Roberta Adell Briles Crawford

Roberta Adell Briles Crawford was born June 20, 1930 in Buffalo, Kansas. She was the daughter of Edward Osmund and Pauline (Mentzer) Briles.

Roberta passed away at Sunrise of Lenexa in Lenexa, Kansas on January 9, 2022.

Roberta graduated from Emporia High School in 1948. She attended Kansas State Teachers College where she was a member and president of the Delta Sigma Epsilon sorority.

Roberta married Eugene David Crawford on June 9, 1951 in Emporia. Starting in 1955, Roberta and Eugene lived in Dodge City. While living in Dodge City, they were active members of the First United Methodist Church. The family moved from Dodge City to Lincoln, Nebraska and then to Emporia, Kansas.

Roberta started her career as a medical transcriptionist at the Dodge City Medical Center. Shortly after moving to Emporia, Kansas, Roberta joined the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital as a medical secretary, later becoming the Director of the Medical Records department. In October 1973, Roberta completed requirements for certification as an Accredited Record Technician. As a medical secretary, Roberta was a member of the Kansas Medical Record Association and served as treasurer in 1974.

After two of her children had completed college, Roberta joined her youngest as a college student and completed her college degree, graduating from Emporia State University in 1978.

Roberta and Eugene were long time members of St. Marks Lutheran Church in Emporia

After retiring, Eugene and Roberta became full time RVers wintering in Honda, Texas. They were active members of the Southwinders Association.

Roberta is survived by her three children: Marcia (Mike) Philbrick of Seneca, David (Kathy) Crawford of Blue Rapids, and Terry (Tina) Crawford of Shawnee; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Roberta was preceded in death by her husband in 2006, infant son, Duane Crawford in 1953 and her siblings.

Roberta has been cremated. The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be made to Emporia State University. Please direct your gift to the Eugene D. Crawford and Leon R. Crawford II Memorial Scholarship in memory of Roberta Crawford. Gifts may be made directly to Emporia State University Foundation, 1500 Highland Street, Emporia, KS 66801.

Genealogy Score


Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope more of you do than participated in the last several SNGF challenges), is to:

1) Determine how complete your genealogy research is. For background, read Crista Cowan’s post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart’s What Is Your Genealogy “Score?” For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 generations with you as the first person.

2) Create a table similar to Crista’s second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method). Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3) Show us your table, and calculate your “Ancestral Score” – what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

GenerationRelationshipPossible #Possible TotalIdentified #Identified TotalPercentatge
41x Great815815100%
52x Great16311631100%
63x Great3263316298%
74x Great641276312598%
85x Great12825510823391%
96x Great25652215238574%
107x Great512102319057556%

At generation 5, I am 100% but that drops to 56% by generation 10. So how can I improve my score?

  • Figure out my SMITH ancestors — I have at least 2 different SMITH lines in generation 7.
  • Research — I have not researched some of these lines in the last 20 years.

Lester Haug May Become a Pilot

Nemaha County Kansas

Saturday Tidbit

Courier Tribune March 6, 1939

Lester Haug May Become a Pilot

Named with 19 K.U. Men to Civilian Air Corps

A distinguished record in the School of Engineering at K.U., as well as ability to pass a special examination has gained Lester Haug, Seneca, admission to a select group of 20 men who are privileged to take the government’s civilian air pilot course now being organized in colleges as part of the scheme of national defense.

Haug has been so busy in his engineering studies, engineering societies and military work in the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, that flying may crowd him for time but it is believed here he would not have taken the examination if he had not had serious intention of pursuing it. Haug is majoring in the field of sanitary engineering.

The 20 students first must take ground school work, a five-hour course in meteorology, air commerce regulations and navigation under the direction of college mechanical engineering department.

Haug entered K.U. in 1935. He has served as president of the Engineering Council, is a member of Sigma Tau, Scabbord and Blade, American Society for Testing Materials and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He married Miss Betty Wempe last Thanksgiving.

Friday Finds

Do you have folders full of research notes you’ve taken over the years? If so, are they well organized to that you can easily find them again? I do have lots of folders full of scanned documents. However, I doubt that I could easily find information in some of those folders.

When I scanned the documents in my filing cabinets, I named the scanned file with the filing code on the document. That code was based on a system recommended by Bill Dollarhide. With that system, my folders were divided by surname and state. Thus, I had Kansas, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia folders for my Crawford research. Within each folder, the documents were numbered. Thus a document in the Kansas folder would have a filing code of where the xxx represent the number of the document. When the document was sourced in The Master Genealogist, I included the filing code with the source.

When I transitioned from The Master Genealogist to RootsMagic, I was using more digital sources. In the process I found a need for better organization and better file names. Even though my recent research uses a better naming and organization scheme, I still have that older research with poor file names.

A consultant recommended that I go back thru my older research since I could have information buried in those files to help me break thru my Crawford brick wall. Thus, I’m going to spend some time in 2022 going thru those poorly named files and renaming them. And on Fridays, I’m going to share some of my finds via ‘Friday Finds’ blog posts.

Today’s “find” is a handwritten transcription of an obituary for James H. Crawford from the Journal-Democrat in Dodge City.

The Journal-Democrat
Friday July 10, 1908
page 4 col 6

Pioneer Citizen Sleeps into Peaceful Death
J. H. Crawford, pioneer citizen of Ford County died at the hospital Wed afternoon. Mr. Crawford has been seriously sick for some weeks and was brought to the hospital that he might have the best of care. Tues. evening he dropped into a quiet sleep from which the attendants could not arouse him and Wed. afternoon the spirit took its flight.
Mr. Crawford came to Dodge City in 1878 adn settled on a claim northwest of town. After proving up he came to the city and entered mercantile life till 1898 when he sold his business interests to P.M. Imel. Since that time he has lived with his daughter, Mrs. Robt. Hazelton on his farm south of the city
Six children are left to mourn, John, Abraham, Clay and Clara live in Colorado. William is a resident of Arizona. Mrs. Hazelton is the only resident of the community.
The funeral services were held form the Methodist Church this afternoon at 2 o’clock. It was Mr. Crawford last express wish that Dr. Vaughn should preach the funeral sermon, “just a plain ‘Uncle Jimmy’ Crawford funeral” was what he wished. Three children from Colorado arrived for the funeral: John, Clay and Clara.

Since the state of Kansas is working on digitizing their newspaper collection, I now have access to digital copies of the Dodge City papers from this time period. Thus, I not only have my handwritten transcription but can also obtain an image of the obituary.

Going thru these files will likely be a slow process, especially if I stop and find the same source in today’s online resources.

Another Military Mystery

Do the fragments of information about an ancestor or distant cousins military service frustrate you? I know that even though my dad shared some of his military experience with me, he got some of the dates confused. Since he served in the U.S. Navy toward the end of World War 2, I was fortunate to be able to get his military file from NARA. However many of the records for those who served in the Army and Air Force are more difficult to find.

Even though I likely would not spend the time or money to seek out a military file for a second cousin, I do get frustrated when very little information exists about their military service. Thus, when I come across an obituary indicating that a cousin was at the Battle of the Bulge in Europe and then part of the transfer of power form the United States to the Philippines in the Pacific, I’m intrigued and trying to locate additional information.

That’s the case with one of my Christy cousins: Oscar Morris Butcher.

Tipton County Tribune (Tipton, IN)
13 Nov 2012
page 2

Oscar Butcher

Oscar Butcher, 89, Kirklin, a World War II veteran, farmer and patriot, fought his last battle on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.

Oscar Morris Butcher was born Dec. 3, 1922, to Orla and Gertie (Christy) Butcher in Hamilton County. He died in his Pickard area home.

He married Mary D. (Ploughe) Butcher on May 22, 1943 and she survives.

Mr. Butcher started school in Kempton and graduated from Sugar Creek High School in 1940. He attended Purdue University short-course agriculture classes on the GI Bill after returning from World War II. Pfc. Butcher was awarded the Bronze Star in Europe for engagement in the Battle of the Bulge. Motor Sgt. Butcher drove the lead vehicle escorting High Commissioner McNutt in the parade recognizing the transfer of military control from the United States to the Filipino government in 1946.

Oscar and Mary farmed in Sugar Creek Township for almost 70 years.
He was a member of Hills Baptist Church, the Pickard Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite and the Shriners. He served on the Board of Directors of Agmax (now Co-Alliance) for 18 years and as the Clinton County committeeman for FSA (Farm Service Agency), formerly ASCS (Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service), for 15 years. He belonged to the Michigantown Lions and Kirklin American Legion.

In addition to his wife, Mary, he is survived by daughter Glenda (Garry) Frey of Frankfort and sons Morris (Betty) Butcher and Mark (Sherie) Butcher of Kirklin; grandsons, Brian Butcher and Brent (fiancée Linda Kim) Butcher, and granddaughters, Stacey (Matt) Viars, Heather (Kent) Waddelow, Laura (Mark) Greathouse and Libby (Scott Satterthwaite) Frey. Great-grandchildren include Aubrey and Evan Waddelow; Adison, Carley and Jocelyn Viars; Mariana Greathouse and Oscar Satterthwaite. A sister, Alfretta Walker Schekel of Florida, also survives.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Hobart and Milton Butcher and sister Elnora Lamb.

Memorials may be made to Hills Baptist Church or the Murat Shrine Transportation Club.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Kercheval Funeral Home, Sheridan, with the Rev. Robert Louden officiating. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Frankfort.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home, with a Masonic service at 7 p.m.

“Oscar Butcher,” Tipton County Tribune (Tipton, Indiana), 13 November 2012, page 2; digital image, ( : viewed online 29 December 2021).

Since Oscar Butcher died in 2012, he is not included in the Department of Veterans’ BIRLS Death File. When I checked Fold3, he did have a ‘Memorial’ page,

According to Army Enlistment Records, Oscar M Butcher enlisted 2 Sept 1944. However, this record indicates that he was single.

Name: Oscar M Butcher
Race: White
Marital status: Single, without dependents (Single)
Rank: Private
Birth Year: 1922
Nativity State or Country: Indiana
Citizenship: Citizen
Residence: Clinton, Indiana
Education: 4 years of high school
Civil Occupation: General farmers
Enlistment Date: 2 Sep 1944
Enlistment Place: Indianapolis, Indiana
Service Number: 35907671
Branch: No branch assignment
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life

Oscar’s Find a Grave memorial and his obituary indicate he married Mary Ploughe in 1943. An article listing marriage licenses was published in the 20 May 1943 issue of The Indianapolis Star.

“Marriage Licenses,” The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana), 20 May 1943, page 19; ( : viewed online 30 December 2021).

Even though the marriage status on the enlistment record may be incorrect, there are other newspaper articles that support the enlistment of Oscar Morris Butcher in Sept. 1944.

Many Clinton Boys to Enter Service

Frankfort, April 14. – Approximately 50 per cent of the large group of Clinton county selectees taking pre-induction physical examinations in Indianapolis Thursday were seniors of high school or students approaching the 18-year age limit. The group was composed of 67 city and county men with the remainder of the 72 including five men transferred from other boards.
William Philip Dorner was leader of the group, assisted by his brother-in-law, Carl Robert Frederickson. Other selectees were … Oscar Morris Butcher.

“Many Clinton Boys to Enter Service,” Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 14 April 1944, page 6; digital images, ( : viewed online 30 December 2021).

Clinton Co. Group Enters Service
Frankfort, Sept.. 2, – Following Clinton county selectees left here by bus Friday for Indianapolis, to be inducted into the armed forces:
Oscar Morris Butcher, leader; …

“Clinton Co. Group Enters Service,” Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 2 September 1944, page 9; digital images, ( : viewed online 29 December 2021).

Then in June 1945, a short article not only indicates that Oscar Butcher was home on furlough but identifies the unit he served with.

On Furlough
Pvt. Oscar M. Butcher of the 86th division (Blackhawk) lately returned to this country, has arrived at the home of his parents on Kirklin route 2, for a 30-day furlough.

“On Furlough,” Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 21 June 1945, page 18; digital images, ( : viewed online 29 December 2021).

Besides the local piece, an area paper, The Indianapolis News, published a list of all the soldiers coming home on furlough with the 86th Division that included Oscar Butcher’s name.

Here Is List of Indianapolis and Indiana Men Coming Home on Furlough with 86th Division
Indianapolis and other Hoosier members of the 86th division who are en route to their homes for thirty-day furloughs are listed below:
Pvt. Oscar M. Butcher, Kirkland

“Here Is List of Indianapolis and Indiana Men Coming Home on Furlough with 86th Division,” The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, IN), 18 June 1945, page 3; digital images, ( : viewed online 29 December 2021).

A July 1945 article about the 86th division indicates that after furlough, the soldiers reported to Camp Gruber in Oklahoma for training for service in the Pacific theater.

Troops of the 86th division first back from Europe, will assemble Aug. 1 at Camp Gruber, Okl., to learn how to kill Japanese as well as they polished off nazis.

Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) 20 Jul 1945, page 2 on

Then a May 1946 article in the Des Moines Tribune confirms the roll of the 86th division as the honor guard escorting Commissioner Paul V. McNutt during the diplomatic turn over of the Philippines at the close of World War 2.

Guard Roxas Taking Oath
Manila, Philippines — Ringed by submachineguns against a reported assassination plot, Manual A. Roxxas Tuesday becomes president of the Philippines commonwealth.

A United States 86th division honor guard escorted High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt to the rostrum a few minutes after Roxas’ arrival, and the consular and diplomatic corps turned out en masse for the ceremony.

Des Moines Tribune (Des Moines, Iowa) 28 May 1946, page 2 on

The Holocaust Museum has a page devoted to the 86th Division. The Sons of Liberty also have a page on the 86th Division. A battle map for the 86th Division is for sale on several sites including Army


As we have just “celebrated” another COVID new year, I’m fairly certain that we are all suffering from what the doctors at the University of Kansas Medical System have idenfied as CWS (pronounced COWS), or Covid Weariness Syndrome. As we march into January with more negative Covid news, have you wondered how the 1918 Influenza pandemic impacted your ancestors or distant cousins?

Since my grandmother lost her 7 month old son, Kenny, in 1919, I often wondered whether he was a victim of influenza. Since Kenneth Briles was admitted into a Kansas City Hospital prior to his death, his death certificate is available online. And that death certificate eliminates influenza as a possible cause of Kenny’s death. Instead, it indicates that Kenny’s cause of death was pyelo-nephritis with Dyspepsia as an underlying cause. Google helped me figure out that Kenny had an infection in his kidneys which caused his death. The underlying cause of Dyspepsia may have been E coli. How Kenny ingested the bacteria will never be known.

Since Kenny’s death was not from influenza, I forgot about the possibility that I had relatives die from influenza. That was until I encountered the obituary of Theodore Basil Christy. According to his obituary, Theodore died from pneumonia caused by influenza.

Burial of Basil Christy

Took Place Thursday Morning at Hills Church

The funeral of Basil Christy, a well-known farmer in the south west part of the county took place Thursday morning at Hill’s church and was very largely attended.
Mr. Christy’s death followed an attack of pneumonia, the result of Influenza and was a shock to the entire neighborhood, he being a man highly respected in the community and wherever known. He is survived by a wife and children and also by several brothers and sisters.
He was a member of the Baptist church his membership being at the Hill’s church.

“Burial of Basil Christy,” The Tipton Daily Tribune (Tipton, IN), 17 October 1918, page 1; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 December 2021).

This obituary was the first piece of information indicating that any of my cousins had died from influenza. However, I haven’t seriously looked thru my file to see if there are others. Even though I likely won’t deviate from my current research tasks, I wanted to figure out who I had in my file who died during the influenza epidemic that began in 1918. According to Wikipedia, there were four waves during this epidemic with the majority of deaths occurring in 1918 and 1919. To figure out who my potential victims of influenza might be, I created a group in my RootsMagic program.

Thus, I clicked on the icon that looks like a paint palette in the upper right corner of the program to open the Command Palette. Scrolling down the list of commands, I located the one allowing me to add or modify groups..

On the GROUP window, I clicked on the NEW button to begin the creation of the group.

Then I entered a name for my group. In this case, I’m naming the group, Influenza.

When I click on the OK button, the window changes allowing me to hand pick members for the group from everyone in my file or to use the MARK feature to let the program pick them. Since I don’t know who should be in this group, I’m gong to click on MARK and let the computer select based on the death information I have in my file.

When I click on the MARK button, a menu opens offering me several choices. For this group, I want to select them by their death date. Thus, I’m going to use ‘By Data Field’.

Now, I enter the ‘argument’ I want the computer to use to search my genealogy file. If I want to include all 4 waves of the epidemic, I need to include dates for 1918, 1919 and the first half of 1920. Thus, I could use the following argument.

However, if I’m only concerned about the deaths during 1918 and 1919, then I can use an OR statement to pick both years.

When I click on the OK button, the computer will search thru my file and return a list of those people for whom the argument would be true. When I used death date contains 1918 or 1919, I got 114 people. In order to save this group, I have to remember to click the SELECT button.

To view the list of group members, I can use the INDEX on the people screen. If I pull down the upside down carrot by SHOW EVERYONE I can find my Influenza group in my list of groups.

When I click on the group, the list of people changes to just those in my group.

Now I have a list of people who may have died from Influenza. Some day when I’m either extremely ambitious or extremely curious, I can work my way thru this list to see if any of them actually succumbed to influenza.

John Frederick Christy

Killed in Action

Do you know much about the Korean War? I have to admit that I don’t. Thus, when I learned that a second cousin twice removed was killed in action in Korea, I had to learn more.

An Ancestry hint for John Frederick Christy took me to the article about his funeral service.

The body of Fred Christy, 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Christy of Carmel who was killed in action in Korea on Oct. 14, will arrive home Wednesday and services will be held at the Carmel Friends church at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Rev. Stacy Wesner, pastor, will officiate and members of the Carmel Post 155, American Legion, will assist in the service. The body will be entombed in the mausoleum at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis.
Friends may calla t the Christy home in Carmel until noon, Saturday. Arrangements are by the Smith Funeral Home.
Hamilton County’s 8th fatality in the Korean fighting, Christy was killed less than five months after he entered combat early last June with an infantry division. He received the combat infantryman’s badge for valor under fire shortly before his death.
A graduate of Carmel high school and a member of the Friends church at Carmel, he entered military service on Oct. 4, 1951, and left for the Pacific Theater last May 26.
Survivors in addition to the parents include two brothers, Russell and Dale Christy, both of Carmel.

“Last Rites for Fred Christy on Saturday,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 23 December 1952, page 1; digital image, ( : viewed online 19 December 2021).

Hoping to learn more about how John Frederick Christy’s death, I turned to my normal source — newspapers. I did find an article from when the parents were notified about his death.

Fred Christy, Carmel Alumnus, Killed in Korea

The Carmel community mourns with the John Christys the loss of their middle son, John Frederick Christy. Word came to Mr. and Mrs. Christy at the Halloween Festival last Friday night concerning the death of their son, and the festive mood was killed for all who heard the unwelcome news.
Fred Christy started school in the first grade at Carmel shortly after his parents moved into the community. His older brother, Russell, started his fifth grade at Carmel and both boys were held in high esteem by faculty and students throughout their High School career. Dale Christy, the younger brother is at present a very popular Carmel High School senior. John Christy has given much to the community and the school. Besides the attendance and contributions of his boys in school, he has figured prominently in physical changes of the school with his electrical and plumbing “know how” from the time the cafeteria was moved from the second floor of the school to the basement, to the present when he has been engaged in moving the cafeteria to the new annex.
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Christy have settled in Carmel since his service in the second world war when he served overseas in India in the Signal Corps. He ws drafted into service on June 10, 1943, and gave 35 months of his life to the army. Fred was drafted Oct 4, 1951 and according to the point system, should have returned to Carmel in March or April of 1953.
Russell works at Stewart warner and Dale will graduate form Carmel High School next spring. The Christys are very much a part of Carmel, and many will remember that Fred was in the first Senior class to publish the Pinnacle, the first Senior Class to go to Washington, D.C. and the first Christy to be lost to the community.

“Fred Christy, Carmel Alumnus, Killed in Korea,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 7 November 1952, pge 5; digital image, ( : viewed online 19 December 2021).

Going back in time, I found an article from when John Fred Christy was inducted.

Nine Hamilton County Men Are Drafted into Army

Nine Hamilton County men were drafted into the Army Thursday.
They Were:
Cleo Dean Frank
John Russell Wechsler
John Frederick Christy
Norman Allen Merriman
Thomas Lee Williamson
Walter Lewis Anderson
Richard Lee Harvey
John DeHart
Wendell Joy Dillinger

They left Noblesville by bus early in the morning for Indianapolis. They were expected to leave that city, probably for Fort Custer, Mich., late that afternoon.
On Wednesday 22 local men were in Indianapolis for physical examination. Results of these exams are not expected until later this month.
November’s draft quota is expected to be about the same as those received this month. Yesterday Adjutant Gen. Robinson Hitchcock, director of Indiana Selective Service announced that only 628 Hoosiers would be drafted in December. This is about half the normal monthly quota.
He said 60 per cent of the draftees would be summoned in the first week of the month, 20 percent in the second week and the remaining in the third week. None will be drafted in the holiday period.

“Nine Hamilton County Men Are Drafted into Army,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 5 October 1951, page 1; digital image, ( : viewed online 19 December 2021).

Since none of these articles provided information about which unit he served in, I turned to Google. Thankfully, Google came thru with some valuable information. On the American Battle Monuments Commission site, I found a ‘certificate’ that lists John Frederick Christy’s unit

Another page on the American Battle Monuments Commission lists the awards that John F. Christy received, including the Purple Heart.

Having identified John Fred Christy’s unit as the 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Division, Google and Wikipedia came thru with information about where the regiment was fighting in October 1952. The regiment was part of Operation Showdown in the attack on Triangle Hill.

The Wikipedia article likely describes the battle where John F. Christy was killed.

Opening moves

At 04:00 on 14 October 1952, following two days of preliminary air strikes,[25] the ROK-American bombardment intensified across the 30 km (19 mi) front held by the PVA 15th Corps. At 05:00, the 280 guns and howitzers of the IX Corps extended their firing range to allow for the ROK-American infantry to advance behind a rolling barrage.[33] The concentrated bombardment succeeded in clearing the foliage on Triangle Hill and Sniper Ridge, destroying most of the above-ground fortifications on the two positions.[33] The intense shelling also disrupted PVA communication lines, eliminating all wired and wireless communications in the area.[34]

As the US and ROK forces approached the PVA defenses, they were met with grenades, Bangalore torpedoesshaped charges, and rocks.[35][36] Unable to safely advance, US/ROK troops were forced to rely on close-support artillery to subdue PVA resistance,[35][36] but the network of bunkers and tunnels allowed the PVA to bring up reinforcements as the above-ground troops were depleted.[36][37] Although the 31st Infantry Regiment was equipped with ballistic vests in the first mass military deployment of modern personal armor;[12] its 1st and 3rd Battalions nevertheless suffered 96 fatalities, with an additional 337 men wounded in the first attack – the heaviest casualties the 31st Infantry Regiment had suffered in a single day during the war.[12][38]

I’m thankful that I looked for additional information about John Frederick Christy’s death! If I hadn’t done my simple Google search, I doubt I would have found out that he had been award the Purple Heart.


Have you seen those reminders on the first of the month to backup your genealogy files? This prompting is a gentle reminder to perform a needed task. However, backing up our precious data shouldn’t be a monthly practice. Instead it should be an all the time practice.

While working as a high school technology coordinator, my first experience was with tape backups. I had a pile full of tapes that were rotated to back up the data files on the server. Not only was this an expensive task but it was also difficult to retrieve files from those tapes.

Thus, when I learned of the shareware program, Second Copy, I gladly replaced the tapes with an external hard drive attached to an old desktop computer on the network. Running this program allowed me to schedule the copying of faculty, staff and student files on a nightly basis. Because the files and associated folder structure was duplicated on the external drive, it was simple to restore files when needed.

Not only did I implement Second Copy at school, but I purchased a copy for my home computer along with an external drive. Thus, every night Second Copy does its job and copies files from my computer’s hard drive onto an external drive.

Knowing that I also need an ‘off-site’ backup copy of my files, I take advantage of cloud storage. My genealogy files are all stored locally on my hard drive but also synced to my Dropbox account.

Since my Microsoft account includes a OneDrive account, I use OneDrive to store my music and pictures in the cloud.

In addition to making sure my files are backed up on a daily basis, I also strive to backup my RootsMagic genealogy file. I only have one genealogy file so I just use RootsMagic’s built in feature to prompt for a backup when closing the program. Then I modify the file name to add a number representing the time of day after the date.

This allows me to not only create a daily backup of my file but to create multiple backups during a day if needed.

While this way of backing up genealogy files might not be for everyone, it has worked well for me over the years. I like the ability to search or browse my external hard drives or online cloud accounts in the same way I navigate the hard drive on my computer. I also enjoy a peace of mind knowing that my files are not only backed up locally but in the cloud with little or no effort from me.

2022 Goals

Since I completed the bulk of my 2021 goals in October, I’ve had a couple of months to contemplate my 2022 goals. Having this much time to think about where I want to go with my research in 2022 has resulted in quite a few goals.

Descendancy Research

During 2021, I researched descendants of my 3rd great grandfathers down to my grandparents on my dad’s side of the tree. Thus, my 2022 goal is to finish this research for my mom’s side of the tree.

  • Alexander Briles
  • William Thompson
  • John Lewis Ricketts
  • Samuel Christy
  • Phillip Mentzer
  • John Minnick
  • Ozias Wells
  • Lewis Crandall

Narrative Reports

During 2021, I completed narrative reports for my 2nd great grandparents. For 2022, I want to work on publishing these narrative reports along with transcribing deeds and wills for my 3rd great grandparents along with my Duggins step-sons of James Crawford.

  • Nelson Crawford and Martha Smith
  • Zebulon Foster and Caroline Ostrander
  • Horatio Hammond and Louisa Fisk
  • James Barr Ralston and Nancy Jane McCormick
  • Hiram M. Currey (of Peoria) and Rachel Harris
  • Henry F Burke and Elizabeth Ann Bland
  • Aaron Hutchinson and Sarah Merry
  • William Gillies Harding and Elizabeth Fowler
  • Alexander Briles and Sarah Rush
  • William Taylor Thompson and Polly Ann Evans
  • John Lewis Ricketts and Orilda Matilda Reed
  • Samuel Christy and Lyda Gallimore
  • Phillip Andrew Mentzer and Orinda Miles
  • John Minnick and Elizabeth Mary Jones
  • Ozias Wells and Mary Kennedy
  • Lewis Crandall and Almira Nafus
  • William Duggins
  • Henry Duggins

Friday Finds

Not only do I still have file folders containing unscanned documents, but I have lots of folders full on scanned images of research done years ago.

For this goal, I plan to work thru one folder at a time, reviewing the information, transcribing as needed and making sure a source citation is in my genealogy file when appropriate.


Since it has been a year since I’ve actively researched my Crawford family and their Garrard County FAN club, I plan to continue this research. I’m going to start by extracting information for Garrard county deeds from the book, Old Kentucky Entries and Deeds by Willard Rouse Jillson. Since the data is not organized by county, I’m searching for deeds on Sugar Creek, Paint Lick Creek and Clear Creek. I’m using these creeks because they are the creeks named in the deeds for the CRAWFORD families in early Garrard County, Kentucky: Rebekah Crawford, Mary Crawford and James Crawford.


To make sure I have a ‘backup’ of my blog posts, I have started printing each post as a PDF file. However, I have a lot of older posts that still need ‘printed’. Thus, I would like to get all of my posts printed so that I can have a ‘backup’ copy outside of WordPress.

FamilySearch Memories

After seeing the destruction caused by the recent spat of tornadoes and seeing pictures carried hundreds of miles, I want to work my way thru my family notebooks to make sure the documents and pictures are uploaded as memories to FamilySearch.

These are ambitious goals! Will I achieve all of them? That’s doubtful — but I plan to try.

Blogging Goals

When you were in high school did you think of yourself as a writer? I know that I definitely did NOT visualize myself as a writer. I remember a time during my career when I was composing a letter thinking I never would have imagined having to do so much writing in my career. And I have to admit that during that career, I became pretty good at technical writing – or writing those directions.

And then came 2021 when I published a blog post almost every day. When the year started, I didn’t have any specific blogging goals. My goal was to blog more consistently. To help me achieve that goal, I decided to

  • share family pictures in ‘Throwback Thursday’ posts
  • use Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as a blogging prompt for Sundays – prompts posted on Saturday evening on Randy’s Genea-Musings site)
  • use Amy Johnson Crowe’s 52 ancestors in 52 weeks blogging prompts for Saturday posts. (2021 Themes)

Since I’m not a ‘creative’ writer, I found the 52 ancestors writing prompt difficult at times. Thus, I quit worrying about using that prompt and just blogged from my research activities.

What helped me accomplish these blogging goals was learning to SCHEDULE my blog posts. Instead of writing every day, I simply wrote when I had something to share. Unsure of the ‘best’ time to post, I decided to make my posts available at 6:45 am central time. I kept a simple calendar in my bullet journal where I would write down (in pencil) the title of a post for when I planned to have it published. Sometimes I found writing a post that would be of little value several days out. When this happened, I scheduled that time sensitive post for the next day and moved all the scheduled posts to make room for this timely post. Thus, the need for using pencil to fill in my calendar.

As I determine my 2022 genealogy goals, I’m also setting some blogging goals. For 2022, I’m going to have specific ‘topics’ for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Friday Finds — pulling information to share from my digital and paper files from the early days of my research
  • Saturday Tidbits — sharing historic articles from local (Nemaha county) newspapers (where I currently live) and possibly from Yates Center, Dodge City and other papers where my ancestors lived
  • Sundays — Saturday Night Genealogy Fun prompts
  • Monday thru Thursday — sharing my current genealogy activities