RootsTech Connect 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1) Did you attend the free and virtual RootsTech Connect 2021 this week? What was your favorite moment, experience, session, and/or feature?

Well, let’s say I tried to attend RootsTech 2021. That is before I had a Thursday afternoon appointment and ended up under the weather on Friday.

In my limited viewing, I

  • created my playlist of sessions to watch.
  • checked out many of the exhibitors in the Expo Hall Wednesday evening.
  • watched the Main Stage opening session on Thursday morning.
  • left the Main Stage to watch a presentation by the Library of Virginia.
  • forgot that the sessions were on YouTube and finally realized that I was watching older genealogy presentations when YouTube just kept going after the Library of Virginia presentation.
  • watched several of the FamilySearch sessions on Saturday.

But, my favorite moment has to be using Relatives at RootsTech. Yes, the concept of 88,907 relatives is beyond comprehension. But the app of my phone took about the top 300 of those and sorted them by common ancestor! Using that feature, I now have a spreadsheet of those contacts with their user name, relationship, and the common ancestors. On Wednesday, I sent a message to quite a few of those ancestors. Since my list has changed from Wednesday, I could make more connections.

So, why is this my favorite part?

One of those relatives is the great grandson of my great aunt. I haven’t heard back from him yet — but I’m going to keep trying to make a connection. Hoping that he is active on FamilySearch, I uploaded the pictures that I have of his great-grandmother to the tree.

Another of the relatives is a descendant of my 3rd great grandfather, Ozias Wells. When I got a response from this relative, I went digging in my files to locate the photocopy of the Wells family Bible. Even though most of the Wells family, including her branch, stayed in Michigan, the Bible found its way to Kansas. I’ve also uploaded this resource to the tree.

But the best part was seeing all of my 5th cousin descendants of my brick wall ancestor, James Crawford.

So, I have a full to-do list: watch all of the sessions on my playlist and work on connecting with these cousins!

Thank you RootsTech for this opportunity!


When you think of your family dynamics, who has the power? Looking into the future, I would say it is my niece that has the power to keep her generation of the family together. Looking back, I would have to credit my grandmother, Winnie Letha Currey Crawford, with being the force of power in the family.

When Winnie was ten years old, her mother died. The family had recently moved to Olathe, Kansas from Rooks County, Kansas. Her father may have been a teamster at the time. The family included

  • Herbert, age 18
  • Myrtle, age 14
  • Mary, age 12
  • Winnie, age 10
  • Ernest, age 7
  • Alma, age 1

My grandmother wrote about what happened to the family after her mother’s death in one of her letters. The dates are off, but I believe the story of what happened to the family is correct.

Mother died in May. We went to the Children’s Home Jun 11. Herb didn’t go and Myrtle wasn’t there long till she went to Aunt Mary’s in Denver Col. Mary and I stayed together till she got married. But to go back The Court took Littens License away. So Dad had to take us back till Mary & I finished grade school. Then He was going to put us back into a Home. I got Aunt Joe De Shazer to take Alma and found a Home for Earnest – then Mary and I lied about our ages & went to Work. I alway kept track of the kids As I do now

Most of the details of this story remain unproven. I did find Alma Jean Curry in a DeShazer household on the 1920 census living in Franklin County, Kansas. By 1925, Alma was living with her father in Gray County, Kansas. Gray County borders Ford County, where Myrtle and Winnie were living in 1925.

In terms of the children’s home, I did find an entry for Rev.Charles Litten in the 1913 directory for Kansas City. According to this entry, he was the ‘sec and genl mgr Conserving Assn of America’ at 2610 Cleveland in Kansas City, Missouri. (See blog post, U – Unknown Genealogy / PhotoADay)

The Aunt Mary mentioned in the letter is likely Mary Currey Spears. Unfortunately, I can’t place Mary and her husband John in Denver, Colorado. By 1920, Mary and her husband were living in Los Angeles, California. At this time, I don’t have a census record or city directory for them between 1900 and 1920.

According to another letter, my grandmother traveled from the Kansas City area to Dodge City to help her sister, Myrtle with her new baby. Based on the above letter, that means that Winnie was in the Kansas City area until her sister, Mary was married. All of this does fit a timeline for these events in the sister’s lives.

  • Myrtle married in Dodge City at the age of 18 in March of 1917
  • Myrtle’s first child is born in Dodge City in Feb 1918
  • Mary married in Kansas City at the age of 17 in Feb 1919
  • Winnie is married in Dodge City at the age of 16 in December 1919

Whether I prove the details in the letter or not, I do believe that my grandmother and at least some of her siblings were in a children’s home after the death of their mother. I believe my grandmother’s strong sense of family was forged during this time of her life.

Boot Hill

Dodge City

“Cowboy Capital of the World”

“Queen of the Cowtowns”

For anyone interested in cowboys or the old west cattle drives a trip to the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas is a ‘must see’ destination. Housed in a replica of ‘Front Street’, Boot Hill offers a combination of history and entertainment, complete with gunfights and shows at the Long Branch Saloon.

As a genealogist, Boot Hill has proven to be a source of information about my family. As a child, I remember a photograph or postcard that was on display in the building at the top of the hill. This photo was taken of early Dodge City from the Boot Hill area looking toward downtown. My memory says that the house my grandparents lived in was in that photo. Later, while touring the displays housed in the ‘Front Street’ buildings I discovered a minute book for the Ford County Agricultural Society that just happened to be opened to a page mentioning my great great grandfather, Richmond Fisk Hammond.

On a trip to Dodge to visit my grandmother, she encouraged me to visit Boot Hill to see if they had any photographs. Thinking I might find the photo from my childhood memory, I went. Even though I didn’t locate that photo, I did come away with a marvelous find: the only known photo of my great great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford.

In addition to obtaining his picture, I found a group picture that included my great grandfather, Judson Crawford and another group picture containing Judson’s brother, Nelson Crawford.

If you want to find an unusual source for genealogical information, it would be Boot Hill for me. I never imagined that I would find these photos at Boot Hill. I am thankful that they are preserving the early history of Dodge City.

Cousin Connections

Are you going to RootsTech Connect? (If not, register here for lots of free genealogy sessions.)

If so, did you register for Relatives at RootsTech? (If not,

  • register here –
  • Create or login to your FamilySearch account
  • Create a family tree by adding yourself and close ancestors (2-3 generations) to the FamilySearch tree
  • Search the tree for ancestors and connect to them
  • Increasing generational connections will increase likelihood of finding Relatives at RootsTech

When I first wrote about Relatives at RootsTech in my Over 19,000 blog, most of the relatives listed for me were very distant. Thus, I didn’t plan to do much with this information.

However, when I logged in today, I found someone who descends from my great aunt, Bernice Crawford. Since Bernice and her family moved from Kansas to California, connections with the Dodge City family were infrequent. Thus, I’m thrilled to be able to make this connection.

When I made the cousin discovery this morning, I also discovered a setting that makes this even more useful for me. To access this setting, you will need the FamilySearch Tree app (on a smart phone or tablet).

After opening the app and logging in, you should see the Find Relatives at RootsTech box at the top of the screen.

Tapping on that box, will open your list of relatives.

This morning, I discovered the icon to the right of the ‘All Locations’ drop down box. This icon looks like two lines with boxes.

When I tapped that icon, I had options to see my list of relatives in four different ways: All, Maternal, Paternal and Ancestor. Then I selected ‘Ancestor’ my list was sorted by common ancestor.

I find this view VERY helpful – especially when it comes to my brick walls. Now I can see ‘relatives’ who descend from James Crawford without having to look at each person to see how we are related.

My next step is to create a generic message that I can copy/paste to contact some of these relatives. This message will include

  • Our common ancestor
  • Link to my grandparent line for that ancestor in the FamilySearch tree
  • Link to my Ancestry tree
  • Link to my RootsMagic online tree
  • Link to my blog
  • Statement regarding my willingness to upload photos or sources to the FamilySearch tree that they may not have
  • My contact information

Now, I need to get to work and make connection with these relatives.

Road Trip

My grandfather, Edward Osmund Briles, had a very interesting life story. Since he died when I was four, I never heard him tell his story. Instead, newspaper articles are telling his story. One of those articles referenced him driving a service call for a ‘good fellowship’ tour.

Service Car Along
Trouble Auto Will Contain Extra
Supply of Gas, Tires, Air
and Mechanic
A service car from the Briles Garage, that will contain an extra supply of gasoline, extra tires, air, oil, and tools will be taken on the Chamber of Commerce, good fellowship tour on next Thursday, when more than twenty-five carloads of boosters will visit eleven different neighboring towns.
The trouble car will be taken along for the convenience of the boosters, in case they should have any tire or engine trouble, or run out of gasoline or oil. This will be a great convenience for those that should have trouble, and it will enable them to be on the road again within a short time.
The trouble car will be driven by E. O. Briles proprietor of the Briles Garage of Iola, and a mechanic will be with Mr. Briles throughout the trip.
Plans for the all-day trip, are being completed by A. L. Meisinger secretary of the chamber of Commerse. The trip is being taken for the purpose of boosting the Allen County Fair, which begins here Monday, and the new Junior College of Iola, which will open here next month.
Mr. Meisinger has arranged for nearly thirty cars to make the trip and there are still a number of merchants and car owners about the city who are planning to go. It has been asked that all those who can possibly make the trip, or those who have promised to go, and have later found it will be impossible to do so, call the Chamber of Commerce at once.
The trippers will line up on the square at 8 o’clock Thursday morning, and the pilot car will leave promptly at 8:30. The boosters are expected to arrive back home shortly after 6 o’clock, after spending a short time for a band concert and speeches in eleven towns.

“Service Car Along,” Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 21 August 1923, pg 6; ( : viewed online January 2017).

Curious about what else I could find about this road trip, I did a search of for entries dated in August 1923 in Kansas with the keyword, Briles. That search helped me find the article, “Briles Was ‘There'” in the 24 Aug 1923 issue of the Iola Register.

Briles Was “There”

A Trouble Man with Real Service
Helped Make the Trippers
Trip a Success

Briles was there.
That fact may have accounted for a share in the fact that the Iola trippers who were out yesterday boasting the fair and junior college made the trip on time, or with negligible delay.
“I’ll go,” said Briles when the trip was discussed recently and a trouble man was wanted.
Briles went.
When a car “threw” its wheel, Briles fixed it. When a car sustained a puncture, Briles fixed that. When a car wouldn’t start, Briles started it.
He was a real trouble man. The service he rendered was with no thought or request for pay.
Talk about public spirit.
Write the name of Briles into the record of that successful booster trop.
Great Trip Say McCarthy

Commenting on the trip Frank McCarthy of the McCarthy Motor Company, the man who spent a day driving the pathfinder and then made a second trip leading the caravan said: “It was a great trip. It was successful in more ways than one. It helped Iolans get acquainted with each other as well as get acquainted with other people. I liked Humboldt especially, though it was a sweet welcom we received in Colony, Moran Savonburg and all the other towns. But we were wondering what Humboldt would say and when we heard our welcome we could only ask Humboldt to come here some time so we could show just how we feel about it.
McCarthy is another one of those fine young business men who like to do things for the town in which they live.

“Briles Was “There”,” The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 24 August 1923, page 8; digital image, ( : viewed online 17 February 2021).

A search for the term ‘Trippers’ turned up the front page article about the trip.

Trippers Had A
Successful Trip

Large Crowds Met the Iola

Who Cared for Dust?

Dirt Didn’t Bother Iolans
In the Least

Speakers told of the Allen County
Fair and of the New Iola
Junior College

It was a dusty and dirty, but never-the-less a happy and good natured group of Iola Boosters who arrived in Iola shortly after 6 o’clock last night, after completing nearly one hundred and twenty-five miles of driving and after visiting eleven different towns during the day.
The Goodfellowship tour of the Chamber of Commerce, that was made by seventy-three Iola folks yesterday in the interest of the Allen County Fair and the New Junior College at Iola, was very successful from every standpoint.
The trippers found good crowds waiting in the towns that were visited and they listened with interest at the short band program that was given in each city by the Rotary Boys Band, and to the speeches that were made boosting the Fair and Coll├Ęge. There was not an accident on the entire route, and there was very little car trouble.
Through Clouds of Dust
The roads throughout the entire distance that was traveled were in excellent condition, but there was not a road that was not dusty. Clouds of dust rolled up after the first cars in the long line passed along the dirt roads, and every one on the trip was covered with dirt as the end of the journey neared.
But who cared for the dust? The Iola trippers did not, and they enjoyed every minute while on the trip, enjoyed the drive, and were more than pleased with the large crowds that were awaiting to receive them at practically every city that was visited.
The schedule that had been arranged for the Boosters, the time for them to arrive in the towns and depart, was carried out throughout the trip, and they were never more than ten minutes late in arriving in the towns.
The Rotary Boys Band, under the direction of their leader, Mr. J. V. Roberts, made a good impression upon their listeners in all the towns where they played a few selections. There were twenty pieces in the Boys band, and they were dressed in their new bright uniforms which were recently furnished by the Iola Rotary Club.
Talks at Each Town
At every town visited, two speeches were given, one in the interest of the new Junior College, and the other to boost for the Allen County Fair, which will open at Riverside park next Monday, and will continue for five days. Mr. A. M. Thoroman, superintendent of the city schools gave the talk on the Junior College, while Frank McCarthy, told the people in the towns visited of the Allen County Fair and gave reasons why it was “Bigger and Better than Ever.” this year.
At Moran, Yates center, and Humboldt, the Iola trippers were met before they arrived in those cities by the mayors and leading business men, who escorted the line of cars to their cities. At Moran, the Boosters found ice cold lemonade awaiting for them, and they were given cigars and chewing gum at Savonburg.
The towns visited yesterday included eleven cities near Iola in all four directions. The trippers drove first to Piqua where a short stop of fifteen minutes was made, and from there they drove to Yates Center. At Yates Center the Iolans were well received and were given a rousing welcome. After leaving Yates Center, the next stop was Neosho Falls, where another good sized crowd had gathered to listen tot he band and hear the speakers. Colony was the next town on the schedule and a stop of more than one hour was made here, for a short program and to allow the visitors to take dinner. Lone Elm was then visited, followed by Mildred and Moran. At Moran many people had gathered on the streets to receive their visitors. Elsmore, Savonburg and Humboldt followed in the order named, with another good sized crowd waiting at Humboldt when Iola arrived.
The Chamber of commerce road committee worked hard to make the Booster trip this year a success; and they have received much praise for their good work and well made plans. The committee desires tot hank all the Iola men who made the trip and for their splendid co-operation.
List of Trippers
The Iola people who went on the Booster Trip yesterday were:
Lloyd Young, L.E. Horville, J. F. Eastwood, Arthur Shannon, I. Q. Marsh, r. Trowbridge, W. F. Alterman, Fred McKenna, L. O. [smeared ink]
continued on page 8
R. Brown, K. P. Baughman, John V. Roberts, B. C. Lamb, J.W. Reynolds, Mayor Smith, W. A. Wheeler, T. H. Bowlus, Will King, Vern Moyer, R. L. Thompson, Frank McCarty, Robert Evans, Arch Wood, W. E. Rundall, Ray Enfield, E. O. Briles, W. A. Tinner, Mr. Russell, A. R. Sleeper, A L. Dygard, Ed Irving, Jos D Cos, Logan Hunsaker, A. W. Beck, Ira D. Kelley, W. B. Kelley, B. A. Sutton, Bernice Higgins, Vernon Dugan, A. Stewart, E. Van Hyning, Charles Greason. L. E. Burgess, A. L. Meisinger, A. M. Thoroman and Rev. E. W. Spencer.

“Trippers Had a Successful Trip,” The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 24 August 1923, pages 1 and 8; digital image, ( : viewed online 17 February 2021).

As these articles show, my grandfather had an interesting life.

Sources Struggle Part 2

Have you ever wished for an ‘easy’ button when working on your genealogy? Well, I found a “button” that makes my struggle to add sources to someone on the FamilySearch tree easier.

One of my struggles is what appears to be a lack of order to the source listing.

While starting to add sources for my grandfather, I was curious about what the options button did. So I clicked on it.

That’s when I discovered the option to put the sources in chronological order.

Using this option, the sources are now in timeline order. However, sources that don’t have dates appear at the bottom of the list of sources.

If I click on the title of the source, the source expands and shows the various actions, including ‘edit’.

Clicking on the blue ‘Edit’, the source expands. I can see that the date field is empty.

When I enter the date (1942 for above source) and click save, the source is now appears in chronological order.

Now that I have the sources on FamilySearch in chronological order, I can scroll thru the ‘Edit Person’ screen on RootsMagic to locate facts in RootsMagic that don’t have a source on Family Search. (Note: I use two screens which makes this comparison much easier. I put RootsMagic on the left screen and FamilySearch on the right screen.)

With my grandfather, the newspaper articles and advertisements tell a story about his life not found in other records. Thus, the need to add them to FamilySearch. One of those sources is from a 1933 edition of the Emporia Gazette. Not only do I have the citation in RootsMagic, but I also have a transcription of the article.

On FamilySearch, I click on the blue ‘Add Source’ link. In this window, I add the date and create my title for the source. Then I copy the footnote from RootsMagic into the ‘Where the Record Is Found’ box. Since I have a trannscription in the details window of RootsMagic, I copy that and paste it into the ‘Describe the Record (Notes)’ box. Clicking save will add this source to the list of sources.

When I have an image for the source, I can click on ‘Add a Memory’ to get to the options to either upload a memory or to select one from the gallery.

Once the source is saved with the attached memory, an icon that looks like a photo will appear in the left column.

When I click on ‘view source’ a thumbnail of the attached image (memory) is shown.

Working with the two sets of information (RootsMagic and FamilySearch) side by side helps me see what sources are already attached and which events don’t have a source attached. The ability to copy/paste the footnote and the detail (transcription) from RootsMagic into the FamilySearch fields makes it easy to add the sources. Finding that option to sort the sources in chronological order was the key!

Marriage Affidavit

Affidavit of Henry Harding regarding marriages of Albert Hutchinson. (Note: Henry Harding was the brother of Julia Harding, first wife of Albert Hutchinson.)

Notice — The civil officer before whom I is affidavit is executed should be careful to fill in all spaces both in the cpation and jurat.

General Affidavit
State of Nebraska, County of Richardson, as:
In the matter of Claim of Elmer E Hutchinson

On this 4th day of September, A.D. 1911 personally
appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid
County and State, duly authorized to administer oaths Henry Harding
aged 65 years a resident of Rulo, in the
County of Richardson and State of Nebraska
whose Post Office address is Rulo Nebraska and
Edward Linle, aged 64 years, a resident of Rulo
Nebraska, in the County, Richardson
whose Post Office address is Rulo Nebraska
well known to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declared in relation
to the aforesaid case as follows: We wer well and intimately
acquainted with Albert J Hutchinson
knew hime before he arrived at a
marriageable age and we know and affirm
that he was not married prior to
his marriage to his first wife Julia
our acquaintance with him was
such that had such been the case we
would have know it
we also know and affirm that the
said Albert Hutchinson did not remarry
after the death of his first wife Julia
until he was married to Eliza
Valkenburg on the 8th day of August 1893

they further declare that they have no interest in said case and __ not concerned
in its posecution.
Henry Harding
Edward Linkle

Sources Struggle

Do you struggle adding sources to the FamilySearch tree or is it just me? I’m not a member of their church and have only been using the FamilySearch website, including the tree, for about five years. Thus, I am still learning.

With the recently released Ancestor Discovery pages, I want to use those pages as one way to share my family history. Even though a casual viewer won’t be interested in the sources, other researchers will. So, I need to get past the struggle and figure out how I can get my sources onto FamilySearch.

Since I’m a RootsMagic user, I tried using the interface between RootsMagic and FamilySearch to upload these sources.

This is where my struggle begins. On this interface, I have a hard time figuring out whether one of my sources on the left is already on FamilySearch on the right. Once I manage to figure out a source that has yet to be added to FamilySearch, the window that opens up is the next challenge.

Since my sources could be attached to a variety of facts/events beyond the basics of birth, marriage and death, I don’t know what I’m expected to check. Then comes the ‘reason’ to attach, which I also struggle with. Once completed, the source now appears in the FamilySearch list on the RootsMagic interface.

In trying to figure out how I enter sources in RootsMatic impacts this interface, I noticed that the name of the source is how the source is listed in the RootsMagic list and how it is listed on FamilySearch once transferred. I also discovered that my ‘lumping’ tendancy hinders my ability to upload sources.

Instead of individual sources for each article in a newspaper, all of the articles from that newspaper are lumped together. Curious about how the way RootsMagic 8 uses citations, I wondered if RootsMagic 8 would lump the sources in the same way. When I looked at RootsMagic 8, the list of sources appeared to be the same.

Since one of my dad’s first cousins is active on the FamilySearch tree, I decided to see if I could learn anything from the sources she has added.

Studying sources she added as well as sources added by others, I noticed a pattern:

Name as listed in record followed by an abbreviated name of the record

The other thing I noticed was the date associated with each source. When I switched back to my grandfather’s sources page, I found that the date is not listed for some of the sources I transferred, while it is listed for other sources I transferred.

Thus, I don’t think the RootsMagic interface is the best way for me to transfer the sources in my file. So my other option is to use the ‘Add Sources’ page.

Using this screen to add a source allows me to add the transcription and add the media.

Using the add source screen would be easiest to use at the same time I’m creating the source in RootsMagic.

This is also how I will need to add all of my newspaper sources. Thus, I likely need to work with a report for the individual that includes the Endnotes to figure out which sources need added and reference back to the citation on RootsMagic so I can copy it to FamilySearch.

Using the ‘Add Sources’ screen will take longer to get my existing sources attached to my ancestors on the tree, but I understand that process. Thus, it will be less of a struggle.

Over 19,000

Have you attended RootsTech? I’ve never had the privilege of attending RootsTech, but I have been a ‘Not at RootsTech’ participant. This year, everyone will be a ‘Not at RootsTech’ participant by attending the virtual RootsTech Connect.

For those who were able to attend last year, they could use the “Relatives around Me” task on the FamilySearch app. This year, we can all take advantage of this technology.

To get to the screen informing me I have over 19,000 relatives who will be attending RootsTech, I simply clicked on the red ‘Join’ button at the top of the FamilySearch screen after I logged in.

I have to wait until Feb. 25th when RootsTech starts, but then I will be able to see how I am related to these other attendees.

This is just an added benefit of RootsTech. If you aren’t registered to attend, you might want to register.

It will be interesting to see what happens with all of these relatives! Join me so we can see if we are related.


The Site is LIVE!

There is a ‘See Relatives’ button that takes you to your relatives.

The ‘Relatives at RootsTech’ page has a list of relatives on the left with a map of where those relatives reside toward the right side of the page.

Of my over 25,000 relatives, I currently only have about 15 4th cousins or closer. The rest are 5th cousins or greater. Curious as to whether I am related to any of the ‘big’ names in genealogy, I did a search for DearMyrtle, Pat Richley-Erickson and found that we are 11th cousins. My connection is thru my WELLS line.

These results are similar to those on the old ‘We’re Related’ app: they depend on both parties having an accurate tree. So, I’ll admit right now: I don’t have my tree back that far! I have documentation back 6 to 7 generations.

So, for most of my numerous ‘relatives’, my tree doesn’t go back far enough to prove distant cousin relationships. Sorry! But it is fun to see who I might be related to!