"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Feb14th2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!

by  Phyllis Zeck

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Feb11th2014

RootsTech – My First Genealogy Conference

by  Phyllis Zeck

RootsTechYep, that’s right.  Don and I traveled to Salt Lake City and attended my first genealogy conference.  RootsTech has been on my bucket list for 3 years and it did not disappoint.  My sisters, Lori and Holly, teased me about my 27 page excel spreadsheet of classes (printed on legal paper) that I kept sifting through in the weeks before my trip. All the hours I spent color coding and sorting over 225 class options paid off.  I allotted myself 4 one hour classes each day.  Classes highlighted in blue were my first choice, classes in green were my back up classes, and classes highlighted in gray were backups of my backups.  Pretty simple system but my sisters seemed confused.  In between classes I was able to stroll through more than 130 vendor and exhibitor booths.

Remembering our ancestors was on everyone’s mind here.  What a joy that all my new friends actually wanted to talk about their research and ancestors.  No ones eyes glazed over as the discussions went on and on about the best way to share family history or as we debated the best online research products.  

Angel Moroni

Don and I took some time to be tourists. We had lunch at the restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial building and Don took some great shots of the LDS Temple and the Angel Moroni.  I even had a few hours to explore some of the floors of the LDS Family History Library and to do a little research.

The first day, Wednesday, was the innovator & developer summit.  We got a chance to scope out the convention center and find our way around and sit in on some of the lectures.  Each day started with a one hour general session with keynote speakers.  My favorites were Dr Spencer Wells, a National Geographic Explorer in Residence.  He gave an fascinating lecture about his genetic project.  Todd Hansen spoke about his TV series called The Story Trek on BYU TV.  

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Judy Russell stressed the importance of accurately recording and preserving family stories saying that oral family history can be lost in three generations and that we should document and pass on our stories to the generations that come after us. 

Thursday nights opening social featured Vocal Point, a Capella group which we enjoyed immensely.  Saturday was youth day.  I was impressed to see so many pre teens and teenagers attending classes and touring the exhibits.  There was a rousing game played on the stage in the ballroom as teen agers swapped turns on the stage.  

The classes that I attended centered around research and writing techniques, new services to help with my research, and ways to share my family history discoveries.  Lori thought I should sit on “Publish Before You Perish”.  I think she may have been making fun of me…

I’ve been anxious to start digging into newspapers to look for family stories so I took a class given by Newspapers.com and will subscribe to their database.

RootsTech

I attended a class given by Crista Cowan about researching records.  Crista has worked at Ancestry.com for the last 10 years.  She has the best job! Crista has some wonderful learning videos that will help you maneuver around the Ancestry website. On Saturday I went to a lunch hosted by Ancestry.com.  A panel of their experts spoke about Ancestry’s DNA project.  In fact DNA was a large part of RootsTech, a topic that has been on my mind for some time.  I attended a lecture titled “Begging For Spit” (no joke).  Watch out cousins, I’m coming for you!

So here I sit, typing my blog post at the airport.  Our plane has been delayed headed back to Portland.  We will return tonight to 7 inches of snow, capped with a layer of ice. I do not want to lug my suitcase up my hill.  I hope that next year RootsTech is held in the spring!

 
 

Jan1st2014

Happy New Year

by  Phyllis Zeck

FatherTimeClock-(QueenBr) copyI’m afraid I’ve been away from my genealogy fixation far too long. I’ve been teaching myself how to use Photoshop Elements and had a blast building my 2013 digital scrapbook.  Now that the holidays are over I’m itching to get back to my research. 

2013 has brought some devastating losses to my life.  My wonderful brother in law Paul and my beloved Aunt Phyllis both passed away in the fall.   I treasure my memories of Paul who had a kind word for everyone he met and I will miss the sweet ways my Auntie touched my heart.

I’ve also experienced many blessed events in 2013.  The birth of my granddaughter Abigail Rose and her baptism, my son Don Jr’s marriage to Kelly and my nephew Robin’s marriage to Karli.  Our family tree continues to grow and we welcome Kelly and Karli’s families into our fold.  

I have received email from new members of our family who have stumbled upon my genealogy website.  I hope to share photos and stories from them soon in my blog posts.  I am still in awe that the internet is able to help connect us all together.  I also have new research documentation to share with you thanks to Kathy from GenTracer. 

Gold2014-(QueenBr) copy

My goal for 2014 is to attend a genealogy conference.  I have toyed with going to a conference for several years and have researched many different venues. My top choices are RootsTech which is held in Salt Lake City and The National Genealogical Society Conference which this year takes place in Richmond, Virginia.  The techie in me is leaning towards RootsTech.  Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year! 

 

 
 

Jul21st2013

Happy Birthday Luke!

by  Phyllis Zeck

del principe ciolli

Luke and Ashley

My great grandparents, Elvira and Pietro Del Principe, had 17 children.  The youngest was Francesco Nova.  Francesco had two children, Muriel and Frank Jr (Luke).  The photo on the left was taken two years ago when my daughter Ashley visited Luke in Tucson, Arizona.

Luke owns several restaurants featuring Chicago style beef sandwiches based on his mother Edith and his cousin Margie’s original recipe. Next month Luke will celebrate his 80th birthday.  He still works at his restaurant each day, maybe that’s his secret for looking so young.  

The Tucson news highlighted Luke’s restaurant in their morning show called The Morning Blend.  Click on this link to watch Luke’s son Jason show us some mouth watering samples of Luke’s famous sandwiches.

For more blog posts about Francesco’s family click on his name in the categories box in the right column of this website.

 
 

Jun16th2013

Vacation

by  Phyllis Zeck

Don and Kelly

Wedding bells were ringing on June 1st!  Kelly and Don Jr were married in Kelly’s hometown in Iowa.  Don and I few into Chicago a few days before the wedding to attend the festivities and enjoy the excitement.  Kelly looked gorgeous, Don Jr was very handsome, and Tyler was perfect as his father’s best man.  We felt so blessed to share this wonderful day with Kelly and Don.

I couldn’t leave Chicago without touching base with family and friends.  We crossed over the Mississippi bright and early on Sunday morning and headed to Lake Villa.  Don and I were going to visit Antonio’s cottage and meet some of his descendants.  We arrived in the early afternoon.  I’ve discussed in many previous blogs my joy at communicating with Antonio’s great granddaughter Mary (aka Bear).  Bear stumbled upon my website in July of 2012 and we’ve been email buddies ever scince.  Bear shares my passion for genealogy and has emailed me many wonderful letters, photos, and stories which I’ve shared in my blog posts.  

 Antonio's Cottage 1940This photo was taken in 1940.  Far left is Roy & Elvira (Snook) and Eileen (Turk) with friends.  

 

                      Cottage July 1937

Three brothers?  July 1937.  My grandfather Gilbert is in the middle.                                                                                          

 

 IMG_1033Elvira’s son Greg, Greg’s son Cory, Greg’s daughter Bear, Me, and Greg’s wife Terri.

 

Don and I pulled into the driveway of the cottage and it didn’t look much different from the photos of 1940.  The cottage blends right into the woodsy environment as it’s surrounded by many beautiful tall trees.  Antonio was the first child born to Elvira and Pietro Del Principe and was 1of 17 children.  Antonio and Margaret had two daughters.  Elvira Antoinette (Snooks) and Eileen Lucille (Turk).  Elvira married Roy and they had four children;  Antoinette, Greg, Madeleine, and Margaret.  Greg and his wife Terri have two children; Mary (Bear) and Cory.  To read other blog posts about Antonio’s family go to the navigation bar on the right, scroll down to “categories” and click on “Antonio”.  To see additional photos of Antonio’s family click on this link.

What a joy it was to meet this family!  Bear’s husband Wyatt was also on hand as we were given a tour of the cottage, then settled down near the cozy pellet stove for a lively and animated visit.  We all had so much we wanted to share with each other.  Just think of how happy Antonio and his brother Gilbert (my grandfather) would have been to see their descendants meet here for the first time.  Greg said that Antonio’s brothers helped build the cottage and I’m sure my grandfather was there working along side of his brothers.

Bed Room IMG_1026

Three bedrooms lined the side of the house, off of the living room.  The bed in middle room had a quilt and pillow covers of a full moon, trees, wolves, deer, and bears.  The photo on the left was the bedroom off of the kitchen.  Bedspread, lamps, and window coverings featured a bear motif.  I suspect that Bear had a hand in decorating this room.  The kitchen and bathroom are additions to the 

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cottage.  The original siding was left in place and now pots, pans, and cooking utensils hang from the siding.  Before we knew it the afternoon had flown by. We ordered pizza for dinner and then took a stroll down to Miltmore Lake. Greg smiled as he told us how his dad used to drive him down to the community water pump so they could fill the water buckets.  He said his grandfather Antonio did not want lake front property.  He was afraid his little daughters might fall in the lake so he bought a lot one block away.

The photos below left were given to me by Bear.  She was thinking ahead and asked Don to snap some photos in the same locations, very clever of her.  Thank you for thinking of that Bear.  

 011 Snook & Roy Miltmore 012 Bear_Phyllis_IMG_1045
 Elvira and Roy  Bear (Elvira’s
granddaughter) and me
 004 Elvira Eileen Roy 005 IMG_1041
 Elvira, Eileen, and Roy  Bear (with Oso bear)
and me
008 Lake Miltmore Swings  010 Phyl Swings IMG_1043
Swing Sets  
Don and Me

The sun was setting.  It was time to call it a day.  We said goodbye to these good people and thanked them for a wonderful visit.  I’m so lucky that Bear found our family website and that we had this opportunity to met.  

Don and I had one more day left in Chicago so of course I squeezed in three more activities!  We wanted to visit with my brother Tony and my nephew Robert plus meet Tony’s new fiancé Meredith.   

Robert, Meredith, & Tony

Robert, Meredith, & Tony

We decided to meet at Jay’s Beef so we could eat one of our families famous beef sandwiches.  We love Meredith!  Before our lunch arrived we were laughing, joking, and teasing.  It was clear from the start she fit right into this family.  Cousin Muriel dropped in to say hello and we all had a great visit.  My dear high school friend Sue met Don and I for dinner.  A wonderful way to end a perfect day.  Our plane took off the next day, another terrific vacation had come to a close.