Thursday, May 21, 2009


What a week here in Salt Lake City ! The You Go Genealogy Girls drove to Salt Lake last Sunday and have been busy, busy all week at the Family History Library. Great fun and finding lots of good stuff on all the ancestors. I have been busy on the Swedish lines and having a great time with it. My eyes are about gone reading old Swedish writing on microfilm but it is so worth the effort. By day's end it is great to step outside and see the daylight after being sequestered in the library basement in the dark all day. They dim the lights in the reader area for film. I am anxious to get home and sort out all my findings. I found my husbands GGGrandparents and GGGGrandparents in the Swedish records. Family has been looking for them for 50 years or so. They have finally come to light and have names !

Today I worked on our Amish Mennonite connections and found some great information there also and will work more on them tomorrow. As long as the days are here in the library, they are not long enough to get all done !!!!!!!

I am anxious to share the experiences of researching with you in Part 3 of RESEARCHING MY SWEDISH GENEALOGY next week after I return to Nebraska.

Join us on "The You Go Genealogy Girls" blog for daily fun updates. Enjoy the pic I am putting on my blog tonight of the beautiful garden wall at the Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

" MACEY GIRL", All Creatures Great and Small

Very few photos of early family pets seem to be in my collection of old ancestral photos. The only conclusion I have come to is that raising dogs and other animals has all been passed down to me. I think I make up for all the generations before me. I am the lucky one who has filled my home with enough dogs to makeup for all the ones that my ancestors did not have or did not photograph. My camera shutter rarely stops. Life, scenery, grandchildren and animals, dogs in particular- all find their way into my photos!

Our beloved "Macey Girl" is one of many family pets through the years but she was also one of our most prized companions. She was a gorgeous, smooth coat, liver colored Border Collie. Macey came to us in a round about way but was just meant to be part of our family.

Our youngest son got her from someone he knew who didn't want her anymore and who never took very good care of her. She was about 2-3 years old at that time. Jason, our son, lived in the country and Macey fit right in his new family. She loved to herd the farm cats and anything else she could find. They had no cattle so she made do with what she could find! What a beautiful and obedient girl she was, she just seemed to be thankful that she was loved and adored. Her former owner did not treat her well and she came to Jason with a somewhat fearful and sad emotional condition. Her life showed through her eyes. All it took was loads of love to show her that people really could love and care for her. In time her timid and reserved ways subsided and she gave back to all of us a thousand times more love. The light came back into her eyes!

When our son moved his family to eastern Nebraska and couldn't take Macey along we agreed to care for her until he could find a place to live that would allow a dog. We already had two other loving animals in the house, a little black cocker spaniel and a big sharpei/chow mix dog. We really did not want another dog at the time. Macey moved in with us and we fell more in love with her and never gave her back. She became my husbands pride and his best friend.

Anyone who has ever lived with a Border Collie, knows that they want to rule the roost. She bossed the other dogs and often used her eyes to let everyone know that she thought they should be doing what she wanted them to do. Our Sharpei was not thrilled by it all. Macey was gorgeous and affectionate, especially to the little male cocker at times! She never forgot to let us all know that she was thankful to just be loved and have a good home. Her only goal in life, other than herding all the birds into one bush and the squirrels into one tree, was to please us-the rest of her pack.

For 6 1/2 years Macey, our" beautiful redhead" brought pleasure to us all. She was a big dog but that never kept her from being our constant travel companion. If we went, she went along. She rode for hours at a time and never made a peep or acted wrestless in the car, she loved to watch for other animals as we went along. She was a great camper and always made us feel safe, just by her presence. I used to camp alone occassionaly when my husband was working and she was my protector. We also owned a sporting goods business and she rode to work every day with one of us. People would remark that she scooted right up next to my husband in his old truck and proudly rode there, ears perked up, just like she was his "girlfriend"-driving down the street with him. They had quite a reputation in town! At work she greeted our customers and knew many as good friends, they stopped to see her and say hello, we were secondary.

Our Macey got cancer but she persiviered on for about 3 years and she never quit or complained in her daily life. She was ready to go along right up to her last day.

By the way, our Macey Girl could really sing too. Not your ordinary dog howling but she had her own unique singing voice. She loved music and kept in quite good tune. She could sing along when all the grandkids put on their music and they delighted in hearing her. The Annie Lennox song "Into The West" from The Lord of the Rings was her favorite.

What a great pleasure it was to have had her as part of our family. Life will never be the same without her, just as it is when we lose any loved one. Our family was so lucky and priviledged to call her one of us. We never owned her, she owned us - heart and soul!

Future generations of my family will have many photos of Macey Girl and all of our beloved pets to pass down, right along with the precious photos of their human ancestors.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

RESEARCHING MY SWEDISH GENEALOGY-PART2- "Strategic Study Plans and Finding the Records"

Finding elusive and unknown ancestors can pose quite a challenge to those of us who are genealogists, but study and planning ahead can be the key to success. In Part1 of "RESEARCHING MY SWEDISH GENEALOGY, Using Maps To Lay a Foundation"- I covered my strategies for using maps to aid in this venture. Here in Part 2, I will give some tips about old handwriting that have helped me to prepare for what I hope will be a successful search for my husbands ancestors when I soon make the trek to Salt Lake City for research.

My family only has two old photos of our Swedish ancestors. These have been handed down through several generations but unfortunately they lack much as to identification of our loved ones. These two photos and other scant information have founded the basis for my search to find our Swedish ancestors. The LARSON and ANDERSON patronymic names will be my starting point.

The old Swedish language differs somewhat from the modern language so I have chosen to learn as much as possible about the language as used prior to about 1900. For about a year I have been studying this beautiful language and samples of old handwriting. The goal is to have the best chance for successful record transcription when I can search old church files or film. Many useful research tools are available but these are a few I have found to be excellant help, primarily for Swedish handwriting, and language study. All are simple enough for the beginner, yet offer very good information.

1.--A recent article in the 2009 January issue of Family Tree Magazine, titled "Writing Riddles". This has some very good basic information.

2.--"Your Swedish Roots" A Step by Step Handbook. Written by Per Clemensson and Kjell Andersson. This hardbound book has excellant information for those researching Swedish Ancestors.

3.--Family offers a great General Word List with translations. I printed the entire list off to study it often.

In addition, The Family Search site has a lot of great research titles under the heading of SWEDEN. I took time to look at them all, there is a wealth of info there to help researchers. After reading all their titles, you can then go to the catalog to find the call numbers and details of what ever records you might want to search. Print them off and take them along on your trip to the Family History Library. The book "Your Swedish Roots" is superb, I have reviewed it several times and it has a wonderful glossary and other information in the back of the book. In addition to these sources I have compiled my own word and phrase lists as I have found something of interest that was not included in these other sources. There are several good online translators for these. I like Freedict and Lexin2. Both have worked fairly well for me and are easy to use.

I have studied all these sources and others along with old maps as explained in Part 1 of my "RESEARCHING MY SWEDISH GENEALOGY, Using Maps To Lay a Foundation". Learning the words, their meanings, handwriting styles, and writing shortcuts will be a big asset to successful researching. Practicing what I learned by reading a few old Swedish films at a local Family History Center helped me to know what areas I still needed more study in. I want my trip to the Family History Library to be successful with lots of good record discoveries in the limited time I have.

My sister-in-law, Ruby Coleman, and I will soon head to Salt Lake City for 8 days of intense research. We will make several stops on the way to do even more at other locations. Check out one of her blogs: Genealogy Lines and her latest blog post "Genealogists At Work-Do Not Disturb". She has some really great tips on planning ahead for a research trip to Salt Lake City. She has guided me on setting up a research notebook with an outlined strategy for finding my records. Ruby has been on the trail of ancestors for over 50 years now and offers great professional, albeit lighthearted tips for research strategies on her blog. All of these mentioned tactics combined with learning my historical context, studying old handwriting and learning words commonly used in records will make for a successful and hopefully enjoyable trip.

I invite you to follow along with Ruby and I on THE YOU GO GENEALOGY GIRLS blog (Grannies on the Go!) while we are traveling, having fun and researching for the next 20 days or so.

Watch for Part 3 of "RESEARCHING MY SWEDISH GENEALOGY, Successes and Conclusions" back here on my blog. I will let everyone know if my strategic plans for finding records and interpreting them has paid off and how my plans were put to work.