"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The National Archives of Ireland

Well fellow genealogists, my inner 3 year old genealogist is jumping up and down yelling "goody goody gum drops!"  Yes I am excited for my newest find in online genealogy.  The National Archives of Ireland has launched a website for genealogists all over the world to search and access records that are held in the archives...and best of all the website is free!!!!!!  (See now why the inner 3-year-old is so excited).

According to the description on the homepage the website will continue to expand over the years and a large amount of information will be available for genealogists to research.  The home page states:

"Welcome to the National Archives Genealogy Website. From this page, you can now access the Census Records for 1901 and 1911, the Tithe Applotment Books from 1823 to 1837, and the Soldiers’ Wills from 1914 to 1917.
This site will have large numbers of other genealogical records added to it over the coming years, including
Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1858 – 1922;
Nineteenth century census survivals, 1821-51;
Valuation Office House and Field Books, 1848 – 60;
Census Search Forms for the 1841 and 1851 censuses.

All of these records will be free to access, through searchable databases and linked images of relevant pages. Eventually, we hope that the site will contain all of the important and easily accessible genealogical material in the custody of the National Archives." (The National Archives of Ireland website).

The website is found here:

Show your love the the National Archives of Ireland!

And Happy Hunting!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Helping Keep Genealogy Free

So the past couple of days yours truly has been busily working on indexing records for Family Search.  In two days I'm proud to say I've indexed 440+ names.  My goal is 1000 by the end of Novemeber.  I will say to watch for the new records coming out on family search....those of you that have people in Idaho around 1924 to 1956 will be happily suprised if you find you ancestors in the arrival manaifests.  Lots of great info such as birth information, family names if they traveled together, etc.  The project is Family Search's priority project and I've been busily indexing these names. 

If you want to get involved and help Family Search out then just go to their website and there's info on the home page how to be an indexer.  You can do a little bit or a whole lot.  Just remember that all of us help by keeping the information free on Family Search....and that is why I love them!!!  And maybe even someday I'll index my brickwall Fitzgeralds and watch that wall come tumbling down! 

Anyway I hope somone out there benefits from my volunteer work for Family Search. 

Happy Genealogy all!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank you Legacy for the Online Webinars

Since Legacy has launched their online webinars the list of topics just keeps growing and growing!  My favorite ones have been about breaking down brick walls....and we all have those!....and the ones on Irish genealogy.  I have gotten so many good ideas about where to research and what to research for.  Participating in these webinars have given me renewed motivation in my research. 

The webinars are recorded and all are available for a short time for free online after the webinar is broadcast, and some are available indefinately.  All the webinars are available on CD afterwards.  I have a few that are going to be on my Christmas list this year! 

I started a notebook on my genealogy education notes for the webinars so I have a fast reference for what I've learned.  I do make sure to write down any websites the are mentioned in the webinars so I have them for reference for later.  It's supposed to be a rainy weekend here so I'm snuggling up with my kiddos, my favorite warm drink and my laptop, maybe I'll even chip away at a couple brick walls while I'm at it. 

Happy Hunting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Support Cydni's List

Cyndi, the creator of the genealogy websit Cyndi's list, announced last night/yesterday on facebook that her website has been ripped off! Cyndi has been working for years on her website, a site that I use often to help me in my research.  Apparently the person that has stolen her information has not only ripped off her copyright, but is using it for monetary gain!!!!!  This makes me so frustraited because it really makes it difficult for those of us who want to share genealogy with the world and work to keep access to records free. 

For all my follows and just plain fans of genealogy, please show Cyndi your support!

Here's a link to a blog written about the situation

Please supprot Cyndi and show her our genealogy love!!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blogger has gone mobile!

Now blogger has made it so I can keep you all updated on my genealogy adventures anywhere I go with my iPhone...provided I have service and a signal.
Although I haven't been up to much lately I have been checking out the 1896/1897 newspapers from Bloomsberg PA that are online at the Bloomsberg University library. Haven't found anything yet but I will continue my search. Thank you BLoomsber u for another free resource online.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

1940 US Census

The buzz this year in genealogy is the release of the 1940 US Census.  Now the census is 100% indexed online!  Thank you to all the people and all the hours they put in pouring over these old documents to make them more user friendly for people like me and you!

So I've been just "playing" around with the 1940 US Census.  I've found all but one of my Grandparents.  It's been a fun way for me to check out the census and get a feel for what is there.  My parternal grandpa is the only one who is currently MIA.  And after a phone conversation with my dad last night and a few more details on my Grandpa's life I wasn't aware of, I'm still unable to find him.  So my search goes on.  It's always a possibility that he was missed in the enumeration. 

Have you been searching the 1940 Census?  Share your stories!  You know I love to hear from my readers!

Happy Hunting!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Post Flip Pal Webinar

I enjoyed the webinar put on Wednesday by Geoff Rasmussen, Thomas MacEntee and Gordon Nuttall about using the Flip Pal scanner to your advantage before family events.  I really enjoyed the many uses that were presented on the webinar.  The Flip Pal is so versatile and there are so many uses for it!  I was more in awe than I had been before of the Flip Pal and now its even higher on my Genealogy Wish list!  (Honey if you're reading this my birthday and our anniversary is coming up!)  And sadly I didn't win the door prize, but I will be attending more webinars in the future...so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
I highly recommend the webinar series on Legacy Family tree.  Flip Pal isn't the only topic available either.  There are so many topics, from developing a research plan (definitely on my must watch list) to researching specific nationalities...Yay for the Irish research webinars coming up!!!!  And many other topics presented by many genealogy experts, including those listed above and others.  Check out the website at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/Webinars.asp.  Enjoy!

Happy Hunting!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Today I'm participating in my first webinar from Legacy Family Tree.  Today's webinar is about the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner.  Included in the webinar today is a door prizes. according to their facebook post! How cool would that be!  I'm looking forward to learning more about my number one genealogy wish list item!!!!  In the meantime, while I wait. I'm signing up for a few more webinars offered by Legacy.  You too can check them out Here.  You can also check out previous webinars from their site and even buy copies of the webinars.  Another reason why I love Legacy. 

Happy Hunting!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monograph Monday- Thomas L Fitzgerald

Today's Monograph Monday entry is about my Grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald.  He died 10 years ago today.  I still miss him as much today as ever.  I have so many memories about him that I am working to get onto paper before they are gone. 

with Grandson Kevin

with Wife Betty and grand daughter Alanna

holding grandson Shawn

Traverse City Record Eagle

Thursday, July 18,2002 page 3B

Thomas L Fitzgerald

Died July 16, 2002

Traverse City- Thomas L. Fitzgerald, 83, of Traverse City, passed away Tuesday, July 16, 2002, following a long illness.

Tom was born Spet 1, 1918, in Wexford County to the late Ernest and Martha (Furrow) Fitzgerald. He served in the US Army during World War II and was stationed in the Pacific Theater. On Jan 20, 1945, he wed Elizabeth Wood at St Joseph Catholic Church in Mapleton.

Emoplyed for 27 years with the city of Traverse Cityas a heavy equipment operator, Tom retired in 1982. He wsa a lifetime member of the VFM Cherryland Post 2780, enjoyed working in his gardens and was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Tom is survived by his wife of 57 years, Betty of Traverse City; thier six children, Mary Ann Urick of Interlochen, John (Carol) Fitzgerald of Traverse City, Charles (Ludmila) Fitzgerald of Traverse City, James (Teresa) Fitzgerald of Lake City, Margaret (Mark) Abbenante of Freankenmuth, and William (Robin) Fitzgerald of Grawn; nine grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter; his brother Jack (Connie) Fitzgerald of Lansing; is sister, Jo Blaylock of Traverse City; two stepbrothers, Harvery and Victor Helferich; and many nieces and nephews.

Along with his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his son-in-law Doug Urick; his sisters, Amber Sanderson, Dorothy Worm and Grace Helferich; and a great-grandson, Douglas March.

Visitation will be held today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Traverse City Chapple of Covell Funeral Homes.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, July 19, at the funeral home. with the Rev. James Hayden offciating. Interment, with military honor under the auspices of VFW Cherryland Post 2780 will be at 2:30p.m. Friday in Oakwood Diocesan Catholic Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Immaculate Conception Restoration Project.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Traverse City Chapple of Covell Funeral Homes.

Traverse City Record Eagle

Wednesday, February 4, 1976

Second Section, Front page

Page 11

Tom Fitzgerald He Plows the Roads

By: Ken Christensen

Traverse City- Who built the pyramids, asked Studs Terkel in his book "Wor king." You may not wonder about pyramids as your drive to work in the mor ning, grumbling about the hour, winter, and bad driving conditions, but n ow and then you might ask. "Who plows the roads?" The answer is the sa me for both the pyramids and the roads- the workers, of course.

Somebody has to get up before anyone else and drive those snow-clogged ro ads in semi-darkness so that you can get to work and the children c an go to school. For 22 years that someone, a truly first-class worker, h as been Tom Fitzgerald.

The day I talked to Tom he had started work at 4 a.m. and would wo rk up to 12 or 13 hours before the day was over. Not unusual at all f or a man who is on call 24 hours a day throughout the winter and who has b een known to work 38 hours at a stretch. At 57, Tom is the first to adm it that he doesn't so that anymore. This winter has been harsher than t he previous two and Tom has worked as much as 34 hours overtime in a week.

"Sure, there are nights when you can't see back of your headlights a nd it would be nice to be home in bed," Tom said, "but it's got to be a ch allenge or you've got no business doing it."

In 22 years on the job Tom Fitzgerald was unable to make it in to work on ly twice, once in 1959 and again in 1969. Those two days, he points ou t, were when they closed the Grandview Parkway.

"Not that we couldn't have plowed it, but with the snow blowing off the b anks from that fierce northwest wind, you couldn't see a foot in fro nt of you. It just wasn't safe to drive."

Tom's face broke into a grin when his friends kidded him saying they wou ld be ready to pick him up in 1979, the next time he couldn't make it in a ccording to his 10-year cycle.

If Tom isn't called in early, he starts work at eight and plows his regul ar route. This takes him down Eighth Street, up Cass, across Fourteenth S treet, down Division, Grandview Parkway, Munson, 72- the school bus route s, Tom explained. Tom was adjusting the plow on his truck before he we nt back out as we talked.

"I know how I like it," Tom said, " I want to know if it's tight enough a nd I want to adjust the shoes so the plow is riding the right height off t he ground. In the city, you have to have enough clearance to go over t he railroad tracks."

Helping Tom was his friend and acting foreman, Nelson Milks. (When I we nt into the office to ask to interview a veteran, Nelson humbly direct ed me to Tom. Nelson had been there "only" 20 years.) Nelson confided, " Tom's a real good man. He goes out there and does his job. If you want ed to reach him, you wouldn't have to call on the radio. You know right w here he is on his route, like clockwork."

Tom said they'd like to help more motorists out of ditches, "but if we st opped and helped everybody, we'd never get any roads clear. Here's an exa mple. The other morning I stopped and helped a young man, his wife and th eir baby. I gave them a lift into town to a gas station. I mean you've g ot to stop and help a mother and young baby like that, but you just can 't help everyone." Tom pointed out that once piece of equipment he's nev er without, his tow chain.

In answer to the question if preferred winter or simmer, he said, "wel l, I wouldn't want winter any longer."

In three years Tom could retire but he hasn't made that decision yet. It 's steady work, Tom says; he's only missed a day-and-a-half's pay in 22 ye ars. He lives at 315 Vine and has four boys and two girls. So far they h aven't shown any inclination to follow in his footsteps.

Tom certainly has no regrets. "Somebody has got to do it. The j ob is a responsibility and you have to be dedicated."

In the Soviet Union they don't pay overtime. For outstanding work or pro duction the worker receives a "Stakhanoviet" medal which translates as "Pe ople's Champion." Perhaps we need a comparable award for Tom Fitzgera ld is truly a "People's Champion."