Sunday, May 24, 2015

L/Cpl Lawrence Nimmo Dean

L/Cpl Lawrence Nimmo Dean, Perth Regiment, 5th Canadian Armoured Division, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps.

Killed in Action April 2, 1945 (5 weeks before VE Day) in Nijmegen, Holland. Buried at Groesbeeck Canadian War Cemetery, Groesbeeck, Holland.

The Great Uncle I never knew but with whom I share a love of family history. He spent his last leave in Scotland tracing our roots but was killed before he could write home.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 5-Building a Research Toolbox & Citing Sources

The Old Water Tower Chicago, IL 1980 (from Dad's slides that I scanned this week)
This week's topics are definitely things that cannot be completed in one week but they will both be well worth the effort when done and maintained on a regular basis.  They are 1-Building a Research Toolbox and 2- Citing Sources.

If you are part of the do-over and you haven't yet taken the time to watch the video that Thomas MacEntee posted from his talk at RootsTech, you should. And even if you are already doing something similar or have a collection of links in your favorites, take the time to check out Thomas MacEntee's links because he has some really cool ones in his toolbox.

A research toolbox is basically a collection of links to online resources for genealogy research.  The idea behind a research toolbox is actually something I already knew that I should be doing, I just needed this project to actually do something about it in a more organized and dedicated way.  If you look at the top of my blog you can see that I already have two tabs for holding information like this but if you click on them you can also see that they are practically empty.

So this blog will be the container for my toolbox because I want to be able to access the list from anywhere and because I want to be able to share it.  It may take a while to get it organized but I hope to be able to work on it for an hour or so today and then I plan to dedicate time every week to getting it done once the do-over cycle is finished.

Citing sources is something that I knew I should be doing almost from the very beginning. Ancestry directs you to do it whenever you add media to your tree from outside of its holdings.  But I didn't do it because I didn't know how to go about it and finding out would have taken time away from chasing those Bright Shiny Objects!

About a month ago I bought a copy of Evidence Explained and a few days ago I downloaded the trial of Evidentia.  Per Thomas MacEntees' suggestion for all-in participants, I'm going to publish this post and then dig in to the first two chapters of Evidence Explained. After dinner I will finish watching some intro videos I started a few days ago about Evidentia and then see what I sources need citing in my new tree.

Week 6 topics next time: Evaluating evidence and Reviewing Online Education Options.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Cycle 2 - Week 4

I have fallen much further behind in the do-over than I thought I would.  It started when I was planning for a research trip to Manchester, CT a few weeks ago and then snowballed as these things do. I actually started writing this post over a week ago and then pushed it off for this week because I am home on staycation!!!!

Here are a few photos from our trip.

Emanuel Lutheran Church - Manchester, CT

Bennett Apartments - formerly South Manchester High School, Manchester, CT
Gravestone of my great-grandparents and great-aunts and uncles at East Cemetery, Manchster, CT.

Lillian Johnson Gustafson of Manchester, CT (Rt)
If I hadn't prepared well for the trip, including uploading the last photo above to Dropbox I might not have discovered that a genealogist we were meeting with was also Lillian's cousin!

But back to the do-over.  Thomas says the Week 4 topics are not essential but for me they may well be if I am going to stay on track and remember where I was when I went off track. They are 1 - Managing Projects and Tasks and 2 - Tracking Searches.

Managing my tasks is something I think I'm going to do with the Research Log for now, using the To Do tab.  When things get more complex, as they do, I'll probably use One Note.  I started using One Note at the office a few weeks ago and I really like it in almost a "where have you been all my life" kind of way!  I can definitely see myself using it for genealogy and even home organization as well.

Tracking Searches is something I think I must really do for myself. I love to use google for free research and ideas but doing the same search over and over is just a time waster and who wants that?  So, I plan to use Thomas's sheet for now.

Unbelievably my staycation is almost over already!  What time I have devoted to genalogy has been spent scanning Dad's old slides, reorganizing my cloud storage and organizing a bunch of loose photos that I inherited from my grandparents.

I'll be working on Thomas' Week 5 topics tonight and tomorrow and will probably post again tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Funny - Ancestor Hunting in Canada

When you take a trip to Canada in November, you have to know that you are taking your chances with the weather.  But when else was I going to have a four-day weekend??

And no, it didn't melt before we left.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past

I found this last week while going through some of my paternal grandparent's loose photographs.

I cannot for the life of me figure out who this could be. I'm 99% certain that if these women are family, the would have to be from my grandfather Matthews side as I know anyone from these generations of the Anderson family.

I have started a Mystery Photo file on my desktop and in Dropbox for this photo and others like it unless and until I can find out who these people are.

So, if you or anyone you know are descended from Arthur William Matthews or Ada Merritt Hobbs of Pittston, PA, please do email me!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Amenuenisis Monday - Howard Matthews' Story Part 22 - Reflection

This is the final installment of my grandfather's story; part family history and part autobiography.  At the end, he looks back.

Howard & Dagmar Matthews - 50th Anniversary Party September 1981
Matthews-Anderson 50th Anniversary Weekend

This, then, is near the end of a story which has encompassed a period of great change, a period that started with simpler things like street cars and steam engines and biggies pulled by horses, and hand-wound phonographs, since superseded by taxicabs, buses, private cars, huge trucks, superhighways, jet airplanes, television, computers, space flights and satellites.

It has been a period of great opportunity for me; a period in which I had the privilege of changing course, getting away from the coal mines, going back to school after a five year gap, going on to college and graduate school, attaining a CPA degree, experiencing living and working in two of the largest cities in our country, seven years with a prestigious international auditing firm in its New York office, fifteen years in the business management of the prestigious University of Chicago, which included travel in the Near East and England and, finally, nineteen years participation in the management and growth of my alma mater, Wesleyan University.

This was not a result of pulling on my own bootstraps. I had much help and support from many others. Nor was it an over-ambitious or deliberate exercise in ladder-climbing. Rather, it was my good fortune to have been prepared by education and experience to accept opportunities as they appeared.

What remains is an assessment. Was it worthwhile? It was, certainly, to have returned to school, for that made me aware of an entirely new world and gave me access to it and its benefits, many of which I might not have enjoyed otherwise. Yes, for me personally, professionally and socially, all that I put into it has been worthwhile. I can only hope that along the way I have made significant contributions to others, but that is for others to judge. That hope is better expressed in these verses of our Eclectic hymn, composed by Stephen Henry Olin of the class of 1866:


Across the loom, in level lines of light
Are stretched the woof-threads, even, strong and bright.
Their precepts spun from honor, truth and right.
Shine fadeless there.

So may we live that when our lives shall end,
Some memory of us with that web may blend,
And still some strength or beauty to it lend.
So may we die.

As I said a few installments ago, my next transcription project will by my grandmother's letters home during the Near East trip my grandparent's made for The Oriental Institute, but I need to organize things and get more of those photographs scanned so it will be a few weeks at least before I start that.

In the meantime I'll be posting about the Genealogy Do-Over and some other recent finds, including my trip this weekend to Manchester, Connecticut which included meeting a cousin!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Cyle 2 - Week 3

So the goals for Week Three were:

1. Tracking Research and 2. Conducting Research........yay!


I have reviewed and decided to use Thomas MacEntee's research log as-is for now.  I know it will take me some time in actually using the log to decide if/how I may modify it for my use.

Like Thomas, I am taking a wait-and-see approach also to decide if I will use one master log or multiple logs for different lines, I imagine I will use different sheets for each line.

I have filled in my research goals for my parents, starting with my father's birth certificate and baptismal records.


Genealogical birth certificates, defined as those for people born 70 or more years ago, in Cook County are supposedly searchable for online ordering.  If the online search yields no results you can complete a form and mail it to them for payment, this was what happened for me.  I find it hard to believe that no babies with the last name Matthews were born in all of Cook County, IL in 1936 since this county contains Chicago, my dad's birthplace, so I am hoping they will find his birth certificate offline.  If they don't find it, they are nice enough to refund your money, but I hope that won't be necessary.  I'll have to ask my mother if she remembers if he every had issues getting one when needed. I could ask my step-mother but that is a can of worms I have no intention of opening!

As for this baptismal record, I'll have to find the church first! I realized a couple of weeks ago that I have no idea where my father was baptized, even the denomination. My grandfather was Methodist, my grandmother was Lutheran and later in life my father became an Episcopal Priest.  It turns out that I found a clue while reorganizing my grandfather's correspondence.  He told a cousin that while they lived in Chicago they attended a community church with a Baptist history.  When I asked my mother about this, she said, "Oh, yeah!" (Gee, thanks!)

So, I have some internet hunting to do and some phone calls to make to get started, I'll keep you posted but probably won't post again this week since I'll be getting ready for my trip to Manchester, CT on Saturday!!

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