And I Thought I’d Seen It All…

I’ve been doing research on the surname “Shultz.” I thought I had seen all possible versions of its spelling.

Nope.

Found “Shoulch” on a census.

Today, I got this:

Wow. Just…wow. I also tested my Mom and Dad. No surprises with Mom. Dad’s showed up 3% Scandinavian. DNA testing is very fascinating. I wonder if I’ll ever find my Italian ancestor.

In MuzeNews, I am the proud grant-writer of my second successful grant! I also just had a lovely 132nd Annual Meeting of our historical society. You read that right…132 years. We are the oldest continually operating historical society in Indiana. Our Museum doors have been open 117 years. Needless to say, I am a very proud executive director!

In mid May I’ll be attending my DAR State Conference, and, in late June, I’ll be attending a genealogical research institute in an area of the U.S. where I will have the opportunity to do family research. I finished my research report for my ProGen39 course, and I’ve begun another one for some pro bono research I’m doing.

This year is turning out to be a ROCK STAR!!!

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??

From StEPs to Paths!

I’ve had a couple days off from the Muze, and I’ve done the following:

  • Finished up the newsletter for bulk rate mailing! If you are so inclined, go here and click on July to read the newsletter (.pdf format).
  • Watched three webinars (intro to digitization; vision, mission, and planning; website updating)
  • Created a schematic detailing the “paths” on which we find ourselves (path to: vision, logo, virtual exhibit, website overhaul, and digitization)
  • Started planning for my Trunk of Curiosities to go with my presentations…here it is:
  • Started reading the StEPs workbook
  • Did a price comparison on different items to share with the Board
  • Getting the News You Can Use email ready to roll on August 1
  • Sent out my weekly update late Sunday night (just about slipped my mind!)

In my downtime, I have been working on:

  • DAR duties (finishing chapter yearbook, finishing plan for the year, creating a letter and first agenda, reviewing bylaws, creating an email to send out to create a bylaws committee)
  • Reviewing the chapter master report

Every once in awhile, a thought will cross my mind…don’t forget ProGen39!!  My mind, it is a’swirlin’!

For something non-work-related, I watched a couple BatDad videos on Facebook. 😀

Planning A 2-Part DAR Lineage Workshop!

For: Ladies 18 and up who are interested in joining the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Part 1: August 2017 General Overview

Part 2: September 2017 Completing An Application

I’m working on an agenda right now, plus invitations.  I have the location and dates nailed down so those are a go!  I hope to generate some interest and meet some new ladies.

For Part 1, this is what I have going for an agenda:

Pedigree Chart (handout)
How To Find A Revolutionary War Patriot
          www.dar.org and GRS
Sources:
     Original v Derivative
     Primary v Secondary
Proving Correct Lineage
  • First Three Generations (You, Parents, Grandparents): Must have birth, marriage, death proof.
  • There must be a connection between each generation, from the Patriot to the prospective member.
  • You must have proof of residence and age for your Patriot ancestor.
Proving Correct Service:
     Military
     Patriotic
     Civil
Requirements for Applying to the DAR (paper and electronic)
That’s probably enough for 2 hours.
On a side note, I should be receiving my DNA data soon!  Check out the Genes For Good app on Facebook.  The University of Michigan is conducting a study wherein you answer a few health surveys and they test your DNA…for free!  They have a wealth of information regarding privacy if you’re concerned.  It does take 2-3 months to get your results back.  When I tested through 23andMe, I got results back 2 weeks to the day they received the kit at the lab.  As soon as I know something, I’ll write about it!

Busy Weeks Ahead!

I finally had an inspiration!  I need to write an article for a genealogical journal in Indiana, but I was having trouble deciding what to write about (since I want to put together a portfolio for BCG I can’t write something and then use it for the portfolio).  So, I thought about my family and finally decided on my great-grandmother’s roots.  She was one of 9 daughters, no sons.  Her father and grandfather moved back and forth across the Midwest, from New Jersey to Ohio to Iowa, back to Ohio, into Indiana, back to Iowa, and finally back to Indiana!  I’m compiling data right now to put this together.

Yes…busy weeks…my son is graduating and has 6 full days of school left and then a plethora of senior activities to keep us hopping until June 4.  Not to mention an ECIGA meeting this week, DAR Youth Citizenship Presentations coming up plus the state conference, historical society board meeting and manning the table during our Memorial Day Festival, and meeting with my friends at the assisted-living center to help them with their family history research. Whew! I will be so ready for a breather come June!

Life Planners~Part 2 and Prompt #157

I’ve talked about life planners before and thought I’d post an update.  I’m still using the Erin Condren products (no plug here, just like her stuff).  Except instead of an actual life planner, I “built” a more personalized notebook to use for 2016-17.

It’s an 8.5″ x 11″ notebook (so it’s a bit bigger) with a personalized cover, a calendar in the front, and then fun notebook pages.  I bought 3 personalized dividers (historical society, ECIGA, and Life/Citation) to divide the notebook pages.  All I need calendar-wise is a monthly view (not weekly and daily).  With the amount of social media I’m suddenly involved in, I needed a way to keep track of what to post and when to post it, content to post, etc.  The calendar pages were marked with the month and lines for days, but I had to put on the stickers for the corresponding days, which was fine. Makes it totally customizable to when you want to begin using it, whatever year!  The cost was equivalent to a Life Planner.

planner Peek at June!


Prompt #157: What I Would Tell My 9-Year-Old Self

Your maternal grandfather is a photographer…he’s made one room of his house a darkroom.  By the time you come along, he doesn’t use the room anymore, but it still has that darkroom smell.  Plus a lot of negatives.  Get in there and secure those negatives!  And any pictures you find around his house!  Also, check the bookshelves in the living room for an old Bible.  He hand-copied information from a Bible of his grandfather; where that Bible is now, who knows.  But you might salvage it if you just explore those shelves!  What you don’t realize is he was very interested in family history and actually had a lot of it there.  You just need to poke around a bit.  It’s nearly 36 years later and it’s untelling what happened to it all.


Preparing for a trip on June 8 to Fort Wayne to see Dr. John Philip Colletta speak! Excited about what I’ll learn.  He’ll be covering breaking through brick walls, passenger lists, and naturalization records.  I’ve been helping my DAR chapter registrar with some prospective members so the brick wall techniques will come in handy!  Since I’ve been a DAR member now for about 15 months I’ve been thinking about joining one of the national committees, probably lineage research, my forte!

Honor Nights

This year, I presented the DAR Youth Citizenship Award to the same elementary school I did last year, plus two more!  I wrote about it last year here.  For me, it is an honor and privilege to represent the DAR and award the certificate and pin.  As I mentioned last year, when I was in 6th grade, I hoped to win it but didn’t.  I realized that every time I present this award it is like I’m winning it too.  What could be better than that?  I hope I get to present this award for a lot more years to come.

dar notebook

Fun Holiday Weekend & Big Announcement!

The weekend before Christmas went by in a flash, a whirlwind of fun holiday events that kept me on my toes.

It started with the last planning meeting for ECIGA.  We’ve had 4 organizational meetings thus far in 4 different counties.  Our group serves 5 counties, and the very first meeting was in my home county but it was more of a “do we want to attempt this?” type meeting, not planning.  We have, I believe, 10 charter members in good standing and nearly all of our officer/director positions filled.  We are 30 days out from our very first meeting so now it’s time to really spread the word.  If interested, please check out ECIGA.

The next day, I attended my DAR chapter Christmas meeting, held at the local historical society where we enjoyed dessert treats and listened to the Madrigal Choir from the high school.  Last year I attended this also and that was the day I turned in my DAR application, so it’s been 1 full year now that I’ve been part of the chapter.  The ladies of the chapter are dear to me, charming and full of knowledge.

From desserts, I met up with my family for our annual Christmas get-together at a popular pizza joint where I had supper (my meals have been haphazard this weekend!).  It’s a combined dinner to celebrate Christmas and our December birthdays.  This year, we decided that instead of all the adults buying all the other adults gifts, we’d have a contest at Thanksgiving and whoever won that contest would be the recipient of a Christmas gift that the losers all pitched in on.  The contest was the ugliest Christmas sweater, which my Mom won.  Her gift?  A girl’s night out with her 3 daughters and niece (and wee baby grandson since he’ll only be about 6-7 months old). She wants to see the house where Michael Jackson lived in Gary, IN, so we’ll take her there and then over to Amish land in Shipshewana.  Should be interesting!

IMG_1014 Typical selfie.

The next day was the Christmas Open House for our historical society.  We open up the museum for guests to come tour if they’d like, enjoy some light snacks, and listen to one of our local talents play Christmas carols on the historic Jesse French piano.  An absolutely lovely day…the weather was actually springlike, the guests were wonderful, and so nice to open the museum for a fun holiday party.  The museum will be open for 1 more week, then close for January and February.

FullSizeRender(6) Bust of Benjamin S. Parker and the Christmas tree.

My big news: I’m scaling back my hours at my day job to part-time (20 hours per week) to focus more on taking clients for research and volunteering at the historical society.  My job is based on production so I’ll have to work hard to produce what I do in 40 hours, but I feel I’ll gain a better balance overall between work and life.  This year I have Christmas Day and the day after off work so I’m working on my business website.  Once accomplished, I’ll post the information.

Merry Christmas all.