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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Summer Survival Guide for Genealogy Bloggers – What is Your Blog Doing for Summer Vacation?

    You’ve made the airline reservations, rented a beach house, or tuned up the car for a road trip, but what is your poor little blog doing this summer?

    Genealogy Bloggers work hard all year – researching, writing, and managing the technology side of their site. Bloggers deserve a vacation, but taking a break doesn’t mean their blog has to languish without food or water while mom or dad reads the latest thriller on the beach.

    Here are a few tried and true strategies for keeping the blog-wheels alive while the blogger takes a break.

    Use a Blog Calendar to schedule your vacation/s. Print out a standard monthly calendar and fill it in with the family vacation events. If you don’t have plans yet, now is the time to think seriously about taking a break. Write it down: July 1-5 Blog Vacation.

    Consider Mini-Vacations to give you a change of pace. Give yourself the weekends off and post only on weekdays, or visa versa. Or, schedule regular Furlough Fridays, just like the local courthouse. Hey, spend that day doing research, or something you really want to do!

    Decide if you want to “stay alive” by scheduling articles to post while you are out of the Blog-office, or if you will just go on a “hiatus.”

    Pre-Posting is an easy to schedule posts ahead of time. This has the advantage of keeping the content fresh and active, but the disadvantage that if something BIG happens in the blogosphere, your blog can appear either uninformed or disinterested. Of course, this may not be much of an issue if you don’t regularly comment on current news or events.

    I’m not sure, but it's a pretty good guess that Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers scheduled this Follow Friday article to post while he was having a great time at the SCGS 2010 Jamboree.

    Take a Break, or a hiatus, which is essentially what every blogger needs and deserves once in a while. Sometimes, as when illness or family emergencies strike, this is the only option, but it also works for taking a bit of R&R. Let your regular readers know that you are still alive and well by posting a brief notice of your absence. Then go off and enjoy yourself.

    Craig Manson at Geneablogie took A Brief Haitus earlier this year and left a great selection of previous posts to satisfy readers during his absence.

    Invite Guests to Write for your blog, or ask if you can publish an “extract” of an article from their blog with a link back to their site. This is an attractive win-win for both of you. Good content for you, and a link back with new readers for them. Use this technique sparingly and with care; be conscientious in including links and appropriate thanks. Pre-post the article to appear while you are on your break.

    footnoteMaven regularly hosts guest columnists at Shades of the Departed and maintains links to past articles in a sidebar column. There’s always something to read at Shades.

    Try Mobile Posting while you are away from home. It’s actually great fun to snap a photo on your mobile phone and send it to your blog; just be careful what you snap if you have set automatic posting. Most blog platforms allow this feature; search for cellphone or mobile in the Help Menu.

    Dutchess County Spring Sunset was taken a few months ago with my cellphone camera and sent to the mobile-posting email address for The Family Curator.

    Summer is fleeting. Catch it while you can.


    10 Things I Shoulda Done at SCGS 2010 Genealogy Jamboree

    I did my best, I really did, but my Jamboree checklist is missing a lot of checkmarks. Months of preparation and anticipation just didn’t consider the last-minute whirlwind of Real Life. I’m not complaining, but I wish I coulda, shoulda, woulda done everything I set out to do!

    10. Meet and greet more GeneaBloggers! The unofficial “Blogger’s Lounge” was definitely the place to be, but I must still missed some folks I wanted to see.

    9. Meet and greet more great contributors to our Jamboree GeneaBloggers Welcome Bags. The exhibit hall was so busy that I missed a few while they were introducing their products and services to conference attendees.

    8. Meet and greet more Family Curator readers. Even with the best of intentions I still missed Sheila and her mom, and I was really hoping for a double mother-daughter duo photo. At least I was able to say “Hello” to April again.

    7. Meet and greet (do you see a theme here???) more lecturers and attendees. I love talking with genealogists from around the country and hearing about their research stonewalls and successes.

    6. Pass out more nifty Family Curator caliper highlighter pens. I had these specially made for Jamboree and then went off and left them at home.

    5. Play “conference ribbon war” with GeneaBloggers who gave out way-cool tags like Amy Coffin’s “Rock Star,” “Steve’s Genealogy Blog,” and of course, Thomas MacEntee’s “Diva.”

    4. Wear more comfortable shoes. Ok, I do like my little red flats but they are not kind to my back and feet. Vanity, vanity, thy name is Woman.

    3. Drink more water. It was hot. ‘nuff said.

    2. Go into training a few weeks before Jamboree so I can make it past my usual 9:30 pm bedtime.

    1. Clear the home calendar and GO to Jamboree for a great weekend of genealogy and good friends.

    Oh well, there’s always next year!



    and the Daughter Reports on SCGS 2010 Jamboree

    Our genealogy extravaganza is has come to an end and Mom is now en route to her home in Tucson, Arizona after the adventures of last weekend at the Southern California Genealogical Society 2010 Genealogy  in Burbank. I posted Mom’s report yesterday; here’s my take on the event.

    The weekend kicked off Thursday afternoon with our GeneaBlogger Welcome Bag stuffing work party and then moved into the main event of Jamboree weekend. The three days were a whirlwind of meeting new and old friends and soaking up great genealogy techniques and information.

    Mom and I arrived at the Marriott Friday morning where we found the Welcome Bag distribution was in the capable hands of Geneabloggers Thomas MacEntee and Amy Coffin already headquartered at the unofficial official GeneaBloggers lounge area adjacent to the hotel main lobby. footnoteMaven, Kathryn Doyle, Miriam Midkiff, Cheryl Palmer, and Becky Wiseman were already there, and in the course of the morning (and next few days) we met up with Craig Manson,  A.C. Ivory, Randy Seaver, Joan Miller, Susan Kitchens, Elyse Doerflinger, Shelley Talalay Dardashi, Holly Hansen, Steve Danko, and Gini Webb.

    I was fortunate to get a ticket to one of the mini-workshops offered at Jamboree for the first time this year, and spent two information-packed hours working with “Using Google Earth to Map Your Ancestor’s Home.” Presenters Anne J. Miller and David J. Armstrong gave a well-paced lecture followed by hands-on lessons in how to place a plat or an historic map as a layer on Google Earth. I have been researching a rural neighborhood in New York and tried to do this on my own with only moderate success; I knew that there had to be an “easier way.” This mini-workshop was a great how-to lesson I am anxious to put into practice.

    Hands-on computer instruction is always tricky for instructors. It is inevitable that students will be at varying levels of expertise and preparation; network connections become unavailable; space is cramped for equipment and mouse-driving elbows. I was impressed with Miller and Armstrong who took everything in stride with a smile and a solution. Their able assistant (both presenters brought their helpful spouses) solved network problems, helped attendees install files, assisted with late-comers, and just kept things humming along. I strongly recommend this duo to anyone interested in learning about using historic maps with their research. Fortunately, they were also scheduled for two more Jamboree session, and many attendees had an opportunity to hear their presentations.

    The mini-workshop extended into the 3:00 speaker time-slot, so instead of attending Michael John Neill’s talk, “Re-Stacking the Blocks: Organizing Your Information,” I bought the recorded lecture offered by Jamb-Inc. and look forward to listening to the presentation soon. If it has anything to do with getting better organized I will probably have to listen to it more than once.

    Mom and I met up for the last class of the day with Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, on “Identifying and Dating Family Photographs.” Maureen really knows her subject and she inspired me to pull out some photos at home for a private consultation on Sunday.  Her presentations are always a priority for me at any conference.

    There was time for quick trip through the Exhibit Hall where I picked up a few used books at Society tables, and then it was on to the banquet featuring speaker Chris Haley.  More GeneaBlogger fun ensued at dinner and afterwards back at the Bloggers’ Lounge.

    I was up early Saturday morning for another land mapping mini-workshop with Miller and Armstrong. Mr. Curator had reserved a ticket for this session, but was unable to attend at the last minute and passed on his ticket to me! Lucky, lucky. This class focused on using the complicated-sounding land description in a deed to construct an accurate map (or plat) of the property. Computers were replaced with protractors and rulers for this class, and former math instructor David Armstrong demonstrated his experience with teaching by guiding everyone in drawing the correct plat. Anne Miller gave an informative introduction and walked the class through the steps of extracting pertinent information and collecting useful data from adjacent properties. Again, an excellent session.

    I then hustled over to the Bloggers Summit where I caught Part 2, moderated by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers, with the panel of Craig Manson, Lisa Louise Cooke, Shelley Talalay Dardashti, and Katherine Doyle. Thomas kept the session moving along with well placed questions of the panel and comments from the very enthusiastic and engaged audience. The room was packed with bloggers and (perhaps) would-be bloggers wanting to hear more about genealogy blogging and social networking.

    Then, it was time for lunch with the Eldest Daughters, a curious coincidence discovered during the meal with footnoteMaven, Katherine Doyle, and Miriam Midkiff. We wonder, does birth order having something to do with a passion for genealogy? What do you think? Are you the eldest daughter, or son?

    My Jamboree day ended after lunch when I got the call that Baby Boy was in town for a visit. I sped off for home and we made a little family history of our own for the rest of the day!

    Sunday morning found me back at the Jamboree for Geoff Rasmussen’s Legacy presentation on “Timelines and Chronologies.”  I am a big fan of using personal timelines to track down elusive ancestors and Geoff showed a few new tricks that will be very helpful. He also demonstrated two mapping software programs which I am excited to try (more on those in another post).

    I spent some time in the Exhibit Hall catching up, and showing Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective some puzzling photographs. She had some good ideas which I am anxious to research further. Then it was off to Maureen’s presentation “Hairsteria,” a roaring good-time look at celebrity look-alikes for some old-time photos. What a hoot! The day ended with “City Directories” by Lisa Lee where I caught more good tips, and final good-byes to the GeneaBlogger crowd.

    After three consecutive years attending SCGS Jamboree, I continue to be impressed with the caliber of presentations, exhibitors, and overall organization of this regional conference. Paula Hinkel and Leo Meyers direct a host of volunteers to present an outstanding program that gets bigger and better every year.


    Mom Reports on SCGS 2010 Jamboree Marathon


      Mom was handing out her new contact cards at Jamboree; did you get one?

    Mom’s first session was Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak with “Cases That Made My Brain Hurt” featuring some of her toughest cases. Megan is an engaging speaker and Mom would have loved to hear more.

    Next, she attended “What You Must Know to Save Your Research from Destruction” with Lisa Louise Cooke. Curatorial instincts must run in our family! Mom said she picked up a few new ideas for saving family treasures.

    Mom’s last session of the day was “Cousin Connections” by Cafi Cohen where Mom learned her practice of picking up the phone to contact cousins was truly one of the most effective methods for finding relatives.

    It was then time for the evening banquet. Mom says, “The banquet was absolutely outstanding, and I thought that Chris Haley was very entertaining. It was a very enjoyable, and we met nice new acquaintances at our table.”

    Mom’s rule is to start no classes before 10 a.m.; she kicked off Saturday with Arlene Eakle “American Court Records,” and then moved on to David Horowitz, “Face Recognition and Photo Tagging.” After that session, she was ready to upload all her photos and get busy tagging folks.

    Then it was time for lunch with the Eldest Daughters, although she is NOT the eldest herself, we let her come along, and a short R&R break. She went on to hear John Humphrey “Pennsylvania Land Records” with hopes to get a few tips for researching her father’s Pennsylvania line. A highlight of the afternoon sessions was Cath Trindle’s “Women of the West,” where Mom was able to see her mother, Arline, in many of the examples shared by Cath.

    On Sunday, Mom returned to hear Lisa Louise Cooke talk on “Tap Into Your Inner Private Eye” and she is now encouraged to pursue even more elusive ancestors “hiding in plain sight.” Then we both heard Maureen Taylor’s talk “Hairsteria.” She especially liked learning about the men’s hairstyles and facial hair and Maureen’s analysis of how those “special” comb-overs were achieved. Mom closed out the conference with John Humphrey “Using Church Records Effectively,” and is now back on the hunt for baptismal and membership records of the family.

    Mom attended ten classes, the banquet, and spent time in the exhibit hall and “hanging out” with the GeneaBloggers – an impressive record for a anyone.

    Ooops, she corrects me, “It’s not impressive. I go to our monthly genealogy society meeting [Green Valley Genealogy Society], and attend the all day seminar in February every year. Plus I am active in our homeowners association, run the arts and crafts festival, organize the adult seniors at my church for outings, teach a Bible Study class, and put on the summer ice-cream social. I attend all the bus trips for musicals and casinos, too. I’m in great shape for a conference. I’m up to ‘em all.”


    #SCGS10 Update: A Good Time Was Had by All

    I am home three days of Jamboree genealogy and all I can say is -- "If you have never been, You MUST attend this conference." Mom and I returned home late this afternoon and now we are both in post-conference mode, horizontal with books, brochures, and a tall cold glasses of iced tea.

    As we left the convention center I heard early attendance figures of 1700 plus... that is quite an accomplishment for a regional genealogy conference. Congratulations to the Southern California Genealogical Society and Jamboree Chairs Paula Hinkel and Leo Meyers.

    ...full report is yet to come.


    2010 Jamboree Welcome Bags Hit a Home Run

    As the local “connection” for the GeneaBloggers Jamboree Welcome Bag project, packages have been arriving at my door almost daily from generous genealogy vendors for the 2010 Welcome Bags.

    2010 GeneaBloggers Jamboree Welcome Bag Team and Able Assistants
    (Seated) George, Thomas, Amy; (Standing) Denise, Joan, Reg, Suzanne 

    Last night, the Bag Team (Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee, Joan Miller, and me) met at my house to pack bags and coordinate distribution to GeneaBloggers members who rsvp’d to the Jamboree Meetup. Everyone agreed that the lucky recipients will be bowled over by the fantastic contributions of genealogy products included in the bags. We even tucked in a few comfort-items and fun gear to help GeneaBloggers move into the Jamboree spirit.

    Bloggers are sure to share their experiences as they sample the Welcome Bag products, and I hope you will let the bloggers and vendors know if you find reviews and information helpful with your own genealogy research.

    A Most SincereThank You to Our GeneaBloggers
    2010 Jamboree Welcome Bag Sponsors


    Casefile Clues

    Family History Expos

    Family Search

    Family Tree Magazine


    Generation Maps FamilyChArtist

    Heritage Makers, Joan B. Merritt

    High-Definition Genealogy

    In-N-Out Burger

    JAMB Conference Recordings

    Legacy Family Tree Software

    Light Impressions

    Luxegen Genealogy

    Marriott Residence Inn, Salt Lake City

    Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective

    Miss Penelope Dreadful

    Photos Made Perfect

    RootsMagic 4

    Southern California Genealogical Society

    The Family Curator

    Virtual LockBox


    World Vital Records



    Mother-Daughter Guide to 2010 SCGS Jamboree

    Mom and I have been on a Genealogy Marathon since her arrival last week, but the main event is yet to come – the 2010 SCGS Jamboree at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center. We like The Rock Star’s Guide and have a few tricks of our own to add. Here’s our Mother-Daughter Guide to the 2010 Jamboree.

    Arrive Early

    Who doesn’t need a little time to recover from travel fatigue these days? Airports are grueling, and Los Angeles traffic takes getting used to. Even if you can only come into Burbank a few hours early, leave time to decompress and move into conference mode.

    Pack Your Daily Conference Bag

    Keep it light. You are going to be adding to your load throughout the day, especially after a stroll through the Exhibit Hall. Use a tote to carry paper and pencil, water, energy bar, and syllabus. Wear a light sweater.

    Locate a Meet-and-Greet Spot

    Once you have picked up your registration materials decide on a Meet-and-Greet location where you can connect between sessions. It should be a place with comfortable seating and a good view of people coming and going. Mom likes to stake out a spot in the main lobby near the information booth and across from the Exhibit Hall. She says it’s a great place to strike up a conversation and hear about classes and research. Last year, Mom spotted one of her Girl Scouts from her Girl Scout Leader days. That was quite a reunion.

    Pace Yourself, Give Yourself “Me Time”

    Mom and I move at different speeds. We don’t necessarily attend the same lectures or even wander the Exhibit Hall together. It helps to stay at the hotel because naptime is only an elevator ride away. We catch up with each other for meals and breaks, and of course the all-important banquet.

    Spend Time Outdoors

    By the afternoon, Mom and I are usually ready for a break from the buzz and commotion and find a spot outdoors to relax with a cool drink and a snack. Each year the Marriott seems to have different outside seating available, but last year we enjoyed the breezeway lounge area near the pool. It was a good place to meet other conference attendees, and we hope to catch up with Sheila and her mom and April there again.

    Going “Off-Campus”

    It really feels like we have been “away” if we don’t have to move the car out of parking lot, but that just doesn’t happen. If we need to leave, it’s a perfect opportunity to bring back lunch for Saturday or Sunday, or even make a quick run to In-N-Out Burgers (just off the 5 Fwy at Burbank Blvd).

    Will you be at the 2010 Jamboree? If you see us, please stop and say “Hello.”

    P.S. - Be sure to ask Mom for her business card. She has some fun ones with her research surnames.







    Warming Up for Jamboree with a Family Homes Tour

    Mom arrived from Tucson last week and our genealogy research marathon is already warming up for the main event Jamboree this weekend.

    Tomorrow Mom and I meet up with her sister and my sister for a Family Homes Tour in Orange and Santa Ana. This promises to be anything but an ordinary afternoon. Mom gave Auntie her “homework” some time ago – to list the addresses of each house they had lived in growing up. This is no small task. Mom came up with seventeen houses; Auntie could only name fifteen. Turns out, the conflict is over two “residences” Mom called “the chicken coop and the garage” and her more refined sister referred to as the “converted apartments.”

    We have that all straightened out now.

     Mom spent the morning looking at old photos to identify houses and landmark buildings so we can take pictures from the same perspective. I have the address list typed in order of residence, and we have a list of other buildings we hope to photograph. My sister will navigate and referee our elders. I will drive. Wish us luck.


    "That's Just Dreadful," cried Penelope

    The unflappable, unstoppable footnoteMaven is at it again with another outstanding issue of Shades of the Departed Magazine, now available through Issuu online publishing service. I am honored to be one of Shades regular columnists and hope you enjoy this month's offering from the pen of Miss Penelope Dreadful.

    In keeping with the monthly theme of "Mothers," Penny Dreadful offers a tale of childish plotting that is all too familiar to parents of any era.

    This issue also features a variety of articles and features on photography, archival practices, research techniques. and more --

    Penelope Dreadful : A Dreadful Scheme by Denise Levenick
    In2Genealogy: Discovering A Wildcatter by Caroline Pointer
    Appealing Subjects: The Many Migrant Mothers by Craig Manson
    The Year Was . . . The Year Was 1919 by Sheri Fenley
    Saving Face: A Rare Book Is Not A Manuscript by Rebecca Fenning
    The Future of Memories: Grandpa’s Letters by Denise Olson
    Features: Let’s Use Our Family Photographs Project Ideas by footnoteMaven
    Smile For The Camera: The Ties That Bind by Terri Kallio
    And if you just can't get enough dreadful tales, catch Penny's past stories at Shades of Penny's Past.




    Surname Saturday - Kinsels Were Considerate Folk

    Today is the 42nd Anniversary of my grandmother's death. Arline Allen Kinsel and my grandfather Frank Ammi Brown were both kind and considerate, if somewhat unconventional, grandparents. Frank was Arline's fourth husband and fifth marriage (she married one man twice).

    Born October 2, 1890 in Kansas City, Missouri, Arline was one of those unregistered births that twists genealogists into knots. No family Bible records names and events, no civil records include her name. But buried deep in a box at the bottom of a trunk of papers, I found a printed card completed by a conscientious clergyman after baptising 10-year old Arline on Easter, 1901. It records her birthdate, birthplace, and parents names. Thank you Reverend Mann.

    Arline may not have appeared in the civil birth registers, but she was no stranger to the newspapers. Clippings and full page tear sheets record the events of her life. Her marriages, divorces, court appearances, battles for child custody, and testimony during the investigation of her sister's disappearance all tell a story filled with more drama than Penny Dreadful could ever invent.

    The scandals disappeared as Arline grew older, married Frank, and raised a second more conventional family in Southern California. She became a respectable woman, wore a hat and gloves to church every Sunday, and didn't trouble anyone as she grew older and more feeble.

    When she finally died at the age of 77, the cause of death was a ruptured appendix; she couldn't or didn't want to trouble anyone. She died the day before Memorial Day 1968. My grandfather, Frank, had died a few years earlier on Christmas Eve. It is always easy to remember when they left us, courtesly leaving the holiday itself free for it's intended memories, and the day before to remember each of them.


    Get Ready for SCGS Jamboree with June Blogger's Almanac

    If you are a blogger planning to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank June 11-13, you might want to think about getting your blog ready for the conference too. Poor little blogs can feel abandoned when their owners are off schmoozing with other bloggers, soaking up lectures, and doing the genealogy happy dance.

    The June Edition of the Blogger's Almanac is now available and full of seasonal topics for blogging about the June favorites: grads, dads, and brides. By using the scheduling feature of your blog platform you can keep your blog fresh and active while you are off in the RW (Real World).

    Begin the month with ideas for extending Memorial Day articles honoring your military ancestors. Then turn to ideas to celebrate graduates, brides, dads, and summertime.

    A sample from the June Blogger's Almanac

    Do you have any teachers on your family tree? What did they have to do to qualify for the job?

    Name an honorary Dad. Who would you pick to add to your family tree and why?

    And here's one in honor of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Who was your earliest ancestor to receive an academic diploma? (This might take a little digging.)

    The Blogger's Almanac is available as a FREE download. I hope you are enjoy the ideas, and invite to you to leave a link to your Almanac-Inspired post in the comments.


    Treasure Chest Thursday – How One Little Clue Led to the Church

     Lately I’ve been reviewing record images for my great-grandparents, Minnie Chamblin and Eliphaz Kinsel, and decided to focus on their marriage record from the "Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002." My second look pulled out even more than the initial date and place of their wedding, but an afternoon of web-trawling has added yet another layer of colorful paint to the picture.

    The record itself is two parts: a marriage license and the marriage return. The License, dated 21 December 1889 shows that Eliphaz B. Kinsel of Jackson County, Missouri, over the age of 21, and Minnie L. Chamblin, also of Jackson County, Missouri, and over the age of 18 are duly authorized to be married.

    The lower section of the record shows that on four days later, on 25 December 1889, the couple was united in marriage by, Minister of the Gospel, B. P. Fullerton, 2210 Troost Avenue, City. Three days later, on 28 December 1889, the marriage was recorded by the County recorder.

    Now the real fun begins. I already knew the names and ages of the couple, but I was unsure as to their residence. I can add this information to my data.

    I am also curious about the pastor who performed the marriage. First, I look for a church at the address on Troost Avenue through GoogleMaps. It looks to be a highway. Historical Maps accessed via GoogleEarth do not show any data. I then searched the Missouri Archives for atlases and Sanborn fire maps of the area. I can find Troost Ave, and the approximate address at 22nd and Troost, but no church.

    I decide to look for the minister and search “B.P. Fullerton” at Not only do I find several Fullertons in Missouri, I also find a Baxter P. Fullerton. This sounds promising. The closest census would be the 1890 census, which is unavailable, so I do a direct search of the 1890 census substitutes. This is a great resource I have not fully utilitzed before. It returns three relevant hits from Kansas City, Missouri City Directories 1889-91. Two cite Rev. Fullerton at his place of buisness

    Rev. B.P. Fullerton, Oak northwest corner 13th, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, MO, Pastor

    and one cites his full name and residence

    Rev. Baxter P. Fullerton

    r 2210 Troost

    First Cumberland Presbyterian Church


    I now know that Minnie and Eliphaz were married at the pastor’s home on Christmas Day. I wonder if he performs many marriages there and briefly browse the marriage record images on Ancestry for the days and weeks before and after December 25th. I only find one other marriage performed at the Troost address, on 27 December 2010.

    Next, I return to the church itself. A Google search returns many hits. I learn that this particular denomination grew out of the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s.  I even locate the Cumberland Presbyterian website where a page on the Birthplace Shrine explains the history of the church.

    Founded in Tennessee, churches in the Midwest “frontier” were established first as missions, and later as full independent churches.

    Another search on GoogleBooks, yields several church histories where I learn that the Kansas City church was organized 21st March 1868 as a “missionary congregation.” In 1881, the congregation occupied “a small frame building gothic in style being 26x40 feet … built in the fall of 1869 at a cost of about $2 ooo”  (The history of Kansas City, by William H. Miller (1881). In 1878, “the Presbytery called Rev BP Fullerton as the missionary who is yet the pastor.” Church membership in 1881 was reported as forty three. Miller adds,

    The old property has been sold and a more suitable lot chosen on which a more commodious and attractive building will soon be erected when it is the purpose of the friends of the enterprise to make the work self sustaining.

    I learn about the “new” church building from another book accessed through GoogleBooks, Encyclopedia of the history of Missouri, by Howard Louis Conrad (1901).

    The congregation built a gothic frame church in 1869 costing $2,000 and in 1884 they built a brick edifice at Thirteenth and Oak Streets costing $14,000. Rev EN Allen is the present pastor and the church is prospering under his care.

    I now have a little timeline for the church and the pastor:

    1868 – First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, organized

    1869 – small gothic style building constructed at cost of $2000

    1878 – Rev. Baxter P. Fullerton arrives

    1881 – church membership 43, old property sold

    1884 – brick building constructed at 13th and Oak Streets costing $14,000 to build

    1901 – Rev. E.N. Allen is pastor, church prospering

    I am curious what happened to Rev. Fullerton, and discover that he was in Kansas City until 1891, when he relocated to the Lucas Avenue Church in St. Louis. His name comes up in many different positions, and he eventually returns to Kansas City as Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly of 1908.

    Leonard, John William and Albert Nelson, eds. Who's Who in America, vol 6. 1910. Digital images. Google Books. accessed 26 May 2010. page 700

    My next step is to try to locate photographs of the church at 13th and Oak and perhaps even find a photo of the residences on Troost Avenue. I would also like to locate records of this congregation. Maybe my grandmother was baptized at this church. I have been unable to locate a civil birth record; but if the church records still exist, they could provide the missing information.

    I think I made considerable progress today, and it was all online.

    Sources Used for this Search, 1890 Census Substitutes, Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002


    Missouri Digital Heritage

    The Kansas City Public Library Missouri Valley Special Collections



    Free Research Weekend to Honor Those Who Served

    World Vital Records has announced free access to their U.S. Military Service Collection May 27, 2010 through June 1, 2010 in honor of Memorial Day. This is a terrific offer and one I plan to take advantage of this weekend. "Honoring Those Who Served" is also the weekly theme posted on the Blogger's Almanac for the week beginning May 30.

    Military databases at World Vital Records include records from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. To access the collection, go directly to > Search > Military Records, or use this link. Those records with free Memorial Day Weekend access are noted.

    I am presently researching my "three Sams," same name, different wars. It's a bit tough keeping track of who's who, and I welcome the opportunity to move forward in unscrambling their past. Thanks, World Vital Records.


    Countdown to the Mother-Daughter Event of the Season, SCGS Jamboree 2010

    Mom and I won't be wearing our matching party dresses (or, will we?) but we are getting pretty excited for the 2010 Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree to be held in Burbank June 11-13. I know we aren't the only mother-daughter team who will be attending, but how many mother-daughter bloggers will be there?

    This will be our third year attending Jamboree together, and by now we have our routine pretty well figured out. Mom arrives from Arizona with plenty of time to recover from airport fatigue, and enough energy to help assemble the Blogger Welcome Bags.

    Mom used to be the unofficial neighborhood "Welcome Wagon Lady" and is a great partner for any kind of hospitality project.  This year, GeneaBloggers is sponsoring the Blogger Welcome Bags, and they will be filled to the brim with product samples and other goodies. Vendors have generously responded to our invitation to participate in the project, sending all kinds of terrific genealogy items. We've been plotting with Thomas MacEntee (GeneaBloggers), Joan Miller (Luxegen), and Amy Coffin (WeTree) to put together a real Southern California Welcome for bloggers attending the event.

    I can't say too much yet, but one gift will be a generous half-off coupon from Generation Maps for any chart printed through their new FamilyChArtist program. Bloggers will want to come prepared to take advantage of this offer by designing and saving a chart ahead of time at the FamilyChArtist website, and have it ready to print at Jamboree.

    In addition, the Blogger Bags will feature a mini-directory of bloggers attending the event so you can update social networking addresses and stay in touch during the conference. If you are a member of GeneaBloggers and plan to attend the 2010 Jamboree, and have not already done so, please take time to

    • Submit your information for the mini-directory of all GeneaBloggers members in attendance.  It will list names, email addresses, cell phone numbers, Twitter IDs etc.  This will make it easy to locate each other and to schedule meals, coffee breaks etc.  Email with this info if you haven’t done so already.
    • Check the GeneaBloggers Blog for any late-breaking news or announcements.

    Look for Mom and me at the Jamboree and be sure to stop us and say "Hi." We have a little something for all readers of The Family Curator, and we look forward to meeting you. (P.S. That's us in the striped dresses with my little sister in the front.)



    Historic Hamlets of Stanford, Dutchess County, NY

    One of the highlights of my recent trip to Dutchess County in New York’s Hudson River Valley was the opportunity to meet with members of the Stanford Historical Society (SHS) and learn about their ongoing historic home inventory project.

    Spearheaded by local resident, Charlie Shaw, and SHS President Kathy Spiers, the inventory aims to document the early homes and businesses in the Historic Hamlet of Bangall. Charlie was preparing a presentation for the Society and gave me a brief preview of the project.

    Bangall is a gem located in the heart of the greater Town of Stanford. It is almost hard to believe that today’s quiet little crossroads community once boasted a busy railroad station, four mills, and numerous businesses, including two hotels. The area’s earliest church was founded in Bangall in 1755; today it is a private residence. Several cemeteries dot the roadsides, in varying stages of upkeep. The site of the old train depot is now a popular farm-to-table restaurant, market, and café. Residents continue to pick up their mail from the Bangall Post Office, as they have since 1851.

    The Post Office building was gifted to the Stanford Historical Society in 1973 and is now a fully-operational United States Post Office run by Postmaster and SHS member Louise Woodcock, and home to the society’s collection of local history materials.

    I was fortunate to meet with SHS President Kathy Spiers, her husband Jeff Spiers, member Louise Woodcock, and Charlie Shaw to hear more about their future plans for the Society and the Historical Resource Inventory.

    Meeting with members of the Stanford Historical Society and local Bangall residents. (from left) Jeff Spiers, Bangall Postmaster Louise Woodcock, SHS President KathySpiers, Charlie Shaw.

    The inventory project was initiated nearly twenty five years ago, in 1984, and has been recently revived and revitalized by SHS volunteers. Members are busily collecting data on various residential and commercial buildings throughout Bangall, noting structure features, age, and construction details, and documenting entries with photographs. In some cases, they have been able to add notes about current and previous owners as far back the mid 1800s.

    Communities such as Bangall are always in a precarious position. By definition, a hamlet is an unincorporated community and subject to the administration and rulings of the larger town. Shaw explained to me that at one time the Town of Stanford included seven historic hamlets; today, many of these little neighborhoods are scarcely more than a crossroads. The Historic Hamlet of Bangall stands apart as a vital, active community, and hopefully will remain a landmark site on the map for many years yet to come.

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