Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Hey genea-folks, 

it’s Saturday Night again, 

 time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) What is the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing you have done in pursuit of your ancestral families and their family history?

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, a comment to this post, or a comment or status on Facebook.

Well, defining ‘most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing’ may differ from person to person. For an introvert who was not very fond of English classes, just writing this blog is somewhat ‘off-the-wall’. Towards the end of my teaching career, I was amazed at how much writing I was doing when I didn’t like to write in high school. I will admit that the vast majority of the writing during my career would be considered ‘technical writing.’

Looking back, however, I would have to say my two trips to Salt Lake City would qualify as crazy for introvert me. Can you imagine getting on a bus for a 10 day trip by yourself when you don’t know anyone else on said bus? Thankfully, everyone on that bus had something in common — genealogy. And our ‘entertainment’ was spending as many hours as possible in the library. Not only did I take one trip but I also ventured out and took a second trip — again without knowing anyone but the tour director. Would I do something similar again? I don’t know. With the right destination, I just might.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It’s Saturday Night again – 

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 

1)  What would you put into your own “Family History Time Capsule” for your descendants to open in the future?  What would you use for the capsule?  Where would you keep it?  Who should open it?

While I’ve never thought about a time capsule, I have thought about the concept of ‘passing down’ family items. So, for this exercise, my time capsule is a 10×10 room. In other words, my time capsule is my genealogy office. My ‘time capsule’ contains two bookcases containing family notebooks, my computer along with USB drives and filing cabinets.

Besides the notebooks for various branches of my family tree are notebooks for each of my brothers. These notebooks contain items related to their lives and their families. While some of the items are recent additions, many are the photos and family items kept by my parents.

The family notebooks contain documents and photos for the family unit. These documents and photos have been scanned and many have been shared to Ancestry and FamilySearch.

More family photos are found in the closet. While most closets contain clothes, the closet in my genealogy office also contains a filing cabinet. This filing cabinet contains scrapbooks and photo albums passed down by my grandmothers. Also in the closet are my mother’s photo albums. Many of these photos have been scanned, and also uploaded to FamilySearch.

A second filing cabinet contains paper research. Some of this paper research has been scanned while some has not. Most of it is from my early days of research. Those who ‘open’ my time capsule will likely ignore the items in this filing cabinet. Thus, I need to spend some time sifting thru the paper to scan and preserve documents that cannot be found on Ancestry or other sources of digital records.

And then we come to my computer. Since most of what is found on my bookshelves and in my filing cabinets has been scanned, my computer could be considered my time capsule. It contains

  • Photos of family events in my PICTURES folder grouped in subfolders for the event
  • Everything genealogy related in my GENEALOGY folder
  • Photos, scanned images and downloaded images to support my family tree in surname subfolders in the GENEALOGY\EXHIBITS folder
  • Everything DNA related in the GENEALOGY\DNA and GENEALOGY\yDNA folders
  • Backups of my genealogy work, documents and pictures on USB drives

My computer is also my link to various online accounts. These accounts are like ‘windows’ into my time capsule. They allow distant cousins to access various aspects of my time capsule.

  • Ancestry tree – Heartland Genealogy – updated using RootsMagic’s TreeShare
  • FamilySearch – using RootsMagic’s feature allowing the linking of individuals in my RootsMagic file to the FamilySearch tree
  • This blog — where I’ve share my research findings and reports from RootsMagic
  • WikiTree — where I’m starting to share information about my ancestral lines

While my genealogy office is not locked, my computer does have a lock on it. Thus, I would have to share the ‘key’ with recipients of my time capsule. Currently, my husband is the only other person who knows the ‘key’. However, I need to share it with my brothers and potentially with my nieces and nephew since they will likely be the ones needing to ‘open’ my time capsule.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It’s Saturday Night again – 

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 

1)  We all have genealogy-related tasks that we “need” to do.  What are yours?

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link on this post if you write your own blog post.

What do I need to do? Do I have a formal list? Unfortunately, no. However, my list will look a lot like Randy Seaver’s list.


  • Sort thru photo albums to separate family photos from vacation photos of just scenery.
  • Scan family photos
  • Make sure all family photos are labeled
  • Clean up my files removing duplicate images of the same photo
  • Transfer any genealogy related photos from my ‘Pictures’ folder to my genealogy exhibits folder
  • Verify that I have shared photos of ancestors on FamilySearch


  • Finish converting census facts to residence facts
  • Verify that census sources are for digital images of the census versus old handwritten notes
  • Create narrative reports for ancestors and siblings of ancestors to check sentence structure and sourcing
  • Copy narrative report into WikiTree profiles I manage
  • Review Kansas newspaper sources to replace handwritten notes with digital images of the papers have been digitized

Paper Files

  • Make sure notes have been scanned
  • Update sourcing to today’s standards, making sure pdf file or image is attached to the source
  • Discard any handwritten census notes


  • Kansas courthouses to obtain images of deeds and other records to replace sourcing that only referenced an index
  • Affiliate libraries or Family History centers to obtain images of land and probate records for my ancestors
  • Kansas State Historical Society Archive to obtain images of newspaper items not available digitally
  • MidWest Genealogy Library, St. Louis Public Library, county historical societies to continue research especially for my CRAWFORD line


  • Merge Places
  • Add abbreviations to places
  • Merge Sources
  • Merge Citations
  • Update sourcing to today’s standards


  • Continue connecting RootsMagic individuals to the FamilySearch tree
  • Add photos and images of documents to Memories on FamilySearch


  • Continue sharing my RootsMagic tree to Ancestry
  • Continue updating research on my 3rd great grandparents


  • Continue verifying ThruLines matches
  • Continue adding descendants to my tree
  • Continue trying to figure out yDNA matches

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It’s Saturday Night again – 

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 

1)  What genealogy resources are you currently using? Books, periodicals, manuscripts, ephemera, websites, software, or ???

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link on this post if you write your own blog post.

Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting this topic.

Here’s mine:

While this might seem like an easy question to answer, it is actually complicated. It is complicated because, I use a lot of different resources.

When it comes to software, I regularly use

  • RootsMagic 8 to keep track of my genealogy database
  • Scrivener to transcribe records and track notes by surname/location
  • Adobe PDF
  • Windows Snipping Tool
  • Microsoft Word and Excel

During the past week or so, I’ve used the following resources:

  • digital books on – Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, volume 1
  • digital books on FamilySearch – Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, volumes 2 and 3
  • Seneca, Kansas newspaper –
  • Warren county, Indiana newspapers on
  • Books (yes actual books) like Crawford Family History and “First Census” of Kentucky 1790
  • Kentucky tax lists prior to 1800
  • yDNA / Crawford Project
  • Facebook groups — particularly Clan Crawford Association Ancestry & DNA research forum
  • Genealogical Society journals
  • Genealogy blogs via my Feedly feed

Websites I regularly use for research:

I share my research via

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Calling All Genea-Musings Fans:

It’s Saturday Night again —

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 

1) When you are performing genealogy research or writing, what makes you happy?  List ten genealogy moments that make you happy. 

10 – Figuring out how to do something new in my software or on a genealogy site

9 – Having a blog post show up on a weekly ‘best’ blogs list

8 – Participating in Zoom study groups hosted by Topeka Genealogical Society

7 – Locating biography of an ancestor in county histories and family genealogies online

6 – Being able to travel 0.5 miles to my local public library to access locked county records on the FamilySearch site

5 – Finding ‘between the dash’ information in newspaper articles via digitized newspapers

4 – Finding a deed or probate record that links family members together

3 – Willingness of other genealogist to share their knowledge via blogs,

2 – Working with other researchers to piece together branches of my tree

1 – Getting yDNA results to help figure out CRAWFORD brick wall

My ‘HAPPY’ moments would not be possible without

  • FamilySearch’s digitization of the microfilm of county records
  • Local libraries willing to become affiliated with FamilySearch
  • Kansas State Historical Society’s collection of newspapers
  • Digitization of newspapers by the Kansas State Historical Society, local public libraries and other entities
  • Digitization of genealogy related books including county histories
  • Genealogists and genealogy societies willing to share their knowledge
  • Forums and Facebook groups where questions can be asked and answers obtained
  • A fantastic administrator of the CRAWFORD yDNA project
  • Descent access to the Internet AND
  • My husband who allows me to spend hours researching and money for subscriptions and needed technology

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

 It’s Saturday Night again – 

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 

1)  Have you made genealogy goals for 2023?  What are they?  Which one would you be most excited to see accomplished?

When it comes to my 2023 goals, they appear to be pretty boring. Basically, I’m continuing to research my ancestors.

As always, the goal I would be most excited about accomplishing would to find records or DNA identifying the parents or siblings of my ancestor, James Crawford. To that end, I have recently

  • had a 4th cousin volunteer for a BigY DNA test
  • joined the Crawford project on WikiTree
  • learned of another Sellers-Crawford connection leading back to Moses Crawford and his father English Crawford which I want to investigate
  • want to research the various Botetourt County Virginia Crawford families I’ve identified
  • started reading Kentucky court records looking for Crawford and/or FAN club connections
  • began creating an ‘index’ of my Heartland Genealogy Blog on WikiTree

Hopefully, I will find something that helps me connect my CRAWFORD line to the greater Crawford tree!

Dear Santa

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It’s Saturday Night again – 

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Did you ever send a letter to Santa Claus?

I don’t remember writing to Santa.

Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?”

I don’t remember visiting Santa or making a list. However, I do remember going thru the Sears Christmas catalog. I don’t think we actually marked up the catalog, but we did talk about our ‘wishes’ with our parents.

Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

Yes, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the magic and wonder that Santa Claus adds to the Christmas holidays.

When did you find out the ‘truth’ about Santa?

I believe I heard ‘rumors’ from my classmates that Santa wasn’t real. That Christmas, Santa brought a yellow truck with a ‘Michigan’ logo for one of my brothers. Since my father had been in Michigan for summer school, I concluded that my dad brought the truck back from Michigan. When I said something along those lines, my mom asked me to keep quiet so that I didn’t ‘ruin’ the magic for my younger brothers.

Pictured below are my brothers on Christmas morning. This picture is likely a year or two before I questioned my parents about Santa.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

A)  Genea-Blogger Linda Stufflebean created a “December Genea-Meme” – so this is our challenge for Saturday Night.  Thank you, Linda!!

B)  Copy the 20 questions below to your own blog post or to a word processor, and answer the questions.

Here’s are the 20 questions:

1. What is one genea-accomplishment this year of which you are proud?

One thing that I’m in the process of accomplishing during 2022 is blogging every day. Since I tend to write ahead, I have about 8 days in December for which I have yet to write a blog post. If you had told me as a high school student that I would be writing this much, I would have told you that you were crazy!

2. Is there a particular song that when you first hear it, tells you that the holidays are here?

I don’t know that there is any one particular song that I hear on the radio or music services that makes me think of the holidays. However, when it comes to church, there is one song that seems to be the one song sung year after year at the start of the adven season: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

3. Share a holiday memory which is special for you.

I’m not sure that I have any holiday memories that are more special than others.

4. Has your family passed down any holiday stories?

The one holiday story that has been passed down in the story of the birth of my twin brothers.

5. Which past genea-gift have you really appreciated?

While I didn’t receive it at Christmas time, the genea-gift that I really appreciated was the gift from fellow faculty members at the time of my retirement. I received. This cash gift allowed me to purchase a yDNA test that has since been upgraded to a BigY test.

6. Does your family cook any holiday recipes that have been handed down?

While these recipes are no longer prepared every year, I have three recipes that were prepared yearly while growing up.

  • Frozen fruit salad — my grandmother found this recipe and would bring it to Christmas dinner
  • Sugar cookies — my mom had a sugar cookie recipe that I still use. Since I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, I did not make any sugar cookies this year.
  • Pecan Caramel Roll — My mother would make a variety of candy at Christmas time: fudge, divinity, nougat, peanut brittle, pralines and pecan caramel roll. While I haven’t made this recipe for quite some time, it is still my favorite.

7. What is your favorite holiday song?

My favorite holiday song is O Holy Night.

8. Is there a holiday song that you wish was forgotten forever?

I can’t think of one.

9. What is one (realistic) item on your Genea-Santa list this year?

While my wish for 2023 is somewhat realistic, it may not be something that Genea-Santa can deliver at Christmas time. My wish is to take a genealogy trip to the area of Garrard county, Kentucky.

10. What is one item on your not-so-realistic wish list for Genea-Santa?

Enough people completing BigY tests to find a common ancestor for my Crawford line and to show how descendants of Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford connect.

11. What holiday meal will be served?

In an effort to keep my husband healthy, we will likely stay home for Christmas. Thus, smoked pork chops and baked potatoes will be our Christmas dinner.

12. Will your family reminisce about past holidays when you get together?

Since we aren’t getting together, I doubt that we will be doing much reminiscing.

13. Will you travel to spend the day with others?

With RSV, influenza and Covid-19 showing increases in cases in Kansas, my husband and I will likely avoid travel this holiday season in an attempt to avoid getting sick.

14. Do you have old family holiday photos or home movies that will be viewed this year?

Growing up, my grandmother would take ‘movies’ each Christmas. We would watch those movies over and over. Thus, those movies are the basis for many of my childhood memories. Unfortunately, the film deteriorated before we were able to convert it.

15. Did you break through any brick walls in 2022?

While I still need to do more research on the line, I found that my ancestor, Rachel Harris, is likely a granddaughter of Daniel Harris and Elizabeth Demarest on her father’s side and Major Simon Gerrit VanArsdale and Rachel Banta on her mother’s side. This takes those lines back to early New York.

16. Has your family shared any holiday recipes/activities or ??? which have become new yearly traditions?

Since my husband and I do not have children, our holidays are often different from families with children. However, we started ushering for Christmas eve services at The Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Since we were traveling to the Kansas City area to serve as ushers, we would sign up for most of the evening. This ‘tradition’ ended in 2018 when my husband had a severe case of pneumonia. Even though we had to stay home that year, I was able to watch the Christmas Eve services online. With Covid, watching the Christmas Eve services has become a new ‘tradition’.

17. Do you have a 2022 genea-goal which could have been accomplished, but over which you’ve procrastinated?

YES! One of my 2022 goals was to ‘back up’ my blog. And I would get an ‘F’ for this goal.

18. Do you participate in any holiday activities with your neighbors?

Probably not.

19. Think – if you had to choose right this minute – which ancestor would you most like to meet?

This one’s easy: JAMES CRAWFORD

20. What is one of your 2023 genealogy goals?

Even though I have completed my 2022 research goals, I’ve yet to write my goals for 2023. In my pondering of those goals, I keep coming back to how writing research notes helped me find ‘holes’ in my research.

Thus, my 2023 goals will likely include creating research notes for my grandparent, great grandparents and 2nd great grandparents. Then, I will likely start working on updating research of my 4th great grandparents.

2007 Trip to Bastrop Park outside of Austen

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

It’s Saturday Night

Time for Some More Genealogy Fun

A)  Genea-Blogger Linda Stufflebean noted that December 8th is “Pretend You Are a Time Traveler Day.”  Today’s challenge is:  Where would you go? Would you choose a person, place or event in the past or travel into the future? Would you remain an observer or would you actively participate?” Linda suggested this challenge.

If I could time travel, where would I go? Well the obvious answer to me is to a place and time to help me with a genealogy brick wall. Thus, my first choice would be to Garrard County Kentucky on 12 September 1799. This is when my 4th great grandfather, James Crawford married Sally Duggins.

By being present at the time of their marriage, I would be able to ask them quite a few questions.

  • Who are your parents?
  • Are your parents still living? If so, where are they living? If not, when and where did they die?
  • How and when did you travel to Garrard County, Kentucky?
  • How did you meet?
  • Where were you living prior to coming to Garrard County?
  • What can you tell me about the history of your family? Do you know when your family arrived in the colonies? Do you know where they arrived? Do you know why they traveled to the colonies?
  • Where were you living during the revolutionary war?
  • Did you help the fight for independence? Why or why not?
  • James Sellers witnessed the marriage bond. Why did you ask him to support your marriage in this way?
  • Who are your siblings? Where are they living? Who have they married?
  • Where will you be living after your marriage?
  • Why did you move to Kentucky?

Questions for Sally:

  • How did you meet Alexander Duggins?
  • Where were you living when your sons were born?
  • Where were you living when Alexander died?
  • How did you learn of Alexander’s death?
  • Who was appointed guardian of your sons?
  • Did you and Alexander have any children besides Henry and William?
  • Did any of Alexander’s family travel to Kentucky with you? If so, who?

Questions for James:

  • Are you related to James Crawford who married Martha Knight? If so, how?
  • Are you related to James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson? If so, how?
  • Are you related to George Douglass?
  • Are you related to the SELLERS family (Nathaniel and his sons)
  • Are you related to the DOOLEY family? (Moses and sons)
  • Do you have a previous marriage?
  • What have you been doing since turning 21?

I’m sure there are many many more questions to ask this couple. While records my reveal answers to many of these questions, it is a very slow process locating such records.

Thank you Randy and Linda for this though provoking activity!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Time for Some More

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

A)  What is one of your most vivid childhood memories? Was it family, friends, places, events, or just plain fun?  Your first memory?  Your most fun memory?

Memories – are they memories of the event or memories of the family films and photographs? That’s a hard question for me to answer since we watched those family movies over and over.

My earliest memory that is not from one of those movies is of our home in Kansas City when I was 3-4 years old. These memories are just flashes and not backed up by any family photos. My father was a teacher at Washington High School in Wyandotte County, Kansas. My memory is of a small house on a property that had a corral where they broke horses. Other memories of this time period involve my brother (18 months younger) and I sharing a room and the walls being stucco or cement.

Another memory from a couple of years later is of my brother and I playing out in the snow with our neighbor in Dodge City. While playing, we watched a helicopter fly over with what was likely hay bales hanging from the copter. I also remember talking about the helicopter over the evening meal when my dad explained they were taking food to the cattle because their normal food was covered in snow.

Another memory from the same time period is of getting my tonsils out. I remember the ether mask coming down over my face and scaring me. The next day, mom served bierocks for supper. Since my throat was still sore, I couldn’t eat them. When I asked my mom about this, she said that she thought we could eat whatever since we had been jumping on the bed all day long. Unfortunately, my only memories of this time are of the mask and of not being able to eat. To this day, I don’t like bierocks.

When it comes to fun memories, I have a lot from my Dodge City days. There were five families with children about the age of me and my brothers in the neighborhood: Lee, Keeley, Edminston, Sayre and us. Summer time found us outside playing all over the neighborhood. Other fun memories involve going to the pool almost every day at 5 pm to swim.

And then there were the vacations. Living in Dodge City, we often went to the mountains for our vacation. One of those vacations was to the mountains around Taos, New Mexico. During that trip we went to a ‘fish farm’ where my brothers and I were allowed to ‘go fishing’ The trout were biting our lines so fast, that I had caught two fish in the time it took to get my brother’s poles in the water. Thus, my parents had 4 fish to pay for instead of 3.