Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Following the lead of Elyse's Genealogy Blog, I'll present my two speaking engagements for the month of May. Go check out Elyse's schedule, and if you're in her area, please take the opportunity to hear her.

I'll be speaking at 6:30 pm on 10 May at the headquarters library of the Clay County (Florida) Libraries at Fleming Island. The library has asked me to talk about my recent book on the Florida colonial, territorial and state censuses.

On 24 May at 2:30 in the afternoon, I'll be talking to the Sweetwater Genealogy Club at the Sweetwater Community in Jacksonville, Florida, about "Navigating the National Archives Website," showing them some guideposts for getting around that huge and very complex website that is chock full of information. If they have wi-fi there at their meeting hall, I will "go live" on the NARA website and show them around that way. If not, then I will update my PowerPoint on the subject.

Monday, April 19, 2010

That which was lost . . .

. . . now is found.

For months, nigh onto a year, I have been fretting over a copy of a document and a copy of a newspaper article, both pertaining to my great-great grandmother's divorce from my great-great grandfather. They seemed to have got lost from the binder in which I have other documents from the same time period, which I received from a cousin. I could not for the life of me find these documents, and I was getting very upset.

However, one good thing came of this apparent loss. I designed a "document tracking form," a blank copy of which now resides at the front of each of the binders in which I have family information. On the form, each time I remove a document from the binder for examination, I enter the Clooz ID number, the title or nature of the document, the subject person, the document's permanent location, the date it was removed from its binder, why the document was removed from the binder, and its temporary resting place. The form remains in the binder while the document is in use, and does not come out of the binder until the document is returned to its proper place in that binder.

Peace of mind sometimes has a price. This time, however, I did not have to pay that price, in the end. A few weeks ago, I dragged out an old plastic file tub, which has hanging files in it, and which I had used to store some documents and other items before I put everything into binders. I needed the tub to store files I am accumulating for my study of the family structure of St. Augustine, FL, from 1783 to 1821. I found not only the divorce document and article, I also found some photos I had been trying to find for the past several years!

I guess the moral of that story is: Put all your stuff in one place! And do it in a timely fashion!

I am very glad I found those items, but I think the step I took to devise my "document tracking form" was a great step, too, and I have used that form most faithfully!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Six Degrees of Separation

One thing that will probably help me blog through a busy April, when I do have time, will be the blogging memes that appear in various places, such as Genea-musing's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, from Randy Seaver. Tonight's task:

1) Find an ancestral line that atretches back to the time of the US Revolutionary War (1775-1783), about 230 years. Define your person-to-person connection (the person actually met the next person on the list) back to a historical figure from that time.

2) Tell us about it on your blog, in a note or comment on Facebook, or in a comment on this post.

My father was Arden Packard (1911-1954). He died when I was seven years old, but I do remember him.

His father was Walter Hetherington Packard (1879-1937) is shown along with his wife, Elizabeth Jane Reynolds (1879-1939) in a photograph with my father in about 1930 0r 1931.

Walter H. Packard's father was Oscar Merry Packard (ca. 1848-ca. 1930) who is enumerated in the 1930 U.S. census living with Walter H. Packard's family.

Oscar Packard's father was Matthew Hale Packard (1822-1881), with whom Oscar is enumerated in the 1850 U.S. Census and the 1855 New York census living in Chautauqua County, New York.

Matthew Packard's father was John Allen Packard, shown in Canadian records with his family, including Matthew, in Stanstead County, Quebec, Canada.

John Packard's father was Richards Packard, who served in a Massachusetts regiment, and whose cousin, though the line of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, was John Adams.

Though I cannot be absolutely sure that Richards Packard ever met his cousin John face-to-face, it is possible. And there was some familial resemblance -- both men were short in stature!

The Delinquent Blogger

I regret that I have neglected my blog of late, but it is the last month of the term at university. I have one paper done, another monster of a paper due in rough draft next week, a take-home exam in Spanish, and my ongoing St. Augustine project.

It is also time to do taxes, which I should have done before this, but there it is. Ah, well.

I've even been so wrapped up in my academic pursuits that I've missed the last three episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are?" But I can catch up with that on Hulu.

After the term is over, I'll still be fairly busy. I have two speaking engagements lined up for the month of May, and another in July. I've even had an inquiry about a gig next year! Also, fairly soon now, our genealogical society will be offering a many-part course for beginning family historians -- though the education chair isn't sure about HOW many parts there will be yet. I'll be teaching some of the classes in that series.

So I may not be here on the blog as much as I would like for the month of April, but I'll be back in May, much more often.