Technically – Failed

After a hiatus from actively working on my genealogy, I’m playing catch up. As part of that ‘catch-up’ process, I’ve participated in the Genealogy Do-Over and am now participating in ‘Finally Get Organized‘. I am learning a lot thru these activities and actually making lots of progress on my goal to digitize my files.

Since I started doing genealogy over 35 years ago, I have a lot of paper. Fortunately, almost all of that paper has been sourced! Unfortunately, it hasn’t been scanned or in most cases transcribed.

So, tackling the weekly checklists for ‘Finally Get Organized’ is helping me stay focused as I wade thru all of that paper. I can truthfully say I’ve accomplished the following:

  • Verified that my files are being backed up to the cloud and to USB drives
  • Cleaned my desk — including opening my computer and blowing out all of the dust
  • Have data for myself and my Crawford line in Roots Magic (my dad, granddad, great-granddad and great-great grandad)
  • Printed family group sheets — I did this, but am not happy with the format. Because I have lots of events for each person in Roots Magic, these are not the ‘traditional’ style of reports with just birth, marriage, death, but much longer.
  • Create a binder for my dad’s line and put the family group sheets in the binders with documents behind each family. Well, instead of ONE binder, I have FIVE thick (3″ or 4″) binders full. Since my binders already had family group sheets in them, I left the old ones and did not use the ones I printed out. I’ll replace them when I figure out how to do that in Roots Magic or find another way.
  • Scanned all of the documents for my male ancestors in my dad’s line thru my great-great grandfather
  • Put the documents in chronological order — while making sure they were in archival safe sheet protectors
  • Indexed records on Family Search (Iowa Delayed Birth Certificates)
  • Made sure info on my brothers is in RootsMagic (was completed over the summer when I scanned their binders)
  • Create a binder for my mother’s line — already done but again multiple binders (and not yet scanned)

Where I’ve failed is with the task to TRANSCRIBE ALL DOCUMENTS in the binder. I have transcribed SOME of the documents but am nowhere close to transcribing all or even all of the handwritten documents. Since this task is going to take a while, I’ve marked my place and left it for later.

Thus, I can’t claim that I’ve completed the January tasks. However, I am thankful for the opportunity and will continue accepting the weekly challenges!

Transcribing – Failed (for now)

Binders – Success!




Cowtown Masons 1973



Transcription of Names

List of Officers & Members
St. Bernard Lodge
No. 222
A F.& A. M.
Dodge City, Kansas
December 28, 1973

Russell Snyder W.M.
Jimmie Beye S. W.
Arthur Hall J. W.
Ed Hess Trea
Homer H. Jones Sec
Lee Nichols S. D.
Sherman Kirby J. D.
Douglas Smith S. S.
Robert Elder J. S.
Lloyd Crall Tyler

Acre, Morrison Lee
Adams, Glenn Chester
Adams, Howard Spencer
Adams, Jimmie F.
Adams, Wayne Le Vern
Adams, William Wilson
Addison, Clyde E. E.
Akin, George Harrison
Albright, Gaylon D.
Alger, Oak J.
Anderson, Delpha D.
Anderson, Woodrow E.
Appling, Wayne Wesley
Arnold, Lee W.
Arthur, Luther A.
Augerot, Charles E.
Austen, William Jacob
Bailey, Milton Lee
Ballou, Robert Edwin
Barbre, Harold Monroe
Barnes, ,Floyd H.
Barnes, John Guy
Barnes, Glenn Earnest
Barnes, Marvin E.
Barnes, Merle Ivan
Barnes, Wayne Riley
Barton, George H.
Baum, Arnold Harvey
Beck, George A.
Beebe, Eldon Leroy
Beezley, George A.
Beguelin, Robert F.
Bell, Billy Gene
Berry, Arthur F.
Beye, Clarence John
Beye, Jimmie Dean
Beyer, Sanford F.
Slack, Ralph W.
Blaine, James Warren
Blume, Willis Lee
Boles, Robert Dale
Bonus, Norman L.
Bourk, Julius Michael
Boyle, James Donald
Bradberry, James Ray
Bredfeldt, Melvin H
Brian, Ray Vernon
Broadbooks, Ray
Brockhausen, dale A.
Broughton, Ray Alfred
Brown, Jack Lee
Brown, James Lewis
Brown, Max Jacob
Brown, Melvin Leroy
Brown, Pliny F.
Bruner, Bernard P.
Brunk, Rollin Emmett
Burdue, Emmet Earl
Burke, Harrison F.
Butcher, Gale dean
Caileff, Warren D.
Calder, Carter E.
Carrier Joseph
Carter, Robert Edwin
Casterline, Fred J.
Catlin, Harold M.
Caughron, Samuel
Caughron, Thomas M.
Chipman, Roy Vernon
Chittenden, Raymond W.
Clark, ben Jr.
Clark, Glenn William
Clevenger, David N.
Cockran, Ailif Niel
Cockrell, Carl Huston
Cole, Larry Neal
Collier, James Edward
Collier, Robert Lavern
Colliver, Richard E
Collns, Marvin Boyd
Conard, Clair C.
Coolbaugh, Morris J.
Cooper, Ronald Ersie
Copelin, John E.
Cordry, Paul W.
Cormack, John Coridon
Cornelious, Joseph W.
Covalt, Marvin T.
Cowles, Fred Howard
Craig, Curtis Hugh
Craig, Robert Le Roy
Crall, Lloyd David
Crane, Clifford D
Crane , George E.
Crawford, Elwood E.
Crawford, Leon R.
Cromwell, Norman A
Curtis, Allan S
Dahl, Lawrence W.
Daniel, Jack Allen
Davis, Cecil E.
Davis, Donald Eugene
Davis, Donald Lee
Davis, Frank E. Jr.
Davis, Harold Norman
Davis, Homer A
Decker, Stephen E
De Garmo Jerry Allen
De Hoff, Frank
Dessenberger, Ray A.
Devorraux, Laurence
Dick, Ray Emmerson
Dillard, Andrew J.
Dittman, Joe Lee
Dodson, Creed
Donavan, Edward Rudd
Dow, William Eugene
Dover, Chester R.
Dover, Eugene Calvin
Drake, Melvin Albert
Drehmer, Lawrence E.
Dunsford, John C. Jr
Durr, Victor Leroy
Eash, Howard E.
Eakin, Richard E.
Eckert, JohnLawrence
Edwards, Robert A.
Edwards, Harry Chappy
Edwards, Theron E.
Elder, Robert Harmon
Emery, Madison Chase
Emery, Paul Lewis
Factor, Leonard Frank
Falk, Darrell L.
Fansler, Harold
Fay, William C.
Fields, Ivan Keith
Findlay, Everrett F.
Fitzsimmons, Donald E.
Fleming, Norman C.
Flodder, Paul David
Foster, Charles S.
Faulkin, Charles W.
Foulks, Charles
Foulks, Noah Eugene
Freasure, Andy Lee
Fraser, Kenneth E.
Frauen, James Edward
Frazier, Eugene Allen
Freshwater, Ira G.
Freund, Floyd Edwin
Frisbie, George C.
Fromm Fredrick
Gifford, Bruce O.
Gilbert, Forest C.
Goddard, Earl M.
Goertz, DaveJ
Goff, William Lewis
Good, Darrell ay
Gould, George R Jr
Green< Bert S.
Groder, Karle
Gum, Lloyd Lee
Gum, William Taylor
Gwinner, Donald M.
Hall, Arthur Max
Hamilton, Kenneth D
Hamilton, Oscar M.
Hamilton, Willis Z.
Hammer, Carl Ewald
Hancock, Richard Dean
Harman, Clifford L.
Hastings, John K.
Haug, Olin Lawrence
Hawk, Mortimer A.
Hawkins, Marvin E.
Hefner, Oscar Warren
Heft, Jimmie Harmon
Henderson, Jack Glenn
Henderson, Richard E.
Hendrickson, Jesse A.
Henry, Edward Frank
Henry, Norris Scott
Henry, Warren
Hess, Wayne Edgar
Hester, Harold Glenn
Hicks, Dave
Higbee, William H. Jr
Hitt, Goerge D.
Highley, Harold Oscar
Hobble, Theodroe F.
Hoffman, William J.
Hogue, Floyd Emmit
Holman, John E.
Homan, John E.
Holmes, David Wylan
Holman, William Jay
Honnald, Robert Jack
Hoover, Robert Leroy
Hopkins, Loren Albert
Houf, Gorden Bradley
Houston, Roy Charles
Howard, Marvin W.
Howarter, Roy J.
Huff, Kenneth O.
Hyde, Perry Gordon
Imel, Donald Eugene
Ince, George Walter
Isaacson, Carl F. J.
Johnson, Clifford W.
Johnson, James Sherman
Jones, Glen T.
Jones, Henry Carroll
Jones, Homer Harold
Jones, John Williams
Jones, Leland Herman
Jones, Richard Thomas
Josserand, Guy Dulin
Keller, William M. Jr
Kennedy, Kenneth K
Kennedy, Leland Keith
Kennedy, Norman Dale
Kidd, Milton Cebern
Kimball, Vaughn A.
Kimbrel, Paul Kenton
Kimes, Wayne
Kinard, Kenneth D.
Kirby, Lavern Sherman
Kirkpatrick, Fred
Klover, George W.
Klein, Alexander
Knapp, Walter G.
Koehn, Keith Eugene
Koogle, Harry Richard
Krambeck, Claus F.
Kraxberger, Cletus F.
Kreger, Carl Julius
Krug, Harold Williams
Kruger, Virgil E.
Kunkle, James W.
Larson, Byron G.
Leonard, Bernard A.
Lesley, LeMoyne Earl
Lloyd, Vernon Clyde
Lobdell, J. Dwight
Lollar, elby Otis
Longenecker, Johnnie
Longton, Gerald E.
Lopp, Billy Joyce
Lowe, Whitten M.
Lowman, Harold E.
Lowry, Earl Jr
Maddox, Harold J. Jr
Main, Earnest C.
Mallonee, Guy Jr
Martin, Henry Myrl
May, Roland Lee
Meade, Ralph W.
Melencamp, Noble E.
Miller, Larry Thomas
Mitchell, Ronald Roy
Monger, Ralph
Moon, Arthur Ellis
Mooney, James A.
Mooney, James John
Moore, Edward V.
Myers, Claude M.
Myers, Lloyd Roscoe
McCollough, Carthell E.
McCosh, Harlow D.
McCoy, Ralph T.
McCoy, William f.
McCreary, Earl Denton
McGrew, Robert A.
McKee, William
Neal, William Walter
Nevins, Ralph G.
Nevins, Robert D.
Nevis, Z. Arthur
Newman, Fred R.
Nichols, Lee William
Nickelson, William T.
Norris, Cleo Virden
Olson, Lenord M.
O’Neill, John Emmett
Orbaugh, Harold W.
Oringderff, Ralph
Orr, John R.
Orrison, Alfred
Ott, William E.
Page, Isaac William
Pebworth, Louis Aaron
Perkins, James Harold
Phillips, Willis L.
Phipps, Ernest Gilbert
Pippitt, John Franklin
Poarch, Ross E.
Prather, orval J.
Prunty, Darrell Eston
Purdom, Kenneth
Rathbun, Doral Gene
Redfield, Charles M.
Renner, Johnie
Rensimer, Reginald W
Rhynalds, Ralph J
Rice, Harry LeRoy
Richomond, Scott F
Ridgway, Harmon Lyle
Ridgway, Robert Lyle
Reiman, Max E.
Ripple, David Edgar
Ripple, William Earl
Robb, Jimmie L
Robbins, Henri Agle
Robinson, Carter Airs
Rose, Donald Leigh
Rosebrook, Robert L
Rucker, Jess Homes
Rumford, Orland W.
Rutter, Samuel Edward
Safford, Albert James
Saffry, David
Salem, William
Sappenfield, James W
Schooley, Arthur Earl
Schweitzer, Howard r.
Scoggins, George F.
Scoggins, George F, Jr
Sellers, Ray Victor
Semeyn, Leonard A
Sharpless, James H
Shawley, William H
Shelton, Phillip m.
Shipe, Glenn Allen
Shira, Hugh Earl
Sidebottom, Robert V
Sinclair, S. T.
Sinks, Monty Bell, Jr
Slabaugh, Roy J.
Slocum, Wayne B.
Slusser, Hayden C.
Smith, Donald Creston
Smith, Douglas James
Smith, James W.
Smith, LeRoy
Smith, Raymond Leslie
Smith, Sheldon C.
Snow, James Marcus
Snyder, Angus E.
Snyder, Charles
Snyder, Russell S
Sollitt, Dean Paremly
Sorenson, Arthur V.
Speelman, Victor F.
Stanley , Rex Elmo
Starks, William Melvin
Starosta, Allen E.
Stauth, Claude
Stuath, Daniel Joseph
Stauth, Frank D. Jr
Stauth, James Clarence
Stauth, John Powers
Steele, Robert Dale
Stephens, Woodrow A.
Stevens, Jackson L.
Stipe, Herbert E.
Stockdale, Robert G
Stoltz, Jack Edward
Stone, Noble Reed
Stotler, Edwin Clare
Strickland, Boyd Leon
Sturgeon, Earnest C. Jr
Sullivan, Gale Albert
Sutton, Stanley L.
Swaim, Harold L.
Swart, Fred Arnold
Switzer, Paul William
Thomas, Tommy Lee
Thompson, Ben A.
Thomson, Paul Eugene
Turpen, Comer Edwin
Vang, Jerry Joe
Van Pelt, Garth Leroy
Vile, Roy E.
Von Schriltz, Burrell
Walker, Alex H.
Walker, James L.
Weaver, Jess Lenord
Warshaw, Leo A.
Ward, Robert Lee
Warshaw, Max W
Webb Ivan Verle
Wells, Clarence W
West, Emerson C.
White, Wyman McKhendry
Wilhelm, Charles L.
Wilhelm, Lester Pete
Wilkerson, Arthur J
Wilkerson, Charles Jr
Wilkerson, Ervin Lee
Williams Joseph Reed
Williams, William Davis
Williamson, David L.
Wilson, John Carl
Windmiller, Alfred H.
Winters, John Frank
Wiseman, George H. Jr
Withrow, William r.
Woods, Benjamin
Woodruff, James l
Wooley, Lester G
Wormington, Howard C
Wycoff, Charles B
Yakshe, Howard J.
Young, Donald P
Young, Howard Arthur
Youse, Clarence C
Zollars, Vernon R
Zweig, George M



Simple – yet Huge

Finally Get Organized Checklist — Jan 17th – 23rd

Only Two Tasks: Transcribe / Refile – Should be manageable, right?

Task 2: Take the surname binder for my dad’s line and put in chronological order starting with my parent’s family at the time of their marriage, working back for 3 older generations.

I can happily say that I have completed the re-filing task for my father, grandfather and great-grandfather — in THREE separate binders. Thankfully, I ordered a couple of larger binders (4″ D ring). Otherwise, the binders were overstuffed and page turning would be difficult.

Task 1: Transcribe every document for the first four generations

This is where I get an ‘F’ for the week. This is also where the quantity exceeds the available time. My bulging notebooks also mean lots of time spent transcribing. I am using the free program, Transcript, to read some of the handwritten documents. I am putting the transcription in the ‘detail text’ field for the source. I am also creating a word document with the transcription followed by the image. The word document is being saved as both a .docx and a .pdf file. This takes a few extra clicks but is similar to ‘backing up’. I’m getting the transcription saved in multiple places / ways.

I have adopted a file naming system similar to Dear Myrtle‘s but slightly different. This system was suggested by another participant in the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group.



Since I have several lines where the same name appears throughout the line, I need a way to keep the individuals separate. Thus, I rejected a lot of other file naming suggestions. At first, I was going to reject the one above, but after thinking about it in relation to four generations of Hiram Currey’s I’ve elected to adopt it.

My naming convention will keep an individual together and then put the documents in chronological order. The convention that Dear Myrtle uses will put the documents in chronological order – similar to the binders.

Since I already have the ‘F’ for the 17th-23rd tasks, I’m going to move on to one of the tasks for this next week – volunteer indexing. Then I’ll come back and continue working my way thru the huge pile.




2nd Generation Railman

1942-Crawford-Leon-Railroad-Picture-webTrains played a large role in my life growing up. Sometimes watching the trains was a form of entertainment. The words ‘switch engine’ and ’roundhouse’ were parts of our vocabulary at a young age. I’m sure this is because my grandfather, Leon Crawford, was a second generation railroad worker.

In our world, granddad worked for the Santa Fe. In adult terms, he was employed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. According to granddad’s railroad retirement records, he started work as a yard helper, switchman and engine foreman in December of 1916. However, his compensation record indicates he also worked for the railroad from April thru November of 1916.


Crawford-Leon-b1894-1917-WWI-Portrait-webThe same compensation record indicates that he wasn’t working from May 1917 thru March 1919. This would coincide with granddad’s military service during World War I. Leon Crawford enlisted on 26 April 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas. He served in the 25th A. A. battery 1st A.A. Sector as a wagoner. He was discharged at Camp Funston, Kansas on 28 March 1919.

One of the stories my grandmother told me about my granddad’s career was about the need for a telephone during the depression. Because of the economic downturn, granddad had been laid off. Some days, the railroad would need the extra workers. On those days, they would call (as in phone call), the laid off employees asking them to come back in. Grandma said that even though they didn’t have much money, they had to have that telephone. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have known about the chance to earn money day to day. For grandma and granddad, that phone was a life line

One of my early memories of my grandfather and trains is of an opportunity that I missed out on. One Saturday morning, my brother(s) and I were promised a chance to ride on a train. Dad told us he had some errands to run and when he got back he would take us to the railyard where granddad would give us a ride. In the meantime, I was supposed to help mom with the laundry. When dad got home, I didn’t get to go with him since I hadn’t helped mom. My brother(s) got to go for a train ride that day.

1960-Crawford-Leon-Switchman-retires-web2Granddad retired from the railroad in May 1960. He was a member of Lodge No. 217 of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and awarded his 50 year veteran’s pin in Feb 1967.



Influenced by Revival Meeting

Thirty-Seven Years of Weekly Scripture Reading, Study

Is Notable Record of Eastside Bible Class Members

Dodge City Daily Globe

Saturday, March 13, 1954 page 7

By Ethel Watkins

With a motto reading with simplicity, “Whosoever Will,” the Eastside Bible class, begun as an aftermath of an evangelistic meeting held here by Rev. James Raybourn of Newton in 1917, is still functioning to the gratification of its members. Each Friday without a break since that long ago year, the membership has met in one another’s homes (in the beginning only resident living in the east section of Dodge City, but now scattered over all sections) to read the Bible aloud to each other and discuss the scriptures so read.

Membership has had an active turnover during the 37 years, and includes close to200 women who have answered roll call at one period or another, with an average roll call of fifteen, three of whom are of the original group of 20 women who first organized the non-denominational Bible-reading class. The three are Mrs. Judd Crawford, Mrs. Fred Simmons and Mrs. E. W. Dagenhart.

The group, in addition to seeking and finding a better understanding of the Bible; enjoying the fellowship of each other and taking pride in the fact their knowledge of Bible verses help them in their other interests, have a philanthropic program. Through moneys acquired by free-will offerings, they have contributed to a wide range of worthy charities. Their list of contributions include such items as boxes to Mecalero Indians in New Mexico, baby clothing to Belgium, a linen shower for Trinity Hospital, donation to chapel at Norton tuberculosis sanatorium, kitchen shower for the Star Ranch in Colorado Springs, donation to Louisiana’s Hanson disease hospital, a radio to the blind in Excelsior Springs, contributions to the Old Fashioned Revival radio hour in long Beach, Christmas toys and quilt scraps to Ozark mission and contributions to the local school shoe fund. Each year they give to the local cancer and polio funds and to the Gideon Bibles-for-Youth fund. In addition the Class helps its neighborhood bereaved families and those who have illness.

Organized on February 2, (Ground Hog Day!) 1917 in the home of Mrs. Abe Walker (whose mother, Mrs. E. W. Dagenahrt is still a member), the class for the first 20 years had Mrs. Harriet Milton for a teachers. Since she moved away, the women have had no one teacher, and not for many years a president. The women stay together and study through mutual interest, rather than a formal organization.

When they started, the class read the Bible verse by verse straight through, both Old and New Testaments, and throughout the years have repeated that performance two more times. When “skipping around” for special study, the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, along with Acts are perennial favorites. The Revelations too, are read often. Hymns are sometimes sung at the meetings, often the group singing a verse or two of each member’s favorite. With the closing of their meetings with the Mispah, for 37 years now it has been “ … until next Friday then!”

Photo Captions:


Upper left photo: Mrs. Fred Simmons, a charger member, has rarely missed a weekly meeting of the Eastside Bible class in its 37 years of existence. She is pictured here (right) in her home on Military avenue, where this year’s birthday observance was held, with Mrs. Judd Crawford (center). She is also a faithful through-the-years charter member; and Mrs. Roy Wells (standing), who though not a charter member, is a sister of Rev. James Raybourn of Newton. His influence gave the impetus to the organizing of the group in 1917. Mrs. E. W. Dagenhart (not pictured) is another charger member who is still a member.


Lower left photo: During the 37 years there have been close to 200 women who have belonged to the class. Four of the present day members pictured in Mrs. Simmons home are Mrs. A. E. Combs, Mrs. Frank Evans, Mrs. Elizabeth Richardson and Mrs. George Behl.


Bottom Center: Cutting the 37th birthday cake is Mrs. M. C. Woodall in the home of Mrs. Simmons. Pictured with her are members Mrs. Beatrice Stout, Mrs. Della Glidewell and Miss Lucille Kennedy


Upper right: And unto the fifth generation. The late Mrs. N. J. Conaway was a charter member of the Bible read in class and following her footsteps attending the weekly sessions are her granddaughter Mrs. Nelson Johnson; her daughter Mrs. C. W. Woolwine; her great granddaughter, Mrs. Elmer Nuss, and showing interest in grandmother’s Bible is her great great granddaughter little Miss Leila KatharineNuss, pictured in Mrs. Simmons home.

File Types & the Future

As indicated in yesterday’s post, Paper Outlasts Digital, my paper documents are outlasting my digital files. Before continuing my scanning project, I wanted to see if I should switch how I’m storing my scanned images.

After a quick Google search for ‘file formats that last’, I found some advice from what I would consider to be ‘experts’

First, I found a post by the National Archives and Records Administration regarding Digital File Types. From this article, I learned that NARA’s Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab uses the TIFF format for master preservation and reproduction. Thankfully, that is the format I’m using to scan the majority of my paper. When it comes to sharing files, the JPG format is also used.

However, I may have to re-think how I’m scanning multi-page documents. I’ve been using the PDF format. According to the article, the Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab are using the PDF format for distribution purposes only. Thus, my practice of using PDF to store what I would call ‘master’ files may need to be changed.

Secondly from the PC World article, “How to Archive Files so They’ll Stay around for Years”  by Lincoln Spector, comes the advice

“And just to be safe, if it’s possible, save the same files in more than one format. Save and store documents in .docx, .doc, .pdf, and .html. For photos, go with .jpg and .png. For music, .mp3 and .wav.”

Paper Outlasts Digital

Yesterday, I was in the process of scanning documents in one of my family binders when I came across what looked like a word processed document. After digging in my files for a while, I asked my husband what software I might have used prior to a specific date. His reply was that I didn’t use any software — but TYPED the document. After thinking about his answer, I know he is right.

However, in the process of trying to find the digital copy of the document, I discovered a lot of older files. These files need converted from the older software to newer versions so that the information in the files can be accessed. Basically, there are three types of files and three distinct challenges.


The .wps files proved the easiest. I used the online service, ZAMZAR, to convert the files. Basically, the free version requires the uploading of the file, patience, and retrieval of the converted file via email. It is possible to purchase an account that allows for uploading batches of files and downloading them as zip files. My .wps files converted to .docx files without issue. These files can also be converted to .pdf


My .wdb files are proving to be more challenging. Unfortunately, Zamzar doesn’t handle this type of file. So far, I haven’t found a converter that will allow Microsoft Excel to open the file. After discovering that I still have Microsoft Works installed on my computer, I tried opening the files with that software only to be told the file was corrupted. I was able to open the file with Notepad and verify that there is data in the file. Since several of these files were indexing projects from naturalization books, I need to figure out how to retrieve the data. (This data was published in the newsletter at the time.)

Fortunately, some of the files will open. This should allow me to export the data from those files.


After struggling with the Microsoft Works files, I decided to open my Microsoft Access files and get the data exported to Excel. I’ve found that some of those files will not open. Based on Google searches, I’m going to try locating an older version of Access to see if I can open the files and get it converted either to a newer version or to excel.

I know that I should have tried to convert these files before now — especially since that is one of the comments about going digital. However, I let my genealogy sit and didn’t think about trying to open the files — particularly the indexing projects.

Fortunately, these projects had been placed online at the time and I have the old .html files. Thus, the data is still available on the web — just not on my local computer.

Lessons learned:

  • Paper outlasts digital
  • Open files of various types annually
  • Keep old copies of software around (and potentially an older computer to run it)
  • Put it on the web
  • Possibly — save it in .txt format

My Baby Brother(s)

195312MarciaCrawfordPianoStoolRobertaCrawfordAs a 1 (1/2) year old, Christmas started out like most of the Christmases growing up — spending them as a family with grandparents. In the picture, I’m the little one having my apron tied by mom. My grandfather is setting the table and my grandmother is behind mom cooking. I believe that is Barney (my grandparents’ dog) joining us in the picture.

This is the only picture of that Christmas of me with my mom. I have several precious pictures of me with dad, with grandma and with my great-grandmother — but in a 1 1/2 year old’s mind — mom has gone missing.

For you see, my mom was spending this Christmas in the hospital delivering twins that weren’t due until March. My brothers, Duane and David  were born that Christmas. It was a Christmas of great joy — and I’m sure great sadness. Having been born prematurely, Duane did not survive.

Dodge City Globe 24 Dec 1953 Obituary Duane Gail part 1

According to stories told by my parents (and grandparents),dad returned home to Emporia sometime after Christmas (and before school started back in January) while my mom continued to recover. Mom and I returned to Emporia sometime later leaving my brother David in the Dodge City Hospital. [Dad was a teacher at Kansas State Teachers College at the time.]

David’s first trip was in the arms of my grandmother Crawford as she boarded a train in Dodge City to bring him home to Emporia.


February — Home at Last

Getting Past Binder Chaos / Confusion

BindersIt’s week two of ‘Finally Get Organized‘ and I sort of ‘freaked out’ about the binder portion of the assignment. The task was to create a binder for 4 generations along my dad’s line starting with me as a child. Simple enough since I already had binders — until I started overthinking the task. That’s when the ‘freaking out’ started:

  • 4 generations of stuff won’t fit in one binder
  • do I get my own binder — No — I’m supposed to go in my dad’s binder — but his binder is already full
  • what happens to my mom’s stuff? Do I ‘kick it out’ of my dad’s binder?

When I quit ‘sweating the details’ and actually started going thru the binders and making sure everything was in order within the binder, I found that I was making progress even though I didn’t exactly follow directions.

  • I left my stuff in it’s own binder [and left each of my brother’s in their own binders] since there is no way it will fit in a binder with my father.
  • Took the pictures of my mom out of my dad’s binder for now and placed them in the binder of family pictures that still needs organized — i.e. kicked her out of the binder
  • Left my grandmother’s stuff in my grandfather’s binder for now — am waiting for further assignments that will deal with the female lines.

I’ve had these family notebooks since starting researching the family in the late 1970s. As I obtained more and more documents, I had to separate the generations into their own notebooks. [Pictured is my binder on top, my dad’s on the bottom left and my grandfather’s on the bottom right.]

One of the things I discovered thru this week’s tasks was that my documentation needed to be cleaned up. Until about a year ago, I was a Master Genealogist user. Within Master Genealogist, I had entered a lot of ‘events’ and had documentation for most of those events. That documentation was built on templates based on Elizabeth Shown Mills’ work. However, I had not updated or modified those templates to the level of Evidence Explained. When I converted my data over to RootsMagic, all of that documentation transferred over. Unfortunately, some of my sources don’t have enough info or properly formatted info to produce footnotes of value. I hadn’t discovered this problem until I printed the family group sheets for the binders.

Not only do I need to cleanup some of the documentation but I need to add the media to the sources. Fortunately, I have already scanned the notebooks on my dad’s line thru my great-grandfather! Unfortunately, bursting at the seams notebooks means lots of events and equally lots of documentation needing media attached.

One of the great pluses of this week’s assignment was forcing myself to take the time to document procedures. Besides writing the intros, I’ve documented where RootsMagic stores everything. I’ve also documented my backup plan – both local and in the cloud. I still need to work on the codicil to our will since the recommended format is more detailed than what we included in our wills.

Thank you Dear Myrtle for causing all of my chaos/confusion this week! I look forward to next week’s challenge.


Impact of Social Media

Today, I go to remember a co-worker, Dennis Hermreck, who succumbed to cancer over Christmas vacation. Dennis was a teacher at Nemaha Central High School (formerly Nemaha Valley). Even though he has always taught in a small school, Dennis has had a huge impact on a lot of lives. This became very evident on social media this week as students and former students shared their thoughts about Dennis.

As a co-worker, each and every one of these posts brought tears. However, as a genealogist, these posts tell Dennis’ story is a way that no other documentation can. Facebook, twitter and blogs are full of posts about this man, his life and the personal impact he had.

Finding and documenting all of these stories would be a challenge but they tell his story in a way no other documentation can.