Sunday, August 30, 2015

Genealogy Synchronicity - Tibbetts home in St. Joseph, Missouri

Dare I say we are fools if we don't believe in Genealogy Synchronicity?

Last week, I had an experience that can definitely be described as Genealogy Synchronicity!

Back in 2011, I wrote about discovering the obituaries and death records for Nellie Welch Tibbetts and her husband, Frank Tibbetts. Nellie was the sister of my great grandmother, Mary (Minnie) Welch Kelly. I had discovered photographs of the home where Nellie and Frank lived in a photo album that belonged to my great grandmother.

The Tibbetts home in St. Joseph, Missouri
















I've made several trips THROUGH St. Joseph, Mo in the last two years. It wasn't until last week that I spent an entire day in St. Joe and my last stop of the day was a "drive by" to finally see the Tibbetts home.

As I pulled over to park my car, I saw that the house is currently For Sale!


This was exciting to me, as it meant I would be able to take some photographs without the current owner wondering what the heck I was doing there!















I walked around the property, taking a few exterior photos, when, after a few minutes, a young man exited the front entrance and said Hello!

He happened to be the realtor for the property and he had just arrived at the location!

"Have I got a story for you!" I said! I told him that the house had been owned by the sister of my great grandmother and her husband in the early 1900s. I told him that the owner of the house at that time, Frank Tibbetts, had been a brick mason! The realtor told me that is father is a brick mason!

I brought up the photos of the house, including members of my family, to show him, on my smartphone. Yeah, he was pretty impressed! He told me the house was a foreclosure. And I was able to enter the property to look around.

Here's a photo from Minnie Welch Kelly's photo album taken at the house. I believe the women to be Nellie Welch Tibbetts and her sister, Agnes Welch Garrigus. The "porthole" window at the house is a good indication of where the photograph was taken.







This photograph is taken from the interior of the house. The windows match up with the photographs in Minnie Welch Kelly's photo album.











Here's the fireplace inside, which is probably original to the house.












This is one of the windows looking to the South. My speculation is that the "stained glass" is not original to the home.












These are the stairs to the upper floor of the house. They do not appear to be the original finishing, but quite possibly were there when the Tibbetts lived here.
















This is one of the windows, facing South. Quite likely original as seen in the photos in Minnie Kelly's photo album.

















As the house is currently vacant, I feel it is acceptable to post the current "for sale" information on the property. The asking price is $63,000.The photos on the real estate site show a home that looks much better than it does "in real life."

For me, I'm just glad that I made the decision to stop by when I did. How often do you really get to look inside a house where your family lived???

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Deep Internet - Learn how to make use of Database Searches


Genealogy Research in the Deep Internet

Join me in Omaha on July 18 when I show you how to find hidden treasures online in the "Deep Internet." Did you know that at least 80 per cent of genealogy information online cannot be found using a standard search engine such as Google? Are you missing out on 80 per cent of information you can find out about your family online?

If you've been frustrated with the results of your searches on Ancestry, find out how you can improve the way you search by using some adjustments to the way you think about search strategies!

This presentation is Free and open to the public. But you need to preregister here:


July 18, 2015
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
W. Dale Clark Library
215 S. 15th St
Omaha, Nebraska

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Nebraska - by Patricia Landon Kelly Petersen

Today I came across a long lost poem written by my mother, Patricia Landon Kelly Petersen, in 1968. This poem was also very special to me and it was read at her memorial service in 1983.














My Nebraska

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska
'Til you've seen her in the Spring,
Awakened by a gentle rain
And hear the robins sing.

Every green and growing petal
Has its face washed, oh, so clean.
If you've been here in Springtime,
You'll remember what I mean.

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska
'Til some summers you have spent
To hike, to swim, to fish, to sail
Or just be quiet and content.

If you've never heard the wind blow
Through those cottonwoods so tall,
You don't know what you're missing,
That's my favorite sound of all.

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska
'Til you've felt her winter cold,
Shared one of her White Christmases,
It's a splendor to behold.

And to see the little children
Bundled up from head to toe.
They ignore my shoveled pathway
To wade the deepest snow.

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska,
Come see her in the fall.
Then she really shows her colors
With the kindest touch of all.

I can taste that first ripe apple.
I can smell that bonfire now.
If I could ever be more blessed
I wish you'd tell me how.

And did you ever go away?
Get so homesick you could cry?
If I tell you that I haven't
Then I'm telling you a lie.

I wonder if you've played this game
When you're returning home,
To see who can be the first to spy
That long familiar dome.

copyright 1968 Patricia Landon Kelly Petersen

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ancestry and Family Tree Maker - Why I Am Bass Akwards

Once again, the rumors have surfaced that Ancestry.com is up for sale. As happens with such rumors and announcements, the genealogy community is all aflutter, scared silly that everything they have added to their family tree on Ancestry is about to disappear.

Maybe I have more confidence in online sites than others. From participation in many online genealogy forums, I've arrived at the conclusion that I use my software and Ancestry web site differently than most.

Ancestry.com at the conference of the
National Genealogical Society
St. Charles, MO 2015

I've gathered that people using Family Tree Maker (FTM) software enter all of their data within the software and perhaps sync it with their tree(s) on Ancestry. I do just the opposite. I enter all of my discoveries directly on the Ancestry site. Every few weeks (or months, if I get behind), I download the GEDCOM from Ancestry into my FTM software. I consider the FTM GEDCOM download as a backup of my research.

Am I lazy? Do I like living life (and my research) on the edge? I don't know. All I know is that this is what works for me.

I'm pretty much a digital kind of gal. And I know that may subject me to some dangers. I have my scanned images of documents and my personal digital photo archive all on my laptop with a backup to the cloud via Dropbox and my Amazon photo cloud. Have I thrown away or discarded any of my original documents, photographs, scrapbooks, slides or negatives? Not on your life! It's just easier for me to manage all of the data in a digital archive.

I think that we all like what we are used to. That is why I prefer OneNote to Evernote (although I use both). I prefer Family Tree Maker to Roots Magic and Legacy. Why? Because it's what I'm used to. In my working life, I always used the analogy: the only person who likes change is a wet baby! The same is true with genealogy and our software.

The advantage of being able to download a GEDCOM from Ancestry is that I can import it into whatever software application I'm using. Each of the major software packages provides different options for reports, printouts, books, etc. Having been 100% digital for several years, I'm just beginning to recreate hard copies of my research using the various software applications. Each one allows me to have different options, printouts, etc.

Am I concerned about an impending sale of Ancestry? Not so much. Do I fear that all of my research will be lost? No. Why? Because I have my GEDCOMS, my scans, my notes, my boxes and boxes of documents and photographs. And everything is backed up - on my laptop, Dropbox, Amazon, as well as on external hard drives.

For now, Ancestry remains my online tree of choice. The online family trees on Ancestry are excluded from my routine searches. I think we all know how unreliable so many of them can be. But I know they are there if I need a few hints. FamilySearch provides me with additional resources, but there is NO WAY I'm going to get into a discussion of sources or "who's right and who's wrong" in entering data or citing sources. The best I can do is to make my research available for future researchers, with source citations. I'm not going to get this all done in my lifetime, but I can leave some bread crumbs for those who choose to follow my research in the future.

Seriously, who really knows if Ancestry will be around in 100 years? I sure don't. FamilySearch-LDS - definitely a good chance of survival. Who know if the Internet will even look the same in 100 years? All I know is that I will continue to do my data entry on Ancestry, with my back-ups to FTM.

At this point in my life and research, my objective is to produce as much as possible into "hard copy" that can be printed/published and donated to local societies and libraries for those family members and historians who come after me.


Join Me in Searching the Deep Internet!

I've cut back on my speaking engagements this year while I pursue some education, classes and genealogy conferences for my own personal growth and development. However, I remain committed to the Omaha Public Library's (OPL) summer sessions and I'm always thrilled to be invited back! This summer marks my fifth speaking engagement at OPL as part of the genealogy series in the summer reading program.



On July 18, I'll be speaking about the "Deep Internet" and the various web sites you need to be searching to find information about your ancestors. Google doesn't do it all and there are other web sites where genealogy information can be found. You can think of this as a Scavenger Hunt - or "Nebraska Jones" on a vast treasure hunt for family history information!

I'm still in the process of creating this presentation and I'm excited about the adventures we will share together!

July 18, 2015
W. Dale Clark Library
215 S. 15th St
Omaha, NE
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Register here

It's Free! So reserve your space today!