Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Home For "Lillian's Diaires"

Lillian's Diaries" have found another home in The Book Worm at 110 S. Riverview in Bellevue, IA. The 3 volume series of diaries from 1913-1931 will be right at home in this quaint shops which also houses antiques, folkart, local art as well as new and used books. Hopefully "Lillian" will be housed in the Iowa history section as there is so much in Lillian's diaries about spending time in the Waterloo area visiting Uncle Thomas and Aunt Rachel Trudgian. You can check The Book Worm out at

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Living Relatives May Pitch-In

I talked with one of my Genealogy 101 students today at church. She was grinning ear to ear over an envelope she received this week. Inside all folded up and taped together - with tape that might be considered antique but for sure was vintage - was a page from her family Bible that she has been searching for for a long time. It contained birth and death entries (which I considered to be a viable support document if it collaborates another reliable source that will support her genealogy data. It had been sent by her uncle who must be in his eighties! If you haven't done so already put out the word that you are doing family genealogy and would gladly take or borrow any dated material that might further the information on the family line. Relatives may have newspaper clippings, letters, birth, death or marriage certificates, Bibles, etc. that are tucked away....but with a little encouragement from you might become part of your genealogy research support. Let me know if you find anything interesting, Happy Digging, Sherry

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ancestor's Diaries/Journals May Support Genealogical Data

I am working on entering all my genealogy info on's Family Tree and have found a supporting source I had never thought of before. I am using Lillian's Diaries: Whispers of Galena's Past to add some of the "flesh" to people who I have statistic data on in my family tree and that Lillian has made diary entries of those same people that expand the person beyond just birth, death, marriage. etc. If you have the pleasure of having old letters or diaries/journals of your ancestors this might be a supporting source for your genealogy information.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Resources for Genealogists

Below is a website that has lots of "genealogy things" for sale. You can proclaim your love of genealogy with a teeshirt or get the latest in family charts. Check it out and see if anything tickles your fancy. Contributed by Dot, a member of one of my genealogy classes. I am currently reviewing a book for VineVoice that has a unique genealogy twist. "From The Family Kitchen" by Gena Philibert-Ortega looks at genealogy through your families eating history and may help you to discover your food heritage and to preserve your favority family recipes that have been passed down to you or that you want to pass on to the next generation of genealogists.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Searching For Our Roots With A New Slant

Did you know that there is a new TV series which started in March called “Finding Your Roots,” on your PBS station at 8 and 9 p.m. Sundays? It will continue through May 20 (check local listings). It is hosted by Henry Louis Gates and while it isn't totally geared toward race it does cover racial issues in many of the hour long episodes:
• The first hour featured Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr.  The second had John Lewis and Cory    Booker.
• A wide range of others, including Sanjay Gupta, Barbara Walters, Samuel Jackson, Martha Stewart, Michelle Rodriguez, John Legend, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Kevin Bacon and Condoleezza Rice are scheduled for future episodes.

I watched my first episode last night and found the genealogy process a bit scanty (although he did address the use of  DNA in searching in genealogy), but was fascinated by the history lessons he gave to put the genealogy data in context.  You might want to take a peek and see what you think.

If you have found new sources - like the 1940 Fed. Census being on  please share with the rest of us on this site in the comment area.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why is That on His Tombstone?

Ever wonder why a particular craving, design, etc. appears on a tombstone? I think up to now I just assumed that the person that chose that craving or design liked it. Now that I have found the wonderful Iowa GenWeb Project, I learned that in many cases each design or craving on the tombstone has an actual meaning. Below is the list found on the Photos of Gravestone page of
I am now going through photos of my ancestors' grave sites more carefully, trying to discern what love ones chose for their dearly departed. Add a comment if you discover anything interesting about your ancestor's tombstone

Meanings of Carvings:
Arches - Victory in Death
Arrows - Mortality
Bouquets/Flowers - Condolences, grief, sorrow
Buds/Rosebud - Morning of Life or Renewal of Life
Roses - Brevity of earthly existence
Portals - Passageway to eternal journey
Bugles - Resurrection and the Military
Crossed Swords - High-ranking military person
Flying Birds - Flight of the Soul
Fruits - Eternal plenty
Garlands - Victory in death
Imps - Mortality
Shells - Pilgrimage of Life
Thistles - Remembrance
Tombs - Mortality
Trees - Life
Trumpeters - Heralds of the Resurrection
Willows - Earthly Sorrow
Morning Glory - Beginning of Life
Butterfly - Short-lived+ADs-Early Death
Full-Blown Rose - Prime of Life
Palm Branch - Signifies Victory and rejoicing
Ivy - Friendship and Immortality
Laurel - Fame or victory
Oak Leaves + ACY - Acorn - Maturity, Ripe Old Age
Weeping Willow - Emblem of Sorrow
Corn - Ripe Old Age
Sheaf of Wheat - Ripe for Harvest, Divine Harvest, Time
Poppy - Sleep
Lamb - Innocence
Dove - Innocence, Gentleness, Affection, Purity
Cherub - Angelic
Cross - Emblem of Faith
Anchor/Ships - Hope or Seafaring profession
Broken Ring - Family Circle Severed
Broken Column - Loss of Head of Family
Torch Inverted - Life Extinct
Urn with Blaze - Undying Friendship
Harp - Praise to the Maker
Handshakes - Farewell
Hearts - Soul in Bliss or Love of Christ
Horns - The Resurrection
Hourglass - Swiftness of Time
Open Book/Bible - Deceased Teacher, Minister, etc.
Lily or lily of Valley - Emblem of Innocence and Purity
Tree Stump w/Ivy - head of family +ADs - Immortality
Urn with/Wreath or crepe - Mourning
Stars + ACY - Stripes Around Eagle - Eternal Vigilance, Liberty
Hourglass w/Wings of Time - Time Flying +Ads - Short Life
Candle being Snuffed - Time, mortality
Hand of God Chopping - Sudden Death
Winged Effigies - Flight of the Soul
Source: Iowa GenWeb Project, Tombstone Photos

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?


Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen will  take a look inside their family histories on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Season 3.

This is an interesting show for any genealogist to watch as long as you realize that 99.5% of  genealogists do not have it this easy when searching for their ancestral roots. It is rare that any of us enter a library and are greeted by well trained librarian or historian at the door with the words, "I have found something about your family I think you will find interesting."

While it isn't easy for the 99.5% of us to find our roots, there are still valuable tips you can find while watching this TV series - resources you haven't thought about before, questions you can ask the next time you are face-to-face searching for data of your ancestry, a path you can follow to search information from one place to the next. And there is always that thrill we feel no matter who has finally found information about their family. Why not watch the show Feb. 3rd and let me know what you think?

Pathfinder Church genealogists....note the "flesh" that these celebrities are able to put on their ancestors through photos, descriptions and records - height, weight, complexion, occupation, eye color, disposition, church affiliation, etc.