Follow Up With Your Relatives

New Years is a good time to follow up with those relatives you haven’t heard from in awhile.  Did you get a Christmas card from them that just had their name.  What a waste of a stamp and card.  It only confirms they are still alive.  Give them a call.  You can check for their phone number on Switchboard, White Pages, etc.  then call them.  Give yourself lots of time, because once you have found them, they may have lots of family information to share. Make notes about your conversation, so you can follow up later on some of the stories they share. Then record them in your database.

Years ago my Aunt told me we were related to Carson Long of Carson Long Military School in New Bloomfield PA.  So I wrote to them and got a letter back saying, no, we were probably not a direct descendant because he was 16 years old when he died.  They did give me a name of a fellow, Harry Lenig, who could probably help.  I got in touch with Harry and he had been tracing my family for 40 years.  He shared lots of family information with me.  I thought I had hit the mother lode with all of his research.  When Harry died, he left all of his information with The Perry Historians.  If you have never been to visit The Perry Historian library in Newport, PA, you are missing a great treasure trove of information about Perry County people.  Needless to say, I’m a Life Member and find new information every time I visit.

Descendants of Malachi and Susan Shoemaker

I have the Shoemaker Reunion book that was kept from 1882, when the family of Malachi and Susan Shoemaker first met until 1969.  The book has some interesting facts that I will share from time to time.

The first entry in the book is “1882 – October – First Shoemaker Reunion at Sara Spauldings.  Sara Spaulding  daughter of Malachi and Susan Shoemaker died Dec. 11, 1893 at the age of 62 years.”  Obviously someone did this book in retrospect.  The following few pages list the years and place of the reunion.

Page 7

Shoemaker Reunion – Descendants of Malachi and Susan Shoemaker.  Malachi Shoemaker buried in Alba, PA cemetery in South West corner.

William Shoemaker – son of Malachi died July 2, 1901 at 84 years of age.

Sara Spaulding – daughter of Malachi died Dec. 11, 1893 at the age of 62

Elizabeth Fenton – daughter of Malachi died July 1, 1901 at 75 years of age

Mrs. Rachel Shoemaker wife of Late Payne shoemaker died Dec. 1, 1892 at the home of her daughter (Mrs. Eva Moore) at Estella, Sullivan County age 79 years.

Until the next installment.  Happy New Year

What do you do with your genealogy if nobody cares

I was talking with a friend recently, about what to do with family information such as bibles, ancestral charts, family histories, etc. if you don’t have children or family that cares about family history.  There are so many genealogical societies clammering for this kind of information about families in their area.  Don’t let all of your and previous generation’s hard work go to waste.  Look for a library, genealogical society, or archives that will accept your collections.  It is a matter of going on line to Google, or similar search engines and locating an appropriate repository.  Type in a county and add historical society.  You will be very surprised to see what pops up.  If all else fails, contact Historical Society of Pennsylvania, if your family is from this State, and work with them to get your collection.

Telling family is not enough.  Put it in your will.  While you are at it, you should also make a record of all your holdings and where they should go when you are gone.  If you take a walk around your home and look at those bowls from great grandma Grace that you definitely want to keep in the family, WRITE IT DOWN.

Carnaval glass bowl in dining room china closet was from great grandma Grace and is to go to Aunt Martha Jones when I die.  Add information about the value of the piece if it has been appraised.  Add some history about the item, if you know anything and put this all in a notebook with photos.  Grandfather clock in living room on desk.  The clock was a wedding present to grandpa and grandma Green in 1921, was given to son, Paul and wife in 1963 and was presented to daughter, Suzy Smith in 1985, at her wedding.

Too many times we have not planned for keeping heirlooms and genealogical information, so it gets thrown out or put up for sale, to be lost to that family forever.  Plan ahead, we all gotta go sometime.

Pennsylvania Archives Help

If you are off line and want to research in the Pennsylvania Archives, a good book to keep by your desk is “Guide to the Published Archives of Pennsylvania” by Henry Howard Eddy and Martha L. Simonetti.  It was first written in 1949, but was updated in 1976 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.  I found used copies on Amazon.com for not too much money.  It gives a good description for the information covered in each Series.  Few names of individuals will be found in this guide, but if you are looking for something specific, it is a good start.

The Pennsylvania Archives series is free on Footnote.com.  This is very helpful if you are looking for records to join Lineage Societies or just researching your Pennsylvania ancestors.  I find it rather daunting to locate records at times, so the book has been helpful narrowing my search and pointing me in a more profitable direction.

Do you have any books you are particularly fond of using in your research?

Getting Started With Generations Remembered Blog

I will try to give you some tips about Genealogy, family history, miscellaneous Lineage society information, and new books that I have found/purchased in my periodic blogs.
For the newest book on my shelf, I’m pretty excited about a Christmas gift from my nephew, Jeffrey. The Bradford County, PA Historical Society reprinted the Maps of Bradford County from 1858. It is very colorful, but you better have a magnifying glass handy. Many of my early families are listed, making this a little more interesting to me than someone who hasn’t a clue where Bradford County is located. They have an index that gives names, Township and page numbers, but from there you are on your own to locate them. You can order your copy of the book on their website: www.bradfordhistory.com.
While I’m talking about Bradford Co., PA, if you get up that way (Northern PA), be sure you visit their Research Library and Museum. It is located in the old County jail on Pine Street, Towanda, PA.