Let the Institute Begin!! #SLIGExperience

I am so ready for SLIG to start, as a matter of fact I am just frothing at the mouth with anticipation.  I have been here since Wednesday researching and discovering records at the Family History Library.  So many finds! Thank heavens I signed up for Kimberly Powell’s class on Excel, my Pennsylvania relatives spent a good portion of their time buying and selling land.  My new Excel skills should make the process of tracking the land much easier.

Creating a Family Archive Without Going Crazy by Mona Lambrecht, MA was the second class I attended on Saturday.  Mona should us some fabulous ways to keep track of our collections and archives.  When I get home and caught up on work I am going to use her techniques to get my archive preserved and cataloged.  I am so happy this class is everything I hoped for and more, thank you Mona!

I also attended Scrapbook to Scanner by Dina C. Carson.  I never really understood the sizing for photos and why they became funky, but, now I do!  I am also thinking of trying some of the software she recommended.  More projects to add in when I return home.

One of the best parts of SLIG is meeting up with new and old friends.  I have happily been running amok with my Genea husband J Paul Hawthorne and my crazy roommates Leslie Carney and Laurie Desmarias.  This morning we went out exploring the city.  Paul tried to break into the library with no success.  We went to the visitors center, the capitol, the look out point, an antique store, and to Gracie’s for brunch/lunch.  The city looked beautiful with its coat of snow.

Tonight is the Welcome event.  Take the time to meet some new folks and thank all the hard working SLIG Committee.  The committee has thought up some fun contests.  This year there is the photo tag line contest (#SLIGFun), a blogger contest         (#SLIGExperience) and a  Find and Elk Contest (#SLIGFind).  Contest information can be found in your Syllabus on pages xii-xiii. Trust me, you want to win the prizes.  One of the many prizes is an opportunity to register for next years classes before it is open to the public, now that is a prize.



SLIG – Making my list and checking twice #SLIGexperience

I have been tearing around these first few weeks of January trying to get everything organized for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.  Every time I made a little progress, a  client  issue or need would arise, and of course I have coursework for two different classes I am enrolled in. Ugh, yesterday I was working in Douglas, AZ, tomorrow in Phoenix for a board meeting,  Sunday a board meeting here in Tucson, and a meet up with a cousin that just today notified me that she will be in Tucson from Saturday to Tuesday.  Monday is for packing, all other spare time will be for the assignments that are due.  I am looking forward to actually leaving on Tuesday to get some rest!

Packing list for the institute:

  • my research list for microfilms and books at the library
  • background research for the above research list
  • printout of registration for SLG and Tech day, hotel confirmation
  • Flash drives with my name and phone number (I have lost one before – it will never happen again!) You can also add your name and phone number on the back of your copy card at the library with a Sharpie
  • healthy snacks
  • humidifier
  • cables for electronics
  • back up batteries for my computer mouse
  • compact portable charger (external battery power)
  • portable hot spot
  • Belkin 3-Outlet Surge Mini Travel – I never travel without it
  • laptop and briefcase
  • moisturizer, I may live in the desert but SLC dries me out!
  • prescription medications and over the counter allergy, headache medications
  • comfortable clothing that can be layered – you never know if a room is going to be hot or cold, same with the library.
  • comfortable shoes – or in my case one shoe if I am still sporting my boot
  • shampoo, conditioner, hair styling aids, hair brush, deodorant and other tolietries
  • paper towels, clorox wipes – useful for wiping down keyboards in labs
  • mug, PAM [I use PAM to coat the mug for my scrambled eggs made in the microwave], plastic silverware
  • My password notebook
  • pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, paper for taking notes
  • winter coat, gloves, scarf, and warm socks!

We usually take a trip to Target or a grocery store to stock up on items.  I prefer to drive to Salt Lake, I find driving very relaxing and I like having my car available.  I am already schedule for two pickups at the airport, one am and one pm on Friday to greet and transport several SLIG attendees to the hotel.  If you see a tungsten colored Subaru Outback with Arizona plates at the airport  wave me down for a ride!

A special note to share with all – your perfume, aftershave, etc. may smell nice to you but can overwhelm others in the elevators and classrooms.  Spray lightly.  I was in an elevator in the morning when someone’s fragrance caused another elevator passenger to have an asthma attack.

Be sure to thank all the SLIG volunteers that make the event possible.  The amount of time and effort that they put in is extraordinary!


#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2 Favorite Photo

Amy Johnson Crow has once again offered up blogging/writing prompts for genealogists to share their ancestors stories. It is never too late to join in, and I encourage you to jump in whenever you have time to do so.  Information about the writing challenge and Amy can be found her website https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com.

My favorite family photo is actually a series of photos taken at Navy Pier in Chicago.  I am lucky to have the original photos.  The photos were  taken by my Grandfather William Skibbe.  My mother, Lorraine, was a “surprise” baby.  She was born when her mother was forty years old, six years after giving birth to her son William.  Saying that my mother was a surprise was an understatement.  My grandmother was quite unhappy having to deal with my mother.  My Grandfather would often take my mother with him to get her out of my grandmother’s hair.  The photos below are from one of their walks to Navy Pier.  My grandfather often took my mother to the pier to see people and watch the steamers sail on the water.  My mother was four at the time of the photos, approximately 1938.

Steamships on Lake Michigan
Lorraine standing on the peir
Lorraine Skibbe


#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1 Start

Amy Johnson Crow has once again offered up blogging/writing prompts for genealogists to share their ancestors stories. It is never too late to join in, and I encourage you to jump in whenever you have time to do so.  Information about the writing challenge and Amy can be found her website https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com.

I know I find myself thrilled with the chase and often neglect to write up my results for family.  I seriously considered discontinuing my family blog.  I always seem to get distracted with my private investigating company, speaking engagements, the Pima County Genealogy Society, researching and keeping up my household.  I was, however, met with several unhappy relatives that told me how much they appreciated the information.  I also realized that sharing has resulted in many new found relatives.  On Christmas, my father in law told me how much he enjoyed seeing the Urman family pictures, shook his head and laughed at those crazy pictures from the ’70’s that I had published.

1978 Lloyd Lorraine Amy Matt
The Clark family circa 1979: Lloyd, Lorraine, Matt and Amy

The prompt for Week 1 is Start.  I will therefore start with myself.  I was born in Park Ridge, Cook County, Illinois in the 1960’s.  My father worked for the Northern Trust Bank in downtown Chicago and my mother worked at various banks and attorney offices.  We lived in the suburbs,  first in Park Ridge and later to Mount Prospect.  I have one big brother, Mathew, who enjoyed teasing me.  He played sports and later became a professional soccer player.  Perhaps it was the continuously injuries as a goalie that eventually moved him to the health insurance market.

I was once a very quiet person, very studious and not outgoing whatsoever.  I am happy to say and warning all that I am now outgoing!  One of the benefits of being a introvert is finding happiness in things like books.  I loved to read.  I think my interest in investigating started with the books  like Encyclopedia Brown and Harriet the Spy.  I thank my former teacher Mrs. Gagnon for introducing me them.

1985 Jessica Amy NY visit_NEW
Jessica and I in 1984.

My introduction to genealogy was an odd one.  When I became pregnant with my first child (1983), the doctor asked me to fill out forms regarding my family’s health history.  I had a history of fainting (junior high to my mid twenties) and migraines.  My mother’s brother was believed to have Marfan Syndrome.  The doctor sent me to a geneticist for further evaluation.  The geneticist asked that I  obtain death certificates for my great grandparents and if possible the death information for my great great grandparents.  Luckily my paternal grandparents were alive and able to provided their parents information.  My mother’s parents died prior to my birth.  Mom had her parent’s death certificates but no information on her grandparents.  The process of locating the information was my first taste of genealogy.  The hunt had me hooked, from that point on I was on a mission to discover all I could about my family.