Friday, April 15, 2016

I'm learning PowerPoint and Trello simply by DOING

Jones Laundry, Great Bend, KS 1957
I learned how to do the tasks needed in my first job from my mother because she managed her father's Laundry business where I worked part-time through high school. After I was married, I quit my school teaching career and became the Bookkeeper for my husband's Electrical Contracting business. It was my father who taught me the accounting I needed to know to do that job. But I've had to teach myself at every job I've had for the last 30 years. It's been good experience. So many of us work on our computers alone. We aren't part of a Team or in a class setting. Technology changes quickly and if we want to keep up, we must explore new things by ourselves. Printed manuals seem to be a thing of the past. They've been replaced by training videos, webinars, social media groups, and blog posts, etc.
I enjoy watching genealogy webinars because they're mostly presented by experienced masters in their field. They know their subject well and present it so we can understand their message. So when a genealogy presenter offers a webinar on a technology topic, I go for it. 

Lisa Alzo
Lisa Alzo is one such presenter. She and Thomas MacEntee from 'Hack Genealogy' frequently offer "Boot Camps", as they did last year about the writer's tool Scrivener. I found Scrivener to be more complex than I needed for my occasional blog post writing, so Lisa recommended that I check out Trello, which is simply a visual list tool. The lists can help us organize projects, regardless of what they are.
Lisa Alzo came to my rescue again last month when she and Thomas offered a Trello Boot Camp! How lucky can a person get? Before the Boot Camp webinar, I watched You Tube videos on Trello, joined the Trello for Genealogy and Family History group that Lisa set up on Facebook and created my first Trello board while preparing to attend the RootsTech 2016 Conference in Salt Lake City in February. It helped me get such things as travel arrangements, lodging reservations, conference registration, class schedule and syllabus materials organized and easily visible where I could refer to them. My packing list was right in front of me on my computer screen, instead of on a piece of paper that I kept losing. 

My second cousin Kate Keller is also a genealogist who welcomes learning about tools that are helpful in our research. I told her about Trello, she opened an account and created boards for each of the ancestral families that we have in common, and has shared those Boards with me. So I have access to much of her research about our common ancestors. 

As a result of watching Lisa as she presented the most recent Trello webinar, I got more ideas for practical uses for Trello boards. I serve as a Consultant, or staff member of our local Family History Center and help train the staff.  We all have so much to learn since techniques and tools change so quickly. Web sites change, active workable links come and go, content moves around and it's often hard to find what we're looking for, or "return" to what we're looking for. This seems to be my experience with the resources provided by the LDS Church to our staff. Videos, Powerpoints, talks by the professionals, interviews, workshops, manuals, lessons, and blog posts are moved around as content is updated. I get impatient when I have to keep clicking to find what I'm looking for. 

Since I wanted to try out Trello for something other than travel plans, I decided to make a Board that our Family History Center staff could refer to that would help them quickly find the plentiful resources that are available to us. I worked a couple evenings to set up the appropriate Lists, adding attachments and comments. Then I learned how to add photos to the card covers, so I spent another evening adding photos to each card that I'd established. 

I've been waiting for the Director of our Center to schedule a Training Meeting so I could show the staff what I've prepared. But this month's activity is a social event, rather than a training meeting, so my plan of sharing Trello with our staff was put on the back burner. 

I rarely have a free day at my job, but found myself idle yesterday for a few hours. I thought of using another app that I like called Snag-It to prepare a quick video to show the staff how to use our Consultant Board. But I haven't done that before and am much too self-conscious to prepare a video to share with others! Again, I'll have to learn how to do that on my own, but am just not ready yet. 

Last year I was asked to give a presentation at a local Discovery Day, following the RootsTech conference. That was my first attempt at preparing a Power Point presentation. I had the software so I waded through it and got the job done. 

Therefore yesterday I boldly decided to prepare a Power Point presentation that I could make available to our Center staff that would illustrate what Trello is, how to read it, and what it would offer them. I still look forward to doing a personal presentation to stir up some excitement, enthusiasm, and energy. But my PowerPoint may serve to acquaint the staff sufficiently that Trello won't be a foreign word to them as they attend that meeting. I uploaded the presentation to SlideShare so the staff can view it at home. 

I'm not a Presenter. I'm not a Public Speaker. I don't even know how to hook up my laptop to a projector! And I don't really want to know. Fortunately I have a friend who knows those things. So I hope next month I can show our Center staff what new tool I've created for them.     
Take a peek at the Lists I added to the Consultant Board.
 I cover such topics as 
1. How to Use Trello
2. Self Training
3. Leaders Talks
4. Lessons
5. Blogs
6. Videos
7. Facebook
8. Guides and Handbooks
9. Power Points
10. Partners
11. Discovery Activities
12. Training Meeting Schedule
13. Roster of our Staff

Each List has numerous cards itemizing resources on that topic. When we click on a Card (each white rectangle in the List), we are taken to what I call the "Back Side" of the card, with information on that subject, such as attachments, links, comments, checklists, color-coded labels, etc. As we can see, photos can be inserted into each "Card" to illustrate that topic for easy reference. 
I've taken the step to learn about Trello and have ventured into the realm of Power Point presentations (even though I've heard from so many people who have nothing good to say about them). I feel like I'm way behind the times, but I'm learning and I'm DOING! And I'm sharing what I'm learning, hopefully for the benefit of those with whom I serve in our Family History Center and a few friends along the way. And I'm having fun!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Trego Co Historical Society adds to my newspaper findings

I love the Library of Congress's site Chronicling America with millions of digitized newspapers, FREE! Last weekend I was reviewing issues of the Western Kansas World, which covered WaKeeney, Trego, Kansas, where my great grandparents lived in the early 1900s. I noticed this little item:
22 Jan 1920 Western Kansas World

George Koleber Jr. was my grandmother's (Mollie Koleber, Mrs. John Margheim) oldest brother. He's pictured in this photo from 1949 with his wife Mary Elizabeth (Margheim), their son Harold and my twin brother Dennis Margheim and me. 
Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" was the sister of my grandfather, John Margheim. Here's a photo of George, Jr. with his younger brother Daniel, his sister (my Grandma) Mollie, and their parents George and Katie (Dietz) Koleber, in 1905.
The news item says Uncle George went to work for Walter F. Swiggett. Many issues of the Western Kansas World included ads for Walter's company.
20 Jan 1920 Western Kansas World
I noticed his phone number was 1 2 3. 
6 Nov 1919 Western Kansas World
I was just happy to know a little more about my great-uncle George. But the really special thing happened on Wednesday of this week, only a few days after I learned of the Walter F. Swiggett company in WaKeeney. The Trego County Historical Society posted this on their facebook page
The blessings of Social Media! It can be coincidence or serendipity, but whatever we call it, we're blessed when windows like this open up for our research and give us greater understanding of the lives of our ancestors. I looked at the news articles for my Koleber family, found dozens, including the snippet above about Uncle George, and just 3 days later found an accompanying photo and background information from the Historical Society of that county on Facebook. I recognize that as a real blessing! 

Studebaker-Flanders Auto by Cousins of me and my Husband

I've been looking around the Library of Congress's site Chronicling America to find newspaper articles mentioning my ancestors from Kansas in the early 1900s. This morning I came upon this ad, which was actually a page long, from the Western Kansas World, WaKeeney, Kansas of October 9, 1909. It caught my eye because my mother's maiden name was Flanders and my husband's 3rd great grandmother was Catherine Studebaker, a cousin of the family who created the Studebaker automobile. 

A quick search on Google brought me to this interesting article on Wikipedia. This is what I learned: The Flanders Automobile Co. was the brainchild of Walter E. Flanders (1871-1923), who formerly had been the General Factory Manager at one of the Ford Motor Company's plants.In 1908 he left Ford and co-founded the EMF Auto Co in Detroit. Flanders couldn't outsell the Ford Model-T so eventually sold out to the Studebakers.
I prepared this chart that shows my cousin relationship with Walter E. Flanders.
You can see that Walter Emmett Flanders is my 7th cousin twice removed. He and my grandpa Milo Flanders were 7th cousins. Here's an informative article about Walter at Wikipedia.  
Here's a chart that shows my husband Larry Jamison's cousin relationship with the Studebaker brothers who formed the Studebaker Automobile Co.  
You can read the Wikipedia article about Clement Studebaker and his brothers here
Whoever thought I'd learn more about cousins of Larry and me by researching newspaper articles in the hometown Kansas newspaper of my paternal great-grandparents, who are not even connected to either of these families. We have to keep our eyes open!

Friday, April 1, 2016

The photo told me where they lived

Flanders, Pearl; Parents residence 670 West 2nd St, Hoisington, KSFlanders, Pearl; Parents residence 670 West 2nd St, Hoisington, KS back side
I was gifted with this little picture of my mother’s sister, my aunt Pearl Flanders, last year when her daughter passed away. I’ve shown the back side of the photo that is probably the photographer’s entry. It includes the name and address of my grandfather, “Mr. M (Milo) Flanders, 670 West 2 St, Hoisington, Kan.” I didn’t know they lived in Hoisington at this time. My Aunt Pearl was born 3 Dec 1916 so I’m guessing this photo was taken in warm weather, 1917. In the 1915 and 1920 censuses their residence is given as Comanche Township, Barton, Kansas, which is about 12 miles south of Hoisington. But my grandmother gave birth to Pearl’s brother Mervin in 1921 and his birthplace is listed as Hoisington, Kansas too.
Google maps shows us the house that sits at that address today. From the style of the house, I think it might be the same house that was there in 1917.

I was familiar with Hoisington, KS as a child since my paternal grandparents lived there from 1933 to 1986. My dad and my twin brother and I lived with them 1949-1952. Their house was at 114 E. 6th St. I prepared this map to show the locations of my grandparents’ homes, even though they didn’t live there at the same time.
Hoisington map grandparents homes
I noted the Hoisington High School, which was one block north of my Margheim grandparents’ home. My grandpa John Margheim was employed there as the Head Custodian for more than 30 years. I also noted the Concordia Lutheran Church at top left as that’s the church we attended.  Everything was in our neighborhood it seemed.
The house John and Mollie Margheim lived in has greatly deteriorated in the years since my Grandma died in 1986. This is how it looked when we lived there.
John, Dennis & Becky MargheimLeonard and LaVerna Margheim with cousins Melvin, Kenneth and Darrell Koleber
Pictured at left are my brother Dennis, my grandpa John Margheim and me in early 1949. In the photo at right are my Aunt LaVerna Margheim with her twin brother Leonard back row left, and their cousins Melvin, Darrell and Ken Koleber.
This is the Concordia Lutheran Church in Hoisington, KS. Concordia Lutheran Church
Below is the Hoisington High School in 1952. Pictured are my dad Ernest Margheim and step-mother Phyllis (Jones) at right, along with my dad’s sister LaVerna at far left with her boyfriend to her left. L to R: Laverna Margheim, ?, Phyllis (Jones) and Ernest Margheim, Hoisington High School, Hoisington, Barton, Kansas

My Husband Found Me a New Cousin

In an effort to find relief from his Peripheral Neuropathy, my husband Larry participates in Physical Therapy. He typically makes friends with everyone with whom he's in contact, so he has a new "friend" in his therapist. His conversation with friends often centers on the topic of family history. 

Recently Larry offered my services (with my permission) in assisting his therapist in her family research, and she took him up on his offer. She brought many completed group sheets and pedigree charts to his appointment this week. He promptly brought them home and requested my help in expanding her "family tree". 

As I quickly browsed her family surnames, I noticed she'd already written one line of her family back to the 1600s! And the couple represented were Thomas Bradbury and Mary Perkins. MY 9th great grandparents! I quickly informed Larry that he'd found me a new cousin. 

A few years ago I wrote a story about my descendancy from Mary Perkins Bradbury and her relationship to Sarah Jessica Parker, following an episode of "Who Do You Think You Are". You can read that story here. Mary was accused in the Salem Witchcraft Trials, but escaped death by hanging. Much can be found online about Mary and this event in history, but Melissa Berry has written a brief recap here.

Larry's quite anxious to share this discovery with his therapist. When I get the work done, I'll share a chart showing our cousin relationship here on my blog. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I Discovered the Younger Gang were my Cousins

As I was recently doing some clean-up work on my genealogy database, I
Bersheba Fristoe Younger,
my 3rd cousin, 4 times
reviewed a list of descendants of my 7th great grandparents, Richard and Mary (Williams) Fristoe. I noticed the name "Younger". Richard and Mary Fristoe's great-great granddaughter Bersheba Leighton Fristoe married Henry Washington Younger. 

Bersheba and Henry Washington Younger's sons Thomas 'Cole', James Hardin, John Harrison, and Robert Ewing were the Younger Gang, who were associated with the famed James Gang. Their story is told on Wikipedia here.

This chart shows my relationship.

On the chart, you can see that "Cole" Younger was married to Myra Shirley, also known as "Belle Starr". Her story is written on Wikipedia here

I just never know who I'll find in my family tree as I dig into the descendant lists of my ancestors.