Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back from Salt Lake!

I spent the last week and a half in Salt Lake - mainly for an uncle's funeral, but also to use the family history library.

I stopped in Weiser, Idaho (where my dad's step-mom, Joan Cheesbrough, was born in 1912)

I loved being with family and being at the Family History Library. I was there on five different days (47 hours) and the Church History Library for two days (9 hours.) Dad and I looked at 39 microfilms and perused 12 wills/documents/books. We were mainly looking for Harwards. I had contacted a sweet lady, Cathy, from Mapleton, Utah, who has written a book about my ancestor's (Thomas Harward) brother William. She met up with us and had dozens of documents for us - wills, histories, vital certificates! We also got to meet with one of dad's cousins' wife, Mary Jane. We scanned in dozens of photos - of her father-in-law, Art Harward and her own family. She was a treasure chest of information! We got to meet her son and daughter-in-law who have the recipe for very tasty frozen pops. And lots of ancient genealogy! I took lots of photos of family and the Rockies. I would LOVE to live down that way to have access to all those microfilms. I paid for my trip two times over by checking the microfilms in person instead of renting them at $8 a piece.

Dad and I decided that we want to put together a Thomas Harward web page.
(Thomas Harward photo I got from Cathy.)
I've collected so many documents on the Harwards and I just hate to see people doing research/church work on Harwards using wrong dates, estimated times and places! I want to share them with everyone.

Some of the things we found while down there: Thomas Harward (1826-1901) probated estate(FHL microfilm #1,654,620); some of his children's probated estates including Ozias Strong Harward (1862-1917)& Sabrina Harward Draper (1860-1944)and son-in-law's estates: Jabez E. Durfee (1828-1883). I found some naturalization dates on Harwards, Broadheads, and George Mason who was a good friend of Thomas Harwards. We also found the best microfilm: #577,577 - it has (what is readable, anyway) Harwards and Griffins and Harris' back to the 1500's in Hartlebury, England. This is the church records including births, marriages, burials. It is definitely one that I will be permanently renting so that I can use it frequently! (p.s. If anyone really wants to low-down on Harwards, check out Utah Digital Newspapers website. I got dozens upon dozens of newspaper accounts of all kinds on my ancestors - with plenty of closet skeletons to go around as well! The LDS church's pilot.familysearch.org site is also plentifully filled with actual death certificates of Harwards.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FINISHED! And, computer-literate ancestors...

I finished my History 400 class. It's official title is: Family and the Law in American History. It was a good class for me. I found out where I am in the levels of family history studies. I actually was familiar with everything - self taught - except the probate and court records and how to access them. The course also had us do locality studies where we researched the places where our ancestor lived. This put a lot of things into perspective for me.

But the most exciting thing happened this week. My paper, written about my Harward ancestor, (80 pages when you add in the family pedigrees and my 120 sources and notes!) got 259 of 260 points, giving me an A in the course! Yippee.

Then, 3 days ago I got an e-mail from a distant cousin. She was getting a final count on a book she's written about my ancestor's brother - from whom she's descended. I e-mailed back that I wanted a copy! I asked her if she wanted to see what I had put together in my report. She did. Then, after a few more e-mails, she stopped the press on her book and wanted everything I had. I have gladly shared with her. What is interesting, is that neither one of us can figure out how my name ended up on her mailing list. Neither of us knows the other from Adam! And, after more of my questions, she replied that I obviously hadn't received her first e-mail - the flyer advertising her book. Nope. I'm not on that list. Just this last e-mail to get a final count on her book. So, which ancestor upstairs is familiar enough with computers to have pulled that stunt???