Need a Little Christmas…

Not me! I enjoy the holidays as much as anyone else. This year, I spent a great amount of time out and about in the community, sharing information about the Museum, DAR, and old-timey Christmas. I handed out over 250 candy canes with free passes to the Museum attached. I helped stuff around 300 stockings for active military personnel serving overseas. I feel honored to be in the position I’m in. I’m already planning for next year.

My favorite Christmas song is “We Need a Little Christmas.” But, I listen to it after the holidays…when all the adrenaline is spent and I need a pick-me-up. Such a great sing-along song!

Before I forget or get swept up in family get-togethers, I wanted to wish any and all readers the happiest of holidays and the brightest of New Years!

Writing a holiday card using a free downloadable print from ErinCondren.com found here!

Time Flies so They Say!

And, boy, have I had fun! I can’t believe it has been more than 2 months since my last post.  I’ve been meaning to sit down to write a post but I’ve been writing other things…

I have now written a total of three grants…one accepted, one declined, and one just submitted.  My fourth one is due by the end of the year.  Another one will be due in February 2019.

Speaking of 2019, that is really all that I’m thinking about right now.  My holiday engagements are in the books, and I’m beginning to calm down.  So, what has been happening in my world?

MUSEUM:  We set up at our community Christmas Walk, participated in the Candlelight Tour, conducted our own Open House, along with a few other functions.  For about 10 days, I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going!  In the midst of all this, I had a hard drive crash and learned how to get Windows 10 up and running again.

Uh-oh! I snapped this photo whilst standing under the mistletoe!
Night of Candlelight Tour!
My special ornament.

DAR:  Had our Christmas meeting and helped stuff stockings for active-duty military personnel.

This was just the beginning!
Madrigal Ensemble from local high school…excellent performance!

I also created an evidence analysis and business/marketing plan in my ProGen39 course.  Right now, I’m updating my resume to turn in as an optional assignment.  Never hurts to keep that document updated!

I am in the process of assisting TEN ladies hoping to join the DAR!  I have learned so much about different families, as well as different regions of our country.  It is humbling to be a part of this special process.

I updated our Museum volunteer handbook and created a groups meeting policy.  I’m in the process of creating a disaster preparedness plan, as well.  As we near 2019, I’m preparing our Board for StEPs, an AASLH program that very much needs to be instituted for our organization.

I have written so many letters I’ve lost count.  And that brings me to my main point of this post…intentionality.  Everything I do for the Museum and DAR is with a purpose; it’s intentional.  I realize that many other people do a number of things that might go unnoticed, things that help the Museum in ways untold, things that help veterans and children and women in a variety of ways.  I witness these activities on a near daily basis.  My goal, since taking over as Museum executive director and as my DAR chapter’s regent, is to recognize these individuals personally.  I sit down and write a letter, or thank-you note, or special message.  Sometimes these are typewritten in the interest of time, but they are always, unfailingly, signed in my own hand.  I have templates for common letters, but I always add my own words in some fashion.  That is the least I can do for someone who has done so much.

Watch here in 2019 for more about the not-yet-lost-art of letter writing!


I’m a Grant Writer!

I have successfully written my first grant!  (With two more in the wings!)  I’m so excited about this and the assistance the Museum is receiving with these funds…we will be able to purchase the needed software to create a virtual exhibit *and* electronically catalog our entire collection!  We are very thankful to the Henry County Community Foundation for their time and consideration in reviewing our grant paperwork and supporting our project.  The value added to the Museum with this grant is truly priceless!

I’m also busy with my DAR Chapter Regent duties…preparing for our second meeting.  I held a Constitution Day event and volunteered at The Wall That Heals program in a nearby town in our county.  What an honor!

Also just had my second meeting with my ProGen39 ladies…we’re down to 6 from 8…will surely miss the two who are unable to join us as they had so much knowledge to bring to the table.  I’m working on my Evidence Analysis assignment right now.  I chose someone not known to me and not related; her headstone at the cemetery is right next to my grandparents and great-grandparents and I’ve just always wondered who she is.  Let me tell you, learning her story has been a challenge!  That’s great though; she’s helping me become a better genealogist!

I’ll close with a painting (artist Charles Kennard) of an old toll gate and covered bridge in a town called Knightstown, neither of which are still standing.  This was related to some research I was doing about covered bridges in our county, none extant.  My guess is covered bridges were just commonplace before iron truss bridges came into being, and no one really thought to take photos of them…at least in Henry County.  We have this painting and two photos of one bridge located just west of Dublin, IN (said to be the first covered bridge on the National Road in Indiana).  That’s it!  I patiently await the day when someone finds a cache of photos that their ancestor, who loved covered bridges, took, and they then graciously donate them to us…patiently awaiting that day!

Two New Beginnings

I’ve added two new starts to my new job position: DAR Chapter Regent and the first meeting with my ProGen39 group.  Both happened within days of one another.  These two positions plus my executive director position at the Museum are my three main projects to tackle for the foreseeable future.

This gavel was handed down to me as Chapter Regent.  Our chapter just celebrated its 90th anniversary last year.  What an honor to hold this in my possession until the next Regent takes over.  I also received the Big Bag o’ Stuff that I have yet to inspect!

Officers: Me, Stacey, Rose Marie, Georjean, and Marianne

A beautiful rose in bloom with my office at the Museum in the background.  Three days before, it was just a bud.  It will take me longer than three days, but I hope to grow just as wondrous as it in the future.

My ProGen study group will last a year…an intensive course in preparing oneself to become a professional genealogist.  This is a peer-reviewed group that includes a lawyer, a teacher, and others with great experience.  We all want to become better genealogists and hold ourselves accountable for completing assignments, providing valuable feedback on others’ assignments, and attending a monthly chat.  In my case, I don’t have time to take on clients, but I am able to assist many folks researching their east-central Indiana roots.  I want to provide that service at the highest level possible so they may find their genealogical story.  If I feel I am successful at this endeavor, I will most likely seriously consider BCG certification, though I would prefer to attend a genealogical institute before attempting certification.  An institute, you say?  Why yes!  I’ll explain about those in an upcoming post since it will be something I explore for my educational plan assignment.

 Will ProGen help me decipher this?

Right now, I have no less than four events to plan for, one more step to go in the grant process (and if that goes well I’ll be writing grant #2), preparing my evaluation for the Board, creating a Constitution Week poster, reading three chapters and writing an educational plan for myself, and I’m constantly thinking about 2019.

Whew!  Time for some sleep and start all over again tomorrow!  I wonder what new thing I’ll learn??

Connecting Descendants with Their Ancestors…Always a Pleasure

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lori Lee Sauber…a Washington State resident with Hoosier roots.  I was able to connect her with some old family documents that gave her more insight into her Hoosier ancestors’ lives in the early to mid 1800s.  This is hands down the best part of my job!  She contacted our historical society well in advance of her trip, enabling me to pull items for her to review, thus a major time-saver.  In the photo below, only a small portion is shown of the table of items we examined.  I was thrilled to be a part of her journey!  Follow her story by clicking on her name above.

I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the L2Scrollio!  I asked Lori Lee if she could bring one so I could see it in person.  I got to check out her very own L2Scrollios!  She created these on her own, a very creative and ingenious tool for any researcher.  And, as she conducted her research, she did refer to her L2Scrollios when determining different ancestors who had the same names.  I could envision this as a very handy visual at family reunions when explaining to your cousins who your 3rd-great-grandparents are or explaining generations removed.  I’m a believer!  For more info, just click on her name up above.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending the morning researching with Lori Lee and am so happy that she was able to visit our historical society and county.  Not only was this trip beneficial for Lori Lee but I also benefited as a researcher by learning more about her ancestors, knowledge I will be able to share with future guests and descendants of this family.  Win-win!


Sauber holding an original document of her family’s.


Sauber’s ancestors in Harrison Township, Henry County, Indiana

What Does a Genealogist/Historian Do On Her Day Off?

The high point of my day, however, was taking an album full of Civil War era photos to the Randolph County Historical Society in Winchester, IN.  The pictures were sent to our historical society, but, after researching some of the names that were actually noted, we determined that the pictures were most likely of folks from Randolph County.  I had a lovely time talking with the people who are working very hard to keep the doors open. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/700114120119028/

On my way home, I drove through Fountain City and saw the sign pointing toward the highest point in Indiana.  So, I decided to check it out.  Believe it or not, I was not the first person there today!  I also didn’t realize how close I was to Ohio.

Back to work tomorrow!

Who am I kidding?  Back to work now! 😉

Has It Really Been FOUR Years?

I can’t believe I missed my blogiversary!  It was June 24, 2018, and was actually FOUR years!  It occurred during my transition into my new position so it probably slipped my mind, but I did remember it a few days ago.  Sadly, I thought just three years had passed.  Good thing for archives, amIright?!

<–There it is, my very first posted image…Faces in the Clouds

<–I’ve pulled this out for my upcoming ProGen Study Group!

<–Our 1930 Chrysler in our Memorial Day parade this year!

+ + = My life right now!

 

Deciding to Go for It!

The book on bottom I’ve had for 5 years.  The book on top I recently bought.

In 2013, I had a feeling my long-time job at the hospital was going to end.  And it did.  They outsourced the work I did to a national company, at which they had secured a position for me if I decided to work there.  I had no other choice, so I went to work for the national company and began planning for a change.

It took 5 years, but I was able to put medical transcription behind me and move forward with my Muze position.  I can’t even tell you the normal lab values for SGOT right now and those used to roll off my tongue!

When I first began planning my career change, I was moving in the direction of becoming a professional genealogist and consultant for this area of Indiana.  I did a lot of pro bono work, watched a lot of webinars, attended seminars and conferences, and volunteered at the historical society.  One thing I had planned on doing but could never fit into my schedule as it was a 19-month program was a ProGen Study Group.  A ProGen Study Group is held virtually and covers the information in the books in the photo (currently, only the top book is being used).  You are part of a group of 7 other students and a mentor who is certified by the BCG or accredited by ICAPGen.  You work on all aspects of becoming a professional genealogist, from an education plan to business practices to actual genealogical work.  That work you do is then peer reviewed.  The waiting list is long; I signed up during the spring of 2017 and was first contacted a year later.  Since signing up, though, the program was adapted to be just 12 months long.  You spend on average 20 hours per month working on assignments.

I was contacted about joining ProGen38.  This came at the time I was transitioning into my new role as Muze Executive Director, so it didn’t feel right.  On the other hand, it didn’t feel right to leave behind my goal of becoming a professional genealogist either.

So, when the invitation came for ProGen39, I didn’t think twice.  I jumped in with both feet and am preparing to begin this journey in September!  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll push myself a bit more and go “on the clock” once I complete the course.  You fellow genealogists know what I mean!  Apply for certification through BCG.  A giant step for me but what I’ve been planning for all along!

One More StEP…or Maybe Two

My historical society took a big leap of faith and approved our entry into the StEPS Program through AASLH (American Association for State and Local History).  StEPS stands for Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations.  It is a self-guided process wherein history organizations take a good hard look at policy and procedure and their future.  We will receive a workbook to work on different aspects of our organization, e.g. mission and governance, audience, and collection.  I am very excited about this!  We plan on reviewing it through the rest of this year and actively working on what needs attention beginning in 2019.

Drawer from Thaddeus Coffin desk

I am so grateful for the Genealogy Library we have at our historical society (named after Clarence H. Smith, some day soon I’ll tell you more about him).  When I began pondering career changes, professional genealogy seemed like the path I wanted to follow.  Volunteering at the historical society opened my eyes to the wonder that is our local history.  This position as director fulfills my genealogical passion, as well as teaches me unique things about my county.  If I don’t learn something new daily, then I consider it a nonproductive day.  These new things I learn can come from any nook of the Museum…our oldest book was published in 1789…a child on a tour showed me a new piece of wood in our Thaddeus Coffin desk (made of nearly 57,000 pieces!)…a lovely weed had found its way into our entry pavilion!  Even though I’m the executive director of a historical society and museum, genealogy still plays a large role in my life.

Bronze on wood trunk I bought today to use for my presentations! “The Trunk of Curiosities”

That is why when I recently received the invitation to join the ProGen Study Group 39 I jumped at the opportunity.  I had tentatively set aside my goal of achieving professional genealogy certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), but, by signing up and participating in the yearlong ProGen course of study, I believe I might move forward with my BCG goal.  We’ll see in a year!

Census record I may use for ProGen or BCG

Thank you to those who voted on the skeleton key poll.  What do you think of this one?

Skeleton key on gentleman’s black top hat

Why We Do What We Do

I shared the following post on the historical society’s Facebook page and thought I’d post it here, as well:
“Just wanted to share…why we do what we do: We had some visitors this week who dropped in to see some portraits of their ancestors that they knew we had. These portraits hang in the Museum. We told them we might have some more family information in our genealogy library. They were then able to hold in their hands the sermons that their ancestor had held in his hands, written in both English and German, around 150 years ago, here in Henry County. This is why we exist, to preserve the bountiful history of our county to share with people today and future generations, for the descendants of our early Henry County citizens to make a connection with their ancestors. This particular visit made me stop and think about what the importance of Henry County history means to so many generations and what an honor it is to be a guardian of the treasures of yesteryear.”

Later on that week, we had a member stop by to donate a ticket used by the Union Traction Company of Indiana (Interurban).  He asked what we did with our transportation artifacts, photos, and documents, if we ever put them on display to be shared.  Oh, how we’d love to have the space to do that!  We have *so much* stored away just waiting on that special person to come look at it and learn from it.  I tucked the train ticket into an archival-quality envelope so that it wouldn’t get lost in the Interurban file.  Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be able to virtually display more of our collection.  I entered the ticket into PastPerfect and soon will have the ability to add the picture of it, as well.  For right now, though, here it is:

Our database continues to grow!