Monday, January 27, 2014

Ancestors of the Week

I'd like to try something different this time around---called "Ancestors of the Week". I've been looking for the opportunity to share some of the many photos I have of my many ancestors. I do hope you enjoy the photos over the next few weeks.  And, yes, I will continue to post other genealogical items as well.

So, here's the first photo. This is the 1910 family photo is of my great-grandparents Robert Martin Wombacher and Louisa (Strassburger) Wombacher, and their nine children. My grandfather Clarence is the young lad standing next to his mother and in front of his sister Tutsie.  By the way, my grandfather preferred to be called Dutch, as he much disliked his given name but appreciated his German heritage. Maybe I'm biased, but I think he's good-looking!  Enjoy.

Back row: Henry, Katie, Bob, Tutsie, and George.
Front: Robert, Margaret, Elmer, Lester, Dutch, and Louisa.
Duluth, Minnesota, 1910.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PMC, SLIG, and Jamboree!

Hi all,
Just got back from back-to-back conferences in Salt Lake City, attending the Professional Management Conference (PMC), hosted by the APG, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).

The PMC is a two-day event preceding SLIG. Great workshops on every new professional genealogist should know about--including networking, writing business plans, writing narratives for clients, and protecting your reputation. Speakers included Harold Henderson, J. Mark Lowe, Judy G. Russell (aka the Legal Genealogist), and Angela Packer McGhie.

SLIG: this was my second year at SLIG. This year, I enrolled in Tom Jones' Advanced Genealogical Methods. This is one of those institute courses in which registration sells out in less than 10 minutes. So, if you're planning to take this course in the future (at SLIG, GRIP or at IGHR in Samford), you have to act VERY fast. I'm glad I did. Tom puts his students through their paces--six+ hours a day, five days a week, of lectures plus homework. This year's SLIG inside joke was that Tom's students are never to be seen--they're too busy doing homework! And it was true--every evening I was in my hotel room working on assignments, rather than heading to the Family History Library to do my own personal research.

Both PMC and SLIG will return next January. SLIG is scheduled for the week of January 12-16, 2015, and PMC will occur just beforehand--probably the 9th and 10th of January. Both will take place at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, about a block or so from the Family History Library.
Information about the PMC will be found at the APG website (
Information about the 2015 SLIG will found at

The Southern California Genealogical Society is hosting its annual Jamboree convention, in Burbank, California, on June 6-8. They will also have a separate one-day DNA conference on Thursday, June 5th. Registration for both is now open--and no need to rush like one needs to for Tom Jones' Advanced Methodology classes!
Jamboree is easy to get to--fly into Burbank Airport, and walk (or shuttle) across the street to the Marriott Hotel in Burbank.

Registration at  Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Midwife's Tale

Just finished reading Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's book A Midwife's Tale. The book is based on the diary of Martha Ballard (1735-1812), a respected midwife who lived Hallowell, in the state of Maine. Martha was not a prolific diarist--her entries are brief, but to the point. She did not have all day to write extensively.

What I enjoyed most about Martha's diary (and the book) is that it is not just a record of her work as midwife (ushering in more than 900 children, including her own grandchildren!), but the diary is a record of events in her community. Martha wrote of the trials and tribulations of her family, managing a household while delivering babies, the changing medical practices (doctors versus midwives), war, and the overall social and religious evolution of Hallowell.

Author Laurel Thatcher Ulrich does a fine job providing an insightful commentary into the everyday life of Martha, her family, and her community. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in 18th century Maine, and anyone who yearns to become familiar with women's work of that time.