While I was visiting my parents’ in Washington this summer, my mom found this book that belonged to her father, Donald Sanchez.

It has seen better days.  The cover is quite faded.
2014-07-24_0008And you can’t even read anything on the spine.


The inside is in pretty good shape though.

It’s called “The Oregon Trail Sketches on Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life”, by Francis Parkman.  It’s an account of a 2-month summer tour in 1846 of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas.  It was first published as a book in 1849.


I love that my grandpa’s childhood signature is written in the cover.

And it also shows a couple of his addresses, which is helpful:

816 10th Ave Seattle, WA

6008 McKinley Place  Seattle, WA2014-07-24_0012

But my favorite part is the doodling.  I guess he liked planes.:)


I’m actually thinking that I might put this book on my “to read” list.  It sounds interesting.

Do you have any books that belonged to your ancestors?  Do they have writing or doodles in them?

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Eugenia was my great-grandmother.  She died long before my parents even met, so I never had the privilege of knowing her.  She immigrated from Sweden in the early 1910s and settled in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

On a recent trip to WA state, I went and found her gravestone.

Eugenia V.C. Bergman (The name on her birth records was Charlotta Eugenia Viktoria Klarstrom)

1888-1960 (I have heard dates as: 4 Jan 1888 – 18 Apr 1960

She was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Seattle.



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My favorite papers in a Civil War pension are usually those that give information on a marriage or children’s birth dates (especially when I haven’t been able to find them elsewhere).

I am trying not to overlook the information that can be gleaned from the less interesting pages – and in an inch thick pension packet, there can be many.

This is an affidavit from a physician stating John Edwards’ health in 1929.  It gives me a picture of his health in the years before he died in 1931.

Here is some of the information gleaned:

Mental condition – fair

General Physical condition very poor

Clinical findings

Rheumatism of arms and Legs

High Blood Pressure systolic 180 diatolic 110

Chronic Nephritis (Brights)

Patients physical condition (High Blood Pressure and chronic nephritis necessitates Complete Rest – and therefore care by another person.

It sounds like he was not in good health during his last few years.



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My maternal grandmother’s family came from Sweden in the early 1910s.  They settled in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle.

While I was visiting my parents in Washington this past summer, we made a trip to Seattle and I finally got a chance to visit the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard.

My little Vikings had a good time….

2014-10-23_0006There was an entire section on immigration, which I found really interesting.  It was neat to see what their experience may have been like.  I do sometimes wonder what my great-grandparents’ reasons were for immigrating.

Another section focused on life in the Northwest – logging, fishing, etc.

The top floor had separate exhibits on each of the Nordic Countires: Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland.

This piece really amazed me.  I guess I never thought about how much work went into something like this.  Doesn’t it look complicated?  I’m in awe.


I really liked the exhibits on traditional folk clothing.2014-10-23_0008

My son really liked the boats.2014-10-23_0009

And my kids were all so excited about the Lego Viking world.  Of course they want to try it at home.


If you haven’t already, I highly recommend going to local museums in the areas where your ancestors lived – it’s so helpful in painting a picture of what their lives might have been like.

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2014-04-28_007The time I’ve had to spend on genealogy and blogging over the past few years has been scarce – and it’s made me sad.  I’ve really missed it.


When the kids were babies, it was easy enough.  I spent many hours with a nursing baby in my arms or a toddler at my feet and I could still get plenty of researching done. It gave me something to work on.  A mystery to solve.

You would think that I’d have more time as the kids got older and I made my way out of the diaper years, but that hasn’t been so.  We homeschool, which means I’m currently teaching kids in 11th, 8th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd grades.  Plus, I get to cart them around to various classes, field trips, and scouting events almost every day.  Add to that the fact that they have to be fed and clothed makes my day even shorter. My extra money goes to them instead research and conference trips.  And I don’t begrudge them that.:)


On top of all of this, I overstretched myself when we lived in El Paso.  I volunteered a couple of days a week, I started my own photography business, and I said “yes” to more things than I could fit on my calendar.  It left me with absolutely no free time.

(I really do love taking pictures though!!)


We’ve recently moved to Georgia and I’m making a fresh start with my calendar.  I’m limiting my volunteer time.  I’ve decided not to pursue my photography business here (it takes up SO MUCH TIME away from my family).  I’ve also decided that I’m going to spend some of my new found free time getting back into my genealogy groove.


I felt like I was genealogically isolated in El Paso.  We were SO far from everything, making my dreams of genea-trips an impossibility. (Here we are we are at the World’s Biggest Pistachio).


We’re on the East coast again though, and everything is much closer to us.  Within 3 hours, I can be to Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte.  Within 6, I can be in Birmingham, Montgomery, southern Virginia, Orlando, or Nashville.  It’s exciting!!!


I’ve already gone to the local genealogy meeting and have contacted the local DAR to finally get my paperwork together.  Now I just need to schedule some dedicated time a couple of times a week, just for genealogy.  I know that I can’t work on it daily – my time will come when the kids are grown (and I’m not anxious for that – they’re growing too quickly!!)

I’m curious, do most of you have a dedicated time you spend working on family history?  Is it early in the morning or late at night?  I’m a night owl, so that’s probably when my time will be.  Do you pencil it into your calendar or just pick it up when you’re free?



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