely lunch is a delight not to be taken lightly. Home in Tana by 6ish, we relax in the evening with a little telie and more surfing.

We feel fairly comfortable with our juggling act, it may take us longer to see the sights in any one specific area,  but, I mean, we are retired!  Time we have, as much as our Maker gives us.  So, we juggle and juggle some more.

Sometimes that juggling looks like this:

The morning after a long day trip, Man and the fur kids, juggling - - 

*Juggler graphic courtesy of Clipartheaven.com