So Long!

Micki on the rocks (2)

Yes, it is time for me to say good-bye. I am retiring from the Sweetwater County Library after 23 years of service.  I would like to thank those of you that have frequented this blog and for all your questions and comments. It has been my pleasure to bring to you, information, reports, tools, etc. 

If you need assistance with your research, you may contact your local library. 

As always, Good Luck!

Micki Gilmore

Updating Genealogy Forms


Working on genealogy has changed through the years.  Many years ago most records were handwritten.  Next we were provided with computers and databases in which to work with.  The great part of this is, it all works.  I have a large book shelf full of three-ring binders holding the paper versions of several lines of family history.  I love going back looking through the pages.  Yes, I am old fashioned and I like the paper versions, but I love the software version also.

Looking at a today’s modern family makeup, isn’t it time for new and updated genealogy forms and formats? Some families may have a dad, mom and children. Others may have dad, step-mom, his children and her children and some children of their own together.  And let’s not forget those that are adopted. How do they work a link between natural birth parents and the adoptive parents?

Here is one answer to this question, Family Tree Magazine’s website and Basic Forms.

For your use are two forms that will help immensely.  The Stepfamily Ancestor Chart and Adoptive Family Ancestor Chart are my two new favorites.  How great is this! You now have an easy way to link some of your family lines.

I am asked many times “They are not married, so what do I mark that as?”  With my software program, you are able to mark the couple as “partners”.  My hope is one of the companies that creates these great forms will begin to provide different categories. This would be very helpful. One question I get is if there are two dads, “How do we list them?”  As for right now I use “partners”, but the problem is this still is for one man and one woman.  How do we log LGBT couples?

The times they are a changin’.  Because of the many changes in a typical household, we have step families, adoptees, same-sex couples, and more.  Until there is a clear way to log these non-typical family groups, we must all take lots and lots of notes. This can save countless time and make the family unit much clearer for later use.

Here is the hope that someone cleverer than I, will take it upon themselves to draft and provide us with such forms.

Do you have a great idea for a new form for genealogy? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Digitized Newspapers

electronic newspapers

Most people these days use at least a few types of technology, whether it be cell phone, digital cameras, HD televisions, remote controls, etc. We all do.  We love our computers (most of the time).  There are countless ads online telling us of all the great online this and that.  Well sometimes, it really is true.

When was the last time you took a look at the online resources the Sweetwater County Library System offers?  Not just a quick glance, but a good look.  You might be surprised.  Most people are.  One of my absolute favorites if Wyoming Newspapers.  I personally love this site and use it often.  If you do genealogy, local history or any other type of research in Wyoming, this might just be the tool to help you along your way.

From the site:

Wyoming Newspapers is a service of the Wyoming State Library to ensure the preservation of historic Wyoming newspapers. Making Wyoming’s historic newspapers available to the world for education and historical research, including genealogy, is the cornerstone of Wyoming Newspaper. Wyoming Newspapers is a continual work-in-progress. It includes more than 340 historic newspapers with over 800,000 pages consisting mostly of Wyoming newspapers from 1849 through 1922. We have other newspapers, though not as many, ranging from 1923 through 1989. There are missing pages, issues, years, and titles that we are constantly on the lookout for. If you have any historic Wyoming newspapers, please contact us.

Historic newspapers can be a goldmine of information for those doing historical research of any kind, whether academics, students, genealogists, or for entertainment, they often contain information that is not available in any other source. Serving as the gateway to the past, historical newspapers help researchers learn about the events and perceptions that affected a community, state, and nation. In many cases, they served as the official record for a place. The small town newspapers provided a lot of personal information as well. Some of the valuable information you might find in historic newspapers can include advertisements, marriage, birth and death announcements, who attended events, land sales, businesses, church affiliations and activities, crimes, family stories, military service, obituaries that might list relatives, sporting events, taxation, fashion, agriculture advice, legends and outlaws of the West, and the list goes on.

Working as a reference librarian, I field many questions about local genealogy and history. By using the Wyoming Newspapers site, you have a better chance of finding articles about the subject you are researching.

For example: I was working on my family history.  I knew my great-grandmother had lived in Rock Springs and was buried there.  I wanted more information about her. I longed on to the site and by setting a few perimeters, I was able to view her obituary. The town and county where she was born was listed in Scotland.  Score!!  No one else living had this information.  Along with this, she had belonged to the Caledonia Society and was honored by them at her service. Both facts helped me to continue with my search.

Many times, patrons will be in search of information on a specific event back in time. It is great to be able to do a search and find much of what they are looking for.  One gentleman was looking for information about ads listed in the old newspapers. If you have never seen these, take a little time and check them out.  The prices will floor you, but the styles and language used will amaze you.  Great fun. My family has been in the area for years. While helping others with their searches, I have stumbled across several great photos and articles with my family in them.  It is always a plus to my day when this happens.

Many states in the U. S. are now joining this bandwagon.  By doing a simple search online you can find each state’s digitized newspaper site.  They vary greatly, so take your time when researching.  Watch for the “Help” button, when you are finding a bit of difficulty.  Some countries also provide this service. Just remember to keep this information in your arsenal when compiling information.  I for one am very grateful to all those responsible for this service.

Be sure to check our site out online,  Click on “Online Services”. There are great tools for your use.  You just might be surprised what you will find.  For more information, visit the website or one of our local libraries.

Happy Hunting!

Looks Can Be Deceiving


You look at an old family photo. There you see your great-grandmother and her family, father, mother, and siblings. As you take a closer look you notice variations in the overall look of each of the family members. You are “white” but you suddenly remember an old family story that there was “black” in the family. You begin to wonder “Are you”?

It never fails to amaze people what diversity there is in one’s family. Your skin may indicate you are “white” but what else are you? Sometimes simple things like skin color, hair type, facial shape, features, etc. can be clues. In many families you can see a rainbow of skin colors in one generation or types of hair. Most nationalities tell-tale traits. With luck and research you may be lucky enough to work back and find documentation that indicates your true ethnicity. If you are like me, I want to know so it is worth the work.

Recently on the series premiere of “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates, Ty Burrell, an actor best known as Phil Dunphy on the show “Modern Family” was searching for his truth. He told Mr. Gates that he had always heard a family story that they were also black. To look at the man, there are no true indicators that he had Negro roots. Mr. Gates then helped to explain he and his team found documental proof that his great-great-grandmother was in fact black and the father of her child was a white man. The daughter of these two people would, at that time be known as “Mulatto”.

According to the website Wikipedia definition of Mulatto is a term originally used to refer to a person who is born from one white parent and one black parent; or to persons of two mulatto parent’s. Contemporary usage of the term is generally confined to situations in which the term is considered relevant in a historical context. For instance, in the 21st century, United States people of mixed white and black ancestry seldom choose to identify as “mulatto.

This is just one example of our diverse backgrounds. On one of my family lines we had suspected that there was Native American blood. After doing research and finding no indication of this, I had to move on to a new plan. A few years ago I did two DNA tests, one through 23andME and the other from I originally contacted Henry Louis Gates, himself, to ask his advice. He had told me they use 23andME and that was my first test done. With that said, I like both programs and found only a very tiny difference in the findings. And to our surprise, there was no Native American DNA markers in my panel. Shocker!

My grandfather looked Indian to us. He had always been told he was and we assumed this was true. But and Mr. Gates stated on the last program, “Family stories can be misleading”. Part of the enjoyment of doing genealogy is finding out more about who we are and where we come from. The genetics and ethnic backgrounds are a good part of that. My suggestion is to do the research and the DNA testing in tandem. I personally feel this is a very telling part of our backgrounds. It is all worth the effort.

DNA testing is very affordable these days.

For more information please visit:

23andME: :

Historical Maps


Do you love maps? I do. I find them fascinating. Maps can show us so much about an area. Whether you are looking for the name of a town, county or river, whether you are needing to find a mountain or landmark, maps are our friends. And even better than a standard map is a historical map. All genealogists should have access to these great treasures. You may ask why.

A historical map shows us the lay-of-the-land for that time period. For example, if you look at Wyoming in 1874, it looks much different than the map for 1909. Each time a map is updated, new information is made available. Towns change by size or name and sometimes no longer exist. Counties in Wyoming have changed completely in shape and size. Many old towns from the 1800’s are known today only as “ghost towns”.   A few names you may recognize are Atlantic City, Alva, Baker Town, Barrett Town, Bear Rock, Benton, Bryan, Cambria, Carbon Timber Town, Clifton, Fort Steele, Jeffrey City, Miner’s Delight, Moskee, Piedmont, Sage, South Pass City, Tubb Town, Walcott, Welcome and Winton.

Ownership of the land has changed as our country has changed. Our state has been part of several territories through the years. Key dates to remember: 1804 Lewis and Clark traverse Wyoming, 1834 Fort Laramie is established, 1854 Wyoming is part of the Nebraska Territory, 1861 Northern Wyoming is part of Dakota Territory, 1863 Southern Wyoming is part of Dakota Territory, 1867 Cheyenne was founded, 1868 Wyoming Territory was established, 1870 First Federal census in Wyoming was taken, 1890 Wyoming became a state, and 1890 Cheyenne became the state capital.

New of the shelves:

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book: a State-by-State Atlas of U. S. History 1790-1900 by Allison Dolan

Journey Into the Past

Envision your ancestors; world-as your ancestors knew it-through hundreds of beautiful full-color reproductions of useful eighteenth and nineteenth century maps. The maps illustrate the historical boundaries of each of the U. S. states as the progressed from territories to statehood and show the shifting of county boundaries and name within states over the years.

This book is perfect for family historians researching their American roots. The maps can help you put research in geographical context; identify jurisdictions that likely hold your ancestors’ records; note the potential locations of “missing” records; track and visualize migrations; and understand the evolution of national, state, and county borders. The maps also provide great historical context for students, teachers, homeschooling parents, and anyone with an interest in U. S. history. Bring American history to life with this ultimate collection of vintage maps.

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book: Europe A Country-by-Country Atlas of European History 1700s-1900s by Allison Dolan

Journey to the Old Country

Explore your ancestors’ European homelands through more than 200 gorgeous maps from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These full-color reproductions-covering the peak years of European immigration to America-23ll help you understand changing boundaries in ancestral countries, and inform your search for genealogical records.

Use this country-by-country atlas to put your ancestral origins in geographical context, unravel border changes, and envision the old country as your ancestors knew it. The book is also a valuable reference for teachers, homeschooling parents and anyone with an interest in European history. Time travel across the continent.

New Genealogy Books


Our purchase agent has been hard at work looking for new and helpful books for those of us that are into genealogy. Sometimes it feels like Christmas when a co-worker walks up to you and hands you three new genealogy books. What fun! The Sweetwater County Library has a nice collection of books for this subject. It has always been our goal to find the newest resources available. Also, because I have had a bit of say in the matter, I have been able to nudge the boss into letting us continually add to this genre. It is exciting to see the newest additions.

Genealogy is one of the top hobbies in the nation, so it is no surprise that more and more books are being written. As you might already know, many of the online sites are now publishing books about their sites and many “unofficial” guides are being written as well.

Unofficial Guide to How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website

by Nancy Hendrickson

Discover the secrets to success! This book will help you get the most out of your subscription by showing you how to take advantage of all the world’s biggest genealogy website has to offer-and how to find answers to your family tree questions within its 14 billion records, 60 million family trees and 32,000 databases.

What You’ll Learn:

*Step-by-step strategies for structuring your searches to find what you’re looking for faster

*Details on each of’s historical record collections, including what you can expect to find in them-and when you need to look elsewhere.

*Tips for creating and managing your family tree on, as well as connecting your tree to others on the site.

*Timesaving tricks to maximize your Hints (the “shaky leaf”), Tree Sync with Family Tree Maker, and the mobile app.

Each chapter includes step-by-step examples with illustrations to show you exactly how to apply the techniques to your genealogy. Whether you’ve just begun dabbing in family history or you’re a longtime subscriber, this book will turn you into an power user!


How to Use EVERNOTE for Genealogy: a step-by-step guide to organize your research and boost your genealogy productivity

By Kerry Scott

Maximize Your Research Progress

Harness the powerful, timesaving features of Evertone’s free software and mobile apps to manage your genealogy research. This comprehensive user guide explains how to organize all kinds of genealogy information so it’s searchable, accessible on any device, and backed up in the cloud. You’ll see how Evernote helps you analyze research clues, collaborate with cousins, and share your family history. Whether you’re an Evernote newbie or a dedicated user, How to Use Evernote for Genealogy will change your research life by showing you how this tool can make you a better, more efficient genealogist.

In this book, you’ll find

*Evernote tips and strategies specifically for genealogy researchers, with real-life examples.

*Step-by-step instructions for managing different types of genealogy information, from research notes to document images to web clipping.

*Tricks for using Evernote to speed up research tasks, including transcription and research logs.

*Suggestions to search-optimize your Evernote data so your information is easy to find.

*Ideas for enhancing Evernote with external apps.

*Tips to protect your data and troubleshoot common issues.

*Worksheets to help you organize your notebooks and stacks.

Long Lost Family– New on TV


Can it get any better? I am a huge fan of the genealogy shows on television. I can’t seem to get enough. I bet most of you are the same. With all the work it takes to put a production like this together, it amazing we have so many to choose from. Now we will be setting our DVRs to record this new show.

Around a year ago, I saw a television special called Long Lost Family. Apparently, this new series will be a continuation of this show. We can expect an eight-episode series that document people searching for family. This will include birthparents, biological families and children placed for adoption.   The show will be found on the channel TLC starting Sunday, March 6th. This production is brought to us by TLC and Shed Media, who are the same people who have provided us with Who Do You Think You Are? The hosts will be Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner. Each episode will feature two stories of people searching for their lost connections.

You can watch a trailer here.

Other shows available on television are:

Finding Your Roots————————PBS

Genealogy Roadshow——————–PBS

Generations Project———————-BYU Channel

History Detectives————————PBS (re-runs)

Who Do You Think You Are?———–TLC

Faces of America————————-PBS (re-runs)

America seems to love these shows, as do I. I watch them all. The great part of watching these great shows is we learn as we go. Not only are we seeing some great stories about famous people, but we see new and interesting techniques in continuing our own research. I, for one, have learn some great new tricks. Tax records, muster rolls, city directories, etc. Yes, we all have used these before, but now we know to look for siblings or other family members to lead us around those pesky brick walls. Wouldn’t you love to pick Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s brain for a day? Just think of all the knowledge Josh Taylor could teach us. They probably have forgotten more than we know.

Now in addition to our regular genealogy shows there are parodies and some of the “non-standard” genealogy shows are hoping on the band wagon. Family Tree is one of these shows.

According to Wikipedia (the online source), Family Tree is a documentary-style television comedy created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock. The series premiered on May 12, 2013, on the American pay television network HBO, and appeared on the British channel BBC Two in July 2013. Guest, Piddock, Karen Murphy, Deborah Oppenheimer, and Mario Stylianides serve as the show’s executive producers. On January 23, 2014, it was announced that HBO had canceled the series. (It is now in re-runs)

Found on the website Elyse’s Genealogy Blog On a Journey to Find My Roots.

On Fox’s hit show The Simpsons, the daughter of the Simpson family begins searching for her ancestors because of a homework assignment.  Even if you aren’t a Simpson’s fan, you’ll enjoy this episode.  You can watch the episode (entitled The Color Yellow), here.

Feel free to share any other links or shows that I might have missed.

How to Archive Family Photos


Oh those boxes of pictures! Now days most people keep all their snapshots in digital format, but for many of us there are still countless printed photos. The chore is what to do with them and how do you keep them safe. New on our bookshelves is How to Archive Family Photos: a step-by-step guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally by Denise May Levenick.

From the cover:

Organize and enjoy your family’s memories. You’ve captured countless cherished family photos of babies’ first steps, graduations, weddings, holidays, vacations, and priceless everyday moments on your smartphone or heirloom family photographs, too. But now what?

How to Archive Family Photos is a practical how-to-guide for organizing your growing digital photo collection, digitizing and preserving heirloom family photos, and sharing your treasured photos.

In this book, you’ll find:

*Simple strategies to get your photos out of a smartphone or camera and into a safe storage space.

*Easy methods to organize and back up your digital photos, including file-naming and tagging hits.

*Achievable steps to digitize and preserve heirloom family photos.

*Step-by-step workflows illustrating common photo organizing and digitizing scenarios.

*Checklists for setting up your own photo organization system.

*25 photo projects to preserve, share, and enjoy your family photos.

Whether you have boxes full of tintypes and black-and-white photographs, an ever-growing collection of digital photos, or a combination of the two, this book will help you rescue your images from the depths of hard drives and memory cards (or from the backs of closets) so that you can organize and preserve your family photo collection for future generations.

As I sit looking through the pages of this new book, I see many informative and helpful bits of advice. One such suggestions is to use a flatbed or digital scanner. I personally have had one for years and love mine. The newer versions have multiple tasks in which it can perform. I have an Envoy All-in-One. This is a printer that scans, copies and can send without the use of a computer. It is quite handy. I love the photo copying ability. I don’t always have to pack a box of photos to the library and stand copying them all. I can scan and send them in digital form to my computer or simply run a photocopy, depending of the task-at-hand.

When handling vintage photos be careful. Depending on the type of material they are printed on, you may want to purchase a pair of white cotton gloves. The less they are handled the longer they may survive. For those from the 1960’s and 1970’s, you may find the quality of photo quality has deteriorated due to the printing process at the time. For these, scanning is the saving grace. Carefully place them flat on the scanner and if they have curled “carefully” place a slightly heavier item on it to help it to lay flat. For very precious photos that are losing color and quality, it might be worth the money to have them repaired by a photography shop. Also important, keep them out of the light as much as possible. Light will strip the color until you have only a shadowy image left on the page.

Geriatype or tintype photographs should always been preserved very carefully. These are some of the first photographs people owned and usually are printed on tin, glass or heavy cardstock. They are old and fragile. Always keep them out of light when possible and keep the photocopying to a minimum. My suggestion is to make or have made a digital version and use that whenever possible. This will help your cherished photo to last much longer. One last tip. When displaying framed photos or anything precious, always try to use protective glass. By doing this you will preserve your items for future generations to come.

Preservation is the key to protecting our memories.

Good Luck!

Class Reunion Time


Oh no! It is Class Reunion time again for me. This year, 2016, will be my 40th class reunion. That sounds hard to believe. Getting started and contact everyone will be a chore. Luckily, we have a great group of gals that rallies together and usually gets it all done.

For some it might seem odd that I am talking about a high school reunion. Well it shouldn’t be. So much can be learned by investigating a person, where they went to school and their activities. For some you may find they stayed in one town for their entire life, for others you may find they moved around, and for others you may find they left school early. School activities such as sports, theater, music, etc. can also give insight to the person or even the family. Friends and teachers can also lead you to information.

Many students that are in sports may have a parent that was also in sports. The same goes for music and such. Certain traits have a tendency to run in families. My husband’s grandfather played guitar and banjo, his father played guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, and fiddle and in addition, the other brothers all played guitar. They and a close friend had a local band back in the 40’s and 50’s and played around the Evanston, Wyoming area. From what I hear, they were pretty great. Sorry I missed it. Because all of these family members were musical, their names come up more in school records, thus they are easier to find.

Many of the old school record for the state of Wyoming are now housed at the Wyoming State Archives in Cheyenne. Each high school should have copies of the yearbooks, but many of the libraries and museums will too. As for our library, yearbooks do not check out but can be viewed in the library. We have a high-tech photocopier that can copy just about anything you need. Photos can be copied and enlarged for great reunion tools.

Local newspapers are a great source as well. The library houses the Green River Star on microfilm from 1907 to current. I actually love looking through the old papers. My family is from the area and I have found countless articles and notices of things I never knew. Such fun! With our microfilm reader, you will be able to find the papers you need, send them to your email or print the image. The Rock Springs Library in the neighboring town of Rock Springs, has the Rocket Miner Newspaper on microfilm. Their collection runs from the 1980’s-Current.

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum is another great resource. They house many old records, including some oral histories and a vast amount of photographs. New this year, they were able to acquire many of the old photos that once belonged to the Rock Springs New Studio. What a great purchase! Somewhere in those photographs is a graduation photo of yours truly. J I hope at some point to visit the museum and take at least a full day looking and researching the photos.

Just think of the fun things you might find looking in these resources. 

No More Family Tree Maker, OH NO!


For years, I have been a huge fan of Family Tree Maker software. This was the first computer genealogy software that I found and have used it ever since. It has been a great tool and I have enjoyed using it. Just recently I opened my email to find a post on Genealogy Insider by Diane Haddad and the Family Tree Staff. Shocker! It has been announced that the makers of Family Tree Maker software will no longer support the software as of January 2016.

I am so unhappy. The question for those of us that have always used this program is “Now what do we do?” Hopefully the information that is on the Genealogy Insider blog post will help. It does look like we might have a few options. According to their research it seems we might several options. They are RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Ancestral Quest, MyHeritage Family Tree Builder and Reunion (for Mac).

During several of my Basic Genealogy classes at the library, I have heard many Legacy software users rave about its software. It is my understanding that if you need a program to record the Church of Latter Day Saints records this is the best or so I have been told. As for MyHeritage Family Tree Builder, I have not used the actual software, but our library subscribes to the MyHeritage Library Edition database. This is a site I now use often and I find it very user-friendly and it is my belief that the software should work well also. As for the other options of software, I have no knowledge to share for these. I would recommend if you have questions, that you visit their site and poke around or contact the company for more details.

For the full article from Genealogy Insider please visit:

Other options for saving your genealogy work:

Purchase a detachable hard-drive

By using a detachable hard-drive, you can save which ever software you use along with the files. It is also suggested that you save any other documents, photos, videos, etc. This drive should be kept in a safe place such as a fire-proof safe. The detachable hard drives come in many sizes. I personally have two, a one gig and a three terabyte.

***External HDD Capacity: One Gigabyte (GB) means 109 = 1,000,000,000 bytes and One Terabyte (TB) means 1012 = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes using powers of 10. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB=230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and 1TB = 240 = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes, and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity will also be less if the computer includes one or more pre-installed operating systems, pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.

Information found on

Save in multiple formats.

I have found it very useful to copy all information in all formats on discs or pen drives and share them with family. By doing this, there is less chance all sources will be lost or damaged. Also it has been very helpful to involve other family members in family history and this is a great way to start. Some people also have chosen to post online either by creating a webpage or by posting on Facebook or other social media sites. This is a very personal choice. Privacy may be an issue. Be very careful if choosing one of these last options.

For many of us the work now begins. We need to research our options and move forward. Remember, if you have questions about any of the software programs try the official websites for contact information or Frequently Asked Questions of FAQ page.

Best of luck!!