August 13, 2013

Enjoying the Ride of Summer

You might have noticed things have been a little quiet here at A Sense of Family lately. That’s because in real life, things have been going full-tilt: up, down, around, sideways, you name it. And the roller coaster doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Here’s what I’ve done in the past three weeks:

Took part in an amazing week of learning and fun at GRIP (the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), as a student in Joshua Taylor’s class, Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: From New England to the Midwest. Not only did I learn a lot about this fascinating but challenging time period, I enjoyed good talks with friends and got to know new people. Between the knowledgable and approachable instructors, high quality course content, great company, and the relaxed summer camp atmosphere, GRIP is a winner all around.

Classmates Harold Henderson and Kimberly Powell puzzle things out at GRIP

Got lost trying to find an old cemetery in Bainbridge, Ohio where my husband’s 4th-great-grandparents are buried. If anyone needs to know how not to get to McFarland Cemetery, just give me a shout. (I did eventually find it and got some nice pictures—it’s a pastoral spot.)

McFarland Cemetery Bainbridge Ohio

Spent a week at my husband’s family’s lake house in northeastern Ohio with my kids, father- and mother-in-law, sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. Every year, we rent trailers, walk to a roadside diner for breakfast, hang out in the boats, read novels, and take turns fixing happy hour and dinner. Despite the cloudy and cool weather, we had a good time (as the bottles in the recycling bin can attest) and are ready to do it again next year.

Visited the Portage County Historical Society to do some research in their files, shelves, and scrapbooks full of mostly original materials on the people and history of the area. They have the county’s old probate packets, and while I didn’t find the one I was hoping for, I looked through Fitch Bishop's again, just because it’s so cool. Even though I came away with only small nuggets of information—no big breakthroughs—it was an afternoon well spent.

Attended the 85th annual Roush (Rausch) & Allied Families Association Reunion with my mom and aunt. I met a new-to-me cousin with a neat family heirloom (more on that in a later post), posed in the annual family picture, and learned to sing “Homelands of the Roushes” (well, don’t hold me to that last bit).

Volunteered in the Genealogy Tent at the Dublin Irish Festival, answering people’s questions about how to find their family history. I love doing this. You never know what the next person in line might ask. Of course, I had to stay after my shifts and listen to some soul-stirring and rabble-rousing Irish music, too. Over three days, my son and I made the rounds between The High Kings, Red Hot Chili Pipers, FullSet, Carlos Nunez, and We Banjo 3, watched the dancers from the Richens/Timms Academy, and joined the late night fun fest outside the Gaelic Storm tent. Awesome.

We Banjo 3 at the 2013 Dublin Irish Festival

Responded to a new cousin and fellow researcher who spotted a connection with my 3rd-great-grandmother on one of my family trees. Seriously, you’ve got to love those shaking leaves.

Ok, I’m just going to stop there. You get the picture. Now I’m helping two kids get ready to go back to college, going to Athens for a wedding on Saturday, and trying to make a research plan for the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne. Because the next big thing on the agenda is the 2013 FGS Conference, which starts in just one week. At the rate I’m going, it will be here in the blink of an eye. If you haven’t signed up yet, you still have one more day, through Wednesday, August 14, to register and get access to the syllabus in advance. Or just show up at the door of the Ft. Wayne Conference Center and join in. I’d post a list about what I’m packing, except I haven’t even started yet (what, that doesn’t surprise you?). If you’d like to see what other, more organized people are packing, here’s a post from the FGS Conference Blog that might help.

It’s a wild ride, this thing called Summer. I’m hanging on tight and loving every minute of it. Hope you’re having a good one, too.


  1. It sounds like you've been having a busy, fun, and productive summer!

  2. You've been so busy, Shelley, I wonder how you have time to breathe! I guess you must have while at the lake house, though. It's fun (and sometimes tiring) to be busy. Continue to enjoy!

  3. Your summer sounds somewhat similar to mine. Enjoy!

  4. I like spending time with my family. I also went to Ireland. it is a beautiful place to visit. Everything is outstanding there. I like Irish culture and that's why like knowing more and more about it.


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