Getting back to work

Written by Katherine on November 30th, 2005

We’ve been finishing up the house renovations (finally!) and I have had very little time to enjoy genealogy. I’m trying to remember anything that I’ve done, discovered, and wanted to pursue so I can quickly note it here and get back to it when I’m hunkered down for an evening of research.

1. Great comments in my guest book…want to write these new “cousins” and thank them for contacting me. There’s nothing better than joining with other distant family members in a collaberative effort to trace our past.

2. Gene Dunnuck sent me a great picture to post. I need to scan and post it, as well as keep up our correspondence.

3. Drove to Boston and stopped in Connecticut on the way home. Rick and I spent a great time in the town and cemetery of Wethersfield, home of Nathaniel Foote. (Well, I thought it was a great time. LOL) I need to post pictures and history of the town.

4. My guestbook broke when the host updated. Brandon told me to change php3 extensions to just php. After a month or two of great intentions, I finally did so tonight, and it is back up and running.

5. WWI enrollment records for Houghton County are finally on I found my Langs and extended family. Also, Alex Lassers (son of a couple of friends of mine) was finishing his last semester at Michigan Tech in Houghton County. He graciously offered to find me some Calumet and Hecla mining records. I had sent for a few back when the college library was well staffed enough to research for others. At the time, I received Lang info that mentioned cousins who worked in the mine. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find one particular cousin, Michael Daley, whom I believe to be the son of Honora Lang and Michael Daley. Alex offered to take a look and found a few records that were possibilities. He carried them to Detroit on Thanksgiving break. I drove there for the holiday, but his mother couldn’t find the records. Hope to see them soon! So close, and yet so far.

6. I still need to contact the granddaughter of John and Gertie Watson. I had only recently discovered that they had a daughter, Donna, but she unfortunately died earlier this year. Lesley at the cemetery gave me the granddaughter’s email address, but I haven’t had a chance to contact her yet.

7. I also need to copy info and send to Betty Brown Rosser’s daughter and son-in-law. I had a really nice but quick chat with them a few months ago.

That’s all I can think of right now. Hope to get back in the genealogical swing of things soon.


Good intentions

Written by Katherine on August 19th, 2005

So much for keeping up the research blog. Hmmm…since last blogging, I have found a possible match for my great-grandfather Francois Xavier Bertrand. I found a family in Ohio in 1870. They came from Canada, and Francois’s age is off by about 3 years. However, this same family can be found living back and forth in Canada and Ohio throughout the years, and there are many indications that they could be mine.

The place they return to in Canada is near Montreal, where Frank and Delia spent their later years. It is a small town near where the Senicals seem to be from. The Frank I found has sisters named Rose and Priscilla, and my Frank named two of his daughters Rose and Priscilla. Of course, none of this proves anything, but it is the first bit of information I’ve found that is promising. This Francois’s parents were Theopolis and Domatilde, so they have been easy to track in various census records and online trees.

That’s about all I can remember at the moment. I have really had very little time for genealogy since Rick and I are trying to complete the last stages of this 5-year home remodeling project. The family room is the last major fix, and we have worked every weekend and every evening after work, almost nonstop. It doesn’t leave me much energy for genealogy, and I also have about 5 genealogy “cousins” whose emails I need to respond to. If you are one of them and reading this, let it be known that I really appreciate receiving your email and I WILL contact you as soon as I get a chance.


New guest book

Written by Katherine on June 3rd, 2005

Well, after 3 nights and many hours, I’ve created a new guest book for the site. The old book was a freebie from a commercial site, and I really detested reading a website filled with Viagara ads. The company was pretty good, considering that they did clean out the spam now and then, but it was an irritating problem and I decided to fix it when I did this update.

I tried to create a few guest books with .cgi script, but for some reason I couldn’t get any of them to post. My husband and son suggested php. It worked very well, on the seventh guestbook script that I tried. Either the version was too new for the server, or it was filled with ugly emoticons, or it just didn’t work. The one I settled on isn’t my favorite, but I can always upgrade. For now, I am just happy that it’s functional (after 7 hours of working on it tonight). Obsessive? me? lol.

I received an email from a distant Palmore connection regarding Booker Randolph Shorter. He was the son of Nancy Palmore and John Shorter. I didn’t have much on the family and this cousin (Mary Beth Shorter Majesty) told me that Booker had children and grandchildren, and that she knew of poems that he had written to his son as he went off to fight in the Civil War.

That intrigued me. I love fleshing out these characters from the family’s history. Mary graciously sent me the names and dates of Booker’s descendants, as well as a moving poem that he wrote to his son. I had looked around the net last night and found another site with info on Booker. Apparently, 3 sons went to war, and 2 were killed. I will post the poem after I get some sleep.


The new site is up

Written by Katherine on June 1st, 2005
Well, it’s not exactly new, but it’s cleaned up and better organized.

Tonight, I worked on cleaning up my family tree for publishing as a gedcom. It needs more work, but it’s much improved, so I privatized information on living relatives and uploaded the latest tree. I need to start on the Palmer tree next.I came across a couple of good research aids today. The first is the “Historic Directories” website [] This was a quick tidbit in my Cornish Gen-list, and it was a really pleasant surprise. There are hundreds of trade directories from the 19th and early 20th century online. There’s a good search engine and I easily found some ancestors.

I was especially excited to find my great-great-great-grandmother Catherine Rickard Billing. She was 76 years old and listed in a directory for St. Breward, Cornwall, where she was a “beer retailer.” In earlier census records, she and her husband (St. John Billing) were listed as innkeepers.


Keeping track of research

Written by Katherine on May 28th, 2005

I’ve found it almost impossible to keep track of all my research data. I’m thrilled that I keep discovering more and more about my ancestors, but all these piles just keep on growing.

Another problem developed with my website. I started with one or two pages and it kept evolving. I didn’t have a good organizational plan set up, and it became difficult and tiresome to update the site. I just realized I haven’t updated since 2002! Where did the time go?

To alleviate some of the problem, I have decided to get to work redesigning and reorganizing the site. I have begun a brand new organizational scheme, and created a new java script menu so that I don’t have to update 50-some pages every time I decide to make a new section or add a surname.

My husband, Rick, insists that a blog will help me keep track of my thoughts, research, and new developments along the way. So, here goes. . .


Work work work

Written by Katherine on May 20th, 2005

I worked on the site for about 5 hours today and it is beginning to shape up. I renamed all 250-some pictures with a good organizational scheme. I made a navigation bar that I’m happy with, after alot of trial and error. I updated every page and renamed them all.

I’m very excited about the revamped site, because I’m sure it will be much simpler to update. This blog will help me keep track of records that I discover. It may also be a good research journal.

I’ve thought of a few things I’d like to accomplish…
Update all the trees. I need to remember to keep information about living people out of the published versions. I also would like to add the 50 or so great pictures I’ve gotten for various families.

I have scads of birth and marriage records now from Scotland and Cornwall that I could scan and include. I also have many more census records.

Tonight, after I was worn out from all the re-organizing, I decided to see what has added to their records. They now have the WWI records for Virginia. I found Rick’s great grandfather, William “Matthews” Palmer, living in Suffolk, Nansemond, Va. (which is where I found him in the 1910 census. I still haven’t found him in 1920. He may have been in Michigan by then, meeting Iris. I found Robert Felix — I believe this is Mac’s son.

Another distant Palmer cousin wrote me about a month ago. I believe I found his great-grandfather, Virgil C. I must email him to see if he has access to or if he’d like me to get a copy for him.

I also need to remember to get together all the records that I found for Gene Dunnuck. I MUST get them in a large envelope and send them on to him. I keep intending to organize and report how I found each new record, but, at this late date, I think he’d be happy to get a big messy pile to sort through himself!

Another reminder: get a short report and copies of census records, etc. to Gary. I found a lot of his Missouri family and it will give him a great boost for his own research.

4:30 a.m. – I’d better get to bed if I’m going to be any good putting up drywall tomorrow.