Archive for September, 2009

Where Oh Where Are Nina’s Heirs: Part 3 Marie Weston

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Having now located relatives of two of Nina Clemens Gabilowitsch’s heirs, I am moving on to the third.

A MARIE WESTON was also named in Nina’s will. I have virtually no information on this woman. There are several women in the California Death Index who could fit to be a friend of Nina’s. I would love to hear from anyone who knows anything about this Marie.

Nina’s Heirs: Found George Wrentmore

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Via an email from sister site at,  heard from a granddaughter of George Wrentmore and am looking forward to hearing more from her.  She said that George and Nina were firends for a very long time and that her mother also knew Nina well.  She also thought that Nian knew Judy Garland from a mutaal rehab stay.

Two down, two to go! Lesson Reviews: Lesson 1

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Inspired by the movie “Julie and Julia” where Julie decided to cook her way through an entire Julia Childs’ cookbook, I have decided to work my way through the various online genealogy lessons available and:

1)  Give my candid opinion on their usefulness

2) Cover at least one good tip from the lesson

3) Tell you how long it took me to get through the lesson

So here we go!  I will start with the free series available from  If you want to enroll along with me, I’ll welcome your comments as well!  Go to to see the lessons.


Lesson 1: Mapping the Course and Equipment for the Hunt

Opinion:  Very basic as it was intended to be.  There are a several links to side articles that can have you doing lessons within lessons.  As an example, there was a link that sent you to an article about mapping that was pretty interesting except that some of the links were broken.  Another link led to an article about citing sources that I thought might be overwhelming to a newbie reading the lesson.  Lesson presentation was visually boring and could use some sexing up.

Best Tip: Telling new family history enthusiasts to use a Researcher Planner.  OK, I admit that I don’t do this, but I know I should!  The sample they provided wasn’t very impressive though. DOES ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS FOR A GOOD SOURCE FOR A RESEARCH PLAN SHEET?

Time to Complete Lesson:  About 15 minutes but time will really vary depending on how many of the side links you chase down.  Maybe you will just want to bookmark some of them (like the article oan Maps) and go back to those later. 

Restoring a WWII Service Diary to the Family

Friday, September 11th, 2009

While shopping at an antique store this spring, I purchased a WWII Serviceman’s Diary. I really only glanced at it and intended to sell it on Ebay. Many WWII buffs love reading these diaries for their descriptions of battles and for glimpses into the psyche of the soldier so I had hoped to make a little money on it and bring enjoyment to a WWII afficianado.

I finally got around to reading it a couple weeks ago and, just a few pages in, realized that the soldier, Donald (last name omitted for privacy) of Michigan really used his diary to record his courtship of a lovely local lady named Elvie where he was stationed in Australia.
Skimming ahead, some final entries chronicled that Donald and Elvie had tied the knot in Australia and Elvie herself added a few entries at the end.

I stopped reading after a few entries as it seemed so personal. Armed with the fellow’s name and birth date, I quickly found that the soldier had passed away several years ago in nearby Muskegon, Michigan. I didn’t however, find an “Elvie” of the same last name so wondered if their marriage survived.

Off I went to and, buried in an Ancestry Tree from an Australian woman was the soldier’s name. Oddly, he was linked to no one at all. An e-mail to the tree submitter first came back saying that she had no such person in her tree.

In a follow-up e-mail, I got more specific to the submitter and then received a follow-up response that listed the names of all of Donald’s and Elvie’s children!

This delightful woman was only very slightly related to Elvie and thought that perhaps the family was somewhere around Queensland, Australia. This, however, did not jive with Donald’s death in Michigan.

From there, a simple search turned up a phone number for Donald’s daughter. I left a message and last night received a return phone call.

It seems that the family had held an estate sale some time back and, by accident, the diary had been put into the sale. They were utterly floored that it had managed to make its way back to them! Elvie, it turns out, is still alive but in assisted living in the eraly stages of Alzheimers. The daughter said that her mother is still alert enough that she will understand that the treasured diary has been returned.

It is going off in the mail today. It’s the ability to make “reunions” like this happen that makes having skills in family history sleuthing so darn much fun and so rewarding!