google-site-verification: google82af41cbbb927c7d.html Grove Creek Family History: May 2012

Mt. Timpanogos Temple, photo by Rick Satterfield, used with permission

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Cousins, Twice Removed!

Wilkes-Barre Sunday Independent, Wilkes-Barre, PA, August 16, 1936, p. 32
This week I discovered pictures of William and Anthony Shukwietis, who are my first cousins, twice removed. William owned a funeral home in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania. This article was announcing that Anthony was joining his brother in the business. It is fun to have these pictures and also hear a little about Anthony's personality as a "young man with an excellent reputation for character and integrity." I also didn't know that I had any relatives that were "substantial and influential citizens!" Have you ever taken the time to read old newspapers? They are fascinating and so different from the generic newspapers of today. I found this resource of newspapers while I was cruising through genealogy blogs that I regularly check. I thought I knew about the online newspapers for Pennsylvania! If you have Pennsylvania relatives, definitely check out this online archive! You never know what you are going to find. Definitely time for a happy dance!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm Still in the Memorial Day Mood!

I am still in the Memorial Day Mood. This video about Julia Ward Howe and her writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic is inspiring. This is why we do family history... the family connections! Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thanks to a Couple of Veteran's In My Life!

Raymond John Brunski
Photo: Personal collection of Rayanne Brunski Melick
I'm a little late with the Memorial Day tribute, but I want to thank them anyway! Thanks Dad, for your service in the United States Air Force. May you rest in peace with the other veterans surrounding you! 
Raymond John Brunski
Photo: Personal collection of Rayanne Brunski Melick

Thanks Charles, for your service in the United States Navy. Because of your efforts, and the efforts of countless others, we live in the land of the free. 
Charles Melick
Photo: Personal collection of Rayanne Brunski Melick

Friday, May 18, 2012

Genealogy and DNA

Chemist reading DNA sequencing
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Public Domain
DNA seems to be the next frontier in genealogy and family history research. is right in the thick of it! A couple of days ago, the Daily Herald newspaper published an article about how is furthering genealogical research with DNA testing. Read the article here to find out how you can use DNA to enhance your family tree!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Misconceptions about Family History

LDS meetinghouse in Warsaw, Poland
Photo Credit: Public Domain
One of the misconceptions about family history and genealogy is that everything is "online." A corollary to that misconception is that "since it is all online, there is no need for a local LDS Family History Center, particularly if you live smack dab in the middle of genealogy heaven...Utah. Well, did you know that you can go to your local family history center (they are all over the world) and have access to some of the best subscription websites! They are available for you and you don't have to pay a penny to use them! In our family history center, the two most popular sites are and We all know that has some of the most exciting record collections in the world, and has an outstanding collection of military records. Family History Center patrons also have access to:

•19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archives
•Access Newspaper Archive
•Alexander Street Press - The American Civil War: Research Database, Letters and Diaries, Images, Photographs, Posters and Ephemera
•ArkivDigital Online
•Find My Past-British genealogy
• (Previously known as
•The Genealogist
•Godfrey Memorial Library
•Heritage Quest Online
•Historic Map Works Library Edition
•Paper Trail
•World Vital Records

If some of these sites are new to you and you don't have a clue what they contain, click on this link for a full description of each site. If you don't know where your local LDS Family History Center is, click here for help in finding it!
By the way, family history information is NOT all "online!" The online resources are just the tip of the iceberg. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Do You Have LDS (Mormon) Pioneers in Your Pedigree?

 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
 Do you have LDS pioneers in your pedigree? Would you like to learn more about the LDS pioneers and their stories. Here is a great place to start! Brigham Young University's Family History Library has lots of info on these LDS pioneers. Who knows? You may be like me. Look what I found!

Amelia Evans Camp Davis
My 2nd great-grandmother
Member of the Willie Handcart Company
Pretty cool, huh! Now you give it a try. You never know what you will find!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Need Genealogy Education???

Photo Credit: Public domain
I chose this pedigree because my daughter-in-law is a huge Harry Potter fan! Maybe now she will become interested in family history! :)
Below is the schedule for webinars through August 2012 at LegacyFamilyTree. I love these webinars (no, I'm not paid to say this and I don't have any affiliation with the company except as a fan!) because I can sit at home in my jammies and soak it all in! The nice thing about these webinars is that they are usually posted for free for ten days so that you can catch them even if you miss the original date!
Register for free at:

May 2012

 Researching Your Pennsylvania Ancestors by Lisa Alzo. 5/2

 Researching Your New York Ancestors by Thomas MacEntee. 5/30

June 2012

 Researching Your German Ancestors by Kory Meyerink. 6/6.

 Putting Flesh on the Bones by Ron Arons. 6/13

 Marriages and Anniversaries: mining newspapers by Tom Kemp. 6/20

 Staying Safe Using Social Media by Thomas MacEntee. 6/22

 Digital Images: scanning, digitizing, editing, and preserving your photos by Geoff Rasmussen. 6/27

July 2012

 The Quest for your English Ancestors by Claire Brisson-Banks. 7/11

 Plan Your Way to Research Success by Marian Pierre-Louis. 7/18

 The Genealogy Cloud: Which Online Storage Program is Right For You? by Thomas MacEntee. 7/27

August 2012

 Neglected History by Megan Smolenyak. 8/1

 Wikis for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. 8/8

 The 5 C’s for Success in Genealogy Today with Barbara Renick. 8/22

 Building a Family from Circumstantial Evidence by Judy Russell. 8/29

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some Interesting Tidbits from FamilySearch

 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
The Ancestry Insider was at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnatti, Ohio this week and he has provided us with some tidbits from FamilySearch. Click on this link and check out the May 8th post.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Press Release for UVTAGG Meeting on 12 May 2012


The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG (formerly the Utah Valley PAF Users Group - UVPAFUG) will be on Saturday, 12 May 2012, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo.  Information about the Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on their website and the press releases are at .

In place of a main presentation for this meeting we will watch the Provo Tabernacle Temple Groundbreaking ceremony which will start at 9 am and will be broadcast to the building from downtown Provo.  Speakers will include Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the LDS Church's Quorum of the 12 Apostles and Past President of Brigham Young University.  The Church's press release about the Groundbreaking is at .

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, UVTAGG will have its opening exercises and then divide for classes.  As always, there will be something about family history and technology for everyone at any level of expertise.  The teachers and classes presently scheduled for this meeting are:  (1)  Are There Germans In Your Past?  Internet Resources to Assist You, by Laurie Castillo;  (2)  Evernote and Freeware Transcription Helps for Documents and Audio, by Don and Diane Snow;  (3)  Personalized Help, by Don Engstrom;  (4)  Video of last month's main presentation: Finding Your Family in the 1940 US Census, by Stephen Ehat;  (5)  Everything MAC for Genealogy, by Ron Snowden;  (6)  Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay;  (7)  Legacy, by Dean Bennett; and  (8)  RootsMagic, by Diana Olsen.
All meetings of the Group are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually 100-125 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays. The officers are Gerhard Ruf, President; Laurie Castillo, 1st VP; Don Snow, 2nd VP; Liz Kennington, Newsletter Editor; Renee Zamora, Secretary; Kay Baker, Gerry Eliason, Don Engstrom, and Rayanne Melick working with finances and membership; and Bruce Merrill and Marie Andersen working with the DVD Library. Several of these will be there to answer questions, help with membership, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter TAGGology, and check out DVDs of past presentations and classes to members of the group.  Information about the Group, presentations, classes, and class notes can be found at the websites mentioned above.  For further information contact President Gerhard Ruf at (801-225-6106) or 1st VP Laurie Castillo at, or 2nd VP Don Snow at

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Facebook for Genealogy?

Facebook has moved into first place in the social media arena. Did you know that you can create Facebook pages for your ancestors? Yep, put them out there and they will come (sooner or later)! Making connections just gets easier and easier! For a really great article that explains some ins and outs of using Facebook for family history, click here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"You Marry the Whole Family!"

Photo Credit:   
We have all heard the adage of "When you get married, you marry the whole family!" Most of us (me included) heard this and said "Yeah, whatever!" Thirty years into marriage and this has definitely been confirmed to me! You DO marry the whole family! By default, this connection also extends to family history work and the way you can approach your research!

This week I have had the opportunity to work on family history with some really great people. I just love the "Sherlock Holmes" aspect of family history! As I was talking to one particular patron, we started talking about the lack of records for some of her ancestors. It is true that males had more records created for them. An additional struggle is the whole maiden/married name thing that happens with women. Women tend to get lost a lot easier than the men do. One way to work around the lack of female documentation or lack of documentation for any one person is to work in the family cluster. By that I mean to work on the whole family, not just your direct line. The opportunities for finding the information that you are seeking really opens up when you are looking at documents for 5-10 people or more instead of documentation for one. My general approach is to start with my direct descendant and then broaden from there. It also really helps narrow your search if there is an unusual name in the family (ex. Rubella, no joke!)

So, when you are stuck on your direct line ancestor, don't forget to branch out and include the siblings and parents in your searches. Casting a wide net will really be helpful in furthering your family history along!
Copyright 2013 by Rayanne Brunski Melick,
All Rights Reserved.