Sunday, August 26, 2012

Preparing for a trip to SLC

I'm heading to Salt Lake City for 4.5 days of uninterrupted research time.
Unfortunately, I haven't had any time to plan for this trip and we're leaving in one week. Yikes!
My normal SLC preparation requires weeks of deciding which specific questions I want to research and then poring over the Family History Library catalog for appropriate resources to answer those questions.
I create one large Word file that contains a numbered list (ranked by priority) of specific research questions, each question followed by resources cut and pasted from the FHL catalog. The catalog entries appear in blue in my Word document; entries for books that have not been microfilmed I change to red, since the ONLY place where I can access them is the FHL and I want to make sure I check them out.
Actually, I do know that my major goal for this trip will be to collect information and documents for a talk I'm giving in mid-October on the FAN [friends/family, acquaintances, neighbors] approach to family history research. I need some good, solid examples to use in this talk.
So, for the next week I'll be madly working through my family files searching for appropriate ancestors to use as examples and pulling up census records. Somehow I almost always end up focusing on dear old Robert Henry Collins, my most frustrating ancestor. I collected quite a lot of information on many of his shirt-tail relatives in Idaho back in June (through the 40+ newspaper articles I obtained), but I still need vital records, deeds, wills, etc. I'm hoping old R H Collins will show up in some of their records.
Wish me luck!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I have to admit that I absolutely LOVE courthouses. On our recent trip home from Minnesota, we detoured to Davenport, WA to check out the Lincoln County Courthouse. Isn't it gorgeous?
I don't have any known relatives in this area, so didn't go inside to check out their records as I often do. But I do also love the insides of courthouses. In my experience, the older the building, the more likely the staff is to let you go into the vault and browse their old record books--a favority pasttime.
Davenport, WA