Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Good Stuff

Don't you just hate that word "stuff?"  What is stuff?  It is what I put in my computer bag to go to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library.  You Go Genealogy Girl #2 supposedly had an identical bag, only blue and mine is red.  Once there, she realized that hers was much smaller. She definitely has NOT learned how to consolidate, so ended up putting her "stuff" into one of her suitcases on wheels.  

Actually you see everything imaginable in line at the front door of the library as well as inside. If you are lugging around a laptop, plus supplies and notes or notebooks, it is a good idea to wheel it in.  Girl #2 wasn't the only one there with a suitcase!  

Let's take a peak at what was inside my rolling computer bag.  Of course, my laptop was in it. Along with that I had the power cord and the computer lock, both necessary.  You won't need an extender to your power cord in the library, but you may in your hotel room depending upon how far you are from a plug in.  Girl #2 decided to use the desk and I used the round table in our room.  She had a power outlet close by, but I had to use my extender cord.  

In the pocket area of my bag I packed 3x5 cards on which I jotted down call numbers of books or micofilm numbers.  You are allowed five of each at a time (even though people sometimes take more books to their tables).  Having five numbers on the card helps in keeping pace with the retrieval process.  

I also had a staple puller, small stapler, pens (red, blue, black) labeled with my name and a mechanical pencil also labeled with my name, plus a highlighter.  Nobody took any from my work site, but Girl #2 has been known to snatch pens from me in a "quick-use" and then they don't get back ... yes you do!!  Thus the names on them.  I took post-it notes and never used them.  If you take them, do not mark books with them as they leave a residue that can be damaging to the pages.  If you take a small stapler, be sure to take some staples!  

Girl #2 uses a mouse and mouse pad at all times with her laptop.  I used mine only in the hotel room.  If you are a cordless mouse user, be sure you have replacement batteries in your bag.  I did and had to use one.  

Other sundry items included hand sanitizer and hand lotion, both of which I used extensively. In fact, first thing each morning I took both out of my bag and had them by my computer.  It is dry in Salt Lake City, especially if you are from points east.  Be sure you pack some lip balm.  I also took a small magnifying glass, but never used it.  The eyes are still pretty good.  Oh yes, I took business cards and did hand them to people we met.  Girl #2 borrowed from me as she forgot hers.  I have a small, round plastic pill box in which I put allergy and pain meds, just in case.  Girl #2 had spare eye glasses in her bag ... I know because her bag accidentally fell over on one pair and she had to put the lenses back in them.  

In another area of my computer bag I had a few file folders.  These came in very handy for sorting out copies and keeping track of them.  I also had a spiral notebook in which I made notes.  In addition I made notes to myself on my laptop.  

Speaking of the laptop, be sure that your laptop is updated with your family files and other items you may need.  You need know the passwords to subscription sites if you are checking them while in the library.  There is free Internet access in the rooms at the Plaza. Girl #2 was bumped off frequently, but I was never bumped off.  You can access Internet from any location in the library, allowing you to check e-mails, the local newspapers, your bank account, get into your subscription accounts and also check blogs (ours in particular!).  

Each evening before going to bed, we cleaned out our computer bags, making sure we had everything needed for the next day, including the file folders and all my pens and pencil.  I used a sweater mainly to mark my chair so I could spot it.  Each morning all I had to do was put a fresh jug of water into the computer bag, insert the laptop, zip up and grab my sweater and little pouch I slung over my shoulder for my cash, library photocopy card and room key card. Usually I had to wait for Girl #2 to stuff more into her suitcase.  

Then we were ready to begin our brief wait for the library to open, watching genealogists in their array of bags and attire line up at the door.  We met great genealogists while we waited. Hope they thought we were great also!  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Planning a Trip to the Family History Library

I have posted some of my thoughts and tips for researching in the Family History Library at my other blog, Genealogy Lines

It is never too early to plan your trip.  You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and I began planning our trip last November.  This meant reviewing genealogy files, documents and deciding which lineages we should definitely research.  We began searching the Family History Library Catalog online. As we found film, fiche or book information, we printed it off.  Then we prepared a notebook which contained a layout of each floor of the Family History Library.  In each section we placed the sheets we had printed off by floor, i.e. Main Floor, 2nd Floor, etc.  We added comments on some of the sheets as reminders as to what to check.   

We both took our computers.  The first thing I discovered was that my notebook was a bit bulky and cumbersome to look through at microfilm readers.  So ... I took out the pages that were on floors with microfilm readers and clipped them together.  Because we were staying at the Plaza next door, we could easily go back there if we forgot something, needed to get rid of extra baggage, etc.  

Resign yourself that you will never get everything accomplished in one trip.  Don't struggle with time ... just enjoy it.  And DO take breaks.  We discovered that even just going outside refreshed us enough to continue our research.  Do not be afraid to ask for help or ask questions.  If one attendant at the library doesn't have any answer, keep asking.  

While packing is half the fun of traveling, it can become a chore.  We drove to Salt Lake City, so could take more than people do when flying or going by train.  If you stay at the Plaza, you can wash clothes in the laundry room on the lower level.  It doesn't take that long and counts as a break.  We brought a large paper punch which we really did not need.  There are some supplies such as this on each floor in the library.  I probably should have taken a more complete listing of places, such as counties, states, etc.  While I used my laptop each day, this might have saved a bit of time.  

I love shoes, but only took two pair on this trip.  You Go Genealogy Girl #2 surprised me and had several pair of shoes.  I wish I had brought more shoes.  Just changing my shoes helps when putting in long days on the feet.  While you think you are sitting at tables or film readers, you are still doing a lot of walking ... into the stacks and photocopy machines, after film.  

If you do not have a lock for your computer, get one before you arrive in Salt Lake City.  This is a MUST.  You can link it to the leg of the microfilm reader stand or use the special desks on book floors that have electrical hook ups plus a metal loop for the computer lock.  

When you purchase a library photocopy card, keep track of it.  Don't leave it in the machine. Sign your name to it and if you do leave it, just hope an honest person turns it in.  If you use a flash drive to make copies of books or film, remember to take it with you when you leave. There are instructions for how to scan to the flash drive, but don't be afraid to ask for help.  

Your time will go quickly, so enjoy each day.  For all of you going to the library, I wish you great success ... as much or more than I had during my visit!  

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


THE LAST LEG OF THE JOURNEY was really an appropriate end to a great trip to Salt Lake City to find and get to know our ancestors better. What an awesome trip the You Go Girls had! We were both lucky in that we found lots of great information which we now must find time to study and analyze before we enter it all into our Genealogy programs. I brought home a 7 inch stack of printed stuff and the Go Girl #1 had way over a foot tall stack of stuff plus much more on her computer. She will get through hers more quickly than I will but I am anxious to get the time to sort it all out. We both made some very great discoveries that thrilled us besides all the other general info that we brought home. I am doubly lucky, as I was working on my husband's side of the family while Go Girl #1 worked on my side (her husband and my brother's family). I will reap the benefits of findings from both mine and hers. She has researched my family for nearly 50 years so I do not personally step into her territory! We were worn out to say the least but already have begun to plan out next trip to the Family History Library as well as some smaller jaunts to Cheyenne, WY and Topeka, KS to do some more "searching".

Sunday we headed back to Cheyenne on our return trip home to fill my Mother-in-law in on our exciting findings and then we came on home to Nebraska on Monday for Memorial Day. Before we left on our trip we had done a lot of our cemetery work here in Alliance, Ne where most of our immediate family is buried. When we got back to Alliance on Monday, we greeted my dogs, said hello to my husband and then headed right out to the cemetery. It was an absolutely gorgeous day at our local cemetery and things were beautifully green as it had rained quite alot while we were gone out of town. We visited the graves of Go Girl's husband and my brother, also those of Great Grandparents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, cousins and other dear family. We had started our journey last week with a stop at the Wheatland, Wyoming cemetery and ended the trip with our second visit to the Alliance, Nebraska cemetery to pay our respects.

Oh my, how many family members we did visit, explore, research and think about over the last week! Several hundred overall....from England, Sweden and all over the United States. We are so lucky to be the caretakers of our ancestors.

The YOU GO GIRLS (GRANNIES) will rest up a few days and then soon be on the go again. Join us here and on our personal blogs: THOSE OLD MEMORIES and GENEALOGY LINES for more stories of our trip and great new articles on our genealogy lives and memories.

You Go Girl #2--Cheri

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day Six - Our Final Day in the Library

We have completed our final day at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  While we are both tired and a bit grouchy, it has been fun and worthwhile.  Since I research hundreds upon hundreds of lines and surnames, I could easily spend a month here and still not complete all the research I would like to do.  Ahhh ... should I move here?  Bet my daughter and grandchildren in Nebraska would miss me. 

You Go Genealogy Girl #2 spent most of her day in the Swedish section.  It was painstaking research for her and she did find some things, but not near enough.  We decided that Minnie Anderson just wanted to continue hiding.  

Tomorrow morning we get in Li'l Red and head toward Nebraska.  We'll be in You Go Genealogy Girl #2's home town of Alliance, Nebraska for Memorial Day.  After paying respects at the grave of my late husband, I'll depart on Tuesday for my home.  Then begins the joy of unpacking a large box of copies and genealogy items I purchased.  As for me, I'll spend my summer thinking about this week and adding information to my computer files.  

Genealogy work is never done.  We'll chat with you when we get back to normal at our home bases.  

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 -- Ruby

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day Five - We Are Still Here

The week has gone fast!  You Go Girl #2 said she's too tired to blog tonight.  It's been a busy day and once again some good information has been unearthed.  

Early this evening we walked to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building where we ate at the Garden Cafe on the 10th floor.  The picture attached is of our hotel ... The Plaza.  We will have some nice photographs to use as screen savers or desktop backgrounds once we get home.  The trip will last for a long time in our memories. 

Tomorrow is our last day ... for this trip.  We'll be back with more to-do lists.  As usual, there will always be an elusive ancestor or two.  Tomorrow night we'll repack and make sure the jelly beans are handy for the trip back to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  

Stay tuned for reports of our last day.  We'll try to get as much done as we can and report that we were successful.  

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day Four -- the Girls in the Library

We have completed day four of hard work in the library.  It is amazing how enthused we are at 8 a.m. and by 8:30 at night we are dragging, and more than our computer bags on wheels.  

You Go Girl #2 spent the day in books.  She found some things of interest and some not.  You Go Girl #1 also spent the day in books, making a great discovery in Indiana Civil War records. It was so great that I almost cried!  I have been looking for the information which began as a family story for at least 30 plus years.  That makes the trip worthwhile!  The photograph with this blog is of You Go Girl #2 hard at work on Floor 3 of the library. 

Tonight we took a break and rode TRAX (train) a few blocks to the Market Center which is an indoor-outdoor shopping complex.  It was fun watching children run through the fountain area. We were almost envious.  

Tomorrow I am going to the United Kingdom and You Go Girl #2 will eventually get to Sweden.  We are taking a first class elevator.  

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Girls' Day Three

Our feet have been tortured from standing and walking between stacks of film and books.  Our backs feel like we have laid on bricks.  Our brains are mush.  Ah ... the life of a genealogist in Salt Lake City!  It's worth every minute of it and once home we'll be wanting to return.  

Girl #2 has been working on Horsey and Hogg surnames in South Carolina.  I think she grew so weary that she started looking for Chickens.  Today I was able to narrow the date of death for my great, great grandfather.  And a whole lot more.  

While the volunteers and missionaries in the library are very helpful, if you can't locate something or an answer, it is wise to keep asking.  I had to ask several people on two floors for assistance in locating a book which turned out to be in high density which is basically in overflow storage.  It was finally retrieved for me. 

We are thinking about making a list of what we didn't bring that we should have brought and what we brought that we didn't need to bring.  Next time, we'll refer to the list and be all set for another library trip.  

Girl #2 is now lamenting that we only have three days of research left.  Could we endure another week?  I'm not sure.  I am sure though that our ancestors will still be waiting for us when we return!  

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 -- Ruby

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Boy are we wore out tonight. Today was 8 am to 8 pm almost non-stop, but it was fun. We can hardly move tonight and You Go Girl is already in bed, she is older than me though so it is to be expected, he he ! It's hard to do the long days for two Grannies, but everybody in the library looks just as tired as us so we don't feel so bad.

We had to change shoes today to make it through the day, would have been great if we could have just gone bare footed but thought maybe we'd scare off all the other library patrons if we did with stinky feet! We got separated and lost our meeting time for supper, I was all over the library looking for Girl 1 and she went up when I went down, it only took 30 minutes to finally meet in the middle but we finally got together and at least had a meal tonight. We only tried to get in our Plaza room once with the library card instead of the room card- couldn't figure out why the room would not open. I think we need keepers!

I found lots of good Swedish information today and I am so excited about it. Twelve hours on the Swedish microfilm is hard on the eyes, but so exciting when the names "jump" out to greet you.
I want to find lots more but accomplished my one big main goal to find my husbands GG and GGG Grandparents in Swedish birth records. Go girl had a productive day also but declines to elaborate at this time as she is out for the night......

Leaving you with a beautiful pic of some of the Temple flowers here and one of a Swedish record from today.

Goodnight from Salt Lake City, Utah: You Go Genealogy Girl #2-Cheri

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day One at the Library

We have finished Day One at the Family History Library at Salt Lake City.  What fun!  We lined up with the rest a little before 8 a.m. to get in the building.  Then we both found readers side by side on the second floor so we could use the US and Canadian microfilm.  

Eventually we found some "goodies" in the microfilm.  I discovered that my late husband's ancestors in Nodaway County, Missouri were gamblers.  They persistently paid fines of $10 each at one court term after another.  Guess they just liked to gamble and pay their "dues."  

You Go Girl #2 was confronted with many intermarriages within the Godfrey, Corson, Young and Townsend families in Cape May Co., New Jersey.  She is learning about indirect and direct evidence and what information is better than the next.  It's all a great learning experience.  She also was thrilled when she opened a book, looked down and found the marriage record that she needed to find.  That's luck when you don't even have to use an index! Some call it serendipity.  

The library closes at 5 p.m. on Mondays, so we had to leave.  For the first day we accomplished a good deal and hope to do more tomorrow.  Sweet dreams and we'll see you tomorrow! 

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finally, Heading West - Family History Library, Here We Come !!!

THE YOU GO GENEALOGY GIRLS, aren't we beautiful?

We are finally getting on the road to head on west towards Salt Lake City. We are so EXCITED to get there and start finding all the precious family information. Our bags are repacked and ready to leave Cheyenne, Wyoming tomorrow(Sunday) on the next leg of our trip. The jelly beans and cookies are in the bag and the car is stuffed full to the brim. We discovered that "bring your trees" did not mean real trees so we left the bucket of cherry tree starts at my son's house in Cheyenne, darn it anyway, now we have to make our own "family" trees when we get to Salt Lake City!

Today we met our cousin for the first time who lives in Cheyenne. She works and volunteers at the Laramie County Library in the genealogy department. They have a great facility and she showed us all their collection and even the behind the scenes works of their department. What a wonderful time we had. She gave us that great personal tour of their facility and we had lunch together. We spent time catching up on old family tales and comparing notes on all the cemeteries we have searched out. From the library we also gleaned some new information for our family files. What an awesome day and good start to our research trip west. Thanks Sharon!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally on the Way!

This morning we packed Lil' Red.  Some people go to Salt Lake City to find their trees.  We take trees.  Actually we took five cherry trees to my nephew.  That leaves more room for copies and books from Salt Lake City on the way home.  

Before arriving in Cheyenne, Wyoming this evening we "toured" the Wheatland, Wyoming cemetery.  If anybody is interested, go first to the City Hall and inquire about places of burial and get maps of the cemetery.  

Tomorrow we are going to the Wyoming State Archives and on Saturday we will go to the Laramie County Library.  What fun!  

Sunday we will reload Lil' Red and head out on I-80 toward Utah.  See ya in a few days. 

The Girls!!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green with Envy

Twenty-four hours from now, we will begin our journey toward Salt Lake City.  Yes, that's right.  I am at You Go Girl #2's house, sleeping in the family room and sitting on the sofa with the dogs. We will be up early in the morning and drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where we will visit my nephew and do research.  Plus shop!  

Sunday morning we will depart for Salt Lake City.  People who have no interest in genealogy ask us why we are going.  We tell them and receive blank stares.  They say, "Well, hope you have fun." Genealogists turn green with envy and we know they are thinking, "Wish I was going."  

We truly wish all of you were with us, but Lil' Red barely holds us plus all of our suitcases, computers and necessary genealogy items.  However ... keep reading this blog so you will know what we are doing.  Then you can turn green and we'll never see you do it!  

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Girls Go To Conference

This past weekend we went to the Nebraska State Genealogical Society (NSGS) conference in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  Yes, we had lots of fun.  Along the way we learned some things about genealogy and research.  The best part was seeing genealogy friends and making new friends. Just being around people who speak our language was worth the trip!  

You Go Girl #2 made sign boards for our vending table.  They are eye-catching, so we had many people stopping by to visit.  We also offered some scientific genealogy tip sheets.  Out of our ten tips, I like this one best ... 6.  Get off the computer occasionally and go to the library or courthouse.  Just remember to change out of your pajamas and bunny slippers.  

You Go Girl #1 brought jelly beans.  We love our jelly beans and knew that the other genealogists would also love them.  A bowl of beans was placed on our vending table.  Those genealogists kept coming back to eat beans and visit and take our handouts.  I bet when they got home they discovered they had duplicates and triplicates of our handouts because they kept coming back for beans. 

Now both of us are getting ready for another trip to Salt Lake City on May 17th.  If you are out on I-80 in Wyoming and Utah, honk if you see us.  We will be in Lil' Red loaded from one end to the other.  You Go Girl #1 will be driving and You Go Girl #2 will be dispensing jelly beans and juggling the maps.  

You Go Girl #1 ... Ruby


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