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29 April 2014

Genealogy Road Trip Day 3: Norton, Norton County, Kansas, the Charley Awalt Family

Photo on the wall of the Norton County, Kansas Courthouse
Today's mission at the Norton County Courthouse is to gather more information on the family of Charley Awalt.  The Norton County Courthouse had a fire in 1926 according to a photo in the courthouse. 










The courthouse records room was clean and all records were easy to access.
Files at Norton County, Kansas courthouse
Helped the Norton Genealogy Society with their web site today.  Spike to the group Monday night as well.  Great turnout.

27 April 2014

Genealogy Road Trip Day 2: Norton, Norton County, Kansas

The BEST way to learn county locations in Midwestern states (like Kansas) is to travel to those states in tornado season!

Today, two Norton County Kansas Genealogy Society women showed me a good time in local cemeteries (and if you aren't into doing family history research, that statement probably sounds pretty strange!).  I learned how to do 'grave witching' and it really works!  Pretty freaky, but it really works.
Learning to do grave 'witching' or dousing in Furnas County, Nebraska

 They assured me those big, dark clouds weren't going to whisk us away in a remake of the Wizard of Oz.  We also had to visit a country cemetery 'while it was dry'.  A little bit of rain brings flooding pretty quickly in areas that are in a drought.

Tomorrow I will be at the local computer store to see if I can purchase a USB card reader so I can post some of the pics I've been taking.  (Okay, yes, I know my new smart phone will take pictures, but give me a break!  I just learned how to text and use all the apps my neighbor, friends, and cousins have told me I have to have!  Maybe by the end of the trip I will be accomplished with pictures as well.)

Big surprise of the day was learning there is someone with my paternal surname who lives in this town.  I can hardly wait to meet this family.

I attended the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Norton today. What beautiful stained glass windows.  These pictures just don't do them justice:


 Tomorrow:  Courthouse records.

Genealogy Road Trip Day 1: Bird City, Cheyenne County, Kansas

As I leave Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado this morning, I thought I would just check on FindAGrave to see if the cemeteries I pass in Calhan and Ramah needed any photos.  Someone has been very busy up there as most of the cemeteries have been photographed!

Today's trip is a jump start to my Kansas research.  Bird City is my landing place tonight as hubbie has relatives I can stay with.  (Thank you, Bev!)  You would think Bird City was named for all the birds they might have, but, no, it was named for Benjamin Bird, the president of a cattle company.  (Although, I will say, when they are not having problems with drought, the pheasant in this area are abundant!)

Ok, I will get this out of the way right from the start:  I am scared to death of snakes!  The last time we were in Bird City we were driving around to some country cemeteries when I saw this big snake in the road.  When we went by it I looked back and it wasn't there.  'Oh, you big scaredy cat - you think that snake is going to jump up in the car and get you?'.  Well, when we stopped THAT IS EXACTLY what happened  (almost).  It had gotten wrapped up in the wheel:
Hubbie with snake
So I am prepared for the cemeteries this time with thigh high snake gaters and a very sharp walking stick and a bright pink pepper spray gun that will scare the 'bee jeebers' out of them!  ha ha ha

In preparing for this trip, I found some cool 1925 Bird City Reunion photos posted here.  And if you are into tractors, the annual thresher show will be July 31st, 2014 - August 2nd, 2014 in Bird City.

The Bird City Cemetery has only been 31% photographed, so I was able to take about 100 more photos, but, the first fatality of the trip:  my card reader is not working, so I will have to find a new one and post the photos later this week.

Added 224 photos to Bird City Cemetery's FindAGrave page and added these memorials: 
Burr, Nellie 130453375
b. 1902 d. 2002
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Cram, Ronald Kenneth 130460609
b. Sep. 7, 1908 d. May 16, 2008
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Cress, Julia B 130449577
b. 1934 d. 2009
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Gilling, Eleanor 130452779
b. 1824 d. 1899
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Gregory, Naomi 130456659
b. Feb. 1, 1920 d. Feb. 1, 1920
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Gregory, Nita M 130455667
b. Mar. 5, 1919 d. Mar. 5, 1919
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Hendricks, Thelma Eleanor Tippie 130449404
b. Jun. 14, 1912 d. Feb. 28, 2006
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Hill, Betty N 130452513
b. May 16, 1935 d. Mar. 16, 2002
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Hoyt, William F 130450913
b. 1921 d. 2007
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Leach, Margaret F 130454304
b. Jun. 28, 1884 d. Dec. 30, 1970
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Tracy, Ruby Wederski 130454134
b. May 2, 1931 d. Mar. 17, 2011
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Trickett, Addie G 130452926
b. Nov. 5, 1855 d. Dec. 29, 1943
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA
Trueblood, Leona Niehaus 130458988
b. Apr. 28, 1914 d. May 24, 2007
Bird City Cemetery
Bird City
Cheyenne County
Kansas, USA

On to Norton, Norton County, Kansas!

18 April 2014

Countdown to my 2014 Genealogy Road Trip

In 8 more days I will retire and hit the road for a 'little' 2600+ mile genealogy road trip through the midwestern United States.  I have spent the past year trying to prepare, but there is still so much I could have done.  It has forced me to review all the basic information I have for my ancestors and my attempts to fill in the tree down from the known ancestors.

In January this year our pastor (who is amateur/hobbyist photographer) spoke to our genealogy group about how to take better pictures.  He said he starts all of his days of photography by asking God to surprise him.  I told him that is NOT what I want to happen when I am in a cemetery photographing gravestones!  SURPRISE!   NOOOOOOOOOOO!  :-)

Looking forward to small town cafes and interesting stories along the way.