Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - SHOW off that family treasure & TELL the story - Kerry Anderson

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward with help and additional picture from Kerry Anderson. Special thanks to Judy Nissila for meeting photos.

...........and here is the first of many 'members items' from our February Show N Tell. Enjoy!!

Kerry ANDERSON shared this wonderful walking cane which belonged to her Great Great Grandfather.

This cane was presented to her 2x grandfather, John Gleeson HIGGINS, at the Catholic Church Fair in Brimfield, Peoria, Illinois, in 1884.The cane is made of ebony wood and has a gold head inscribed with these words: "Presented to John G. Higgins at the Catholic Church Fair, Brimfield, Ill., June 1884.  Although I do not know exactly why he received the cane, he was a prominent member of the Irish community in Peoria.

Peoria County, Illinois /
The HIGGINS family left Ballybricken, County Limerick, Ireland in the summer of 1846, aboard a ship named Victoria.  That date makes it likely that the HIGGIN family group was escaping the Great Famine.

The family group was made up of John HIGGINS and Ann RIORDAN Higgins (my 4xgreat grandparents) and their seven children.  The oldest was son Daniel whose wife Jane GLEESON Higgins was 81/2 months pregnant.  John G. was born at sea to Daniel & Jane, (my 3xgreat grandparents), during the voyage.  

They sailed to Quebec, Canada on the ship Victoria. and then followed the rivers and canals to Illinois, eventually settling in Peoria.

John Gleeson HIGGINS married Alice McDONNELL of Peoria in 1871and they had four children: Daniel, Alexander, Jennie, and Richard.  When John G's father retired, John G. took over the family "feed & flour" store, and he was also a Justice of the Peace. 
Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois / 

John G. & Alice and three of their grown children came to California in the early 1900's and settled in Vallejo where John G. owned Higgins Shoe Store.  

He died in 1933.

........and now introducing you to John Gleeson HIGGINS with two of his grandsons, Richard (age 8) and John Earl (age 4) (Kerry's grandfather)..................... 

l to r: John Gleeson Higgins (2xgreatgrandfather),  Betty (Kerry's mother & daughter of John Earl) John Earl (holding his daughter Betty is Kerry's grandfather) and Daniel ( her great grandfather and John Earl's father).
AND there you have a snapshot in time of four generations. Congratulations!

What a great story............... and a very brave family
................a major move from Ireland over the ocean, pregnant & deliver while on the ocean land in a strange land called Canada, and then make your way into Illinois and finally California

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Motivation Monday - National Genealogical Society Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

So the next big genealogy conference is right around the corner...... Are you going?

FYI: The early bird registration discount ends Monday, 30 March. In addition to enjoying a $35 discount, only early birds have the opportunity to order a printed syllabus. If you are going you need to register now.
    May 13-16, 2015  
National Genealogical Society (NGS)
St. Charles, Missouri 

This is going to be a very popular place for a conference..... more people than not have a relationship with Missouri and/or its surrounding 8 states. So many resources are available- so many library's and archives.

Are you going to be there? Have you made your hotel reservations yet? I sure hope the answer is YES because quite a number of the hotels are full up. Good Luck! Have you registered yet? It is time to do that and to make sure you get tickets to the other activities, events, luncheons etc. you need to register now.

Have you been following NGS blog? If not, whether you are going or not you can certainly learn quite a bit.

There will be two different tracks of live streaming sessions especially for those that will not be able make the conference in person. Read more about it. For those that are attending, you also have the opportunity to purchase both or either track and then while at conference you have the opportunity to expand your viewing of sessions by viewing the purchased ones after you return home. You will be able to view all that you paid for - up to 90 days after the conference closes (16 Aug 2015). Now that is a good deal.

Besides reading all about pre-conference, & conference speakers, presentations, societies, events, activities etc from the NGS blog posts, there is also a group of genealogy blogs that have been designated as the official media for the conference........... check it out and keep yourself in the know from day to day as the conference progresses............ Official Media. No this time I will not be attending the conference, maybe some of our other members that are attending will send me some updates from time to time...... (hint! hint!)

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Society Saturday - SHOW off that family treasure & TELL the story

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

continuing/starting February Show N Tell Program

Finally you say. Yes finally I am getting back to February and our wonderful Show N Tell Program. You thought I forgot all about it. No I did not. Since I was not able to make the meeting (visiting Salt Lake City @ conferences) I am just getting together with those that did attend, those that shared and others that took pictures.......  there is still more information & research to gather for these items that were shared but I want to give you an idea of what was shared. AND in another post or two I will bring you the story's. (I hope I got all the items shared. I'm sure someone will let me know if something doesn't show up on the blog)

But before all of that I want to thank Glenda Gardner Lloyd (ahhh!! GARDNER - no, no relationship to me YET) for her inspiring and interesting presentations throughout the year ........ and tonight's special presentation was   "Heirloom Wisdom"

Here are the Show N Tell items you will seeing and hearing more about over this next month or two.........     

I really want to thank everyone for participating and sharing. As my Grandmother may have said                           "Look at the great hand me downs!"

            I can hardly wait to read about the stories behind these items......... how about you? 
Special Thanks to member & our guild photographer          Judy Nissila for the photos. 
I do appreciate it very much.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Following -- April Happenings @ Root Cellar SGS

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

                   April Happenings with Root Cellar SGS  

        Come out and ENJOY the activities with other members!!

April 2 Thursday  Board Meeting -10am- Noon
                                 Sylvan Community Center
                                 7521 Community  Drive, Citrus Heights
                                 Contact: Diane Maltase

                                 Legacy SIG - 1pm
                                 Family History Center
                                 2745 Eastern Ave, Sacramento

April 2  Friday Extraction Happenings 9am - Noon
                            Center for Sacramento History
                            551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd, Sacramento
                            Contact: Marilyn Ulbricht

April 5 Sunday          Happy Easter

April 8  Wednesday Roots Magic SIG - 1pm
                                      Family History Center
                                      2745 Eastern Ave, Sacramento

April 9 Thursday General Meeting 7pm - 8:30pm
                                   6:15pm - 7pm Pre-Meeting Roundtable Discussions
                                   7-8:30pm General Meeting 
                                    Visitors Welcome     Contact: Diane Maltase

April 10 Friday Extraction Happenings 9AM- Noon
                             Center for Sacramento History
                             551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd, Sacramento
                             Contact: Marilyn Ulbricht 

April 15 Wednesday Daytime Workshop  1pm - 3pm
                                      Sylvan Community Center
                                      7521 Community  Drive, Citrus Heights

                                      This is the time to bring your research problems, your brickwalls, you new                                         finds, discuss them and see what help there may be available. 
                                      Contact: Diane Maltase 

April 16 Thursday  Family Tree SIG -11:30am -1:30pm
                                   Sylvan Community Center
                                   7521 Community  Drive, Citrus Heights
                                   Contact: John Jay

April 17 Friday Extraction Happenings  9am- Noon
                             Center for Sacramento History
                             551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd, Sacramento
                             Contact: Marilyn Ulbricht

April 22 Wednesday Reunion SIG -10:30am
                                      Family History Center
                                      2745 Eastern Ave, Sacramento
April 24 Friday Extraction Happenings  9am - Noon 
                                        Center for Sacramento History
                             551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd, Sacramento
                             Contact: Marilyn Ulbricht  

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Society Saturday: Watch Those 'P's' & 'Q's

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

So it is true, when you write a letter, or fill out a resume watch out for someone analysing it and deciding what  type of person you are, what you maybe or may not be capable of doing. But turnaround is fair play.......  what does the handwriting of your ancestors say about them........ did you know that 80% of the French Companies use handwriting as a means of screening potential employees?

Our March Meeting was all about Graphology? But what the heck is that?

Simply put, it is handwriting analysis. What does all those shapes, curves, dots, slants, connects and disconnects mean? Graphology is the study of all graphic movement including handwriting, doodles, drawings, etc. Over 300 traits have been identified in handwriting.

Nancy Douglas presented this very interesting subject  and titled it
"Your Ancestors' Handwriting has a Story to Tell"

Carolee Jones. Program Chair, introducing our speaker Nancy Douglas 

Speaker Nancy Douglas introducing her website 

This was the bases for each of us examining our own handwriting

Each of us wrote out this paragraph in cursive writing and Nancy went through her presentation letter by letter, word by word, slants and curves, Cap's, letters above the center (L K H F etc) and below the line (F G P Q Y etc), spacings, margins........... it really is much harder to read the writing than you think. I would think that it would take quite a bit of studying on the subject before you can do an accurate reading. AND it is not just one item it is the whole package.

If you have a document or letter written by an ancestor and want to have it analysed, Nancy can do that for you. Check out her website ""

 ..........and for those of you that attended school more than 10 years ago you will remember this exercise. Those attending within the past 10 years may not even be able to read these letters. What a shame. BUT there is hope ........ 2010 the teaching of cursive writing was removed from the common core for education. Since then 7 states (California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Utah) have made it a part of their state requirements and more are doing so.
Doesn't this look familiar!
Wasn't it First Grade/Second Grade when you started learning cursive!
practice, practice, practice!!

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Society Saturday - SOLD OUT "Great Words to Hear"

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Root Cellar's Spring Seminar  


I hope you have already purchased your ticket for this event, because we have SOLD OUT.

D. Joshua Taylor, MA MLS, will be the featured speaker at the March 21, 2015 Root Cellar Spring Seminar. Nationally and globally recognized as a researcher, author and speaker he will present four topics at the day-long genealogy seminar:

Hidden Gems: Materials in Digital Libraries for Family History
New Tools and Ideas in Research
On and Off the Net: Locality Searching
The Modern Genealogist: Timesaving Tips for Every Researcher

Currently a resident of Boston, Massachusetts, Joshua is President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and Director of Family History at He has authored numerous articles, and in 2013 authored the book, "The Keane and Sheahan Families of Bridgeport, Connecticut".  Featured on Who Do You Think You Are?, you may also have seen him in Genealogy Roadshow, a popular PBS series which began its second season on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Root Cellar recently contacted Joshua for insight into his past,m present and future genealogical endeavors.

You can read all about the interview with Publicity Chair Dianne Denny in the latest issue of Root Cellar's Preserves Publication..... February 2015 Volume 37 No 1. [excellent interview and great information]

See You At The Seminar.................

additional information

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
Click here for details.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Society Saturday - March Meeting

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Come out and join us in March. There is something going on that is a little different this month. Don't miss out. 

Thursday March 12 General Meeting 

6:15pm to 7pm for roundtable discussions......... meet like minds, share your family, see if there are any cousins in the room........ you never know!!

7pm to 8:30pm  "Your Ancestors' Handwriting Has a Story to Tell" presented by Nancy Douglas 
Nancy Douglas was fortunate ......... read more 

Want to learn what Graphology is? 
        Find out,  plus learn about history and components of                     handwriting analysis. 

Christ Community Church
5025 Manzanita Ave.