Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review

Another year has come and come.  Another year of not much posting, which I'd like to say will change this year, but we shall see.  My annual review.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Visited my friend Wendy and her family at one of their deployment locations, which I've meant to do many times before.  I've now clicked off South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska from the states I've visited list.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm not a fan of resolutions; I much prefer a word of the year.  My word for 2016 was "connect" and I wanted to focus on connecting more with my family and friends and with myself, particularly in terms of my health and my hobbies  I did pretty well with this, visiting friends like Wendy and Tom and going on a birthday trip with Rachel & friends, as well as seeing friends and family pretty frequently locally.  It wasn't perfect, there were some people I didn't see nearly enough, but all in all it was a good year of connection.  I kind of forgot about the my hobbies part, but that's okay.  In fact, my 2017 word, "Compass," is all about focusing on what I want to do and how to get there.  My focus will be three-fold: Only say yes to doing things that are moving me forward in my plans for work and hobbies, travel with intention, particularly making sure to continue giving Julian lots of new experiences, and, three, keep moving, focusing on a consistent exercise plan.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? So many babies this year.  Welcome to the world Liam, Aubrey, Hunter, Landon, and Christopher!

4. Did anyone close to you die? Though no one directly related to me died this year, I had a few friends and family members lose their parents.

5. What places did you visit? New York City three times, South Dakota (with side trips to Iowa and Nebraska), a conference in Atlanta, Kingston, Ontario, Toronto and Niagara Falls.  We also spent lots of time around Central and Western New York and visited friends in Oneonta.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?   I'm keeping part of the same answer as last year: a trip abroad.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November 8th, Election Day. July 4th, when Julian decided to start using the potty.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?   Speaking at a national conference.

9. What was your biggest failure? I'm not sure I had anything I would count as a big failure; life is a learning experience.  I was rather sad when my Kris Kringle cookie dough didn't blend properly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? An ear infection and a stomach bug.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Paying off my car and one student loan.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I was incredibly impressed by how strong my friends and family are, dealing with preemies, losing their parents, medical stuff, job loss, and all the hard things life brings.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Pretty much all things election related.

14. Where did most of your money go? Paying off debt.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Julian getting into Montessori school.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2016? Anything by Laurie Berkner, but particularly Julian singing "I Saw Three Ships."  "We are Golden" from Tom's show.  "Stay a Little Longer"  by Brothers Osborne and "Downtown Train" by Everything But The Girl

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Same
b) thinner or fatter? Same-ish
c) richer or poorer? Richer and in much less debt!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying.  And following the news.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2016? Christmas Eve with the Casells, and my dad and grandma. Christmas Day morning with mom/gramma/Chris and dinner with the Hendricks family.  Christmas with the Perrines to follow.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016? 6 years :-)

22. What was your favorite TV program? How I Met Your Mother as background noise.  The Crown as something new.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2016? In the morning I had the legislative breakfast, then headed to Niagara Falls for the night, followed by a night in Toronto to see the Mystic Impressions exhibit at the AGO and northern Chinese food.

24. What was the best book you read? Fiction: I'm Thinking of Ending Things Non-fiction: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Book Club: Orphan Train.

25. What did you want and get? A trip to NYC

26. What did you want and not get? ***

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I don't think I saw any movies this year

28. Did you make some new friends this year? Yes, meeting great ladies in the Junior League :-)

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Focusing more on exercising.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Simplify.

31. What kept you sane? My family and friends.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Bernie Sanders.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? The election and all that went with it.

34. Who did you miss? My Grandpa Acquard and Uncle Brian, like every year now.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016. Fight for what you believe in and get out of your bubble.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Little Detective Work

As you may know, I work in a small public library in Central New York.  One of the books donated for the book sale was an old library book that had been withdrawn at some point and sold.  Little Lore Fauntleroy was written in 1886 by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  It was stamped and marked as book number 7010.  More interesting was that it was signed "Daisy Turner" with the date "Oct- 1886-".

Thanks to some research by one of my amazing pages, we think it was placed into the library in the 1930s.  Because I had some time while sitting at the circulation desk, I thought I would try to find out who Daisy was and why she donated this book to the library.

Thanks to Library Edition and Newspaper (also available through the library), I learned that Daisy Muriel Turner was born 10 Mar 1874 in Chicago and moved to Skaneateles in 1900 with her mother Helen (Wheaton) Turner after her father William died. She died in 1968 and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Skaneateles. It looks like Helen was born in Pompey and then lived in Syracuse prior to marriage.

I have no idea why it was donated it here, since Skaneateles did have a library at the time, however I'm glad she did and that I got to play detective.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Census Sunday: Eichhorn 1861 & 1871

I had two great finds on Ancestry this week for census records that I have needed for a while.  My 4th great grandparents, Nicholas and Dorothea Eichhorn and their son, my 3rd great grandfather, Charles Herman, in Chippawa, Ontario, Canada.


1861 census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Ontario, Welland, sub-district Chippawa, Chippawa, p. 21, Nicholas Thorn; RG 31; digital images, Operations, Inc., ( : accessed 22 Apr 2016); citing Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1080.

1871 census of Canada, Ontario, district 19, sub-district K, Chippawa, p. 22, dwelling 75, family 75, Nicholas Thorn household; RG 31; digital images, Libraries and Archives Canada, Libraries and Archives Canada ( : accessed 22 Apr 2016).

Saturday, April 23, 2016

SNGF: Share Your Childhood Memories

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

 1) Judy Russell asked six questions in her Keynote address at RootsTech 2014 to determine if audience members knew certain family stories about their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. She demonstrated very well that family stories are lost within three generations if they are not recorded and passed on to later generations.

 2) This week, I want you to answer Judy's six questions, but about YOUR own life story, not your ancestors. Here are the questions:

 a) What was your first illness as a child? I had a lot of ear infections as a kid and got tubes starting around age 2 all the way until middle school.

 b) What was the first funeral you attended? When I was 16 I was asked to sing at a funeral for a baby who had died of SIDS. It was really, really sad.

 c) What was your favorite book as a child? 10 Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss.

 d) What was your favorite class in elementary school? According to an old paper I found, math class. I remember loving the gifted and talented class as well.

 e) What was your favorite toy as a child? Cindy, my stuffed mouse, who I still have.

 f) Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn? Nope. Due to the tubes in my ears, I couldn't really go in the water. I still don't know how to swim, but maybe some day.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

CNYGS April 2016 Conference

I attended my first conference through the Central New York Genealogical Society Saturday.  Featuring Lisa Alzo, the conference focused on how to write your family history.

I loved that a day long conference on writing began with organization in "Packrat or Genealogist? Effective Methods for Organizing Your Family History Research."  It's hard to write your family history when your research looks like this:

Now that we're all organized (hahaha), it's time to plan our writing.  In the presentation “Writing Your Family History Step-by-Step,” Lisa began by saying (loose quote) "You need a writing plan just like a research plan.  If you're just sitting around waiting for inspiration it isn't going to happen."  Brilliant, true, and similar what to what Liz Gilbert said in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which I recently read and highly recommend.  Use your charts and timelines as a framework, think about your audience, and start writing.

“The Write Stuff: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write a Better Family History.” As genealogists we often focus on facts and uncover so much information that our research produces nothing but boring lists. But do you really know what happened between the dashes of your ancestors’ lives? How can you share that information in a compelling and interesting way? This session will discuss how to using nonfiction writing techniques to produce a “can’t put down” family history that will keep the pages turning for generations.

“Family History Writing Made Easier: Cloud-Based Tools Every Genealogist Can Use" discussed Lisa's must have tools for writing which included programs such as  Any.Do, Evernote, and Scrivener (get it half off right now at Cult of Mac).

Overall it was a great conference and I am feeling very motivated to write up parts of my family history.

*Affiliate link included.  Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OneNote and Genealogy

Over the past 6 months I have been getting back into my personal genealogy after a few year relative absence.  Part of this started when I was asked to speak to the Genealogy Interest Group of the Central New York Genealogical Society for February.  I was allowed to pick my own topic and since I have been using OneNote for my genealogy and wanted to figure out how to use it better, I chose that.   It turns out if you're going to present on something, having information for screenshots is a necessity, so I needed to update my database.

And I am so thankful that I did.  I began by looking online and seeing how other genealogists used it.  I already knew that Caroline Pointer had awesome videos on OneNote, so I started there and then started playing around.

Since over the past few years I restarted my genealogy by creating a new database in Legacy and re-entering all of my research to make sure it was properly sourced and that I wasn't missing anything, this became a continuation of that.  I adore Legacy and recommend it to anyone who wants to listen, but I don't like using it for proof statements, research logs, or research plans, so in 2010 I began using OneNote for this, but I still felt like I was missing something for both tracking and noticing [what should be] oblivious holes in my research.  I think I've finally figured it out.

Each of my ancestors now gets a page in OneNote under their surname.  On this main page, I created a timeline of their life.  These timelines have been eyeopening and I wish I had done this 10 years ago.

Click for larger image
They then get subpages for birth, marriage, and death, as well as one titled documents and one titled children.  Under documents, each document gets its own sub-subpage, where it is transcribed, sourced, and notes are made and I have a scan of the item.  Similar, under children, each non-direct ancestor child gets a sub-subpage with vital record and other pertinent information.  This last part is a recent addition as I was trying to figure out what to do with collateral relatives since I have done a LOT of cluster research.  I have to admit I wish for more subpage layers, but that's my biggest gripe with the program so far.

Click for larger image
I keep marriage records and children under the male, unless the wife married/had children with a non-direct ancestor and for other records, such as census, I place them under the head of household/main person listed.  With the ease of linking in OneNote, it is very easy to get to the page I want under different people as needed.

So far I've gotten through most of the records I have for my maternal grandfather's line (Casell/Casillo) and will hopefully be moving to my maternal grandmother's line by June.  All of this information is available to me whenever I have my laptop or an internet connection on another computer, which is fantastic for research trips.

Do you use OneNote for your research?  Let me know if you have any tips!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized Challenge: January 2016

Find out more here:
Part of my 2016 theme of connect is to connect to my ancestors be spending more time on my genealogy.  Over the past couple years I have been mainly re-inputting my information and sources into Legacy, making sure they're organized in binders, and organizing everything better in OneNote.  Dear Myrtle's FINALLY Get Organized! challenge is a great resource for this.  
  • Week 1: January 3-9:  This one was pretty easy.  I don't have a desk, I have all the supplies I need, I have Amazon Prime, and I tend to be the computer help.  I did create a "Genealogy Challenges" page in OneNote, so I'm now all set there.
  • Week 2: January 10-16: This week started off pretty easily, too.  My Legacy files are in Dropbox and they, along with every other file on my computer is backed up through SugarSync.  I've been using Legacy for many years now and love it, so I will keep it.
    • Then came the harder part.  First I created a binder for my maiden name, Acquard.  Then I started going through my papers and adding everything to Legacy and OneNote.  I don't tend to research my maiden name as I have a great aunt who does, so I didn't have as much for this as I would like.  
    • Once I got this taken care of, I printed out my 4 family group sheets, for my dad, my grandfather, Theodore, his father, Florian, and his father, Joseph.
    • Lastly, I need to "scan and file photos and documents relating to each of these four generations in your maiden name binder."  This is a work in progress.  All of these items are in acid-free page protectors.
  • Week 3: January 17-24: Step 1 is transcribing all of the documents from last week, and this is also a work in progress, but mostly done. 
  • Week 4: January 25-31: I already had everything done for this week, so I'm using my time to keep working through the previous 2 weeks.  
    • Myrtle recommends volunteering for FamilySearch indexing, which is something I already do and recommend to others in my introduction to genealogy class.  I also use FamilySearch regularly and know how to browse the collections and use the image-only collections.  I already have a binder for my mother's maiden name, Casell, and my sister's information is already in my program and in my binder.
I'm really enjoying this challenge so far and am looking forward to February.

Back to Basic: July

July went quick! GRIP  went virtual! I attended (most) of the sessions in Documentation and then continued my citation work with my ProGen a...