01 September 2014

Happy Birthday Isaac Roberts(10)

Born:  1 September 1863 (151 years ago today)
Immigrated:  1886 at age 22
Married:  Janet Howie(16) at age 31
Died:  6 July 1940 at age 76
Occupation:  Coal miner

27 August 2014

Walking Where They Walked: Park Hotel

Park Hotel, Rock Springs, Wyoming, September 2013, RR&B

19 Elk Street, Rock Springs, Sweetwater, Wyoming

The Park Hotel opened in 1914 and was the hub of Western Wyoming until the late 1950’s. It was the largest and most modern hotel in the city. Advertisements boasted of hot and cold water in each of its 38 rooms, twenty of which had private baths and toilets. The fourth floor was added in the 1920’s. The Park Hotel catered to commercial men and automobile tourists traveling the Lincoln Highway. The hotel had a boisterous barroom and a sedate restaurant with sparking white table cloths.

Rock Springs Miner, 30 January 1914, page 1, Wyoming Newspaper Project online.
One memory of the Park Hotel, is related by Thomas P. Cullen, “One summer afternoon while walking up Elk Street toward the C Street Crossing, my attention was drawn to the small crowd assembled near the north end of the Park Hotel. A slight man, of short stature, stood rolling up his pantlegs (sic) preparing to scale the northeast corner of the hotel. Using only the strength in his fingers and the nonskid feature of his well-worn tennis shoes, he inched his way up the corner of the brick building. He proceeded slowly, didn’t falter, and with skill and determination reached the top of the hotel building without using ropes or any other device. His only reward was the applause of the small crowd gathered on the street below.” (Cullen, page 93.)

 “Rock Springs, Historic Downtown Walking Tour”, Rock Springs Historical Board, Norma Jean Robins, 1996.
Rhode, Robert B., “Booms & Busts on Bitter Creek”, Fred Pruett Book, Boulder, Colorado, 1987.
Cullen, Thomas P., “Rock Springs: Growing Up In a Wyoming Town, 1915-1938”, Portland, Oregon, 1985. 
Rock Springs Miner, Wyoming Newspaper Project online:  http://wyonewspapers.org/ 

26 August 2014

Did You Wonder?

Do you ever have questions while watching "Who Do You Think You Are?"  
I have. 
I wonder:
  • do the celebrities get copies of the research including any documents that were found
  • are the reactions genuine and in real time
  • who (the tv show or the celeb) chooses which line to follow for the show
  • who pays for the travel
  • what if the researchers hit a brick wall
  • do the researchers prep the celebrities before they are filmed
  • what if the family secrets are too dark to tell (so far none have been and there have been some dark history revealed!)
  • has a celebrity ever backed out because they were ashamed or embarrassed by their ancestors
  • has the show ever researched two celebrities who were related
  • have family members of the celebrities ever nixed the research process because of personal issues dealing with their ancestors
  • why do some celebrities get driven while others drive themselves
Some of the above questions were answered in an interview by Thomas MacEntee with Dan Bucatinsky, co-producer of Who Do You Think You Are, posted online 20 August 2014 on Geneabloggers.com, entitled:   "Interview with Dan Bucatinsky: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Who Do You Think You Are?"  TLC airs Who Do You Think You Are, Wednesday evenings.  Find out more about the show on their website, including full episodes of previously aired shows. 

25 August 2014


For what is the worth of a human life 
unless it is woven into the lives of our ancestors.
---Cicero 106-43BC

Keep in touch on Facebook, email, or call.

23 August 2014

One foot in the present and one foot in the past

Most of us old timers began family history work before the digital age, and now we are trying to update and organize our information while still trying to research.  Our old photographs and documents we are trying to scan and digitize, so these precious relics can be saved and shared among many family members.

We have been thrust into technology as a wonderful tool to assist in our family history research.  We see the value in technology and we see the advantage of utilizing technology.  We have been hurled into the technology world out of necessity to improve and assist in our passion of finding our ancestors and documenting their lives.

Because technology came after we began our research, we are stumped by the little things like how to name and organize our files and pictures; scanning techniques; and how the cloud works.  We have had to learn about pixels, jpegs, and backing up our files in addition to learning how to operate personal computers and digital cameras.
We have one foot in the past as we research and study history as our other foot is in the now of the digital age.  

We love being able to connect through email rather than snail mail, we love being able to search the internet for information rather than trudging off to the local library, and we love being able to share and save things digitally rather than carrying around notebooks, file folders and binders!  Thank goodness for how much information a flash drive can hold!

We love being able to search databases in seconds rather than looking through microfilms, books and drawers of old ledgers.  We love being able to coordinate with others on research questions rather than working alone in the dark dusty depositories of original records. 
 We have one foot in the past as we research and our other foot is in the now of the digital age, as we are connected by Facebook, Twitter, email and Instagram.  

So, technology people, be patient we have had to enhance and study to further our true hobby and passion—family history.  And to the family historians, jump in and try the new technology!  We truly have one foot in the present and one foot in the past.