Friday, December 19, 2014

Society Saturday - Find a Grave and MORE at our December Workshop

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

If you don't know yet, Root Cellar SGS offers a daytime workshop almost every month for it members-  they can discuss the good and bad of their research....... any breakthroughs or any brickwalls.......... this is a very casual informal unstructured/structured two hour gathering.  I was anxious and excited to share this month........I had some good breakthroughs with my New Zealand twig - my Great Grand Uncle Hudson LITTLE. His information has grown by leaps and bounds over just the month of December. It all started at the beginning of December with a free weekend with Find My Past, then several excellent finds with Google- I typed straight into Google a couple of sentences (one at a time) from Hudson's obituary and the information came right back to me - EXCELLENT finds.........and one with pictures. AND Google Earth,- I zoomed right into the Bunnythorpe Cemetery and the Apiti Cemetery both in New Zealand. What a great view.  Over to Find a Grave and located several gravestones in New Zealand including Hudson's. Checked out for a couple of items but most of the information I had already found in Find My Past.  FamilySearch catalog was an excellent resource .......
I found several actual passenger lists and several complete probates through the FamilySearch catalog- these are the actual list and probates.  wow, I was very lucky and filled in a lot of blanks....... I am so jazzed about all the documents and information I located.  And I confirmed what I had with sources, YES I said SOURCES........ what a great feeling.

I have worked on my New Zealand family - Hudson Little - all month and you can see my progress on my blog.

Sometimes at the daytime workshop we change it up a little and in December we scheduled a FIND a GRAVE presentation for part of the time. We tried this a couple of months ago but the internet connection was not cooperating.......   we talked a lot but no live demo that time. This time was different, we connected and had our live demo- it sure makes a big difference.........

......a big thanks to Linda Sword Johnson. Good presentation and I know from the questions (and the excellent handout) that members were very interested in the basics of the website but also interested in all the extra's that come along with it. Who knew there is so much going on with tombstones!

Linda really suggested reading the FAQ (frequently asked questions). I am almost sure that any question you may have has been asked and answered. But it is a good starting point.

This is a FREE website. You can search without signing in. But if you want to add/edit a grave, a photo, or anything else you need to register. It is easy and painless. Reminder that there are gravestones and cemeteries around the world NOT just in the United States. When you do a search try various spellings and variations of the name. A fairly new feature is you are able to add and search for someone who may not have a physical place to rest........ ie: cremated, ashes scattered 'whereever', lost at sea, body donated to medical science, buried at sea, lost or destroyed and others............... cremation and ashes scatter 'whereever' seems to be done more and more, so it is nice to have a place to these too.

You can add to the website, when you register a contributors page is created for you. If you find a relative already on the website you can request the gravestone be transferred to you. If they aren't related they will probably honor your request. But if not, you can create a virtual cemetery (s) and show any gravestones in your virtual cemetery. It is a way of collecting your relatives together in one place, once you have your virtual cemetery you don't have to go looking for these gravestones again............ just continue to look for others.

Well I was very jazzed when I went home and got on my computer and went to Find a Grave, I registered and started searching for relatives. I have been researching New Zealand twig this month and found several gravestones of ancestors. I wrote down each of their memorial #'s (this number is a must if you want to email anyone else on the website)....... I sent a message to the lady that had taken the pictures of the gravestones I was interested in, included the information requesting the transfer of three accounts. She answered pretty quick and it was done. Let me introduce you to my Great Grand Uncle Hudson Little, his wife Hannah Sarah Doggett and their second grown son Arthur Louis Little all in Bunnythorpe Cemetery. New Zealand.........
But this lady didn't stop there, she included two really good New Zealand websites- one for BMD ($ -but you can search without paying) and the other is newspapers (FREE). I have both of them bookmarked for more research at another time.....  I found another ancestor and YES I have sent another request for transfer AND it happens to be the same lady. I guess I didn't mention that she lives in New Zealand.

So thanks Linda............ I invite everyone to come and visit my small corner  ( life is good )

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Follow Friday - Shop Amazon and Support Root Cellar SGS

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

Are you still shopping for those one or two last minute gifts? Maybe you are shopping for yourself? online for anything at When you shop Amazon (clicking on our special ICON) you help Root Cellar SGS financially too. It is not that much but every little bit helps.........  and we thank you. 

just click below and shop on 

Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless (or is it Wordy?) Wednesday : Additional Keynote Speakers for RootsTech/FGS Conference

Editor's note: Today's by Sandra Gardner-Benward - written by FGS staff  

Additional keynote speakers added to RootsTech/FGS Conference line up. Very exciting!

Have you checked out the schedule of classes and activities yet? You will find a lot of variety. There are also labs available too, plus special workshops. 

RootsTech - February 12-14, 2015

Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager

Laura Bush and Daughter Jenna to Keynote at RootsTech 2015

We are excited to announce that former first lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna Bush Hager will be the keynote speakers during the morning general session on Friday, February 13, 2015.
The former first lady will talk about life in the White House and the importance of family during those eight years, as well as reflect on the difficult days following September 11. Jenna Bush Hager will join her mother onstage for a fireside chat where they will share family stories as a new mother and grandmother.
In addition to being a loving mother and grandmother, Mrs. Bush is a bestselling author, founder of the National Book Festival in Washington D.C., and chair of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.
Daughter Jenna Bush Hager is a best-selling author, special contributor for NBC’s The Today Show, and editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine.
Join us on Friday, February 13, 2015, at the morning keynote session with former first lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna Bush Hager. This will be an experience not to be missed.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - So You're Going to the LIBRARY in Salt Lake City

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

WOW!!! I love going to Salt Lake City for research. I look forward to it every year. You never know what you will find, what is new, finish what you didn't finish from the previous time.
Registration Open

I have registered to go to FGS/RootsTech2015 in February. I also have reserved my room, so just the packing is left besides getting ready for the LIBRARY. I am really excited about going, as I am every year.  There is so much more to the Conference than just the classes. There are so many extra activities and events planned along with many luncheons with excellent speakers.  So many choices, but most of that is taken care of with the registration to the conference. AND then there is the LIBRARY.

I have been attending RootsTech since it began and look forward to attending every year. I feel so privileged to be able to spent time at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City. The first year or maybe even two, I thought I was preparing to go to the Library to some serious researching, but never seemed to find much. Then I took a class on actually preparing to go to the LIBRARY in Salt Lake City. Wow, what a difference it made. So if a session is offered close to you ATTEND IT. It will be well worth the time and energy.

First while still at home I go through my family tree.........  I try to use the To-Do List in my Legacy Family Tree Software Program.....  as I work in my program over the year I try to keep up-to-date and add to the To-Do list as I go. Then at times like this, while thinking about the trip in February, I start compiling a paper To-Do list from my software program........ I try to put family names together and then try to break it down even more than that......... say Vital Records, history of 'whereever', probates etc.......... I even refine the list even more by putting all the books together on one page, all the microfilm together - while refining each page. 

I have spent dozens of hours combing through the LIBRARY catalog........ trying to see what else may be available to look at while I have time. I cannot emphasize enough that the more organized you are the more you will be able to do without getting frustrated. It is stressful enough knowing all this stuff is available and not being ready. So get organized and do your research homework.

What to take to the library: If it is summer, a light sweater. If it is winter, winter jacket, boots, possibly an umbrella..... Oh did I mention they do have lockers so you can put what you want in the locker, the less you have to keep track of the better you will feel. I make sure that I have my laptop (with lock, hard drive, thumb drives & cords), a good paper notebook & pencils, my flip pal scanner, plus my smart phone. This is what I need to research, take notes, copy and maintain information, documents and records. As I said I have a
smart phone (iPhone to be exact) and I use it many ways:  taking pictures of pictures, whole pages of text, written items I need to remember, maintain my schedule at the conference, alert me for coming events. IF the conference has a APP I use every bit of it....... scheduling, alerts, communication, social media, getting around, and keeping in touch with friends. I also have the APP 'Families' on my phone that holds my entire family tree at my finger tips. So while browsing the stacks or away from the laptop, I can simply open my Families APP and check a name, a date, a location or find out a relationship, etc. Life saver!!

I have not been to the LIBRARY since February 2014, but I hear that there are some huge but good changes. There is always someone around to ask questions ...... and some answers are better than others. But now if you need specific help, you go to the help desk and ask. Unlike other years, you are given a buzzer type thing and when a specialist is located, they buzz you. So instead of having to stand in line waiting you are able to go back to serious research until they have located someone to help you. I LIKE THIS!! 

Take time to study the LIBRARY building itself. You can do that online at FamilySearch while still at home. This will be extremely helpful. This is a large facility with 5 floors, it can be overwhelming and yes there is signage for each floor and within each floor but why go unprepared.

Make you sure check when the LIBRARY is open - what days of the week are they open, and what are the hours each day. They are closed on Sundays. They do have a 10 minute orientation video to watch when you first come in. Yes, it will be helpful to watch. Take the time. Where are you going to eat? YES EAT. There are designated areas for food and drinks. There are tours you can take. There are also classes you can take while visiting the :LIBRARY. I just looked and it looks like there are only classes scheduled on Monday and then nothing more that week. But the other weeks have classes each day. So if you go another time check that schedule before you go so if you see something that interests you,  you can work that into your LIBRARY experience. You can also pick up a paper copy of the classes being offered at the door as you come in. You never know what has changed. 

Probably the one thing you will need to be aware of while balancing the LIBRARY and the conference experience is PATIENCE. With two conferences being presented in the same time frame and all attending being family researchers EVERYTHING will be crowd, you will need PATIENCE

Enjoy! Happy Hunting!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Those Places Thursday - FGS Conference Announces Second Keynote Speaker

Editor's note: posted today by Sandra Gardner-Benward -- press release through FGS

 ARE YOU GOING? Here is one reason to consider attending FGS/RootsTech 2015

News Release..........
DONNY OSMOND Joins FGS and RootsTech 2015 as a key note speaker for February 14 Saturday Morning

Donny Osmond - FGS/RootsTech 2015 General Session Speaker

One of the biggest names from one of the most famous families will be part of one of the largest family history conference in the world.Donny Osmond will be joining FGS and RootsTech 2015 to inspire and entertain the thousands of conference attendees.

Donny has been singing and entertaining audiences for 50 years. He has starred on Broadway and in Las Vegas. He has sold millions of records. He has hosted a variety of TV shows. Now, he says, he’s anxious to share stories (and maybe a song) in a completely different venue. “I’m already looking forward to this exciting event,” Donny said. “Family and family stories are obviously very important to me. This is a chance to connect to something that is part of who I am.”

Donny will be releasing his 60th album just days before the conference. The album, “The Soundtrack of My Life” tells the story of his remarkable life.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shopping Sunday - Shop ONLINE Till You Fall Asleep or There is No More Chocolate

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

The Holiday Season has started with a BIG BANG and will continue for more than a month... bringing us into the new year....... take advantage of any discounts you can..... is an associate of Root Cellar SGS and wants to bring this to your you know Amazon has a lot of everything!  shop Amazon from the comfort, safety, and warmth of your own home, purchase items that are discounted and then sit back and wait for the delivery to your front door.........  this opportunity begins November 29 Saturday right after Black Friday.

follow the link for savings

Thank You for shopping Root Cellar SGS

Get a Jump on Cyber Monday Deals - Get Links Now

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Society Saturday - Happenings in December!!

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

What is Happening in December2014 for 
                                        Root Cellar SGS Members? 

             start marking your calendar.................

4 Dec 2014 - Thursday - Board Meeting 10am - Noon
     Sylvan Community Center
     7521 Community Drive
     Citrus Heights
     Members are always welcome

4 Dec 2014 - Thursday - Legacy SIG 1pm
    Family History Center
    2745 Eastern Ave
    Everyone welcome who is interested in the Legacy Family Tree Software.
    NOT sponsored by Root Cellar SGS but member supported

5 Dec 2014 - Friday - Extraction Gathering 9am - Noon
     Center for Sacramento History
     551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.
     Contact Marilyn Ulbricht - we can always use more volunteers. Give it try and see how much fun.

11 Dec 2014- Thursday -  Holiday Celebration with Root Cellar SGS 7pm
     Christ Community Church
     5025 Manzanita Ave
     Everyone is welcome. We will be celebrating with a gift raffle, refreshments and a short presentation with      our host Glenda Gardner Lloyd - everyone is asked to bring a wrapped gift (or 2, 3, 4 , 5 etc)(NO white      elephant gifts please) to donate to the Root Cellar. Raffle tickets will be sold and gifts will be won. A            variety of refreshments will be available thanks to generous members.

12 Dec 2014- Friday -NO  Extraction Gathering

16 Dec 2014 Tuesday Hanukkah Begins at Sundown - Enjoy!
17 Dec 2014 - Wednesday - Daytime Workshop - 1pm -3pm
    Sylvan Community Center
    7521 Community Drive
     Citrus Heights
     Everyone is welcome. There are a variety of activities that happen, the best of which is simply sharing            ideas, getting help with a problem or a whole brickwall

17 Dec 2014- Wednesday - Roots Magic SIG  12:30pm
    Family History Center
    2745 Eastern Ave
    Everyone is welcome to attend who is interested in the Roots Magic Software. Not sponsored by Root         Cellar SGS but member supported

18 Dec 2014 - Thursday - FamilyTree Maker SIG 11:30pm- 1:30pm
     Sylvan Community Center
     7521 Community Drive
     Citrus Heights
     Sponsored by Root Cellar SGS - anyone interested in FamilyTree Maker Software is welcome

19 Dec 2014 - Friday - Extraction Gathering  9am - Noon
    Center for Sacramento History
    551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd
    Contact Marilyn Ulbricht - we can always use more volunteers. Give it try and see how much fun.

21 Dec 2014 Sunday First Day of Winter - Yippppey! Dust off those snowshoes,sleds & ski's

24 Dec 2014 Wednesday  NO Reunion SIG

24 Dec 2014 Wednesday Christmas Eve  - Enjoy!

25 Dec 2014 Thursday - Christmas -  Enjoy!

26 Dec 2014 Friday - First Day of Kwanzaa  Enjoy!

26 Dec 2014 Friday NO Extraction Gathering

31 Dec 2014 Wednesday - New Year's Eve  - Count down to 2015

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